Archive for the ‘Werder Bremen’ Category

It is believed that Arsene Wenger will finally break all his beliefs and philosophies this summer and loosen the purse strings, after Arsenal finished yet another season empty handed. There is talk of a major squad overhaul with the likes of Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky and Nicklas Bendtner being linked with a move away from the Emirates. If this were to happen, who would be the ideal and realistic replacements for the Frenchman to try and sign?

Scott Parker is available for a reported £6 million following West Ham’s relegation and has all the attributes this current Arsenal squad has been criticised for not having: experience, passion and strength in the middle of the park. The England international would be the man to help Arsenal grind out results and no doubt, fellow Englishman Jack Wilshere would benefit greatly from playing alongside Parker. If the former Charlton man was to be signed by Le Professeur, it would mean Wenger having to break his widely criticised policy of only offering players over thirty one-year contracts, as Parker will want at least three years, to match his Hammers contract.

Andrea Pirlo announced this week that he will leave Italian giants AC Milan when his contract expires at the end of this current season. Although the Italian has been plagued by injuries this year and appears to lack his usual ‘sparkle’, the veteran’s experience could prove a real asset for Wenger’s side. The midfielder has won Serie A titles, Champions Leagues and a World Cup, this experience could have been key for Arsenal in February of this year when they were still in the hunt for four trophies. Pirlo will no doubt be touted by all the major clubs across the globe, but should Wenger pull off such a signing, then next season Arsenal’s young side will be in a much better position to maintain their challenge on all fronts.

Per Mertesacker has been linked with the Gunners since last summer and has recently signalled his intention to leave his current club Werder Bremen. The 6ft 6 in centre back has a wealth of experience and would inevitably form a resolute partnership with Thomas Vermaelen. Furthermore, should Wenger sign the big defender, this will help Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou improve and develop their game. An added bonus would be the German’s penchant for scoring goals from set pieces, something Arsenal haven’t really had since Tony Adams and Sol Campbell.

All the newspaper speculation constantly surrounds Ajax shot stopper Martin Stekelenberg, however, I feel Wenger should make a move instead for Diego Benaglio. The Wolfsburg goalkeeper has performed impressively for the German side this season and with question marks over Wojciech Szezesny and Łukasz Fabiański, the Swiss international would be a welcome addition to the Arsenal squad and a snip of the cost of Stekelenberg.

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Norway gave us the music band ‘A-Ha’, and I am sure we are all very grateful for this, however, when it comes to the world of football Norway has never produced the world’s best superstars. Admittedly, players such as Tore Andre Flo were very talented and loveable characters, but they haven’t given us fans a ‘Pele’ or a ‘Messi’. This may all be about to change though, if the talk of Rosenborg’s Midfielder Markus Henriksen becomes legacy rather than Viking myth.

The Norwegian international has been playing for Rosenberg since 2009, and by the beginning of 2010 Henriksen was a first team regular, despite only being 17 years of age at the time. The midfielder is a box-to-box player and can be utilised in numerous positions within the middle of the park; this, coupled with precise passing, a powerful shot and an understanding of the game that belies his years, with excellent positional sense and mature decision-making, makes him a very handy asset for Rosenborg.

Scouts from all over Europe have been making numerous trips to the Lerkendal Stadion this season and have been reporting back very positively on the young Norwegian, with Werder Bremen, AC Milan and Real Madrid reportedly paying close attention to the young starlet. Whether Henriksen moves onto one of Europe’s elite or continues to ply his trade in Norway, one thing is for certain, the teenager will get to the very top.

If all this wasn’t enough for you, then on Football Manager 2011 my Assistant Manger says, “he has the potential to become a leading Premier Midfielder and I believe with right training he could become a top midfielder for any European team.” Surely a sign of things to come?