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Would you welcome Peter Crouch to Arsenal?

As transfer rumours go, then this is one of the wackiest I've seen this summer, with a number of newspapers today suggesting that Arsene Wenger is considering a move for Peter Crouch to replace striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

Variously nicknamed as the Stepladder or the Climbing Frame, the 6ft 7 in (that's 2.01 metres for all you metric people) striker may appear ungainly, but there's no doubt he's effective, as he's has been a thorn in Arsenal's side in the past, notably with his hat trick against the Gunners at Anfield in March last year.

In saying that, I'd be astonished if Le Gaffer was seriously looking to sign Crouch as the 27-year-old doesn't exactly fit the Gunners' style of play, although as a desperate measure, having him come off the bench to try to convert some of Gael Clichy or Bacary Sagna's crosses might appeal to Wenger.

The speculation about Crouch becoming an Arsenal player is down to one man - agent Vincenzo Morabito, who said on Italian TV that Wenger was looking at a number of possible replacements for Emmanuel Adebayor, including Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, Germany forward Mario Gomez and Crouch.

Morabito represents Adebayor, so the talk is probably nothing more than a ruse to interest Italian clubs into bidding for the Togo hitman, but given that there isn't a whole lot else to talk about today, it would be good to hear what you lot would think of Crouch coming to the Gunners. Would he be an expensive flop? Or would his height and aerial ability give Arsenal another dimension in attack? Share your thoughts here.

Posted by Gordon Masson on June 26, 2008 8:35 AM in Transfers
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Which Euro 2008 star would you like to see at Arsenal?

It's a slow news day, with the 'is he or isn't he' saga of Samir Nasri's transfer to Arsenal dragging on and the newspapers still insisting that Alexander Hleb and Emmanuel Adebayor have played their last games for the Gunners.

Until Arsenal confirm anything, I remain sceptical about any and all transfer rumours, but as I said, it's a slow news day, so I thought I'd give you lot a bit of fun by giving you a few names to mull over.

All eight players have been linked with potential moves to the Emirates Stadium during the Euro 2008 tournament and with Spain in such good form, it's not difficult to see why a quartet of their players - Dani Guiza, David Villa, David Silva and Raul Albiol - feature on the list.

Le Gaffer has spoken of his admiration for Russia, so it's no surprise that I've included Andrei Arshavin, while French hitman Karim Benzema has been associated with a move to the Gunners for a couple of years now.

Rounding out the selection are in-form German striker Lukas Podolski and French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, who is regarded by some as the next Patrick Vieira, although given his nation's poor tournament, if Le Boss did make a move for the Lyon player I'd imagine he'd not want to part with too much cash.

Anyway, I'm sure you lot will tell me if there's anyone else that you reckon should be on the list, but in the meantime, get voting for who you'd most like to see Arsenal sign.

Posted by Gordon Masson on June 25, 2008 8:31 AM in Poll| Transfers
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Are Arsenal set to announce two new signings today?

According to various reports today, Arsenal have signed Samir Nasri and should be unveiling him in his new red and white colours some time this week.

Insiders at the club have suggested that the deal for Nasri was completed before the start of Euro 2008, but that both parties agreed to hold off on the announcement until after France had completed their campaign.

And with Nasri's signature apparently in the bag, the departure of Alexander Hleb looks almost certain, with Barcelona now favourites to lure the midfielder away from north London. Quite what Arsene Wenger will do with the £15 million or so he gets for Hleb remains to be seen, but a small portion of that money will fund another of his latest finds - 15-year-old Dutch prodigy Oguzhan Ozyakup.

Wenger supposedly signed the talented midfielder a couple of months ago after Ozyakup's current club AZ Alkmaar agreed terms with the Gunners to allow the youngster to become an Arsenal player when he turns 16 in September.

With money burning a hole in his pocket it'll be interesting to see who else Le Gaffer will bring in during the next few weeks, but if past form is anything to go by, he'll probably have completed all his dealings before pre-season training begins. With our first friendly kicking off one month from today, that doesn't leave a lot of time, so I'm hoping we'll hear some exciting news from Emirates Stadium within days, if not hours.

Posted by Gordon Masson on June 19, 2008 10:37 AM in Transfers
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As Arsene Wenger returns to work, can we expect a signing soon?

France's exit from Euro 2008 helps Arsenal in three ways: First, it gives William Gallas the chance to have a holiday from football; second, it means that transfer target Samir Nasri can now concentrate on agreeing a deal with the Gunners; and third, it will end Arsene Wenger's punditry with French TV, allowing him to get back to his day job of signing some new talent to strengthen Arsenal's squad.

