It is not long now, Arsenal fans, until the Gunners are back in the action. In four weeks time, we will already have had the Emirates Cup, with games against Benfica and AS Monaco at the Emirates stadium. Then Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal team to Wembley for the Community Shield against Man City before the real serious business begins the following week with the visit of Crystal Palace. And I cannot wait.
I am sure that I was not the only Arsenal fan to be surprised when the starting line-ups were announced for last night’s World Cup quarter-final between France and Germany, because instead of five Gunners, only Mesut Ozil started the game.
The biggest surprise was the fact that Joachim Low had dropped Per Mertesacker to go for a defensive pairing of Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, because like at Arsenal, our Big Flaming German seemed to have nailed down a place in the national side. But it was a tactical switch by the German coach, as he was concerned about the pace in the French attack. Maybe something that Arsene Wenger might want to consider against certain teams next season…
I don’t think the Gooners need to be too worried about the latest piece of Arsenal transfer news concerning the Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez. If the rumours about the Gunners offering the 25-year old Chilean a long term contract on around £130,000 a week are true, that is.
Because the Metro has claimed that our Premier League rivals Liverpool have made one final attempt to beat us to the punch by offering Sanchez an even bigger salary of £150,000 a week. This smacks of desperation to me, as the player has apparently chosen Arsenal for other reasons that the money.
I know that we have already been told, apparently, by one player that he would be joining Arsenal this summer, although Serge Aurier’s nod to an Arsenal fan during an Ivory Coast friendly game now seems more like the Ivorian revealing his wish than an actual agreement with the club.
This time, as a Metro report reveals, the transfer target in question, Mathieu Debuchy, actually revealed to a journalist in a coherent sentence that he would be an Arsenal player in the season due to start in just over a month. The 29-year old right back was talking to a French journalist as he left the pitch in Brazil after a Mats Hummels header put Germany into the World Cup semi-finals at the expense of France.
It certainly seems as though one Arsenal target, Mathieu Debuchy, has edged ahead of the player he could be about to replace, Bacary Sagna, at least as far as their international careers go. And that could just prove to be the decisive factor in whether or not the Arsenal transfer rumours linking the Newcastle United man with a move to the Emirates come true or not.
Maybe it is just the way these things go in the media, but the Arsenal transfer rumours a couple of weeks ago were building to a crescendo about Mario Balotelli and it really did appear as if the controversial Italian was going to become an Arsenal player this summer.
Hints from the 23-year old himself, his agent and various figures connected with his Serie A club AC Milan all seemed to support the reports, but then it all collapsed like a souffle taken out of the oven too soon. So was it all just media hype, the sort which seems to happen around players linked with Arsenal during every transfer window?
Things could finally be starting to happen for Arsenal fans in the summer transfer window, as the papers are reporting that the Gunners could soon have too shiny new players among their ranks. As well as Arsenal looking favourites to snap up Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and under the noses of Liverpool, we could be on the verge of getting another star from La Liga.
Oh well, Arsenal fans, this one was always going to be a long shot anyway. There were times in the last few weeks, however, when the Arsenal transfer rumours were giving us hope that the Gunners might be in with a chance of bringing Karim Benzema to the Premier League, but that hope now looks dead in the water.
The France international striker’s first team role at the Spanish club would have been under serious threat if the Liverpool and Uruguayan head case that is Luis Suarez had completed his transfer to the Bernabeu, but once it became clear that he preferred their La Liga rivals Barcelona, Benzema’s position was safe.
There is little doubt that signing Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid would be a great transfer move by Arsenal, and it seems that the Argentina international would be keen on a move to the Premier League as well. But just because the Gunners smashed the club transfer record last summer to bring Di Mari’s former Real Madrid team mate Mesut Ozil to London, it does not mean that Arsene Wenger has lost his reluctance to spend wildly.
There is a good chance, I hope, that Arsenal will keep their club captain and versatile defender Thomas Vermaelen this season after all. The Belgium international has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, but there is nothing to stop Arsene Wenger blocking the move, although that would mean losing Vermaelen next summer for nothing.
Even so, Arsenal do not want to let a quality player like him go for peanuts, so the measly £6 million that the Old Trafford club have offered, according to a report in The Mirror, makes Wenger’s answer a simple one. Non merci. Apparently the Gunners have told United to double it, and then we will talk. And the way that United have been throwing money around lately, there is no way that they will be able to haggle with the Prof.
It almost seems at times that Arsene Wenger is punishing the Arsenal fans for daring to doubt his wisdom. Of course, in the first half of his long reign as Arsenal manager, there was no need to doubt the man dubbed as the professor, because trophies rained down on north London like cats and dogs.
Even in the barren years after the money was used to build the state of the art Emirates stadium, the Gunners were punching above their financial weight, reaching a Champions League final and staying in the competition every year. But patience among Gunners has been wearing thin in the last few seasons and without the FA cup win in May, it would have got worse.
Although the Arsenal boss was spotted on the beach in Brazil the other day enjoying a spot of head tennis and keepy-uppy, I think that his favourite hobbies could involve chinese water torture and watching grass grow, because the Frenchman seems to have limitless patience in the transfer market and seems to love making the Arsenal fans suffer.
Maybe I am just getting cranky and impatient in my old age, but this summer transfer window is driving me mad already and it is not even July yet. I don’t think I can take anymore and I might go for a long walk and get back just in time for the start of the Premier League season. You never know, Arsenal might have signed someone by then, but will it be Alexis Sanchez?