It has only been a couple of days since we lost to Bolton. The match that probably signalled the end of Arsenal’s title challenge. We are still a good month away from the end of the season and the start of the transfer window. Yet, there has already been a couple of article I saw on mainstream media depicting the transfers which Arsene Wenger should go for in the summer.
Before we go to that, there’s two players whose contracts are up for renewal in the summer. The two in question are Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy. I’m a firm believer that any contract should be sorted out in the off season. I won’t accept that any player who are committed can play worse just because of on-going/stalled/broken-down contract talks. These are professionals and we do not need to remind them of their responsibilities once they step over the white line.
Another reason I bring up the earlier link is because we are being linked to another fullback. Carl Jenkinson‘s name has been bandied around for quite some time now. The youngster has put in some good performances for Charlton this year and I’m sure is linked because of the number of Arsenal scouts usually seen at The Valley. In today’s market, the £1 million being touted can be considered a small amount for a good talent. At only 19 years of age, he is quite tall, just over 6 feet.
Is this the end of Emmanuel Eboue’s time at Arsenal? Jenkinson is an English talent who nominally plays in the right back position. With Bacary Sagna as the undoubted first choice in that position, is Jenkinson being looked at the back-up to the French international. If that is the case, Eboue’s future at Arsenal does look bleak. His latest error in gifting a last minute penalty to Liverpool looks to have made up Wenger’s mind. That being said, the Ivorian has not played that much season and that itself is a clear indication of his values to Wenger.
Meanwhile, Johan Djourou has commented on how good this season has been for him on a personal level. There is really no argument to that. Though, to be honest, when I saw him play for us at Stamford Bridge in 2007 and came away without conceding a goal, I can already see him becoming a major player for us. Injuries has blighted his career thus far but his 34 appearances this season is already much better than the 30 games he mustered back in 2007. Djourou has been a commanding presence in defence and his built has won him lots of headers.
Despite that and the fact that we still have Thomas Vermaelen to come back, there are still rumours that we could still be in for a couple more in the summer. Phil Jones is one of those names. We could face some competition for that particular signature. Jones has been played more in midfield this season at Blakburn but we all know that he is more of a centreback. Playing in midfield has shown that he is also capable of good touches and distribution of the ball.
Unless we are going to see the departure of Sebastien Squillaci, I cannot see Jones joining us. Lest we forget, we still have another young English centreback in Kyle Bartley who will surely challenge for a place in the first team next season. But if it’s up to me, I don’t mind seeing the back of Squillaci for the arrival of Jones.
Plenty to think about. More tomorrow.