Well, the first whispers about Reyes started midweek when Marca ran a story, which I couldn’t find online, saying ‘Arsenal offer Reyes to Madrid’.
Now, we have the player himself saying he wants to go back to Spain. He’s quoted as saying:
I have always said that I want to return to Spain. I have nothing against Arsenal, completely the opposite. But they know that I have not adapted to life in England. I have not got used to the language or the weather. If Real Madrid want me then that is marvellous. I have always said what a huge club it is and it would be an honour to play for them. Let’s see what happens.
He’s right though. He has never adapted to life in England. After 2 and a half years his English is less than basic and his willingness to learn is zero, his house is like a mini-Spain with the central heating on full and the fridge packed with Spanish food and his football seems to suffer from seasonal affliction disorder. When the sun shines he plays well but in winter he struggles.
I like JosÃ©. I think he’s a nice lad and a very good player but to me it’s been apparent for some time that he was never going to fulfill his potential at Arsenal. England and English football just doesn’t suit him. The People suggest a swap deal might be possible with either Julio Baptista or Robinho to come in.
AS in Spain is reporting this morning that Madrid still have their eyes on Cesc but it’s more speculation and it’ll never happen. JosÃ© though is another question. He’s done well enough for us and he works hard on the pitch but the excitement generated by his transfer and his debut goals against Chelsea has seriously dampened now. He provided some assists last season but only 2 or 3 goals and I don’t think it’s unfair to have expected more from him.
This situation might explain a little bit how quiet we’ve been in the transfer market. If we are offering Reyes to Madrid and awaiting the transfer of Ashley Cole then perhaps we’re waiting for the coffers to swell before buying although once everyone knew we had a bag full of money it would make negotiating a little more difficult.
The other side of it though is that if the club is prepared to let Reyes and Cole go on top of Pires, Bergkamp and Campbell then they would really want to have specific targets in mind to replace those players as we cannot fashion players out of the bank notes and coins that their transfer fees and saved wages will bring in.
We’re now at a point where we need to strengthen our squad, not weaken it further. I can cope with Reyes leaving if he is replaced. I can see why it might not be so urgent to replace Bergkamp or Campbell whose contributions last season weren’t as important. If Cole leaves can we rely on Clichy or Flamini or 17 year old Traore to step up? Can Rosicky match Pires’ goal contribution from midfield?
Fact is that all around us the top teams are bringing in players to strengthen their squads while ours appears to be getting weaker with no sign of any additions. Nobody knows anything about transfers. There are no rumours. No gossip and that’s unusual. As I said last week it’s probably because the club are playing their cards close to their chest but they need to move the cards away a little so they can see what’s on them.
I’ll give it to the end of the week before I start getting really anxious about things but AW and Double-D need to do some shopping and soon.
Have a good Sunday all!