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April 2021

Arsenal agree the third signing, and the news we have all been waiting for…

By Tony Attwood

OK let’s get the news we have all been waiting for out of the way first.  It is in the headline in the The Daily Star today, and I quote verbatim…

Arsenal have NOT bid for Mario Balotelli… 

Yep, after five weeks of telling us daily that the man from another planet is about to sign, and after Mr Wenger has told us daily that he is not signing a striker, the Star has finally joined the dots and got the story.  Even for a vapour transfer this has been crazy.

Mind you tomorrow they might well change their minds again, or tell us he is going to sign in January, but for now, the Star Says… No!

In more positive mode, Arsenal in general and Arsène Wenger in particular have agreed to pay something like £3m for the Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina.

He currently plays for Nice and the price was lowered as he had announced he would not re-sign at the end of the 2014/15 season when his contract ran out.

He will be the second keeper, taking on the bench and cup role of Lukasz Fabianski, now with Swansea.   That presumably leaves Martinez as the third placed keeper who will be on the bench for league cup matches at least.

Here’s his record.

Season Team League Games
2005–2008 Atlético Nacional 97
2008–2014 Nice 177

David Ospina is 25 and played in the group and knock out stages for Colombia and in the qualifiers where he conceded the least amount of goals by any South American goalkeeper..  Not surprisingly, his international figures are indeed impressive: 12 appearances for Columbia under 20s and 44 (since 2007) for the national team.

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Our only problem is that when Columbia is playing, he will be there, and not be back in London until late.   Let’s hope there are no league cup matches straight after a Columbia game.

Meanwhile the Guardian is reporting that the Thomas Vermaelen sale to Man U is still possible, but in return he wants either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling and some money.

We’ve also been told  that the three Arsenal players in the Germany world cup team will return to Arsenal on the day after the Community Shield match, and will presumably not be ready for the first game of the season against Palace.

The members of the France squad will come back on monday next so should certainly be ok for the Palace match.  It’s fortunate it wasn’t a France v Germany final.

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33 comments to Arsenal agree the third signing, and the news we have all been waiting for…

  • oldgroover

    Signing Jones or Smalling plus cash from United wouldn’t be as bad a deal as some of our supporters claim. They’re both young, versatile, English, at least as good as Vermaelen and were considered by Arsène before they chose United where they’ve hardly regressed. Sign them both!

  • WalterBroeckx

    It sure was fortunate. That would have left us with 5 players short.

    This shows again that the world cup should have been played earlier and should have ended somewhere at the end of June. That way all players would have been available again for their teams. Who pay their wages by the way.
    Of course you could rush them back but that could cost you in injuries in the next season. OH I hate it when Fufa ficks up our season…

  • bliss

    Keep Vermalen forget Jones or Smalling

  • oldgroover

    How do other Premiership sides phase players back into their squads after tournaments? It must be my perception but it always seems to me as if United, Chelsea & City are at full strength right from the start of each season regardless of how many players were on international duty right up to the later stages of the competitions. Four weeks holiday seems about right, as some of these guys have had no break since last July.

  • Francis Uzochukwu

    In my opinion, I think Phil Jones is a better player than Chris Smalling considering the level of confidence the two players have. I can’t wait to see him (Jones) in Arsenal next season as he would certainly make a difference in that defence team.

  • bc

    I think the fact that mertesacker won’t be returning until 11th August, will mean that vermaelen is held onto at least until 31st august. That will give us cover for the 2 champions league games as well as the opening 3 league fixtures and of course the community shield.

  • Will

    Sorry but Jones and Smalling are no where near Vermaelen. I still think h should be moved up to DM and we get a back up CB.

  • blacksheep63

    I can’t see the Dutch or Brazilians coming back either, so Mancs lose RVP and Chavs will miss Will-i-am and Oscar

  • Tram

    Walter, imagine the fixture carnage then in 2020 with a winter World Cup. How early will that season have to start in order to accommodate the tournament plus the preparation time in the middle? So how early will the preceding season have to finish (and how late the next one start? How long a season will it be for the players – particularly in the top 4 international teams? How much would a manager pay to encourage his senior players to do a Gerrard / Scholes / Zidainne and ‘retire’ from internationals to protect his own career? Brazil 2014, however enjoyable, was just an early practice for the fifafuck that’s coming.

