Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Why Arsene Wenger Wants To Sign Park Chu-Young
In what could either be a huge financial gamble or very good business, reports have emerged that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to clinch the signing of unlikely transfer target Park Chu-Young from AS Monaco.
The 26-year-old striker scored 12 goals in 33 league games for the relegated Ligue 1 side, and was seemingly set for a move to Lille OSC after interest from Premier League sides Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers.
Now, the French champions have been left in the dark as widespread media reports claim Arsenal will steal a march on Lille and sign the South Korean international for a fee said to be anywhere from £2.6 million to £10 million.
The Gunners have been linked with the likes of Eden Hazard, Eljero Elia and Mauro Zarate in recent days, all players with proven track records.
So what has made Wenger suddenly go for a striker who only has three seasons of experience in European football (despite being 26) and has only scored 26 goals in 103 games for Monaco?
For a start, unlike the other attacking players Arsenal have been linked with, Park Chu-Young is a natural leader, something the Gunners have lacked higher up the pitch after selling their captain Cesc Fabregas to FC Barcelona.
New Arsenal Signing Park Chu-Young: Good Business By Arsene Wenger?
The tall forward is the captain of his national team and was an influential member of the Monaco team both on and off the pitch throughout his time at the club.
And if there's one thing the Gunners have clearly been lacking it's a few characters in the dressing room, with leaders in attack as important and necessary as leaders in defence.
Also, Park Chu-Young is a player who could well have more goals in him.
The South Korean contributed 33 percent of his team's goals in Ligue 1 last season, with a painful lack of assists in the Monaco midfield contributing to the club's paltry tally of 36 league goals in their dreadful 2010-11 campaign.
With better service from players who have proven assist-making abilities, such as Gervinho, Theo Walcott and Andrei Arshavin (who made 28 league assists between them last season), it's highly likely Park could score more and possibly even double his tally from last season.
He's heading into the prime of his career at 26 and seemingly wouldn't have many problems adapting to the Premier League or Arsenal, considering his strength and physique and the fact he can speak both English and French.
Off the pitch, as someone with star status in Far East Asia, Park is also a footballer with huge marketing value, with Arsenal's tour of Asia confirming they are trying to really boost their brand in that part of the world.
The signing of Park Chu-Young would help that cause, and open up new markets for the club in South Korea and neighbouring countries.
And that could well turn out to be very lucrative for Arsenal, considering the South Korean economy has seen consistent growth, despite fears of a global double-dip recession, thanks to consistently high levels of consumer spending.
There is a lot of money in South Korea and thanks to Park Chu-Young, some of it could now find its way into the Arsenal coffers.
If the fee between AS Monaco and the Emirates outfit is around the £2.6 million mark, the signing of Park would most likely represent very good business by Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board.
However, if it's the £10 million quoted by the English media, the move would no doubt be a huge financial risk and could well waste a massive amount of transfer funds, which might've been better spent on a player with a proven track record.
Only time will tell for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and Park Chu-Young. The transfer will either be another bit of pure genius by the Gunners boss or an all too frequent moment of madness.
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