Arsenal - Wenger Preparing To Clear Squad Space
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Wenger Preparing To Clear Squad Space

Despite the purpose of Arsene Wenger`s Thursday press conference being to preview the F.A. Cup clash with Swansea this weekend, inevitably almost every question he was asked revolved around the January transfer window.

Whilst speculation over potential targets is rife, it looks as though the club are preparing to clear the decks. The Arsenal manager confirmed speculation that Johan Djourou is close to a move, whilst Sebastien Squillaci and Andrey Arshavin are also free to leave.

'Squillaci, if he finds a club, he will certainly go,' said Wenger. 'Djourou might go somewhere as well, that will be decided in the next 48 to 72 hours.' Whilst he said there was "No news" on the prospect of Arshavin`s transfer, but he had said last week that, "if he finds a solution that is satisfying for him and for us we will consider it.'

Typically though, the Gunners boss was insistent that his focus was primarily on the players that will travel to Wales this weekend, "In our job it is important that you focus on what is really important, the players who can help the club to win the games,' he said.

'Those players who are somewhere on the transfer market will not help you to win the games. For us it is important to focus on our next game and our next game can only be won by the players who are here.'

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

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 3 2013

Time: 2:37PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
How do we stand on our quota numbers? Is it essential we move some players on before buying or do we have space?
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03/01/2013 15:05:00

Rocky, we are currently 17 internationals.. Selling JD and keeping Squillaci and Arshavin does not make sense.. coz JD is homegrown.
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03/01/2013 16:09:00

Missing out on relatively cheaper players like Ba, KJH and Llorente can only mean one thing. Theres a super super super quality multi million dollar signing on his way to the Emirates.. Or , Park Ju Young, could be recalled from an early loan spell.
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03/01/2013 16:09:00

Good point on JD. It does make sense to sell them both. 1) SS is sh**, we don;t want him anywhere near the team. 2)JD has had his shot at Arsenal, he had a lot of promise but it didn't quite work out for him. 4th choice defender should be reserved for that of a young player. I'm not going to get in another argument about Ba, it's ridiculous to even question Wenger for not signing him when Chelsea are involved, it is a battle we will not win unless the player has a distinct hatred for Chelsea. We've got better things to do with our time than chase pipe dreams.
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03/01/2013 17:17:00

Err, Ba is only about meeting his exit clause.. Its not like theres a bidding war on him. And he is on 70k or 80k at Chavs [ depending on which source you believe]
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03/01/2013 17:23:00

Ba is available for a set fee, so it's a bidding war to see who will pay him most. Similar to when we were trying to sign Juan Mata, and Chelsea threw bigger wages at him. He's also got the weakest knees in all of Christendom, hasn't he?
Report Abuse
03/01/2013 17:32:00

Bollox about Mata! He agreed for personal terms with Arsenal. It just that we didnt show the money early enough and then Chavs got him for a slightly higher transfer fee.
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03/01/2013 17:50:00

we dragged our feet with Mata too much, too many people are too quick to absolve Arsenal of any blame whatsoever. Ba = glad we didn't sign him
Report Abuse
03/01/2013 18:27:00

If Big Sam really buys Chamakh, I promise I wont abuse him [Sam] the next time we play the Hammers.
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03/01/2013 19:08:00

SW - Just as people are quick to absolve Arsenal of any blame they're also to quick to assign it. How does anyone know that Arsenal didn't make any enquiries about a certain player only to be told that the player has no interest in signing for us. It's something people seem to forget when talking about transfers, it's not just about transfer fees and wages, it's about the player actually wanting to join the club. We have no say over that whatsoever.
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03/01/2013 19:17:00

Chelsea didn't outbid us for Mata, I can tell you that for fact. Mata had agreed a deal in principle, which his advisors made public for very good reason. They wanted to see if a richer club would come in for him with bigger wages. They did. That was the reason for the hold up. Job done. Ba is almost like a bosman because he's available for well below market value, so there's a bidding war on wages. Plus his advisors are asking for big payouts, so it's not just a £7m deal by any means. Even Chelsea have had hold ups in that deal such are the conditions.
Little Dutch
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03/01/2013 19:25:00

What we also have to take into account, as much as we don't want to, is that players are also looking to win trophies .... something which is much more likely to happen at Chelsea or Man City in this day and age.
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03/01/2013 19:38:00

Doesn't Ba currently get partially paid by the Toon on a match-by-match basis based on the state of his knees?
Wyn Mills
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03/01/2013 19:59:00

I think that's the best Rio Ferdinand impression I've ever seen.
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03/01/2013 20:43:00

Chamakh on loan to WHam whilst be pay a load of wages, squeezing the balloon ala Bentdner, Denilson and a couple of others. This rod for our backs don't half hurt.
Report Abuse
03/01/2013 21:36:00

Gutted to hear its jsut a loan and that we are paying majority of his wages. Well. we have laid our bed - or whatever that idiom is - and must lie in it.
Report Abuse
03/01/2013 21:47:00

Would be very sad to see Djourou go, but I think it's just a loan, so that he gets playing time. AW still really rates him.
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03/01/2013 23:17:00

Yeah, too bad Djourou hasn't lived up to potential, but there is no chance at this time for him to get into the squad ahead of Mertesacker, Vermaelen or Koscielny, so it does make sense to get rid of him and integrate Miquel into the first team squad. I think Arshavin was mismanaged, but not necessarily intentionally. He's a luxury player and with all the squad turmoil of key players out and new players coming in, we've had too much change to have room for a luxury player on the pitch.
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 02:02:00

As for Squillaci, he had a few decent games (but never without at least one glaring error). He most impressed when we all first saw his picture - he looked like a psychopath and thought that must be a good thing for a defender. Alas, while he may well be a psychopath he's not much of a defender.
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 02:06:00

elbondo, I do think Miquel has a great future. He has improved a lot recently and put on some pounds (in a good way!). He and JD make a cracking pair. It's how to provide the opportunities, though, isn't it? the eternal conundrum for a manager, especially when we're talking about the heart of the defence.
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04/01/2013 13:03:00

And he (Miquel) is more aggressive now, as well - again in a good way.
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04/01/2013 13:05:00

Agree on the transfer for Mata - it was so obvious that he went to Chelsea for more money. As for Ba, it is a high risk move (something that Chelsea can afford). Given our injury record, signing a player who cannot pass a medical for 70-80K a week is not something I would have been comfortable with. It's good to see some action on the exits front - Chamakh, Squillaci and Arshavin need to go. Of the 3, I will be sad to see Arshavin go - don't know why Wenger doesn't even rate him to come on a sub. If both Djourou and Squillaci leave, we will be short defensively. Miquel could move up as 4th choice but we need to bring 1 more defender.
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 13:09:00

Wow. Arshavin rejected a loan deal to Reading. That is SO unprofessional of him. A pity, coz he was one of my fav. players.
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 16:02:00


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