Dec 19

Arsenal Transfer Thoughts and Analysis

How many right backs could Manchester United have played last season? To a competent level; Neville, Fabio, Rafael, Brown, O’Shea. This season some of those players are no longer there but Chris Smalling has had added the role to his armoury, and Phil Jones can also play there. Targeting a versatile, aggressive, competitive defender like a younger Gabriel Heinze or Pablo Zabaleta would be an effective contingency signing. 

I have warmed to Ignasi Miquel, a tall fresh faced defender who makes instinctive interventions and accurate passes. Unfortunately, he lacks acceleration or recovery speed. As a result, our creative midfield trio need to wait for him to catch up with play and get level with them to have a left sided outlet. Without that outlet, as Arsenal were against Manchester City, teams will be able to suffocate our midfield on the ball and force a change of possession. 

At Barcelona, Xavi always has a speed merchant like Dani Alves available to pass to. Not having to wait for the pass allows them to maintain a high tempo and stretch teams.  With Kieran Gibbs, Santos, Miquel, and Vermaelen it is difficult to argue that Arsenal need a new left back this January on a permanent deal, but from this perspective you can see that Arsenal will not be able to play a game that creates gaps without a quick pair of full backs. It was time for him to go when he did, but Emmanuel Eboué’s positional versatility and acceleration is what Wenger should be looking for this January. Incidentally, one of Eboué’s best games for Arsenal came against Real Madrid where he marked Robinho. Robinho, now at AC Milan, would be running in behind Djourou in the forthcoming Champions League game. I am not sure Arsenal  have a third back-stop player that could handle Robinho’s brains or mobility. 

The fact that Arsenal need a striker of quality is something I feel Arsène Wenger has recently acquiesced to. Gervinho continues to work hard and frustrate, losing the ball in important situations but, also, making chances. His great statistics do not hide the fact his performances remain unfulfilling or dominant. Theo Walcott failed a major test against Manchester City, and that was bitterly disappointing. However; Walcott remains a hungry winner, with rapid foot speed over 40 metres and improving composure. If he renews his contract I would forecast him getting fewer matches next season due to the imminent explosion of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain onto the first team stage on a weekly basis. I suspect the way that young players like Walcott,  Cesc Fábregas, Robin van Persie, Abou Diaby, and Gibbs have all been affected by injuries in the early part of their careers has, along with a strong forward line ahead of him, allowed Wenger to be patient with Oxlade-Chamberlain. 

If Arsenal can find a forward that can play across the front line, then our season can end with a degree of attainment. Failing to sign such a player, or two, would be ignorant of the shallow reserves at Wenger’s disposal. Lukas Podolski is an incisive and athletic weapon that can score the type of goals that I thought Carlos Vela would, or that Jose Antonio Reyes did all too briefly. Podolski can sweep hard, low shots across the keeper from 15-30 yards whilst running at speed from the left flank. As I mentioned in my last article on him, the negotiation team made an attempt to discuss the transfer with FC Köln. Arsenal have been quoted a figure that Wenger is reluctant but not completely against spending on him. Will it happen? As always with Wenger, he will look for the best option financially once he is properly convinced there are no solutions in the current squad. 

Mario Götze is among two or three players that Arsenal will look at this summer to improve the creativity through the midfield, but with Wilshere and Diaby to return I do not see a playmaker being signed permanently at this stage. If Wenger can secure a talent from a French league that he feels can enrich his options in this area on a loan deal, then he probably will. Yoann Gourcuff is outrageously talented , tall, graceful player with the passing range of Xabi Alonso and the touch of a young Bergkamp. Whether Wenger can rescue and revive this dormant world talent on a temporary deal to find his finest form, will depend on the same factors that they always do; injuries at the parent and loaning team, costs, obligations to sign permanently or otherwise, implications for international tournament football for the player, and guarantees of game time.

For all Arsenal discussion, transfer news and tactics follow me on Twitter: @Detective82.



