Despite the spate of injuries, Nicklas Bendtner has been a busy boy this year.
He started the season off taking over for the freshly departed Adebayor, followed this up by wrapping his car around a tree at high speed, then started dating a Danish Baroness, followed that all up with surgery for a hernia and now he’s recovering from a post-surgery groin pull. Like I said, it’s been a fun-packed year for ole Bendtner and it only promises to get better… because Wenger has finally revealed that whether Arsenal sign a new player depends on Bendtner’s groin:
It depends on Bendtner and how bad his injury is. He is being treated now and will come back on Friday for tests then we will assess the situation. The real test will be in the next two weeks, with the projection with Bendtner. If he is out for two months, there is no way – we will need someone absolutely. We cannot have just one striker. We are looking anyway and if we find a good bargain then, despite that, we will still do it. But there is still a 50-50 chance that we will sign somebody.
Ok, well, if a bargain falls in their lap they’ll take that too, but otherwise Bendtner’s groin holds the key to Arsenal signing an adult!
Some folks are suggesting that the player Wenger is most interested in is Carlton Cole. This rumor was sparked by Wenger himself when he said “why pay £10m for a player worth £5?” It’s widely known that West Ham want £9-19m for the crocked forward and so many folks saw that as an indication that Wenger is on his trail. You could also argue that Cole is the “bargain” that Wenger is looking to sign and that the price Arsene’s willing to pay for Cole is dependent on Bendtner’s groin: £5m if the groin is good, £9m if the groin is bad.
I’ve read various opinions about Carlton Cole and my favorite is that he’s the next Francis Jeffers. Sorry, but Jeffers is only 2 years older than Cole and is currently plying his trade as a substitute at Sheffield Wednesday. In fact, Jeffers has never established himself as a first team starter at any club. So, huge physical differences, playing differences, and price tag differences aside it’s a tremendous insult to compare the two, Cole is far superior to Jeffers. Anyway, enough of that, Wenger either will or will not buy Cole and it feels a bit odd to be defending a West Ham player from a comparison to a Sheffield Wednesday sub.
One thing that has nothing to do with Bendtner’s groin is Arsenal staying active in the pre-teen transfer market with the latest speculation pitting Wenger against Fergie in a death match over Cardiff teen defensive starlet Adam Matthews. Yay, he can hang out with the other pre-teen that Arsenal signed last week.
And finally, Wenger says that he might break the club’s “over 30 rule” (where they only offer 30+ year old players a 12 month extension) and offer Cappy Gallas more than a one year deal. He’s doing this, even though he let other players go, because, and get this, because Gallas is a defender. For the record, I think that the over 30 rule is arbitrary, stupid, and has caused Arsenal to lose players who still have something to offer to the team. Pires is probably the most famous example but Gilberto is another player who Arsenal let go because he was deemed too old, despite the fact that he had plenty to contribute and never, ever, not once complained or failed to do what the boss asked him to do. Those two still had plenty to give both on and off the pitch and losing their experience is one of the things that Gooners point to to explain the 4 year struggle this club has had winning silverware.
That said, Wenger has been very consistent, some would even say obstinate, in his career so this latest change in the 30+ rule is a bit of a shock. Color me pleasantly surprised, I think Gallas has a lot to offer both on and off the pitch, as I wrote about yesterday (in showing Djourou the ropes) and welcome him signing a two year contract.
Anyway, everything is closed in England today so there wont be any signings, new, like a new, or over 30. I guess I’ll have to see you all tomorrow!