Although Arsenal will need to watch out for the goal threat of Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic who are the top scorers for Everton this season, with six and five goals respectively, it is the left back Leighton Baines who really makes them dangerous. The 27-year old has developed into one of the best left backs in the Premier league, in fact stats released this week show him to be the best in Europe.
The Everton boss David Moyes has been speaking ahead of Everton’s match against Arsenal, and he revealed that Arsene Wenger indeed made a bid for Phil Jagielka last summer, but he didn’t come anywhere close to his own valuation of the England international.
“It is true that we received an offer from Arsenal for Phil during the summer, but we were never tempted,” Moyes said.
“It wasn’t a lot of money, not for a player like him. I had a word with him the day before we left for our pre-season trip to Australia and told him that, whatever level of interest there may be, it would take a lot more money than had been offered.
It was reported during the summer that the Everton and South African international midfielder Steven Pienaar is keen to join Arsenal on a free transfer next summer. the 28 year-old has refused to sign a new contract with the Toffees but has decided to cash in with one last big move while he can.
There are rumours flying about that Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham, and even Juventus are ready to make Pienaar lucrative contracts, but FanFc reports a “source” as saying: “Steven was very flattered by Arsene Wenger’s complimentary remarks last summer and has made up his mind that he wants to play for him.”
There is not a lot of encouraging Arsenal transfer news around today, in fact most of it is quite negative. The goalkeeping situation doesn’t seem to be any closer to being resolved. After the rumours that Mark Schwarzer had finally passed a medical and was ready to sign any minute, this was swiftly followed by a denial from Fulham, and Schwarzer, that there were any negotiations even in place! Today it is being said that Fulham won’t accept less than £4m for the 37 year-old, but the good news (!) is that Sky reckon Schwarzer is keen on making the move.
Most of todays Arsenal transfer news seems to be pretty speculative, as they are taking Arsene Wenger’s quotes on players appearing at the World Cup and turning them into transfer rumours.
The first one, regarding Everton’s Steven Pienaar, does have a bit of interest as he is in the last year of his contract, and has previously been linked with an Arsenal move. Wenger has admitted that he is good enough to play for the Gunners. His exact words were: “Pienaar has grown this year. He would get into the Arsenal team, yes.”
Whether that qualifies as a real hint that he would like to buy him I’m not sure, but Pienaar certainly does have some good qualities that Arsenal could use……
At last the Arsenal transfer news today seems to be actually concentrating on the sort of players that Wenger needs, and is likely to buy, instead of the usual wishlist.
A first mention today of the 6ft 1in Polish/French centre-back Laurent Koscielny. He’s 24 years old and plays for L’Orient in Ligue 1, who had a very successful season by their standards. The Mail believes that Arsenal are about to make an £8m bid for him, which will give L’Orient a nice profit on the £1.2m they paid for him last summer from Tours. He’s not the superstar that Gooners might prefer, but he could be another gem unearthed by Wenger?
There is still a week to go until the transfer window opens, but that hasn’t stopped the papers being full of Arsenal transfer news! After a lull, we even have yet another goalkeeper story to add to the list, and it seems this one could be the real thing.
Firstly, with the news that Jose Mourinho is going to take over at Real Madrid there is expected to be some more major investment from the Spanish giants, and the reported top target is said to be Chelsea’s Ashley Cole. The ex-Arsenal defender has recently said that he is happy at Stamford Bridge, so it seems that Mourinho intends to switch his attention to the Arsenal and France star Gael Clichy as the next best thing, with Man Utd’s Patrice Evra in reserve.