Imagine the start of your favourite TV show. It finished on a cliffhanger the week before. And here you are sat down for the next episode. But just before the titles roll you hear those famous words …….”Previously on”……
Well here it is. We don’t have a flashy title sequence. In fact – we don’t even have a TV show. But that doesn’t matter for we are here to keep you up to date with our take on the transfer window…..
Ok – so following on from our transfer window preview last week – we’ve now thrown together our first update to bring everything up to date. So – just to recap:
Over the last four months we have been linked with around 75 players (with varying degrees of realism). Wenger has also said that he has money to spend in the window. So there is a feeling that Wenger will spend some of the cash he has locked in his secret vault underneath the Emirates. But who will he spend it on? Second guessing Wenger has always been hard work – but hopefully we can help you with your filter.
We’ve separated all of the players that we have been linked with into 5 categories (+ an extra one):
Paper Arse: This category is for players that the t’interweb or press have linked us with but there is absolutely no truth / weight in the story (or so we think).
Wenger Wildcard: Wenger likes to throw a surprise and players that find themselves in this category are exactly that. A long shot bet. Certainly not a guarantee – but as the category name suggests – a bit of a wildcard.
Maybe, Just maybe: As the name suggests this is a “possible” category. Perhaps a few things would need to happen in order for this transfer to happen or maybe we have seen some evidence of genuine interest – but not enough to get a name printed on a new shirt.
One for the summer: We’ve seen enough evidence to suggest that we are interested – but we think it’s very unlikely that anything will happen until the summer.
Hot Stuff: The players that as far as we can work out are our targets – or at least will be the players that we will be linked with the most until the end of January.
And the extra category…..:
No Go! A category created after the Huntelaar (and now Holtby) thing.
So what has changed in the last week?
Have a look at the lists after this ramble (double click to zoom in) to see all of the changes but we also added some new additions to the lists (highlighted in blue). As a quick mention – some players have been promoted in our likelihood ranking (yellow) and some players have also been relegated (red) – but below are some thoughts on a few of them…….
Juan Camilo Zuniga – Wenger Wildcard
Zuniga is a right wing back (who can also play at right back or in midfield) and who plays for Napoli in Serie A. There is no evidence to back up the rumour but the link isn’t so stupid that it’s ridiculous – especially given Sagna’s contract situation. Having said that – if we are looking at a right back – my money is still on Jung.
Lewis Holtby – (Relegated to) No Go!!!
Did the dirty thing of signing for Sp*rs – could well open the door for this move though
Benedikt Howedes – Paper Arse
Howedes is reportedly having a bit of a contract tussle at Schalke and could be available. Or he could not and the whole thing has been placed into the media by his agents. Either way – we won’t be signing him.
Iker Casilles – Paper Arse
Basically – a stupid rumour created by clowns.
Wesley Sneijder – Maybe, Just Maybe
Initially I thought this was all a load of rubbish – but parts of it have begun to make sense. Sneijder is obviously looking to move due to his treatment at Inter (I’m not saying that part of his treatment isn’t deserved) and he is currently being passed around by his agents like a bowl of sprouts at Christmas before finding the bizarre person who actually likes them. His wages would be a massive issue. But he is a creator of chances – and without question a world class player. And as he will reportedly be a “free” transfer I very much doubt that we have heard the end of this story this window.
Demba Ba – (Relegated to) No Go!!!
There seem to be lots of theories floating around the universe for why we didn’t sign him – and I also have my own. But none of them matter. Chel$ki signed him and he scored two on his debut. Hopefully by the time I write something similar to this next year missing out on him won’t have proven to be a massive mistake.
Adrian Lopez – (Promoted to) Hot Stuff
No – I don’t know anything more than you – but what I will say is this……there are rumours created by idiots (see Casilles) and there are rumours that might be surrounded by smoke – but actually have a small fire beneath them (probably lit by a deodorant can). This is one of those rumours. Adrian is not the player or name that most of us will want – but he is the most likely to sign. Wenger will like him because he can play anywhere across the front 3 as opposed to in just one position and because he is quick. He is not the natural finisher that we need or the creator that we should be looking for – but if he keeps Gervinho further away from the team when he returns from (his hopefully long trip in) Africa then it can only be a good thing.
Younes Belhanda – No Go!!!
To be fair – he wasn’t even on the original list. But as he was a “Summer target” I thought I’d give him an honourable mention. Anyway. He’s gone to Turkey so that’s that. Probably best just to be happy that this is one less player the media can link us with.
Luke Shaw – (Relegated to) One for the Summer
Nigel Adkins has said that he won’t be going in January and I can see no reason for Wenger to push for a deal now instead of July (unless someone else goes in for him or by some miracle we manage to ship Santos off somewhere). There is obviously some interest from our side – but how much I wouldn’t like to guess at.
C. J Sapong – Wenger Wildcard
Markbrus wrote about this the other day – and promptly saw his article (and the debate that followed) fly to the top of the “top stories” list (for Arsenal) on NewsNow. Not a small feat. But according to reports in the States we have agreed a £3m deal for Kansas City forward C. J. Sarpong. Personally I think it’s been created by the player after naming a wish at Christmas time on some form of American local news channel and then the good old American press have picked it up and gone with it. Or – this really could be a signing out of nowhere…..
Jonas Olsson (Maybe Just Maybe) & Craig Dawson (Wenger Wildcard)
The Jonas Olsson story appeared out of nowhere this week when it emerged that he had a £3m clause in his contract – very handily leaked by his agent….(I’ll let you read into that). But that price for a half decent experienced premiership defender is not bad at all – especially when the alternative is promoting Squeakylacci to 4th choice. There is some debate though about whether Arsenal would actually be able to trigger the clause in his contract – because Olsson didn’t name Arsenal when renewing his contract. Meanwhile as for Craig Dawson – you won’t have heard a rumour about it……yet.
So – consider yourself updated. As always – please get involved in the comments section below and have a look at who we have placed in each category. Do you know something we don’t? Or where is your rumour guesswork leading you?
Follow me on the twitter: @andifoster