The normal process for Arsenal recruiting new players in the summer is that we all go around talking about the big names on the horizon and then Mr Wenger goes and signs a Peruvian left back we have never heard of and plays him at centre forward. Or puts him out on loan. Or something else we never thought of.
Which is why we did that list a little while back and created a list of the player or players who did not make an impact last year who might this year. They are at least known, and history tells us that each season one or two of those who are already with us will come through. (I remember when writing for Highbury High years back I nominated Alex Song to come through, not long after the “not fit to wear the shirt” stuff from the AAA. One of my more glorious predictions).
The whole article about this year’s players who might step up (which gathered in 60 comments which added quite a few names to my list) is still on line but for a quick reference here is the list I started with…
- 1. Ryo
- 2. Oxlade Chamberlaine
- 3. Jack Wilshere
- 4. Frimpong
- 5. Joel Campbell
- 6. Abou Diaby
- 7; Francis Coquelin
- 8. Podolski
- 9. Jenkinson
- 10. Benik Afobe
As I say many other names were then added – and there is every chance that without any more dealings in the market we could in fact have two or three new faces to add to the regular playing squad.
And then there are the players who we have been linked with us by the press including. Untold has done a few articles on them too. Here’s that list
Some of those are now being tipped elsewhere – and this is where we get some interesting stories – like Vetonghen saying he wants to go to Tottenham but if they don’t move soon, he’ll consider Arsenal. And you have to ask why?
Of course we are not going to get all of them, or even most of them – maybe one at most. Maybe none. But here’s one more for the list: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
He was born in 1989, is French, and plays for league champions Montpellier who famously have produced Laurent Blanc, Eric Cantona, Roger Milla, and Carlos Valderrama in the past.
Yanga-Mbiwa is a central defender – which asks the question, do we need another one? Well, maybe, because he can play anywhere in defence – which given the way we get injuries could be good.
He was born in the Central African Republic, and then moved as a child to France, joining Montpellier in 2005 and became a team regular in 2007. He is now captain.
René Girard has made it clear how much he values Yanga-Mbiwa but I believe there is only one year left on the contract, so it is a chance.
He had played for the France under-21 team, and was named in the full France squad for the Euros but then dropped from the final selection.
Published with permission from Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News. Supporting the Lord Wenger; coach of the decade.