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Exclusive: Arsenal’s big money summer transfer – revealed by Untold Arsenal

Is Wenger doing the trick once again? By Walter Broeckx

.We all know that if Wenger wants to buy a player who shows great prospect he is willing to do something special.

The story on how Wenger beat SAF when he signed Aaron Ramsey right under his nose is well known. Ramsey who had been shown round at United by Neville and who had not seen SAF in person on that occasion than was invited by Wenger. Wenger took Ramsey on the plane to Austria and talked with him in person on how he was seeing the future of Ramsey.

United who had already mentioned the fact that Ramsey would sign for them as a 100 % sure had to eat their words as Ramsey was so impressed with the personal contact and attention that Wenger gave he decided to go to Arsenal. A great move from Aaron and from Wenger.

But this was not the first time Wenger used this tactic, for there’s also the story of when he made a personal contact with the Cesc and his family. We can see that our manager really is a man who is not only interested in the player but also tryies to do his best to accommodate the family of the player as well.

Certainly if you go to another country as Cesc did I think it is very important for the family of the player to know who you are dealing with. Well I, as a father, would take that in a account if I had to make such a decision.






The story about Vermaelen is another example of how Wenger deals with players he absolutely wants to sign for Arsenal. The negotiations had been going on between Vermaelens’ manager and Arsenal for some time. And then Wenger decided to take his phone and talk direct to Vermaelen when he was on holiday to talk about the way Wenger was looking in to it and the fact that he really wanted Vermaelen to sign for Arsenal. Thomas admitted that to get a phone call from Wenger was really one of the biggest and most important things and played a major part in his decision.

I really think that the fact that Vermaelen at first hesitated a bit on joining the Arsenal had everything to do with the fact that he could have stayed his whole career at Ajax, where he was already a captain at a young age. His bread was baked over there (as we say in Belgium).

And maybe he feared a bit the fact that he maybe just wouldn’t be good enough. That old Flemish habit, (a bad habit it seems),  of being modest about your own performances. But just the fact that Wenger found Vermaelen so important to give him a personal call was the last push he needed to take on the biggest challenge of his life. And how well did he do.

So these are three things in which Wenger made a vital and final contribution on bringing in players that really have been great signings or will become in the future (in Aaron’s case).

But now onto today’s issue.

One of the hottest prospects in European football is another Belgian player and every transfer period, (well the last one anyway), he has been linked with moves to whatever club you can think of.

His name is Eden Hazard and he plays for Lille, in France.  He was chosen as best young player in last season in France.

Real Madrid, Liverpool, Barcelona, Milan, and Arsenal all have been named as possible buyers of the biggest hope and prospect of Belgian football. Even this week media reports suggested that Liverpool has asked Lille how much he would cost and the put a price of 22 million euro on his young head.



Hazard himself has recently signed a new contract with Lille, but this could have been a smokescreen so Lille can be sure they hold the cards when other teams come in to try to buy him away.

And today the news got in the papers in Belgium that Eden Hazard, who is 19 by the way, has received a phone call from Wenger himself. The press reports don’t mention what was said exactly but they all point out that this looks like the Vermaelen transfer all over again.  As with Vermaelen Arsenal has been sending scouts to almost every game he plays for the last season, to training session to see how he lives and to practice games.  So yes it looks like Wenger is really interested in him like he did with Vermaelen.

But Hazard was quoted as having said: “He had signed a contract with Lille but that he was very flattered with the interest in him and it could be a dream come true to play in the EPL at some stage in his career”. He also has said that one his dream teams was Arsenal.

We will soon know if Wenger has done the trick once again. If he comes it will be another nail biting moment I must confess. When Vermaelen came I hoped and prayed he would be good enough. I would have been afraid to show up in London if Vermaelen would have done it all wrong. Instead Thomas did us fans from over here a big favour. If we now say we are from the same country as Vermaelen we only get extremely good reactions. Hope that if Hazard does come over he can do the same trick like Vermaelen did. And if he comes you will have known why and you have read it here first.

