The new fellas

So as one window closes another one opens, or so they say. Actually it might be doors not windows, but in this case it matters little because it is certainly the summer transfer window that has closed and will remain closed until the winter transfer window opens.

Windows don't open at the grove

Anyway it is neither windows nor doors I wish to talk about today. It’s dust, or rather the settling of it. Because now it has all settled down we can actually get back to the very simple matter of watching people kick a football and more importantly the people we’ll watch kick said football.

By now we all know enough about our early (in Arsenal time) acquisitions Jenkinson, Gervinho & AOC – we’ve even seen them play already. Oh yes, we signed Joel Campbell as well didn’t we, hmm. You know, I get more sceptical about the Costa Rican and the likelihood of him ever playing for the Arsenal with every passing day. But I don’t know why?

Anyway it is the five players who came in post OT that I want to look at a bit more, especially as we won’t be seeing much of them over the next week or so unless you’re willing to find a stream of their national sides games.

The kidnappers have made me hold this shirt

The first to arrive in the wake of the United defeat was Park Chu Young. Or you can call him Chu Young Park or Young Park Chu although he wants us to call him Ju Young Park…

It was actually the eve of Old Trafford that we first started to hear rumblings that we had pinched the Korean literally from under the noses of Lille. JYP had undergone part of his medical with the French Champions ahead of a proposed move with relegated Monaco and was thought to be in a hotel room watching the French version of ‘One man and his dog‘ (Although he assumed it was some kind of interactive dinner menu)

They call him 'Le Cat' in France

Dressed head to toe in black Gilles Grimandi crept into the Korean strikers room and knocked him out with chloroform before tying him up and bundling him into the back of an old Citroen Normale – It was completely needless because Arsene Wenger had only asked Giles to give Park a lift to the airport. Apparently officials from Lille actually did give chase in an attempt to stop the Korean talking to us.

As I previously said I really don’t know much about Ju aside from the fact he is Ji Sung Park’s cousin and he is due to return to his homeland in two years to undertake national service – frankly I can’t possibly base a profile of the man around those two facts. Can I? No..

Well the only other info I have on him is that he is the current captain of the South Korean national side and he has pledged full alligance to the Gunners cause and he was a snip at just £3m.

While he may not be regarded as a prolific scorer of goals he is certainly regard as a player with a footballing brain (which is very different to a ‘footballers brain’ such as those retained inside the heads of Paul Merson, Chris Waddle & Ryan Shawcross). At six foot he’ll add some much needed height to the side but must be wary of heading the ball in case he damages his IQ of 150.

He’ll be contending with Marouane Chamakh for the role of RVP understudy number 1 (if you can call it a competition right now?. I could probably get a game ahead of the Moroccan) now that Nicklas Bendtner has moved to Sunderland on a seasons loan – supposedly the Danes dream move… Of course it is Nik.

Along with Ryo, JYP will certainly help to bring in the cash from the far east but that is not Wenger the economists sole reason for signing either.

Better than Juan?

The next to join the ranks was Brazilian left back Andre Clarindo dos Santos (I’m assuming he’ll just have ‘Santos’ on his shirt?)

Again I know little about him (Am I even qualified to do this?) but what I do know is the amount of experience he brings to the side. After starting his career with Brazilian side Figueirense in 2004 he moved to Corinthians in 2008, either side of loans at Flamengo & Atletico Mineiro, before moving to Fenerbache in 2009.

Whilst at Fenerbache Santos competed with perhaps the worlds most famous left back, Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos. In fact Santos managed to make the left back berth his own and Carlos moved back to Brazil & Santos’ former side Corinthians.

It was during his time with the Turkish side that Santos made the breakthrough into the Brazilian national side. And had mixed fortunes under former boss Dunga. After making in roads and appearing in the Confederations Cup, the pre-curser to the World Cup, in 2009 he was left out of the side that competed in South Africa for the title of world champions a year later.

Since Dunga was replaced by Mano Memezes, after the sides disappointing showing on the biggest stage of them all, Santos has worked his way back into international favour and to date has 17 international caps.

There is no doubting that the left back position was in desperate need of strengthening. You’ll know I wasn’t too disappointed to see Clichy leave us but I was also unsure of Kieran Gibbs ability to make the role his own. It’s no slight on the young Englishman’s footballing ability, it’s just a sad fact that we’ve not seen enough of it due to his persistent injury problems.

With only the now departed Armand Traore as back up, along with the none too popular option of shifting Tommy V across to LB, it was one of the areas of our side most in need of reinforcing. That the club have gone out and signed an experienced Brazilian international to follow in the steps of Sylvinho and Juan (remember Juan?) is impressive indeed and allays some real fears.

