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5 Alternative Transfer Targets

5 Players you won`t see Arsenal buying this Summer (but who could do a job)

We all know the deal this Summer; newspapers will start running headlines about a Wenger spending frenzy, we`ll all get excited about the prospect of Messi wearing the club colours, being supplied by a Zidane who has been through a newly invented time travel device and will now spend the rest of his days permanently 28.

In reality, not much will happen, until a week before deadline day when Wenger will announce the £1.75 signing of a young French man who`s made 7 appearances for his school basketball team, along with a decrepit French man he saw playing football with his grandkids in bare feet on a camp site by the Loire.

Deadline day is the day I almost envy Tottenham fans. They get to watch the BBC website update, feeling like a kid with a lucky dip bag at a party; never quite sure what will come out. Although like the contents of a lucky dip bag, it`s invariably overpriced and after an initial burst loses flavour rapidly.

The usual transfer targets will be linked with Arsenal this Summer and not signed, but it doesn`t make for any less fun speculating. You can read all about Benzema and Jagielka on other less interesting sites. Below are 5 targets I think could really benefit the club, but will not be joining.

1 - Clarence Seedorf

I may have cheated a bit here as I`ve heard his name and Arsenal mentioned in the same sentence before. However, not often so he`ll do for a starter.

Alex Song is slowly developing into a world class holding midfielder, so to buy somebody established would only halt his progression. However, a reserve that isn`t Denilson is no bad thing and they don`t come any more experienced than Seedorf.

Firstly he`s free, always a Wenger winner. He`s also won more medals than a Paraguayan FIFA official with votes to sell, so could teach the younger ones a thing or three about winning.

Patrick Viera has shown at Manchester City the value of having an older head who wants to be a coach. Seedorf will be getting to learn from Wenger, and in return he`ll be happy to pass on knowledge, warm the bench and fill in when Alex Song needs a rest, or so I`m hoping, to give credibility to my argument.

2 - Arjen Robben

Yes he`s a bit of a dick, but aren`t 90% of players until they play for your club?

So often Arsenal can be guilty of overplaying to the degree where the opposition have the chance to regroup and get back in position. For all his faults Robben can never be accused of overcomplicating football; get ball, run with ball, shoot ball. His incisiveness and directness would add another dimension to the team`s play. Plus he`s injured a lot, so he`d fit into a squad rotation system perfectly.

3 - Park Ji Sung

In Korean culture workers do exactly as they`re told, as hard as they can, for as long as they can, until they physically can`t go on. One of the biggest killers of Korean men is fatigue; genuine fact.

For the last few years Park has been used by United as the football equivalent of a limpet, sticking to opponents and not moving away until the whistle sounds; doing no more because he hasn`t been asked to do more.

Over those same years he`s been the playmaker for Korea, bossing the middle and dictating play whilst doing his best to make sure no blade of grass should feel left out by not being stood on; all because he`s been asked to.

In the last few weeks he`s been the stand out player for United, and at Arsenal, given more responsibility, Park would thrive. He can tackle, pass, cross, head, all at speed, and all with the energy of a Ghurka after a barrel full of blue smarties. Played in the centre of midfield he would be up, down, left, right. He`d try to find a way to manipulate the laws of physics and transport himself instantly from one penalty area to the other if you asked him. He can play in any position, and if all that doesn`t convince you, just think of the shirt sales.

4 - Clint Dempsey

Dempsey is what Americans call a 'clutch player.` Others might score more, others might set up more, but few are as able to appear with either, just as the team needs to change gear; clutch. His first goal for the club was the winner against Liverpool that kept them up. His best was a 20 yard chip to beat Juventus with 8 minutes left. The higher the pressure the better he plays.

He`s two footed and an expert at the late run. Like Freddie Ljungberg, but less injury prone. He`s also lethal in the air, which would give a target to all those, so far wasted Sagna whipped crosses.

At Fulham he`s good, but often his runs aren`t spotted, and those high tension moments are fewer and farther between than a player with Dempsey`s class deserves. Given a chance at Arsenal he could be truly great.

5 - Ryan Nelsen

This last selection is more a reaction to the rumour of Christopher Samba joining the club. Whilst Samba is decent, he`s no better than his partner. Nelsen is firmly of the 'if you shoot it, I will block it` mould of defenders, and few block it better.

