By Tony Attwood
Chuba Akpom is a forward who is seen as one of the new sensational stars at Arsenal, and is being spoken of as having the class and ability level of Jack Wilshere.
So far this season he has played nine games in the under 21 league and scored three, and six in the Next Gen series and scored two.
And all that at the age of 17. (Last season, aged 15 – he was 16 in October) he played for the under 18s. This year, he is playing for England’s Under-19s.
According to reports he has it all – physical presence, good runner, cool, on target, intelligent, mature.
I mention him for a simple reason that a lot of people are saying we need more and more players brought in.
A fairly common view is that we need a new striker who will take over the mantle of Robin van Persie, but the problem there is who? If Man U were reduced to paying such a huge fee / salary for a player aged 29, that suggests that there are not that many really great goalscorers available for transfer.
For Man U obviously it has worked thus far, but they are committed to paying RVP until he is 35 and who is to say how many games he will be getting by that age. It is more than likely that within 18 months he will be breaking Thierry Henry’s record of being paid £250,000 a game. (I suspect that Sir F Word knew perfectly well that when the salary of RVP becomes a scandal, he won’t be at the club any more, and he simply wanted to beat Man C to the title this year- so would spend anything on anyone.)
In terms of a strike force we have Theo, Podolski, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and that’s before we contemplate the players like Gervinho who have not been delivering of late. Do we really need another striker to fill the gap until Chuba Akpom is ready?
If we do then the possibles are:
- Thierry Henry on loan.
- Demba Ba
- David Villa
- Adrian Lopez
- Fernando Llorente
But then who drops out? It is fine to have another top striker, but who is going to be happy on the bench if all stay fit?
There is also talk of us needing a goalkeeper – but there is always talk of needing a goalkeeper. Personally I think the current incumbent is doing fine and lurking in the wings is Damien Martinez – certainly a player who we don’t want to frustrate by putting more and more experienced keepers in front of him.
Next there is the suggestion that we need another defensive midfielder because Song has not been replaced. Assuming that Diaby is not going to be able to play again (which is a terrible tragedy) the player we do have who is getting games regularly is Francis Coquelin. Although we see him play across the defence, defensive midfield is his position. And we know he can play (where ever he is put – remember the Tottenham game, for example).
He has been with us since 2008 (Untold picked up on him in our very early days, and for once we were right). He won the FA Youth Cup in 2009, and has the European Under-19 Championship with France.
So really, who do we need? Theo isn’t going anywhere this transfer window, and although there is always a chance that he will move on in the summer, I doubt it.
I know there is £40m or more available – but the AAA, although calling for more purchases, will scream even louder if we don’t get a player who delivers at once in a better way that we have at the moment.
Last year at this time we brought in the attacking midfielders Thomas Eisfeld and Thierry Henry. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mr Henry again, and another unknown. If we need another attacking midfielder then we have Rosicky. He won’t last much longer, but he is available now.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t buy – and I would be very surprised if not buying caused us any problems.
- The mysterious and secret 5th official: an Untold exclusive
- Transfer fees and FFP: a revolution in the making.
- Theo Henry
- Goal fest at the Emirates.
- Ref Review: Anthony Taylor – Reading Vs Arsenal (2 – 5) [17/12/2012]
- At last: football. Arsenal v the men the Sir F-word hates
- Bowing for the mighty and powerful
- Ref Review: Lee Mason – Aston Villa Vs Arsenal (0 – 0) [24/11/2012]
- Ref Review: Howard Webb – Arsenal Vs Tottenham Hotspur (5 – 2) [17/1
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Are Arsenal really making progress, or are we starting to slip back?
- Luton 3 Arsenal 4: maybe it is time to say positive things
- Luton v Arsenal – the referee, the team, Saka and Cliff Bastin
- Luton Town – how do they play the game. The tackles, fouls and cards.
- Luton Town v Arsenal: Grim football, fewest goals, lowest possession rate