Archive for June 26th, 2007

Signings: My predictions

613 comments June 26th, 2007

Before you go on, you should probably know that this article is pretty unsubstantiated. You already know that it’s entirely pointless. What I write here will have no bearing on Arsene’s actual transfer policy. Furthermore, I haven’t even got a good record with predictions: don’t forget, I was almost certain that we’d be signing Franck Ribery this summer. No; the main reason I am writing this article is “for fun”. “Fun”. Remember that? It was something we had before Thierry went. And I’m bringing it back. Starting now.

So just to make clear, this is not what I want to happen, but what I think will happen.

Signing #1: Bakary Sagna; £6m
Arsene Wenger is in France at the moment, primarily on holiday, but it wouldn’t surprise me if his presence there has a little to do with Sagna, the Auxerre right-back who earned his first International call-up last month. It’s well documented that we’ve had problems in the position, and the fact that we will lose Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue, two possible solutions, for six weeks or so at the African Nations might be what will prompt Wenger to make his move. Sagna’s arrival would also free up Eboue to play further forward, cancelling out the need for a new right-winger. Much as we all like Justin Hoyte, pretending he’s the solution isn’t going to help us challenge for the title.

Signing #2: Nicolas Anelka; £10m
I’ve always had a feeling about this one, and with the options narrowing all the time, I am more convinced than ever. Sure, he’s no Henry, but he would provide pace, power, and a raw finishing ability that is often underrated. Throughout his career, he has scored all kinds of goals. With the supply generated by Fabregas and Rosicky, he could finally fulfill his potential and become a regular goalscorer at the top end of the Premiership and in the Champions League. At 28 years of age, he’s certainly got three or four more years at his peak. However, it might make sense to bring in another young forward, such as…

Signing #3: Ryan Babel; £6m
OK, so this is the one I’m least sure about, considering that I’d heard our scouts were less than impressed with him at the U21 European Championships. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen – plus, I couldn’t think of anyone else who fitted the mould: a young forward who is also comfortable on either wing, with pace, trickery, and an eye for goal. Throw in the fact that he’s great mates with Robin van Persie, and it’s a match made in heaven. I remember when I first saw Babel playing in the same Dutch youth side as our own Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (who, incidentally, was last seen weeping on a substitute’s bench in Russia). He was absolutely breathtaking, but he hasn’t quite made the impact at Ajax that was expected of him. If there’s anyone who can take a rough diamond and polish it into gleaming brilliance, it’s Arsene.

So there you are. That would give us a new right-back, a new striker, and a promising winger/forward. It would also enable Eboue to challenge Hleb and Rosicky for a starting position on the right of midfield. And all for the price of £22m (Henry + Muamba + Aliadiere + Stokes). Not bad, eh?

I doubt it would make us title contenders. I personally think we need more experience, particularly wide in midfield. But like I said – this isn’t what I would do, but what I suspect Wenger might. What do you reckon?

Hopefully it’s distracted you from thinking about yesterday, at any rate.

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