By Tony Attwood
This is a very strange pre-season. A very un-Arsenal pre-season.
We have on occasion been off the mark so fast we sign players before the transfer window opens. Remember Carl Jenkinson (8 June) Aaron Ramsey (13 June), Overmars, Petit and Grimandi (all 17 June) Gio van Bronckhorst (19 June) Vermaelen (19 June), Bergkamp (20 June), Hleb (27 June).
Sometimes it all seems to be a rush on the last day of the transfer window (Ozil is of course the perfect example, along with Mertersacker, Arteta, Gallas)
This year it’s different. We are saying “no” to re-signing players in June. First it was Cesc Fabregas, and now it is Carlos Vela.
Vela, you will recall, joined Sociedad on loan in 2011 and then did a permanent deal with them in 2012, but as with Cesc, there were clauses in the contract which allowed Arsenal to get him back and/or make a further profit.
(Interestingly some of these profits are beginning to sound rather tasty, although the clubs having to pay them out are going to great lengths to deny that such clauses exist. You might remember the money we made each time David Bentley was sold and then sold again – a brilliant move. Chelsea have put out stories suggesting they avoided paying Arsenal by cutting the buying price, but the general feeling is Arsenal got about £6m out of the sale from Barce to Chelsea.)
Anyway, Arsenal have now agreed a deal with the Real Sociedad which allows them to keep Val for 15million euros. Realsociedad’s web site says, “Real Sociedad have reached an agreement with Arsenal for Carlos Vela to continue at the txuri urdin club.
“Real Sociedad have also reached an agreement with Carlos Vela to renew his contract for the next four seasons.” They also suggest he has signed his bit of the deal.
So what are Arsenal up to?
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Well, presumably they know exactly who they are going for and exactly what the shape of the team will be next season. Doing deals with World Cup players is not impossible but restricted to specific cases. Vela, of course, famously has not played for Mexico since he was dropped for being naughty.
Fabregas was such a known player, and so much not part of Barcelona’s DNA that there was no point in waiting to see what sort of a World Cup he would have. In fact he played 12 minutes of the first two Spain matches and then Del Bosque was so unimpressed with his attitude in training and the low intensity he was operating at. the man that was Cesc was ordered from the training session.
As for new comers the media is getting very worked up about Mario from Italy, but I’m not sure. If Mr Wenger believes as much in Sanogo as he seems to, and we have Campbell as well as Giroud, why buy another top centre forward? If he did, Giroud would probably want to leave after such a kick in the teeth, and the new comer would take the usual year or two to adjust, so we never get the prime benefit of Giroud.
Vela was interesting because of Wenger’s comment about him being a new Eduardo, and would presumably have been willing to fit in both on the wing and in the centre – and would not have expected to be the number 9 in every game.
So it is still the full back and central midfielder if Vermaelen leaves that look like the prime contenders to me. But who? I haven’t a clue.
But then, you already knew that.
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