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EPL Transfers: Luka Modric and Samir Nasri hold key to next season

Editor's Pick 06 Jul 2011, 20:38 IST
Luka Modric: Uneasy

Luka Modric: Uneasy

Luka Modric and Samir Nasri played vital roles at their respective clubs last season. In spite of individual achievements, both players have not tasted silverware. In Modric’s case, the situation is even worse as he won’t be featuring among Europe’s best at the Champions League. This peculiar situation has resulted in a two-way pressure for a move away from where they are. Chelsea has been linked to both players as they look to build a new team under Andre Villas Boas. Modric has been their prime target but considering Harry Redknapp’s severe stand, it is unlikely that the Croat will be able to force a move. Manchester United have showed interest in Nasri and have tempted with the bait of immediate silverware.

Modric himself has made it clear that a move to Chelsea is what he wants. Redknapp admitted to the player reaching out to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in the context. Levy himself is not agreeable to the idea of losing his team’s star player at this juncture when the team has performed consistently for two seasons. The extent to which the player is valued at the club can be filtered from Redknapp’s contempt for a £22 million bid for the player. He made it clear that he did not expect more money but simply that Modric was “not for sale”. Redknapp said, “’It’s difficult when crazy sums of money are being bandied about but we need to keep Luka and all our best players if we are to improve. If we want to continue to challenge the top clubs in the Premier League then we simply have to get stronger – not weaker. Luka is a fantastic player and we need to keep him at the club. We certainly don’t want to sell him.”

Modric would be indispensable to Chelsea who are desperately trying to put some legs in midfield. Michael Essien and Florent Malouda have been linked to various clubs but even if they stay the average age of the team is a reason for concern. Andre Boas will look to freshen up the side with youngsters and a mature yet youthful Modric in the midfield will be a good stay.

On the other hand, Arsenal are facing the usual meltdown. Cesc Fabregas is more at Nou Camp than he is at the Emirates stadium and even if they hold on to the Spaniard this time, we wonder how the fans will receive him. He is so outwardly desperate to make the move whereas Barcelona has certainly lost some of their vigour from last year’s hot pursuit. Arsenal seem to be prepared to let him go but at the right price they say. The move may materialize during the course of this transfer season.

Samir Nasri: Making a move

Samir Nasri: Making a move

The bigger worry for Arsenal is Frenchman Samir Nasri. It is agreed upon that he was fantastic last season. He has much to offer with his unique set of abilities. He can get you goals, make spectacular passes, shows participation and energy but he has effectively done it for just one season. Arsene Wenger’s philosophy helped him to prosper and an immature, reckless move might make him vulnerable. However, a move to Manchester United seems more befitting. Alex Ferguson has promised to surpass Barcelona next year and after the exit of Giggs and Scholes, Nasri will be an adept replacement. Paul Scholes has proposed that a move to Manchester United will ensure a bright future and immediate silverware.

Scholes offered Arsenal some heavy-advice as he bid adieu to Premier League football. He put in a nutshell what he thought was Arsenal’s weakness. He said, “They may play the prettiest football, but it doesn’t always produce the results they need. It doesn’t irritate me that people say they’re the best footballing team because while they are doing that, we (United) are winning games. They do play the best football to watch at times, but what is the point of that if you are not winning anything? Not only that, they are potentially going to lose their best players in Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy.

It is near to impossible to predict a future in EPL transfers. However, it can be said with certainty that Luca Modric and Samir Nasri will make a difference to the table next season. If they do move, Modric to Chelsea and Nasri to United, Arsenal and Tottenham will have a void to fill in. It may end up being more than a void as it could set them back a year. Add to that the possibility of more players leaving in consequence of that one void; it will be nothing less than a process of re-building then for Arsenal. Similarly for Tottenham, Gareth Bale has expressed concerns about Modric’s possible exit. And as the old adage goes, a hole is enough to sink the ship.

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