  • Micheal Ram

    I have good impression on Chris Smailing since he broke through Fulham. Physically impressive 6’3″, one of the fastest player in MU, technically sound and still young humble Englishman. No idea why Alex bought or why he went there but hardly progress and full of criticism. Collected cheap medals and made bad reputation there. Young players’ paradise, my foot. If he comes under Arsene, will be the next Tony Adams, I reckon. Definitely not that headless chicken, Phil Jones. Anyways, it’s Arsene’s call. He knows better than anyone else, I’m sure.

  • GoingGoingGooner


    I agree that season, if broken up by the World Cup will be curious at best and shambolic at worst. 3-4 weeks for teams to prepare, 1 month for play and ??? for recovery time. The teams that have players in the last 4 would be seriously impacted if play were to resume quickly after the world cup. The seasons before and after would also have to be shifted significantly and possibly even the seasons before and after them. Thank you FUFA for ficking this one up so royally.

  • nicky

    We keep hearing suggestions about Vermaelen being re-deployed as a dmf.
    While this appears the perfect solution to us as supporters, surely the idea must have been considered by Arsene and his staff…..and discounted.

  • Emeka

    finally am happy my club is doing great in transfer market. up gunners

  • oldgroover

    Exactly. If Vermaelen could do DM he would have done it by now. He’s obviously not good enough for that position which is why I’d like to see Wright in our squad as he can play both central defence and DM. Probably not a first choice player, but a valuable squad member all the same.

  • Joe

    It’s Colombia not Columbia.

  • oldgroover

    Did I say Wright? I meant Jones of course. It’s this heat getting to me I think.

  • nicky

    I guessed you meant Jones, although there is now talk of Nani.

  • oldgroover


    Yeah, saw that Nani thing. Can’t see that can you? Perm any two from Sanchez, Walcott, Cazorla, Gnarbry, Campbell, Podolski, Ox & Nani. Also, most of our supporters detest him.

  • WalterBroeckx

    As each summer we have a nano second of Nani time in the transfer window…

  • Russell

    Eisfeld to Fulham?

  • Charlie

    Not sure whether this site allows links but back in April 2013 Ferguson predicted that Phil Jones could become “the best player in Manchester United’s history”. He has gone off the boil a lot since then but he must have something.

  • Mick

    For a moment I thought you had regressed and was talking about Billy Wright!

  • Charlie

    Phil Jones more of a defensive midfielder. Smalling a CB/FB. As CB cover the best choice would be Jony Evans but his name has not been mentioned. As cover for two positions, DM and CB, Phil Jones would be the best choice.

  • John

    I don’t believe that either Smalling or Jones is good enough to be in our squad. I hope that this talk is just more idle press b….cks.

  • TommieGun

    Another good signing, another good business by AFC this summer.

    Can anybody please show me where all the defeatist bullshitters are?

    I’m kindov missing them … 😉

    ** meanwhile at “I spend too much money” FC (sorry, I meant Chelsea FC) – “we signed a 36(!!!) year old striker”.


  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    The problem for manure is that they cannot sell players fast enough to start the LvG era.
    This is why they did the extend-the-deal then transfer business with Evra to Juventus.
    Let them buy first, and then see how many players they will let go with big rebates.
    If the Boss does want indeed to sell them Vermaelen, he may do so relatively early.
    This way, the Boss can buy whoever he identifies as a good CD from another club.
    On the other hand, they (manure) may want to buy late or after their cleanup.
    I am not sure we really want either Smalling or Jones; only the Boss knows.

  • Nelson Wong

    DM needs positional awareness and discipline. Vermaelen did not do well because he failed to demonstrated those. He has all the skills setsbut he cannot put it into play.

    I think the captain position really do him no good. It gave him more pressure to perform and he somehow thinks he is leading the charge forward…

    Many would be disappointed about Vermaelen because we all know what he can do but after all the trainning and “education” at Arsenal, he is not getting there.

    btw, David Luiz failed Brazil the same way but in a much worse fashion.

  • lyrik

    podolski is far better than nani.please reject nani bid

  • Riaan

    If you believe Nani to Arsenal stories you need a serious health check.

  • gooner

    keep podolski and vermaerlen .stick yer ex man u crap up yer arse .
    arsene you should be working in khedira ospina caslas and bender .we need a bigger squad not swaps .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    These oldsters had some fine good footwork .Well it kept Hope alive !

  • H Bo

    Vermaelen has been awful last few games he seems to always have a mistake in him a bit like clichy I would be glad to see him replaced although jones is a donkey even though we had the greatest donkey to play football I am not sure he could emulate Tony as for these players back late we should cope although City will be very strong although fernandinho and demichelis will probably be missing and as much as I would love to beat them I won’t lose no sleep