Thursday, 19 May 2011

RVP's new £90k deal - Samba targeted - Bartley wants to leave

Morning Gooners.

It feels strange that in five days time our season will be over and in many ways I'm looking forward to seeing the back of this one. We've come so close in many ways, yet there is a nagging feeling we are still so far away from reaching our goals.

I wonder what the training ground has been like this week. This must be when you can spot the players who are 100% professional all the time and those who are waiting for Sunday 6pm to come as soon as it can so they can get off on their summer holidays.

Arsene Wenger must be thinking about the changes he'll be making in the close season as he prepares the team to face Fulham on Sunday. Which of the players he'll be giving a final run out in their Arsenal careers.

One player who the club want to keep is Robin van Persie, who they are set to offer the same £90k a week salary which they currently pay to Cesc Fabregas to put pen to paper on a new five year deal.

Many fans have expressed the opinion that the Dutchman is a luxuary player we can't afford to have in the team because of his injury issues. But for me, I would rather he be an Arsenal player than not. He's proved his worth this season in the number of goals he's scored which have kept us in the top four. Van Persie and Arshavin are the only two players to score for us on a consistent basis since January.

And he truly is an Arsenal man through and through. The way he talks about the club tells you that. For me it's a no brainer that we'd want to sort out his contract situation as early as we can. We know the situation we are in with Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy. If they don't resign this summer they'll be sold.

We are certainly considering all our options this summer. And whilst we were interested in signing Blackburn's Christopher Samba in January in a cut price deal, we won't go back for him this summer. The Daily Mail think we'll make an offer but I don't see it. The only reason we went for him was because his contract was coming to an end and he'd be a cheap signing who has Premier League experience.

Things didn't work out because Blackburn couldn't signing a replacement in time. Personally, I am very underwhelmed we tried to sign him in the first place. Whilst he may be of adequate standard, I think he'd fall down and be exposed against the very best in the Champions League.

We might seriously have to look at the defence if a rumour I've heard about Kyle Bartley is true. Apparently he's told the club he'd be interested in going back to Rangers next season. Whether that is on loan or as a permanent deal is unclear. Personally I think we'd be very unwise about letting him leave altogether.

Another defender who's agent has been talking is Bacray Sagna. He's told German newspaper Bild that he's not been in contact with Bayern Munich about the Frenchman's availability. If we're renewing players contracts soon, I would put Sagna on the list along with van Persie's name. He's never failed to impress me.

Finally, it appears that Jens Lehmann has a taste for playing again. He's thinking he might play on into next season. I would tell him do it. We've not seen enough of the mad German for my liking. And in any case, how long has Manuel Almunia to recover from injury?

Arsene Wenger is speaking to the media today ahead of Sunday's game. It's the club's Charity Ball for Centre Point tonight so perhaps there might have been some sore heads around the place if it had taken place tomorrow. As always, it will be interesting to see what plans he has for the summer.

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