Archive for May 1st, 2008

Possible Flamini Replacement #2: Kolo Toure

4 comments May 1st, 2008

Time’s up, Mathieu. April has been and gone, and Flamini has not signed a new deal. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if he was going to accept the offer currently on the table, he might’ve found the time to stick his signature on the deal at some point in the previous month. Sadly, it seems that one of the stars of our season is on the way out, and Flamini may have played his last game for Arsenal.

And so, speculation about who could replace him is bound to step up another gear. My previous suggestion was Gareth Barry – a story later picked up by The People. However, many people complained (and rightly so) that being English would sky-rocket Barry’s price into the realm of £15m+. Well, today’s suggestion would cost absolutely nothing at all.

It is quite remarkable that Kolo Toure has never played in central midfield – he’s played just about everywhere else in the team. After coming into the side as a left-winger, he’s played right-wing, both full-back positions, centre-back (of course), and even upfront.

The fact is that Toure is an outstanding all-round footballer. He has that typically Arsenal combination of great technique and fantastic physical attributes. He’s as good a tackler as Flamini, and possibly possesses a greater range of passing and certainly shooting. Indeed, his surging runs up the pitch have often led to comparisons with a certain Patrick Vieira.

With the Gallas-Toure partnership almost certain to be broken up, perhaps now is the time to shift Kolo forward alongside Fabregas.  That would allow Gallas to be partnered by the awe-inspiring centre-half we’re all praying Arsene buys this Summer.

I have heard suggestions that Arsene doesn’t believe Kolo has the stamina to play in midfield, but he’s currently playing at right-back: a position in which the player is required to get up and down the line for the entirety of the game.  Arsene loves to reinvent a player, and Toure has already shown great versatility and willingness to play wherever Le Boss demands.

We’ve got two fairly meaningless games left this season.  Go on Arsene – give it a go.

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