Another Arsenal target bites the dust – thoughts on Gallas – Naldo whispers

Karim Benzema is off to Real MadridGood afternoon Arsenal FC Bloggers – I hope you’re doing well.

I’ll kick things off today with the news that another Arsenal target has bitten the dust – well, supposed target anyway – with Lyon agreeing a transfer fee with Real Madrid for Karim Benzema. That news follows on from Felipe Melo’s decision to sign an extension with Fiorentina and it means that in the space of two days, two of the biggest Arsenal-related transfer rumours of the summer have been quashed. Just who will be next, I wonder?

On a personal level I have to say I’m not too bothered about Madrid picking up Benzema and am mostly just happy that Manchester United didn’t sign him instead. He’s undoubtedly a good player and certainly has wonderful potential but the truth is our forward options are plentiful and we really don’t need him. In Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Eduardo and Nicklas Bendtner we have four strong options up top and even if Adebayor was to go we’ve got the likes of Andrey Arshavin and Carlos Vela who can fill in.

Moving on to news closer to home and there seems to be a lot of confusion about these comments made by William Gallas:

“I am at Arsenal, my contract is still valid for a year, so I am an Arsenal player. We have not talked about renewing the contract, but I am relaxed and looking forward to next season with Arsenal.”

The statement has been greeted by a number of different interpretations by various websites ranging from ‘William Gallas vows to walk away from Arsenal next summer unless he is allowed to leave now’ (Sun) to ‘Arsène Wenger faces difficult choice over Arsenal future of William Gallas’ (Guardian) to ‘Arsenal defender Gallas staying at Emirates’ (Soccernet).

Can you guess which headline I agree with? That’s right, the sensible one. Love it or hate it, I’m just that kind of guy.

Basically I don’t see Gallas’ situation as too much of a problem and I don’t think it’s overly important for him to sign a new deal. The truth is that at 31 we’re not going to get much money for him now and I’d rather get a strong season out of him next season and let him go on a free than see him go for £2 -3 million now and miss out on his quality and experience at the back. Ideally I’d like to see Gallas sign on for another year and by then I’d hope the likes of Johan Djourou and Thomas Vermaelen would be well-established in the team.

Some more positive news to speak about now and Aaron Ramsey has signed a new long-term deal at the club. I thought he performed very well when called upon last season and am excited about what he might bring in the next year or two. As such, it’s an excellent piece of news.

Those who like reading about finances and the Arsenal business will be interested to read this interview with CEO Ivan Gazidis. Once again he comes across as a really nice fellow who knows exactly what he’s doing and I particularly enjoyed this opening statement:

“I can say with confidence that provided we don’t do foolish things, this will be one of the leading clubs in the world this year, five years from now and 20 years from now. This is not some experiment to see how successful we can be over the next couple of years, and who knows where we will be after that. This is a good, sustainable business.”

Right on, Ivan, right on. Personally I completely echo his comments about the need to build for the future and the comparison in his vision with chumps like Florentino Perez at Real Madrid and the sugar daddies at various other Premiership clubs could not be more favourable. Keep up the good work, I say.

To finish of today I’m going to leave you with a bit of transfer speculation that, I must admit, has got me a little excited. According to the manager of Werder Bremen, Thomas Schaaf, has indicated that we’re looking very likely to sign massive Brazilian centre-back Naldo. He was quoted to have said:

“Naldo is a great athlete and could do well at the right club. Unfortunately he doesn’t fit the direction we’re planning to move in any longer. We expect to move him for somewhere in the region of €10 million, and English side Arsenal is, as of now, the most likely destination.”

While I’ll admit that the source is not great ( have quoted from it’s quite a promising little snippet. It remains to be seen whether more reliable sources like Soccernet, SkySports or The Guardian publish the comments but if they prove to be true then it’s a very exciting prospect, particularly considering I wrote this just under a month ago. Naldo is a strong defender and a player I personally like a lot and if he did sign for us I have to say I’d be delighted.

Here’s a collection of videos of what Naldo has offer.

Anyway, I’ll leave it there. Plenty to discuss, I’m sure.

Have your say on Benzema, Gallas, Ramsey, Gazidis or Naldo by leaving a comment.



