Posts Tagged ‘Michu’

Football

Arsenal update: Is Michu on the radar as Swansea close in on Bony?

By Stefano on July 8th, 2013

So, we are rapidly approaching the middle of July and Arsenal still haven’t signed a player – apart from of course that young, French, injury-prone striker. Higuain is either about to sign or cosying up to Ancelotti, depending on which paper you read. Rooney is staying at United. Jovetic, well who knows. Which brings us nicely back to Michu.

As we know all too well the Spanish striker was an absolute bargain for Swansea and has a proven track record now in the Premier League. He may have a few weaknesses to his game but if anyone looks like an RVP replacement it is him.

So why is Michu (last linked with Arsenal back in early June) back in the picture? Well according to the BBC the Swans are on the verge of signing another name that Arsenal have been linked to Wilfried Bony. The Ivory Coast international will apparently join the welsh team for around £13 million.

Bony joins Jonjo Shelvey from Liverpool, Alejandro Pozuelo from Real Betis, Jose Canas from Real Betis, Jordi Amat from Espanyol, Gregor Zabret from NK Domzale and Alex Gogic from Olympiakos in what has been a bumper spree for Swansea – get the hint Arsene.

But the arrival of a new star striker must once again put a question mark over the future of Michu? Is Laudrup preparing to cash in on his prize asset? And if he does leave might Wenger be interested?

And you could imagine how quickly and easily he could slot into Arsenal’s frontline. It is a long shot and I think Michu may be more likely to end up back in Spain, but I’d be surprised if Michu and Arsenal are linked together again very shortly.



Football

Higuain and Jovetic set to snub Arsenal. So why can’t they sign a striker?

By Stefano on June 12th, 2013

I think most Arsenal fans have by now given up on the possibility of the club securing Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic, but the Gonzalo Higuain saga has rumbled on and it seemed as if the club was in a good place to tempt the Real Madrid striker to come to the Premiership.

But if today’s Metro is to be believed it sounds like Arsenal have been mugged by the Old Lady – twice!

Arsenal are set to lose out on another striker to Juventus, with the Italian side closing on an instalment-based deal for Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain.

According to Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport, Madrid are to allow Juve to pay for the striker in three or four instalments following a meeting between the two clubs.

The paper also says that almost everything is in place apart from the transfer fee. In what might give Arsenal fans a sliver of hope Madrid want €30m, but Juve have so far only offered €22m.

So what next for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal then? I wonder if it might be back to Premiership and that double raid on Swansea to land both Ashley Williams and Michu?

And I wonder how Gunners fans will feel? Both players are high quality with a proven track record in the Premiership. But are they the marquee signings that were promised by Ivan Gazidis?

I do wonder if Arsenal’s laid back approach (or dithering in the transfer market if you are being cruel) has cost them. It seems crazy that Juve will now have three world class strikers on their books, yet Arsenal are struggling to sign one. Maybe it is a reflection of how far the club’s stock has fallen in recent years that they can’t land quality signings.

Or maybe is is all about cold, hard cash. Juve is offering the players better deals and even with that huge chunk of cash in the bank, Arsenal don’t seem to want to match what the Italians are offering.



Football

Arsenal update: Michu a new target? Higuain making positive noises

By Stefano on June 4th, 2013

If I had a quid for every time I heard a Gunners fan suggesting that lanky Spanish goal merchant Michu would look good leading the Arsenal line I’d be a rich man.

But does Arsene agree? Well The Mail seems to think he might. The paper is running with a story this morning that Wenger might not just be hoping to raid Swansea for centre back Ashley Williams but Michu too.

The paper says

But Sportsmail can reveal a shock move for Swansea’s prolific striker has been discussed by Wenger and his scouting team.

Well Michu scored 22 goals last season, which coincidentally is around the same number that Theo Walcott bagged, but you get the feeling that with his clinical finishing he would have scored a lot more had he been given stronger service.