During the World Cup he was named in the ESPN team of the tournament after leading New Zealand to a 3 game unbeaten run. Their lack of quality in the final third cost them progression, but it was Nelsen`s leadership, organisation and bravery that got them there in the first place; qualities that would have been valuable against Stoke at the weekend, and against Newcastle, and against Tottenham, and against Liverpool, and ... you see where I`m going with this.

Nelsen has not had it easy the last few years. He`s battled through knees held together by masking tape, his family only just escaping the Christchurch earthquake alive and Blackburn deciding he`s not captain anymore, or is, or isn`t, depending on the mood of the manager, or if it`s been raining.

Each time he`s come back stronger and without so much of a murmur of complaint. He could teach the younger ones how to react to adversity. Having seen the team capitulate so spectacularly after losing to Birmingham, that is a skill that cannot be underestimated.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Lewis Wright Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 13 2011

Time: 12:03PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Problem with Robben is his injury rate, which is pretty bad. Great player tho. I will always worship Clarence Seedorf, what's not to love? But at his age in such a rough league as the PL? Absolutely love Dempsey-attitude, workrate, his mentality is sorely lacking in our squad. Same with Park. I see some gooners still talking about Felipe Melo. Please shut them up.
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13/05/2011 13:49:00

Giorgio Chiellini (CB); Samuel E'to O; Okay, agree on Seedorf. The team only needs one key player to serve as a breath of fresh air and be a motivating factor as we fight our February-April 'chokers' Demons.
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13/05/2011 13:58:00

I forgot to add Scottie Parker. A real trojan in midfield.
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13/05/2011 14:15:00

I will only ask for Samuel Eto'o Fils (even at his age) and a Kos + Vermaelen (hope i got my spelling right). And when we play long ball teams with NBA height players to have a Samba + Djourou CB. That will do the job
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13/05/2011 14:43:00

Have you heard Adebayor recent interview about Arsene's style of motivating players? He said Mourinho make every match looks like a war while Wengers tells you to get and enjoy the game, play smart. Those are a very revealing comments. What's your take on that.
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13/05/2011 14:45:00

I wouldn't read much into Adebayor's comments as he seems to be developing into an attention (seeking) junkie, lately. Ade speaks about himself in the third person, for Christ sakes; not a very reliable man. There again, Damien Comolli, someone who should know, thinks Wenger and Kenny Dalglish are on the same level when it comes to motivating players to do well; and with the output Kenny's had at 'Pool, that's saying something. Where did all the war cries take Mourinho this season, anyway? Wenger may not show much in public but you can see he has the required passion, without making out like it is a 'war'. I find it is better to tell young players to go out and enjoy their games than to put them under pressure; hasn't worked with this team, though. Lol.
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13/05/2011 15:15:00

Isnt Klose another freebe? Like you said Wenger does like a free transfer so you never know.Seedorf,Pirlo and Nesta are all awaiting new contracts with ACMilan(they cant all go leave for free?..) although im less keen on the last two
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13/05/2011 16:31:00

Arseniger, Ade's comments are very credible because that's the exact same thing several former Arsenal players have said about Arsene's managing style. He himself has said it's not his job to motivate players, that's up to them. I can't stand Ade but he's not the first former gunner to make the exact same comment on Wenger's coaching.
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13/05/2011 17:38:00

Mhmm, Jaelle. I would rather have players who are self motivated than those waiting for the Manager to tell them "This is the big one, lads!!". Like anyone needed telling that the Carling cup was there for the taking; or, that we would be 2 points closer to United if we beat..... My point is such swashbuckling style may work for some but not for others. It is not like Wenger's sides, pre-2006, have not shown fight (I think of many battling performances with United), so why did his coaching style work then, but not now or with this lot?
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13/05/2011 17:58:00

...and then you turned off football manager 2011 and reality hit you. I don't blame you guys for playing a bit of fantasy football because as Arsenal fans it's all you guys get to live on (I mean in terms of rumours that is).
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13/05/2011 18:00:00

*2 points from...
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13/05/2011 18:01:00

