August 24, 2012
Are we all suitably angry about the apparent conclusion of the whole Nuri Saga then?
Fair enough really. When you’re told one day by a series of reputable sources that you’ve just signed the former Bundesliga player of the year on a one year loan with a £14 million option to buy you’re entitled to be a little bit miffed when barely hours later you’re told that Arsenal have withdrawn from the deal completely, leaving the way open for Liverpool and the midfield still lacking some sort of replacement for the sudden departure of Alex Song.
At noon yesterday the deal was being reported as complete by both Bild and Sky Sports News in Germany. But then what this whole episode has gone to prove more than any other in recent memory is that you can’t trust anyone ever. At least not when it comes to the reporting of imminent transfer deals.
While missing out on the player is undoubtedly frustrating it is worth noting the reasons why. Although we may never know the exact reasons it’s always been suggested that while Arsenal had agreed a loan fee with the club and had convinced the player that the Emirates was his best option, the sticking point was the clause enabling us to make the deal permanent at the end of the season. For Arsenal to have suddenly pulled out of the deal so late in the day you can only assume that they weren’t able to secure that.
In fact it’s being reported this morning in the Metro (I know, I know. And they couldn’t even spell the word ‘gazump’ right in their headline) that not only are Liverpool paying the player’s full wages of £120,000 a week, not only are they paying a loan fee on top of that of £5 million but at the end of it all they have no right to sign the player on a permanent deal. So effectively they could be paying £10 million for the right to help Madrid develop their midfield for next season. In which case is it any wonder that in the end we said ‘No way, Jose’ (oh God, I’m going to go and jump out the nearest window. Sorry)?
Sahin may be a great player and we may have some money still to spend this summer but I don’t think that would have been a sensible use of our resources particularly.
At this point though the worry is that we spent so much time going back and forth attempting to negotiate the Sahin deal that we’ve failed to concentrate on other potential targets. The close of the transfer window is now only a week away and ideally we need to bring in a replacement for Song, some defensive cover and even, possibly, a new striking option. Talking about what might occur in his pre-Stoke interview with Arsenal Player yesterday M. Wenger was in typically non-committal mood:
Some things can still happen.
I don’t want make a promise that I cannot keep. It does not only depend on me. But there still could be some action on the transfer market – ins and outs.
We are working. We’ll see what we can do.
We know they’re definitely looking for some enforcements. There was enough smoke around the Sahin fire to assure us of that. But the worry is still that we don’t manage to land the targets that we’ve identified amidst the pot luck nature of the final week. We might have a target we’ve been stalking for the last year and a half who’s desperate to leave his club and a negotiation already under way for a fee, but if at the last minute the selling club fail to land the replacement they’d had their eye on then what’s stopping them pulling out of the deal and refusing to sell? And before you know it you go into another season without the squad cover you need.
Yann M’Vila has been linked with a move to Arsenal more than Sebastien Frey and the latest word is that Arsenal are playing a very smart waiting game, allowing his price to drop as Rennes realise that they’re running out of options and months on the player’s deal. But who’s to say they won’t pull out of the deal entirely for one reason or another? I appreciate that we have to do everything that we can to be smart with our resources but for the sake of a million quid or so would it not have been better to sign the player three months ago, give him a full pre-season and the chance to bed in to the line up?
It promises to be a hectic week. Just as important as those ins are the outs that Le Boss refers to and here we are, so deep into this summer and still waiting to offload the likes of Bendtner, Arshavin, Park, Chamakh and Squillaci. If we’re prepared to push Rennes to the very limit to save a million quid on M’Vila then surely we should be aware of the millions being squandered on wages for this group of players that are nowhere near getting chances in the first team.
If you assume they’re on an average of £50,000 a week each (and it could well be more) then just this summer alone we’ve spent three million quid on them. It’s a scandalous waste of our cash and if we are going to continue to cry poverty in the face of competition from other clubs we simply can’t allow it to go on. We’ve already seen Manuel Almunia allowed to run down his entire contract on full wages without even getting wheeled out for the reserve team. We can’t allow that to keep happening. If we don’t get the fees we’d like we’re just going to have to accept that and let them go for free, or even as a last resort, pay off part of their contracts.
Early team news came in yesterday ahead of the Stoke match and it’s fairly mixed. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in the squad but presumably will only have a limited role to play having only joined up with full training today. Laurent Koscielny is still out with his calf trouble and will miss the match but I think that’s maybe a blessing in disguise. Great player as he is I suspect we might have opted for the additional height advantage that Per Mertesacker gives us anyway. We’ll need as much height as we can get for all of the line-outs, sorry, throw ins.
Oh dear, I seem to be getting angry about this one already and it’s still two days away.
I’m off to try out some breathing exercises.
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