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Arsenal Complete Double Signing

The headline may be ever so slightly misleading, but it is true that two players have signed contracts at Arsenal today.

The first, and most significant, is that of Abou Diaby. The French international has commited his future to The Gunners by signing a contract extension that will see him stay at Arsenal untill at least 2012.

There had been some speculation over his future after he expressed his displeasure at his lack of playing time. Since then Le Sulk II has left and Gilberto has shown us just how quickly a player can go from being a leader of men and a linchpin in our midfield, to a fringe player who has no future at the club. That leaves Diaby, Denilson and Flamini to battle it out for the starting place alongside Fabregas. Arsenal's double F midfield may be untouchable at the moment, but Diaby will be egar to fight for a place there, or indeed on the left wing.

Wenger didn't have much to say on the subject when asked, but he did confirm the deal after Arsenal's 3-0 win over Newcastle. Wenger said: 'Abou has signed a new deal until 2012.'

Arsenal's second signing is a real signing. Arsenal today confirmed the capture of 15-year-old striker Luke Freeman. The former Gills youngster will sign on youth terms for two years, after that time he will sign his first Professional contract at the club.

Wenger described him as an 'interesting signing' when he spoke of him. 'He is a young striker who comes from Gillingham,' said Wenger. 'He is left-footed with a good eye for the goal. He is brave and has a good, positive personality.

'He is only 15-years-old of course so we need to be patient but he's a very interesting prospect. He is another one for the future.'

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 30 2008

Time: 6:59PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
glad diaby signed on, just cant help but wonder about that wierd headed fool diarra, he should have waited till next season, what did he expect signing so late in august ? to walk into a winning eleven ? does anyone feel that the shape of his head might impact on his brain ??
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30/01/2008 19:17:00

Freeman hasn't convinced me for Arsenal yet, I know he's only played once in the U-18s but what a waste of money, complete failure etc..............
Little Dutch
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30/01/2008 21:19:00

I agree, if we win nothing this season, I'm officially starting the "Freeman OUT!" campaign here and now!... useless!!!
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30/01/2008 22:03:00

I'm with LD, useless little *****. Surely the next Theo Walcott, bound to fail. English players are over hyped *****e.
Ozi Gooner
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30/01/2008 22:20:00

"Wenger's English flop again!" I hear some press/people cry. LOL Seriously though, speaking of kids, did you guys watch the ATVO highlights of the FA Youth Cup game at Anfield? Gibbs, Randall and Szenczney (can't spell the young keeper's name, the Polish kid who's also Woo-kash's friend) played so very well. Didn't deserve to lose, certainly not in that manner - it's an unfortunate own goal, and one kid got sent off for a defensive mistake. Just that the Liverpool kids were a bit more solid defensively. It made Steve Bould so disappointed. Looked like he didn't want to talk about it in the post-match interview. But the performance itself was great, lots of promise there. Glad the kids got some more competitive experience under their belts. Oh, no, actually they're completely useless, tactically far off and should all either be loaned out to Birmingham or sold on to retire at Portsmouth in this January window! LOL
Lou the Gunneress
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30/01/2008 22:27:00

LD am I reading it right your already to throw the towel in on Freeman? Expect Ozi to throw sh..te at anything English, (clowns who call other states backwater places and attempt to ruin a tourist industry, and get upset because someone calls them a monkey) but hardly you? The lad is only 15 for heavens sake.
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31/01/2008 03:23:00

yup..complete failure..but we pay just a liitle for him though
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31/01/2008 03:36:00

alwaysgunner, do they have satire on your planet?
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31/01/2008 08:40:00

hey rocky, the link of click to mail the editor is not working for me, can u give me an alternative email address of yours? i need to get ur interview for my journalism tabloid.. kindly reply here asap.. and yeah.. awesome news ab diaby.. we wont want to lose another central midfield player after diarra so soon seeing that gilberto wont stay for long..
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31/01/2008 10:00:00

You nearly had me going there wit th headline - i thought maybe Arsene had come up with another last gasp signing we didn't know about! Its good news that Diaby is staying though as he will come good. Luke Freeman? Interesting, but its well early people lets not build up any hype around him just yet. Not really news of any significant impact to our title challenge such as the capture of Kaka or Modric that i was waiting for!
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31/01/2008 10:17:00

haha Alwaysgunner, you a yank or something mate? It's called facetiousness
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31/01/2008 10:51:00

hatespur, yes different planet but comment from Ozi to close to call
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31/01/2008 11:22:00

Freeman for England! Surely Capello must see its the only way forward.
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31/01/2008 12:25:00