Absolute must-hear interview with the excellent French journalist Philippe Auclair on Wenger & Arsenal in's latest podcast
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13/05/2011 18:11:00

naija, you're caricaturizing a complex issue. It's not a question of either/or. AW's approach has always been to recruit intelligent players who can motivate themselves. Well you never needed to motivate the likes of Vieira, Bergkamp, Pires. These guys were born winners. Plus they played alongside previous winners who were also already highly motivated. But that's just not the case with young inexperienced players who've never won anything & haven't played alongside winning veterans. Sometimes you DO need to motivate these kids. That's been very very clear in the last 4-5 seasons. You see CONSISTENTLY how they can raise their game to beat Barca, Man Utd, Chelsea--and the very next game come out like they did against Stoke. I'm no fan of Mourinho and would never ever want him anywhere near Arsenal (I want to slap every gooner who even contemplates that atrocity) but there are a couple of things I respect about him. What strikes me about every single one of his former players I've ever read or heard talk about him is the amazing bond they form with him and the incredible level of motivation he instills into them. He makes them feel like every single game is a war & they should be ready to die. Doesn't matter who they play against. Sometimes a coach most definitely needs to motivate his players. Some players need it, others don't. In previous AW teams there were strong personalities who did that motivating within the dressing room for those players who needed it. This team lacks that presence. Many of AW's former players have talked about the incredible self-belief he instills into them--that's one of his great strengths. But with these coddled, spoiled kids who've never won anything that's clearly not enuf.
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13/05/2011 18:32:00

What? Doubt we need any of those 5. And where is Scott Parker, who should be Arsene's no1 target.
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13/05/2011 19:11:00

Top drawer comment jaelle.. Couldnt agree more.
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13/05/2011 19:20:00

Mourinho is unlikely to ever put himself in a position where he has to motivate young players. He'll invariably look for a role where he can buy the finished article. There's no doubt that managers who rely on strong motivational qualities can enjoy success but it's often relatively short lived and eventually the motivation techniques become predictable and no longer work as effectively unless you get a whole new bunch of players in. Maybe that's one reason why managers like Mourinho don't hang around anywhere too long.
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13/05/2011 21:48:00

Spot on, Amos. In any case, his famed qualities didn't appear to work with the 'big players' in Real Madrid his first season....well, because Barca has a bunch of self-driven, young, quality players (with a certain philosophy) and an ambitious Manager in Pep. In deferring to Jaelle though, I'll agree Barca has not a few winners in Puyol, Xavi and Messi; the sort of personalities Arsenal could use, but which could evolve with a trophy winning experience. Now, the fact that we even agree a team needs some strong personalities in the squad supports the view that it is equally up to the players to motivate one another; the Manager will do his bit, including preparing the side tactically.
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14/05/2011 00:08:00

Since when was Seedorf a holding midfielder?
Ozi Gooner
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14/05/2011 10:45:00

Amos - I'd venture that Fergie relies on motivational techniques and it's served him ok.
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14/05/2011 11:32:00

Every manager has to motivate players but I don't think Fergie is quite as dependent on motivation to the same extent as some others. If so then it didn't work too well in his first few years as a manager at ManU...and he has had some notable falling out with players in his time. I think Fergie is better at putting teams together than his hairdryer image suggests plus he has regularly changed his No2 so that the players do hear a different voice with a slightly different tune other than just Fergie's.
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14/05/2011 11:42:00

"invariably look for a position where he can buy the finishes article" - right, and Wenger can't do that because? Think Mourinho did a good job of turning a couple of players at Chelsea when he went there into seriously effective winners. Fergie is obviiously excellent at putting teams together but he knows when to motivate them, Adebayor's comments are in line with lots of others as Jaelle as pointed out. Hardly a coincidence is it, Wenger's even admitted himself they struggle to become motivated, if you can't be motivated to play for Arsenal then who can you be motivated to play for? Unfortunately the answer to that is to anyone who'll pay you millions each year from a young age and for rewarding consistent - failure. And by failure I mean it in its purest form, e.g. not being succesful.
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14/05/2011 16:12:00

We need English grit, period. At the moment there's nobody in the team willing to dive in and block shots when required. Every one is just simply happy to trot back(for example Denilson) or put in half hearted challenges(for example Diaby).
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14/05/2011 17:49:00

