Okay let us imagine that we are super lucky and manage to sell all of our “dead wood” (see my post on end of season fire sale) which I personally don’t think we’ll be able to do.
For arguments sake I am going to say that we sell Almunia, Mannone, Squillaci, Denilson, Arshavin, Park, Bendtner and Vela.
Our squad will then consist of:
Szczesny, Fabianski, Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Santos, Djourou, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Song, Arteta, Frimpong, Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lansbury, Walcott, Gervinho, Ryo, Chamakh, Podolski, Campbell, Afobe, Van Persie
KEY: GREEN = HOME-GROWN BOLD = Under 21
7 of these players do not need to be registered and probably will not be.
Of the remaining 21 players only 7 are “home-grown” therefore we need one more or we submit a smaller squad.
I think we could lose Fabianski this summer and that would take our squad down to 20. I believe that Afobe will be loaned out next season and we could potentially see Campbell back out on loan, then we’ll only have 3 strikers; RVP, Podolski (who will mainly play on the left) and Chamakh.
I have a feeling that Lansbury will be signed permanently by West Ham if they are promoted (and for the purpose of this blog I will assume they will be promoted).
We are now down to 19 so can sign 4 players. Who should those 4 be?
Everyone talks about M’Vila as the answer to all of our problems but even with his off the pitch antics aside I am not convinced; I will explain briefly why. Ligue 1 is miles behind the EPL and whilst it was a ripe picking ground in Wenger’s early days I now do not believe it produces enough transferable talent. Sure there are the Cabaye’s but there are also the Park’s/Chamakh’s. Every league has good players but that doesn’t mean those players will perform in another league.
That is not to say M’Vila is not a good player and he is good on the international scene but international football is very different from league football.
If he joins, great, if he doesn’t I won’t be screaming that Wenger doesn’t know what he is doing.
For me a better option would be Biglia because he is more experienced, the Belgian league isn’t much different from the French league (Championship to Premiership) and would be much cheaper leaving more money to spend on other areas.
However I appreciate that Wenger needs to make some “token” big name signings to convince Robin to stay. I personally do not think that M’Vila fits the big name mould yet at 21 years of age but I will accept that he is a big name on popular consensus.
I personally feel that Kagawa could be classed as a big name because he is proven in a big league, probably the closest league to the premier league in style. I would prefer Dempsey personally but I think Kagawa ticks all the right boxes.
So let us say that M’Vila and Kagawa are going to be our big signings. Popular reports would have the two of them costing us €35m (about £28m)
Wenger is not going to spend £28m net, I will be generous and say that he will spend £10m. Although I personally feel that although we have the money to spend big this summer before the new commercial deals kick in I believe that Wenger/The Board will be looking to make a profit in this window where possible.
Are we going to get £18m for the “dead wood”? EASILY!!! I hear you say.
I say; don’t get your hopes up. If we want to sell all of those players we will have to sell really cheaply because I feel their large wages will put a number of clubs off. If you believe the papers then Bendtner could have gone to Lisbon last summer but didn’t because they couldn’t afford his wages.
If we get an average of £3m for the players we can charge for we should consider ourselves lucky.
So we have two spaces left to fill but no money left to buy anyone.
Well two potential signings I want to bring to your attention are both free transfers and both would improve our squad in my opinion.
The first being Craig Gordon. We are going to need a new keeper and he is experienced and talented and would provide great back up and competition to Szczesny.
The second I have already received a bit of stick for on Twitter but it is Michael Owen.
Benchwarme. Injury-prone. Can’t play more than 10 games. Would be the worst signing ever. Would be an insult to Arsenal fans. Not going to make RVP stay.
These are all the reasons not to sign Owen that I had thrown at me.
Here is why I think we should consider him.
He had the best shot to goals ratio of any United player whilst he was there. Has a big-game scoring pedigree. Has world-class off the ball movement and easily drags opposition players out of position which would be of benefit to Arsenal. Has a better games to goals ratio during his time at United (1 in 3) than Chamakh (1/5.25) and Park (1/6) have during their time at Arsenal. He is experienced and home-grown. Would accept a pay-as-you-play deal. Most importantly he can actually finish.
How many chances to Arsenal make in a game that go begging? How many times have we got the ball in the box and screamed at our players to shoot only for them to pass the ball again?
Owen is a natural finisher and that is something you do not lose. I don’t think he’ll be a starter but someone to come on in the last 15 minutes of a game, stretch the defence and maybe tuck away a late goal is exactly what we need.
There are many logical reasons to take someone like Owen on and only emotional arguments for not.
If you think about ever needing a player to score an important goal for you is there anyone better than Michael Owen?
Sir Alex Ferguson on Owen – March 2012
Strength in depth is something Arsenal have seriously lacked over the years and how many of us can honestly say we fancy Chamakh or Park to get a goal when they come on? Owen has a history of doing this and has done so very well at United. Sure he didn’t play much this season but when you have a younger version of Owen like Hernandez hardly getting a game because the Welbeck/Rooney partnership is working so well it’s no wonder. No-one creates chances like Arsenal do nor as many and hardly anyone has the finishing ability to put them away like Owen does and has done for years and recently.
So if we want to buy “big” players like M’Vila and Kagawa we need to strengthen the other areas of the pitch with bargains like Gordon and Owen.
Feel free to agree/disagree All opinions welcome.
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