Ricardo Alvarez signed! Gervinho not far Behind!?

June 25, 2011

A month ago I did a post in which I said that we may have made our first signing of this transfer window in the shape of Ricardo Alvarez from Velez Sarsfield. The story was first reported by Fox Sports and it took me by surprise because I had never even heard his name. The report said that we had agreed a pre-contract with the player and he would move to Arsenal after his contract expires at Sarsfield at the end of their campaign.  A 23-year-old, left footed attacking midfielder whose pace and ability to play as a second striker stood out and interested me. However, I didn’t take it seriously as there was a confusion related with the name Arsenal (apparently there is a team called Arsenal de Sarandi in Argentina) and I never followed up the story.

The Fox Sports’ story was followed up a couple of days later by many others as it became evident it was us, Arsenal of England that were interested and not the Arsenal club that plays in Argentine Primera División.

With time, however, Alvarez was forgotten as Gervinho, Cahill, Samba and Hazard’s names started circulating around, whom we were targeting. And as these targets were nearer to us, we all took interest in them. Somewhere in between, we did get to see the name of Alvarez.

A month later, now, when it has gone quiet on all other major fronts for us, Ricardo Alvarez’s name springs up again and this time I feel it is a confirmation of the initial agreement that Fox Sports reported.

On Friday, the blogosphere was full of reports that we have actually signed him after apparently Palermo’s President, Maurizio Zamparini, let it slip in an interview with Naples Radio Kiss Kiss that we have acquired his services. His Interview was reported in Tuttosport

“We did have a concrete bid for Alvarez and had him in our grasp back in January. Unfortunately, we didn’t complete the move in time, so we lost him to Arsenal. At this moment he has already signed for the Gunners.”

However, with Corriere, he used the words that ‘Arsenal is interested’.

The question is what to believe or what not to after this as this puts a big question mark on Zamparini’s reliability. Although, I am certain that we may have actually secured his signing behind closed doors. The reason being, we do like our transfer dealings to be hidden these days because as soon we show interest in a player, other clubs hijack that deal. The end result is the price increases exponentially and we lose the target. Also we need a midfielder-cum-winger and a striker and Alvarez fulfills all the requirements. So, Wenger may have spent the asked price on such a talent.

I also believe that Zamparini, being interested in Alvarez, may have approached Sarsfield only to find out that he has been sold to us and in the resulting frustration may have spilled the beans in front of the media.

This brings me onto the situation regarding Gervinho. He was supposed to sign for us by the end of last week or start of this one according to reports. Ever since those reports, it‘s been quiet. Frustration is mounting among the fans. I have a feeling though, that Gervinho’s situation is similar to Alvarez’s. I believe that we have agreed the terms and only waiting for a date to officially announce his signing.

Reports, by the way, have already started coming out that Lille have rejected our bid for Gervinho! Don’t believe them!

Hopefully, when the transfer window opens on 1st of July, we will be announcing both the signings of Alvarez and Gervinho in addition to some others!

Advertisements

Gazidis assures signing players, Arsenal to have talks over Gervinho, Arsene interested in Emmanuel Riviere

June 14, 2011

Just a quick update today as I am busy somewhere else. Yesterday, Ivan Gazidis had a question and answer session with the Arsenal Shareholders Trust. I haven’t yet seen the session due to not finding time so can’t really comment on what happened. Ivan did, however, assure the fans that Arsenal will be making new signings this summer and a few of the current squad will also be asked to leave.

He was off the opinion that despite a massive disappointment the season cannot be seen as a disaster.

“Coming off the end of the season, I share with you a sense of profound disappointment. We had a season that promised a great deal and looked like it could turn into a very special one but in the end a familiar story began to tell itself. I understand the feelings that we all felt.

It is very clear we had some shortcomings and in this close season we are going to see some turnover of players. Some new signings will be coming in and some of our existing squad will be going out. As Arsène has said, it will be a busy close season for the Club.

But also it is important to recognize that it has not been a disaster. We have a young squad and we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The trick will be identify which parts to keep and which parts to turnover. And we will do that within our financial capabilities.”

I don’t want to sound negative but if finishing fourth in a two-horse title race isn’t disaster than I am afraid Ivan has lost me. It might have been disappointing if it was happening for the first time but to happen for four years consecutively is quite worrying. I will be discussing more of this after I have seen the whole session. For now, I am grateful that Ivan considers buying and indeed selling a few players, hopefully not to include Nasri and Fabregas.

In other news, Lille’s general manager Frederic Paquet has confirmed that they will be holding talks with Arsenal for a possible transfer of Gervinho. The general manger said

“He [Gervinho] wants to go and has developed contacts with Arsenal. We will soon have talks with them and see what they offer. He has expressed a desire to go to England and we will see what happens.”

With news coming out on daily basis related to Gervinho, it seems that we really are interested in him. let’s hope the talks are fruitful.

