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!