AFCB round-up: Nasri’s knee troubles, Squillaci bid probable

AFCB editor Andrew Weber rounds up the day’s news…

Nasri unlucky again

Before the start of the 2009/2010 season Samir Nasri suffered a broken leg in an unfortunate training ground incident involving Abou Diaby and missed the first two months of the campaign.

He recently spoke of his frustration over that injury and a desire to remain fit and healthy this season to overcome his previous inconsistencies and make a proper mark on the Premier League.

So it is with hilarious inevitability that after completing an impressive 90 minutes against Liverpool on Sunday he has suffered a meniscal tear in his knee and will be out of action for a month.

While it’s obviously another frustrating blow to a player who needed to make the most of the early part of the season to make his role in this team clearer, the good news is that in short-term it shouldn’t impact on us too badly.

While Denilson and Cesc Fabregas are both likely to remain absent from the starting team against Blackpool this weekend, the surprising news that Johan Djourou is ready to return should allow Alex Song to rejoin the starting team in defensive-midfield, rather than filling in for the suspended Laurent Koscielny at the back.

Song and Djourou’s return should allow Abou Diaby to push forward into his more favoured attacking midfield role while Jack Wilshere should retain his place as the energetic, tackling central midfielder, at least for one more game.

The real worry comes if one or two more players go down and let’s face it: it’s not exactly unfeasible.

Squillaci to sign: the end of Nordtveit’s season?

An interesting transfer story to report today: Arsene Wenger is reportedly looking to sign French central defender Sebastien Squillaci from Sevilla (try saying that five times really fast).

Squillaci is not a player I know a lot about – other than the fact that he is 30-years-old, a French international and played in that the excellent AS Monaco team that took the Champions League by storm in 2003/2004 – but with a fourth central defender an absolutely necessity I would welcome his signing with open arms.

A first-choice defender for the Spanish club, Squillaci was left out of Sevilla’s squad in the Champions League qualifier against Sporting Braga to avoid being cup-tied, suggesting he is set to make a move to another club.

Sevilla director Ramon Rodriguez confirmed:

“The player asked us not to play this game due to an important offer from a team, although for the moment, we consider the bid to be inadequate and Squillaci remains a Sevilla player.”

At this point in time I see our central defender pecking order as Thomas Vermaelen first, with Djourou second and Koscielny third and Squillaci would slot nicely into the fourth position, providing good competition for his less-experienced counterparts.

It would also see the end of Harvard Nordtveit’s role in the first-team this season, with the Norwegian youngster likely to go on loan if Squillaci is brought in.

Other news bits

Have your say on the AFCB news round-up by leaving a comment.



  1. Good stuff, the defender news…as long as he’s not as bad as Silvestre.

    Too bad we’re losing Nasri at this same time when we would’ve been looking stronger. How can we be looking so so thin when the season is just starting? We really need to be plugging them holes…esp. GOALIE

  2. thus the problm with our team. the more one is comig back, one would be going. we pray 4 quik recorvery (nasir).

  3. i have already read squillacis profile and he sounds a promising player who could do us the world of good as we he sounds like a solid defender which we desperatley need. also i read a story in the daily mail today the headline read former arsenal hero hleb is set for spurs ( scummy spuds ) move. since when was hleb a arsenal hero?

  4. @ Andy,
    I still dont know what Djourou has accomplished in the years hes been at Arsenal, methinks youve just been plugging him so much all this time that your rolling with him until he comes up trumps and your vindicated….. much like the manager has been doing with Almunia, Diaby, Denilson and Nasri, are you sure your not Arsene Wenger in disguise?
    On to the transfer rumours. I have heard about the Squilachi rumours aswel and will be unhappy if he comes as I dont rate him at all and hes quite injury prone, he was abysmal against Ireland in that infamous play-off game in Paris, abysmal, and I watch alot of La Liga and hes not as good as kosielny or Djourou to be honest, but hey hes French so Wenger will no doubt splash for him….am not happy about this at all folks.
    One I am happy about is the hot rumour circulating that weve had a bid excepted by Fiorentina for Riccardo Montolivo. Hes a midfielder who can do it all and if you dont know what hes about hes basically the new Pirlo, if he comes he will be what Nasri should have been….mark my words. If Wenger signs this kid it will re-ignite my faith in him.
    Shay Given (top notch)
    Squilachi (french flop)
    Montolivo (top notch)
    If this happens I will be a very happy chappy, but what would really crown it was if we moved for Tasci instead of French flop

  5. @ shambogunner – An interesting point about Djourou and in some ways, not far off the truth.

