At the end of May the football season
came to an end and thus, come June, silly season began. The transfer rumours
started hitting our Sunday supplements and social media sites, some more
laughable than others. We have been linked with everyone from our former
captain, Francesc Fabregas, to anyone the so called ‘ITKs’ had played as on
FIFA and, if we are lucky, managed to watch for five minutes on Scout Nation.
However, scepticism aside, I will be looking at the players we have been
linked with in greater detail and whether they would be a good fit.
With Gonzalo Higuain ‘on his way’,
presumably riding some sort of snail or a tortoise with a back problem, it felt
necessary to express my opinions on the Argentine international. As June nears
its end I do fear that Higuain will be the next Yann M’Vila, the player who did
all but sign for Arsenal. Higuain may not have yet beaten M’Vila’s Twitter record
of 58 reported medicals but, as the saga drags out, one worries about the
return of the transfer Groundhog Day. Regardless; the question remains whether
Higuain would suit Arsenal or even the Premier League itself, something I am
often left pondering when watching Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.
In the El Classicos, Jose Mourinho would often opt for Karim Benzema over
Higuain as he felt Benzema had a higher work rate thus proving more effective
when pressing high up the pitch. This is my first and only real concern about
Higuain or, as some of the Arsenal faithful have already taken to calling him,
‘Higgy’; can a player whose work rate was questionable in La Liga be a success
in the most physically demanding league in the world?
However, I think Higuain is
everything we hoped and expected when we signed Giroud last summer except with
a proven goalscoring record at the highest level of football. The issue with
players like Giroud and Marouane Chamakh has not necessarily been lack of
technical ability but more a lack of ability to play our system, this begs the
question whether Higuain would be a rather expensive case of déjà vu. Should
Higuain join Arsenal I do not expect a 30 goal season but I do expect him to be
clinical, something Giroud seldom brings to the table. Despite concerns I have
expressed, I believe Higuain is the ideal player for us opposed to, for example,
Jovetic is arguably a better player
than Higuain, I personally think he is, however I do not see him as a better
signing for the following reasons: Arsenal need someone who scores goals, it
sounds talkSPORT-esque but it is that simple. An out and out goal scorer, you
could say a poacher but I think that would be unfair regarding Higuain’s
abilities. Jovetic, despite the common perception of him as a striker, is more
of a tarquesta. So, as the taking of chances is the issue, my conclusion is
that Higuain would be a good signing.
Higuain may be the stuff of dreams
and fantasy, but the Argentine is not the only fairytale striker we have been
linked with this summer. The man I am referring to is of course Wayne Rooney
or, as Dream Works know him, Shrek. Although Rooney moving to Arsenal is one of
the less believable silly season rumours I thought I would explore the results
of what would be an immensely unexpected deal.
Tony Adams who, ironically as we are
talking about Shrek, looks like a donkey had his say on Rooney to Arsenal. He
was of the opinion that ‘life in the capital’ would have too many temptations
for Rooney to resist which, given Rooney’s weight issues, could be poignant.
Frankly though that is not something I would take issue with regarding a Rooney
move, it is not as if they do not have McDonald’s or night clubs in Manchester.
Higuain and Rooney both have points to prove, but it is the reaction to
negativity that concerns me the most with Rooney. While Higuain looks determined
to show Real Madrid that they were wrong to not make him feel ‘wanted’, Rooney
comes across as a sulker whenever the chips are down. If Wayne Rooney is a man who handed
in a transfer request at Manchester United because he felt they had no
ambition, where would that leave him at Arsenal? And if he joined Arsenal would
it be any longer than two seasons before he wanted to move once more? It would
be an expensive risk.
Off the pitch issues aside, would
Rooney and Arsenal be a good fit? He is good at both taking and converting
set-pieces, an area we have struggled with since the departure of the giants
that are Patrick Vieira and Adams, and, most importantly, he can change games
with flashes of brilliance. Obviously no footballer likes to lose but,
occasionally, the Arsenal squad look content with narrow defeats to big clubs,
they appear to accept it. Not only that but when the pressure is off there is
especially low effort. Rooney on the other hand hates losing, he cannot stand
it and he never plays without pressure, if the press are not piling it on him
he puts it on himself.
He may have been our rival, our
enemy, for years, in fact it was his dive that ended our 49 game unbeaten run,
but could he turn from the man we love to hate to the man we love to score?
will just have to wait and see…