Michu isn’t of course the only option. The Mail also reports that the club are mulling over moves for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko too.

Meanwhile some interesting new quotes have emerged from Spain that are attributed to Madrid’s want away striker Gonzalo Higuain,

The player confirmed this weekend that he wants to leave Madrid, but we only got half the quote in the UK media and interestingly some of the rest of what he says refers to Arsenal.

Higuain said

“I am leaving Real Madrid, the decision has been made, I feel the time is right and I want a change of scenery. I have not decided where I will go, but the club already know that I want to go. It was my decision. I feel that this is the end of my cycle here.

“I shall choose the next team on the basis of sports projects. Arsenal? They might suit me. I’m still young, I have goals and I will do everything to achieve them. Juve? They are many possibilities. I want to go where I can seriously be put to the test. There are offers and I hope that I hope that they [Madrid] do the best for me and for themselves. Besides I was bought for 15 million and now I will be sold for a figure considerably higher.”

Wenger has been a fan of Higuain for several years, the striker boasts some very impressive stats – 122 goals in 266 games for Real Madrid – he seems a better fit than say Jovetic, especially if Arsenal re-sign Fabregas. I guess much depends on how keen the player is to try his luck in Italy.



Football

Shock stats – If Robin Van Persie had stayed at Arsenal they’d be top and Man United would be 10th

By Stefano on December 3rd, 2012

So says The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuels.

So another difficult weekend for Arsenal in which they were outplayed by Swansea in the first half and then couldn’t find the net in the second only to succumb to two superb late Michu goals.

It was also business as usual – this season anyhow – for Manchester United in going a goal behind and then staging a great fight back to win three points against Reading.

It once again highlights the key differences between the two sides – Mr Robin Van Persie. Just as he scored for fun last season at the Emirates, his goals have propelled United to the top of the Premiership.

Now here’s an amazing statistic. Martin Samuel in the Mail has worked out that had Arsenal kept Robin Van Persie for another season and his goal rate stayed the same then the situation would be reversed. Arsenal would be top of the Premiership and Man United would have been mid-table stragglers.

Martin’s theory runs like this.

United have gone behind to the first goal of the game in 10 Premier League matches and in seven have come back to win. Of those seven, five have featured crucial goals from Van Persie, including the equaliser against Fulham, a hat-trick against Southampton and the winner against Liverpool.

Now consider Arsenal with Van Persie’s 10 league goals this season added to their total. Supplement a single goal from Van Persie to the draws with Sunderland, Stoke City, Manchester City, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton; add an equaliser to the one-goal defeats by Chelsea, Norwich City and Manchester United. That is a difference of 15 points, or the current spread between Manchester United (top, 36 points) and Arsenal (10th, 21).

Ok, so it isn’t an exact science. For starters United would have another striker, and I don’t just mean Hernandez or Rooney – they would have made a big signing. Also Arsenal’s key problem at the moment appears not be actually getting the ball in the box to their strikers. They simply aren’t creating enough chances at the moment.

It does however underline the folly of Arsenal letting their talismanic captain and goal machine go to one of their biggest rivals. Ultimately Wenger could have kept Van Persie at Arsenal and seen him run out his contract. The Dutchman is professional enough (and savvy enough to know that a good season would keep his price tag high) to have continued his scoring  feats even though both sides knew he would be off at the end of the season. There is of course the argument that his presence in the dressing room would have been a major distraction, but then winning so few home games is a pretty serious distraction anyhow.

Ultimately Arsenal trousered £24 million for selling VP, money that is still sitting in their bank account. Failure to qualify for the Champions League will probably cost the side around that figure and at the moment, and unless they invest heavily in the winter, that’s still a big ask. Also Wenger has seven games to go before he can make any changes, on current form they could be closer to a relegation fight than the CL places.

The event that could change this season significantly would be a Van Persie injury, but there seems to be no sign of that occurring.

So is this another call that Arsene got wrong? Would a Van Persie injury scupper Man United’s season? What do you think?




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