January Transfer Rumour: Sol Campbell and Theirry Herny To Be Signed By Arsenal?

Callum D'SouzaSenior Writer IJanuary 12, 2011

Predominantly, little occurrs for Arsenal during the January transfer window; despite mass speculation, rarely do the North London giants partake in the ritual of spending millions in hopes of reviving or strengthening their squad.

Last season, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made one January signing due to the Winter Transfer Window. The one transfer was Sol Campbell, who had previously spent five seasons with the Gunners, amassing over 180 appearances and winning the Premier League twice and FA Cup three times.

The return of the English veteran came as a huge shock, not only to the fans but to World Football. Rarely does Wenger sign players over 30, let alone former players.

At the time, Campbell was 35 but the Frenchman had been impressed with the former Portsmouth captain after Campbell trained with Arsenal to maintain his fitness after escaping from a lucrative contract with League Two side Notts County.

2009/2010 had seen the Gunners establish one of the best central defensive partnerships in England, with Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas combining strongly and providing Arsenal with defensive grit that had evaded them in recent seasons.

However, Wenger failed to boast sufficient depth in the defensive line. Swiss enforcer Philippe Senderos had departed to Everton on loan, while Mikael Silvestre was failing to perform at a respectable level and Johan Djourou was absent for the whole season with a severe knee injury.

The signing of Campbell was a beneficial and intelligent move by Wenger, but fans were skeptical of their former hard man. Surely, at 35, the Englishman couldn't compete with some of the strongest attacks in World Football.

But amazingly, the former England international was a superb performer for the Gunners, proving to be a great back-up as William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen endured on and off injuries.

Campbell ended up accumulating 14 appearances for the Gunners and scoring a goal. As the season ended, fans and Wenger voiced their appreciation and respect for Campbell, as his presence had made a vital impact.

As 2010/2011 approached, the Arsenal faithful were eager for Wenger to extend the fast ending one year contract for the former Tottenham defender. However, Wenger opted to release Campbell, as the likes of Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscienly arrived and Djourou returned to full fitness.

Campbell has since signed with Premiership side Newcastle, who continue to impress upon their promotion from the Championship. This season's Arsenal defense has improved, despite some embarrassing showings, and what's even more impressive is that defensive leader Vermaelen has been absent since August with a persistent ankle injury.

Unfortunately, Squillaci has also received a hamstring injury which is set to keep the struggling Frenchman out for three weeks, ensuring the Gunners lack two experienced centre halves.

This conundrum has forced Wenger to retract statements made in December saying he would not sign anyone in January. The Frenchman has now been forced to admit he needs to sign a short term defender.

Deja vu.

Rumour has it Campbell could be set for an incredible third stint at the Emirates, with Wenger set to target his former centre half as Newcastle United is failing to offer the consistent playing time Campbell aspires to boast.

Campbell would cost little and would help instill depth and experience while Wenger awaits the return of Squillaci and Vermaelen. Furthermore, the Englishman is a natural leader who will help aid the younger defenders and lead a youthful squad.

In another twist of deja vu, Wenger has allowed another former great to train with his squad to ensure the player maintains sufficient fitness. Former captain, club legend and all time leading goal scorer Theirry Henry is training at the Arsenal training ground, as the French dynamo awaits the start of the MLS season in America, where Henry plays for the New York Red Bulls.

Henry joined the Gunners in 1999 from Juventus and became a revelation for the North London giants before departing in 2007. Henry scored 226 goals, won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup three times, was named PFA Player of the Year twice, the French Player of the Year five times, made the PFA Team of the Year, the UEFA Team of the Year and a host of other achievements.

The former Barcelona striker is 33, two years younger than what Campbell was last year when he was re-signed, and although Arsenal boasts a deep depth of strikers, Henry is an Arsenal legend.

If the Frenchman continues to impress Wenger at the Arsenal training ground, a shocking return could be in the cards.


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