"and Wenger can't do that because" .....he doesn't have the spending power of Abramovich....or Real....and isn't prepared to put the club in as much debt as Inter...not that hard to figure out really.
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14/05/2011 17:53:00

I think Scott Parker is a really good fit. He can motivate and lead the team by himself. With him and Jack in midfield, there will be no room for complacency shown by any other player.
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14/05/2011 17:57:00

I have to say I am not too interested on who joins. I am more worried about the change in mentality we need. Congrats to MU. They deserve the title as they wanted it more than us. They just showed more grit and fight. They would have never thrown away 3 points after being 4-0 up. Every player at MU must feel the weight of their success and the pressure to deliver. I am sure at Arsenal, it is free-spirited, have a god and do your best at passing the ball son. At United, it's win win win. Wenger needs to find his hunger for winning again. The fact that he is almost unsackable has reduced his hunger and he is tolerating failure for the sake of pretty football. Ferguson on the other seem only intent on winning nothing else... and even with an average team.
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14/05/2011 20:09:00

Son Wenger can't sign any finished articles? You truly believe that? We can now compete in the transfer Market - so why not? Honest question so don't mug it off.
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14/05/2011 21:14:00

And please Arsene, be flexible next year. 4-3-3 with Nik launching crosses in the box with noone bothering to reach them is painful to watch.
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14/05/2011 21:34:00

It was a mug question. Didn't need mugging off. Unless you've completely missed what's been happening in the game and at the club in the time since Abramovich bought Chelsea.
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14/05/2011 21:38:00

Whoa, english for stop a horse n all that. No need for that, it's a serious question, we can't buy any finished articles? I still don't understand why, and what you say contradicts what comes out of the higher echelons of the clubs, and as to why we left Highbury - with the main reason being to compete in the transfer market. Just to confirm "why can't we buy a finshed article" is a mug question? You for real, mate? No wonder you bliss a lot of people off in cyber space.
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14/05/2011 22:06:00

We do buy finished articles (though we still polish them up a bit) but we can't buy the finished articles that Abramovich, Real and Inter (who amassed loses of over 500m over 3 years) were/ are buying for the squads that Mourinho worked with. We couldn't then and we can't now hence he has never had to motivate/develop young players to the extent we have. You know that of course and because you know that you also know that it was a mug question.
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14/05/2011 22:28:00

I never directly compared anything to Chelsea at all, let's talk about medians here then eh, remove the outliers, treat exceptions exceptionally yada yada, nothing about what I asked was a mug question, none of it at all. We could still buy top players - IF we wanted to, or if we can, depends on whether you wanna beleive that Wenger's taking a lot of flak or whether the board's bull****ting.
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14/05/2011 22:36:00

The topic was clearly Mourinho and the type of clubs he managed and the squads he 'motivated' so there's little point pleading ignorance. It's pretty clear what our financial capabilities are/have been compared to Real and what Chelsea and others have been/are doing. You don't have to believe any of the cliched views of Wenger stubbornness or of boardroom bull***** to understand that or to know that we have bought top players - even if some of them weren't finished articles when we bought them. The numbers and the history are there for anyone who takes the trouble to look.
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14/05/2011 22:47:00

Topics don't have to follow a constant, they can deviate when you mention something that may be a derivative from that, which a "finished article" can be - it's not a defacto side effect from some sort of "Mourinho factor" is it? Tired cliche views they may be, but one of them isn't far from the truth, if not bang on. And I disagree that our financial capabilities are completely clear.
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14/05/2011 22:54:00

There's no reason why you can't change the topic if that's what you want to do but the original context was more than clear enough for anyone wanting to avoid asking a mug question in relation to the original topic. Our financial capabilities in relation to what Real, Chelsea, Inter and others around us have been/are doing are very clear even to fairly casual observers but there's plenty more information out there for those genuinely interested in understand it better.
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14/05/2011 23:09:00

