Arsenal in talks with Fiorentina
The only real news of note today for Arsenal is the rising speculation that Fredrik Ljungberg may be on his way to Fiorentina. According to his agent Claes Elefalk, the two clubs are in discussions about the possibility of the Swedish midfielder moving to Italy.
“The two clubs are in discussions. If they can come to an agreement, then Fredrik can think about looking closer at a move. Fredrik is really happy at Arsenal, but if it is an option, he could also consider a move to Fiorentina.”
I must say that these comments have quite a different angle to the ones that Ljungberg himself made back in June:
“This will be my 10th season with Arsenal and I cannot wait to start the season with them. I am very much looking forward to the opening game against Fulham. It is great to start the season with a London derby.”
Ljungberg’s wages not an issue
As the longest serving player currently at the club, I think it would be a real shame to see Ljungberg go this summer. The feeling amongst most other websites and Arsenal blogs is that – due to his expensive wages – Ljungberg should be on his way out. I disagree. Money is not an issue for the club at this point in time and to suggest that because his wages are high he should be sent on his way is absurd.
He is still one of the club’s most effective players in front of goal, always gives 100% and does not mind fighting for his position from the bench. Even more importantly, Ljungberg provides vital leadership and drive for an Arsenal squad that is undoubtedly inexperienced. Take Ljungberg out and there is only really Gilberto Silva, Kolo Toure, Jens Lehmann and William Gallas who could be classed as senior players. And with the way that Lehmann and Gallas behave sometimes it would be easy to leave them off the list.
Ljungberg can still have an impact
Supporters also seem to have overlooked the possibility that Ljungberg may yet provide the answer to the club’s lack of width last season. You only have to look at the performances of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes for Manchester United last season to realise that if Ljungberg can stay fit he still has the ability to make an impact.
Ljungberg’s comments and the comments made by his agent suggest that it is Arsenal and their manager Arsene Wenger who hold Ljungberg’s future in their hands. If they think that Ljungberg is dispensible, they will surely let him go. If they want him to stay, then he will be more than happy to. After losing Thierry Henry to Barcelona I would personally hate to see Ljungberg follow him out the exit door.
On a more light-hearted note, the impact of Ljungberg’s possible departure is best summed up by The Man from East Lower:
“A loss of experience if he goes, yes, but also a great sentimental loss for those who have followed his career since that first, delicate lob against Man U in 1998. A brilliant player in his prime. In fact a brilliant player full stop, with an incredible motor and a nice line in pants.”
Good stuff. What do you think?
Voice your thoughts about Fredrik Ljungberg’s possible exit by leaving a comment.