Sunday, June 15, 2008

We don't need David Villa, but is there anyone else we should pick up at the Euros?

David Villa has been one of the best strikers in Europe during the last few seasons, and after Valencia's disastrous season in La Liga he is very much on the market. In the shop-window or not, his performances so far at the Euros have caught the attention of a fair few prospective buyers.

Crucially, he seems to quite like us. I can't be bothered to look up the article, but he stated a few months ago how much he likes our style of play - as about 40,000 other players have stated recently - and that he would certainly not be opposed to plying his trade at the Emirates. Cesc also came out recently to say how much he'd like Villa to sign for us.

But do we really need him? On the one hand, it'd be foolish to say we don't need a player who's a proven goalscorer at every level - domestic, CL, international - and who is approaching the peak years of his career. I don't doubt that, if we did sign him, he'd probably knock in about 20 goals in his first season. Moreover, if we don't sign him, there's a strong chance he'll be playing for either Chel£ea or Liverpool next season. A partnership of Torres and Villa at Liverpool would be rather terrifying, while the Chavs seem certain to lose one, if not both, of Drogba and Shevchenko this summer. A partnership of Anelka and Villa could be equally formidable.

But watching Villa's goals so far this summer, something struck me.

We already have a player like him: Eduardo.

Whilst there are the worrying doubts about whether Dudu can ever return to the level of performance he began to hint at in the months before his terrible injury, Villa's goals, and finishing prowess, reminded me of Dudu's prowess in front of goal. While one could argue that Villa has a more complete overall game, I'm not sure that justifies splashing out £25m+ on him, especially if van 'balsawood legs' Persie can stay fit for more than 5 minutes next season.

The money would be better invested elsewhere, and a few players have caught my eye.

*van der Vaart. A superb midfield player, who perhaps plays a little too centrally to justify our purchase, but could be a great replacement for Hleb and the perma-injured Rosicky if we could successfully deploy him on the flanks. He has a great range of passing, always looks comfortable on the ball, and I bet we could pick him up on the cheap from Hamburg.

* Boruc. Ok, so Faianski might become as good as him in a few years, but Boruc looks the natural successor to Jens, both in terms of temperament and ability. Talking to someone who is a goalkeeper, we agreed that Almunia makes quite a few unnoticed errors during games - such as his inability to be decisive or dominate his area when high-balls are whipped in. This is opposed to Jens, who is a far more solid overall keeper, but who has made more noticeable errors recently due to age creeping on him.

* Toulalon. Impressed me during the friendly with England, and one of the few French players not to come out of the tournament looking completely inept. Worth a punt, and would seem a ready made replacement for Flamini.

* Podolski. Having a rotten time of it at Bayern, and might be available at a cut-price fee. Whether we could adapt him into a left-winger, as Wenger would inevitably try to do, would be interesting, but he certainly seems to know where the net is.

Any other suggestions? I would say Sneijder but he would easily cost around £30m by the time this tournament is over. That van Persie looked quite good as well, wonder who he plays for...


Anonymous said...

Moutinho please!!! :)

I would like to see Van der Vaart in an Arsenal shirt, and he seems the most realistic signing of all players you've mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree van Der Vaart could be good for Arsenal, but I thought Arsenal most need a defensive midfielder than an offensive one now that Nasri seems to be coming. I liked De Jong only that he is a little short but his vigour, creativity, power and awareness would suit the Premier league. Infact he is probably not dismilar to Flamini as regards height, but better on the ball, power, and passes very well. Also he has more discipline than Flamini. He would complement Fabregas. If Orlando Engerlaar did not lose the ball so much, he would be most suitable as he is tall.


Anonymous said...

I would agree that Van Der Vaart would be a great addition to our squad, and he is apparently available now being that he wants to leave Hamburg for a "new challenge" He suits our style of play and would be experienced but not too old for Wenger to consider him. Moutinho would be a good signing but for a central midfielder that plays the Flamini role I would say that The Pitbull would be a good option, Gattuso, what an addition he would be. He would fit into the Prem's more physical side better than most would. He's not quite in his 30's yet so he's got many years left in him being that he's Italian. He would add that bite to our midfield that's been lacking since Vieira left us. Frings is also a good option, but he is in his 30's so I doubt Wenger would sign him because of his "1 year contract offer" rule to the over 30's. Per Mertesacker would have been a good addition to our squad, but Germany's last performance has damaged any chance he had of joining us, and whatever problem there was with Gallas and Toure seems to have been sorted.
Nice blog.
Gunner #1

Anonymous said...

