Sunday, 5 December 2010

Vermaelen given Chelsea return date - £8 million Spanish defender targeted - Southampton midfielder watched - Gooner's "furious"?

Morning Gooners.

Great result yesterday. The performance wasn't pretty at times but it's the three points which will count at the end of the season.

And there appears to be some more good news for us Gooners this morning.

Thomas Vermaelen could make his long awaited return from injury in Arsenal's clash with Chelsea on the Monday after Christmas according to the Sunday Mirror.

Their writer Steve Stammers has been told that the Belgium centre half has been penciled in for a first team come back against the league champions at the Grove.

This is obviously very welcome news given the injury to Laurent Koscielny yesterday. It leaves us with just two fit and experienced recognised central defenders.

The Chelsea game is still 23 days away so a lot can happen between now and then. And considering Vermaelen has suffered several set backs, I'm not planning on getting my hopes up until I see him named on the team sheet.

But what a huge boost it will be to have him back.

I still believe the manager will go out and sign another central defender. As I'm sure we can all agree, that area of the pitch isn't over following numbers wise.

Another defender Arsene Wenger likes the look of is Osasuna left-back Monreal, according to The People.

The newspaper believes we're prepared to pay £8 million for the 24-year-old who has 16 months left on his contract.

I'm not sure how believable this story is considering the options we have at left back. 

And if Arsene Wenger really rates Kieran Gibbs as highly as he says he does, he won't want to put another international in front of him to block his progress to the first team.

However Gibbs is yet to dislodge Gael Clichy and until he does, won't get a run of games in the first team.

Elsewhere, the News of the World (paywall) report Arsenal's chief scout Steve Rowley has been watching Southampton midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The 17-year-old is an England Under-18 player and has scored four league goals in his first season as a professional.

And finally, it appears The People's Tom Hopkinson is a deluded Tottenham fan.

In the piece he wrote about who Marouane Chamakh said was his toughest opponent to date - which the Moroccan said was William Gallas - he includes the line:
"Arsenal fans were furious when former skipper Gallas defected to Tottenham in the summer."
Now yes, we all agree Gallas was a good defender, but I don't know one Gooner who was "furious" that Gallas left for a smaller club down the road.

If you are a "furious" Gooner, I'd love to hear from you.

In fact, I know several Gooners who would quite happily driven Gallas as far away from the Grove and London Colney as possible. I'm certainly one of those who believe as good a defender as he was, his presence wasn't good for team cohesion.

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