——————-

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40 comments to Exclusive: Arsenal’s big money summer transfer – revealed by Untold Arsenal

  • Bongo

    Vermaelen has been the signing of the season for any team in the premier league. He is the best defender Arsene has ever bought,why? simple he’s still only 24. I’m still ahocked at how good he is and still a very young man for his position we potentially have 8 years with this guy on our team continuing to gain experience and improve. His determination, spirit and tenacity is something which has rubbed off on others in the team, especially Gallas, Song and Fabregas, who have all settled down to having a pitbull like defender behind them willing to dive into even the most unlikely of tackles (Celtic champions league)

    I hope we find a long term partner of equal ability for him though, perhaps djourou is that player, perhaps another defender must be bought. Gallas is too injury prone in recent seasons and always at the most important part of our season. Last year his absence was easily the reason we were knocked out of the champions league.

  • LRV

    Indeed, if it turns out to be true that Arsene spoke with Eden, I would welcome that wholeheartedly. However, I would be loath to believe what the media reports. Did we know about Wenger’s personal involvements (the phone call & visit) with Thomas’ and Aaron’s transfers before they signed? He tries to ensure at all times that these things are kept quiet, doesn’t he? Why would he change that now?

  • LRV you are right of course.

    But it really feels good to write EXCLUSIVE for once, and live in a little fantasy world in which we know before everyone else.

    Made me feel like a real journalist.

    Oh, not quite I want to feel like a real journalist…

  • Eden Hazard born January 1991.

    Belgian who primarily plays as an attacking midfielder, generally on the wing. Known for speed and technical ability. Currently Young Player of the Year.

    First played for Lille aged 16. He became part of the first team in 2008 and made regular appearances as sub, and he became the youngest player to score a goal in the club’s history.

    His current contract runs until 2014 – the previous contract lasted until 2012.

    This month he scored the only goal in Lille’s victory over Liverpool in the first leg of the Europa League match.

    In 2008 he joined the Belgium squad for a match against Luxembourg coming on as a sub.

  • Davi

    It would be nice if true, and the transfer works out. I saw a little bit of him recently and he certainly looks very good.
    The other one that is being talked about is Eriksen from Ajax, who also looks very good.
    I think that might be a more realistic option for us because I’d have thought hazard would be very expensive, and there is demand for him, whereas Eriksen I believe is nearing the end of a youth contract. Could be wrong though, it’s all just from paper gossip really.

  • AaronGSi

    Great article Walter,
    I’ve seen Eden Hazard play quite a few times, and he will definitely be a top, top player. He has loads of pace, good technical skills and can play on either flank, so he’s perfect for Arsenal’s system. I’ve also read one or two articles in which the lad says his dream is to move to either Arsenal or Real Madrid, so I can see legs in this one. (maybe TV will have some influence in this as well, being captain of the national team and in contact with the lad?)
    I would also like to ask your thoughts Walter, on Romelo Lukaku. I hear he is the hottest prospect to come out of Belgium for a long, long time and is already a regular with Anderlecht despite being only 16. Have you heard if he is on Arsenal’s radar too? How good is he?

  • Bongo

    Am I the only person who thinks we have enough Attacking midfielders at the moment? I mean out of all the positions that’s the one where we have the best cover including some promising youngsters waiting in the wings.

    Especially in our current 4-3-3 formation, I just don’t see where he’d fit in.

  • ibbs

    The manure loving press have printed an OLD arshavin story:)
    Unbelievable timeing!

  • taeryn

    Whether there’s any substance to it remains to be seen, but Hazard is a hugely exciting young player. Seems to have his head screwed on straight as well.

    Nice piece Walter, thoroughly enjoyable read.

  • Paul C.

    Ibbs – I notived that as well. H

  • Paul C.

    Sorry – pushed wrong key!!!! How old is that Arshavin stuff? 3 or 4 months? More? Hilarious stuff.

  • critic

    how many midfielders do u guys want??there’s not enuff space to accomodate present mfs, why would he want to sign another one given his price tag 22mill…..it’s just ridiculous.

  • Aaditya

    Hey Walter, would you know how much it would cost to buy Hazard, Lukaku and Rits? All of them look like superstars for the future and a figure about 24-25m pounds actually for once sounds worth it for these 3 combined. Then again, how would we accommodate everyone?

