The general consensus among Arsenal fans is that the club needs to sign two or three top class experienced players this summer. So far the only player to be signed has been Carl Jenkinson from Charlton Athletic, but he is seen as one for the future. He was signed for a reasonable price and hopefully he can learn his trade from Bacary Sagna who is one of the best right backs in the game.
Obviously some Arsenal fans are far from happy with the purchase of Jenkinson because they want to see the experienced players signed. Manchester United signed Phil Jones from Blackburn Rivers yesterday for a fee believed to be in the region of £16 million which is an awful lot of money for a 19 year old with less than 40 league games to his name. Amazingly some Arsenal fans are of the opinion that Arsenal have missed out on a player that they should have signed.
It would seem Arsene Wenger may well have offered more money and better wages than United, but the player chose to play for United instead. In my opinion Arsenal have enough players with potential and to pay that much money for Jones is a huge gamble the club should not be taking. If the problems Arsenal are suffering in defence are to be rectified they need to buy the finished article, and Jones is far from that.
If Arsenal are going to spend that sort of money on a centre back I want him to be ready to walk straight into the team and be the player to make the difference to the defence as a whole. Jones might well be the player to play that role in a few years time, but at the moment he has potential and little else. His purchase would have prevented the purchase of the player Arsenal really need more than likely, and it certainly would not have added the experienced head needed.
There have been rumours of Christopher Samba being a target for Arsenal, but if Blackburn have sold Jones to United they are hardly likely to sell their other first choice centre back too. I'm not sure if Samba would be the answer to Arsenal's problems, but he's a lot closer to what they need than Jones is at the moment. If Arsenal are really going to buy a defender for that sort of money there are bound to be many other players to fit the bill.
The general consensus among Arsenal fans would also seem to be that the central defender they need should have plenty of Premier League experience. That would rule Jones out again, but both Samba and Bolton's Gary Cahill would fit the bill nicely. Cahill has only one year left on his contract like Arsenal's Samir Nasri, and I doubt if Bolton can afford to let him go on a free transfer next summer.
I'm not utterly convinced by Cahill either, but I think Arsenal could possibly get him for a more reasonable fee due to his contract situation. At the very worst he could be purchased for a similar price to the one Jones went for, and surely he is a better bet to step straight into the team. If Arsenal were to sign Cahill they could certainly play him against some of the more agricultural Premier League teams, but they would also have Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, and Johan Djourou available as well.
Arsenal's fans have to decide if they want to sign the players needed, or if they just want to sign any player their rivals attempt to sign. Jones would be a huge gamble, and the time for gambles is over. Arsenal cannot afford to spend a large part of their transfer budget on a player who would probably be behind the other three centre backs in the pecking order.
I think Arsenal have had a lucky escape, and hopefully the manager has signaled his intent by offering so much for Jones. He now needs to go out and find the players who will make a real difference, and sign them as soon as possible. In an ideal world those players would be signed before the players return for pre-season training in little more than a month from now.
Of course Arsenal's transfer budget could be greatly enhanced if certain players were to leave the club. Both Denilson and Nicklas Bendtner have signaled their intention to do so, and Nasri still has not signed a new contract with only 12 months remaining on his. I hope he stays, but he cannot be allowed to string the club along and if he doesn't declare his intentions before pre-season he should be sold.
There is also talk that Barcelona claim to have agreed terms with Cesc Fabregas, and if that is the case it's only a matter of the two clubs agreeing a fee. Arsene Wenger said he will do all he can to keep Cesc again this summer, and I would be surprised if he has given up the fight already. Barcelona will have to pay at least £50 million to get Cesc, and I don't think they will pay that sort of money.
It's impossible to tell whether Cesc wants to leave or not, but if he does he must also know that Barcelona have to pay the going rate. He will have seen the fees which Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Phil Jones, and Jordan Henderson have been sold for, and he will know Barcelona cannot expect to sign him unless they make a realistic offer. I sincerely hope Cesc stays at Arsenal for another couple of seasons to win the trophies both he and the fans want, but if he does go it will not be on the cheap.
If Barcelona have agreed terms with Cesc without the permission of Arsenal I think it's time for UEFA to step in and take some action, but I don't think for a second that they will. Barcelona have received favourable decisions from referees for far too long, and UEFA constantly turn a blind eye to their off field antics too. I have absolutely no faith in their ability to stand up to the darlings of football, and until they do Barcelona will ride rough shot over the rights of other teams.
That's it for today.
Here's a look at exactly how good Cesc is.
See You Tomorrow.
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