David Silva
The fact that we do not have a real left midfielder in our squad is a problem. Tomas rosicky, who does very well there, seems to be perminantly injured and as much as i admire him as a player, i think david silva is a natural left winger who would fit into the way we play perfectly. He drifts in from the wing and is full of creativity. Valencia have reportadly put him up for sale and i think he would be a perfect aquisition to our squad.

Anonymous said...

i agree david silva would b a top signing,altho im praying we sign david villa too!!i dont dislike ade but we should cash in now,he wastes far too many chances,villa would sort that.yaya toure,david villa and david silva and i guarantee we will win league and cl nxt season.

Anonymous said...

strongly agree...david silva...or van der vaart....wenger,sign david silva plizzzzzzzzz....

Anonymous said...

Fellow gunners, it seems that every player who is mentioned everywhere about Arsenal, we just jumb up the wagon and say he will fit in here, how many players do we want? it is said we will buy Nasri, now u want Van der Vaart, why if i may ask? where do u want the rest to go? we need someone like Micah Richards, Song can play in the defensive midfield role perfectly, no doubt, Villa will be good if only Ade goes which is unlikely, Buy Robert Green since Hart is overrated, and i know Van Persie and Rosicky will be fit for the whole season and we will win things, Eduardo is coming back, Bentner who imo is better than Ade, with time u will all find out.

Anonymous said...

Van Der Vaart would be a great addition to our team and he'd add some quality to the left when we're missing Rosicky. Both are creative and are capable of scoring many goals in a season. David Silva is a super player but a bit light weight for the premiership. Villa has been great but unless a striker leaves then we won't be signing one. We may see a bit of De La Red in the last group game and he's one i think would be a great replace for Flamini. Other than those said there hasn't been anybody really that has really impressed me. Senna and Modric have played well too. I still hope Wenger brings in a defender this summer, somebody like Zapata or Mertesacker. On Mertesacker i saw him against Poland and maybe Wenger doesn't think he's fast enough for the premiership. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Gk: Boruc / Hart - he is not overated he has had a great season.

CB: Kompany / M.Richards

Mid: Silva & Veloso

Striker: Villa (only if 1 3of our strikers depart)

Sell: eboue, gilberto, bendtner, hleb (if he really wants to go)

Anonymous said...

agree david villa would b a top signing,altho im praying we sign david villa too!!i dont dislike ade but we should cash in now,he wastes far too many chances,villa would sort that.yaya toure,david villa and david silva and i guarantee we will win league and cl nxt season.

Anonymous said...

Its not the wisest to judge players on one tournament but Arda Yuran from Turkey looks good on the left as a Pires-style winger. He is even right-footed.

Anonymous said...

Engalaar (or however you spell it) for the dutch is having a monster tourney, and looks like a decent player in the middle of the park

Anonymous said...

Spot on with the Eduardo/Villa comparison. Song can do the holding role I'm sure so I'm not overly concerned there. Boruc would be a fantastic signing. Outstanding performances for Poland and seems to have a huge presence. Not dismissing Almunia here by any means but this guy is the real deal.

Anonymous said...

Really liked the Podolski idea--the guy seems comfortable on the ball, has a wicked shot, and scores goals. I didn't know that he was unsettled--definitely worth a shot and he's young.

And, I watched the Poland game the other day and was wondering about whether Boruc might've been the Arsenal #1 if we'd picked him up. I was hoping that he'd slip up (so Fabianski would play) but he looked really solid. While Almunia is a solid #2, when he's the starter you always have this feeling that something may go wrong--he never seems to have that commanding presence in goal.

Another person that has caught the eye is Metzelder, the German defender. He seems to fit what we need in the centre of the defense.