Archive for September 1st, 2009

Deadline Day is upon us and it’s all quiet on the transfer front

Add comment September 1st, 2009

Last season’s deadline days were full of drama.  In August we had the doomed tug of war over Xabi Alonso, whereas winter brought the Andrey Arshavin saga to a chaotic but ultimately cathartic close.

Today, however, promises to be a very different affair.  With just hours left until the deadline passes at 1700, there is no indication that anyone will be arriving at all.

That’s not to say Arsene didn’t want to strengthen the squad this summer.  It is however unquestionably the case that as the purse strings have been tightened, Arsene’s targets have become all the more specific.  If he is unable to secure the player he wants, he makes do with what he has.  There are no ‘second choices’ – only the best justify parting with what money we have available.

Arsene’s first aim was to strengthen the centre of defence, and crucially he has managed to do so with the addition of Thomas Vermaelen.  I don’t think there is an Arsenal fan out there who could argue that Vermaelen looks anything other than a terriffic signing.

Arsene was also prepared to acquire a central midfielder, but only if he could capture a player of sufficient stature to justify blocking the first-team route of the likes of Diaby, Denilson, and Song.  Felipe Melo was that player -a powerful Brazilian international with good positional sense and technique typical of his nation.  Unfortunately, a deal wasn’t struck with Fiorentina (who had demanded Emmanuel Eboue in exchange), and Melo ended up at Juventus.

Finally, Arsene had probably decided towards the back end of last season that he’d be prepared to let Emmanuel Adebayor go, and subsequently he indentified Marouane Chamakh as the man to replace him.  Not only did Chamakh have the required aerial presence – he was one year from the end of his contract and likely to be available at the kind of discount price that so often catches Arsene’s eye.  Unfortunately, the negotiations have not gone as smoothly as planned, with our £6m bid being rejected and Chamakh likely to remain at Bordeaux until the end of the season at least.

Thus, we’ve ended up with Vermaelen and Vermaelen alone.  The sales of Toure and Adebayor mean there is money available, but Arsene won’t spend it on a player he doesn’t absolutely need.  Philippe Senderos was set to join Everton, which would have prompted a move for another centre half, but with their attention now focused on Johnny Heitinga it seems Big Phil will remain in North London, until January at least.

There are still whispers floating about that we might make a late push for Chamakh and/or perennial linkee Blaise Matuidi.  I must confess: I’m dubious.  I think this day will past quietly not only at Arsenal but for all of the Big Four.  This window has been the monstrous offspring of Manchester City and Real Madrid, and any club with a modicum of class has done their best to avoid getting too heavily involved.

Of course I would like a signing or two, and of course I’m open to the possibility of Arsene snatching a couple of players under the radar.  My advice though is not to get your hopes up and focus on the positive start we’ve made to the season.  There’s lots to have been pleased about:

Thanks to Andrew Chan for the video.

That said, I bloody love transfer deadline day, so do keep checking here and over on twitter for updates throughout the day.

It ain’t over till the skinny Frenchman sings.

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