Despite the fact that Juventus are seemingly leading the chase, Twitter is buzzing with rumours that Barcelona are preparing to offer David Villa to Arsenal as part of a cash + player exchange deal in an attempt to hijack a move for Robin van Persie.
Reports in Spain over the last few days suggest that Barca are looking to sell Villa in order to finance a move for our captain. However, it is now thought that they may attempt to cut out the middle step by offering the the Spaniard (along with £13 million) directly to Arsenal. Arsène Wenger has been linked with a move for Spaniard in the past; it was reported last year that Villa turned down the opportunity to play for Arsenal before he moved to Barcelona in 2010. Below, however, I will outline several problems with this potential transfer:
1) Twitter is a notoriously unreliable source of information. News on Barca selling Villa to fund a move for RvP is in the newspapers, but there is very little to suggest that Villa will be offered to Arsenal.
2) Villa’s time at the Nou Camp has been hugely disrupted by a series of injuries, so he has not really shown his true potential over the last two seasons. The 30-year-old broke his tibia at the Club World Cup in December, but is nearing a return to full fitness. In my opinion, herein lies the main problem. Arsenal would be trading one injury-prone striker for another, slightly older striker who has not played a competitive match for more than 6 months. An in-form David Villa is a pleasure to watch, but he is definitely not a viable long-term replacement for RvP.
3) As mentioned above, Villa is 30 years old. It is very rare that Arsène Wenger will offer long-term contracts to players who are past their prime and it makes no sense to replace our captain with somebody who is 2 years older.
4) Arsenal will not pay his wages. Unless Villa is willing to take a serious pay-cut, there is very little chance that he will reach an agreement to move to North London.
As far as I am concerned, Robin should be allowed to leave. The Dutchman averaged 22 Premier League appearances per season in his first 7 years at Arsenal because he was always out with some ridiculous injury. One fantastic season does not give him the right to dictate what goes on at the club; Arsenal is bigger than one player and we will learn to move forward without him.
Podolski and Giroud are good signings, but there is no doubt that we will have to sign another striker to replace van Persie. Villa’s record speaks for itself. He is the Spain’s all-time top goalscorer (with 51 goals in 82 games) and has scored 130 La Liga goals since he joined Valencia in 2005 (an average of 18 a season). However, I do not think that he is the right man for Arsenal. Robert Lewandowski is just one of the players who could be a much better alternative.