Transfer Rumour Review: Benzema, Vertonghen, Goetze, Melo.
Welcome to RedDetective’s brand-new Transfer Rumour Review column.
The weekly feature promises to look at a handful of players linked with Arsenal in the past seven days, giving you the chance to have your say on which star you would like to see in a Gunners shirt.
Feel free to leave your transfer rumour views in the comments section below.
Karim Benzema (23, Forward, Real Madrid):
For many this appears to be the favourite potential signing for Arsenal. Compared to Falcao, he is both taller and has the physique to hold up the ball against the strongest of defenders. His runs and style remind me of the recently retired Brazilian Ronaldo. The Frenchman who was signed by Real Madrid for £30m in 2009 at just 21 years old has found his feet this year in Spain, and yet still does not appear to have the complete faith of Mourinho. His manager has used the stick rather than the carrot to motivate him, famously saying “If we arranged things around you we would have to start training at midday because you are not awake when you turn up at 10 and you are still asleep at 11,” during a training ground telling off. While being an able target man, his game is based on movement rather than brute strength. This differentiates him from Mourinho’s earlier trusted gladiator type forwards in Didier Drogba and Diego Milito. An added dynamic for Benzema to contend with is that speculation suggests Fernando Llorente may arrive as first choice centre forward this summer. Indeed, with the UEFA financial fair play ruling to come in, I anticipate he will leave to free up funds for Real Madrid signings. This would be an excellent signing for Arsenal as Van Persie lacks the physique and pace to act as lone centre forward for an entire season. His body is brittle, slight and injury prone. Benzema is robust and has a great understanding with Samir Nasri, evidenced by their excellent display working in tandem against England in their 2-1 win. Should Cesc Fabregas leave for Barcelona this summer and Nasri take his position on the field, this transfer would significantly increase the attacking potential of Arsenal.
Jan Vertonghen (24, Defender/Defensive Midfielder, Ajax):
Vertonghen is an accomplished left footed versatile defender who has already partnered Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen both at international level and also for Ajax. Vertonghen can also operate as a defensive midfielder. I rate the Belgian, but I must say I am not convinced this is the player to lead the line and prevent Arsenal conceding set piece goals against the likes of Birmingham and Stoke. Our team needs a tall, well built, aggressive centre back who will shout and bawl at his surrounding players all day long. Do I see that in Vertonghen? No. I consider him a talented centre back but not the Pepe, Lucio, Vidic we are crying out for. Interestingly, Frank de Boer has confirmed that Manchester City had been sniffing around the 24-year-old defender. I would much prefer his unplayable international colleague Vincent Kompany who is surely going nowhere.
Mario Goetze (18, Attacking Midfield, Borussia Dortmund):
A young playmaker, Mario Goetze has had an exceptional season, winning the Bundesliga this year with Borussia Dortmund. As Germany’s 7th youngest international debutant ever he is beginning to be spoken in the same breath as Mesut Ozil and Thomas Mueller, and is emerging as the hot new German property. Several very mature performances in attacking midfield have not only flummoxed opposition defenders but drawn the highest of praise from German football’s most respected figures. Goetze has superb close control, technical skill and a quick brain beyond his years that all enable him to pull strings and make space. In short he could well be another Nasri, Wilshere, Ramsey. And that may be the problem, a diminuitive playmaker cannot be top of the list of priorities for Arsenal given the current squad personnel. Any interest in Goetze will not be explored further until a movement of Fabregas, Rosicky or other such player leaves.
Felipe Melo (27, Midfield, Juventus):
A 6 foot brawny midfielder, Felipe Melo turned down Arsenal in order to sign for Juventus when he left Fiorentina in 2009. A powerful, skilful midfielder with strength and technique to survive the bruising premiership, it is no surprise such a player would be coveted by English teams. However, I asked on Twitter this week (@Detective82) whether ‘Is Felipe Melo destined to become new Sebastian Frey or Mexes? The persistent target we never buy.’ Just like Frey, Mexes, Yaya Toure, Bixente Lizarazu and David Trezeguet he strikes me as a player Arsenal will forever be linked with but will never actually sign. I know Melo could bring a hardness and probably some good passing displays where he is not overly pressured in possession, but how would he adapt at games on rainy December nights when it is all going wrong concern me. A player who collected 17 yellow cards and 3 reds in his first Juventus season, who stamped on Arjen Robben in the World Cup, may not have the discipline to survive in such environments. I would suggest that interest in Melo would likely require Diaby or Denilson to move on, and furthermore might be indicative of the fact that Wenger does not consider the likes of Lansbury and Frimpong ready to join the first team. If he signs and becomes as good as Gilberto, it’ll be an inspired signing. I am slightly confused why on earth he decided to call his son, ‘Lineker’, after the English centre forward Gary Lineker.
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