Let the Summer Begin for Arsenal!


Here in Ohio the temperature reached nearly 90 degrees today and as the weather begins to heat up so does the transfer gossip in the wide world of football.   I have to admit, normally I absolutely detest the endless stream of transfer ‘BS’, but this time of the year they tend to have more truth to them, and recently there has actually been some concrete news.  Let’s start with this concrete news.

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On Thursday both Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven confirmed that wonderkid Memphis Depay would be heading to Old Trafford this summer.  The deal is rumored to be in the 22-25 million pound range and pending his physical in the coming weeks the deal is done.

Depay has had a very impressive 12 months, starting in Brazil during the World Cup and continuing in Holland where he led PSV to the domestic title. The Daily Fail Mail has even dubbed him better than Ronaldo.  Is this youngster worth the praise?  You might be surprised.

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This past season Depay totaled 21 league goals in Holland.  In comparison, Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao, and Robin Van Persie have only scored 26 between the 3 of them.  Depay also registered an impressive 4 assists and 56 chances created during that time.  The kid certainly has some potential.  But what does this mean for Arsenal, Nate?  Just a little bit longer my pretties…

“We will wait and see if the step is too big for him, but he is a great player in Holland, a fast player, and it is a very good signing for Man United.”-  Ronald Koeman

Liverpool were also reported to be heavily interested in the Dutch winger and now Merseyside has been spurned.

While this makes some decisions easier for Brendan Rodgers the Liverpool manager next season, the work is far from done.  It was reported that  Sterling would be sold to help pay for the signings of Christian Benteke, James Milner, and Depay among others.

Assuming Sterling is still on the way out of Anfield, one of the names that has been repeatedly brought up to replace him is Theo Walcott.  This is kind of like beating a dead horse, but here we go.  Now the stats I’m going to quote for Walcott are from the 2012/2013 season, his best to date, and for Sterling I’ll look at this year, which many have claimed to be his breakout season.  We should also note that Sterling has already played 600 more minutes this season than Walcott did in 12-13.

The numbers though, speak for themselves. During that time Theo Walcott scored 14 goals and set up an additional 10.  Sterling this season has scored 7 and set up 7.  Now you could say Sterling isn’t the finished product and that he will develop further, and you’d probably be right, but now is not the time for that at Arsenal.  We’ve spent years waiting for players to develop as we paid for our stadium and now that we have a finished product in Theo (Even if he has struggled with injuries as of late), why let him go?

That’s not even taking into consideration the respect he seems to have for the club.  Even with Walcott struggling to find minutes right now, I’d be surprised if he didn’t sign a new contract, but if it comes to that there is no doubt we’d have to cash in on him this summer.

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Now for a player Arsenal have been rumored to be interested in for quite some time: Morgan Schneiderlin. Schneiderlin is just the type of player Arsenal could use, and apparently Arsene Wenger agrees as it is reported that Arsenal have made their interest known to Southampton.

I for one think he’ll be at the Emirates this time next year and that’s delightful. First and foremost I’m not saying Francis Coquelin should be thrown to the wayside, but everyone knows competition is a good thing for a squad and with only the Coq able to do what he does best an ill-timed injury would be quite damaging.

“They need a good holding midfield player, there’s nobody better in the Barclays Premier League than Schneiderlin of Southampton. He’s an outstanding footballer. He can pass the ball well, he can switch the play and he can put his foot in when he needs to.”- Stewart Robson

Going forward Schneiderlin is a 100% upgrade, he has scored 4 and set up 1 while Coq has failed to get on the scoresheet at all this year, but hey it’s not his job. Defensively though Francis has the advantage.  While Coq just edges Morgan on tackles per 90 minutes with 3.48 to Schneiderlin’s 3.25, Coquelin averages almost twice as many interceptions and blocks as the Southampton man.  While it is true that Schniederlin has cooled off with injury this calendar year and Coq has been incredibly hot since he was recalled, my mouth is watering imagining those two in the same squad.

Ok now for the wild card. Everyone knows about the Julian Draxler rumors or the Paulo Dybala rumors, but I ask you this; would you bring Yaya Toure into the squad if you had the chance?  Just writing that made me giggle a bit.

Something which not that long ago would have seemed about as likely as Sp*rs winning a title now seems possible. When asked recently about the Ivorian’s future at Manchester City, the players agent said “It’s 90% certain he’ll leave Manchester City this summer.” Whoa.  Sure Toure isn’t getting any younger, but he’s an absolute superstar and I also think he’d be a revelation in the locker room and on the training pitch.

Now assuming the price tag wasn’t something exorbitant that only Chelsea or PSG could afford, like 50 million pounds-ish, I say let’s have a go.  Something in the 20 or 30 million range would be a steal for me. Only a work permit kept Yaya from linking up with his brother Kolo in an Arsenal shirt, so maybe he still has an admirer in Wenger.  I’m not gonna say it’s likely, but keep your eyes open and if it does I expect the title of prophet.

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Either way it is still early, not even the summer yet and we will have more time than we know what to do with to continue the debate on any number of players.  If I’ve learnt anything as an Arsenal supporter it is that we will be linked to every player under the sun during the summer. I am personally preparing to brace myself already.

If you’ve got a brain in your head I suggest you do the same, or just don’t get too disappointed when we don’t see Edison Cavani, William Carvalho, Sami Khedira, and Gonzalo Higuain in an Arsenal shirt next year.  Because I’m conceited and want the chance, however improbable, at glory I will give you my full prediction for our summer transfer dealings. Now without further ado.

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