Gervinho: Uncorked at last

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Arsenal signings 2 – 1 Arsenal sales

Arsenal: Specialists in snail-paced transfers. The good news is that Gervinho has definitely signed – or at least, he’ll “shortly join” us “subject to a regulatory process”. If Cesc and Nasri’s summer represents the longest goodbye – Wenger disagrees on this point, vehemently – then Gervinho’s has without doubt been the longest hello. His four-year contract has been dithered over so long it’s already only got three years left on it, which means that he’s only one year away from demanding a new one and a further one year away from agitating for a move away. Modern football – it’s great, isn’t it?

Sorry Gervinho, I am more than likely doing you a disservice. Either way, the Ivorian is a silky-footed striker, and if YouTube is any guide, he’s a very different beast to the departing Nicklas Bendtner. If £9m is the asking price for the Dane, then someone has a good deal on their hands, I think. He’s no winger, patently, and he misses more than he scores, clearly, but the main thing is, he does score and he can make an impact. He just never quite fitted into the system we play.

Cesc and Nasri: we have ominous signs on the one hand and an upbeat Wenger on the other. Wenger really has stuck his neck on the line with Nasri in particular. As usual though, we have very little from the players themselves. No ‘I’m staying’ or indeed ‘I’m off’ direct quotes, just tidbits and guesswork. Wouldn’t it be pleasant if they came out and actually told us what their plans were? Both players leaving would be a blow, of course it would, but the ceaseless rumour – the lack of conclusion – is the thing that hacks me off the most.

Here’s a thought: If you’re staying, be unequivocal and tell us. And if you’re not, well good luck and toodle-pip. We would need to replace you so give us time to do it. Sadly, the reality is that I inhabit a dream world. This kind of openness rarely happens when so much is at stake – money, mostly – and that’s why the chess game that is a high profile transfer gets played out, via agents and ‘representatives’, the way it does.

As for the issue of income from his transfer: if it’s clear he’s not going to sign a new deal then I’d be inclined to take the money and move on. But it’s a tricky one. OK, so you lose £20m but on the flip side you have a good player for one more year, you also have rivals who will not have benefited from him strengthening their team, and you have a message being sent out that we will not sell every Tom, Dick and Nasri who has had his head turned by more money.

Oh well – at least we have actual football to actually watch. With the obvious lack of star transfers to get excited about on the tour, we do at least have some interesting newish faces to pass judgement on. Miyaichi, Frimpong, Jenkinson – one a new signing, one returning from loan and one back from injury. They’ll all be Like A New Signing, so there.

The game against a Malaysia XI will be the first game streamed live on the new Arsenal Player, I think, so buffers ahoy!


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    By keeping Nasri, it might actually mean that next year there will be less money on offer to him as salary by any potential suitor given the financial fair play rules. This might actually be a case of Stan Kroenke flexing his financial muscles behind the scenes and scuppering Nasri’s plans of a big payday, as well us not having to pay him more money this season.

    One final point. It’s reported that Arsenal turned down a £20M bid, but where is the actual proof of such a bid being on the table? What if the highest bid was only £10M? Gooners are so quick to say that they’d have taken the £20M, but if there was no £20M and only £10M on offer, what then? I’d be inclined to keep him, use him to win something and then offer him much more for renewing. If he ends the season injured, then we have far more bargaining power at that point as many clubs would not want to take a risk on him.

  2. East Lower

    It’s certainly Kroenke’s first big decision – and you’re right, there are so many variables that we can only be guessing. It’s a good job I’m not a betting man, because I have no idea which way this one will yet go.

  3. Sajit Kunnumkal

    Wenger’s words have been encouraging this time around. .Hope both stay.

  4. Jeff

    I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of Ramsey this season.  Most of my enthusiastic anticipation for the new season revolves around seeing him develop, and seeing if he can forge a partnership with Wilshere. Also, I’m curious to see if van Persie can push on.

    I like Gervinho as a player who gets involved, and is there or thereabouts when chances are being created.  Not that I’ve watched him play all that many times, but his finishing looks a little dicey to me, so I see him more as an influential winger than a striker.

    I love the build-up to a new season.

  5. Anonymous

    Nice to see Gervinho in but it’s not really something to get me excited. For me, we needed 6 new signings this summer. 3 big ones : centre-half, defensive midfield & left-back, (with Squillaci,Denilson & Clichy moving on) & 3 squad players : cover at rightback, a no.2 keeper & a striker. (with Eboue, Almunia & Bendtner moving on)

    So we’re 0/3 on the important ones & 2/3 of the less important ones.
    Wenger’s also pretty much confirmed Clichy will not be replaced which means (despite Clichy’s flaws) we know we’re going to be weaker at left-full way before the season even starts !

    With Cesc/Nasri situations still unresolved too it is not looking good for next season in any way. Dark, dark days I’m afraid……

  6. Jeff

    As it stands, I definitely would not feel bullish about winning anything going into this season, and with some of the best players trying to leave, the worst players staying, and nowhere close to what we would hope for coming in, it is dark days in terms of seeing the side set to take some steps backwards. 

    It’s in this context that I’m excited to see this scrappy, anemically under-funded side defy expectations and grind out another 4th place finish on the back of the emerging talents of Wilshere and Ramsey.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to it.  

  7. Anonymous

    I can’t look forward to it. This is how it’s all going to end for Wenger; scrapping for 4th at best ? The man owes it to himself more than anyone else not to let that happen. He’s just so bloody stubborn it’s incredible.

  8. Tom Moulds

    Hi Mate, fellow gooner here, 
    i agree with you about the need for a centre half (personally im hoping on the big german mertezacker) but defensive midfield, we have Frimpong coming through, maybe another veteran would be good cover just in case. 
    But a left back, i think we are covered, Traore isnt the liability he use to be and is ample competition for gibbs. I think Jenkinson is great cover for Sagna judging by all reports and Mannone is a brilliant number 2 goalkeeper, i cant understand why you would want anyone else, absolute cracker and future italian senior international surely. 
    what you think? 
    p.s. with you on seeing the back of Denilson also. another good player but not for us!

  9. Anonymous

    Sorry Tom but I’m so tired of people talking about Frimpong as if he’s the answer. The kid is 19, on his way back from a serious injury & has (most importantly) not played a single competitive first team game. Not even on loan. This is the kind of optimism that Wenger has encouraged the last few years that is to me bordering on lunacy. No Arsenal fan can possibly know whether Frimpong is good enough & yet hundreds are talking about him as if it’s a given. That way madness lies…..

    As for left-back….Gibbs was poor last season. That can’t even be up for debate.He’s not ready to play every week. And Traore…..if you’ve watched a lot of Juve last season I’ll take your word for it as I didn’t see any of him there….but he would have to had improved dramatically from his last outings for us when he was frankly embarrassing…….

    As for keeper…wouldn’t be a huge priority as I think Chesney is superb. However, it’s a lot at his age to play every game & I’d like an experienced head around to come in if he needs a break…..(mentally more than anything)….Mannone is even less experienced so on that basis I think we need to buy…

    All of what you are talking about are massive gambles for Wenger to take. And are same gambles he’s taken over & over the last few years. They haven’t worked so stop taking them. It really is that simple for me……but I imagine what he’ll do will be a lot closer to what you’re suggesting than what I want…

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