Happy Monday everybody
and welcome to my new weekly blog entitled ‘Gunners Town Top 5’. Apologies for
my absence over the past fortnight but my life has been all over the shop as of
late. But have no fear, Editor Cotton is back!
I’ve taken a backseat when it comes to the ‘Where are they
now?’ section, it is by no means dead but let’s just say it’s taking a Pep
Guardiola style sabbatical for the foreseeable future. I’d be tempted to
release my Gooner-related thoughts to the world in one long-winded piece a
week, but a number of our writers who actually possess blogging talent and
wizardry already boss that type.
I wanted to have a theme that was a little different to the
others on the site, one that would be fun and thought provoking, one that would
create debate, chat and controversy. So with that in mind, I decided to go with
a ‘top 5 idea’ that would see a different topic brought in every week; from the
top 5 Arsenal players of all time, to the top 5 hideous faces of Phil Jones.
You get the picture.
So once the idea was sorted, I had to think about where to
start. Well with it being Silly Season and all that jazz, the first Gunners
Town Top 5 will be transfer targets and just who I think Arsene Wenger should
be throwing cash at this summer.
Please comment and join the debate at the bottom of the page
and with me on Twitter.
Thanks and Enjoy.
Gunners Town Top 5: Players Arsenal should sign this summer
5. Stephane El Shaarawy
We’ve all heard the dreadful news recently that it looks as
if our Ferocious Forehead Gervinho is heading for the exit door at the Emirates
Stadium this summer, just two years after flying in from Lille. While I’m not
saying that we should resist from selling the Ivorian, there is no doubt that
his departure would leave us short in the winger department.
That position itself is something that we lack in numbers. Theo
Walcott is begging every week to be moved into the middle, Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain is eventually going to be played in a central role, and
Lukas Podolski doesn’t really count as a wide man in my eyes. The likes of
Serge Gnabry will be top drawer on the flanks, but not for a few years yet.
Your ideal winger is someone with raw pace, dazzling
trickery, and a lethal eye for goal. Taking those abilities in account, I think
that Wenger should whack a cheeky bid on the table at the San Siro and plead
with them to allow Stephane El Shaarawy the chance to ply his trade in N5.
We’ve been linked with him countless times in the past, and
were rumoured even recently to have made an offer for him, but I believe that
we should seriously go in for this lad. We’ve certainly got the budget to
tantalise Milan, and I’m sure that we would appeal to the player himself. El
Shaarawy is still only 20, but already has experience in the Champions League
and at an international level. Snap him up Arsene!
4. Julio Cesar
He’s signed, he’s off, he’s moving to North London, he’s
jetting out to Italy. Nobody exactly knows what the near future holds for
Queens Park Rangers stopper Julio Cesar, but my god he’d be good at Arsenal.
I’m a firm believer that Wojciech Szczesny will be a great
keeper and our first choice for years to come, but right now he really needs strong
competition and mentoring. Lukasz Fabianski is too injury prone, Vito Mannone
is offski, and the likes of Damian Martinez and James Shea are too young to
even be considered. Every goalkeeper needs to be kept on their toes if they are
to improve and progress, take a look at David de Gea at Manchester United; he
was poor, he was dropped, but he fought back became stronger and had a
brilliant season last term. Szczesny needs the same and they don’t come much
better than Julio Cesar.
Arsenal and Julio Cesar go hand in hand. He doesn’t want to
leave London, he’s experienced at the highest level, he is cheap, and he wouldn’t
halt the development of the Poland international. You know it makes sense.
3. Kyriakos Papadopoulos
and Per Mertesacker are a duo that will not be broken up in a hurry once the
new campaign gets underway. Thomas Vermaelen is more than adequate backup, who
can still stake his claim to regain his first-team berth. However, with Johan Djourou
and Sebastien Squillaci out the door, we are rather short at the back.
I hate to shoot
players down but I really don’t think that Ignasi Miquel is going to cut it
with the Gunners; he just doesn’t seem up to it. So that leaves us with just
three recognised centre-backs. We definitely need one more, probably one who is
a young talent, but not too raw altogether. Ashley Williams has been talked up,
and he does have Premier League experience already with Swansea City, not to
mention that he is the captain on the Welsh national side.
