Transfers – An objective fans eye view

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First of all, I don’t profess to have any ‘inside knowledge’ of the transfer dealings at Arsenal. I don’t walk the dog of Ivan Gazidis’ tea lady, or organise the air conditioning maintenance at London Colney (although I could if asked). I am a huge football fan, and most importantly… I’m a Gooner. What I’m trying to do here is give a non-rose tinted and objective view on current transfer sagas at the club.

Samir Nasri –

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This one really is a double edged sword. Do we cash in on him, but subsequently improve one of our direct competitors? What if we keep him for the remaining year of his contract with a distinct possibility of one of the following happening:

1) He stays for the year and doesn’t really put a shift in for the team, leaves for free next summer, leaving us kicking ourselves we didn’t get £20M+ for him.
2) He shows the form he showed in the first half of last season which helps deliver a trophy.
Although we still wouldn’t get the money, Arsene’s decision will be vindicated.

You never know, maybe Arsene will convince him to stay! *That’s more in hope than judgement.

The worrying issue is, it looks like he’s burnt his bridges with many Arsenal fans already, and that might be unrecoverable. We, as football fans, are a strange breed. We expect loyalty from a Frenchman who has only lived in England, and had Arsenal in his life, for 3 years. He has the opportunity to go to a club where he can earn more money, and (as much as I hate to say it) probably has more chance of winning a trophy. If the shoe was on the other foot, would we show the loyalty we expect? How much did we pay for Chamakh again? Let’s not open the Sol Campbell can of worms either!

My verdict – Wenger will take a huge gamble and make him stay.

Cesc Fabregas –

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I’ve been saying for years, “Cesc will go back to Barcelona eventually & when he does, I’ll wish him well and move on.”

In hindsight, that is probably a bit simplistic of me. Kind of like when you explain how to deal with a hypothetical problem such as winning the lottery…

This constant summer wrangling with Barca is starting to get on my nerves now though. No one can move on. Not us and certainly not Cesc. Our position is very clear the player is under contract for four more years, we value him at £XXm (I’m not sure anyone outside the club actually knows what that is) & if Barca can’t meet that fee then he stays.

I actually think Barcelona are batting clever here. They don’t really need Cesc now, but will continue to make derisory offers to let the player know that want him to return (eventually). Meanwhile they’ll hope there may be a small chance that Arsenal get fed up with it all and accept, what would certainly be considered, a reduced fee. In a couple of year’s time Xavi will be a bit older, as he’s only 31 now (I say only as it’s the same age as me) and he really will need replacing. Plus, Cesc’s contract will only have two years left to run, so we won’t be in such a strong position.

My Verdict – At least one more year at the Grove.

Incomings –

Every May I tell myself I’m not going to listen to any transfer rumours. I won’t open every twitter link which states ‘Arsenal chase X’, but the fact is… I can’t help myself. I spend the best part of 3 months looking forward to the start of the new season, so it’s only natural for me to want to know who’s going to be wearing the red & white of the club I love and will be travelling up and down the country to see play.

Most people (including myself) have no real understanding of all the different processes that make up a transfer in modern football. Some people need to realise that it isn’t the same as playing Football Manager on your laptop at home. I’m sure we would all like a return to the days when two managers agreed a deal on the phone (or in a pub) and then asked their secretaries to complete the paperwork, but that’s life. I do feel we haven’t acted as quickly as we could (and maybe should) this summer though.

We’ve shown interest in both Chris Samba and Gary Cahill, but for some reason nothing has materialised. I would personally be happy with either. If we’d put a £17m bid in for Cahill or a £13m bid for Samba on 23rd May, I’m sure at least one of the two would now be an Arsenal player. Now, I know many people would argue with me that they are not worth that money, and they would be entitled to their opinion but the fact is a player is worth what someone is willing to pay for him & with that in mind and looking at what defenders have been transferred for recently (Jones & Luiz particularly), those prices aren’t far off the mark.

Left back is a position that has raised an issue since Clichy’s departure (good luck to Gael as well). I think most of us feel Gibbs will be a good player, but his fitness record worries me. In Kieran’s defence though Clichy had similar problems at his age. Traore could be an adequate replacement (Again, I know many would disagree), we don’t know, we haven’t seen much of him for a while.

I think we have to leave it to Wenger’s judgement. To be honest I haven’t seen many left back’s in world football that have made me sit up and take note recently.

On a positive note, we have made a couple of signings. Gervinho was chased by several English clubs, and he’s chose Arsenal, but we haven’t seen him on the pitch yet (I’ll reserve judgement until we do). Again, with Carl Jenkinson, we don’t know yet but his two pre-season outing’s so far have been promising. Definitely cover for Sagna rather than Eboue.

This is just my opinions guys, I know you’ll have yours too so it would be great to get a discussion going – please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Thanks for reading.

Big Dave

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