With transfer season seemingly in full flow, take note of the unusually giddy Arsenal faithful this time of year; it seems the issue of our club captain has been swept aside for the time being. The first pre-season friendly of the season saw last season’s talisman Aaron Ramsey take the armband from kick off and boy did it look good on the Welshman.
With current captain Thomas Vermaelen looking likely to leave the club this window and if not, he will play second fiddle to Mertesacker and Koscielny; it leaves Arsene Wenger with a decision to make on his leader for the upcoming season.
How important is the captaincy?
Arsenal went through the majority of last season with their captain sitting on the bench which raises the issue of the importance of the official captaincy. It used to be the case that the captain was the team’s talisman and outstanding personality but since Patrick Vieira departed the club in 2002 the captain’s armband has tended to be used as a method of keeping the best player at the club. Also, William Gallas lest we forget.
The transfer saga of Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina is almost at completion, with multiple media reports suggesting that a deal is in place for him at Arsenal.
Broken by The Evening Standard last night, a £3 million fee has been agreed for the World Cup star, who only has 12 months left on his Nice contract.
Brought in to replace the departed Lukasz Fabianski and challenge Wojciech Szczesny for the number one spot, he will officially become a Gunner on his impending return from holiday.
Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier has admitted to French media that a move to Arsenal was close, but talks failed to materialise, resulting in the Gunners signing Mathieu Debuchy instead.
I Wanted To Go To Arsenal
Speaking to le10sport.com, Aurier confirmed that the Gunners approached his representatives and despite the player himself being keen on a move, Arsène Wenger decided to look elsewhere for a new right back.
Get France Football quote Aurier as saying,
Arsene Wenger is set to break open the chequebook one more time.
Wenger has already bucked his frugal trend by splashing the cash on mercurial star Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and Bacary Sagna replacement Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle to put the current spend at £48million.
That too couples with last summer’s £42.5million investment in World Cup winner Mesut Ozil, and it is an international teammate of his who supposedly tops The Professor’s wishlist for the remainder of the summer.
After the excitement of signing Sanchez, news that Remy and Khedira will not be joining has brought the euphoria levels down a notch or two. The worry is that Wenger will revert back to form and we will see another frustrating summer of top targets being passed over due to high wage demands.
We had the opportunity to buy Suarez last season and had we done so, we would be celebrating another famous double, not just the FA cup. Had we bought Benteke, Ba or Michu, we would have had a chance. Instead we paid top dollar for Ozil and then scrimped and saved on Sanogo.
Arsène Wenger is set to turn his attention to signing two new defenders, as rumours gather pace of the impending departures of captain Thomas Vermaelen and right-back Carl Jenkinson.
BBC’s David Ornstein has confirmed rumours from previous weeks that Arsenal’s defensive transfers will depend on who exits the club.
Captain Not So Fantastic
Vermaelen has found his opportunities limited in the first team, following a run of bad form in recent seasons, as well as the impressive development of the Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny partnership.
French newspaper L’Equipe are known for breaking the latest transfer news and footballing gossip, especially renowned for their coverage on compatriot Arsène Wenger’s side Arsenal.
Today, in a feature that has gone viral, they reveal with a series of statistical tools that suggest a strong positive correlation, with more money being spent every year by the Gunners hierarchy.
As can be seen in the graph below, the red line shows the increase in transfer expenditure every season in Wenger’s reign.
The report follows the manager’s comments on Saturday, in which he admitted that the club,
After weeks of reported negotiations, it looks as though Arsenal’s pursuit of German World Cup winner Sami Khedira is finally over.
Khedira’s club Real Madrid are in advanced talks with AS Monaco over the transfer of Colombian star James Rodriguez, The Mirror claiming they have offered the German as part of the multi-million pound deal.
The BBC’s David Ornstein tweeted today that ‘Arsenal are no longer pursuing Khedira’ but they are still, ‘in (the) market for DMF.’
Arsene Wenger has ruled out bringing any more attackers to Arsenal following the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, and has instead promised to shore up the Gunners backline.
His comments come with the news that out-of-favour Thomas Vermaelen is nearing the exit door as Manchester United look to take the Belgian away from his Arsenal nightmare.
Vermaelen has hardly touched the first team since losing his place due to injury over a year ago, and with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker forging the league’s best defensive partnership in his absence, the club captain looks set to jump ship.
AC Milan have refuted the weekend’s reports that star striker Mario Balotelli is set to join the Gunners in a deal worth £15.8 million.
Arsenal Latest revealed yesterday that, speaking ahead of a pre-season match, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani said,
“I can deny reports of an Arsenal offer for Balotelli, we haven’t received anything.”
According to The Mirror however, when pressed on the issue of Balotelli’s sale, he went on to add,
This transfer window, Arsenal fans have had a glimpse of a stunning summer. We've peeked through the (transfer) window and we've seen what potentially is on the other side - and we like it.
We've had our South American starter, some French wine - we enjoyed it.
Now WHERES OUR MAIN COURSE. The main problems last season
1) lack of pace and options up front
When teams pressed us high up the pitch, we didn't have the pace to play on the counter or hit balls over the top for players to run onto in behind. We've now secured Sanchez - a player that should he be utilised effectively, will fix that problem.
The Gunners have been encouraged with the news that Sporting Lisbon would be willing to accept a reasonable offer for defensive midfielder William Carvalho.
Original Bid Rebuffed
As reported by Arsenal Latest earlier today, Arsenal made a bid of £24 million for the Portuguese international, which was instantly rebuffed by his current club.
Morgan Schneiderlin has re-emerged as a top transfer priority for Arsenal, as moves for Sami Khedira and William Carvalho have increased in uncertainty.
The Southampton midfielder would be a viable option for the Gunners, who according to The Metro have opened preliminary negotiations with their Premier League counterparts.
Whilst the £18 million touted by his club may be seen as excessive, Southampton are keen to keep hold of one of their last remaining key stars, after seeing a mass exodus during this summer’s transfer window.
While the Premier League's influence increases all over the world, high television revenues have turned clubs into global, powerful businesses.
However, in the background, the sinister consequences of having to pay extravagant wages and cover mundane fixed costs, has had an impact on the wallet of the most important cog in the cycle; the supporters.
Gone are the days of 3p cups of tea and a traditional red and white kit replaced only after years of wear and tear.
Once touted as a future Arsenal captain, young midfielder Jack Wilshere has landed himself in hot water yet again, after being caught smoking and drinking on a holiday this week.
Wilshere, only 22-years-old, has tested the patience of the Arsenal hierarchy yet again, after pictures were spread over the Internet today over his holiday antics with friends in Las Vegas.
Accompanied by England teammate Joe Hart, this isn’t the first time that Wilshere has been caught abusing his body in the public eye.