Thursday, December 23, 2010

Arsenal Transfer Analysis: Arshavin, Bendtner, Squillaci out; Hazard, Suarez, Mertesacker In

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger made it clear that the club will not sign big names because their budget would not permit it. The French tactician is intent on running the club in a profitable way and has done a great job in keeping Arsenal’s status as one of the top European clubs.

In his early years at Arsenal, he did spend some money on players like Thierry Henry but after the move to the Emirates, he has spent more than £10 million on only three players: Andrei Arshavin, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Kosielny. In this article, this is my view why Arsenal can sign big names like Suarez without compensating too much on their policy of not spending much. These transfers could be spread over the January and the summer transfer window and would ensure Arsenal have a strong team for the 2011-12 team.

Luis Suarez: £25 million for Nicklas Bendtner: £12 million

Nicklas Bendtner has been frustrated by the lack of opportunities at the club and might seek for opportunities outside Arsenal. He is currently the third choice striker behind Marouane Chamakh and Robin van Persie and has been linked with Lazio, Ajax and some other clubs. It is likely that Arsene Wenger would let the Danish International leave if the right offer comes his way. At 22, Bendtner needs to play regularly to maintain his place in the Denmark team and will look for a move in January or in the summer.

Luis Suarez is one of the best strikers in the world and is currently plying his trade with Ajax. He is a proven goal scorer and could add a lot to the Gunners. The Uruguayan striker is said to be not happy with the departure of Martin Jol and with the club in financial crisis, they could be forced to sell Suarez if Arsenal come up with a good offer. However, Arsenal could face competition from many other European clubs and the proce might escalate beyond the reach of the Gunners.

In that scenario, Wenger could target some other good strikers like Edin Dzeko and Karim Benzema who could cost them around £25 million.

Eden Hazard: £15 million for Andrei Arshavin: £17 million

The Russian Captain was signed by Arsenal for around £14 million in January 2009 and he has produced some sensational performances for the club. He is one of the more inconsistent players in the squad but has the ability to create opportunities out of nothing. If he is on form, then he could be one of the most devastating players in the world. However, he has been out of form for most parts of this season and with his contract expiring next year, Arsenal should cash in on the Russian if he decides not to renew his contract.

Hazard is one of the best young players in the world and has been tracked by a number of clubs including Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid. The tricky winger could be one of the best in the world in a few years and could be a great addition to the Gunners. He has given a hint that he would prefer to join Arsenal over the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea because of the opportunities given to young players at the Emirates. With the departure of Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Eden Hazard could compete for one of the flanks while Samir Nasri takes his position on the other flank. The Belgian could also be influenced by the presence of Belgium captain Thomas Vermaelen at Arsenal and could receive good guidance from the defender.

Per Mertesacker: £10 million for Sebastien Squillaci: £7 million

Sebastien Squillaci was signed by Arsene Wenger in August for around £5 million to bolster his defensive options as well as provide experience to his side. Squillaci had previously had successful spells at Monaco and Sevilla but had not played for a top European side till he signed for Arsenal at the age of 30. Wenger initially signed him to be the third choice centre back behind Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen but the Belgian defender’s injury has meant Squillaci has been integral to Arsenal this season. However at the age of 30, he is not the answer for their defensive problems and his lack of pace has been exposed on a number of occasions this season.

Per Mertesacker currently plays for Werder Bremen but is said to be considering his future. The tall defender is only 25 but is vastly experienced having represented Germany on 73 occasions. He could help deal with set-pieces of the opposition much better and also offers a goal-scoring threat from the same.

Manuel Almunia: £1 million

Manuel Almunia has been given plenty of opportunities at Arsenal since the departure of Jens Lehmann but has proven to be too inconsistent. It does seem like Wenger’s patience has run out with the goalkeeper and Lukasz Fabianski has been impressive this season. Also, youngster Wojciech Szczesny is touted to be a world class keeper and it does seem like Almunia has no future at the club. Wenger will mostly decide that his goalkeeping options are good enough and will most probably not sign an experienced goalkeeper like Mark Schwarzer.

Denilson: £12 million

Denilson has made over a 100 appearances for the Gunners since signing for Arsenal at the age of 18. However, he has not been able to establish himself as a regular in the side and has often been benched this season to accommodate the young Jack Wilshere or Abou Diaby when the French International has been fit. With the return of the immensely talented Aaron Ramsey, he could find himself further down the pecking order. Many clubs including the likes of Wolfsburg and FC Barcelona have been linked with the Brazilian midfielder and despite the insistence of Denilson and Wenger that he would stay, the midfielder could move in January or the summer in order to get more first team opportunities.
Arsenal will have no need to replace him considering that Aaron Ramsey is almost back to full fitness while youngster Emmanuel Frimpong will return to fitness before the next season for sure. Frimpong is likely to be the deputy to Alex Song and his understanding with Jack Wilshere could help them establish a good chemistry in midfield.

Financial Analysis

Arsene Wenger said that he would respect his budget and these transfers would help enhance the quality of the team without spending much.

Transfers- Out:
1. Nicklas Bendtner: £12 million

2. Andrei Arshavin: £17 million

3. Sebastien Squillaci: £7 million

4. Manuel Almunia: £1 million

5. Denilson: £12 million

Total received from Transfers: £49 million

Transfers- In:

1. Luis Suarez: £25 million

2. Eden Hazard: £15 million

3. Per Mertesacker: £10 million

Total spent on Transfers: £50 million

This article does contain an approximate estimate of the worth of the transfers (which could differ) but this analysis means that Arsenal can enhance the quality of the squad without spending too much in the transfer market. It is possible to bring in these players before the start of the 2011-12 season without compromising on their policy of not spending much.

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