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!

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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!


Andre Arshavin is going nowhere, Denilson is!! And we have made our first signing!?

May 21, 2011

I cannot understand why everyone out in the football world is reporting that we are getting rid of Arshavin this summer. Arshavin has been one of our most important contributors this season in terms of goals and assists. Take away his contribution and see where we would have ended up. No doubt, he had his bad games and he has looked anonymous many times but he still has been producing important assists and goals. And seriously, do we want goals and assist or someone who warms the bench and comes on to make things worse?

There have been reports circulating that Chelsea are looking to acquire his services. Even Zenit St Petersberg has their doors open for him. What I find interesting is that they cite the manager’s frustration with Arshavin not performing well being one of the reasons that may lead to Arshavin’s departure. The other being that Arshavin himself wants to leave as he hasn’t been playing regularly. Both of these reasons are ridiculous because Wenger has many other players to be frustrated with than from someone who has scored 10 goals and produced 17 assists. And to make 51 appearances in a season, I guess, is more than enough.

Andre Arshavin is going nowhere until and unless he or Arsene Wenger says it.

And by the way why should we let him go!? He is a type of player that will produce something out of nothing. He is a game changer and despite looking lazy, he will produce one moment of brilliance that can win games.  Look at the game against West Bromwich. We were two goals down and going for a double loss against a newly promoted team. And bam out of nowhere, he scored the first goal. The keeper didn’t even have time to move. He followed it with an assist for the second and we were saved from another embarrassment. There are many other important goals that he has scored this season and you cannot rule out his assists.

And if I am not wrong, he is the most direct player we have. He is one of the few who will go for goal whenever there is a chance. This habit of his is on the decline though but that is due to the way we play. He is intelligent, he has these sudden bursts of speed and can power away from any defense and he has tricks up his sleeve. This season he might have looked lazy and uninterested but he has done more than some of the others who have played.

And you cannot deny that there has been a positive improvement in his attitude after his bad spell at the end of last year. These last few months he has been doing his defensive duties quite well too. At times he has drifted off but what more can you expect from a player who is nearing 30 and his specialty is playing upfront.

We brought him to score and create goals and that he is doing. Also, this season stats are his best yet for Arsenal in a full season.

We need to improve our team and selling Arshavin is not the way to go.  We can be better off without Denilson, Rosicky, Eboue to name a few but we will go a step back if we let him go.  

And speaking of Denilson, he has finally decided to quit Arsenal (about time too!!) which is the best thing that has happened ever since the win against Man United. He has told The Sun that this has been his worst season ever and wants to leave now for a fresh start in Spain or Italy. Below are some of his words which seem a bit ironic because he was responsible for some of the embarrassing moments in the last three years.

“A footballer’s career is over very quickly so it is time for me to move on. This has been the worst season of my life.  I’ve been to see Arsene Wenger and told him how I felt and he agreed to let me go. I need a fresh challenge and although I’m taking a big gamble, I’m ready to take that risk. So I am flying home to Brazil on Sunday and I’m hoping I can make a fresh start in Spain or maybe Italy.”

I am so upset. I am a winner and I came here to win trophies but I’ve been here for five years and won nothing. There’s something missing at Arsenal but no one knows what it is. Not the manager, not the players – nobody.  But we are still the best footballing side in Britain, we play beautiful football. Only Barcelona do it better. But we don’t win trophies. That’s so frustrating, you can’t imagine how frustrating. Some people say we don’t succeed because we are too young and naive – but that’s no excuse.

I remember leading Liverpool 1-0 and they scored in the last seconds. We were 4-0 up at Newcastle but drew. We also lost to Newcastle at home and West Brom and Aston Villa. We threw it away against Sunderland and Blackburn at the Emirates. Let’s be honest, some of those games were shocking, shameful. We are better than that. But until Arsenal stop throwing away those silly points in those stupid games nothing will change.”

You can read the rest of it here.

So, we have our first positive news for the summer. I think no one will be upset by this because except a few games, Denilson has always been a liability for us. And to be honest, he won’t be missed. My only regret is why he didn’t realise three years back that his time was over at Arsenal!? I will never know!!

Jokes aside, we now have to find a club that will offer the right money for him and then to find a top replacement for him. Bastian Schweinsteiger anyone!!

Another interesting bit of news has surfaced. Fox Sports is reporting that we have agreed a pre-contract with 23-year-old Argentinean, Ricky Alvarez. He will be joining Arsenal after his current deal expires at the end of the Clausura campaign. He is currently playing for Velez Sarsfield’s in the Argentine Primera División.

At the moment we only know that he is a 6’2” left footed attacking midfielder. Reports are that he is a versatile player and can play as a second striker. He has pace and has a powerful shot. He suffered a knee cruciate ligament injury when he started for Sarsfield back in 2008. However, since recovering, he has won the Argentine Primera División title in 2009.

Is this our first signing of the summer? Can’t say anything with certainty, although, we will know in a couple of days how true the reports are. Also can’t say what he can offer us with having not seen him play at all. He is left footed and his pace can only be an advantage. It does seem though that we are going back to old days with pacey wingers and all, if we do sign him.

Hoping for the best. That’s all for now. Have a good day!!

p.s. This post was written in two parts. I had written the part about Arshavin on Wednesday but didn’t get the time to post it. Arsene Wenger in his press conference on Thursday said that he expects Arshavin to be at Arsenal next season.