  1. HA HA HA! You kidding yourselves why would Benzema want to go to the fourth best team in England!

  2. Adeeysore, Bendturd, Edu and Rvp are our four options up front, man are you out of your mind, do you even follow this team? Ade is about to leave and Rvp won’t sign a contract extension. Sorry can’t read the rest of you blog after that junk. No worries though, it’s all good.

  3. Hmmmm! am happy with d speculatn about naldo , if it is correct as fourfour magazine says. Gallas staying with his experience will be good 4 d young defender 2 develop under him .as for benz going 2 madrid is okay cos his not going our rivals manutd ,it also good young prospect like ramsey is staying .finally d comment by gazidis ir wats gonna happen in dis gre8 club come next season

  4. Im with you there SF. I dont really care about Benzema. I wonder what will happen if Real Madrid win nothing next season, will they be in a financial disaster or something? I really hope so, they disgust me with these rediculas fees.

    Anyway, im glad Gallas is staying and Naldo? I watched him a few times and he was impressive. But its still paper talk, im not getting excited yet.

  5. I was hoping for Benzema…

    And why would he join the fourth best team in England? Because its actually the 4th best team in Europe and will be the 1st best team in England this coming year and for the majority of the next 10-15 years. Thats why

  6. With Ade going, I thought Benzema would be an awesome catch… so much for that hey!

    To some extent I think everyone playing UCL next season should be a little “concerned” about Real’s spending this transfer window… they’re going to be quite powerful regardless and will cause some serious headaches.

  7. Arsenal were never in the hunt for Benzi. He would have cost us as around 40 M . It was an impossible deal for us if any one has checked out AW has never signed player for that amount and never will till he is in arsenal.
    @philip Leave Ade if he stays it will be good we as an arsenal fan should always believed no body is bigger than the club. So if he goes lets Cash on him. As Far RVP is concerned no man i just don’t agree he is going to leave. All we needed is an CDM and an good winger not an highly priced striker. Sign an good winger and an CDM to bolster the squad and create competition in the squad.

  8. Phillip – you are a complete dick.

    Dont have a go at the blog just because you ignorantly believe all the transfer speculation. Ade and RvP will both be at the club next year.

  9. Benzema is overrated and overpriced. If Wenger wants a forward he’ll pull another Eduardo out of a hat. Benzema also has a terrible personality, so I’m glad.

    As a Werder supporter as well as a Gooner. If he’s no longer in Werder’s plans I’d love to see him at Emirates. Quality player, and would actually be an excellent partner for Gallas.

    Cana or Brighi to help guide Song and Denilson and the Gaffer can be happy with his dealings.

  10. Who will be next you ask Senor Spanish ?

    Well I hear we discussions are in progress to bring the Shaktar Donetsk defensive midfield lynchpin Ofim Neverde to the Emirates. He has only been in the Ukraine for a year since signing from Besiktas but as the fans saw in Shaktar’s march to the Uefa Cup he is a real powerhouse 😉

  11. errr, you lot read the papers then?

    RVP signed a contract extension days ago I believe. And where is the warped logic at work where Benzema costs real £30 million yet some of you insist that Benzema would have cost £40 million??

    This supposition is as poor as the quality of journalism in the transfer window.

  12. whether it be gallas or kolo, i think at least one of them will go, and maybe both. the opinion that we are still looking for another cb and the ill feeling between them has me thinking that we would cash in on wg and if we could strike a deal with citeh swapping richards for kt then so be it, kolo will miss a vital part of the season with the african nations.
    but i will be doing cartwheels adeego goes 🙂

  13. The last declaration about Naldo was exactly what I read in a very “trust surce” but without the “Arsenal is the most likely destination”.

    And I hope Arsene gets 5 or 6 millons for Gallas and also sells Eboue for 9 or 10 to Juve or Atletico and just spend every cent to buy a new versatile defender.

  14. why was he a supposed target for arsenal?the one area we dont need to pump is our foward line.defense and more defense at times we were awful at the back and our run in was lost as soon as big bill was injured(our best defender by a mile)

  15. “Ofim Neverde”? No such player on the Shakhtar website, are you sure your spelling it right?

  16. I think I’d have walked away from Arsenal if we just splashed £30 million on Benzema. What a colossal waste of cash and kick in the face for Gazidis that would’ve been.