24 Responses to “Arsenal Transfer Thoughts and Analysis”

  1. GoonRambler says:

    I reckon we need at least a striker back-up for RvP as well as another full back. Gibbs is on his way back and Sagna should be alright by january? I think we should get Podolski and Wayne Bridge on loan as a temporary cheaper solution. Possibly look at Hazard if Wenger doesn’t trust AOC or Arshavin to fill in for Gervinho.

  2. gareth says:

    sell/loan/give away/melt down chamakh & arshavin but the key is bringing in a player like podolski who can easily cover both players roles in the squad with aplomb.

    buy jan vertonghen who can play left/centre back and defensive midfield.

    loan out miyaichi/frimpong and fully offload usual shower of shite that is almunia/squillaci/manonne whatever the cost.

  3. Rob says:

    I would love Podolski. He’s a great option because he’s not only a good striker but he’s very versatile and can play on the wings as well. This means he can cover Gervinho when he goes to the African Cup of Nations.

    Wenger please get Podolski, you will make me a very happy man!

  4. Tiger Tadgh says:

    I’d really love Podolski as well, I have always admired him as a player and think he would bring a lot of quality and experience to the team. I think he should try n get Jan Vertongen n Greg Van Der Viel from Ajax . Both could be possibilitiese because of the links with our vice captain n captain

  5. Reza says:

    I really hope arsenal will sell chamakh because he is a purchase of failed player arsenal’s had been bought, may be arsenal need a powerful winger back and of course a player who can be a back up for RvP , likes Podolski ..

  6. steven johnson says:

    Bridge-are you a spud fan by the way. Vertongen would be ideal ,another striker offload Chamakh

  7. sugio says:

    world class striker required as a v.persie back up..

  8. gunner says:

    loan- Frimpong/Coquelin ,Miyachi.
    players to leave: Chamakh,Arshavin.

    Rosicky.. he should play more! of the most creative midfielder(now)

    Podolski is great choice in January!

  9. galviniho says:

    Podolski is the ideal option as Koln have financial problems, but the Euros create a problem hence Henry resigning being an option.

    I doubt Arsenal will buy a defender as Gibbs is back, Jenkinson by the FA cup game and Sagna may return by the Man Utd game.

    I would like to see Arshavin, Squillaci and Chamakh leave with Podolski coming in. There was talk of Jovetic earlier this year who can like Podolski play across the front line.

    I thought we also were looking at Dunk of Brighton.

  10. Andre says:


    Hazard . Goetze . Podolski


    Arshavin and Chamakh have been terrible.

    Don’t know why Eboue has been sold , he’s versatility could have been useful right now.

  11. gunner says:

    andre 😀 Hazard cca 30,Gotze cca 35,Podolski cca 15 😉 We are not ”camels from manchester”

  12. goona says:

    I would still pay 20-25 mil for torres he would score an absolute sackful at arsenal with the chances we create!

  13. gareth says:

    in hindsight eboue would be a usual tool right now but how many clubs have 4 full backs out injured plus now a covering cb in that position.
    but thats all eboue was, a tool. spent way too long a at the club living in a comfort zone for so long without delivering the goods, actually hindering the development of the younger players coming through. getting any money for him was a massive bonus just unfortunate our injury luck continues.

  14. Dejilinho says:

    People don’t live in a real world. Few of these comments has to be associated with Career Mode on FIFA 12. We are critical of making quick judgements on players that flop. If Arshavin gets a run of games in January, he might rediscover his form. Chamakh has never been thesame because of the competition with top class and on-form RVP. A run of games when RVP is resting(not using the i-word) might rediscover his form too.

    As anyone questioned Arsene Wenger’s decision to bench Chamakh when RVP returned last season? Why not keep on-form Chamakh then and play 4-4-2?

  15. Gooooooner says:

    You’re right Dejilinho. I am against offloading Chamakh. He’s in confidence crisis. I hope he’ll recover confidence in African Cup Of Nations. But about Arshavin, I think that he lost his place for ever. I think AW will sell him in January if a good opportunity come on (I HOPE SO!). He’s getting old so his price in dropping and he got countless occasions to get back to his level. Eden Hazard would be a much better player in that position. Hope we get him next summer.

