Player talking points have set the stage for an interesting summer. (Originially on YAMA)

Posted on July 14, 2012

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Apart from this sentence, this is a non-Van Persie related post, weird isn’t it? We’ve been linked with a few players in the past week, Hugo Lloris of Lyon (£15M), Stevan Jovetic (£25M) amongst a host of others, including Wigan’s Victor Moses (£10M). But transfers aren’t the main topic of this post. I have some thoughts about a few of our players, one’s that stood out (or failed to do so) last season. This is just a few random points I’ve put together in an article that doesn’t really flow.

Mikel Arteta

First up we’ve got our alluring “panic buy” Mikel Arteta whose season has been nothing short of spectacular. However some people tend to ignore that, and liken him to Denílson because he does a few sideways passes. So what?! It’s not like he grinds play to a halt and then loses possession (like Denílson would).

Arteta works the ball around the centre of the park sensibly, professionally and always picks the right pass. And yes, sometimes that pass may have to be backwards or sideways. This professionalism hasn’t been overlooked, with a large number of fans calling for the Spaniard to replace Van Persie as club captain. Mikel’s composed approach earned him the armband against Leeds in the FA Cup earlier last season. So is he the man to lead us out next season? Or should our current vice-captain be promoted? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Now we move on to Mr Mediocre. The Côte d’Ivoire bore. The forehead. Gervinho. Try and tell me he isn’t mediocre? Everything about him is. At first, £10M seemed like a steal considering his performances in Ligue 1 the season prior to his purchase. But now it looks like an average price for an average player. Wenger’s only use for him, other than doing too much with the ball and eventually losing it, is to swap him from left flank to right flank.

Anyway, enough of that rant, it’s his first season and I’m being overly critical. Remember, Pires’ first season didn’t turn out great – then look. But obviously Gervinho doesn’t have the ability to emulate Pires’ greatness, but it is a point.

Left-back  situation

The left-back situation seems to draw a lot of interest – especially when people name their ideal Arsenal eleven. It’s either Santos or Gibbs, and to be quite frank they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Gibbs is a better tackler, but Santos seems to have more sense when it comes to positioning. They’re both fairly quick, but Santos has shown he’s a little more versatile, playing comfortably in midfield against Stoke in the latter part of last season.

Gibbs seems to be Wenger’s favoured choice, but with Santos being seen as a viable midfield option, it opens the door for another left-back to join the club. Such business is not a priority, but I doubt it’ll be overlook by Wenger during this busy and important pre-season.

Goalkeepers

Recently the club has been linked with France captain, and goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris – deal or no deal? Stick or twist with Szczesny? Personally I think our Pole between the poles has had a great season for us. People say he’s overrated, but he isn’t, it’s just because he gets a lot of media attention.

Szczesny is a good keeper – nothing special, but experienced back up (and competition) is necessary for his growth and development.  This experienced back up should be someone like Jussi Jääskeläinen or Shay Given, not Hugo Lloris. With Fabianski and Mannone likely to depart, and Almunia having already left the club, it would only seem logical if Martinez will be promoted to third choice and a new keeper will be brought in.

But would another keeper of similar or better quality hinder Szczesny’s progress as he’d probably play less, but as mentioned earlier, a little bit of healthy competition could do our 22-year-old shot-stopper a world of good.

Clint Dempsey

Clint Dempsey is another player we’ve been heavily linked with for the best part of a year and it seems as if the American will be leaving current club Fulham, but he only wants Champions League football.  With Liverpool being the only other club interested in the 29-year-old’s services, it seems as if we are favourites to capture his signature. Having expressed his desire to play in the Champion’s League, Fulham may see his departure as inevitable, making him available at a cut price.

“The transfer window is open until August 31ST. It’s no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career”

That’s all for today, but there are some clues that hint at a very long, controversial, and interesting summer.

Adios.

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