With Eduardo now officially the fifth Arsenal departure of the summer, the squad evolution continues apace. We’ve now lost two attackers (gaining one), three defenders (gaining one) and have gained one midfielder (Wilshere).
So in terms of snipping the squad’s deadheads, the work carries on.
And unfortunately, a deadhead is what Eduardo had become. You’ll appreciate that I don’t mean that vindictively but it was clear last season that poor old Eduardo’s injury has robbed him of the pace, confidence and sharpness that marked him out as a lethal Arsenal number nine. He was a pale shadow of his former self.
I feel desperately sorry for him, but I do think a fee of £6m, if true, is a good deal for Arsenal and that a fresh start in a new league is the right move for Eduardo. There’s simply no room for sentimentality.
But there can be no doubt that the position many Arsenal fans are worried most about is the one that has not yet been addressed – goalkeeper.
We all know that Wenger has a masterful way with words. But as well as the memorable one-liner he has a politician’s ability, when quizzed, to neither confirm nor deny, and to reveal something at the same time as giving nothing away. That’s why, despite being quizzed on his plans for the goalkeeping position earlier this week, he was as evasive as ever.
Were we still interested in Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer, he was asked. “Not really”. That’s not a yes, of course, but nor was it definitely a no.
“At the moment, in pre-season, there is no No.1 – you have to give a chance to everyone to show how good he is. You cannot decide that today.”
Classic Wenger, defending his players, keen to keep his plans under wraps.
But seeing that Almunia has had ample chance to show us how good he is, Fabianski has on ample occasions showed us how good he is, and Szczesny has never played a Premier League game, you’d think a deal for a new number one will happen at some point between now and the end of August.
I would agree with those who say Schwarzer is still the likeliest deal.
Last night saw a 3-0 win against Sturm Graz and the word on the tweet is that Samir Nasri was the pick of the bunch. I’ve not been following the tour that closely yet – I opted to save up for a pint at the Emirates rather than shell out the £3 for the first 3 pre-season games – and besides, pre-season is still so young that it’s impossible to draw any real conclusions.
But phew, it’s nice to have some Arsenal to talk about after a summer largely bereft of it.