Archive for the ‘Eredivisie’ Category

Everyone is predicting the usual Arsene Wenger transfer activity, making promises that there will be changes but come the final minute of deadline day, Le Professeur will either sign an unknown and lets face it pointless squad player or no-one at all. Like so many transfer windows before, there are potential signings that are ideal for Arsenal and staring Wenger in the face, with fans, ex-players and pundits all calling for the Frenchman to open up the cheque book, but in his usual stubborn way Wenger refuses and Premier League rivals snap up the perfect signing for the Gunners instead. Here are the five players I think the Frenchman should sign, to which he will reply “I did not see them”.

Scott Parker

The West Ham midfielder has stated his desire to return to the Premier League following the Hammers relegation and will face no shortage of admirers, including Tottenham Hotspur. Surely the pleasure of getting one over your fiercest rivals in the transfer market is incentive enough, before you even consider the positives Parker would bring. The former Chelsea midfielder would add all the attributes this current Arsenal squad has been criticised for not having: experience, passion and strength in the middle of the park.

Gonzalo Higuain

Reportedly available for £15 million as Mourinho looks to fund his own transfer spree, Higuain is the perfect striking partner for Robin Van Persie. The Argentinian has an impressive goal scoring record for Real Madrid and has all the attributes of a world class finisher, something Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh seriously lack. The forward would happily share the goal scoring burden that has rested solely on Van Persie in the second half of the season.

Maarten Stekelenberg

Many believe Wojciech Szczesny is the man for Arsenal between the sticks for many years to come, but for me I’m undecided. Making a move for current Ajax goalkeeper Martin Stekelenberg would give Arsenal that world class keeper that have tried to find since Seaman. All the keepers since the Englishman have hardly been household names, Arsenal fans are crying out for a Iker Casillas or Gigi Buffon, someone who has pedigree behind their name, and the Dutchman can offer them that.

Yoann Gourcuff

With Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri widely expected to leave this summer, the Lyon midfielder could step in to become that playmaker Arsenal will need. The Frenchman has earnt comparisions to Zinedine Zidane for his passing style and all round ability, with David Ginola claiming that Gourcuff is the best French player of his generation. The former AC Milan player can play in the attacking midfielder role but also as a withdrawn striker, something Arsenal could find very useful with regards to finding the ideal striking partner for Robin Van Persie.

Miguel Veloso

Although Arsenal have Alex Song as their strong defensive midfielder, more than one occasion this season the Cameroonian has gone missing. Veloso would bring consistency with regards to crucial interceptions and forceful tackles, as well as that leadership quality Arsenal have lacked for several seasons. Another bonus of signing the Portugese international is, rather surprisingly, he is a very accomplished left back, so should Gael Clichy leave this summer, the former Benfica player could be a candidate to replace the Frenchman.

Who do you think Wenger should sign



No one knows who came first: the chicken or the egg? But one thing is certain; Peter Schmeichel came first, before a long list of keepers that finished with egg on their face after trying to replace the Great Dane. Eventually, Edwin Van Der Sar was the man to hold down the fort and was a perfect replacement. Like all good things though, they come to an end and so, with the Dutchman retiring at the end of the season, I’m having a look at the reported replacements.

1. Pepe Reina
Not one to upset the red half of Merseyside, but this move isn’t as unthinkable as it might seem to Liverpool fans. Reina’s fiercely competitive nature is evident throughout every form of his play and not only does he want to win trophies, he deserves to; he has been a consistent performer over the seasons for Liverpool and is arguably one of the greatest shot stoppers ever to grace the Premier League. Furthermore, with Fernando Torres’ turbulent exit from Anfield due to the conclusion that aspirations of silverware were best served by leaving Liverpool, Reina will no doubt be thinking about perhaps moving onto pastures new.

All is not lost for the Liverpool faithful yet, though, as there is under Kenny Dalglish a rapid revolution underway on Anfield Road. Liverpool’s recent resurgence is too late to mount a serious title challenge or even get in contention for a ‘top four’ berth. However, ‘King’ Kenny’s momentum is building and this may make the Spaniard consider holding tight for one more season with the promise of further investment in the next transfer window.

You have to remember that Reina is only 28 and in the peak of his career. Numerous goalkeepers still hit top form into their thirties, so if Reina doesn’t move this window it doesn’t mean that he won’t in the not-to-distant future. He could have a long and successful spell at Old Trafford. If he were to move, Reina would most definitely be ‘walking alone.’

2. David de Gea

If you can’t have Iker Casillas, then why not sign his heir to the throne of Spain’s number 1 custodian. David de Gea is at the forefront of the generation and purely in terms of talent has exactly what it takes to succeed in the Premier League, with the potential for further improvement. He could well excel for Man Utd, but youth is something of a double-edged sword.

Snapping up someone so young could have dream like conclusions, filling the space between the Man U sticks with someone possessing proven talent and experience for at least a decade. De Gea himself, though, is reported to have qualms about moving abroad at such a young age, which could see him stay on at Atletico Madrid for a couple more seasons to further his development. As well as this, and with all due respect to Atletico, much of the media attention is on Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga, whereas moving to Old Trafford would thrust the young Spaniard into the limelight. Being there and handling the spotlight are two different things all together.

3. Manuel Neuer
Neuer would be a great option for the Red Devils, but with reported interest from Bayern Munich coupled with his desire to win a Bundesliga, a switch to Old Trafford may be ‘off the cards’.

He has been highly rated throughout his fledgling career, but it is this season that has seen Neuer make a name for himself. Errors have fallen by the wayside and been replaced by commanding, assured and ‘safe’ performances by the German number one. At the age of 25 and with six seasons of first team football under his belt, his experience is vastly greater than anyone else his age, but it is his age that provides the problem for Sir Alex Ferguson. Neuer can stay in Germany to win his title and then in a couple of years discuss a move, as he will still be young for a goalkeeper. Ferguson, however, doesn’t have time.

4.Martin Stekelenburg

‘Double Dutch’ now means to me the comparison between Edwin Van Der Sar and Martin Steklenberg. Firstly you have the Dutch connection; as well as both tall in stature, technically good and physically robust. A like-for-like swap would be on the cards for Sir Alex and one that could very well materialise. The current first choice for the Oranje would take the move to Old Trafford in his stride.

5. Gianluigi Buffon

Buffon’s departure is a huge possibility this summer, with Juventus reportedly in major need of balancing the books. The world’s most expensive goalkeeper is now 33 and despite still being a class act, would Buffon’s transfer fee really help Juventus’ financial situation in such a deflated transfer market? All signs point to Buffon remaining at Juve, having already followed them down to Serie B a few years ago and being in the twilight of his career, wherein he will presumably want to just enjoy his football. On top of this, Sir Alex is ideally looking for a long term replacement, and with the Italian’s age and proneness to injury, is he really a long term replacement?

Disagree with my choices or reasoning? Suggest your own to me on Twitter@ The_Pun_King