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Arsenal Pies

Arsenal in for £10 million Argentine hitman Augusto Fernandez?

Here’s a sneak peek at one of the many players that Arsenal are being linked with buying when the January transfer window opens.

Attacking midfielder Augusto Fernandez is 21 and plays for River Plate, who are coached by Argentine legend Daniel Passarella. Rumour has it that Arsenal's chief South American scout Sandro Orlandelli has been watching Fernandez for some time and has been impressed by the man who has been dubbed the new Lionel Messi in his Argentina homeland.

He’s a right-footed player, but watching some of the YouTube clips of him playing, he reminds me of Robin van Persie with his quick feet and ability to do the unexpected. The video shows Fernandez scoring against Velez last month.

One slight concern if Arsene Wenger is interested in securing Augusto’s services would be his work permit, but it may well be that he is eligible for a European passport through his family connections, otherwise a deal would be unlikely...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 17, 2007 10:51 AM in News| Players| Transfers| Video
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Will Eduardo's latest goal for his country spark goal rush for Arsenal?

I love a good video of one of our players in action, so for any of you that didn’t see highlights of the Croatia v Israel game, here’s the footage of Eduardo da Silva’s goal, courtesy of YouTube.

We’re still to see the best of Dudu in an Arsenal shirt, but when he does hit form for his club, the rest of the Premier League better watch out, as he’s without a doubt one of the most prolific strikers who has ever played for the Gunners.

When on loan at Inter Zapresic, he scored 10 goals in 15 appearances. That was enough to see him recalled by Dinamo Zagreb, where he scored 73 goals in just 104 games.

Although he was born in Brazil, Eduardo chose to play for Croatia and continued his scoring record for his adopted country by netting eight goals in 12 games for the Under-21s, while his goal on Saturday was his 13th in 18 appearances for the full Croatia national team.

And we shouldn’t be too pessimistic about his early form for Arsenal...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 15, 2007 2:08 PM in News| Players| Video
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Is Arsene Wenger looking to bring Hatem Ben Arfa to Arsenal?

The murmers about Arsene Wenger’s interest in 20-year-old Lyon striker Hatem Ben Arfa are growing louder after Le Gaffer travelled to the Faroe Islands to watch the youngster’s debut for the full French national side.

And Wenger must have been impressed, as Ben Arfa came on to replace Frank Ribery in the 64th minute and went on to score his country’s sixth and final goal in the rout, which also saw our former skipper Thierry Henry equal Michel Platini’s goals tally for his nation.

Prior to the game, France coach Raymond Domenech had come in for some stinging criticism for selecting Ben Arfa as a replacement for the injured Louis Saha. Pundits had expected Domenech to pick in-form Juventus striker David Trezeguet, but the 30-year-old was omitted from the squad in favour of the younger man.

Ben Arfa’s goal record is impressive though. He scored 15 times in 22 appearances for the French Under-17 side before the triumph at the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, where he played alongside another reported Wenger target (and now full international), Samir Nasri...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 15, 2007 12:11 PM in News| Players| Transfers| Video
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Is Nigerian youth sensation Macauley Christanus en route to Arsenal?

The one good thing about international breaks is that it gives us a chance to take a closer look at some of the players that we are being linked with in the next transfer window.

Now I realise that most of the ARSENAL SET TO MOVE FOR insert name here headlines are bogus, but once in a while we do stumble across some intriguing players where there might just be some truth to the speculation.

The criteria for these players, as per Arsene Wenger’s scouting system, usually follows along the lines of 1. Is the player still at school? 2. Have we actually heard of them before? 3. Are any other clubs tracking them? 4. Will they add something ‘super special’ to the Arsenal squad?

So try this name on for size - Macauley Christanus.

As you’ll see from our YouTube video, Christanus was prolific for the Nigerian team which triumphed in this summer’s Under-17 World Cup, scoring seven goals in seven games for the Golden Eaglets, as they are known. In the process, the six-foot striker collected the Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer and the Silver Ball as the competition’s second best player (the Golden Ball was won by Germany’s Toni Kroos).

