With the recent acquisitions of French striker Olivier Giroud and Germany international Lukas Podolski it is widely expected that Arsenal will now turn their attention to strengthening in both the defensive and midfield positions. Arsenal have increased their attacking options significantly with the recent signings of these two highly rated players, although, if Robin Van Persie does leave Arsenal it is vital that the club replaces with a quality replacement. With no conclusion to the Robin Van Persie saga as of yet, Arsenal are expected to continue with the clubs transfer plans along with dealing with this ongoing battle. Moreover, several fringe players are expected to leave the club in the near future, with Squillaci widely reported to be heading back to France and Nicklas Bendtner who now has a new agent alerting several clubs including the likes of Malaga and Swansea. In addition to this, the likes of Denilson, Vela, Lansbury, Arshavin and various other footballers currently on Arsenal’s books are tipped to be heading for the exit door this summer. The potential departures of these players will help free up space and funds for any new signings the club wishes to make. Hatem Ben Arfa is a midfield option Arsenal are said to be taking into consideration.
Where Could Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa Fit Into Arsenal’s Plans?
Well, since the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas the North London club is yet to truly replace them. Following a successful campaign at Newcastle recently Ben Arfa could be the player Arsenal are looking for the fill this gap in midfield. Arsene Wenger has been a keen admirer of the French international ever since his day at Marseille as a youngster. If Arsenal want to challenge on all fronts in the upcoming football season which gets underway in August squad depth is vital. The right blend of quality players is what sets a club ahead of its competitors. The lengthy loss of Jack Wilshere last season impacted Arsenal’s hopes of landing silverware greatly and the addition of Hatem Ben Arfa would offer Arsene Wenger the opportunity to rotate between the two players for a starting berth in the attacking midfield position once Jack Wilshere is fully fit. It is also important to consider the fact that Jack Wilshere is only 20 years of age, still learning his trade and will need to regain his match fitness first before he can play a part for Arsenal next season. Hatem Ben Arfa’s versatility is also a major asset with the player able to play both on the wing and attacking midfield positions. The Frenchman had previously played as a striker at Marseille and if required I am confident he would be able to play in this role once again if needed for Arsenal.
How Much Could Ben Arfa Be Available For?
According, to recent reports although Newcastle would loathe to lose a player of Ben Arfa’s ability but a fee in the region of £16 million may just be enough for the Magpies to part with one of their star players. In my opinion, this price does seem a little steep and if Arsenal were able to negotiate this transfer fee down to about £12 million pounds then this would be the sort of deal that could suit both clubs. The Gunners could also tempt Newcastle by offering some of their fringe players a makeweight for any possible deal. Arsene Wenger is prepared to listen to offers for a variety of footballers on Arsenal’s books so why not use them in a player plus cash deal? According to reliable French media outfit L’Equipe Arsenal have been in contact with Ben Arfa’s agent in recent weeks.
What Stumbling Blocks Are There?
It remains to be seen whether or not Ben Arfa intends to honour his contract at Newcastle or move on if he receives a tempting offer from a club that can offer him the opportunity to play in the Champions League next season. If Newcastle demand a price deemed to be over the odds and do not budge on this price this would likely prevent any deal from taking place at all. The player has also been accused of lacking discipline in the past but Arsene Wenger has been able to handle problems with players in the past and get the best out of them, this therefore shouldn’t be a major obstacle. Consequently, Wenger will know enough about the player by now to judge his character and decide whether he is suitable or not. But with Wenger having declared his interest in Ben Arfa in the past this suggests that the Gunners boss cannot foresee any potential problems that could arise from signing the Newcastle star. Nevertheless, bust ups and disagreements can impact the overall performance and morale of the team as seen most recently from the likes of Samir Nasri at Euro 2012.
Arsenal could really use a playmaker like Ben Arfa who has the ability to dart past opposition players with a great dale of pace and menace, using his dribbling skills to great effect. The 25 year old is not afraid to take on anyone with his pace and he also has a very good long distance shot.
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