There is also talk of Arsene’s interest in Saint-Etienne striker Emmanuel Riviere. He has been compared to Thierry Henry and is valued at around £4.5 million. In the player’s own words

“I am flattered to be linked with the clubs mentioned. I am a young player, so to be linked with Arsenal is fantastic for me. If Arsene Wenger is interested in you it means you have potential to be a very good player. People compare me to Thierry Henry and that is a big compliment. If I can achieve half of his career I will be happy.”

With Bendtner on the verge of leaving, we do need to sign a striker this summer. Who will we get can only be answered by Wenger.

Today there were also reports that revealed Tottenham as the possible challengers to us in acquiring Christopher Samba. Blackburn themselves will do their best to keep Samba but my gut feeling is that if Wenger truly moves for him, we will get him this summer.

The biggest surprise of the day for me, however, was the news of a possible swap deal between Chelsea and Tottenham involving Drogba and Modric. My initial reaction to this was WTF! As for the rest, we will find out in the coming weeks.

By the way the media has already started speculating who will be the team to replace us in the top four next season. At the moment many are favoring Liverpool. Don’t the media love writing us off? Although I can’t say anything about titles at the moment, I am sure we will finish in the top four.

Have a good time!!


Goodbye Nicklas Bendtner and welcome Eden Hazard!

June 13, 2011

Nicklas Bendtner made it clear at the start of this month that he wants to leave Arsenal hundred percent. It now seems that he may have his wish as Besiktas have made an approach for him. It is being reported that Besiktas will be making a 10 million offer for the Danish front man this week.

However, Inter Milan is also in the mix, as they have shown interest in him. If both the clubs are involved, we may after all get a good price for the Dane. What then matters is where Bendtner wants to go and hopefully he will decide very soon. Personally I feel that 10 million is a great deal. At least we will get the money for buying Samba. And with him gone we may get room for signing a striker who is in-league with Robin van Persie.

In other news, we have stepped up our pursuit of Lille’s young winger, Eden Hazard and there are reports that we are going to bid for him this week.

With everyone having their eyes on Nasri’s situation, it’s about time we secured one of our long term targets before other clubs seize him. Eden hazard, widely recognized as the one of the best young talents is in sight of many clubs which now also includes Barcelona.

At Arsenal, many see him currently as a possible replacement for Nasri, if he decides to leave. However, I would want him to come to Arsenal even if Nasri stays.  The question that remains is will Arsene Wenger offer the £25-30 million price set on him? I guess that Wenger will this time because you rarely find talents like him. Below is an excerpt from an article written in The National about him.

His is the kind of pace which terrifies: quick changes of direction, instant acceleration, continuous movement. Coupled with the athletic gifts is a sublime technique. Hazard has the kind of ball control which cannot be taught, the type you see in video games, ball stuck to his foot. His passing is accurate, his vision is improving. What’s more, he is unselfish. So sound are his fundamentals that he will often pass up a shot to find a better placed teammate, a legacy of what he was taught as a child.

After reading the above, tell me if he wouldn’t fit at Arsenal!?

Have your say in the comments!


Karim Benzema to Arsenal! Agent denies rumours

May 14, 2011

We have got plenty of players getting linked with us at the moment and Karim Benzema, the former Lyon striker and currently playing at Real Madrid is one of them. He hasn’t enjoyed the best of times at Real Madrid ever since his transfer and speculations are rife that he may move to other clubs this summer. Even today there was a report that claimed that Benzema has been given the green light for a £25 million move to Arsenal. He has also been linked with Juventus and Inter Milan. The questions that remains is, Are these rumors true? I hope they are but I am not holding my breath!

The reason being, Benzema’s agent, Karim Djaziri,  recently dismissed all transfer rumours by saying that the front man is going to stay at Real Madrid next season as he is happy.  

“At the moment there is nothing and I think Benzema will stay at Real Madrid even next season as he is happy there. The rest is just talk.”

However, in football things can change pretty quickly. If we really are interested in him, and personally I feel that he will thrive here, then we should pursue him. He is not only talented but has won things and can adapt quickly to our style of play. He is strong and powerful and has an eye for goal. Only recently he had a goal spree for Real Madrid when Gonzalo Higuain was out injured. We were also interested in him while he was still at Lyon before Real paid big money to acquire his services. And the argument that I always give is he is only going to get better under Wenger.

We also need someone who can compete with van Persie upfront because frankly speaking Bendtner and Chamakh have failed this season when RVP has been around. Bendtner still has done somewhat better considering he has mainly played on the flanks and mostly as a substitute.

The only major obstacle in his signing can be the asking price as Wenger is not known to spend this much amount of money on a single player. But then nothing comes cheap these days. If we want to buy quality this summer, we will have to pay the price.

Many other clubs will be looking at how the situation develops at Real and they will be ready to pounce.  

But then again, Real Madrid might decide not to sell him at all as Benzema’s agent has suggested that he will be staying in Madrid.  

Anyhow, I have my fingers crossed but I won’t be surprised if it bears no fruit. I can already see the argument Wenger has in store for not acquiring a forward!

What do you think? Do we need a striker and should we pursue him?

Bonne journée!!