It’s been a couple of weeks since part 2 (focusing on goalies and full-backs) so here is a quick reminder of my ideal squad for next season:
CF: Van Persie / (NEW SIGNING) / Chamakh
Ah, here we are with everyone’s favourite stick to beat Arsenal with. The position that has lost us the title for the past 5 years. The reason? Because we don’t have British ones. Yes, every expert under the sun thinks that the only good centre-halves on planet earth hail from these shores. To that I say rubbish.
I’m guessing Vermaelen, Kompany and Vidic were all born in the home counties then? The fact of the matter is ALL English centre-halves are horribly over-priced (and often overrated) while there are no standout candidates from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Wenger obviously knows this and (quite rightly) ignores the idiot pundits who think we’d have one the quadruple if we signed Gary Cahill in January. I’ve heard that guys name so many times and each time he’s brought up drives me more insane.
Apparently our scouts have been keeping tabs on him but at around £18m, I wouldn’t even contemplate going in for him. Phil Jones is another that’s been in the news lately. Cheaper with much more potential, he’d probably be a better option if we were to buy an Englishman. Another Blackburn player, Chris Samba recently admitted he was close to joining in the winter window.
I think he’d be a physical presence and possibly a good leader but how would he cope at a big team? Strength is one thing, but does he have the required technical ability? Is he better than Djourou and Koscielney? It’s a case that throws up more questions than answers but one thing’s for certain: he would run through a brick wall to get 3 points and that’s something that we need. If Wenger renewed his interest and the fee was under the £10m mark, I wouldn’t mind seeing if it works out.
However, the man I really want to see wearing the famous cannon on his chest, in the starting XI, is Mamadou Sakho. Firstly he’s 21 and French – pretty much the primary requirement of a Wenger signing. Then his abilities; extremely powerful, amazing in the air and quick. Not a bad start. Sakho is already PSG’s captain for European games and is a born leader, dominating the back-line. He should cost around £15m but he’s not in any rush to leave his club at the moment.
On the other hand, if Arsene were to offer him a chance to play at one of Europe’s top teams along with a nice contract, it wouldn’t be a hard sell. Also, his crazy hairstyles will rival Sagna and Song. Another name that many fans would love to see is Jan Vertonghen of Ajax. Very good defender and the Verminator’s partner at international level meaning the chemistry would be perfect. I’d love if we signed him but as a personal preference, it’s Sakho for me.
As you can see in the squad list above, I don’t see any outgoings in this position. Squillaci is obviously the one that many want to see leave the Emirates but I don’t think he’s a bad 5th choice. Having said that, IF we actually do the extraordinary and buy two defenders in one window without letting five go (I know, crazy right?) then Sebastien would be surplus to requirements. Furthermore, since I wrote that list, the Aston Villa game happened which was, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I’ll probably be back Thursday or Friday with my views on the midfield. Any comments are appreciated and thanks for reading,