Untold Awards 3: The Player who you would most like to see us sign.



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By Tony Attwood

This was the third category in the recent Untold Awards discussion – the players we would most like to see at the club – ideally by the time the new season starts.

One of the most popular choices was Podolski, and since we held the poll, his transfer has been confirmed.  Quite a change from last season when all we were hearing about at this time was Nasri and Fabregas.  It rather seems to be Tottenham’s turn to go through that with Bale and others talking about looking at their future.

But that’s their problem.  Who else was nominated?

Here’s the long list

  • Vertonghen
  • M’Villa
  • Belhanda
  • Kaka
  • Javi Martinez
  • Hazard
  • Wayne Rooney
  • Essien
  • Theirry Henry
  • Sessegnon
  • Falcao
  • Moussa Dembele.
  • Ronaldo
  • Some unknown in the Laurent Koscielny mould
  • Iker Muniain
  • Oezil
  • Goetze
  • Holtby
  • Eriksen
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Fabregas
  • Messi
  • Toni Kroos

Some of the answers came with commentaries – and some admitted that their choice was not possible but was who they wanted to see.

One thing that struck me was the “Some unknown in the Laurent Koscielny mould” comment – which turned up several times – each time with the Koscielny name attached.   It is interesting that just as some years back Song was at first derided and jeered by the AAA (in the years before Untold took them on and exposed what they were up to) but then recognised to be a star player, so Koscielny has suffered the same fate.

Koscielny is rather like Pires in this regard in that he looked rather lost and out of it at the start, but went on to become a star performer.

For the AAA this is not acceptable – Arsenal should buy top quality players and they should fit in at once.   But football doesn’t work like that.  The players have to work into the system – generally in a foreign country – and that takes time.  But the only way to do this is to play in the first team.

What also is interesting is the sudden upsurge in interest in signing German players.

The player who got the most positive comments was Jan Vertonghen – so he wins the vote.

We’ve already got an article on him – and here’s the list of articles so far.  More will follow through the spring and summer.


39 Replies to “Untold Awards 3: The Player who you would most like to see us sign.”

  1. I don’t know if the parents of Vermaelen will travel with the Eurostar next Saturday but if they do I will try to have a chat with them and try to see if they now something more about Vertonghen.

    Last year when I spoke with Vermaelen in his home town, he said that he is a close friend with Vertonghen so I think that if there are talks between Arsenal and Ajax and Verthonghen that Vermaelen will know about it.

    But I know his parents sometimes go by plane to London so not really sure they will be on the Eurostar this Saturday.

    And with the rumours hotting up about Vertonghen it will be interesting to hear if there is something real or not.

  2. honestly i’d take fabregas back in an instant….but the most likely ones i think are m’vila holtby and Vertonghen i certainly wouldnt mind all three joining.holtby gets my vote…..

  3. Tony

    Did u get your list right? I thought I saw some bastard named ‘Wayne Rooney’ on the list :p

    How on earth did somebody suggest Arsenal buy that diving cheat who ended our unbeaten run? Unbelievable

  4. Personally, I think the Arsenal branch should stick to their motoring duties?
    I am trying to overcome my aversion to this chatter, but that list show how much fans feel we need to strenghthen. It would be nice not to have to keep on eye on Eurobot, much as I enjoy some of his comments, for the whole of July and August? However, when this 3rd spot is finally secured – this Saturday I hope – I think there will be an announcement on RVP’s future. That might change that list completely?
    Personally, I would love Robin to stay and get his rewards of a trophy or two next season. But ….
    I just hope AW is not going to drag it out in a Cesc way, but already knows what needs to be done if Robin says No!

  5. Guys, Jan Vertonghen is slightly overrated. He has some potential, and could turn into a special player… but right now he is nowhere near Arsenal-material (better then Squillaci though).

    He is comfortable with the ball on his feet, but he his decision making isn’t that good. When he makes a run trough the middle he overruns himself too often, leaving a gap behind him for the opposition striker to run in to.

    He was also terrible defending in a high line. It’s better now but still nowhere near good enough. He doesn’t have the same feeling for position as Koscielny, Vermaelen or Mertesacker have.

    His concentration level is bad.

