forza arsenal!

After avoiding the news for the last couple of days, I can finally start to glance at what’s going on again in Arsenal land.  I had to avoid the avalanche of post-game writings in order to keep from yelling at my computer.  But today is a new day and tomorrow is a new game and Sunday, well, that’s Sunday.  But this is the Italian commentary.  The Arsenal’s movements in the tuscan sun indicate something is going on…and the smoke says we’re shopping for some Italian luxury goods.

Seemingly weekly, rumors spilling out of the old leather boot are rife with all kinds of transfer speculation.  During the summer it was De Rossi, Melo and Inler.  Then gears shifted to the back four over young defensive talent, some in Torino, some other places.  Now the Italian press have us with this Pazzini rumor.  More than any other English team, the Arsenal have been identified across the L’Italia these days.  It’s like a where’s Arsene down there.

First off, lets dismiss this Pazzini rumor.  Arsene won’t sign Pazzini, at least not for more than £6m-ish.  A £6m-ish pickup might be interesting.  But why?  Yes, the loss of RVP has been pronounced, topped only by the loss of Bendtner.  Has anyone benefited from the goodwill of the fans as much as Bendnter?  But Pazzini doesn’t address any of these issues.

No. What is interesting about the Arsenal-Italy rumors, are the rumors themselves.  That’s the real indication of something going on down there.  From defenders to forwards, rumors of the Arsenal shopping are persistent.  The question is why?

Reason one: the Arsenal is finally being recognized as one of the truly elite.  We are now one of the big clubs that has the ability to buy established players.  Combine this with the EPL youth contract policy (cough cough Fab) and the Italians are worried about us finding a hidden talent.  The Arsenal is now a global predator Club.

Equally important, the Arsenal has embarked on a global campaign to expand its general presence and culture -the Arsenal way.  Subtle and effective, the Arsenal way has moved solidly into Italy.  And I for one couldn’t be happier.  The more Arsenal, the merrier.  So put it all together and the rumors demonstrate our new found status outside of England.

Reason two: Arsene and Co. are in fact shopping in Italy.  True to form, the wizards of N5 are blowing a lot of smoke to keep the press off the real target(s).  Standard practice.  Speaking of targets, I think we might get an Arshavin buy.  A veteran purchase, one that can step in immediately and play.  Really, this purchase is a followup to the failed Melo chase.  Oddly enough, our failure to get Melo worked in our favor.  Melo was a beast with the Brazilians, but his play with Juve hasn’t left me lamenting his loss.  Maybe there’s more to his play this season at Juve, but nonetheless, meh.

No, Arsene’s interest in an Italian midfielder (to sit behind Fab) is pretty clear.  And the Calcio play grooms the perfect type of player for this position: intelligence, technique, precision, focus, ball control.  We don’t need a player-maker, a hard hitter or more pace.  A couple of players fit the bill down there as well: De Rossi (too expensive), Inler (better price, and speaks the right language) or a surprise bid for Montolivo (largely unknown outside of Italy, right age, cheap).

Don’t get me wrong, all of these players are a long-shot, the point is something is happening in Italy.  But all three should be on the Arsenal fan’s radar.  Ok, not De Rossi so much, but Inler and Montolivo.  Montolivo especially, he’s 24, is a central midfielder that holds back, and is De Rossi national team replacement.  The only problem is that he’s cup-tied (but so was Arshavin) and that his club will advance to the second round of the C-League.  Point is, don’t be surprised if the Arsenal launch a surprise bid down there come January, whether or not we’ve ever heard of the player.

Arsene’s other search for young talent is pretty much the norm.  This is more of a summer project being put into place today.  But to be sure, Arsene will pick up someone under the age of 20 this summer.  Our defense is about to be rebuilt from the right side.  This is another post, but I’m thinking a backup for Sagna and perhaps replacement for Eboue if he moves on, a youngster with the same skill-set.

What I’m not sure is whether the smoke being blown in Italy is to cover a move in France or the other way around.  French players are cheaper, but a select Italian buy sends a message like the Arshavin purchase, a title run now.  Throw in Song’s departure for the African cup though and we might see several picks up happening in January for DM, CM and even forward.  Whew.

the student

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1 Comment

  1. […] is Chamakh even on the radar? I am excited that rowley and co. are  romping about Italia in search of a star.  January is going to be ridiculous and as it draws closer I will relish […]


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