It looks like Arsene Wenger’s great experiment is on the rocks. Three of the key components of the young side he’s been attempting to groom for success seem to have lost faith in the project. Gael Clichy’s gone to Manchster City, Nasri is expected to follow and the sooner Cesc Fabregas and Barcelona get a room the better. With talk of more players leaving the Emirates, some more welcome than others, Arsenal and their fans are turning their attention to who’s coming in.
Top of the internet rumour mill is Arsenal reported interest in testing Wolverhampton Wanderers’ resolve to keep hold of Kevin Doyle with a £12 million bid. At first this looks like just another in the long line of transfer nonsense that is trumped up during the silly (off) season. Doyle has made no noises about leaving Molineux and Wolves chairman Steve Morgan is keen to his best player on an improved deal.
But that hasn’t stopped fans venting their two cents worth on forums and comment boxes all over the web. A straw poll of Wolves fans think it’s a derisory offer calculated at the ‘If Andy Carroll's worth £35 million then Doyle is worth £25 million’ school of football economics. But will he be any good for Arsenal?
Well He’s Better Than Nicklas Bendtnar
Although mentioned in the same breath as Clichy’s departure and the likely exodus of Nasri and Fabregas Doyle wouldn’t be bought to replace any of them. He’s most likely being lined up as a replacement for Nicklas Bendtner.
Bendtner may well go on to fulfil some of his undoubted potential but as of now the Dane is nowhere near as good a he thinks he is. That sort of arrogance might give Nick the belief to try amazing things on the pitch but can be disruptive off it. The clash in personalities between the Dane and Adebayor didn’t help the team dynamic.
Doyle on the other hand comes across as a humble honest professional. Known for his hard work and great team ethic you can’t see Doyle complain about being ‘misquoted’ in an unauthorised interview or his agent leaking stuff to the press about Kev being unhappy on the bench. Also Doyle is more flexible than Bendtner capable of playing anywhere across the front line and is more effective as a lone striker. Strangely despite being about six inches shorter Doyle is better than Bendtnar in the air.
Potential new recruits might see replacing players with international profile of Nasri and Clichy with someone who’s spent his career in the lower reaches of the Premier League and the top of the Championship as a lack of ambition.
He’s Not the Signing Arsenal Are Crying Out For
Certainly not in terms of profile. A team with Champions League aspirations signing a 27 year old with only four seasons top-flight experience hardly strikes fear in the hearts of Arsenal’s title rivals and Europe’s elite. Arsene doesn’t seem bothered about the public’s perceptions of his signings but Arsenal’s current stars and potential new recruits might see replacing players with international profile of Nasri and Clichy with someone who’s spent his career in the lower reaches of the Premier League and the top of the Championship as a lack of ambition. At a time when Wenger is showing signs of losing the PR war with a section of the fans the signing of player unproven at Champions league level who has never played in a major international tournament will further dwindle the numbers of the ‘Arsene knows’ brigade.
Definitely not in terms of the type of player he is. Do Arsenal need another hard working but not prolific front man? Most agree the areas the Gunners need to strengthen are a consistent goal scorer to take the pressure off RVP, a defensive midfielder and a centre back schooled in the dark arts of winning ugly and a ‘keeper who won’t throw one in his own net in the last minute of a crucial clash. Doyle may, in time, loosely fit the description of the first, unless Wenger knows something we don’t and sees Doyle as a closet centre back who can play as tough tackling midfielder who can do a job in goal.
In conclusion Doyle is a player who would improve Arsenal’s team but may not be ‘sexy’ enough to capture the imagination of the public. It shouldn’t matter but at a time of transition for this team the star power of the next few additions could be crucial.
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