Let’s start with the obvious. Gael Clichy has moved on from Arsenal Football Club. His departure was confirmed yesterday and Manchester City are his current employers. That concludes his 8 years association with us and he becomes the last of the Invincibles to leave the club.Any player that joins a new club will have a certain PR to follow and that is exactly what was depicted in his first interview after the transfer. There’s nothing really to judge from there. It could be his words or something that the City folks have asked him to speak about. What we need to remember is the years of good service that Clichy himself have provided to Arsenal.
He was our first choice left back. Now, the situation points towards a promotion for Kieran Gibbs to a starting role. The kid has no luck the past few seasons with various injuries hampering his progress. His talent is visible to everyone as is proven with Fabio Capello calling him up for the full England squad. After that, would be the likes of Armand Traore or Pedro Botelho (provided his work permit is approved). Those names are unlikely to provide comfort to Gooners around the world. Hopefully, Arsene Wenger will go into the market for the a direct replacement or someone with relative experience as the back-up to Gibbs.
Most of the team returned for their first training session yesterday. Of those, several others might be staring at the Clichy route, meaning an exit out of the club. Chief among those will of course be club captain Cesc Fabregas. I do not think that there’s anything to look into his return to training. Barcelona are primed to return with a revised bid but there’s haggling over the price, now that the Spanish champions are looking to pay less cash by taking into the consideration, the small price which Arsenal paid for Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral.
This is not helped by the fact that the player who mirrors him in many ways and could be a direct replacement (position-wise), is also looking for greener pastures away from Arsenal. Over the weekend, the internet was rife with news of Samir Nasri potentially joining Clichy at City. The transfer fee might be minimal but the weekly wage rumoured was staggering. £180,000/week is huge and it is hard to fault a player who turns his head towards that. Even if Arsenal do break their wage structure, that particular range would still be far greater than ours.
Today’s update also see murmurs of Wenger willing to settle for £25 million for Nasri’s service. That would represent really good value for a player in the last year of his contract. However, it should never be in favour of strengthening a direct competition in the league. If Nasri cannot be persuaded to stay, then he should be sold abroad. This all came after Nasri broke his silence about this and stated that that he wants to win the Ballon D’Or. Nothing in that statement says that he want to win it while at another club, so let’s assume so until we hear otherwise.
With all the rumours about Gervinho coming in, Nicklas Bendtner looks to be the striker that will be heading out. Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Benfica are the touted possible destination. The problem with this transfer is probably the price. £12 is what Arsenal are looking to recoup for the development of Denmark’s first choice striker. While he does look the likeliest to leave, Bendtner’s problem is not because he is not good enough. But rather, is a victim of the formation and/or tactics which Wenger is currently employing.
A 2 striker system would suit Bendtner. Unfortunately, with the existing 1 striker system, Wenger has found it hard to accommodate the striker. Constantly being put out on the wings when he lacks the natural pace to succeed, it should never have been the yardstick to measure his contribution to the club. Lest we all forget, he was absolutely instrumental last season when being asked to play the pivot point of our attack. Perhaps it is best for both parties to see this transfer eventually happen. Bendtner needs to progress and play constantly but that is something which Arsenal cannot provide.
There are other Arsenal players who are also linked with moves away from the club. I stressed that at this moment, all these are still rumours with nothing concrete. Villareal wants Denilson but his agent is saying that the Brazilian might stay with us. Chelsea are looking at Manchester City for example and wants to weaken us further by going for Theo Walcott. This I can confirmed, to be forever a rumour. Galatasary wants Andrey Arshavin. Not sure the Russian’s high demand will suit that move. The other 2 players who has come out with intent to stay either directly or via their agents are Tomas Rosicky and Carlos Vela. There’s plenty of time between now and the end of the transfer window and I wouldn’t be surprised one or more of those are used as leverage in deals. Time is also something which Wenger thinks we have.