Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Have Bigger Needs Than Hatem Ben Arfa

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2012

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 09:  Hatem Ben Arfa of Newcastle celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers at the Sports Direct Arena on April 9, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsenal have already inked Lukas Podolski and look assured to do the same with Olivier Giroud, are currently the favorites to land Yann M'Vila, need to retain Robin van Persie, would be best served keeping Theo Walcott at the Emirates and still could use a defensive upgrade or two.

Can somebody please tell me why Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa would be a priority for the Gunners?

While Chelsea remain the favorites to obtain the Newcastle winger's services, Arsenal have now joined the fray, at least according to the Mirror:

The 25-year-old Newcastle winger has been on the Champions League winners' radar for some time after an impressive campaign last season.

But Arsenal, whose summer reshuffle has seen them buy Cologne striker Lukas Podolski and line up Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud, are now contenders, too.

Ben Arfa is believed to have welcomed the interest, as he fears he would not play regularly if he were to trade Tyneside for Stamford Bridge.

I guess you could say I'm in the camp that thinks Arsenal has more pressing needs than adding another winger at this point. I'd rather keep Walcott around and take my chances with him, Podolski, Gervinho (who should be improved in his second year with the club) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (who impressed for England at the Euros) out wide. 

Yes, Ben Arfa had a nice season last year and is a very talented player, one that Yohan Cabaye went so far as to compare him to Eden Hazard. That seems a bit lofty to me, but there it is.

However, given the moves that have already taken place—and assuming van Persie and Walcott remain—I don't think the attacking third will be an issue next season for Arsenal.

The same can't be said for the defensive third. While adding a true holding midfielder like M'Vila would certainly help, this team could really use more depth at the outside back positions. I'd rather see them add a solid defender and keep van Persie and Walcott around than overpay Ben Arfa.

I love the aggressive approach Arsene Wenger has taken to the offseason. I just hope the transfer moves continue to make the team better rather than simply add expensive players at surplus positions for the fun of it.

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