Today’s article is mainly focusing on three Arsenal transfer rumours about former Gunners who may (probably not) be on their way back to the Emirates.
It is no secret that since moving to La Liga for £15 million last summer Alex Song has so far failed to establish himself as a regular in the Barcelona team under Tito Vilanova. In fact, Song has only started 10 of Barca’s 29 league games this season, compared to 34 for Arsenal last season.
The Daily Express were quick to point that Song was named the second worst signing of 2012 after Luka Modric in a poll that was taken by Marca. He has put in a number of lacklustre performances and has failed to win over the hearts of the Barca fans. The suggestion is that Song could be willing to call it quits after just one season and will be available for around £12.7 million, with the obvious move being back to North London.
Even though I think that Mikel Arteta has had a great season, he is not an out-and-out defensive midfielder and doesn’t offer enough cover for our back four. That said, I do not think bringing Alex Song back to the Emirates is the right move. He wasn’t great at fulfilling his defensive duties at Arsenal and we can get a much better defensive midfielder if we look in the right places. Unfortunately for him, he could very possibly go the same way as Alex Hleb.
Sticking with Barcelona, we now turn our attention to our beloved former captain Cesc Fabregas, who was left out of the Barcelona starting XI for their Champions League game against Paris Saint Germain. Cesc did get to play the entire second half, but you wonder whether he would have been on if Messi hadn’t gone off injured.
To be fair to Fabregas, being stuck on the bench is not particularly related to his performances, but more due to the fact that Barca have some other central midfield players called Xavi and Iniesta. He also has Thiago Alcantara hot on his heels.
Having watched him develop into one of the most outstanding young midfield players I have seen, it seems somewhat unjust that a player of Cesc’s quality should be allowed to sit on the bench for an extended period of time. While he does get plenty of game-time, he doesn’t always start in the big games.
Cesc revealed last month that Barcelona fans are expecting a lot from him because of what he achieved at Arsenal. However unlike at Arsenal, the Barca team has not been created around him. He is a highly ambitious player and you wonder if, in a few seasons, he might decide to reconsider his options. He has talked in the past about possibly returning to Arsenal later in his career and Arsene Wenger has made it very clear that the door is always open. While this would seem to be an unlikely transfer in the near future, there is no way of ruling it out in a few years time if Cesc fails to really establish himself in Spain.
We now go from a player we love to a player that most of us now hate. Samir Nasri has hardly done much in the last year and a half to ingratiate himself with Arsenal fans, and has now revealed that he left the club because Stan Kroenke wanted the money from the transfer fee.
Nasri told beIN Sport:
“Wenger told me that, if Cesc left, I would stay, but Kroenke wanted the money. The coach told me we’ll only take Gervinho, Cesc was already gone. I had only one year left so I decided to leave.”
“Arsene Wenger is the greatest coach I have worked with. He is the one who understands me the most, he made me realise my potential.
“I am grateful to him for the role he played in my career. I only regret not having more discussions with him when I left.”
As far as I am concerned, what Samir seems to be suggesting about Kroenke is slightly unfair. Nasri only had one year left on his contract, so I think that I would do exactly the same in Kroenke’s position. We weren’t really given any choice. Nasri had spent the whole summer flirting with other clubs and made it quite clear that he didn’t want to stay. He had no intention of signing a new contract so the £25 million or so that we received for him was actually pretty good business.
With signs of a spat with Roberto Mancini, and given the comments about he has made about Wenger, some of the bookies have cut the odds on Nasri to be an Arsenal player next season. However, by his own admission has not exactly had his best season; he has shown only flashes of the form he had in the first half of his final season with Arsenal. Arsenal fans don’t want him and the club won’t pay his ridiculous wages. Apart from that, it looks like a sure thing.
Team news ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against West Brom will be out this morning, along with anything else interesting that comes from Wenger’s press conference.