June 5, 2012
What’s this I read this morning? Arsenal in talks to sign stylish experienced Spanish midfielder? Don’t take that bunting down just yet! We could be in line for another celebration!
Oh wait, hang on. It’s only Mikel Arteta. The metronomic metrosexual has apparently asked the board if they might consider giving him a pay rise. Seeing as, you know, he did take a ten grand a week pay cut to join us last summer. Fair enough I say. I’m the first to criticise Arsenal for doling out exorbitant salaries to players who have yet to prove themselves. Arteta has shown in no uncertain terms this year that he knows a thing or two about football.
In fact, without him in the side we barely looked like a football team at all last season. That stat again – 2.2 points per game with Arteta playing. That’s title challenging form. In the nine games that he didn’t play we got seven points. Or 0.78 points per game. A ridiculous statistic. And one that I imagine he might get printed up on a t-shirt to wear for those contract talks.
In fairness it sounds like Arsenal are prepared to do the decent thing and at least bump him back up to where he was when he was at Everton, probably a bit more. Or hopefully there’s some sort of title winning bonus clause in there instead. Let’s get these boys motivated to do something next season.
In brief transfer news one player who’s been linked with us on and off for the past few seasons, Anderlecht’s Argentine midfielder Lucas Biglia, has been quoted as saying that we’re after him:
Real Madrid and Arsenal have both been in contact and I’ll wait to see what happens.
I am still under contract with Anderlecht until 2015, but they know that I plan to leave.
It wouldn’t be the first time that a player has used our name to try to force a move or drum up some interest from other clubs and I’d rate this one as fairly unlikely. Biglia’s a defensive midfielder and as far as I can tell if we’re signing one of those this summer it’s going to be M’Vila. Perhaps Biglia is being considered as a back-up should anything go wrong with that deal. Like Rennes demand actual cash money as a transfer fee rather than Marouane Chamakh, Denilson on loan and a job lot of old training kit with the initials PR on the front.
Finally, slightly disappointing news today as it’s looking like extremely promising young midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup is jacking Offyakup. He’s being sold to Besiktas for £570,000 apparently with a 25% sell on clause. I’m surprised as I know Ozzy was one of the leading lights of that reserve side and highly thought of at the club. He made a couple of Carling Cup appearances last season and only last year the club fought hard to get him to sign a contract extension.
Still, at 19 years old I imagine he’d be looking for first team games and there’s plenty of midfield talent blocking his way at Arsenal. Still, it’s notable that we’re hedging our bets with him somewhat with that sell on clause. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a bit of an impact in the next few years and we might find ourselves with a David Bentley style bonus to look forward to.
None of which changes the fact that I’ll never get to celebrate his league debut against Manchester United in which he wins the game with two late goals with the headline: ‘Two Goals, One Ozyakup’.
Sometimes life is full of disappointments.
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