As usual, lets get through the updates for those that I’ve done.
The Cesc Fabregas deal looks increasingly likely to go through sooner rather than later, if the rumours are to be correct. His latest comments are here. I’m not sure what to make of it other than being defeatist about our chances of keeping him. It’s obvious that Barcelona are not going to push past the £40 million mark and Arsenal might just settle for something in the region of £35 million.
There’s no doubt that if it happens, we are going to lose one of the best players in the world who is at an age where he could still improve. No matter how scary that thought is, there’s a flip side to things. Like Thierry Henry in the past, Fabregas’ presence in the team somewhat inhibits the rest of the team. Letting him go at the right price might reinvigorate the entire team and allow other stalwarts to come through. I only hope that this time, a few would take over the responsibility rather than a single player.
As for Gael Clichy, the future is looking blue for him. Not entirely in the bad sense of the way but more towards the attire sense. Apparently, Manchester City will be sending some more of their millions to our direction as their seek to find a left back significantly better than Alexander Kolarov. While he will have a few friends there, the quoted price of £7 million must be an undervaluation. If City comes into view for him, I’m sure Ivan Gazidis can inflate the price to double that value.
Then we come to the possible future of Samir Nasri. Unlike Clichy, Nasri could very well retain his shirt colours for another couple more seasons if Alex Ferguson‘s powers of convincing are any good. The £20 million there would represent the best value we can get out of selling Nasri. From where I stand, I’m definitely against the idea of selling our major assets to direct competitions but the sale of Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy would raise some serious cash and the problem might start for Arsene Wenger himself. In all likelihood, we would all start to demand for marquee signings with that kind of cash available.
Moving on swiftly to the main topic of discussion for today which is Gary Cahill. He is a former Aston Villa trainee who left the Midlands club in search of first team football. Bolton were the benefactor as they took the gamble on an unproven English centreback. The marriage proved to be a successful one as Cahill went from strength to strength and developed himself into one of the names that comes up regularly on England squad sheets.
If I would liken Cahill to another English defender, it would be Tony Adams. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Cahill is as good or potentially will be as good as Mr Arsenal. The reference is more to the style of play. Cahill can be very physical but can also mix it up with good ball playing skills. He is also not adverse to trying to bring the ball out from the back himself. Consider it a poor man’s Adams if you like.
At just 26 years of age, Cahill would represent a good investment on Arsenal’s part. No need to wait for him to mature but probably a fine tune of his attributes here and there. From what I’ve seen, he would have no problems settling into the Arsenal style of play. What concerns Wenger is probably the price that we have to pay to procure his services. The release clause of £17 million is not a small sum by any means but it is almost similar to the price Manchester United paid to get Phil Jones. Add to that, with Cahill’s physique, he would help a lot with our set-piece woes and it is easy to understand the penchant to go for him.
As with the Christopher Samba’s case, this is a potential transfer which has to take in account the rest of the existing squad. Where does Cahill fit in, it at all? Would he be satisfied to play second fiddle to a first team pairing of Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny? Or would Wenger go into this with the idea of putting Cahill as first choice? More question than answers really.