A very quick Saturday round-up for you on a rainy bank holiday Saturday.
There was an expectation that the club would announce the signing of Santi Cazorla yesterday but it did not transpire. Those sitting F5ing the official site spent a fruitless day, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Reports say Cazorla was at the training ground, had a medical (which he passed, they found no vestigial tails or anything like that), he met his new teammates, and did all the usual stuff a new player does.
The hold-up is, apparently, due to Malaga’s current situation and that really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. However, if there’s enough authority at the club to agree a deal and allow Cazorla to travel to London then there’s somebody who can sign off on it. It’s also worth pointing out that 99% of the time Arsenal never announce anything until it is done, done, done.
The Lukas Podolski announcement was something of a exception but as far as making official announcements we wait until everything’s official. Those with keen memories will remember Manchester City announcing and showing off Emmanuel Adebayor on a Friday afternoon while Arsenal didn’t announce the sale until the following Monday. That’s because although the agreement between the clubs was final, the paperwork was not. And you need only look at the Carlos Vela situation to see it’s still going on.
Vela has been announced at Real Sociedad, paraded in front of the media as a new signing, spoken about his desires for the season ahead at his new club, yet the latest we have from the club is that he’s ‘in talks’ with Sociedad. And it’s hardly just because they can’t be arsed updating the website. So if a club with no issues similar to those at Malaga can cause a delay I’m not going to worry too much if it takes a day or two to get Cazorla 100% done and dusted.
There’s nothing new regarding Robin van Persie, The Independent says his preference is Juventus but the huge package (fnarr) they’re offering him means that they don’t have as much as we might like in terms of a transfer fee. So that leaves the club with something of a dilemma. We know that Man City will be in a position to offer more money so do we simply get as much as we can for him, knowing that he wants to leave (I don’t buy these stories saying he’s impressed enough with our transfer business and might stay because of it), or do we sell him abroad for less money, thus not strengthening a rival?
If it were me, or if I were the man to advise Stan Kroenke, I’d say take the money from Juventus, and quite publicly reject higher offers from United and City, if they arrive. When you consider the way van Persie’s statement caused such ‘debate’ (being as kind as I can here), adding a signing like Cazorla to the two we’ve already made, and possibly Sahin coming too, followed by withstanding a Man City raid for one of our best players, it’d be a decent reaction from the club. Silent Stan may have remained silent but this is actions louder than words territory.
On the flip side though, we’ve spunked £36m this summer without getting much back. Less than £3m for Vela isn’t a great deal, and while Bendtner and possibly Arshavin might generate a few quid, it’s hard to see us get anything for Squillaci, Park or the other fringe players who might be heading for the exit. So, does it make sense to ignore the business side of things? Shouldn’t we, or any business, try and maximise our income leaving emotions to one side?
As I said, as a fan I’d quite happily reject any offer Man City made, faxing them back pictures of my arse with the words ‘Your mum’ written on it, but that’s probably just me. I doubt we could really afford to write off the £10-12m differential in offers but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires. Something to think about though.
For those of you of a conspiracy theory bent, the new Arsenal headshots provide something to talk about. The eagle-eyed noticed that both Nicklas Bendtner and Robin van Persie appear to have been Photoshopped onto Per Mertesacker’s body (the shirt is exactly the same), and the van Persie picture is the same one as last year. OMG! What can it mean?! Leaving that particular issue aside I think the thing we should be most concerned about is what is trying to grow on Andrei Arshavin’s top lip. He’d be the envy of 15 year old boys the world over.
Finally for today, the club have confirmed that Benik Afobe will spend the season on loan at Bolton. He follows Ryo and Jack to the Reebok and if provides a great chance for him to develop as a player and make enough of an impact to forge a career at the club. Many young strikers who are highly thought of at the club have gone out, struggled and since departed, so hopefully he’s one who can buck the trend. Good luck to him.
Right, that’s yer lot. Have a good Saturday, back tomorrow.
ps – there’s a small issue with the Mailing List at the moment, some people aren’t getting the mail. I’m looking into it, bear with me!