Told You Alexis Sanchez Wasn’t Going To Join Arsenal

I’ve been saying all along that Alexis Sanchez wasn’t going to arrive at The Emirates, and tonight I have been completely surprised.

Arsenal have finally confirmed that they have secured the signature of Sanchez, who featured in this summers World Cup and scored against the hosts in Brazil but went out on penalties.

As usual, Arsenal have publicly said the fee is undisclosed but reports are saying the fee is around the £35 million mark. This should pave the way for Luis Suarez to move to the Camp Nou, which is good news for Liverpool’s rivals. Say what you want about Suarez, but he is a world class player who would make any team better – and Liverpool will miss him dearly.

Maybe I’ve just had too many long and depressing summers with Arsenal to believe that a player like Alexis Sanchez would join us. I firmly believed that the Mesut Özil signing last summer was a flash in the pan – partly a last minute buy because of the late sale of Gareth Bale to the European Champions. Did I think Özil’s signing was a well-planned signing? Not in a million years.

But the Sanchez deal seems like a signing which has planned well and executed with minimum fuss – which after the Higuain saga last summer is a pleasant surprise.

What does Sanchez joining Arsenal mean?

Well it means we have someone other than Olivier Giroud to lead the line. Sanchez has scored 39 goals in 88 appearances for Barcelona which is a decent return when you consider for a number of those games he was a substitute. At Arsenal, you would assume that he will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Even though he’s coming to Arsenal, I am still a bit surprised at his arrival. I would have put Sanchez down as an Arsene Wenger signing.

I’ll admit that I don’t know a huge amount about him, if I’m honest. The first time I really noticed him on the big stage was when he scored 4 goals in a 7-0 win against Palermo for Udinese. And I remember his chip for Barcelona against Real Madrid. For Chile in the World Cup I thought he played okay, but nothing spectacular. Obviously I hope he makes me look stupid (which isn’t hard) and hits the ground running next season.

He’s only 25 which is a fantastic age for a player like him. He’s played for Udinese and Barcelona, so he clearly has experience at the top top level.

He has a lot of pace and when you consider an Arsenal that has Mesut Özil feeding Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez, then that is mouth-watering.

Hopefully this signing is just the beginning of an exciting summer for Arsenal fans.

I will try and be more positive from now on!

Cesc Finally Joins Chelsea – And Arsene Needs To Be Held Accountable

The news we all knew was coming has now been confirmed – Cesc Fabregas has finally joined Chelsea and he has been given a 5 year deal. Although the exact transfer fee has not been disclosed, it is believed to be around £30 million as no other club went in for him, and that was the amount Barcelona were happy to let him leave for.

You all know how I feel about Cesc. All the AKB’s are going on about our war chest is better spent elsewhere, whereas I believe Arsene has reverted to type and will try and “strengthen” the squad but shopping in the discount section.

A world class midfielder who is at his peak, has vast experience of the Premier League and is full or goals and assists, and we let him slip through our fingers. Lallana is being valued at £28 million, and Juan Mata was £37.5 million – and someone who I firmly believe is half the player Cesc is. Selling Mata and buying Fabregas – and pocketing £7.5 million in the process – is excellent business from Chelsea.

With the World Cup having a big effect on transfers and with signings before the tournament, this is going to be another frustrating transfer window for Arsenal fans. Last summer, most of us were upset at the lack of activity until Mesut Özil arrived.

But make no mistake, that wasn’t planned – Özil was only available because Real Madrid managed to sign Gareth Bale at the 11th hour.

So there we have it. A big signing that would please the Arsenal players and fans has been passed up.

Frustrating summer ahead? Don’t you know it.

Why Arsene Wenger MUST Bring Cescy Back To Arsenal This Summer!

Today Sky Sports News had breaking news about Cesc Fabregas – that he was reportedly no longer wanted by Barcelona and the Catalan club have apparently told Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal that he can leave for £30 million (via The Telegraph).

It has been widely reported that Arsenal have first refusal on Cesc Fabregas, which was a clause we insisted on when we sold him to Barcelona in the summer of 2011.

After 6 seasons in Arsenal’s first team where he only has an FA Cup triumph to show for it, Fabregas has been pretty successful in Spain. Since leaving Arsenal he has won La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Supercopa twice, the Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.

Unfortunately for Cesc, he joined Barcelona as they were in decline. Before he signed they were undoubtedly the best time in the world, winning the Champions League in 2006, 2009 and 2011. They also won La Liga in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. From 2006 to 2011 Barcelona were unstoppable, but now they need to rebuild and Cesc isn’t part of those plans.

Fortunately for the team he will join however, is that Cesc is still only 27 years old. He’s had  3 seasons at Barcelona which will give him invaluable experience and would have made him an even better player than the one that left the Premier League in 2011. In the 3 seasons before he left he was the Premier League’s best midfielder by a country mile. He had assists, goals and tackles in abundance. Make no mistake, wherever Cesc ends up will be getting a world class player who will improve them tenfold.

