Arsenal Transfer News: 8 Reasons To Be Delighted They Didn't Sign Clint Dempsey
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has had to endure a tough summer this year and with the Gunners suffering a 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Manchester United, it was imperative that the long-serving French tactician brought in some new players before the end of the transfer window.
The last few days of the transfer window were filled with hectic activity for the Gunners, who did manage to sign as many as five players though they did miss out on some other transfer targets.
With the injury to Jack Wilshere and the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, it was imperative for the manager to strengthen the midfield for the Gunners. Wenger had many transfer targets and though he could not sign some of his targets, he did manage to sign Mikel Arteta from Everton and Yossi Benayoun on loan from Chelsea.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal were also apparently interested in a deal for USA international Clint Dempsey and Fulham demanded a fee of around £10 million for the midfielder. The Gunners completed the signing of Arteta and Benayoun by the deadline, and with the Gunners not reaching an agreement with Fulham, the USA international is still at Craven Cottage.
It is unlikely that Arsenal will again make efforts to sign the USA midfielder in the January transfer window and here are eight reasons why it was the correct decision by Wenger to not sign Dempsey.
1. Mikel Arteta Is a Better Attacking Midfielder Than Clint Dempsey
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Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta is one of the best midfielders in the Premiership and the Spaniard was targeted as the replacement for Cesc Fabregas, who departed in the summer.
Though Arteta does not possess the quality of Fabregas, he is capable of excellent distribution in midfield and will bring fluidity to the midfield alongside players like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. There had been some interest in Arteta for some time but with the departure of Fabregas this summer, it was imperative that Wenger did sign Arteta, despite the former Everton midfielder being 29 years old.
Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey is a talented midfielder but with Arsenal targeting a midfielder to replace Fabregas, Wenger made the right decision to sign Arteta, who is a better passer and distributor and can also link up play well.
Also, it is more likely that a player like Arteta who will swap positions with Wilshere will bring in more fluidity and help Wilshere exhibit his maximum potential.
2. Signing Two Attacking Midfielders Above 28 Years Would Not Make Sense
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had to sign some midfielders before the end of the transfer window because they did not have enough depth in midfield after the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
However, if Wenger preferred Mikel Arteta to Dempsey, it would make more sense for the Frenchman to sign Arteta considering he would be a player who can fit with Arsenal's style of play.
The Gunners already have Tomas Rosicky and Andrei Arshavin who are above 30 and are past their best, and it would not make sense to sign two midfielders above the age of 28. With Arteta the main transfer target for Arsenal, they also needed another midfielder to provide depth which is why they signed Yossi Benayoun on loan from Chelsea.
Benayoun has played in the Champions League and has the experience and quality to be a good player for the Gunners. Also, there is a good possibility that Arsenal will not be interested to sign him on a permanent deal and he provides a good temporary replacement for the Gunners.
3. Fee Demanded by Fulham Would Have Meant Gunners Would Have Overpaid
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According to the Mirror, Arsenal did make an inquiry regarding the possible transfer of Fulham's Clint Dempsey, who has been one of the best players for the club.
The 28-year-old has been a consistent performer in the Premiership and it is not a surprise that he did attract the interest from top clubs in this summer. With the Gunners being short in midfield, Wenger did show an interest in Dempsey before signing Arteta.
However, Fulham were not ready to let the USA midfielder leave the club for a fee lesser than £10 million and it was always unlikely that Wenger would meet that valuation. With Arteta identified as the main target, it would not make much sense to pay that money to a 28-year-old midfielder, who might not even be a regular in the team.
Arsenal could not reach an agreement with Fulham before the transfer deadline and Fulham manager Martin Jol was able to keep one of his prized assets at the club.
4. Clint Dempsey Would Have Been Benched Because There Is No Place in the Team
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Though Arsenal may have had to shell good money for the USA international, if the Arsenal squad is not depleted by more than one midfielder due to injury, then it is likely that Clint Dempsey would have to settle for a spot on the bench.
Arsene Wenger has employed variations of the 4-3-3 in the previous two seasons and it is likely that he will stick with the same formation this season as well.
Alex Song is a regular for the Gunners and his replacement is likely to be Emmanuel Frimpong if Song is injured and Dempsey is more of an attacking midfielder than a central midfielder. Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby will be the preferred players in the role beside Song while Mikel Arteta and Ramsey are the preferred choices for the role of the attacking midfielder.
