Friday, 20 May 2011

Denilson quits - Nasri hints at staying - £9m Ivorian winger linked

Morning Gooners.

Well the Arsenal players certainly had a ball last night.... They help raised thousands last night for the club's charity of the season Centrepoint.

First up, respect to both Bacary Sagna and Abou Diaby who gave £35k each to sponsor mental health officers for a year. In a time when are players are criticised very easily, I have nothing but respect for these two. They didn't have to do it - and I know it's a drop in the ocean for two players who are probably easily earning £3m a season - but they put their hands in their pockets and donated the cash.

I think the other big news from last night was that Samir Nasri entered a bidding war with Jack Wilshere for Rhianna tickets. But then made a hint that he could be staying with Arsenal next season - and hopefully renewing his contract - when he bid and won a meet and greet X-Factor UK experience along with tickets to the show.

One player who won't be at next season's charity ball or the club if his wish comes true is Denilson. He's told Arsene Wenger he wants to leave the club and the manager has told him the club won't stand in his way if a good fee is offered.

There is an in depth interview with the Brazilian in The Sun.

In a shorter piece published on The Sun's website he said:
"This has been the worst season of my life and I am so upset, so frustrated. I am a winner and I came here to win trophies but I've been here for five years and won nothing. 

"A footballer's career is over very quickly so it is time for me to move on. This is not a sudden decision. I made up my mind eight months ago. 
"I was fed up of coming home and feeling down. But I haven't said anything until now because I did not want to disrupt the team during the season. And I haven't caused a big scene."

There aren't many things I can take issue with in the interview but the bit about him being a winner for me doesn't ring true. IF he was a winner, he would have tracked back and fought Wayne Rooney for the ball in the league at the Grove last season. He wouldn't have just gone through the motions at West Brom(A) earlier this season.

He saw the writing on the wall eight months ago when Jack Wilshere over took him in the pecking order and was given his place in the starting 11. He's not fought hard enough for his place in the team for my liking.

I've stood up for him before. I think he's a decent player - not a world beater by any means - but he's decent back up. However his desire can be seriously questioned by the way he performs on the pitch and at the training ground.

I wish him luck and hope he finds himself a club that suits his level. If we get a decent transfer fee for him, even better.

The manager held his pre-match press conference yesterday ahead of Sunday's trip to Fulham.

As expected, Wenger was asked about the future of Cesc Fabregas. The Frenchman said he expected Cesc to be an Arsenal player next season - however that didn't mean he wouldn't have to fight to keep him.

He said:

"I expect him to be here and I will fight very hard to keep him here. You always have to fight when you have a player of that quality, you must always fight to keep your players, of course.
"What guarantees you that if you go somewhere else you will win trophies? The biggest pride for a captain is to be committed to his club and deliver trophies with his team.
"A player who changes his club every time he is frustrated or when he doesn’t win a trophy, goes nowhere. I believe the quality of sports life is to be committed to his club and not just to move out when it does not go as well as you expected.
"Cesc Fabregas played 22 games this season out of 38 and we expect him to play between 30 and 38. That will make a huge difference to our efficiency as well."

The manager is making it quite clear that he's expected more from Cesc in the last nine months. I don't think we've seen him at his very best this term, but playing last summer in the World Cup didn't help him with a late return to pre-season, therefore missing games at the start of this season.

Personally I think Cesc will be at the club next season. I can't see Wenger backing down and for all the talk of a deal which would allow the player to leave being made last summer, I don't think Wenger works like that.

The transfer stories have already begun. Daily Star say we've put a £60m price tag on our captain to warn off potential suitors. Whilst the Daily Mail says it will be May 29 - the day after the Champions League final - that Barcelona make their opening bid for the Spaniard.

Wenger has stated that we want to keep our best players. And what kind of message would it be if we sold our captain for anything less than we valued him at? Arsenal can't fight tooth and nail one summer to keep Cesc and then let him go for £30m the next. Anyway, I'm sure it won't be a quiet summer on the Fabregas front.

At the press conference the manager revealed Jack Wilshere had made the final cut for the England under-21 squad which would head to Denmark this summer to play in the European under-21 championships.

Whilst not unexpected, this really has annoyed me. Watching Wilshere in recent games, to me he's a player who looks like he could do with a rest. He's not been performing at his best and after a first full season in the Premier League should be heading on holiday next week. Instead he'll have to continue training until well into June until England either win the thing or get knocked out.

I can only hope that Arsene Wenger sticks to his guns and makes Wilshere unavailable for the England senior side for their games in August and September, even if that means he's unavailable for us. We need a Jack Wilshere who is fully fit and will last until the end of the season. Not giving him a break is not an option. Nor is him not getting a full pre-season under his belt. Something has got to give and I hope Wenger ensures it's not Wilshere's health which is compromised by Stuart Pearce's mindless decision to select him.

A couple of transfer rumours. We're linked with Lille's Ivorian winger Gervinho - who's rated at £9m - in the Daily Express along with Blackburn defenders Phil Jones and Grant Hanley. Southampton duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Luke Shaw are also linked.

Whilst the Daily Mirror say that after we've signed Jon Toral from the Barcelona academy, we're going back for fellow 16-year-old Hector Bellerin.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

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