Arsenal FC Transfer Prospects: Arsene Wenger Must Snap Up Relegated Scott Parker
Arsenal are just days away from completing another trophy-less season. Whilst there's very little to talk about with on-field matters, there's a lot to discuss off the field with a make-or-break summer transfer window fast approaching.
It's apparent that Wenger has been preparing his shopping list diligently after his players let him down once again.
Although a plethora of high-profile names are speculated to be on Arsenal's radar, it's hard to conceive that Wenger is looking to completely overhaul the squad.
As of now, it's impossible to exactly number the changes that Wenger is going to make. What we can do at the moment is speculate, and that's exactly what I am going to do now.
West Ham has been relegated from the Premier League despite their inspirational player Scott Parker's one-man show to keep the hopes of the club alive.
Now that the London club has been relegated, it will be forced to cash in on their star players to balance the books.
The first on that list is their most valuable player Parker. Although 30 and with not many years left in him, he's at the peak of his game. Parker has wealth of experience and is a proven Premiership player.
Should Arsenal sign Parker?
When the transfer window opens, West Ham will certainly receive offers from top Premiership sides for the services of the England midfielder.
With all the top six sides looking to strengthen their respective squads, Parker will have many takers. It's just a matter of choosing the right club for the player.
Anyone who's a serious fan of football knows which team out of the top six badly needs a player of the ilk of Parker. If you are still uncertain, it's Arsenal that have been lacking leadership and steel in their squad.
The Gunners lack players who are passionate about playing for a club of the stature of Arsenal. Players are found wanting most of the time and more often that not fall short of the finish line.
A main reason for the lack of silverware has been the lack of experienced players capable of leading the team when under pressure. There's no substitute for experience, no matter how precocious the youngsters are.
Also the popular belief that "Arsenal need an English spine to win trophies" would also be addressed to an extent if Wenger makes an immediate move to secure the signing of Parker before his rivals do.
Parker has had a tremendous season that was crowned with the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year award. That tells all you want to know about Parker, West Ham and the vain one-man struggle to stave off relegation.
It's some achievement to be named the player of the year even after your team failed to survive in the League. It shows how his individual performances haven't gone unnoticed despite the poor displays from his team.
He was the adhesive agent that bonded the players and coach together amid the turmoil the club found itself in.
Parker's leadership skill was evident from his inspirational halftime team talk at West Brom, which fuelled the unbelievable comeback from three goals down to level 3-3 at full time. It has been well documented with Parker's teammates claiming his speech moved all the players and support staff to tears.
This type of motivational leadership is exactly what has been lacking at Arsenal for the past few years. One can't expect Cesc Fabregas to deliver such an inspirational speech and motivate his players to come back from even one goal down. If anything, Arsenal end up surrendering leads frequently, let alone the talk of comebacks.
Speculation is rife that Wenger is all but set to bid for Parker.
The stumbling block could be Parker's age. However, Arsenal just need a short-term option in midfield to provide the steel that has been lacking and make Alex Song work for his place in the starting 11. At the moment, it's difficult to find a better short-term option of the highest quality than Parker.
He is a tidy passer and a first-class tackler. More than his footballing skills, it's for the leadership and never-say-die attitude that Arsenal must sign the England midfielder.
Parker's market price is around £11 million, which might be one million too many considering his age, but it's worth every penny.
Without a shadow of doubt, one of the top six clubs will meet the valuation, and the side that manoeuvres first will be in with the best chance. Wenger should pounce immediately to secure the signing, and I hope that would be the first of many to follow.
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