Arsenal Transfer Rumors: 5 Players Gunners Fans Would Rather Not See Signed
Let's start with Ashley Cole and work downwards from there, shall we?
The former Arsenal left-back (1998-2006) leapt to the fore of the transfer feeding frenzy thanks to his highly-charged (and widely reported) bust-up with former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas last month.
But before Arsenal fans rush to the nearest fountain to plunge their head in, it's worth noting the dates of the Soccernet piece in relation to its Goal.com counterpart.
Just two days after Cole and Villas-Boas made headlines for having an untenable relationship, which came to a boil during the Champions League match at Napoli, where Cole came on as a substitute (much to his chagrin), the former Gunner was being linked with a return to the club at which he is now reviled, termed "Cashley Cole" for his controversial exit.
Who writes an autobiography before their 30th birthday, anyway? Honestly (Austin Powers voice). Will he come out with a sequel and "threequel" later down the line?
Arsenal's board obviously operate as a separate entity, but the pulse of the fans is often taken to gauge general sentiment and satisfaction.
Why else would a price freeze have been announced concerning season ticket-renewals in the midst of the team's most trying spell this season? They don't have their heads in the sand, after all.
Trying spells also fuel transfer speculation, as Mr. Cole discovered only all too well.
His return to London Colney might be met with...let's say...tepid enthusiasm. And that's about as magnanimous as one can get on that subject.
Here are five transfers Arsenal fans wouldn't necessarily appreciate.
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He did not endear himself with the way he left the club in 2006, as he was reviled as nothing more than a mercenary looking for more money.
In Cole's case, there were reports that £5,000 stood in the way of potential peace and goodwill with the North London club.
When things began to spiral out of control, however, (and there were any number of reasons)—Cole's star status cemented with his consideration as England's top left-back, overtures with Chelsea that were subsequently deemed illegal, etc.—he became superfluous to Arsenal requirements.
The autobiography was the kicker. While Cole still has some life in his legs, he has passed 30 years of age, and for a left-back who made his living with industrious runs down the flank and a tireless work rate, it would appear his legs don't have too much more life left in them.
Allesandro Del Piero
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Then again, the link may just be a sensationalist story written to generate headlines.
While Arsene Wenger has shown he is willing to break with his oft-spoken precedent of not buying players pushing 30 in recent years (although none of last summer's last-ditch arrivals were over 30), at 37, Del Piero is pushing it.
Even Dennis Bergkamp retired at 37, after all.
The fact that the diminutive trequartista was linked to Paris Saint-Germain last winter in order to drive up ratings and interest given his household name should say enough.
He was a fantastic player, and one of the best in his day. But that day has passed into memory.
Del Piero would play little to no role for Arsenal on the pitch. He has won his fair share of silverware during his career (a World Cup in 2006 is the cream of his crop), but Arsenal can bring him in for a consulting role if they deem increased worldwide exposure a pressing issue.
Simply put, the little magician doesn't belong on a Premier League at this point.
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As Yoda once said to Obi-Wan Kenobi in regards to training Luke Skywalker: "He is too old!"
And while Yoda was eventually convinced to see past his obduracy and trained Luke, I hope Wenger doesn't pull a similar change of heart.
At £8 million, Odemwingie's price tag seems a bit steep, anyhow. Why not invest a little more for a player far younger?
Olivier Giroud has enjoyed a superb run of goal-scoring form this season for Montpellier in Ligue 1, and at 24 he is six years younger than Odemwingie. The French international may cost several million more, but that would seem a worthwhile risk.
The Nigerian might make an impact for Arsenal, but it seems that there are better options out there.
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This is no indictment of Junior Hoilett. The 21-year-old Canadian starlet is a precocious talent, and looks set to enjoy a prosperous career at the highest level of the English game.
Arsenal are considered to be in the hunt to land his signature this summer, but the question remains: if he were to be signed, where (and would) he play?
The Gunners are beginning to load up with options at the wing positions, and they already have top-tiered teen talent in their stable with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryo Miyaichi looking ready to fully contribute next season.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has already enjoyed a wonderful start to his Arsenal career this season, and with Gervinho and Theo Walcott still on the books, where would Hoilett fit in on the flanks?
Oh wait, Wenger already signed him?
Given the general reaction to Arsenal's lone signature from the winter transfer window, the arrival of 19-year-old German Thomas Eisfeld from Borussia Dortmund was deemed insufficient.
Fans had been clamoring for an infusion of experience. To Wenger's credit, that's exactly what they got.
Only thing is, there was an "in-" prefix attached to said experience. Shucks. Can't win them all.
Eisfeld may well prove to be a regular contributor in central midfield (he favors the attacking midfield position), but it would appear that he won't be a regular first-team member for some time yet.
Inspiring Gooners to ask, if short-term fixes are nigh ahead of next season, then why bring in Eisfeld, who seems years away?