    However, it’s not so much about vindication as looking at our options and ranking. I don’t believe the manager would have started Koscielny against Liverpool had Djourou been injured and I also believe that Djourou was being prepared for a breakthrough season last time around, before he was injured.

    Anyway, we shall soon see.

  6. Clearly Arsene wouldn’t have went and got Kos if he felt he wasn’t going to develop into a great defender. Djourou was on the rise before the injury but will probably get a chance this week to show that he is back where he left off. Until he does I think Kos is going to be first choice. In other words his performance this week is vital for him. Furthermore Djourou’s best partnership was with Gallas if I remember so he has yet to show chemistry with Verm on that front.

    Squillaci is a big center half but I smell a bit of Silvestre here. He’s clearly on the downswing of his career and may not have much quality left. I did feel he was decent a couple years ago though. I would much rather spend more cash and get someone with an upside. In fact Shambo pretty much summed up what would be a dream ending to the transfer window. Although I don’t quite rate Montolivo as high.

  7. @ Andrew,
    I hope your right man, we havnt brought many successful centre backs through our own ranks in recent years….I think Upson was the last and his relative success has been at other clubs so itd be great to see djourou make the grade, even if it were to be in a Ledley King capacity where he has to be wrapped in cotton wool….really have reservations about Squilachi if he is to sign.
    Andy have you seen much of Montolivo? I know weve been through this before about geting this player of that player but I really believe this fella could improve us, hes got two great feet, a great passer along the floor and over the top (where we never seem to hurt teams since Henry left) and he puts himself about, hes a great talent. My only reservation would be how he would adapt to the PL, other than that I think it would be great to have Ramsey/Diaby/Deni/Nasri/Montolivo all fighting for a spot and in reserve if we lost Song or Cesc. Not just that but adding Arsha and Rosicky to that list should we want to change formation to a four or five man midfield…this particular rumour has my imagination going overboard but check this team out;
    Given (Fabianski)
    Sagna(eboue) Verm(kosc) Djourou(Tasci) Clichy(gibbs)

    Song (Deni/Diaby)
    Cesc (Nasri/ Wilshere) Montolivo (Ramsey) Arsha (rosicky)

    RvP (Vela) Chamakh (Big Nic/ Walcott)

    Quality and Depth.
    25 man squad with Cesc, Gibbs, Wilshere, Deni, Song, Walcott, Clichy and Bendtner among the 13 in our squad who qualify as homegrown.
    How could you not be excited at the prospect of a squad like the one above….wed be hard to stop.

  8. @ C-Bass,
    Trust me brother, Montolivos the biz.
    Theres two players that have got me thinking ‘hes an arsenal player’ in the way they play and their style when Iv been watching a game, and I dont say it loosely, and those two guys have been Montolivo and Sweinsteiger and Iv been saying it years before both have become flavour of the months….Iv excepted Sweinsteiger may never don the jersey now, we should have nabbed him years ago but now his profile has rocketed, but we may be just in time to nab the Italian.
    Honestly if Wenger went and splashed it would rejuvenate my faith in him…..wotcha reckon Kel/Radads/laninja?

  9. @shambo
    I have not seen much of Montolivo but Sweinsteiger is good and i think a lot beeter than some of what we have
    But don’t get optimistic at this at all because wenger will not pay the worth (only arsenal players are worth plenty)
    Love the info on Djourou spot on the money as usual keep it up mate…..

  10. @Shambo

    I do catch a fair amount of the Serie A and I try to watch Fiorentina (and Roma) when I can. I’ve seen Montolivo do some great things but I’ve also seen him completely disappear. That worries me. Schweinsteiger is absolute class though but let’s be honest we’re dreaming at this point. He’s not going anywhere.

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