Arsenal’s Swap Shop – Giroud In, Chamakh Out

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Jun 13th, 2012

There are plenty of blogs covering the Euro’s at the moment and I don’t think there is anything I can add to the quality already out there so I won’t even try. I have a couple of serious posts in the pipeline but today’s blog is a playful look at transfers playground stylie. I hope you enjoy.

The rumour mill has been turning and one of the most popular rumours at the moment is the Chamakh plus cash swap for Giroud.

If indeed Giroud does come in then that will be two strikers bought which many believe will signal the end to RVP’s time with Arsenal. I believe that it could actually mean a change in formation as our current formation was built around Cesc and as we no longer have Cesc it would make sense to use a formation that suits our current players but I trust Wenger to make the right decision.

I wrote a post back in March detailing the reasons why I think Van Persie will stay and I stand by that however I am prepared for the worst. Last summer I buried my head in the sand and refused to believe that Nasri and Cesc would leave. I knew that Cesc would eventually leave but I thought that Barça had shot their load on Sánchez and wouldn’t be able to afford Cesc, little did I expect us to bend over and allow Barça to royally shaft us over Cesc’s fee (yes I am still bitter about that). I also believed that Nasri would sign a new contract especially after his “I prefer to win trophies with honour not cash” quotes but that is by the by now.

Now I want to look at what we could do with RVP if he decides not to sign a new contract. I am of the opinion that we should let him see out the last year because I honestly do not see the value in selling him especially when you consider what he would reasonably fetch.

That said I want to look at a different option that isn’t often used in modern football but one that I believe would be a better option that selling RVP for cash. Swapping.

Readers of a certain age will remember BBC’s “Swap Shop” and their Swaporama hosted by Keith “Cheggers” Chegwin where viewers could turn up to swap their unwanted goods for something they really wanted.

Wanted.. Giroud… Willing to swap Chamakh & cash!

There are only four teams in my opinion that could afford or tempt Robin and for the purpose of this lighthearted look at swap shop transfer I am going to ignore Bob Van Persie’s recent comments. The teams are Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus.

I honestly do not think that cash is going to help us much as I do not think we would be able to afford a replacement for the cash that he would generate so I’ve looked at the squads and have decided on a few players that I would swap Robin for should he decide to leave.


There are three players are Juve that I would be interested in swapping Robin Van Persie for, no less. I believe that if we sold RVP that we would change our system and as such our team would need more depth and not too many new players to take starting 11 positions.

Assuming that the option to transfer him permanently to Galatasaray doesn’t come to fruition I would ask for Melo first. Some of you may have forgotten about Melo but he was one of our top transfer targets before he chose Juve. I am choosing him on the basis that M’Vila does not sign. There was a lot of hoohah yesterday surrounding a rumour that M’Vila has signed for Arsenal and his fee being listed on the French stock exchange. I was busy at the dentist whilst most of this was going on but I understand that for the people who broke the story and those that retweeted it, it was like having teeth pulled without anaesthetic. I tracked back through twitter and saw a lot of witch-hunting and 99% of the comments directed at those that retweeted the rumour were completely uncalled for but I digress.

The second player would be Marchisio. A versatile player who can function as a holding midfielder, a central midfielder and a winger. Not as good as Ray Parlour in my opinion but would offer many of the same qualities and has 9 goals for Juve in the Serie A this season.

The third player is truly a squad player and in fact an ex-Gooner. Alex Manninger. We need an experienced goalie and whilst I would love it to be Craig Gordon I fear that he will choose to be first choice for another team rather than second choice for us.

Real Madrid

I would do a straight swap for Higuain. If that was not an option then I would gladly swap for Sahin, Canales and Diarra. As all of those players have been linked with Arsenal in the past, or in Diarra’s case actually played for us (one of our biggest mistakes letting him go), I do not think they need explanation.


Barça have a pretty small first team squad and although I would gladly swap RVP for Villa I think I would prefer to strengthen the squad and not just one position.

