Friday, 23 August 2013

Flamini to sign -Wenger keen on £60m pair -Sanga's mission -Podolski off?

Morning Gooners.

So Arsene Wenger's shopping spree is underway and who is the first player he's going to sign... free agent Mathieu Flamini. The Guardian report the Frenchman could come into contention to be part of the squad to face Fulham if the paperwork on his deal to rejoin the club is completed with the Premier League and Football Association by midday.

Clearly a 29-year-old Flamini is not the player we lost to AC Milan in 2008. But I'm sure he'll do a job for us. And he offers an improvement to the back up we currently have in midfield... virtually no one.

The players who will add some sparkle to our current line up are the likes of Real Madrid pair Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria. With the deal to sign Gareth Bale virtually complete, the Spanish club need to balance their books and could be tempted to part with the pair.

We're still being linked with Yohan Cabaye but I can't see that deal happening if we sign Flamini. Then there is also Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia and Valencia keeper Vicente Guaita, who are both targets according to the Daily Mirror.

Someone who might be on their way out of the club is Lukas Podolski who is interesting the likes of Schalke, Wolfsburg and Galatasaray.

There has been a lot of smoke around Podolski since the end of last season. He's yet to start a game this season after enjoying some good form in pre-season. But I'm not convinced he's part of Arsene Wenger's plans.

Of course it would be madness to get rid of someone of his experience unless we sign replacements for him.

Meanwhile there is good news on the Laurent Koscielny front as the defender should be fit to take part in the north London derby a week on Sunday after taking a kick to the head in Wednesday night's game.

Koscielny is of course suspended for tomorrow's match against Fulham after being sent off in last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa. He is unlikely to play a part in the return leg of the Champions League play-off against Fenerbahce on Tuesday.

Bacary Sagna has said he's ready to play his part for the team and play at centre half in the long term.

The Frenchman said:

"I enjoy playing at centre-half and will play in any position for my team. Maybe in the future I will play there. 
"I am not the tallest, so I try to position myself as well as I can and to stay awake. I communicate all of the time and as long as we communicate it makes it easier. 
"I enjoy centre-back because, first of all, you run less; but you have to stay focused mentally all the time and stay strong because it’s all about winning the game. 
"I still need to improve if I am to play there again but it was great because we didn’t concede any goals (at Fenerbahce) and for defenders that is the most important thing. 
"I might be playing centre-back at Fulham because we have injuries and Laurent (Koscielny) is suspended. I will do my best and try to win three points."

Every time Sagna has played at the heart of the defence he's always given a good account of himself. I was very impressed with his man of the match performance at Sunderland away last season when he had to deputise for Koscielny after his countryman picked up an injury during the warm up.

I'm glad the manager didn't decide to sell Sagna during the summer as he is still the best right back at the club. And I hope his performances this season see him rewarded with a new deal.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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