Why Arsenal Swapping Nani & Cleverly For Vermaelen Is Just Idiocy
It's happening again. The Nightmare on Wenger Street.
Every summer it comes around like some intensely annoying American teen Hollywood horror franchise. Whilst Manchester United, Spurs, Southampton and even West Brom are sharpening up their management team and Chelsea are already buying first team players, Arsenal again appear prepared to let their rivals strengthen their squads with players Wenger has discovered and nurtured.
Thomas Vermaelen is exactly the sort of player Arsenal need more of, not less. A player who is good enough to captain the team, has excellent experience, will help you win games and is comfortable operating all over the pitch. Most significantly he is a player who will now strengthen direct rivals.
First Manchester City seriously weakened Arsenal by helping themselves to Toure, Adebayor, Nasri and Clichy. The departure of Adebayor and Nasri in particular were instrumental in blunting Wenger's attack for a few seasons. And now Manchester United are adding Vermaelen to their basket that has already had Van Persie pass through it. With City back in for Sagna, Arsenals refusal to hold on to or even fight for their first team players looks comical. No other club would let so many decent players leave so easily. Not since the Ridsdale-era Leeds United fire-sale when the club were on the verge of administration despite finishing 5th in the Premiership has so much talent been allowed to drain from such a high ranking club.
Neutrals look at the seemly inevitable departure of key players from Southampton with a sense of disappointment but no-one raises an eyebrow any more when Arsenal allow another key man to walk out the door.
At the start of the summer it looked like Wenger was ready to snap up Loic Remy and take Fabregas back to Emirates but as the World Cup progresses no-one seems to be noticing that their squad numbers are actually going down not up.
With the Arsenal Trophy Cabinet being opened for the first time in almost half a generation, it's vital they not only develop some momentum in the transfer market but also lock up their better players. It's three years since Vermaelen was one of the best players in the Premiership and, with a new manager, a new squad to work with and a bigger crowd to play in-front of, you can rest assured he will rise to the expectations and once again establish himself as one of the top defenders around.
Update:Today the Mirror are reporting that apparently Arsenal are looking to wangle an extra 'bargain' out of the deal, keen to snap up hilariously inconsistent Portuguese winger Nani and Tom "Country's Least Loved Midfielder Except For Lee Cattermole" Cleverly in return.
Seriously? That Arsenal's transfer strategy is starting to border on ham-fisted self-parody, like they let Chris Moyles and Comedy Dave loose in the boardroom.