Samir Nasri maybe flying Etihad
This news if true could be the best bit of business for Arsenal as yet. Nasri would have left on a Bosman with his contract in it’s last year.
City and Utd were both looking for a creative midfielder and had sounded their interest in Nasri earlier in the transfer window but at that time the club was intent on negotiating with him over improved terms. Wenger even came out with a strong statement in particular with Utd in mind that he would not sell to a rival. This change in stance has come with the realization that Nasri did not see a future at Arsenal beyond this season which means walking out on the club without them getting anything in return.
With Tom Cleverley now installed as heir apparent to Paul Scholes, Utd’s midfield concerns have eased considerably. City’s display in the Community Shield final was undermined by a midfield presence contributing to Robero Mancini’s angst. Their ready to splash cash at any given moment policy works in favour for a nth hour deal.
There are three things to be said in this case. First, given that Wenger has repeatedly said that he will not sell both Nasri and Fabregas, does this potential move now close the door on a Fabregas sale? As one saga shows signs of ending, yet another twist is being added on to Fabregas’s odyssey.
Secondly, a cool £25m means we’ve built up a decent war chest. What are the priorities? Logically it would be to buy an established centre back given that Thomas Vermaelen has shown he might be flirting with “crocked for significant periods of time with niggling injuries” status. But Wenger has shown a distaste for such preconceived notions.
With Nasri’s exit looking imminent and Fabregas departure on hold for now, the midfield wears a transitory look with a new duo taking over the centre with Wenger reshuffling yet another group. The learning curve will have to be extremely abbreviated. A difficult proposition given it takes at least half a season to get your feet wet. Such a case calls for prudent damage limiting measures which means bolstering the defense.
Lastly, there is a feeling that Wenger could have done so much better to mitigate this situation- sentiment and nostalgia have fogged his mind. Wenger’s sudden epiphany that “big clubs” do not sell its players is at odds with the club’s belief in a self sustaining model and their past track record. Nasri’s intransigence whether motivated by pecuniary considerations or the lack of titles was a clear signal of his intent. This was exactly the time to come to a decision on who was more expendable. With Fabregas, at least there was a matter of principle whereas Nasri should have been purely a business decision.
Wenger should have put the wantaway on the market and with the money made a reasonable offer for a center back. When one is paying £12m for Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain, David Moyes is in the right place to question “Who the hell do you think you’re offering diddly squat £12m for Phil Jagielka? Buy a clue.” Meanwhile, the “super quality” additions apart from Oxlade- Chamberlain, is Carl Jenkinson, another boy wonder, and Gervinho, who’s been impressive but with his wide abilities is not Van Persie’s strike partner. Then there is all this unfinished business – it is not just Fabregas waiting for Godot, there is Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Eboue, who’ve made a number of false starts.
These additions should be looked in the context of defense. Thomas Vermaelen, a centre back whose career not only at Arsenal but at Ajax has been dogged by injuries; Laurent Koscielny, who showed an equal propensity for good rugged tackling as well boneheaded meltdowns; Johan Djourou whose very worrisome drop off from last season continued deep into the pre-season, and Sebastian Squillaci who clearly sums up Wenger’s stunted attention to defense. And we’ve not even begun at left back where Kieran Gibbs’s fragile ankle will have to hold up against Antonio Valencia and Sergio Aguero.
All one has to do is to replay the nightmares of the Newcastle, West Brom, Stoke, and Aston Villa matches amongst many other instances to realize why fans are less impressed by these signings. It’s odious to compare but one has to do this. Utd identified certain priorities and went after them. Chelsea needed a new coach. Liverpool, a new midfield. One can debate the merit of these changes but at the very least these clubs look settled. Wenger’s buys are not priorities, as much as they are compulsions. £24m spent on two attacking players really should end this debate.