The season is weeks away but there’s still plenty going on in the world of Arsenal.
The stories that I’ve found the most interesting have centred around Jack Wilshere. Not just the question of his best position, but also whether he’ll be an Arsenal player next season.
I really think that Santi has proven that you don’t need to be 6 foot 9 and weigh 20 stone to be a success there, so Jack could be a good fit. Also, despite Arsene saying (a while ago) that he sees Jack as a final third type of player, he would certainly have noticed how well he’s done playing further back for England.
I think that the problem Jack has is that he’s got very good players in front of him in every position. Özil in the number 10 role and Alexis, Theo/Rambo/The Ox in wide forward roles, so fighting with Santi for a central position could be his best chance of regular game time, however as I’ve already mentioned, Santi is currently better.
There is an exception to that though, which is games where we’re expected to wholly dominate throughout. You don’t need a specialist defensive midfielder when you’re playing against a team with zero attacking intent. In games like that you need players who can create going forward and get a foot in on the rare occasions you lose the ball. In other words, Santi and Jack.
The other big Jack story is that Manchester City have a big interest in him. Financial fair play may not have had any real impact on them, but a ‘home grown’ player quota has done, (along with Chelsea, hence the interest in Alex Song). In my opinion he would be an upgrade on Fernando and Fernandinho, who have both been underwhelming additions to the City squad. He’s also got a lot of drive and ambition, which is more than can be said of several members of the City first team.
The bottom line is that Arsene would be insane to let him go there and directly strengthen a major rival, however if a titanic offer came in for a player who isn’t an automatic starter, you could understand him being tempted to allow it.
Personally I love Wilshere and I hope that he’s our Captain one day, after all he has Arsenal DNA. As for what his best position is, he’s always struck me as a central midfielder. The best ones are great attackers too, but his dribbling ability lends itself to a central position.
The other majorly interesting story is our apparent bid for Howedes of Schalke.
Personally I considered us well stocked in the centre half department. Mertesacker had a good second half of the season once he rediscovered his motivation, Koscielny would walk into any team on the planet, while Gabriel and Chambers are good back-ups. The only reason that I can think of for getting Howedes is so that Chambers can go out on loan this year, and Howedes would replace Mertesacker next year. It’s a moot point I suppose as he’s already said that he’s not leaving Schalke, however Arsene is sure to have other defenders in mind.
It’s all going to make for an interesting summer of speculation, and let’s be honest, speculation is always fun when we’re the potential buyers and we don’t have to sell anyone if we don’t want to.