  • 0.9 Calibre

    I have to agree with the critic.. I watched Hazard against Liverpool and the guy is great.. good touch.. would fit right in.. but in our present 433 system we already have walcott, nasri, Rosicky and eboue vying for the right wing while Arshavin and bendtner (when RVP is fit) vying for the left wing… Arshavin imho as kind of cemented his place on the wings so that makes Bendtner a back up for RVP for the central role.. even if Arshavin gets injured I think atleast 2 out of 4 players (nasri,rosicky,eboue,walcott) will be available to fill that void… Its hard to keep buying and still keep the current crop of talented youngsters happy.. Man, Wenger has one heck of a job.. Would never trade mine with him..

  • Davi

    I don’t know that hazard has greater potential than carlos vela, he just needs to adapt to wing play I think.
    In terms of natural talent, pace and strength I think carlos is at least as good, but hazard has grown up quicker, like fabregas did.

  • Omar Riaz

    hey dude nice article it is good to knowb ut i heard that Arsenal r behind him since he was 11 years old can u tell me is that true n if we sgin him where will he play n on which position we have so may great players….. but we shld sign him he rockS!!!!!!!! n will hv good communication with Vermaelen so go Arsenal

  • Lanre Apata

    I hope it happens and when it does, I’d remember “I heard it first from Walter”

  • lee

    u really think arsene will spend 22 mil on a 19 year old?

  • lee

    why are we buying more midfielders surely our biggest concern is buying a young CB or striker

  • walter

    To give you some extra information.
    Hazard is French speaking at home as he comes from La Louviere a town in Wallonië, the French speaking part of Belgium. So he could communicate with the other French speaking players immediatly.

    He is not very big – more Arshavin size – but he has a lot ot speed and skill. In Belgium he is one of the players we expect the most of in the near future.

    Since this season he almost starts in every game for Lille. 42 games so far and he scored 10 goals and has 6 assists to his name. NOt bad for a 19 year old in a league that we might see as not so good but the French league has 2 teams in the 1/4 final of the CL. So it must be that they do play some nice football over there. It’s the same number as the PL and even better than the Spanish league.

    Lille has been in the title race but the last weeks they have dropped off pace a bit. So once again he does not play for a little club in a little league.

    On Lukaku I will answer in another post as i really have to leave now.

    BTW I don’t think Wenger will pay 22 million for Hazard. I think Arsenal will use every trick in their book to get something off that price as they usually do. 😉 Remember Barcelona offered much more than we for Arshavin in the summer and Arsenal pokered and paid a lot less at the end.

  • walter

    And the media in Belgium in which this came is not media like the sun or other tabloids. If the sun is on a scale from 0 to 10 = 10 than our newspaper are on this scale around 2 or 3

  • Why buy more players in any position? That’s a good question, when we have the 28 Golden Players, that we have been debating in the other thread of late. (That list is now up permanently, and you can reach it from the home page).

    What I do think is that Lord Wenger is now accepting that multiple injuries is part of the game, and that at any time he will have 6 players out. What’s more he needs players to WIN all the competitions and to partake of what we might now call “Level 5”

    Level 1: EPL
    Level 2: Champs League
    Level 3: FA Cup
    Level 4: League Cup
    Level 5: Loans and internationals (I put them together because internationals are like loans).

    Also you have to recognise that we deal in players. We sell players like Ljunberg, Henry, Vieira and others at a profit, just like we sell the Highbury flats at a profit.

    In short we are running three teams across the five levels, plus injuries, plus we trade. Seems quite a good system to me.

  • But Tony we desperately need players as we ll sell half of Fabregas to Inter and rest of him to Barca. We ll send Bendtner and RvP to Bayern, while its sure that Ebue is already in Inter just we are not aware of it. Ah and yes Arshavin is Barca player they are coming next week to check is hi taller than Messi and if he is not they will take him immediately. Sky Italy also report that Milan is buying player who was supposed to play for us after he is born.
    So, sir Tony I apologize but this time cant agree with you, we need players, any players.

  • Alex

    He’d probably be bought as the future replacement to Arshavin and/or Rosicky. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arshavin sold on in the summer, especially if he continues to put the team down in his interviews and contradicting Wengers decisions. I could be wrong but i think his contract finishes the following year so Wenger would no doubt like to get a decent transfer fee for the little guy before his considered past it.

  • Alex – the Arshavin story in the Sun was a spoof, repaying the Daily Mail for the Arshavin spoof they ran, and which the Sun printed. The Arshavin story was a reprint of an earlier News of the World piece – there is a full article on this just up on the Untold site.