    And he still lacks strength for the Premier League. But i know this can be completely different after a year of staying at a PL side. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    But he is a natural leader. Ajax is making a very good run in the Dutch Eredivisie and Vertonghen leads them (while he was terrible in the first half of the season).

    So he has the potential to become a usefull defender, but needs at least one year to develop and to be honest if he goes to Tottenham i think he will fail.

  6. I think Robin will sign on,vertoghen looks a sure bet to wear our stripes next season and so does Mvilla,feels good to see the club making moves for players most of the fans agree the team needs (even though the fans are not always right). News coming out from France says Mvilla was arrested (he has been released now) for slapping his sister’s boyfriend,the players lawyer released a statement saying the player understands that he reacted in a wrong way but insists that the slap was provoked by the betrayal of trust he had placed on the young man (his sister’s boyfriend).
    My conclusion; This shows (Imo) that the player understands what loyalty is all about *cough* Na$ri *cough, and he will stick out for his teammates on and off the pitch.

  7. who’s this holtby? been hearing about the guy for a while now. where is he from and which club does he play for?
    i would love for us to sign shinji kagawa. we need another creative midfield player in my opinion. problem is that he seems to be heading to man united.

  8. A creative midfielder?? Does the name Jack Wilshere ring a bell?
    Did you by any chance take a look at the highlights from our game at Cologne? Did you see how he made both goals for a big part? His chipped pass over the defence and the vision to give the ball to Theo for the second goal?

    Why don’t we wait for Jack Wilshere to return as he is one hell of an attacking and creative midfielder.

  9. AM – BenArfa/Erikkson….dribblers/magicians
    CF – giroud/M.Suarez
    DM – M’Vila
    CB – Vertoghen/?
    GK – sorenson type as backup keeper or even to challenge our Pole

    The big one….hazard…..but we should sell Walcott for him

  10. It’s not so much players that I would like to see signed, it’s sorting out how we defend.
    Far too often when we lose the ball the defenders are running around in a totally disorganised way. As a result we see 2 or 3 players running towards the ball leaving huge gaps for forwards to run into.

  11. Yes I too want Dean, Webb and Dowd ! But not when we play MUTD. I know Arsenal don’t have that much Transfer Kitty to buy all three.

    For me 1. Jon Vertonghen 2. Yann M’villa 3.Dempsey / Moses

  12. A nice back-up goalie would be Frey of Genoa, in the not so unlikely event that they get relegated to the Serie B.

    It is really hard to even name players for Arsenal with some thought behind it. Vertonghen would be nice, just so that nobody around us will get him, however it might become overkill with the Verminator, Koscielny and Mertesacker already in our squad.

    I would want to have a new LB, because I feel that you need a big squad to challenge for trophies. The problem is that Coquelin has been great at LB at times and if he is not so unlucky next season with injuries, you might have a player with huge potential, not getting some playing time.

    The same dilemma is there with the CDM position and again with Coquelin. Not forgetting Frimpong of course, but I would like to see him get loaned out to a Premier League-club again.

    We need an AMF. Period. Someone to take off the load in attack that is now on RVP. As you can see, I am confident that he will stay, so you need someone who can force something when RVP can’t. Eriksen and Hazard are out of our reach, they have the attention of every club that is somebody, so their price tag will be insane. Belhanda of Montpellier has been an absolute wrecking machine in the Ligue 1 and will not be so expensive. I am confident that he has the quality. I would also like to look at the Bundesliga for impactful players. Both the Ligue 1 as the Bundesliga has lots of players who are able to adapt quickly to a new league + are not so expensive, as they are not overhyped, outside from the Gotzes and the Hazards.

  13. Walter,
    I’m all for Dean, Webb and Dowd. They don,t stop us fielding 11 players still and they sure can win us a lot of EPL, Carling Cup and FA Cup matches.
    Pity, they don’t do Euro-games…but they can be good links to their colleagues who do.

  14. Couple people mentioned Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund. I saw in the media that he wants to move to England – I would assume that for a young player, Arsenal would the first choice for development.

    Is there any place for him in a team already packed with young and talented midfielders? I think so, but I suppose I am just hoping he doesn’t go to Man Utd and make them more money in Asia…not to mention learning all their cheating habits.

