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Gunners chase Downing

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger has apparently today made an astonishing £18 million bid for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing. Downing has been with a move away from Villa Park after a rather sluggish season from Villa.

Villa have already lost a key player in Ashley Young, and will be keen to hold to Downing. However, such a high bid could tempt them to part with their English born winger. Arsenal have thus far been very quiet in the transfer market, and Arsene Wenger is coming under increasing pressure to make some signings.

However, is Downing the right man for Arsenal? First of all, £18 million is a ridiculous amount to pay for him, that would be more than Man United payed for Ashley Young (a better player), but still less than Liverpool payed for Jordan Henderson if that's any consolation to the Arsenal faithful. Personally I don't think Downing is good enough for Arsenal and if anything, he is not needed

Why a mad summer of transfers has lifted the pressure from Andy Carroll

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

If you have been following the summer of transfer dealings so far, you will know that there is plenty of money changing hands. Some deals are not completed quite yet, but as well as the ones that have gone through, the price tags of some players has surprised many.

There are a few examples. England Under-21 international Jordan Henderson has moved to Liverpool for £20m, Connor Wickham has gone to Sunderland for £12m and England international Ashley Young has completed a £15m move to Manchester United.

This is just three deals for English players and the spending has reached £47m. Quite incredible when you think of it like that isn’t it? Speaking of incredible, it was reported that Stoke City offered £16m to secure the signatures of Birmingham’s Cameron Jerome and Scott Dann.

Where am I going with this I hear you ask. Well, as well as pointing out the amount of money being spent by English clubs this summer, it got me to thinking about another recent expensive transfer.

Football betting pundits will tell you how Andy Carroll moved to Liverpool in January for £35m. This was a lot of money of course, but when put with the transfers going through this summer, it fits quite nicely.

This means that the pressure of being the big money new signing will be lifted somewhat on Carroll in the new season.

Of course he will be expected to perform, but with plenty of other intriguing transfers going through – not least Carroll’s new team-mate Henderson – not all eyes will be on the former Newcastle striker.

Combine this with the fact that the Liverpool crowd took to their new striker straight away last season and it looks good for Carroll to have a very productive first season at Anfield. In fact, let’s go as far to say that it will be the season where he really shows everyone what he can do.

He has all of the attributes to be one of England’s leading strikers and now he has the club, the team-mates, the manager and the atmosphere to succeed.

It is all there for him and with the pressure off slightly following his big-money move, Liverpool could really start to see some reward for their ambitious January signing and one of my many football bets might be for him to hit the 20-goal mark before the season is out.

4 players in demand

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Here is a list of 4 players who I believe are the most in demand in the current transfer market.

1. Samir Nasri - He has been in the tabloids constantly for the past three weeks. Manchester United, Manchester City,Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all keen to sign the French midfielders, who showed significant improvement last season. Personally, I think he will leave, but I think Wenger would be an idiot to sell him to any club in the Premier League. It would only make the teams around Arsenal, that much stronger. He only has 1 year left on his contract, and I think Arsene Wenger needs to stop with this nonsense contract policy which has seen him lose several key players in the past.

2. Luka Modric - Speculation surrounding the future of this little Croatian midfielder has died down over the past few days, but I expect it won't be long before the rumours start up again.
Again, Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with the Tottenham midfielder, who would no doubt love to be playing Champions League football again this season. Will he leave? I doubt it, I can see Tottenham hanging on to him for one more season.

3. Scott Dann - The 6'5 centre-back is very much in demand at the moment, with Stoke, Chelsea and Arsenal all very keen to secure his services. I'm sure that given the choice Dann would prefer to be joining Chelsea or Arsenal, and in my opinion he would be a valuable asset to either club, providing height and muscle at the back, something Arsenal need more than Chelsea.

4. Alexis Sanchez - This is a three way battle between Manchester United, Manchester City and Barcelona. He was apparently close to signing for Barcelona and Man City at one stage, but there is still a chance he will stay at Udinese. I would love to see Sanchez playing in the Premier League, but it would be very, very difficult to resist Barcelona, should they have the funds to afford him.

Where will Neymar end up

Friday, July 1, 2011

As most of you know, Brazilian wonderkid Neymar is currently one of the hottest properties in the World in terms of football. He is currently plying his trade with Santos is the Brazilian league, but several clubs across Europe have signalled their intent to sign the 19 year old.

Apparently, Chelsea are the extremely keen to win Neymar's signature, having had a bid rejected last year and another bid rejected in this summers current transfer market. Neymar has a buy-out clause of £40 million on his contract, and even though Chelsea are thought to have met that clause, Santos remain confident he will not be leaving the club.

"In light of continuous speculation in the national and international press about the future of our player, I feel obliged to communicate the departure of Neymar is non-negotiable.''

Neymar himself has not said much on the case, but I'm sure if Chelsea/Barcelona/Real Madrid came knocking with a lucrative contract offer, he would not refuse. Admittedly I have not seen much of Neymar, apart from when he plays with Brazil. However, when I have seen him play, he does look like a very good prospect. One thing which might work against him, particularly in the Premier League, is a lack of strength. He would certainly have to bulk up to deal with the hustle and bustle of the Premier League.