In reference to some of the early posts : Theo has made 30 appearances for Arsenal and has looked *****, not matter where he is from no matter how much he cost he has looked rubbish using any yardstick. Now I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon and claim all English players are over hyped tripe and lose hope with the boy already but judging him on what he has produced so far for us he doesnt look like an Arsenal player. He is timid and afraid to express himself, what happened to the saying young players are fearless ? Look at 17 year old Bojan for Barcelona, he doesn't go out there afraid of his own shadow and look to pass to messi and Henry all the time he bangs in goals which is what he is picked for even when played out on the flank, he is young and fearless. I am still harboring hope that Theo will come good but the signs don't look promising and I don't see how anyone can say otherwise. David Bentley didn't make it here and he had twice the technique Theo boats. Alright David is a twerp and The ois a nice young man but that can only get you so far... we need to see more from him. These puny little passes and crosses and reluctance to run when a clear path opens towards goal is not cutting it. Carlos Vela will come here next season and push Theo even more down the pecking order sadly unless he shows us at least a sign as to why we bought him here. Harsh but true I'm afraid..
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31/01/2008 12:29:00

there's only 1 player who i think will make us the ultimate team.. the amazingly brilliant diving *****er.. how in the world did wenger not see him before?
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31/01/2008 12:34:00

Even the Slavia Prague thrashing, Hazzagooner? He played well that night.
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31/01/2008 12:51:00

Therein lies the problem HG, you compare Theo to Bojan, who, along with Pato, is probably the finest teenage footballer on earth. It depends what your expectations are, I'd never seen Theo play before he came to Arsenal, so I've got pretty much what I expected, a raw kid who shows glimpses of brilliance, but is quite inconsistent. Theo was second to Fabregas in assists last season, despite being a bit part player, which shows that his final product is better than you suggest. Some young players are fearless, some aren't. The comparison with Bentley I completely disagree with, the boy is capable of moments of brilliance, but cannot dominate a game against top opposition, he also lacks consistency. His constant long range shooting may look good on MOTD, but if you watch a 90 minute game his involvement is pretty low. Theo is potential, that is all he is now and all he has ever been. The comparison with Vela, I might be doing you a big dis service here, but I'd be interested to know how mnay games you've seen Vela play? There have been signs from Theo and there have been average performances, that's what I expect from an 18 year old. That's why Fabregas well and truly broke the mould. RVP looked fitful and inconsistent up until the age of 21, Henry's career was hit and miss until the age of 22. I remember watching Henry in an U-21 game versus England at Pride Park in 1999 and he looked absolute cack, no confidence and out of touch even with the U-21s.
Little Dutch
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31/01/2008 13:15:00

Come McGooner...Wenger can't "see" every good player out there. To be fair to Ronaldo the boy is really coming into his won now...i must say i am pretty scared of him. He doesnt seem to be able to score or produce when he plays the big teams but he sure scores everybody else...and hey thats what winning the league is all about. Last season we managed to do the double over manyoo but they still won the league...also to be fair to Wenger, if RVP could play a bl**ding season without getting injured he would surely produce 25-30 goals. has taken Ron 3-4 seasons to become what he is...Wenger has been doing that for years dude...we have all it takes to win the PL its just that with Manyoo's level of consistency we have to put in a lot to get what we want this season - to me its very feasible.
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31/01/2008 14:52:00

I haven't seen glimpses of brilliance from Theo in an Arsenal shirt. The finish in the carling cup final was the closest Theo has come to showing us why we spent so much money on him. I admit I am surprised with that stat about assisting which I had no idea about but it still doesn't cover up how bad he looks most of the time. Whether played on the wing or up front he looks too afraid to me. The amount of times he has had a chance to run at goal and has looked for a pass that just wasn't on is worrying. Some players I just don't see as Arsenal players and Theo is one I am very worried about but hopefully I'm wrong and I probably will be considering its Wenger who signed him and has apparent belief in the lad. I have probably seen as much of Vela as you mate but from what I have seen he looked a whole lot more confident in his own ability, the two goals he has scored for Osasuna point to a player who knows where the goal is and his strength and athleticism just fill me with more hope that he will fit into this Arsenal system to better effect. Its harsh to rate a player who has never worn an Arsenal shirt higher than a current first teamer but for me if Theo doesn't improve in the second part of this season will be pushed further down. When you bring up RVP I admit it was in fits and starts but you could immediately see the promise which automatically grants the young player time, his technique and confidence was encouraging. Theo sometime comes across caught in two minds as if training with Arsenal for two years has forced him to pass at every opportunity and forget everything that got him noticed in the first place.. bah maybe I am being harsh but I just don't see it.
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31/01/2008 16:22:00