  16. Mitti says:

    I still think that Chamakh and Arshavin can be great for Arsenal in the second half of the season. However, I still hope that we can get some new blood in the attacking department. Podolski could work really well, but I doubt that we go for him. Nevertheless I don’t really agree with Wenger that we always opt for the same starting 11. I’d love to see more rotation (only 1-2 players per game to increase their confidence)

  17. athlon says:

    Wenger should use his scout network to scrutinize more experienced players as they did with Koscielny in 2010, he was a superb signing. I have one major problem with the team: apart from the current starting XI (plus Santos, Sagna, Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain) the rest of the squad is either incompetent to play for Arsenal (Arshavin, Squillaci or Chamakh), or are never fit (Diaby, Gibbs). With having no alternatives for Gervinho or Walcott, they don’t have to rush themselves, don’t have to raise their game in order to get into the first XI, as we all know who are going to be fielded tomorrow or on next Monday… On the other hand, however, they will be all pushed to their limits without rotatons.. this is catch 22. We don’t need espcially Götzes or Hazards. I like pretty much the recent links to Shakhtar Donetsk’s Armenian midfielder, Henrikh Mkhitraryan. His style is like Nasri’s one, he’s a player with a lot of potential. He could come to share the burden with Ramsey, and although firstly he would be sitting on the bench, later he could step in. With a total amount of Ł15-20m pounds we could buy 2-3 more experienced talents not into the first team initially, but to deepen the squad. Any thoughts?

  18. ameed says:

    @athlon…i like ur idea that we should not concentrate just buying hazard or gotze to strength our squad…there are many other players can come and also improve our squad without paying a lot amount of money like man shitty !! but there is 1 thing u didnt mention , that we are too dependent on rvp form , and we all know that without a top-class attacker alongside Robin van Persie, arsenal are only one injury away from everything blowing up in our faces !!! cause chamakh is out-form and he is off to the african nation cup in 2 weeks time , and sadly , the in-form gervinho will be also there as well !! so i think we need badly just 1 signing in up coming transfer window !! my opinion is that WE MUST SIGN PODOLSKI !! because he can play as a lone striker like van persie , and he can play as a left winger ( gervinho’s position ) !! so 2 hits in just 1 signing !!! plus we can get him for 15 million euro , not too much for 26 years old talented player like him i think !!! so sell chamakh to PSG asap , squillaci as well , so we can get the money to make this transfer happen !!! in the summer , sell arshavin to that russian team , sell bendtner to any team , put a lil bit of money , and we can get a midfielder who can play anywhere in the attacking areas ( eriksen , gotze , marco rues , hazard , marvin martin ………) !!! defensively we are ok except the left back position , still wondering why wenger didnt sign aly cissokho from lyon or at least jose enrique from newcastle , when they were both available with reasonable price !!!!! gibbs is injury prone , and santos for me is not a defender , he is more like left winger , plus he is slow !!!
    thanx for reading…up gooners 😉

  19. athlon says:


    Look, we have a more suitable soluiton. If a Nolan Reux of Brest (I just mentioned a name, maybe an Arsenal-scout knows it better) can come in, impress, share the burden with RvP, we are fine, and we don’t need Podolski and spared some million.
    In winter, it’s harder to get rid of the unwanted players and replace them, it’s better to do it next summer. But do it then regardless of Euro2012 Finals and Olympic Games. It would take 2 weeks to do that exodous. And don’t negotiate. If a club makes an offer worth Ł5 for Bendtner then we should sell him for that money. An offer worth Ł1m comes in for Squillaci we should take it.
    I respect Wenger for buliding up the recent team but he should be also blamed that the situation became so desperate. Well, it was obvious that Fabregas can be sold only to Barcelona therefore Barcelona would never raise their offer above €30m. It was clear from the start. Then why did Arsenal delay the deal? Whilst the big negotiations were underway – and in the end we didn’t get anything big plus – we have managed to miss out on Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla.
    But we can make our things even easier. Just get rid of the unwanted players ASAP and bring talents like let’s say Junior Hoilett from Blackburn – whose contract will run out at the end of the season – in. That’s it.

