My Life in Pictures -> RE: Gunners Misfire Again (7/1/2006 1:50:24 PM)
Lehmann has been fantastic ever since he was brought back into the side. Our most consistant player in my opinion. I think we may need to sign a replacement/understudy in the summer. I really like the Swedish keeper Isaksson and of course Newcastle's Given.
This transfer window I really feel we need to sign a centre-back. Toure is off for a few weeks and this will leave us with very little back-up. If Campbell or Senderos gets injured we can pretty much say good-bye to the Champions League. I'd like us to bring in Caneira who can play right along the defense and is experienced. Long term I'd love us to sign Kompany but with Chelsea also interested I doubt we can out-bid them.
Now we know we are interested in a French based midfielder. AW has so far ruled out Diarra (both of them) and Zokora. I find this on another forum which could give us a few clues:
Looking at the French League 1, our target could be club by club:
Bordeaux: Rio Mavuba. Wenger is a long term admirer, he has already been selected a few times for France without really making a big impression. He is very young (22yo) and wouldnt offer what we need right now. He would just be another good prospect for the future.
Le Mans: Matsui. Japonese international, a player to watch in the future (will be interesting to see how he fares at the WC). He has been a revelation this season. But more in the Hleb or Fabregas style than a Vieira type of player.
Lens: Alou Diarra. Not the Diarra from Lyon, he's a french international and he has impressed in the last 2matchs for France. He's a big part of Lens good start of the season. I don't know if Lens would be keen to sell him while chasing a CL spot. But if the money is good...
Lille: Mathieu Bodmer. Wenger is a known admirer of him. Problem, he is cup tied. Wouldn't come cheap either as Lille don't need to sell. Still, one of the front runner for me.
Lyon: Mamadou Diarra. For me, he would be the best player we could get to replace Vieira. But no way we will get him half way through the season while Lyon are chasing a 5th title and are one of the favourite for this year CL. It would take an insane bid from us to take him away from Lyon.
Benoit Pedretti. He's a part player for them (only 9matchs) and cup tied for having played Lyon's last group game. He would need a lot of time to adapt and with the little impact he had since he arrived in Lyon, no chance he could come good for us before the end of the season. Paris are on his trail and to get a chance to make the WC squad, he will rather choose them over us to guarantee 1st team football.
Nantes: Jeremy Toulalan. We sent scout to watch him several times, he's an under 21 for France and will be with the seniors in a couple of years time. I rate him very highly. This guy has it all, vision, passing, tackling and a big heart. He's suited to the premiership, my only concern would be the few injuries he picked up this season (I think he hates Man Utd already after Richardson almost broke his leg during the England-France under21 playofff ). Nantes are in financial trouble and they wouldnt be against selling him if the price is right.
Emerse Fae: 20yo Franco-Ivorian player. A good prospect and one too watch for the future, but too young and unexperienced for us.
PSG: Modeste M'Bami. Cameroon international so he will be gone to the ANC. Only last season he was rated as high as Essien, but his form has been erratic and rumours of him leaving haven't stopped for the last year. Hard to tell if he could cut it at a higher level because PSG are great at distroying players career by changing manager and half the team every 6months. But if Wenger was going for him, i have no doubt he would be a success ... cos Arsene knows.
Rennes: Yohann Gourcuf. We've been linked with him before. He's only 19 so not what we need right now. A player to watch for the future.
St Etienne: Didier Zokora. 24yo from Ivory Coast. We want him for sure but so does Man Utd or Real Madrid to name a few. He's definitly a player we could do with. Problems are his price tag, the fact that he doesnt want to leave in the middle of the season, that the club won't sell him before the summer and that he will go to the ANC. He would be my favourite but i don't see it happening except if we offer a stupid bid and are ready to do without him for a month (in fact, i wouldnt be surprised if we did )
Toulouse: Jeremy Mathieu. 21yo. I don't remember us being linked with him which is quite surprising. He was the heart of Sochaux during the last 2 season and helped them to win the league cup. He signed for Toulouse after the squad exploded in Sochaux, thinking they would play for a european spot. Season hasn't gone well for them and i wouldn't be surprised if we wanted to leave. He's a strong, big hearted midfielder. I haven't seen that much of him but he looked good the few times i saw him. And when you see the number of games he played and goals he scored in the last 3 seasons, he can't be a bad player.
Achille Emana. We've been linked with him for a late move after the Baptista deal collapsed. Toulouse season doesn't go very well and it is unlikely they will challenge for Europe so they might be willing to cut their losses and sell a couple of players. His price tag was 7m€ which is not too bad.
At the moment I don't think losing any players will be a good thing. We need a big squad. Pires I think would make a great super-sub (He's scored 2 today so far.) and I hope Ljungberg hits some form because he has always been a source for goals. Cygan has statistacly been the best left-back over the festive period and isn't a bad 3rd choic left-back/ 4th choice centre-back.
We will also definately need a goal scorer. Judging by or targets last summer (Robinho, Baptista) AW knows this too. Some-one a little more selfish than what we have upfront now. The most frustrating thing for a gooner is when our fantastic buld-up play leads to nothing. Torres of course would be perfect. Reyes loves to play along side him and is definately a huge talent. However everybody knows it and he won't come cheap and will attract bigger clubs (I hear AC Milan are now interested.)
Another option is Kuyt who could also do the job.