And finally, Laurent Koscielny has signed for the Arsenal. His free Arsenal.com video is a brilliant mix of new signing intro and new shirt promotion.
“We bought this! Now buy these!”
Luckily, both new shirts are ace.
We have laughed many a time in the past about how Wenger pulls signings from nowhere and presents them to us – but with both Chamakh and now Koscielny, there’s been very little surprise, other than how long the dotted line has taken to sign. It’s been all over the web for a while. I blame modern electronicalish communications.
It means that Wenger’s first two forays into the transfer market this summer are both from the country he knows best – France. They are the latest in a long line of predominantly excellent imports – a line that started with the best of them all, Remi Garde. (There was a bloke from Senegal too I think who was quite good).
More importantly, Koscielny forms the first piece in the new defensive jigsaw. It’s a jigsaw that will hopefully include at least a new keeper – with some people’s money currently being on Fulham’s Schwarzer.
Wenger pinpointed our porous back line as a priority for investment back in May – let’s be honest, he wasn’t alone in that conclusion – so it’s hardly a surprise to see a defensive addition coming in. Not least because sailing off over the horizon in the other direction are William Gallas, Micky Silver, and possibly also Sol Campbell.
I do expect him to be first choice though – at the price we have paid, it can be no other way, regardless of the fact he was playing in the French second division the season before last.
If Sol stays, that’s your lot in that department – but if he goes (and he must be pondering exactly how many games he will get), then there’s a vacancy for a fourth centre-half. Could it be Nordveit? Or Bartley? How much experience does a fourth-choice centre-half need? And who of experience would sign knowing they were that far down the pecking order?
Sol staying would be the best solution for me, but he is free to do what he will and is taking his time.
We all know this is a big, big season for Wenger, and for my money – the Cesc stuff aside – the close season is going well. We’ve got two hungry, young but not inexperienced players signed, both of whom have a big part to play next season.
Forget the fact that Man City have spent £75m and could spend another £75m – there’s nothing we or any other club can do about that.
The main thing is the gaps are being plugged.
I’m looking forward to seeing him play now. Bienvenue to you, Laurent, and all that and stuff.