  20. The next RVP says:

    Arsene wenger needs to act sharp on signing podolski and gotze(hopfully) but we also need hazard he might come because he’s related to vermaelen (so i here) but arsenal need to improve their wages to attract more players in and also get van der wiel then if there is enough money we can get cavani/saldado/torres then the trophies will come in…

  21. Nas says:

    javier pastore & gotze

  22. you all are right.

  23. George Singapore says:

    What happens if Sczenzy is injured or just needs a breather? Fabianski is too inconsistent and Mannone just could not cut it. Sign an experienced above average keeper to be as backup, trust me there are a lot out there that are better than what we have.

    On the full backs issue, we are well stocked. we are just pretty damm unlucky to have all our full backs out. Sagna is the best in the league, jenkinson will be better by the day. Santos will never be the best in his position but he is good enough to be in the team. Gibbs need to stay out of injuries. Vermaelen, Kos and Per will rotate among themselves to start and we need another backup, Djourou is clearly not good enough. Same as above, sign an experienced above average CB as cover.

    Wilshere(when he is back), Song and Arteta will man our midfield at least for this season. Ramsey, Benayoun, Diaby will come off the bench. The way i see it, Wenger will not sign Benayoun permanently as he is a tat too old, Diaby he will keep as he is french. Come next season, wenger will get a legit creative midfielder to replace Cesc and Arteta will be demoted to the bench(what a great backup!).

    Winger wise, the right side is fine with Walcott and Oxlade. Walcott definitely improved quite a lot this season. Gervinho will still be deployed on the left, this guy can be world class. I have not seen much of Miyaichi, but i trust him to do a good job when called upon. Dont think wenger will spend money on getting a winger as we have a lot of quality young players there.

    Striking department. Hands down RVP is still the man for seasons to come. Chamakh is ok, but he will never be a great scorer, finishing is poor. when u play with 1 striker up front, that striker better takes his chances. Podolski has been a real target for Wenger but he is not willing to be just a backup. However, think wenger will be able to convince him as lets not kid ourselves, RVP needs his rest and Podolski can play on either flanks so he can be called upon if walcott or gervinho is injured. Which means he will still get plenty of games.

    Outs: Almunia(free), Fabianski(2m?), Mannone(free), Squillaci(2m), Denilson(5m), Arshavin(12m), Benayoun(loan expires), Chamakh(5m), Bendtner(8m).

    Ins: Experienced keeper(3m), Alex(5m), Gotze(30m), Podolski(15m).

    Net transfer spent: 19m.

    GK: Szcenzy (experienced keeper)
    RB: Sagna (Jenkinson)
    LB: Santos (Gibbs)
    CB: Vermaelen, Kos (Per, Alex)
    RW: Walcott (Oxlade)
    LW: Gervinho (Miyaichi)
    CM: Gotze, Wilshere, Song (Ramsey, Arteta, Coquelin)
    ST: RVP (Podolski)

    Players to call upon during an injury crisis: Djourou, Rosicky, Park, Vela (these players has a high chance of being sold too if the right offer comes in).

    I believe this will get us the championship!

  24. arsenal30 says:

    Worst case scenakhrio would be that kh`s lack of confidence continues throughout his African jaunt and AW decides to dump him. However, the mooted signing of Gourcuff may provide us with-at last – a Plan B. Playing together, they spearheaded Bordeaux`s race to the French championship. Now both have something to prove and would be more energetic than some, who see Arsenal as a stepping stone. We`ve had only a brief glimpse of Charmakh`s ability but like Gourcuff, his track record and reputation, as basicaly, a class act, is unquestioned. The cost of that pair would surely grab AW`s attention! Those expecting Podoiski and Goetze might not like the idea – but would Himself really spend £50mil for them? The Bordeaux combination sounds better to me than scratching around among the reserves of Wigan and Fulham and such.


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