  15. Couple people mentioned Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund. I saw in the media that he wants to move to England – I would assume that for a young player, Arsenal would the first choice for development.

    Is there any place for him in a team already packed with young and talented midfielders? I think so, but I suppose I am just hoping he doesn’t go to Man Utd and make them more money in Asia…not to mention learning all their cheating habits.

  16. I would agree with Head, on Belhanda or Kagawa for an ATM, thier stats are excellent and are both regarded as if the the best but on par with the best of the players in the ATM position in both of their leagues. Both look supremely talented with lots of space to improve to become world class.

    Walter, bringing one of them in would mean less pressure on Wilshere and means we could develop Wilshere better because we would be able to rest him-furthermore, Wilshere would get games in the ATM role but also the arteta position.

    I would prefer there was not so much pressure on Wilshere on his first season back from a season long injury, I mean, we have all noticed the unwarranted pressure and expectation placed on Ramsey this season.

    AKB and I hope that he makes one of these signings, I think it would make our team and squad.

    However, with taking on another 6 million a season in wages (podolski’s wages rough guess), I would not be surprised if we have to sell a few players before we can sign anymore…

  17. Regarding the mass clamour of Jan Vertonghen, it just does not add up for me. We allready have 2 strong first team defenders with 2 excellent deputies (merter and djourou) and two other central defenders on the fringes (Bartley, Iggy). Either bartley or iggy should be given a loan next season, but that till leaves us with 5 players for 2 positions.

    Fans say Vertonghen can play in the DMF position but can some1 tell me how many actual times he has played in this position and can they verify that he performed excellently (youtube does not count). Also, we have Coquelin who covers for this position at the moment and I think he does a great job.

    He looks a good player who brings the ball out of defense, but does vermaelan not do this well allready?

    Would Vertonghen be happy to play backup to our first two centre back pairing and back up to Song in DM?

    I would be very surprised if wenger signed him.

    I get the feeling that fans are getting influenced by the fact that he has 1 year left on his contract and would cost less than 10 million, making it a wenger like signing.

    We were in for an ATM (Goetze/Mata) and a DM (M’villa) last summer and did no get either, if I had to bet, I think wenger is looking to get one of these positions tidied up, preferably the ATM position…

  18. M’Vila sounds a character. Probably the best bet.

    Defensively only VM and Koz are proven…although Song can also play defence.
    Will be interesting to see how Wenger resolves the issues….

    I don’t think AW will do much trading. Normally he repsonds to a crisis by bringing back a loanee,
    who then proves to be rather good, (eg Wilshire, Sceznzy)

    Man U are in meltdown with a 100 million to splurge. lol.

    Keep Calm and Carry on.

  19. @walter why deal with the minions when you can directly get the master? I have to say though it would need a hefty sum to convince Riley to cut short his contract with Fergie and a more hefty one to convince Fergie to sell him

  20. I’m with Jacobite. Do we need another backup CBs in Vertonghen. Sure he’s a good player, but we already have four quality CBs. Unless Djorou is sold (unlikely since he just signed a new deal), where would Vertonghen play? M’Vila on the other hand. I would be elated if we signed him and pushed Song further up the pitch, or had the option of playing two WC holding MFs. Perhaps we need to sign one more attacker and Kagawa seems to fit the bill (last year of contract, good goal and assist numbers).

    But, if I could sign any player today it would be Cavani…he’s like Drogba when he was in his prime.

  21. kagawa does make a lot of sense on many levels. him and mvila and id be extremely happy.

  22. I am in agreement with Walter, sign Dean! 🙂

    Further agreeing with Walter, if JW is back healthy it will be like a new MF signing since he did not play this season. In this scenario, my vote would be for “None of the above”.

    Let’s not forget the quality we have in our youth team. I would love to see Wenger turn to the youth team for the Carling + FA Cups as I think they will be more than competitive and prioritize the first team exclusively for the BPL + CL. This would reduce the matches the first team has to play and hopefully keep them fresh/healthy. Wouldn’t it be someone if we do a treble with the youths winning the Carling Cup while the first team doubles up on the BPL and CL? One can surely dream … 🙂

  23. M’villa, a purported estimate of 17-22 million for a DM? as said, he’ a DM, I’m just not sure we should spend that much for DM, you know?

