Sahin Slips Through As Stoke City Beckons
So Nuri Sahin has slipped from Arsenal’s grasp, Liverpool likely to announce the Turkish international’s loan signing any day now. The deal-breaker seemed to be Arsenal’s insistence to include an option to buy the player at the end of the season and it seems neither Real Madrid nor Sahin were too keen on that arrangement.
Although Sahin’s career in Spain has been blighted by injury and time warming the bench, he’s a talented player and would no doubt have strengthened our midfield. But unlike Yossi Benayoun who was at a different stage in his career, Sahin is only 23 years old. With no clause to buy the player at the end of his loan period, any contribution from him would have come at the expense of Arsenal’s contracted players with the likes of Coquelin, Ramsey and even Wilshere losing out on playing time.
For those perpetually questioning Arsenal’s ambition, this is a clear message from Arsene Wenger that the club will not groom somebody else’s stars. Some may feel the gap between Real Madrid and Arsenal is vast but turning down Sahin’s loan deal shows Wenger certainly doesn’t think so. Liverpool have gratefully accepted Real’s offering but the Gunners have done the right thing by refusing to take a player who is not completely committed to the Arsenal cause in the long term.
Financially, Sahin is rumored to be costing the Reds £7m. That’s just for one year and for a player who’s only on loan. It seems a little fantastic they would agree to such terms but perhaps time will vindicate their judgement. Still, it reeks of desperation and hints at the collusion between Rodgers and Mourinho that Liverpool have agreed to pay almost all of Sahin’s £115k weekly wages. It’s almost like shelling out £35m for Andy Carroll, no club in their right mind would do that. Oh wait.
Arsene Wenger wants to buy another midfielder but only if he can make the side much stronger.
If someone really top, top class comes up… I do not need to buy an average midfielder. If someone top, top class turns up, completely defensive, we will consider it.
Alex Song’s departure has created plenty of speculation on how our midfield will shape up this season. With Cazorla playing in the hole against Sunderland but Arsenal unable to create many chances against a disciplined side, perhaps Sahin’s arrival would have allowed Wenger to use Cazorla in wide areas. The Frenchman’s latest comments suggest he’s looking specifically for a defensive minded deep-lying player to provide some protection to the back line.
Besides a midfielder, Arsene has previously hinted at buying a defender as well. Maybe it’s tied to Squillaci’s move away from the Emirates and with nothing happening on that front, it’s unrealistic to expect a defensive signing for now. Hopefully we are also looking for a more experienced goalkeeper. Whether Arsenal sign one or three players, it does look like any more incomings will have to wait until deadline day.
Arsenal visit Stoke City tomorrow and the manager has confirmed Laurent Koscielny will not go with the team. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back training while Wojciech Szczesny has a rib problem. Both are likely to be fit and that being the case, it will be interesting to see how Arsene utilises the Ox for the game tomorrow. While chances are the youngster will continue as a super-sub, his physical presence could be useful against the rough tactics of Pulis’ men.
Certainly the likes of Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud might be surprised by the intensity and physical pressure from Stoke. It’s a chance to find out if Giroud and Podolski can hold their own against the likes of Huth and Shawcross. Also if Cazorla can increase his passing tempo to beat the pressing of Whitehead and Whelan in midfield. As alway, it’ll be a tough game but hopefully the new boys will settle quickly and we can return with three points.
Back with the match preview tomorrow. Until then.