The Gooner Perspective – A State Of Confusion
So I thought it would be quite interesting to do a quick roundup of the various transfer news and updates from the last two days or so related to Arsenal and what Arsene Wenger is supposedly up to, considering there’s still a while before the season begins again, but mostly because there have been interesting developments at the Grove in the last few days, assuming the media is to be believed (and they usually aren’t, so that is exactly what I’m going to go through!).
First of all, it seems as though the transfer of the Costa Rican prodigy Joel Campbell has hit a snag, as the player supposedly did not attend a scheduled meeting with Arsenal officials to discuss a possible move. While some papers have gone as far as saying that Arsenal have decided to withdraw their offer for the player, other papers say that the player wants to discuss his future only after the U-20 World Cup Finals. It is confirmed that there are multiple clubs in for Campbell, with his father saying that there are ‘other offers on the table’, but nothing has been done yet.
To be very honest here, when I heard about this transfer, I couldn’t really care less. It seems as though this is yet another signing for the future, and the chances of Joel Campbell making an impact on the Arsenal first-team immediately are rather slim. I might be wrong here, but it seems as though a 19-year old player who will need time to adjust to the tempo and the physicality (is that the right word?) of the Premier League isn’t exactly what we need at the moment, although it is clear that a player of his talent can be an asset to this Arsenal squad in the near future. And yes, I’m boldly making this statement without having watched the guy play, ever. Why? Well we’ve got to trust Wenger’s judgment, don’t we.
Next up, and of far more importance, is the curious case of Cesc Fabregas and his protracted potential transfer to Barcelona. While most fans are of the opinion that Fabregas is not going to leave Arsenal this season, the recent articles about the Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood’s comments does not exactly help our situation, especially considering they match what Pep Guardiola has also said in a press conference today. To elaborate on this further, let me give you the exact quotes pulled from various sources in the media.
“This year Arsenal have agreed to negotiate and we’re working on it. Prices in the market are what they are right now, but I hope that everything can be resolved.” – Pep Guardiola, Barcelona Manager.
“They’ve made one offer, which works out at around £26m, but that was ages ago. But at the moment our situation is very straightforward: we don’t want to lose him. Obviously if they come up with an offer which was a very good offer we would have to think about it.” – Peter Hill-Wood, Arsenal chairman.
Now, while it is quite obvious that Arsenal are not going to sell at the petty price of 26m (which happened to be Barcelona’s first offer), it seems likely that Barcelona simply do not have enough money to match Arsenal’s perfectly reasonable valuation. The chances of him moving to Barcelona this season still remain slim assuming Barcelona do not have enough money to fund the transfer, and with Arsene Wenger seemingly pulling all the strings at Arsenal, Fabregas, in all likeliness, will remain an Arsenal player this season. But the fact that Peter Hill-Wood has said that if a good offer comes in, ‘they will have to think about it’, in my opinion, was something that he should not have uttered in the first place, because it will give plenty of pro-Barcelona and anti-Arsenal bloggers and writers a lot to write about – the fact that even the Arsenal chairman has admitted that Fabregas will leave if the right bid comes in, and Arsene Wenger’s ‘NO, WE’RE NOT SELLING HIM’ stance is, in the end, not non-negotiable.
Of course, I could be wrong entirely considering all the reports on the Internet say that Peter Hill-Wood has said this to The Daily Star, and we all know how the media likes to take everyone’s comments out of context, and sometimes fabricate full interviews as well. That being said, I am completely unaware of how reliable The Daily Star is, which means that whatever I’ve written could be considered a load of tosh. I’m going to have to acknowledge that this is an occupational hazard when it comes to writing anything based on what the media has to say!
In other news, Gervinho has said a bunch of positive things about Arsenal and how the style of football Arsenal plays is something he is accustomed to, which is always a good thing to hear. It remains to be seen whether he will make a mark on the Premier League this season, but I have to say that I am cautiously optimistic about the chances of this happening, considering his statistics (and after a bit of ‘Youtube Scouting’ on my part!)
Elsewhere, Kyle Bartley, a 20-year old central defender who went on loan to Rangers in Scotland last season, has said that he is ready to challenge for a place in the Arsenal first team. He told Arsenal’s official website –
“If I’m honest, I don’t think I was anywhere near the level to play for Arsenal last season. But I’ve come back, I feel really strong and I feel that I am ready now. I think I can offer something else [because] I am a little bit different to the other centre-backs. I like the physical side of the game and I see myself as a leader. If Arsene decides that he wants me in the first team then that will be fantastic.” – Kyle Bartley
While most people who followed Bartley when he played for Sheffield United and Rangers last season said that he is a talented youngster with the required talent and possesses the right physical build for the Premier League, doubts remain about whether he will be ready for the pressure that comes with playing for a top European club at the tender age of 20. Assuming he does not go on loan once again, he will probably be the fourth-choice defender for Arsenal, behind Vermaelen, Koscielny, and Djourou, and save for the possibility that Arsenal suffer yet another injury mishap with our players, he will probably not get too much playing time either ways.
To put it simply, sending him out on loan and bringing in a top-quality defender (something that I’ve stood by time and again, as shown in my first post for SportsKeeda) is obviously the ‘preferred’ option for Arsenal, but keeping Bartley as our fourth-choice defender and not bringing in another defender does not sound bad at all, considering he seems like the sort of player we exactly need save for his lack of experience – he’s tall at 6’3”, and he’s strong in the air. Isn’t that what we’ve been crying out for? (Again, save for the lack of Premier League experience) It’s a win-win situation, from where I see it.
Other news that can be considered notable is the talk about Benzema staying at Real Madrid, where he said that he is happy at Madrid and has not been in contact with any other clubs (pfft, like we didn’t know that.)
Also, Denilson has moved back to Sao Paulo on loan until the end of the season in order to improve his form and physique. While a lot of hate came his way after his comments about wanting to leave, optimistic Arsenal fans believe that he has the ability to succeed at the highest level, and this move will help him regain his confidence as a player. I honestly don’t want to take any side in this debate about whether he is good enough for us or not, because again, my only reaction to this whole saga of him wanting to leave and no clubs coming in left me in a mood perfectly described by the following image –
Oh, and Gazidis has again stated that Arsenal have the money to spend if necessary. Again, nothing new there. Although he did reiterate that Arsenal have not finished their transfer business, and that they are working hard privately, and not conducting their work on new players publicly. Which is always pleasing to hear, but again, most people aren’t going to be happy if he says all of this and we don’t end up with any new signings. Not that it matters to the management and the board.
And that’s about it. Considering I’ve talked about quite a few stories which most Arsenal fans have picked up and discussed, I believe it is safe to say that most of us are quite confused about what to think, whether we should be happy that we have money to spend or ever-so-slightly worried that Fabregas will move if the right bid comes in. Hopefully we will have more news (and positive news, quite obviously) on the transfer/player situation sooner rather than later!
(Oh, and credits to BigFourZa for the image of the cat, considering that’s where I found it)