I would swap RVP for Alcantara and Afellay or I would take Afellay and a few Barcelona B players like Tello, Montoya and Alcantara’s younger brother Rafinha. Montoya is a right back however I think his attacking instincts would serve him well on the wing as Santos’ probably would too but his defensive qualities could allow us to move Jenkinson into the centre as I think he is quick enough to be a quality central defender but not quite quick enough to be a first choice right back with his current level of positioning and ability to read the play however I am confident in his long-term abilities. Tello is a quality player who can play on the wing and upfront, I am sure you’ve seen plenty of him in Barça games. Rafinha is supposedly better than his older brother and his older brother is something special. Thiago is often preferred to Cesc alongside Xavi or Iniesta when the other is unavailable which I think says everything about who Barça rate more highly.

Manchester City

There are three players at City I would swap RVP for but it would have to be all three and nothing less. These three are all pretty big players mind and would strengthen Arsenal much more than Van Persie would strengthen Man City. I would want Adam Johnson, Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards. Nothing less. Dzeko a dangerous and powerful front man, Johnson a tricky and pacey winger with a mean shot and excellent delivery and Richards, a quick and powerful defender comfortable at right back and in central defence are three players that would improve Arsenal more than keeping Van Persie would.

So those are the players that I would ask for in return for Van Persie. I’m sure many will disagree with me but it’s worth noting that this is just a bit of fun. It’s a concept that I wish we took more seriously as I believe the actual buying and selling of players can be dictated to far too easily (eg RVP, if we sell him first replacements could cost more as teams know we are desperate, if we replace first then his price may depreciate as buying teams know we “need” to sell as he is entering his final year and we’d want to recuperate the money we spent on replacements as much as possible) however I appreciate none of these situations are likely at all.

Why stop there? We’ve already heard of Giroud for Chamakh plus cash which I think would be outstanding business as we replace a player who despite his many talents offers very little to the squad for a player who can actually play with his back to goal and for a relative pittance.

Bendtner is supposedly wanted by Dortmund so why not a Bendtner plus cash deal for Lewandowski? Or even a straight swap for Götze – one of the world’s most promising young midfielders for the world’s best striker? 😉 Okay that last one was a joke but I would consider swapping for Großkreutz who is a fantastic winger and has expressed his desire to play for Arsenal. We need more players who can score goals from the wing.

Djourou is being linked to Napoli. If we can’t get M’Vila why not swap Johan for Inler?

We’ve always been a frugal club and Wenger has always had an eye for a bargain so why not consider doing more player swaps?

If rumours are true and we do go for Giroud in a swap deal with Chamakh I sincerely hope it is a permanent swap and not a “we buy your player and loan you one of ours on half the wages” deal.

It would make for an interesting transfer window if we could only trade players using swap shop rules.

Thanks for reading! Please comment on this post, subscribe by email, share with friends and follow me on twitter (@thedanielcowan).

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

14 Responses to “Arsenal’s Swap Shop – Giroud In, Chamakh Out”

  1. Uche says:

    I enjoyed every bit of the article, even when i did’t agree with some of the swap options…

    I wont touch Melo now with a long fork, same as going for Canales. What would be the use of picking Barca trainees, if we would lose them in a few years time for the fact that they have Barca DNA?

    Nice to read a proper piece with the very heavily associated humour it carries.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I’ve nothing against taking a young kid from Barca, getting as much as we can out of them before selling them back to Barca for a decent fee (although Cesc’s fee was derisory).

  2. Olatanimola says:

    Pls robin dont go because arsenal love u .one day arsenal to be come european champion robin keep the faith all arsenal fans love u

  3. Madge says:

    I really gooe RVP stays. Changing our formation is something, I
    Would totally go aling with, because I don’t think bringing two strikers,
    Would necessarily mean they are RVP replacements.
    I like the idea of swapping players, it makes very good sense. I don’t think it
    Will ever happen though. It is however, a very entetaining, lighthearted
    Piece to read.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      It probably won’t happen you’re right. A few people on twitter taking this post far too seriously. In the case of RVP I would prefer to swap for a few players that would improve the whole squad than just go for money because I think we can get sold short when selling RVP and overcharged for players we might want from other clubs and his fee might not cover it. A player swap would work better in this situation for me but I appreciate it is highly unlikely to happen.

      Hopefully the Giroud for Chamakh+cash deal is real though.