There’s good news and bad news about Christanus...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 11, 2007 12:30 PM in News| Players| Transfers| Video
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Could Samir Nasri be on his way to Arsenal?

If the newspapers are to be believed, then Arene Wenger is set to go head-to-head with Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez in a £10 million battle to try to lure Olympic Marseilles midfielder Samir Nasri to the Premier League.

Now, I have my doubts about Arsenal’s interest, but I’ll get to that in a minute, after I’ve detailed the player’s credentials.

As the above video from YouTube shows, Nasri is a strong attacking midfielder, whom, aged just 20, is often referred to as the “new Zinedine Zidane”, although this probably has more to do with his upbringing in Marseilles than anything else.

At five feet nine inches (1.77 metres), he’s not the tallest player in the world, but what he lacks in height, he makes up for in skill, as he’s one of the best midfielders in France at the moment and last year was voted the Young Player of the Year in the top division.

He has been involved in the French national set up for a long time, progressing through the Under-16s, 17s, 18s, 19s and 21s and this year won promotion to the full national squad, to which he has been called up three times, scoring once against Georgia to secure the points for France in their Euro 2008 qualifier, four months ago.

In his international appearances at other levels, Nasri has scored 21 goals in 54 games, but he’s not quite as prolific at club level, where his tally is just four in 62 games...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 2, 2007 12:17 PM in News| Players| Transfers| Video
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Thierry Henry hits a hat-trick to get off the mark in La Liga

Having fully acquainted himself with the woodwork in recent games, Thierry Henry finally broke his goalscoring duck in the Spanish Primera Liga. And as you’ll see from our YouTube footage, he did it in style with a hat-trick away to bottom club Levante.

Now we all knew that Titi would rediscover his form and I for one am glad he’s getting back toward his best. Maybe with Barcelona he’ll be able to win the world player of the year gong he so richly deserves, because, as much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think that’s an accolade that European football likes to see going to any players based in England.

The man is a legend and the comments attributed to him at the weekend regarding Arsenal and his former team mates showed that he is still a Gooner at heart.

Henry predicts that the young Gunns are ready to win the Premier League title again and even agrees with certain observers that his presence in the Arsenal set-up may have intimidated some of his colleagues.

“When I see Arsenal on TV I can’t help remember how 90% of the team arrived at the club and, for the first few days, were scared to speak with the older players,” he said. “Now it is their generation. It is their Arsenal and it is up to them to win stuff - and with the team they have, I do not know why they won’t.”

Thierry also singled out Cesc Fabregas as the man to orchestrate the team on the park and spoke of his admiration for the 20-year-old...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 1, 2007 10:49 AM in Match Report| News| Players| Video
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Could Miguel Veloso be wearing Arsenal colours next year?

Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder Miguel Veloso has become the latest player to be linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger looks for a long-term replacement for Gilberto.

The 21-year-old is one of Portugal’s hottest prospects and recently made his debut for the full national team, having been his country's best player in the Under-21s UEFA European Championship earlier this year.

Miguel is the son of former Portuguese defender Antonio Veloso, who was a stalwart for Sporting’s rivals Benfica, but the general feeling in Portugal is that he can become a far greater player than his father. His promise was encapsulated with his man-of-the-match performance in last season’s Champions League clash with Inter Milan, which alerted the continent’s top clubs to his skills after successfully snuffing out the threat of Patrick Vieira and Luis Figo.

However, if Arsene Wenger is interested in bringing Veloso to North London, he could be up against some stiff opposition, with both Manchester United and Liverpool rumoured to be eyeing the youngster. There isn't much footage of him on the internet, but I did manage to find the clip above from June’s Under-21 tournament.

Do you think Veloso would fit in to the Arsenal system? Share your opinions with fellow Arsenal Pies readers here

Posted by Gordon Masson on September 28, 2007 12:10 PM in News| Players| Transfers| Video
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