    I’ve been thinking about players we could sell and Senderos, Traore, Silvy and I’ve heard whispers about Kerrea Gilbert. It’s odd that we want to strengthen our defence, but our most sustainable outgoings would all be defenders (in my opinion).

    I wonder what Arsene thinks when he reads the papers. Probably something along the lines of “who the hell is this Melo guy?”

  17. To be honest I don’t know what to make of; we can say it has mostly been unreliable but they were the first site to break the Vermaelen gossip so that forced a lot of Arsenal fans into re-evaluating them, including me.

    Much has been made of Naldo’s size – 6f 5inches – but a lot of German fans apparently wouldn’t be too disappointed to see him leave as they think he is a bit of a bumbling error prone defender and doesn’t use his size as effectively as he should. But then that’s their opinion – I think some supporters have a tendency to under-rate their own players (just take a look at our fans) and maybe aren’t as objective as a neutral observer.

    For Spanish and those who have seen Naldo in action, what are your thoughts about him as a player and how well do you think he’d fit in with our team?

  18. @ TDP – I rate Naldo, straight up. Werder Bremen are my second team after Arsenal and I watch a lot of their highlights and quite a few games. They’re a team that don’t put too much emphasis on attack and not much on defence, but he consistently stands out. He’s excellent in the air, decent with the ball at his feet and from what I’ve seen, makes very few mistakes. He’s not OVERLY aggressive, so basically a more experienced Djourou in my opinion. Personally I can’t see why they’d let him go but if they do then I would be delighted to snap him up.

  19. Also…what do people think about Gazidis and his wage cap idea?

    Obviously he has just come over from the USA where most sports are regulated by salary caps. I suppose the main problem with transferring this principle to football is that football is a global sport in the way that American football and baseball etc are not. You couldn’t just have one league like the Premier League enforcing a cap because that league would be instantly at a competitive disadvantage. So then you have to make it a FIFA-wide salary cap – which, when you consider how many countries have soccer leagues makes the whole thing near-unworkable.

  20. No such player Xabier ? try the name the other way round – and forgive me !

  21. @ Spanish – Thanks for your views on Naldo. From what you’re saying he sounds absolutely ideal – someone who is great in the air – how long have we all been waiting for that! With the attributes you mention he sounds as though he would be the perfect calm partner to Vermaelen’s aggression. If he does arrive then we know one of Toure, Gallas or both are leaving though…

  22. Naldo is a solid, solid player. Especially when partnered with someone commanding, like Mertersacker at Werder, or for us Gallas. Big and strong, his nickname is “the Ox” afterall, but still has a good football intelligence about him. He’s good in the air. Decent feet, and surprisingly fast. He likes to take freekick, and can hit a solid drive, a bit like Toure does, but with more finesse.

    Dunga has recently started calling him up for Brazil, so it’s odd that Werder are letting him go in the same window as Diego.

  23. @ Xabier – Forgive me if you’ve already heard this but apparently (all rumour) Dunga has told him if he moves to one of the top leagues and is playing regularly he will be involved in the Brazil squad for the World Cup. Bremen may feel they’d be better off cashing in with both now rather than risk having two sulking players for a season and letting them go next year when their transfer value will have probably plummeted.

  24. Interesting TDP. But, slightly odd if you consider that the Captain Lucio plays for Bayern and Vice-Cap the legend that is Gilberto plays for Olympiakos.

    Nonetheless my moth is watering at the prospect. But, I won’t be sad if he doesn’t move. Still good for Werder.

  25. @ Xabier – Totally agree with you, it seems very strange considering Lucio and Gilberto. But that is just a rumour I heard somewhere. The only thing I can think of is that Lucio and Gilberto are established whereas Naldo has not played in many competitive games for Brazil. Nonetheless, I’m sure Naldo would enhance his World Cup chances by playing regularly for us.

  26. werder bremen,is a club much like ours,they don´t sign big names,have a good youth system and and play attractive football,I think naldo will fit in quite well with arsenal,if he comes,(i can´t be jumping the gun here,did on melo,look what happened).He´s played in in the champions league,eufa cup,and they won the german cup last season,he´s got a lot of experience in club football,and i think this is what we need at the back,height and composure,in this case i think kolo/gallas will be leaving,with kolo being the likely candidate.But these rumours sometimes results in nothing,but still, i can´t help but envision such a partnership,gallas and naldo at the back,wow,that would be one lean mean defence to crack,what a mouthwatering prospect.

