If someone had told me that Mikaël Silvestre would become an Arsenal this season I think I probably would have kicked them in the shins for wasting my time. But it seems there is a genuine chance that this might just be the case after it was reported that Arsene Wenger is interested in bringing the Frenchman to the club from Manchester United in a deal worth £750,000.
On some levels it makes sense. The current Arsenal squad is in desperate need of experience at the back and a 31-year-old centre-back with bags of European and Premiership action under his belt fits the bill perfectly. Add the fact that he is French and you can definitely see where Wenger is coming from.
But it does seem odd to me that the third or fourth choice centre-back at Manchester United would want to move to their closest rivals when a similar position on the bench awaits. Does he just want a new environment or does Wenger actually see him as the first-choice partner for William Gallas at Kolo Toure’s expense? And what of Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos in the meantime?
Too many questions and not enough answers at this stage, so I’ll wait for the move to be confirmed before saying any more about it. Either way it’s a bizarre piece of news on an already crazy day.
While the acquisition of an experienced central defender would be a pleasant surprise to Arsenal fans I still believe it pales in comparison to the need to find a defensive midfielder. Just last week the manager promised that he would be making a signing in this position before the second game against FC Twente and that admission has got me thinking about just who it might be.
Originally I was convinced that it would be Xabi Alonso, but his appearance for Liverpool against Standard Liege means he would be cup-tied for the Champions League – an unacceptable situation for a club like Arsenal. Now it is Udinese midfielder Gokhan Inler that seems the most likely candidate with rumours of a move refusing to go away.
However, a fresh name that came to my attention this week was that of Stephen Appiah. Indeed, the Ghanaian captain has quit at Fenerbache after falling out at the club making him – in his own words – a free agent. He’s had some health problems at late but Appiah remains an outstanding player and it wouldn’t suprise me if Wenger took advantage of this situation to bring in the ex-Juventus midfielder.
Now I want to make it 100% clear that there has been nothing in the media suggesting that Arsenal are going to sign Appiah. No rumours, no links, no kids in Ghana creating their own blogs saying that it’s already a done deal. I just think that even if Wenger was not previously interested in Appiah he would have seen what has happened at Fenerbache and might make the most of the situation.
My advice? Watch this space. And get ready to hear me say “I told you so” if it happens. Just joking.
In other far less tantalising or enjoyable news, Samir Nasri has gone and got himself injured training with the French national team. The thigh strain may see him miss the game against Fulham and if he does, I might just have to write an angry letter to Sepp Blatter telling him how much I hate International Friendlies. I won’t post it to him, of course, but just writing the letter should calm me down a bit.
Completing a quite bizarre day are comments from Tomas Rosicky predictably stating that he was misquoted yesterday, some words of encouragement from the manager with regards to Theo Walcott and the news that Nacer Barazite has gone on loan to Derby County.
Now onto the Wednesday Poll. I was going to use the poll to look at whether people thought Johan Djourou should keep his place ahead of Kolo Toure but with the news of the potential transfer of Silvestre I couldn’t refuse the invitation to change tact. Let me know what you think.
|How would you feel if Silvestre signed for Arsenal?|
|Relieved – we’d have the defensive cover we need|
|Thrilled – put him in the starting side!|
|Pissed off – he’s over the hill and not good enough for Arsenal|
|Don’t really care|
That’s it for an action-packed day. I look forward to reading some very interesting comments.