To all who knock Theo just wait and see, this under 21 game will be an indication and mark my words he will be good. Date 31/1/2008
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31/01/2008 17:31:00

hope so mate...really do. as much as i cant see it yet
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31/01/2008 17:53:00

just like to give Clichy my congratulations for his call up into the french squad
fran merida
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31/01/2008 18:01:00

Most here have seen very little of Vela but are willing to make a judgement on him purely on the hype that has been built up around a player signed by Arsenal. Reyes was also a very talented young player with a good reputation in Spain and became a 'wonderkid' as Arsenal pursued him. Having signed him we found we had bought a player with loads of ability but with all the heart of a caraway seed - as Shankly once described a player. Since then he has gone on to be rejected by Real and is now struggling to get a start at Atletico Madrid. The point being that you can never tell for sure how a player will develop. Theo may well fail but equally he may well go on to develop as a pacey, incisive direct forward - the raw talent is there. Vela may well be the equal of Zidane in time - or possibly just another Reyes. Young players are pushed into the limelight with opinions formed and judgements made, good or bad, far, far too early.
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31/01/2008 19:10:00

Yeah off topic but I'm also very happy for Clichy! Well deserved call-up and I think he'll take the place from Evra sooner rather than later. I won't be surprised at all if he plays more than Evra in Euro 2008 in June.
Lou the Gunneress
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31/01/2008 19:56:00

And I won't be surprised if we supply 3 of their back-four in France's first-choice line-up either.
Lou the Gunneress
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31/01/2008 19:58:00

i must admit there's absolutely nothing btw clichy and evra.. they r the best 2 loft backs in the world.. defensively evra is great at winning balls back while clichy has developed the habit of intercepting passes and playing the cheeky 1-2 with rosicky to almost perfection.. n both of them bomb forward with devastating effect.. well done clichy, now just don come back injured.
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31/01/2008 20:21:00

I am pleased for Clichy for his international recognition - but is it really good news for us? France play 2 games next week. They have enough to pick two separate teams and you would hope and expect that Domenech will do so but it does mean that all 5 of our players will almost certainly play in one game or the other. With the exception of Diaby 4 of them (Gallas, Sagna, Flamini and Clichy) are definite starters for us. Frankly I would have been more than happy for all of our players to have been overlooked and Evra and Diarra played as often as they want.
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31/01/2008 20:41:00

Amos, to be honest this is kind of inevitable for a big club anyway. Even England players have to play some friendly games. For all players of Arsenal quality, if not for France, they play for some other countries. It's hard to avoid the risk because they simply are good enough. Like McGooner said, just hope they come back unscathed.
Lou the Gunneress
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31/01/2008 20:48:00

I understand that Lou but I am still unhappy about it. Meaningless international friendlies serve no purpose other than to line the pockets of national federations and the bloated expense accounts of their officials. In the mean time we just have to hope that the time and money we invest in developing players to play in cup ties such as those against ManU and Milan is not lost to us for the benefit of these useless, incompetent, workshy, bloodsucking freeloaders. Understanding it is one thing being happy about it is something entirely different.
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31/01/2008 21:41:00

Yeah I know... I just tend to look away from things I couldn't do anything about anyway. I'd rather feel lucky for having Ade around than being unhappy about other meaningless internationals. If Clichy's happy playing for France, I'm happy for him and that's it. I'll get upset only when someone comes back injured, that's when I start cursing our luck or complaining about Domenech. LOL Wish them/us good luck then!
Lou the Gunneress
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31/01/2008 21:53:00

If it ain't broke...
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31/01/2008 23:46:00

well done arsene u done well once again
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01/02/2008 11:24:00

Clichys' desire was to play for France,this was one of the reasons that drove him ,and made him the player that he is.he knows that he will have to keep very high standards if he wants to continue playing for les blues,which will only make him play consistantly good for Arsenal....unless he gets injured of course....which is bound to happen...damn...Fek internationals i say!
fran merida
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01/02/2008 11:57:00

well i take back my earlier statement.. apparently ronaldo was at arsenal before carlos quieroz took him to man utd.
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01/02/2008 18:48:00

Think about if we'd had that bit more luck with transfers. Cech, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo - damn we'd be unstoppable!!
Report Abuse
01/02/2008 19:21:00

Hey, at least you had Baptista.
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02/02/2008 00:26:00

alwaysgunner you're a knob end. It was a joke, get a ******** sense of humour and get a ******** life. By the way I've never heard an English person from the south claim the north was *****, or vice-versa, or heard an englishman bag Wales. Clearly it is only Australia who bags other states from in side theeir own country, I mean Northern yanks dont think that Southerner's are rednecks do they? you muppet. And the person we got upset about being called a monkey happens to be black you *****, thats called racism, a lot of people get upset about it. Ignorant cockbag.
Ozi Gooner
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02/02/2008 06:57:00


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