Archive for August 30th, 2011

Transfer frenzy: André Santos, Mertesacker, Eljero Elia & More…

651 comments August 30th, 2011

Since the 8-2 hammering at Old Trafford, there has been a radical shift in Arsenal’s transfer policy.  With the shallowness of his squad painfully exposed, Arsene has moved to bring in a clutch of experienced players.  The cavalry are finally coming, and Arsenal could now make as many as four signings between now and the end of the transfer window.

Yesterday was a Bank Holiday in England, but that didn’t stop Arsenal from holding transfer talks late in to the night.  Richard Law, the chief negotiator, remained glued to his desk as Arsenal sought to secure some much needed recruits before Wednesday’s 11pm deadline.

Another one for the collection

Their efforts, it seems, are bearing fruit.  At around 9pm last night news broke in Turkey that a €7m (£6.2m) fee had been agreed with Fenerbahçe for Brazilian international full-back André Santos.  The move was necessitated by the impending departure of Armand Traore to QPR, whose scouts obviously weren’t watching the debacle at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Santos is an example of our revised transfer strategy.  A cynic could call it ‘panic buying’.  I call it a vital overhaul.  He became available on Thursday, when Fenerbahçe were forcibly ejected from the Champions League after match-fixing allegations.  They may yet be relegated from the Turkish top flight.  Uruguay skipper Diego Lugano was the first to flee, joining PSG.  Now Santos looks set to follow – after all, he has his position as Brazil’s first-choice left-back to protect.

I haven’t seen him play too much, but like many of Arsene’s full-backs, he began his career as a winger and his natural instinct is to attack.  A little glimpse of him in action suggests he’ll be tremendous fun to watch:

He likes a long-shot too:

Of course there’ll be concerns that he’s not more of a rugged defendery-type, but it’s worth noting that we still have Kieran Gibbs as an option.  It ought to be some battle between those two for the first-team spot – and that’s just how it should be.  Competition is incredibly healthy in any squad, and that’s a big part of what this set of signings need to offer.  A Brazilian international with Champions League experience?  It’s a good enough signing for me.  If personal terms are agreed and a medical is passed, this could be tied up today; tomorrow at the latest.

Santos will join Park Chu-Young in our new-look squad.  The Korean has passed his medical and agreed personal terms, and flown out to join his international team-mates.  Arsenal are merely waiting for several paperwork formalities to be completed before confirming the deal, and Park himself has told the Korean media that he “won’t regret” his decision to join Arsenal over Lille.

As I said at the top of the piece, there are at least a further two targets.  One, you’ll be delighted to hear, is a centre-back – though perhaps not the one you’re expecting.  It seems our fall-out with Bolton has had quite significant consequences for the Gary Cahill deal.  Watch this space.

Update: L’Equipe now running that the target is Per Mertesacker, which I can confirm is true.  And don’t say I never give you exclusives:

How did you miss it?  Tut tut.

The club also want to bring in a midfielder, but I can’t pretend to know who their priority is here.  One thing I can say with some certainty is that it won’t be either Eden Hazard or Mario Götze, both of whom are required to lead their respective clubs in to the Champions League this season.

You’ll have seen us linked with Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun.  I have to say, I don’t think that’d be a bad signing: he’s an intelligent, technically capable player who scores goals, and could play either wide or in the ‘Fabregas’ role behind a striker – which is where I think we’re really lacking.  Something is certainly afoot with Chelsea: in the past 24 hours we’ve been linked with Benayoun, Alex, and Florent Malouda.  I can only infer that the media have got wind of a meeting between the two clubs about some sort of transfer business, and are attempting to solve the riddle by randomly selecting Chelsea squad players.

Another one to watch is exciting Hamburg winger Eljero Elia, who told Dutch TV he would rather move to England and Arsenal than Juventus – news confirmed by his agent. Whether or not he gets his wish remains to be seen – Sky Italia are reporting that he’s due in Turin for a medical, so this one may have passed us by.

Finally, as relieved as I am that the club finally seem to be spending money in the transfer market, I was also glad to see them take the step of shelling out around £130,000 to buy replacement tickets for those fans who were subjected to the events of Sunday in the flesh.  Fair play to the new ownership for making that happen.

However, given the choice, I’m sure the fans would rather that money invested in the squad.  What will earn the club true forgiveness is turning our season around, and to do that we need to continue to be active over the next two days.  There’s so much still to happen: a fistful of signings, departures for Bendtner and possibly Almunia, and loan moves for the likes of Joel Campbell.

Stay tuned, and hold on to your hats: the wind of change is blowing through the transfer window.

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


August 2011
« Jul   Sep »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker