Japanese youngster Sho Ito, a headline writers dream, looks set to be one of the two moves on deadline day transfer activity at Arsenal with the news that Tevez and Mascherano have both signed season long loan deals at the ‘Appy ‘Ammers. Whilst Tevez does not disappoint me with that move, I am surprised that yet again Arsene did not get Mascherano. The midfield is in dire need of bolstering or for the big players to perform. In many ways, the easiest way to improve a players performance is to sign a direct competitor for their position. At the moment, Gilberto is under no pressure and nor really is Ljungberg or Hleb – the former is injured so frequently at the moment that he is fit for about 15 games a season or so it seems. Similarly the defence needs help and not just any help, it has to be experienced help. Djourou is still very young and learning and so it could be of benefit for him to spend another year or two learning his trade. That way, he would be ready to handle the likes of Shevchenko and Saha on a weekly basis rather than in one-off World Cup matches when arguably the former had a poor game. Senderos too would benefit from a wiser head in training and on the pitch. He is still a youthful player, prone to those mistakes that hopefully get eradicated with age and experience. Last season he benefitted from being rested after Drogba had twice given him the runaround in a six week spell. He came back stronger but if that happens this season, Senderos is replaced by Djourou and you kind of get the feeling that the circle will be turning. Note that in all of this I have not mentioned Cygan – ’nuff said.
Reyes may or may not be going to Atletico, Real apparently have offered a straight swap for Baptista for a season long loan. Whilst Baptista has not been a hit in Madrid, no-one should hold that against him as for the past four years, the Bernabeu has resembled an Elephant’s Graveyard. He would give some verstility but again it is in an attacking mode. Arsene seems to be developing a penchant for signing forwards that is similar to Tony Soprano’s love of midfielders.
I do not for one minute believe Arsene is blinkered to the deficiencies in his squad, his public pronouncements are surely bravado to show his charges that he has confidence in them. After all, Hoyte may well be feeling a bit down after the criticism of his performance at City so Arsene saying that he desperately needs a full back is not going to help the lad much. However, Alan Hansen’s infamous assertion that “you win nothing with kids” is probably true in the case of Arsenal this season.
Anyway there is still another fourteen hours to go so back later with an update if anything happens. Which I doubt that it will so probably see you tomorrow.