This is it. No not
the Michael Jackson movie/album but the fact that we’re into the final week of
the transfer window before we’re left with what we have until the overpriced
January jumble sale hits us.
The next seven days could be absolutely pivotal as far as
the rest of the season is concerned, both on and off the field. While everyone
is so heavily preoccupied by constantly refreshing NewsNow, hitting the Gossip
columns as well as frantically flicking through the tabloids harbouring some
hope that you’ll see the headline “WENGER WANTS X PLAYER”, many fans have
seemingly forgotten that we have two colossal games coming up.
We’re still awaiting our first major signing of the summer, having only purchased Frenc youngster Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre.
While we’re all but through to the Champions League group stages
after dispatching Fenerbahce 3-0 in Istanbul last week, we still have to face
them at the Emirates on Tuesday with a squad that doesn’t really boast much
room for rotation. And then with that same squad, we welcome (hardly) Tottenham
Hotspur to the red half of North London for a crucial derby day on Sunday.
While we are equal with Spurs in the fact that they also
have a midweek encounter before the match, they have the squad depth which
allows them to rest certain players (Gareth Bale isn’t one of them) so that
they are raring to go when they knock on the door of Le Grove at the weekend.
Those two games mean that these remaining few days of the
summer window are decisive, due to our paper-thin squad if nothing else. I can see
us making a few signings, I really can. They may not be the ones that we have
been overly crying out for, but I think we may be in for a surprise or two.
And on that note, here are five possible deals that could be
completed by Arsene Wenger before September 2.
Top 5: Possible late deals in the summer transfer window
5. Yohan Cabaye
Remember what allegedly happened when a certain Cesc
Fabregas refused to play for us in order to force through a dream move to
Barcelona. Well, he is now in Catalonia strutting his stuff at the Nou Camp.
Now it appears that Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye is taking a leaf
from the Spaniard’s book.
The Frenchman, who has been linked with a move to the
Emirates Stadium for a few years now, is reported to have gone on strike and
refused to play in the Magpies opening two Premier League fixtures in order to
secure a transfer away from St James’ Park.
We’ve supposedly had a bid of around £10m rejected for the
midfielder, with Newcastle holding out for around £20m. But given Alan Pardew’s
stance on the matter where he clearly stated a desire to sell Cabaye sooner
rather than later, Arsenal could perhaps end up successful with an offer at
While I don’t believe that Cabaye is the sort of player we
need at the moment, albeit a good one, newspaper rumours overnight claim that
the club has made a breakthrough with Cabaye’s representatives over a move.
I can see this one being a bit of a Mikel Arteta style
transfer, and it seems more and more likely to happen with every day that goes
4. Mathieu Flamini
Not the signing that will satisfy most Gooners, but to be
honest I can see the method behind the madness when it comes to the re-signing
of the Flaminal.
The Frenchman is a free agent, has been training with
Arsenal for a few weeks now, and can operate as a defensive midfielder as well
as a full-back. Given our shocking lack of depth, particularly in the defence,
Flamini would be a good move in my opinion as a short-term solution.
He is experienced, we need bodies and he wouldn’t cost
anything. And let’s be honest, Arsene Wenger wouldn’t be willing to offer him
the proposed one-year contract if he hadn’t impressed during training.
As cover, Flamini will do the trick…for now.
3. Geoffrey Kondogbia
Arsenal aren’t the only club who have been linked with a
move for this French youngster this summer. If you are to believe the rumours
then Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Monaco are
all thriving to acquire the services of the 20-year-old.
Kondogbia has impressed at Sevilla since joining them from
Lens last summer, and was a key player in France’s U20 World Cup-winning side
last month. He was also called up to the senior squad to make his full debut
against Belgium just under two weeks ago, and what makes him more impressive is
that fact that he can play at DM, CB and LB.
Given the fact that any centre-back signing is unlikely to
disrupt the pecking order of Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas
Vermaelen, a young acquisition such as Kondogbia would allow him to develop
alongside these top professionals as well as achieving some game time to boot.
Sevilla aren’t keen on losing their prized possession, but
given their financial troubles and a rumoured £17m release clause, Wenger could
shell out and bring Kondogbia to the Emirates this summer.
2. Angel Di Maria
Now this would be a signing to excite Arsenal fans. It’s
known that Wenger is a keen admirer of the Argentine having missed out on
recruiting the player twice already in his career. Di Maria was a star at
Benfica and was bought at the age of 23 for £30m by Real Madrid in 2010.
Di Maria has racked up 42 assists in three years at the
Santiago Bernabeu, as well as netting 28 goals along the way and is the exact
kind of player that Arsenal need.
Di Maria can play on the left wing, an area that we’re
incredibly short in, as well as in the midfield trio, has World Cup and
Champions League experience and is still only 25-years-old.
With Gareth Bale expected to join Madrid in the next few
days, Di Maria would be left surplus to requirements at the Spanish capital,
and would be a real coup for Arsenal.
If you are to believe the reports, we have already agreed a
£25m fee with Madrid for the winger, and just need to convince him of our
ambition, with Real more than willing to let him leave.
It would be a massive signing, but it is certainly plausible.
1. Wayne Rooney
Hear me out on this one, before you all start Tweeting me
claiming that I’m drunk and should probably go home.
This is without a doubt one of the sagas of the summer.
Wayne Rooney wants out at United and doesn’t seem to be in any mood to
negotiate his way back into the good books at Old Trafford, especially not with
David Moyes at the helm.
It’s a known fact that we have been in talks with his people
and have seen a bid rejected for the England international. Wenger has always
been a massive fan of Rooney and seems hell bent on brining him to North
London, especially if he cannot land Luis Suarez. Everyone from Wenger to Mikel
Arteta to Olivier Giroud has admitted that we need another striker, and signing
Rooney would no doubt satisfy the Gunners faithful.
Chelsea are also interested as you know, and have seen two
offers knocked back by the champions, although they are seemingly now moving
their attention to Samuel Eto’o of Anzhi Makhachkala. Despite this, I can still
see Jose Mourinho sniffing around for a deal.
But theoretically, that would leave just Arsenal as a
potential destination for Rooney. Reports are claiming today that the club are
very confident of landing the 27-year-old, mainly because we are the only
option he has left.
Rooney would be getting Champions League football at
Arsenal, a huge wage and link up with a lot of England’s current and future
international talent. He could also be the difference between us settling for
the fourth place trophy and challenging for the title.
Rooney has a point to prove, and although it would be an
unbelievable bit of business, he could well be silencing his critics at Arsenal
come next season.
Please leave a comment or give me some feedback on
Twitter and let me know your views, I love to hear them.
And remember, never forget 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.