Archive for May 10th, 2008

Are we Arfter a winger?

Add comment May 10th, 2008

Ben Arfa has been tracked for four yearsLast night, like a few other privileged people, I heard the rumour that Hatem Ben Arfa will sign for Arsenal for £16m.

Since then The Sun have also picked up on the story, but haven’t had the confidence to run it as anything other than a piece of ‘News In Brief’.  It seems like we’ll have to wait and see on this one.

It would certainly be a promising move by Arsene.  He’s tracked Ben Arfa since 2004, and has long been an admirer of his pace and trickery.  In a squad that desperately lacks width, his addition would significantly redress the balance.

As I trawled the French newspapers for more on the Ben Arfa story (unsuccessfully, I might add), I came across this story (originating in German publication Die Wilt), linking Jens Lehmann with a move to Stuttgart.  However, as Arsene Wenger conceded this week, it’s equally likely he could retire.  That would be a shame in my opinion – I still think he has plenty to offer at the highest level.

Tomas Rosicky has joined Eduardo, Abou Diaby, and possibly Bacary Sagna in being ruled out of Euro 2008.  Whilst Arsene is hopeful Rosicky will be ready for the start of the 2008/09 season, from what I hear I think it’s getting to the point where a fit Rosicky will be an occasional bonus rather than a consistent reliability.  Perhaps the signing of Ben Arfa would in part be an admission by Arsene that Rosicky will never be able to regularly fill that left-wing spot.

Finally, I thought I’d end with these quotes from Emmanuel Adebayor:

“I am very happy here. Reports which suggest I have threatened to quit are rubbish. I love the club and the fans.

We have a great set of players here with a fantastic team spirit. We have had a good season but next season we want to go one better by winning a trophy.”

At a time when Flamini has jumped ship to Milan, and Aleksandr Hleb is markedly reluctant to issue such denials, it’s pleasing to see an under-contract player declare his loyalty to the club and the manager that made him the player he is.

So, now we wait for confirmation or denial on the Ben Arfa story.  Could be an interesting weekend…

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