It had been coming for a little while but finally David Beckham has begun training with the Arsenal squad.
The ex-England captain, who of course plays in the United States with the LA Galaxy, had previously made an agreement with Arsene Wenger and the club to do some extra pre-season training with Arsenal after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Interestingly, Beckham has even been given a squad number by the club – 23, his LA Galaxy number – and looked every bit an Arsenal player as he went through the motions at the club’s Colny training ground.
I checked out the video of Beckham training with the squad and found it funny that he couldn’t wipe the smile from his face. And while the rest of the team were seemingly delighted to have him on board I sincerely hope that having Beckham around brings something to Arsenal’s young squad as well as the player himself. Indeed, I very much doubt that Wenger would be naive enough to open the doors to a man like Beckham without expecting something in return, whether it be some words of advice for his players about dealing with pressure at the top level or some pointers on how to hit more dangerous crosses. Either way, the presence of Beckham should add some extra spice and freshness to the training ground over the next few weeks.
One of the players who will be have been extremely surprised to have the opportunity to train with Beckham will have been Nikolay Dimitrov, the 20-year-old Bulgarian winger who is currently on trial with Arsenal. The rumours are that Dimitrov (aka Hicho) – who judging by this YouTube clip (I know, I know) is a player who loves the beautiful aspects of the game – is set to sign a deal with Arsenal in the next week or two. Of course, no official news about the signing will be released by the club until it is done but I get the feeling that it is a matter of time before an announcement is made.
Wenger still loves Jens
Meanwhile, the only Arsenal player who looks set to leave the club during January – goalkeeper Jens Lehmann – has been praised by Wenger for the mature way that he has handled the difficult situation. The manager also confirmed that Borussia Dortmund are keen to get Lehmann, despite the fact that his signing was not announced in a recent press conference held by the German club.
“I have heard that Dortmund made a press conference and they did not announce Jens but they are hopeful. The door is not closed for Jens, but at the moment we have not reached any agreement.”
I’ve said it before but I’m pretty confident that Lehmann will leave. Dortmund look the most likely candidates but should their offer fall through there will still be a host of other clubs who will be looking to sign the German. And after his admission a little while ago that he could play as low a level as the German second division I don’t think he’ll care who he signs for. The most important thing for Lehmann is to get game time and he will get that if he signs for Dortmund. As with the Dimitrov transfer, as soon as I find out more you’ll be the first to know.
There is of course a game later today, the FA Cup clash with Championship side Burnley, which Lehmann is set to start in. There’s not too much to say about the game on top of what I said yesterday so I’ll leave it there. The most important thing is that the boys grab the win and whether that comes through a 8-0 thumping or a narrow victory I’m really not too concerned. All that really matters is that the final result is not a draw, which would add some congestion to an already busy Arsenal schedule.
What do you think?
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