Ze German

The third man in was German international giant Per Mertesacker.

All summer long we’ve been linked with Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Chris Samba & Scott Dann and at one point or more we we’re supposedly only hours away from signing one or more of them. In truth we had bids rejected for Jagielka and Cahill but I’m not sure how much of a real interest we had in the other two, who will now link up at Blackburn.

Mertesacker has been linked with us on and off for a few years now and I must admit I thought it was one of those lazy stories that journos used to fill column inches. I think that the fact the six foot six centre back has won 75 international caps for Germany tells you pretty much all you need to know about him. To achieve that in just six years is no mean feet and certainly confirms that we do not have another Seb Squillaci on our hands as some have strangely suggested.

As we’ve mentioned he is tall, real proper actual tall and that is something we’ve missed from our back line for a fair while now. His height doesn’t make him just a defensive version of Stoke super striker Peter Crouch, and by that I mean he isn’t just a lanky gawlper, he’s strong and won’t be bullied by Ork like centre forwards. His positional play is as efficient as his heritage suggests and he isn’t a slouch on the ball either.

£8m is a snip when you look at the £15m & £17m Everton and Bolton wanted for Jagielka and Cahill. Imagine if either of them had 75 England caps, fees of £40m upwards would be floated about which is utter madness.

My biggest concern with Mertesacker comes with the Koscielny – Vermaelen partnership in mind. Now I can’t see Ze German wanting to sit on the bench in all but FA & Carling Cup games but at the same time I’m slightly reticent to see the Kozzer & Tommy task force broken up when it is starting to show promise. That said, it was an experienced CB we wanted and it’s an experienced CB we’ve got so I guess this was always going to become an issue but it is most certainly a good issue as opposed to one of those bad ones. We all hate those don’t we?

The next in was maybe the biggest surprise of the five, even when you consider that a hell of a lot of us had never heard of JYP.

Yossi

Yossi Benayoun has joined on a season long loan from Chelsea, and for the most part I think it’s a decent move. We knew we were light in midfield especially from a creative standpoint and the Israeli certainly reduces that weakness.

As captain of his national side it is yet another leader on the pitch and the fact he has played in England for six years means he doesn’t need any time to adjust to the pace of our game. His time here after moving from Racing Santander has been quietly impressive but without really moving any mountains. But it isn’t often that a bad player slips through the Ajax academy and Yossi is certainly not that.

He’ll add that creative guile we’ve seemingly been missing so far this season and while others may differ I kind of want to describe him as a mix between Samir Nasri & Tommy Rosicky. I expect him to create more goals than he scores but he certainly has the ability to get the ball in the onion bag which is a massive bonus.

One for the ladies

If he had been our only midfield signing, then, without doing the man a disservice, I think we may have been disappointed somewhat but he wasn’t because he came in just a short while before the club announced the signing of Spanish genius Mikel Arteta.

Maybe the little midfielder can’t be described as a ‘wow’ signing but it was most certainly the one that got us Gooners most excited on Wednesday.

For as long as Cesc was linked with a move back to Barca Arteta was linked with filling his compatriots boots (So that is forever) but this summer his name appeared to have been omitted from the list of so-called pretenders to the throne until the last few days of the transfer window.

Reports suggest that we first went in on Tuesday with a bid of £4m which was quickly rebuffed by Everton but the Mersey men must have made it known that they were prepared to do a deal because we went back in the following day with an improved bid of £10m. There was a point during the malaise that it all seemed to have died a death and it created a distinct air of disappointment. It was the player himself who pushed for the move to happen and if reports are to be believed he has taken a cut in wages in order to make the move, which speaks volumes of his desire.

Like Benayoun Arteta already knows this league inside out and can make an instant impact in our side alongside Jack Wilshere. There is no doubt that he could slip into the Cesc role with ease but it remains to be seen if we’ll line up like that this season. I would imagine that he’ll take over corner and free kick duty from RVP which will be a relief, mainly because we may now score from set pieces a little more regularly.

He has everything needed to be a hit at the Arsenal as long as he doesn’t suffer any long term injuries. At 29 this is his last chance to have a crack at top level football (sorry Everton) and with that in mind you can understand why he pushed for the move after six years service with the toffees. Oh and of course he brings Mrs Arteta with him…

HELLO!

So in all the fantastic five are just that in my view. They give our squad everything it’s been crying out for and I think they all have a winning mentality and the desire to achieve as much as possible in the game. I am very much looking forward to seeing each and every one of them in the red and white this season. If only the curssed internationals weren’t delaying that.

If you like numbers and you believe they may either back up or destroy everything I have written above then take a look at these stats on all our new signings on the official Arsenal website.

Thanks for reading.

Paul

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