Dempsey can also play on the wings, but with Theo Walcott, Gervinho and also Park Chu-Young capable of playing in the wings, it is quite likely that Dempsey would have had to spend considerable time on the bench (though he would certainly provide quality depth).
5. Dempsey's Arrival Would Have Meant the Exit of Andrei Arshavin
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Though Arsenal did require the addition of midfielders before the close of the transfer window, they also do not have the space to fit in two new midfielders in the starting 11.
If Dempsey had been signed and if the first-choice team was present, it is likely that the USA international had to be content with a place on the bench. But with the midfielder valued at decent money, it is probable he would have been given more playing time than the rest of substitutes if he was signed.
Russian international Andrei Arshavin has spent a lot of time on the bench in the last year because he has lost his form to some extent and it does look like age also has contributed to his decline. However, he remains one of the most creative players in the Premiership and has the ability to score and assist goals as he displayed in the last season even when going through a bad patch.
However, Arshavin is still capable of finding his form back and has the quality to influence games though his poor work rate has been criticized. If Dempsey is brought into the squad, he would not be much of an upgrade in quality compared to Arshavin and Arsenal need to hold to their most experienced players considering that two of their best players in the last season have left the club.
6. Arsenal Still Need To Sign a World-Class Player Despite Signing Mikel Arteta
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger did make as many as nine signings in the summer but still it does seem that they are yet to sign a world-class player following the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.
Mikel Arteta is a talented player but the former Everton midfielder is already 29 years old and is also prone to injuries. Also, though Arteta is a good player, he is not a world-class player who will make the starting 11 of almost any team in the world.
Arsenal received a lot of money from the sales of Nasri and Fabregas and it is imperative that Wenger does invest the money to sign world-class players for the Gunners. He has been linked with moves for various quality players but with money to spend, there is no point waiting for the right moment considering that this season is one of the most important for the Gunners considering that they are in realistic danger of losing the Champions League place.
Wenger has made some good signings in this transfer window and he does have world-class young talents in the squad, but as of now, they need the quality to replace Fabregas and Nasri and the ideal solution is to sign a world-class talent like Kaka or Eden Hazard.
7. Aaron Ramsey to Have More Playing Time as First-Choice Backup Midfielder
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Aaron Ramsey is one of the best young talents in the world and his quality is also recognized by Wales manager Gary Speed, who has appointed him as the captain of the Wales national team despite the 20-year-old Arsenal midfielder missing a number of months due to a severe leg-break in the last year.
He has the quality to be a world-class player in the future and has completely recovered from his horrific injury.
It is evident that Arsene Wenger does rate the Welsh midfielder highly and has provided him opportunities to prove his worth this season. It does seem that Ramsey is getting back to his best after being named as the "Man of the Match" in the game against England at Wembley. With Jack Wilshere breaking into the team in the last season, it would have been difficult for the Welshman to displace the England international if both had been fit.
Unfortunately, Wilshere has been ruled out for around two months which means Ramsey has a key role to play in this Arsenal team. Ramsey's preferred position is in the role of an advanced midfielder and with the signing of Arteta, it seems like it will be the Spaniard in that role with Ramsey or Wilshere behind Arteta.
However, if Dempsey was signed by Arsenal, he would have to be preferred over Ramsey but the Welsh captain deserves more playing time this season and it is certain that one of Dempsey or Ramsey would have been disappointed by the season unless one of the midfielders suffers a long-term injury.
8. Not Signing Clint Dempsey Gives Hope for a Quality January Signing
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If Arsenal had signed both Clint Dempsey and Mikel Arteta, it is almost certain that Arsene Wenger would not be on the market for a quality midfielder. However, Arsenal signed Arteta and Yossi Benayoun, the latter on a temporary basis, and it is likely that there is still space for another midfielder.
Arsenal were linked with many midfielders in the summer and they certainly do have the money to sign a quality midfielder in the summer.
One of the players the Gunners were strongly linked to was Yann M'Villa and if the Gunners can sign the Rennes midfielder, it will be a huge boost for Arsenal considering that he would add steel to the midfield and is also one of the most promising midfielders in the world.
Another player linked with a move to Arsenal was Eden Hazard, who is one of the best young players in the world and has the quality to make a huge impact in the future.
Both players have been tracked by a number of clubs in the past but if Arsenal can sign one of them, then it could be a superb signing for the Gunners and Wenger should try his best to lure players of the highest quality to the Emirates.