Welcome to another transfer season edition. Wouldn't normally do two within such short space of each other but the last few days have warranted one.
I'll start with the Ivorian striker who has been "close to joining Arsenal" for the last few months it seems. Well it looks like the wait might finally be over. According to L'equipe (and what google translate on my computer can make out) Arsenal have sent an offer to Lille for 12million euros with Gervinho agreeing a four year deal. L'equipe also states that the deal could be done by Wednesday.
What do I make of the signing? If you've read my previous posts you'll know I have had very little experience of seeing Gervinho play but from what I have seen, he looks a decent signing. Although he may not be up there with the Benzemas and Falcaos we had previously been linked with, he will bring a boost to our team. He's quick, strong and can finish. He scored 18 goals and got 10 assists for Lille last season and apart from RVP, no one got close to that for us really. Imagine if we had two strikers actually performing well at the same time. If only.
Next up is the news that after months, even years of fans screaming at Arsene to sign a commanding CB we may be about to get our wish. According to the Telegraph, the English defender Gary Cahill could be on his way to the Emirates very soon despite strong interest from Manchester City. Although him being English will mean his price is automatically raised by £10million (I'm looking at you here Liverpool), he could be a bargain in the long run. Although I'm not convinced Cahill is the complete solution to our defensive woes, it could be a big step in the right direction. He's tall, strong and aerially very good. Having someone who can deal with corners would be a massive boost. It looks like the CB arrival will be between Cahill and Samba. I have no real personal preference but if I had to make a choice I'd rather Cahill. I think him and Vermaelen would make an excellent partnership and in 5 years time, Cahill could be the best defender in the world. Then again, I also thought Squillaci was a great bit of business....
Now on to the slightly more depressing part of transfer season, players potentially departing the club. It's common knowledge that Barcelona have wanted our captain back more or less ever since we signed him from them and his return is something that is looking more and more likely. Although the BBC article saying we'd be willing to sell Fabregas (Found here) is something we have known all along, it shows how we are in a real battle to keep him. It's understandable that Cesc wants to return but as I've said all along, we should sell him for no less than £45-50million. Although I fear the final price (should Cesc leave) will be a lot lower than this, in my eyes my estimation reflects what he means to Arsenal and how much we would need to even half replace him. If Barcelona really want him they'd pay that much. In an interview with ona fm, Cesc said "I'm very calm. Transfer season? If something happens, it's because it was meant to be. I'm always optimistic". Despite Barca not wanting to pay enough and our efforts to keep him, I believe Cesc's wants will ultimately decide his destination and from that quote it doesn't look great. If he truly wanted to stay he would say so clearly but in reality, it looks like he wants to leave. I fear we may have seen him play his last game for the Arsenal.
I'll finish with some new news about our error-prone left back. According to the brilliant @GoonerTalk on twitter (great for transfer news, find the article I'm about to cover here), Roma have made a last-ditch effort to try and sign Gael for around 6-8million euros while he ponders a contract extension. In reality, Clichy's departure could be a blessing in disguise. It really does pain me to say this as I love him but the errors he has made in the past few seasons have cost us severely. Finding a replacement would be very difficult as there aren't too many top class left backs out there but if we really do want to move forward as a club, it may be time to let Clichy go. This said, if he does choose to stay I'll still be happy. I do think he contributes a lot to the side and as long as these lapses of concentration (and his crossing..) can be addressed, he can still do a job.
I'll leave it there for today, I'll be back soon
Joe (@Tilley_96 on twitter)