Well, whaddya know. You write a big long piece about how we need signings and all of a sudden it seems like we’ve made our first move in the transfer window. I think I might write a big long piece about how much I need to win the lottery. Twice.
That bloke there to your left (picture courtesy *cough* of the official Auxerre website) is Vassiriki Abou Diaby who, according to reports which started to emerge last night, has agreed a 4 year deal with us. He’s 19 years old, 6’2″ and a central midfielder. The inevitable comparisons we not long in coming.
I don’t know much about him other than he doesn’t have a great deal of experience, only 10 league games according to the Auxerre site, but he was a stand-out during the Under 19s world championships. Beyond that I know nothing other than he looks strong and we need strong.
Rumours have also been flying around about Southampton wonderkid Theo Walcott . Some are saying he spent yesterday at London Colney and that he and another signing could be unveiled today. Again Walcott is an outstanding young talent but he’s not even 17 yet, still, I’d play him ahead of Freddie at the moment. The Sun goes so far as to say we’ve agreed a £10m deal while other papers remain more cautious.
What does seem to be the case is that Walcott has chosen Arsenal over all the others and at this point Southampton seem likely to do a deal because he hasn’t yet signed a professional contract with them and could leave with his fee set by a tribunal. The Sun goes so far as to say we’ve agreed a £10m deal with £5m up front and the rest based on performances. Walcott’s family are apparently keen for Southampton to be rewarded for nurturing his career thus far.
The other player linked yesterday was Monaco striker Emmanuel Adebayor who is currently in the dog house with Monaco for his behaviour around his appearance for Togo in the African Nations Cup. While Walcott and Diaby are exciting signings I hope we stay far away from Adebayor. I think what these signings indicate – if they do come off – is that this is definitively a new team we’re building. The boss has his eye on the future still but hopefully these are players that can make an impact in the short term as well. If nothing else they will serve to motivate those older players in the comfort zone knowing that there’s a talented youngster ready to take their place.
Real Madrid have been using Marca over the last few days to announce their intention to sign Ashley Cole in the summer. They went so far as to say that contact had been made between the club and Cole’s representatives. Earlier yesterday though Ashley distanced himself from any move, saying “I’ve got three years left (on my contract) and I’m looking forward to playing in the new stadium. It has been in every paper since the start of the season and there is nothing I can do. I have just got to get back fit and that’s my main aspiration at the moment, as well as trying to win things with Arsenal.”
Last night Real Madrid real Madrid issued a statement, saying “Following press reports regarding an interest by Real Madrid for Arsenal’s Ashley Cole, the club wishes to clarify that at no time has Real Madrid confirmed via any official spokesman that the club has made a move for Ashley Cole or any other player”, which should cover them nicely in case people start asking too many questions. As for Cole he should be back in the next couple of weeks and maybe we needed him to be out of the team for a period to realise how much we miss him as a player despite his behaviour last year (which I still find hard to forgive but as someone who wants this Arsenal team to pick up the pace again I’ll be happy to see him back in the team).
So, it’s all a bit more promising than it was this time yesterday. Did I mention I need to win the lottery, twice? That Euro millions is €100m+ tonight. I reckon that could do it.