Thursday, 19 August 2010

Squillaci to sign? Narsi crocked, Cesc lurgy free, Seaman on Schwarzer, Grove pre-match party

Morning Gooners.

It appears we could be about to sign a defender, which would certainly be welcome news, if two of our esteemed national newspapers are to be believed.

Both the Daily Mirror and The Guardian link us with the signature of Sebastien Squillaci, a French international defender with 20 caps to his name. 

I'll be honest I know little about Squillaci other than what I've read, but from what FIFA say about him in his profile he sounds like he could be a decent signing.

A French international, who represented his country once at the World Cup in South Africa in their opening game against the host nation, Squillaci's played mainly in France before moving to Spain to play with Seville.

He was due to play last night for his club in their Champions League qualifier with Braga but was pulled from their squad, so as not to cup tie him.

If true, it's good that Arsene has started to make moves within the transfer market to sign a defender. Squillaci has played in the Champions League and got to the final with Monaco beating Chelsea and Real Madrid on their way. He seems to have all the right characteristics and ticks many of the boxes us Gooners have suggested we're currently missing in the centre of defence.

And at 30, he's not a rookie. He's an experienced professional who would undoubtedly add something to our squad. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out whether this one is a goer.

This morning's other main news is the injury to Samir Nasri. If all goes to plan with his recovery from surgery he'll only miss five games. It's such a shame our main player who was showing excellent pre-season form is now out. Lets hope he comes back even stronger and determined than ever.

One player who looks set to return to this week's squad is Cesc Fabregas. He missed the Liverpool game because he was sick, so baring a return of the lurgy he should play some part against Blackpool. The Daily Mirror has a bit more on this one.

A man who hopes Cesc might not return in time for the weekend is Blackpool boss Ian Holloway who speaks with The Sun about making sure our match isn't too one sided. I'm personally hoping for a cricket score.

No major rumblings on the goalkeeping front this morning, other than former Gunners great David Seaman talking about Mark Schwarzer. 

"Both Almunia and Fabianski did not end last season well. 
"They both made mistakes in high-profile games that effectively cost them the chance of some silverware. 
"It means if the quality of someone like Mark Schwarzer becomes available, then Arsene needs to look at him. 
"He is a great player, tried and tested and can make saves that win you games. He is a world-class goalkeeper."
It seems one of the reasons this transfer is taking so long to go through is that Mark Hughes is trying to find a replacement for Schwarzer.

Whether that could be Shay Given - believed to still be starting on the bench tonight for Manchester City in their Europa League qualifier against Timisoara - is anyone's guess. But their is a general feeling he's looking for a move from the national newspaper journalists.

Whatever happens, it seems though we could have a new keeper by the time the window closes. But sooner rather than later please Arsene!

A line of other transfer news this morning is that the boys down the lane are waiting to find out if they'll be in the Champions League group stages before signing William Gallas.

And finally, get yourself down to the Grove early on Saturday as there are lots of things going on prior to kick off. One of those is the unveiling of the Clock End's new clock.

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