No topic was changed, it simply evolved. The thing is, is there that much information to really go on? Nothing directly comes from the club does it, no one really knows what's in our "players" budget, do they? Not internal to the club at least, you can have your favourite blogs and draw your own assumptions from regulatory releases from the club or whatever, but don't make out that it's easy to find out just through doing a bit of digging. No one knows that's not Arsene Wenger or a couple of board member on what's available to spend. People are asking perfectlt legitimate questions due to what they've heard from the club over the years and why we moved to the B&Q bowl from our spiritual home, where we had top players and won stuff - under Wenger. Not in this regime though, not with this "philosophy" that no one fkin banged on about when we competed (and I mean competed, not flaked every single year).
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14/05/2011 23:19:00

Doesn't take a lot to work out that we can't spend 80m on Ronaldo, or the 70m on Torres and Luiz that Chelsea spent in January - or the nett 50m a year that City have spent - or that we couldn't run up the losses that Inter have. The AST usually have a fair stab at it after analysing the accounts but quite sensibly no-one at Arsenal would want to confirm anything. It's not too hard to have a fair guess as to what the nett spend over the next few years might be. What our gross spend is depends on other factors such as profits on player trading. Not too hard to see what has changed in the game since we last won stuff though - or what would have happened if we hadn't moved into the Emirates.
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15/05/2011 00:47:00

Just wonder what the wage bill is at Manure/Chelski/ Mancity let alone tiny totts.
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15/05/2011 01:59:00

I explained earlier I wasn't talking about exceptions - how hard is that to comprehend? Why keep talking specifically about it - especially bringing up world records? I was talking about finished articles - as you put it. And if it's not so hard to work out then please let us know why would've happened if we hadn't have left Highbury. To the poster above it's well documented our wage bill is much higher than Tottenham's thanks to extremely generous contracts and the club going overboard in case we have another Ashley Cole situation.
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15/05/2011 09:55:00

Well if you aren't talking about exceptions then what point are you trying to make? All seems a bit hard for you to comprehend that Wenger has bought finished articles. Sagna, Vermaelen, Arshavin, Koscielny, Chamakh, Eduardo, Gallas among them. As it's not so hard to work out then I'll leave you to work out what our financial position would be if we had stayed at Highbury. The exercise will be good for you :)
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15/05/2011 10:25:00

Koscielny a finished article? After one year at L'orient? Oh dear. It's really quite simple to work out what point i'm making Amos, i'm sure anyone else can - we should be signing more players with winning trophies experience at the level we're competing at. The Xabi Alonso thing is a good example, actually try and sign him, not put in nominal bids. And re Highbury - unlike you not to offer a strong opinion either way :)
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15/05/2011 10:46:00

I did say we also do a fair amount of polishing but in the context of a discussion about motivating young players Koscielny is a finished article. You've no idea what went on in the Alonso bid so there's little point suggesting you do. I don't need to offer an opinion about Highbury there's little to dispute about it but by all means you make the case for staying there if you wish. It would make a change for you to present a cogent and considered argument rather than just sniping and sneering :)
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15/05/2011 10:57:00

The only "sneering" i've done here is in response to Koscielny being the finished article - if they need improving (polishing) then they're not quite at the level we should be signing, as we've left Highbury now for some years and we have enough money in the transfer kitty to spend say 20m on someone if we wanted to - that's the point i'm making. Obviously all comments on bids are speculation whether it's me mentioning the Alonson effort or you rehashing what an Italian Chairman's mentioned about Melo. There's no 2 ways about it if we were still at Highbury we'd be more succesful in my opinion and Wenger's on field legacy wouldn't be heading ever downwards.
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15/05/2011 11:02:00

I read some banter on twitter. Is there going to be a walk or something before the game?? In what form is it exactly?? How many numbers are expected to be present??
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15/05/2011 13:11:00

@Eboue=GOD I think its 'organised' by .Not sure what else to expect,doubt masses will show up though
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15/05/2011 14:09:00

Gotta agree with the Clint Dempsey analysis. I've wanted him at Man City for a couple of years now. Fantastic player.
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16/05/2011 12:33:00

45 comments and about 4 of them have been about the players I've suggested. I wrote this piece semi tongue in cheek (there's no way United would sell Park) but the more I think about it, the more I can't see any reason why the club couldn't buy Dempsey, and why it wouldn't be a great buy. Same to some degree with Ryan Nelsen; he might not play every game, but what a guy to drop in against Stoke etc.
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16/05/2011 15:21:00


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