  • Alex

    Yes Tony, i understand that but Arshavin is always going to be outspoken and as we’ve seen before if his views contradict those of the Boss or undermines the talent shown in the youngsters by saying such things as he has done then it wouldn’t be out of the question to see the little russian moved on. Especially with the additional factors of the contract and quantity of players backing up his position.
    Personally i think he’ll stay at least one more season as his experience will be vital in defending our title =D. By that stage we might have Hazard, Vela and Wellington Silva competing for the wide left berth… now that’ll be something!

  • swissgooner

    I hope this is true. I’ve been dreaming of this during whole days (since last summer). I recently wrote a comment in a blog where fans were throwing the usual “wenger-buy-buy” call and I said that AW didn’t need to splash cash in the transfer market except for world class talents like Eden Hazard. I won’t mind actually if Hazard should turn out to be the most expensive signing in Gunner’s history. No doubt: he’s not “another player”, he looks like a future world player of the year. Can you just imagine a mix of C. Ronaldo and Arshavin?

    By the way, Arshavin would be 29 at the end of this season with two years left on his contract. I guess (oh, I just gess!) that should Hazard sign for Arsenal, Arshavin would stay another season (sharing games with Hazard – may be 65/35 in favor of the elder) and then move on (or be sold) to spain. Of course, AA is a great player, but Hazard should be even greater: just 19 and a little 1m70, but so pacy, clever, what a dribbler and what a passer! (you have seen Fabregas at 19 and a little bit of Ramsey. But at this age, Hazard is even better, imo). Another point in his favour is that he’s been taught real team spirit at Lille. He is just ready for the Arsenal challenge, ready to share games with Arshavin next season and then take over.

    By the way, there’s another Belgian talent out there named Romelu Lukaku. I don’t think we need him as much as we need Hazard (especially if AW has long term plans for Bendtner and Emmanuel-Thomas), but that’s another top prospect (surely a better one than Loïc Rémy. The latter is very good, but just very good and there are plenty of very good strikers in the reserve & youth). Do you know what is being said actually in the Belgian press about the (possible) future destination of Lukaku? I’ve found nothing yet, despite googling a lot in the past few months. Thanks!

  • swissgooner

    A few additional details.

    Hazard has a good work rate. He can defend and help to get the ball back. His stats: 42 games for 10 goals this season (all competitions). In the French Ligue 1 this season: 28 games (23 starts), 5 goals & 5 assists. He’s considered as the most influential player of the team when going forward, able to shake defenses and set up goals. Not that bad at 19.

  • Arsesession

    Walter – very nice article.
    I watched the Pool – Lille matches and this unknown (to me) player from Lille made an immediate impression.

    Tony’s analysis: # of players being out every match; total # of competitions ; trades; retiring players and having back ups in the system.

    Genius.

  • wisegooner

    hazards not going to sign for arsenal to be second or even third place to Andri, Nasri, Thomas, Walcott, for the next season or two when he is already almost running his team in france and as i understand it is even gunning for the captins role.

    The simple fact is he would walk into a team like lyon who would be interested and able to sign him.

    Same thing at real madrid, he wont want to play second fiddle to the likes of ronaldo when he is already a regular and a great one at that.

    Also the transfer fee imo is way too high 22m is too much for him.

    If he does move on i would say he would choose a french team like lyon or liverpool in the prem as he has a chance to be a regular first teamer with his competition being benayoun and babel

    Also…arshavin is going nowhere… If anyone goes its gonna be rosisky,gallas,eduardo or eboue.

    I generally go by the rule that if the press are saying wenger is after a player and they are already throwing around phone call and fee rumors then its not going to happen and wenger will surprise everyone with a signing no one saw coming, or even no one at all!

  • lp

    I was kinda hoping that we bought him last year. the kid are good, he’s got good technique and dribbling. watched him against liv on eropa league. hopefully this is true.

  • walter

    As he was mentionend over here I will give some extra information on Romelo Lukaku, one of the hottest prospects in Europe and even in the world.
    At the age of 16 he is top scorer in the Belgium Jupiler League. Jupiler is the name of a beer in Belgium if you would wonder what a strange name we have in our top league.

    His father Roger Lukaku was also a professional football player. Roger Lukaku was born in Congo but he came to Belgium to play football and stayed there. Romelo was born in Antwerp and is a Belgian citizen.