And that is why Arsene has to bring Cescy back. It’s a complete no brainer. This is a player that dominated games when he was at Arsenal, a player who scored goals for fun. The only argument (which is a weak one) is that we already have enough midfielders. That is complete tosh. Wilshere, Arteta, Ramsey, Özil, Flamini, Diaby and Rosicky have all been injured during last season and have been missed at times during the campaign. And if we truly want to compete with the very best in the country and in Europe, then we need a very strong squad. And besides, having Cesc back at Arsenal would give the whole team and club (as well as the fans) a massive lift, without breaking the bank.

If Cesc was being sold for £50 million then fair enough but £30 million? Compare that to the fee we paid for Özil and it’s not even worth discussing. Cesc would probably make up a lot of his fee in shirt sales alone! I don’t know what the specifics were in the clause but it looks like £30 million would be the maximum we’d have to pay.

And what about the alternative? Frankly, it’s something we can’t even contemplate.

If, Arsene Wenger loses the plot and doesn’t sign Cesc, then the consequences would be disastrous. Imagine Cesc playing for City, United or Chelsea? Jesus Christ.

Apart from making our direct rivals much, much stronger, it would be devastating to see him wear something other than an Arsenal shirt. You have players like Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie and Ashley Cole who disrespected the club and you don’t really care about them moving on. But Cesc? That would be truly heart breaking.

Arsene, over to you.

Cesc Fabregas Is Set To Leave Barcelona [Breaking]

Sky Sports News have just announced some breaking news – that Cesc Fabregas is set to leave Barcelona as it has been confirmed that he is no longer part of Barcelona’s plans and they are willing to sell him.

He has a reported £30 million release clause and England is expected to be his preferred destination. Manchester United are the current favourites, with Arsenal obviously in the hunt.

So what do you think? Would you welcome Cesc back at Arsenal?

Mario Balotelli, Carlos Vela, Karim Benzema, Cesc Fabregas, Sami Khedira & Loic Remy

With the season over, I thought it would be interesting to see who Arsenal are linked to in the transfer market and the chances of them actually arriving at The Emirates this summer.

Mario Balotelli – 10% Chance

Silly season has already started and Mario Balotelli is a player we’ve been linked with, according to the Daily Mail. The reasoning is that we need a striker (the whole man and his dog knows this) and Super Mario is unhappy at the treatment he’s been receiving in Italy, a country that has problems with racism in football.

He’s also been linked with Liverpool, as they look to strengthen their forward line with the possibility of losing Luis Suarez to Real Madrid this summer.

Could Arsene Wenger handle him? Seems like another Nicklas Bendtner situation (although Balotelli is obviously more talented) and while he would probably be a decent signing (as our only real attacking option is Giroud) I can’t see this happening.

Carlos Vela – 10% Chance

According to ESPN, we have a clause that allows us to re-sign Vela back to Arsenal for only £3.2 million. He scored 16 goals in 37 games last season and while that’s a decent return I can’t see Arsene bringing him back just for the Mexican to sit on the bench.

Would be a decent squad addition but it won’t happen.

Karim Benzema – 20% Chance

We were linked with Benzema last season (along with Higuain) and in the end it was the Argentine striker that left Real Madrid – although it wasn’t to us it was to Napoli. The Daily Star believe Arsene Wenger has given a “massive hint” that the Frenchman is on the way to The Emirates.

He is French which makes the chances of him coming more likely, but unless Real bring in another striker it won’t happen – and for me he’s just not an Arsenal player. There’s better strikers available in my opinion and while he has a decent record he’s not world class. I suppose he could potentially work well with his ex-Madrid teammate Mesut Özil though.

Cesc Fabregas – 25% Chance

If he wants to leave and Barcelona want to sell, then it could happen. People argue that we have enough midfielders but the fact is that this season, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini have all been missing for varying periods last season and surely if we have aspirations of winning the Premier League and doing better in Europe then we need a strong squad. Chelsea and Manchester City have extremely strong squads and they seem to cope fine with keeping the vast majority of players happy. If Cesc was going for around £25 to £30 million and we didn’t sign him, it would be criminal.

Sami Khedira – 15% Chance

If Arsene Wenger fails to bring Cescy back, then apparently our backup option is Sami Khedira. The 27 year old German international would be available for £15 million and the only way I can see us bringing him in is if Arsene Wenger feels that Mikel Arteta can’t do the same job anymore.

Loic Remy – 40% Chance

The Newcastle (well, QPR) striker would reportedly be available for around £8 million making this a more possible addition. It wouldn’t break the bank and I thought we should have brought him in last summer and even in January.

He has blistering pace, something we’re missing from our centre-forwards, and is a quality finisher. He’s been playing for QPR and Newcastle and surely coming to a top side like Arsenal is something he would thrive. Depending on his performances, he is capable of being Arsenal’s main striker or a very competent backup.

We definitely need a stronger striker force and buying Loic Remy for under £10 million would be an extremely smart piece of business.