As Arsenal fans grace themselves up for some football in the Asian tour this week, the media vultures have continued to do what they are good at—publishing more articles about their favorite summer topic, Arsenal.
I threw some light about the squad going to the Asia tour, and the issue of Robin van Persie’s saga dominated the latter part of that article post. Many bloggers, writers, players and football figureheads have voiced their opinions on this issue and there’s a newest member in the “Talk about van Persie” chronicles, our very own Aaron Ramsey.
The Welsh captain had shown great mental strength, resilience and character to recover from that horrific injury he suffered in two years ago, but he got his breakthrough last season as the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, coupled with injuries to Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky, handed him a chance to stake his claim for a starting berth.
Forty-four appearances, three goals and eight assists later, Ramsey hasn’t been on the good books of some Arsenal fans. His performances were deemed not good enough for a club of Arsenal’s calibre. He has a great engine and a good passing range, but Ramsey did more harm than good last season. He always wanted to dwell on the ball and try something cheeky when a simple pass to a teammate close by would have worked wonders.
There was also the issue of the glaring chances he missed as well. In controversial circumstances, Ramsey’s goals coincided with the deaths of notable figureheads. I’m now of the opinion that Ramsey fails to score because he wants to save us all.
According to BBC Sport, Aaron Ramsey has stated his desire to see van Persie remain at the Emirates.
“He had a brilliant season last year and is a big player for us, so we are just hopeful that he will stay. We don’t know anything that goes on. We hope that he stays at Arsenal.
If we get off to a better start this season than we did last season, we know we are capable of finishing pretty strongly, like we did last year. We have brought in a couple of players [Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud] who are well-known and hopefully we can put ourselves in a position to compete early on.”
Like Ramsey, Arsene Wenger has also reiterated his desire to keep van Persie as well, but Arsenal will have to improve on their proposed $130,000 per week plus $5 million signing on fee offer.
Unlike Samir Nasri, who held the club for ransom while flirting with the bullies from Manchester, van Persie is in a tight corner because the clubs that are interested in him are having problems with the $30 million price tag on his head (via Daily Star).
Moving on to other transfer tidbits, ESPN Star reported that Arsenal is considering a bid for Santos’ playmaker, Pablo Henrique Ganso. The midfielder has been under Arsenal’s radar for quite some time.
I’m pretty sure that Steve Rowley and his scouting team will be watching the lad closely for 42 times over the course of the Olympic Games to make sure that he’ll be a good signing.
The Metro published a piece that Arsenal is plotting a $15.5 million bid for Malaga’s winger, Santi Cazorla. The diminutive winger is close to notching up half a century of appearances for Spain, and it is believed that he wants to leave Malaga for a club that has Champions League football to offer.
I’m quite perplexed about two things here.
1) Arsenal has a boatload of wingers in its squad and such a huge transfer fee can be used to strengthen other weakened positions in the team such as a new holding midfielder, a renowned attacking midfielder and a back-up goalie, should Lukasz Fabianski decide to pack his bags.
2) Malaga finished last season in fourth place. This means that they are also in contention for a Champions League slot, provided they win their qualifying fixture.
On potential departures, the Sports Campus has reported that AC Milan have expressed their interest to sign the world’s best striker, Nicklas Bendtner, after losing the iconic Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the evil clutches of Paris St. Germain.
The Rossoneri are currently in a rebuilding phase after losing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf and Mark Van Bommel this summer. Mathieu Flamini was part of this list, but the Milan giants offered him a contract extension.
Finally, the club has revealed that four players will not start the new campaign courtesy of their injury woes (via Arseblog News). The Denchster, Emmanuel Frimpong is still rehabilitating from his cruciate ligament injury he suffered last season while Bacary Sagna is also recuperating from the leg fracture he suffered in May.
Tomas Rosicky has succumbed to another injury (plantaris tendon) and the club has stated that Jack Wilshere won’t be rushed.
Arsene Wenger also gave the timelines for the injuries as well,
“Sagna is doing very well. There are no problems there. But it will be the end of August for him. Diaby is fit, raring to go and will be on the tour. That is fantastic news for him and us.”
“It will be six to eight weeks until Rosicky is back in training. It was his [plantaris tendon], it was done at the Euros.”
“Emmanuel [Frimpong] is doing very well. It will be the end of September or perhaps into October for him.”
Should Arsenal fail to sign Ganso ahead of the forthcoming season, there will be a problem in midfield. Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky will still be out injured, Ramsey is with Great Britain’s Olympic squad and Diaby is just minutes away from his next injury. For all I care, Diaby can get injured in his sitting room if he stretches for his remote control.
The only plausible option will be to revert back to the 4-4-2 formation that almost handed Arsenal Premier League title honors in the 2007-08 season.