Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cahill deal close? - Gervinho ready for Arsenal - Cesc's farewell gifts

Morning Gooners.

The transfer kitty purse strings have been unfastened and Arsene Wenger has dipped in and taken £1million out to sign Charlton defender Carl Jenkinson who officially becomes our first summer signing. It's quite a rise up the football league ladder as Jenkinson was on loan briefly with Conference side Eastbourne Borough last season before returning to League One and playing nine games for the south London side.

A self confessed Gooner, at 19-years-old he is highly rated and comes to the club at just the right time in his career for Arsene Wenger to shape him as a player.  As a home grown player, he'll provide us with options in the future.

I know Jenkinson isn't the player who will set heart rates pumping harder, a glamour signing, but it's good to see that Arsenal are active in the market. Whilst Gooners are seeing Jordan Henderson move to Liverpool and Phil Jones decide Manchester United is the place to play his football, both those players have cost a crazy amount of money.

Arsenal had a bid accepted by Blackburn for Jones, around the £18million mark and Arsene Wenger spoke with the player. But he chose to stay in the north west and sign for Manchester United. That is no reflection on Arsene Wenger's ability to attract players to the club but it is an issue with where the club is right now.  And to be perfectly honest, I don't believe we needed Jones, a young up and coming central defender who spent most of last season playing in midfield. We need experience and someone who has played a lot of games for their club (possibly country as well) to come into the team and be a player who will challenge those men we've already got for a starting spot in the team. We've got up and coming players by the bucket load, would adding Jones to that mix put us in a better position where we would be achieving our goals next season? I don't think so.

What signing of Jenkinson and the near miss with Jones has proved is that Arsene Wenger is already busy looking at signings. As Liam Brady said on TalkSport yesterday, as a club we'll be busy in the transfer market this summer.

The Daily Mirror link us with moves for Gary Cahill and Christopher Samba, which are two names we were constantly linked with pretty much for the whole of last season. I think Cahill is our first choice target but I don't believe we'll match Bolton's £17million asking price for a player in the final year of his contract.

Another player who has one year less on his deal is Gervinho, the Ivory Coast forward currently with French side Lille. He's told Sky Sports he sees his future in the Premier League

He said:
"My mind is made up, I am leaving.
"I have made my mind up. I will soon meet the club and let them know, but they understand my feelings that I want to prove myself in a top league in Europe.
"My agents are moving things as I want, people know where my future lies, it is in England."
His agents made it known in Africa that Arsenal were his intended destination. So it's a case of waiting to see if that deal actually goes through. I wouldn't expect it to happen today, with Arsene Wenger working for French television tonight, but the coming days see his schedule free up and the signings will start to happen.

One player we had looked at but weren't that interested in was Brad Friedel, who the Daily Mail claim we loss out to Spurs in signing. While we are certainly looking for a goalkeeper, the deal to sign Friedel took place quite a while ago and we were never involved in that race.

Russia boss Dick Advocaat thinks we should be getting more out of Andrey Arshavin. Whilst England under-21s will have to do without the services of Kieran Gibbs who has pulled out of the squad for the European under-21 Championships through injury. I really hope Gibbs' luck changes soon. He'd be an excellent player if only he could stay fit. The Daily Express tell us about Cesc Fabregas' parting gifts to the rest of the squad and say Barca aren't prepared to meet our valuation of the player.

Congratulations must go to Benik Afobe, Chuks Aneke and Oguzhan Ozyakup who were all rewarded for their fine efforts last season with contract extensions at the club.

Robin van Persie was playing for Holland last night and was lucky not to have his leg broken.

And finally, it appears the official site is up to its normal tricks again after the ill-fated "Transfer Linked" section last summer, they've come up with a new feature: "Media Watch". It's sure to go down well and be a roaring success.

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