But I would want us
to have someone who is patient enough to graft for spot and wait their turn but
isn’t a complete rookie and can do a good job when called upon. Step forward Kryiakos
Papdopolous of Schalke 04, the 21-year-old Greek enforcer.
made his debut with Olympiacos at 16 and has continued to evolve as a player since
moving to Germany in 2010 and also helped Schalke to the Champions League
semi-final in 2011. The boy has talent and can become an absolute beast under
the mentoring of players such as the BFG and wouldn’t be too expensive either.
Surely he is worth a go? I think so.
2. Marouane Fellaini
I’ve been saying to my dad for years that I would love to
have Marouane Fellaini at Arsenal but just didn’t think we could ever lure him
to the capital. Should you believe the media speculation, then that is what
could very well happen this summer.
Fellaini has the lot. He is brilliant with the ball at his
feet, boasts fine trickery and is a proper baller that is seemingly never
knocked from possession. Combine that with his frightening height, strength and
unquestionable mean streak (Just ask Ryan Shawcross), Fellaini is the sort of
player we have lacked ever since Patrick Vieira made the switch from Highbury
to Turin in 2005.
He’d fit in perfectly into our midfield trio as the holding
player, but would be a monster in both penalty areas. With our alleged £100m
transfer kitty, he shouldn’t take up too much of that either, with his release
clause supposedly triggered by a bid of £22m-24m. I had heard from one source
that Everton had accepted bids from us and Chelsea for him, and he was eager to
become a Gooner, but press speculation seems to disagree with that and points
towards our reluctancy at forking out that amount as a deal breaker. Should
that be true, then Wenger infuriates me with it only (yes only in football
terms) being a couple of million that Fellaini is definitely worth parting with
for. I have a feeling that the Belgian’s future won’t be sorted until the end
of August but boy do I hope that he is donning the red and white after that.
1. Gonzalo Higuain
If you are to trust everything you read, Gonzalo Higuain has
had 7,438 medicals at London Colney, has flown to and from Madrid on 553,432
occasions, and agreed approximately 915 contracts with Arsenal. Of course those
figures are rough (very rough) and whereas one day he is “set to be announced”
as property of the Gunners, the next he is being kept by the money-obsessed
chiefs at Real Madrid; how dare they.
Jokes and rumours aside, Higuain is the complete ‘Fox in the
Box’ kind of hitman that we have been missing as of late. Robin van Persie, as
much as I hate to admit it, did that job superbly and although I feel that
Olivier Giroud had a very strong debut season in the Premier League, he isn’t
the kind of forward that we desire. Giroud has his strengths and talents and is
no doubt an important player, but we need someone more clinical. Higuain is
£25m is not too much for a top, top striker in the modern
market who would lap up the service he would receive from Santi Cazorla, Jack
Wilshere and co, and fire us into serious contenders for the title. He would
slot right into our front line and, being just 25, have a decent shot at
becoming one of our highest-ever goalscorers. Yes Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney
would make statements and are proven in England, but they carry a much higher cost
and bring with them so much more baggage and negativity. Higuain doesn’t, and
that’s why Le Prof should do all he can to make sure that the Argentine is turning
out against Aston Villa next month.
Do you agree? Who do you want to see at Arsenal next season?
Let me know by Tweeting me or leaving a comment at the
bottom of the page.
Thanks for reading, and never forget that you’re a Gooner.
Matt has been the editor of the site since June 2012 and was born into a Gooner family 21 years ago. He recently graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Sports Journalism and strives to work in the Sports Media industry. As well as currently working as a reporter for Sports Mole and TIBS News, Matt has been providing football commentary for the visually impaired since 2008 at Arsenal, Exeter City and Wembley.
His earliest Gunners memory is watching the ‘Boring, boring Arsenal’ VHS as a six-year-old on repeat, to the extent where he could recite most of the commentary from that season. Matt was lucky enough to witness Arsenal lift the Premier League in 2002 as well as being present during the last match at Highbury in 2006, and at Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial a few months later at the Emirates Stadium. Matt’s favourite players include Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, with the 5-3 comeback victory against Middlesbrough in 2004 the best match he has ever spectated.
Matt is an optimistic ’In Wenger we trust’, kind of guy and believes that the glory days are not too far away…
Apart from his editorial duties, Matt will also be bringing his Arsenal knowledge to a column called “Where Are They Now?” – which focuses on former Gunners.