I'd hope to hear some positive news from Le Gaffer within the next few days, especially on the Nasri front, but as for other future Gunners, I reckon we'll have to remain patient.

Wenger said the other day that he wasn't looking for a defender, but I'm hoping he's playing mind games on that one, as central defence was definitely our weak spot last season and the performances of William Gallas and Philippe Senderos in the past few days hasn't exactly filled me with confidence.

Unlike other websites, I'm not usually one to jump on the merrygoround of transfer rumours because, quite frankly, it's all a load of bollocks until Arsenal confirm anything. Illustrating that point quite nicely are our friends at She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, who have tracked no fewer than 83 players who have now been linked with joining Arsenal...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on June 18, 2008 9:32 AM in Transfers
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Which former Gunner would you take back to Arsenal?

With Euro 2008 under way, the sports hacks aren't paying too much attention to domestic matters and as a result there have been some very peculiar stories over the past few days.

One in particular which caught the eye was a suggestion that Patrick Vieira might be on his way back to England to play a starring role for Portsmouth. Just what is is with south coast teams buying formerly great players?

Anyway, I digress. The speculation about Vieira's future led me to think if he could still do a job for Arsenal - maybe a one-year contract as a contender for the Mathieu Flamini vacancy, allowing Cesc Fabregas to continue his more attacking midfield role.

And that thought inevitably led me on to today's discussion for you lot: is there a former Gunner who you would like to see back at Arsenal for a year or two?

Arsene Wenger has spoken in the past about the club's unwritten rule that you never re-sign a player, but I reckon he'll want to break that habit at some point. But who should he do it for - Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Lassana Diarra, Nicolas Anelka, Patrick Vieira?

Who would you bring back to Arsenal if you had the chance? Share your thoughts here.

Posted by Gordon Masson on June 12, 2008 10:32 AM in Debate of the Day| Transfers
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Arsenal beat Man Utd to sign in-demand midfielder

It seems that once again the personal touch of Arsene Wenger has helped Arsenal beat their Premier League rivals to land an exciting teenage talent following Cardiff City's announcement that star midfielder Aaron Ramsey has chosen the Gunners ahead of Manchester United and Everton.

According to Cardiff, Arsenal will pay £5 million to take Ramsey to north London, but while Manure were offering to loan the player back to Cardiff, Arsenal will thrust him straight into the first team squad, possibly as a long-term replacement for the vacant Mathieu Flamini defensive midfield role.

Ramsey is undoubtedly one of the rising stars in British football. He became the youngest player to pull on a Cardiff first team shirt when he has just 16 and now aged 17 he has also been called into the Welsh national squad.

It was thought that with Welsh hero Ryan Giggs being at Man United that Ramsey would be at Old Trafford next season, but once again Le Gaffer's intervention looks to have prevented that...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on June 10, 2008 10:02 AM in Transfers
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Would you sell Emmanuel Adebayor for £32 million?

If you believe the stories coming out of Italy, AC Milan could be about to test Arsenal's resolve by offering a mind boggling £32 million for top gun Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Togolese striker beached the 30 goal barrier last season, including Arsenal's second against the Rossoneri in San Siro and despite pledging his future to the club just a few days ago, the Italian media would have us believe that he has agreed personal terms that will take him to the Serie A champions this summer.

The stumbling block, if you swallow any of this, is that Arsene Wenger wants £32 million for his star striker. That's double what Barcelona paid for Thierry Henry last summer and quite frankly, if there's any truth to it at all, I'd urge Le Gaffer to agree the deal and use the money to strengthen Arsenal for next season..

With that kind of war chest, Arsene could buy my favourite target Karem Benzema, or David Villa or Samuel Eto'o or just about any other striker of his choice and still have change to buy another player of the same calibre. Or how about a swap deal involving Alexandre Pato? And all that for a player who cost Arsenal a reputed £3 million two years ago.

Now I'm not suggesting that Ade-cool is not a good player, but he's not yet worth anything approaching £30 million and it could be argued that with the chances he was presented with by his team mates last season, his goal tally should have been significantly higher.

In saying that, I'd like to see the 24-year-old stay in north London and go on to develop into an Arsenal legend.

But let's play fantasy Wenger for a moment: how much money would it take to persuade you to part with our top scorer? And which player, or players, would be on you wish list as a replacement for Adebayor? Share your thoughts here.

Posted by Gordon Masson on June 6, 2008 8:45 AM in Debate of the Day| Transfers
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