I'm not a massive believer of transfer gossip. In fact, I normally tend to believe the opposite of whatever is rumored to happen.
I can't exactly put a finger on it, but I've been a massive admirer of Vertonghen ever since his name started being bandied about in the transfer gossip columns.
Maybe it's his age (almost 25) and level of experience (over 250 games for club and country). It could be because we're not world class at left-back. Or because he's versatile and can play across the back four or as a defensive midfielder. Maybe it's because of his goal-scoring prowess. Or his all-round game and his personality.
Or maybe, just maybe, it's because of that other Belgian defender we signed from Ajax a few years ago. Don't know who I'm talking about? Maybe this video clip will help you. It's the guy who scored the third goal.
Whatever the reasons, I've coveted Jan Vertonghen from day one, and I believe his signing—along with that of Lukas Podolski—will make Arsenal truly world class again.
So imagine my joy when I read this a short while ago. Aha! The leopard is changing his spots. Could it be the devious handiwork of yet another nasty agent? Could it be a mere coincidence that this "change of heart" comes at a time when Spurs are in free-fall and Arsenal in relentless ascent?
Does he not fancy another crack at the Europa League? With Spurs? Or was he won over by Arsenal's barnstorming 3-0 victory over AC Milan at the Emirates Stadium last week, that his old Belgian pal from Ajax invited him to witness. Ahem, nice work Thomas...
If Vertonghen does join Podolski in moving to Arsenal this summer, and if Arsene Wenger can keep Robin Van Persie, which I believe he will do, our squad will suddenly look quite menacing. Assuming we will keep lining up in a 4-2-3-1, here's a possible starting XI and bench next season:
Starting XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Song, Wilshere; Walcott, Rosicky, Podolski; Van Persie
Subs: Fabianski, Mertesacker, Santos, Ramsey, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho
And I haven't even named players like Gibbs, Jenkinson, Diaby, Miquel, Coquelin, Frimpong, Ryo and Chamakh, who will all be in the mix next season. Or Arshavin, Djourou, Park, Benayoun, Squillaci and Bendtner, who probably won't.
Come on over, Jan. I fancy a double-dose of Belgian.
And trust me, this is no waffle...
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