There’s only one thing worth talking about today and that is the shock signing of Mikael Silvestre from Manchester United. The French defender has signed a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee at Arsenal – thought to be around £750,000 – and will wear the #18 shirt at his new club.
I have to say that I was pretty shocked when I woke up this morning, checked out the official Arsenal website and saw that Silvestre had signed. It was only yesterday that the first hint of a move materialised and it was nothing more than a rumour. To see it confirmed so soon is a little bit surreal.
Yesterday I wasn’t quite sure whether I liked the idea of Silvestre signing, but now I’ll readily admit that I’m delighted. Yes, that’s right – delighted. He ticks all the right boxes – experienced, a Premiership player, a proven winner and of course French. Unsurprisingly, the manager has pointed to these strengths as the main reasons for signing Silvestre:
“We have a strong squad but a young squad and Mikael’s versatility, experience and calibre will provide the extra depth we need to reinforce our challenge for honours this season. His defensive adaptability will serve us well and it’s a big plus that Mikael has top level experience and a great understanding of football in the Premier League.”
The manager’s comments are spot-on. But what I’ve found even more intriguing are the comments made by Silvestre himself soon after signing the dotted line. Although I don’t have direct quotes, I watched the interview on Arsenal TV and the Frenchman had the following to say:
- He is completely over his injuries and looking to a fresh start to the season
- He left Manchester United because he was spending too much time on the bench and is looking to push for a starting spot at Arsenal
- He clearly indicated that he would be playing at centre-back as opposed to left-back
It’s all very interesting and leaves Wenger with some decisions to make. If the manager remains true to his word then it seems to me that he’s either going to rotate Gallas, Toure and Silvestre on a consistent basis or he is going to play Gallas and Silvestre as first-choice and perhaps use Toure as a defensive midfielder.
Personally I hope it’s the former and that Wenger follows up the signing of Silvestre with the purchase of a new defensive-midfielder. If he does so then all of a sudden a squad which looked a little light-on will be completely ready to challenge for both the Premier League and Champions League.
At the end of the day I’m welcoming the signing of Silvestre. He might well be passed his best but the fact is that he is exactly what Arsenal needs and once again the manager has done a terrific job in bringing in the right sort of player to suit our needs. It is going to be interesting to see what role the Frenchman plays this season but regardless, a central defence department consisting of Gallas, Toure, Silvestre, Djourou and Senderos is more than good enough to challenge for a major title.
As a final note, I’m sure there will be supporters of Arsenal who were not the biggest fans of Silvestre while he was at Manchester United. It’s funny that on a personal level he never really bothered to me. I always thought he was quite a professional and there was always a Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooij or Wayne Rooney to grind my gears instead. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to have the same stigma attached to Silvestre as someone like Arseblogger does then I’d encourage you to let it go as soon as possible. I totally understand where you’re coming from but at the end of the day Silvestre is an Arsenal player now and he deserves our support.
What do you think?
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