Monday 26 August 2013

Podolski/Uchida swap deal on?

Arsenal are going to busy before transfer deadline day. Yes, it's true. We've heard it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Arsene Wenger has made it clear that much-needed additions will be brought in, but the question is could one of them be Atsuto Uchida of Schalke 04.

There's been plenty of talk suggesting that Lukas Podolski could be heading back to Germany and struggling Schalke are thought to be interested, so my theory is that a swap deal might be set up. However, Wenger has gone on record to say he doesn't want to lose Saturday's two-goal hero. Then again, why would he come out and say that to the media if there was no danger of the striker leaving? Podolski has been used sparingly so far this season and is usually played out of position on the left wing, so it wouldn't be that surprising if he upped and left.

Uchida, meanwhile, would bolster Arsenal's squad defensively. He might not be the tallest, but he would add competition in the right back position, which has been temporarily vacated by the Gunners 'new' centre back Bacary Sagna. It must be said, at this point, that Carl Jenkinson is doing an admirable job there, so it could be argued that Uchida is not needed.

Nevertheless, it is still a matter of conjecture that Uchida will be brought in on loan with Podolski moving in the opposite direction. I asked JSoccerMagazine editor Alan Gibson if there is any truth in this specualtion and he replied: 'I heard similar rumours but nothing concrete.'

I'm sure if Uchida does join Arsenal, Ryo Miyaichi will be pleased. The injured youngster's English is incredibly fluent, but he must miss being able to speak Japanese with team-mates.

One thing's for sure: nothing will happen before Wednesday. Before that, both Arsenal and Schalke have Tuesday night's Champions League qualifiers to contend with. Schalke are in danger of being knocked out by PAOK Thessaloniki, so it's all hands (and feet) to the pumps! Including the-already-cup-tied Uchida, no doubt, who picked up a yellow card in the first leg.

Elsewhere, the media have reported that Mesut Ozil could join Arsenal for £38m, Yohan Cabaye for £17m and Wayne Rooney for £_(insert figure here)million.

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