1) Scott Parker
Speaking to the press following England’s 2-2 draw with Switzerland, Scott Parker made it clear that he will be leaving Upton Park this season and will rejoin the Premier League. Despite winning the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award, Parker was unable to stop West Ham being relegated to the Championship. Parker told reporters that he will be looking to hold talks with new West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, in order to negotiate a move away from the club that he joined in a £7 million deal from Newcastle in 2007. It is thought that he feels that he must be playing regular Premier League football if he wishes to retain his place in Fabio Capello’s England squad ahead of the Euro’s next summer.
“Oh yeah, for sure. That’s where everyone wants to play, in the Premier League, and I’m no different. I’m sure he [Allarydce] will give me a call and we’ll go through things.”
2) Paul Merson
Paul Merson has stated that Arsène Wenger needs to sign top-class players who have experience in the Premier League, believing that Scott Parker represents one of the best opportunities for Wenger to bring in a player with the ability to help end the club’s trophy drought.
Speaking to The Sun this week, Merson had nothing but praise for the West Ham captain:
“He [Scott Parker] was the best midfield player in the country last season. Arsenal need to buy players who are going to perform now, not in two or three years because really they haven’t got two or three years to spare.
“He might be 30 but you know in the next two years he’s going to bring a trophy to Arsenal because of his energy. He’d also help bring along Jack Wilshere too.
“That’s the kind of player who I’d be looking at. He would come in and hit the ground running and it won’t be, ‘Oh well, next year he’ll be better’. Arsenal don’t have next year.”
Merson also made it clear that Arsenal need players who are able to perform from day one, rather than players who take several months to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League. With years of Premier League experience, Parker would therefore seem to be the perfect signing for the club.
“[The club needs] people who are going to come in and settle straight away, not take six or seven or eight months and be thinking they don’t play like this in Holland or Italy or Germany. This is the hardest league in the world.”
3) Steve Rowley
The News of the World are reporting that chief scout Steve Rowley is extremely keen on signing Parker, believing him to have the ball control and ability required to play at Arsenal. Parker was hugely impressive last season and it is no wonder that there are a number of top Premier League clubs interested in bringing him back to England’s top-flight. Despite this, Rowley is thought to be having a tough time convincing Arsène Wenger that Parker is the right player to bring to the Emirates.
4) Arsène Wenger
The News of the World is also reporting that, despite the interest expressed by Steve Rowley, Arsène Wenger remains unconvinced that Parker would fit in to Arsenal’s style of play. Parker’s age is also an important factor, as Wenger is normally quite reluctant to offer long-term contracts to player over the age of 30. It is thought that Le Boss has asked Rowley to focus on scouting players from South America and France. However, this goes against everything reported by other newspapers over the last few weeks – with suggestions that Wenger has expressed an interest in Parker.
5) Straight Talking Gooners
At Straight Talking Gooners we don’t really know how this transfer is going to play out. Parker clearly wants a move back to the Premier League, and has the ability to play for one of the top clubs, but there have been mixed reports in the press and it is impossible to know how Arsène Wenger really feels about bringing him to the club.
In my opinion, Parker would be a great signing because he has years of Premier League experience and would be relatively cheap (around £10 million) compared to some of the other midfielders that we have been linked with. However, it is extremely unlikely that this transfer would be concluded any time soon. If a deal is to be done, don’t expect to hear about it until the end of the summer.