Nikolai Dimitrov just had his Arsenal trial
Arsenal has already been linked to Yoann Gourcuff, Ibrahim Affelay, Karim Benzema, Hatem Ben Arfa, Luka Modric, Samir Nasri, Diego Capel, Miguel Veloso, and many others. I suppose the number of players Arsenal is linked to every transfer season is the downside to the reputation that Wenger has garnered over the years buying inexpensive but talented youngsters.
Of this list only Karim Benzema as a striker and Hatem Ben Arfa as a bonafide left winger really makes sense, the rest are central midfielders which Arsenal has plenty of (cf: a disgruntled Lassana Diarra wants out). What Arsenal needs is a striker and a good one at that as Eduardo has failed to justify being the summer’s most expensive signing. RVP has just returned from injury, Adebayor is out with one, Bendtner is already complaining about his paltry minutes, and so the striker corps looks a bit brittle.
Benzema has been huge in OL’s turnaround from 11th position to the top of Ligue1 and Jean Michel Aulas would be insane to part with him. He has figured prominently in their CL campaign and scored a double when Lyon dismantled Rangers, 3-0 in their group encounter. Wenger loves the lad and from all that we have seen of him, Benzema has a unerring nose for goal but at this stage Wenger is looking at a price tag of 25m euros or so. If Ben Arfa is included then it will set Arsenal back 40m.
There is some rumblings including Lassana Diarra to sweeten the transfer but Lyon also has a surfeit of talented midfielders so that really won’t be their priority. However the grapevine has it that the Arsenal board maybe in a mood to splurge 70m. Lets face it with all the talk before the season began, Arsenal should not even have been close to first place. Remember Spurs were supposed to vault over us and push us out of a CL berth. If Wenger really wants to seal the deal on this season’s Premiership then Benzema needs to be brought in. He could fit into Arsenal’s intricate combination play. But Arsenal has not really approached OL so all this is just conjecture.
A surer bet would be Nikolay Dimitrov, Levski Sofia’s highly rated left winger whose club has given permission to Arsenal for a trial. Eastern Europe is now the hottest fount for cheap but very talented players and this year four of them made it to the 2008 Euro. Bulgaria was very good too just being beaten out by Netherlands.
Tresor Mputu just had his trial a few weeks and he impressed Wenger. The former Cameroon and present Congo coach Claude Le Roy who picked Samuel Eto’o as a 17 year old for the national team says that Tresor could be better than Eto’o. He is 22 years and plays for league club TP Mazembe and the DR Congo team. Arsenal has reportedly offered a transfer fee of £500,000 for him.
With Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue out on duty for the ACN next January, Wenger needs to get a couple of strong central defenders. Phillipe Mexes at AS Roma would be a great candidate. He’s become an integral part of Spaletti’s team. Mexes is strong, physically aggressive, possesses good tackling skills with a great aerial ability, and shows that he is unafraid to go forward. I have seen him motor all the way from the opposite end and snuff out a play taking place 40-50 meters downfield. I also fancy Micah Richards but Sven will never part with him. He will have to shift to central defence as he is played as a right back at City. But he is IMO, the best young talent that England has in defence right now.
Here is the you tube clip on Nikolay Dimitrov
Blistering pace, abrupt changes of speed, good ball skills, powerful left shot and not bad with his right either, sets up decent crosses. I think he would fit right in.
Tresor Mputu’s you tube clip
Check out the goalie’s celebration.