  4. Olatanimola says:

    Robin arsenal love u dont go

  5. I totally agree.

    When you consider we let Cesc go to Barca for under his market value, it would have been good to get someone in exchange – getting Gallas from Chelsea when Cashley left seemed like a good idea at the time.

    If RvP goes, it’s definitely something we should consider.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I agree (naturally ;-)). I’m still bitter about Cesc and think we should have stood our ground and said straight out to Cesc “Your value is X however we will give Barca a discount as they are your preferred option, if they refuse to pay less than the market price for you then you have to assume that they don’t really want you as much as they say they do”. If Barca paid, great, if not then we shutdown negotations and tell them all talks were off until the next summer and Cesc may have settled back down for a year.

      I think we should have tried to get a player in return on top of the £29m though but who I do not know. Ibrahimovic? 😉 (wishful thinking)

  6. Matt says:

    Love the concept but the only swap in there that I would be interested in is Higuain from Real. That simply won’t happen though.

    Also love the idea of swapping Chamakh for Giroud and sincerely hope those rumours are true.

    I don’t think that the signings of Giroud and Podolski mean the departure of RvP – I think it allows squad rotation and different formations.

    If RvP does go (and I hope he doesn’t), I’m not sure what we’d get for him, but rumours are that Sh*tty are offering £25m. If they do I’d take that money and happily see Llorente come in as a replacement.

    Not sure what you think his value is though.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I only really looked into the swap idea as I don’t think we’d get value if sold for cash. I think because of his age and injury record that we’d be lucky to get £20m from any other team than City and if we were to sell to City we’d have to sell for double that to compensate for the difference between how it would weaken us and strengthen City.

      I think we’d be lucky to get £20m for him when you consider we sold Thierry for £16m and he was not much older and was proven for longer and did not have a poor injury record. I know times have moved on but I really cannot see us getting more than £20m and I think even if we did it would all be in add-ons and I think that we would be lucky to get £10m in an initial payment with the rest in instalments.

    • Matt says:

      A couple of things.

      I think memories are short. Whilst Gooners everywhere think RvP owes us for his years of injury I think most teams interested in him will focus on the last 18 months. They might try and use the injury record at some point to drive down price but £10m + add-ons would be an insult in today’s market.

      £20-25m would be a reasonable return and I’d be tempted to take it if it was entirely re-invested towards someone like Llorente (or Higuain).

      Secondly, I disagree that City signing RvP would make them stronger. A current front four of Tevez, Aguerro, Ballotelli and Dzeko is probably one of the strongest in world football. You could arguably take out Ballotelli or Dzeko and improve with RvP, but the improvement would be marginal and not massive.

      I agree we would have to charge a premium price for him to go there, but as I say Llorente would be great replacement for that premium fee(or Cavani with a bit more, although City look like they’re going for him).

      How about a swap for Aguerro or Tevez? 😉

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      The £10m I described would just be the upfront payment. Very few deals are paid for in one lump.

      I think a deal to the value of £20m would be more likely. I’m not so sure about Llorente because of his age. If he didn’t adapt in the first year we’d give him a second year as not all players adapt in their first year and if he still didn’t work out then he’d be almost 30 with two forgettable years on his CV and we could end up selling at a great loss.

      It’s not so much how much RVP would improve City as a team but how much it would improve their position in the league. They would have taken a player who was scoring goals for fun for what you would hope would be a title rival and when you consider the points he could help Arsenal gain against other teams that could have a say in the title run in then it’s a big improvement.

      I’d swap for Tevez. I was actually hoping we’d ask for Tevez in a straight swap for Nasri but that didn’t happen. 🙁

  7. Iyin Laditan says:

    Makes a lot of sense. Although I seriously doubt that city would want to part with those players. Melo is sincerely not what I’d go for. His overall ability has reduced a lot. And by God why is no one talking about loans for our promising reserves. They need the experience I seriously doubt they would face the reserves with a high level of determination after the second year playing there! Myiachi needs to go to a prem team!! Vela has got to go!!!

  8. bradyesque says:

    I agree with most of your comments DC. A nice lighthearted piece with some very interesting thoughts. I think swap deals are notoriously difficult ts complete as there are more parties to satisfy, but they have happened and are not impossible.
    Personally, if RVP doesn’t sign, I think we’ll have to sell and enter the hostile market that you describe.

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