    Yesterday in a newspaper they made a comparison between Romelo at 16 and the best players in the world at the same age. If you just look at the numbers of games played and goals scored there was only one player in the last 50 years that has a better statistic than Lukaku. That player being no other than … Pele.

    According to the Anderlecht official site he has played 40 games so far and scored 21 goals at the age of 16.

    At his age he has better statistics than Maradonna, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Beckham and many more. But one has to take in account that Romelo only plays in the Belgian League and this isn’t the best in the world.

    In the youth teams he mostly played in a higher team for his age. He has a very strong body for his age. He is 1,91 meter (6ft 3 in) and also has pace and good technique. The one thing I doubt about him is his football brains. This is because he once said that he is a Chelsea fan. How on earth is this possible.

    But to make things good his younger brother Jordan Lukaku has declared that he is a Gooner. This Jordan Lukaku is said to be even better but he is not a central striker like Romelo but more a winger.

    Who ever will buy Romelo Lukaku, he has to pass his father Roger. And his father wants his son to finish his school and to have a degree. In Belgium there is a compulsory attendance at school until you are 18. And his father has said on a few occasions that he wants his son to finish school because a football career can end in a split second and then you have to make a living afterwards and have something in hand.

    He seems a wise man. Maybe Wenger should give him a call….

  • AnonymousGun

    22M .. for a backup to AA23(who are bought at 15M?)

    Please. leave the exclusive transfer rumors out >.>

    No hard feeling, but I really feel that this site have way more quality then to dabble in these type of story.

  • Femi Dee

    In addition to the other reasons (Rosicky and Ashavin aging and playing less; deliberately grooming 2.5 teams and allowing for huge redundancies due to injuries and dips in form when players return from International games, periodic calculated sales, etc), I think Wenger is partial to midfielders whether holding, defensive or attacking because of the flexibility they bring into his teams. Within reason, they can be played anywhere in the team and we’ve seen cases where they become something different from what they joined the team as.

    Furthermore, AW has always said that he is ready to splash on that special player if and when he deems a player to be of such class. If he knows already that Lille has tagged Hazard with 22mill Euro and he has indeed made direct and personal contact with him, it may be that AW considers him a great future talent or he has thought of some way to bargain down the price.

    Lastly, it may be that AW is moving to another phase of his Arsenal dominance of English and European football whereby he will again begin to compete for the very best and young talents. After all, with the stadium built, the debt down, the youth program humming along, what next would he be doing with all that dough potentially available as his transfer kitty but to continue to widen the gap in quality between Arsenal and the financially struggling competitors – which, for starters, is currently virtually most of the EPL?

    So, Walter here is hoping you were on to a fine scoop!!

    AnonymousGun: I don’t see any problems dabbling into this once in a while if we have a “scoop”; variety is the spice of life.

  • SharkeySure

    Great write up on Lukaku, although God only knows how Beckhams name has ended up in this article !!

    No worries though Walter, I still love your articles.

  • lordgunner

    actually wenger done it with Trezeguet and Henry with Monaco both were on the radar and in talk with PSG.He send the plane too ,to Paris because some people in charge in PSG were not rally sure about them.The rest is history.
    But not the first time either,some European club were after one African kid who look very promising at Canon Yaounde (i think) He convince the Club president to pay to bring him over in France for a trial .His name Mister George Weah 😀

  • swissgooner

    Two videos. Which player scored a goal like these in a major or good (depending on the point of view) competition at 19? Messi? Ronaldo (the Brazilian) or C. Ronaldo?

    The first goal is in the Ligue 1, a formidable run from midfield. One goal and two assists.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ7qsePZU4E&feature=player_embedded#

    The second one is in the Europa Cup. A formidable run again… from midfield.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-GtbpCPiGg&feature=player_embedded

  • swissgooner

    I know my comments are late. But for those who couldn’t understand what I meant by ‘what a dribbler! what a passer!’ Surely they didn’t see this. a 2min42s compilation. Just pure technique! Who says we doesn’t need such a player?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry6mrPXufIw&NR=1

  • Gunnerboy

    Well He is only meant for arsenal and i do agree with one comment if he make a choice to come into arsenal boy o boy theo gonna have tough time, this guy got speed, precision,right technique & good balance… which you dont find in theo soz i love him but he need to improve now…