    On the other-hand, 12-15 million for an ATM such as Belhanda (who’s been lighting up the french division 1) or Kagawa, who we may have a chance with as he wants to play in the EPL (been quoted saying so) and as Ducats said, he’s in the last year of his contract so he would also cost circa £15 million (due to this proven bundesliga pedigree).

  24. Hehe, someone told us to sell Theo and buy Hazard! Unbelievable! Has he watched any of our games this season?

    I agree with Mahdain, we should sign Riley, although I’m afraid the Rednose won’t sell him 😀

  25. I honestly dont know who I would like to see bought this summer.

    The one thing I do know is though that if Jan Vertonghen and Yann M Villa arrived we would probably win the league next season.
    I think the strength in depth would be serious.

  26. PS I see Carlos Vela tonight scored his 6th goal in 7 games to end Athletico Madrids chance of Champs League football.

  27. Interesting evening. Chelsea all but taken care of. Newcastle will drop points, a win against Norwich and top four almost certainly beckons. The media and aaa will be delighted the spuds still in with a shout, st totts day could go right to the wire. Hopefully, if complacency really is a feature of this team, it will now be banished for the next two games.
    Third should have been wrapped up, shame there were two positive results this evening, but we like doing things the hard way
    A two nil win against Norwich, and a ruination of Roy Hs final game will do the trick

  28. @mandy i heard Dean was up to his usual antics today blatantly helping Arry’s team and have to agree with you..we MUST win our two remaining games simply because it the only way..dont think spuds will drop points as they have Dean as 4th official in their next match and same goes to newcastle playing city with Webb in the middle..
    I dont know why but im having a strange feeling we will be seeing Dean in our last match vs brom..it cant be can it?

  29. Would not be surprised if we get dean again Mahdain. Only saw bits of the game, will defer to the ref reviewer, but the first goal for modric looked like there was a handball by santos that would have stopped this goal being scored.
    Think Webb will allow Newcastle and city to draw. We should beat norwich, and hopefully broms players will be on the beach putting in a typical performance of a team whose manager is leaving.if we get dean, the club should complain. Think dowd could be another option, but hope for clattenberg, we never get him any more. Wonder why?
    We need to start scoring again in the remaining games, hopefully rvp gets a second wind, and is helped by others. Think we will be ok, bit it will be close. Win this weekend and surely fourth at worse? I really believe bayern will win the Cl, for a number of reasons………

  30. I really like Youssef Belhanda, but the problem is that he may have to go on CAM duty for Morocco. Giroud is having one hell of a season, but can he replicate next year? I am not sure.
    Sessegnon is doing fine in a good club, but I remember his days at PSG with some great games and some really bad performances.
    I actually like Ben Arfa and N’Zogbia (another inconsistent player) better than Sessegnon; N’Zonzi is a good squad player with excellent headers on offense and defense; the best bets in the EPL are infact Miyaichi once he is ready and the combative Lansbury, a player with a real fighting spirit. But with Jack Wilshere coming back, there will be less spots on the squad.
    Vertonghen can help as he is a better back up on the left as compared to TV5, and both Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs are prone to injury, and he can also play as a defensive midfielder.
    As to Yann M’Vila, I have seen him with Rennes and with les Bleus, and he is better with les Bleus as players on the French national squad are far better than the players at Rennes. Still, he may become very costly to bring in if the French do well at Euro 2012 and his stock goes up. With Coquelin being versatile, including his ability to play at right back, I do not see the Yann M’Vila trade as a particularly easy one.
    If Napoli does not make the CL, Cavani may be transferred, but there will be top clubs (including Man City) lined up for him.
    Ray from Norfolk, Virginia.
    PS: I would not mind Michel Platini; that would help us in the CL; Platini’s dad Aldo gave Arsene Wenger his first ever head coaching job at ASNL (not Arsenal but Association Sportive Nancy Lorraine) back in 1984.

  31. NilmaR should be on the list ! Wenger is supposed to have an interest on this outstanding young Brazilian forward.

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