Tuesday 29 May 2012

Almunia shock, Giroud hope & Twitter twits do their worst

So we know now that Chelsea is where Eden Hazard will be plying his trade next season thanks to Twitter. I blame Lille’s loanee from Liverpool, Joe Cole. He was a teammate of Hazard's until this move. I'm sure Joe waxed lyrical about Chelsea and that prompted Eden to choose blue in a £30m(?) switch. But the red of London was never an option it seems. Were we ever the mystery club that was also in the running to sign the Belgium international? Sadly, we'll probably never know.

We have, of course, missed out in the past to Chelsea when it comes to signing long-term transfer targets. Didier Drogba comes to mind, as does Petr Cech. Concerning the latter, Sky Sports are showing his impressive statistics in the Premier League. It makes for interesting reading. Cech has the best average number of minutes between conceding goals in the top flight of English football. No surprises there. Pepe Reina is in second. Again, nothing shocking about that. Jens Lehmann and David Seaman also figure in this league of top goalkeepers. Once again, no eyebrows raised. However, sneaking into that elite of elites is a certain Manuel Almunia, with an impressive 99 minutes on average between each goal conceded. I suppose he has to thank the defence in front of them, nevertheless, statistics like that will enhance his prospects of getting another club at the top level, possibly.

Meanwhile, there is some good news on the transfer front perhaps with the news that Louis Nicollin, the Montpellier president has confirmed that supposed Arsenal transfer targets Olivier Giroud and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa are both for sale if the price is right. Giroud has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the French club if a certain amount is received, while Mapou has been promised he can leave ‘if there was a good offer’. Nicollin told the TV show Stade 2 of the above, so it must be true unless something was lost in ESPN's translation.

Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente is another remote possibility on the transfer front, according to the Daily Mail. The 27-year-old Spain international striker will cost £28 million, apparently, because that is the amount specified in his buyout clause. As we all know, Arsenal are very unlikely to pay such a sum. The fact that that 'The Lion King' scored twice against Manchester United in the Europa League last season makes him sound an attractive proposition. But sorry, it is not going to happen no matter what anyone says on Twitter.

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