We are only days away from the Euros beginning, so unsurprisingly Arsenal have been linked with a plethora of players. The aptly named Sabotage Times has linked us to 2 wingers: one from the Ukrainian international side and one from the Swedish international team. I have to confess I don't know much about either. Yevhen Konoplyanka is a nice easy name to pronounce isn't it. Not! The 22-year-old is currently playing for Dnipro so we will watch with interest as he takes the field for his international team. You'll be wearing the number 19 shirt and will probably start for the Ukraine on the left wing. He's a bit taller than our very own Andrey Arshavin, but I can't see Arsene Wenger plunging in the transfer market to buy another eastern European wideman, no matter how exceptional he is.
Could Arsenal bring in a Scandinavian wideman though? Anders Limpar anyone? The man in question is Christian Eriksen of Denmark and Ajax. He doesn't necessarily play wide though. He's been compared to Michael Laudrup by the great Johan Cruyff and is expected to play just behind Denmark's main striker. He wears the number 8 and is considered to be Denmark’s best player, so we shouldn't be able to miss him, should we? But would we miss him if he didn't come to Arsenal. I will let you know after Euro 2012. In fact, I would be very surprised if we bought playmaker this summer, after watching Chelsea and Manchester United strength in that area of field, I'm sure our club's policy will be to watch, to pray and to avoid touching the coffers.
The Daily Express meanwhile is running the story and we are in talks with Argentina international Lucas Biglia. The 26-year-old Anderlecht skipper could be on the move apparently for £8 million and we may swoop for this defensive midfielder. I don't believe a word of it, then does not had much luck with Argentinian football players. Does anyone remember Nelson Vivas, who wasn't too bad? And Fabian Caballero, who wasn't that good? I thought so. That's why it's very unlikely that we'll be buying Argentinian players while Wenger is in charge.
The good news is we have some extra money for transfers, now that Oguzhan Ozyakup is joining Besiktas for £570,000. According to the Daily Star, Arsenal have inserted a 25% sell-on clause, which should see us reap some of the benefits should the midfielder come good later in his career. He certainly has some talent, but appears to have some attitude to go with it, some of which may not be good for team spirit. I base this assessment on what I saw at Stevenage in the pre-season last year. Ozyakup was really on the case of one of his teammates, and personally I couldn't see the point. Often players know when they make a mistake, especially when it's an obvious mistake. They don't need to be castigated for it. And they certainly don't need to be told what it is by a teammate. That is what Ozyakup appeared to do, which is why I am not so sad to see him leave the club.
Some may feel similarly about Andrey Arshavin. An article in FT.com suggests that our lovable meerkat is ‘unpopular’ in the dressing room. I would imagine that Andre is not Wenger’s favourite player due to his propensity to speak his mind. Even that alone could make him unpopular in the dressing room when Wenger is there also. The article is about Robin van Persie ostensibly and I suggest you read it as it is very informative and interesting. I'm left feeling that Robin will leave in pursuit of trophies elsewhere. Hopefully, I have jumped to the wrong conclusions and the man who can't bear to lose at table tennis will consider third place in the league as an acceptable state of affairs. If he really is an Arsenal fan and he should learn to accept that just like we have to! Seriously though, I won't blame Robin if he does leave. As long as he does not join another English club, he goes with my blessing.