Arsenal Transfer News: Is Ibrahim Afellay a Possible Target for Arsene Wenger?

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIJuly 19, 2012

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 30:  Ibrahim Afellay (#20) of Netherlands celebrates after he scores the first goal of the game during the International Friendly between the Netherlands and Slovakia at De Kuip Stadion on May 30, 2012 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay could be set for a move away from the Nou Camp over the summer transfer window—potentially opening up the door for Arsenal, who are rumored to be interested in the Dutch international.

Afellay had returned early from his holiday to discuss his future at Barcelona with new manager Tito Vilanova, but after being told he is likely to be nothing more than a squad player for next season, could well look for another club. 

Per El Mundo Deportivo (h/t Talksport):

Liverpool and Arsenal target Ibrahim Afellay is considering his future after Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova informed the winger he would have a peripheral role at the Nou Camp next season.

The Dutchman has ruled out a switch to French club Lille as he is mindful of interest from Arsenal and Inter Milan.

Afellay's career at Barcelona has been severely hampered since his arrival in January last season—starting just eight matches in a year-and-a-half of football—and is understandably on the outs at the club.

As a result, I cannot see Arsenal pursuing Afellay for the upcoming English Premier League season and cannot see him having an significance at the Emirates.

He would be nothing more than a squad player at Arsenal—just like Barcelona—and if he is wanting regular minutes on the pitch, he might be better off to try his luck at either Liverpool or Inter Milan, who have had several interesting developments throughout the transfer window.

The winger could potentially be a replacement for Theo Walcott should the English international leave the club, but with better players available, Arsenal simply do not need Afellay—regardless of how inexpensive he might be to Arsene Wenger.

After all, Arsenal already have one attacking player plagued by injury. They definitely don't need another—especially when it's a 26-year-old winger seemingly stalling in his career.

Call me crazy, but I think Arsene Wenger gives this one a pass.

Ibrahim Afellay isn't coming to the Emirates...is he?

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