  27. on the fotwards we rellie do need a at lesat 1 more rvp is class adyy is going vela is not ready for the high level yet and eduardo is still not 100percent fit and bendter i dont rate highly at all i also were crying out for a world class keeper dont ger me wrong am a fan alumia however his not world class and arsenal have always world class keepers like seaman pat jenings nd the german. i think bassong would be a great buy.and sp sorry about the last comment

  28. Just want to say that even though I posted about it, I do get the sinking feeling that Schaaf’s comments about Naldo will end up being made up.

    That’s all, have a good night/day all.

  29. As most of the target are vanishing. I got another Brazilian as CDM he is going to just an star in making name Hernanes — Height: 1.80 M (5 FT 11 in). He play for CLUB Sao Paulo.

  30. Benzema was a dream which wasn’t gonna come true anyway.He’z too xpensive for ‘Le Boss’,as for Gallas,he should stay and feel free to leave in the Jan transfer window.Naldo is very much welcome and yes i agree our striking force is wonderful we dont need any more strikers.

  31. Benzema was ridiculously overpriced anyways. I’m glad we didn’t make a run at him.

    Naldo would be a very solid addition. The Melo news hurt though. He was definately in my dreams.

    Gazidis knows what he’s doing. He’s not going to lead this club down the table or to financial ruin.


  33. Gazidis is talking sense. So far, I’m impressed with his approach, etc.

  34. I feel that naldo or tasci would be good signing they are both young and they have good pace and naldo can do some really great freekicks with one hell of a foot

  35. i agree Spanish Fry, why do we need another striker even if Ade goes, we have plenty of talent to choose from and it will give Bendtner a chance to show what he can really do.

  36. if we do sign Naldo, thats it for defence, we will have good options, naldo and Vermaelen will both be suitable replacements for Gallas if he leaves next season.

    Benzema moved to Madrid…bummer. If Ade left, I would go for Owen.

  37. benzema moved to Madrid…who is madrid option upfront..ruud,huntealar,robben,guti,gago,hiquain..ronaldo.kaka,sneider,vandervaat,just name to a few…he’ll just warm the bench…madrid will not win anything because how they can keep all their big headed star happy …

  38. yay Jack wilshire has signed a new contract and this is one boy I can’t wait to see as in the pre season last year and the cc he did look awesome plus he’s supposed to be the the next big thing in our youth set up and also the closest thing arsne has seen to the mighty berkamp.
    @ sf Cahill is a fighter and not afraid to roll his sleeves up and dig in he plays well in big games as he has done more for the socceroos than kewell in my opinion (but I’m a pom but slowly turning into a aussie) Plus you look at denilson (yeah tom14 come on) 49 games 3 goals Cahill 31 games (got injured last year)10 goals and most of them I think was from set pieces and that is something we really lack as we don’t have a gerrard, lampard or ronaldo (manure don’t now either) that can score from free kicks and we get a corner or free kick and pass around instead of putting it in the box for a player to attack it. Rvp has a good free kick don’t get me wrong but is nowhere near the likes of what we had when henry was with us.

  39. Our Chief, (Ivan the-not-so terrible) spoke some important truths about the need for a salary cap and the sustainabilty of the beautiful game. But as a gooner what I’m hearing is we’re not likely to make any material improvements to the club through transfers.
    If the club is to make the next step (or three steps in the league)
    Individual players(Wallcott,Denilson,Song Traore, Diaby )will have to improve their level of play on a regular basis.
    If (a big if) we can do this the team will be good in the long and short term. If we do not we will fall further down the table, revenues will decline as a result and with the buying power of some of the new money clubs our beloved squad may over time become a mid-table fixture. The Spurs (Death to them) and to some extent Liverpool of 5 or 6 years back are examples.

  40. Gallas stayed was a good decision, i dont care about benzema coz he is not the player that arsenal need.

  41. Arsenal Ladies, who are of course far and away the best womens football team in he country, have just signed a Scottish defender, from the Celtic womens team no less. Now why can’t the men’s team do that?
    Up the Jocks!

  42. Does anyone know anythig about Marouane Chamakh ?

    Well one thing I am pretty sure of is he has an agent who is desperate to earn some money and is not too bothered how he goes about it.

    Who knows – he may be the next Kaba Diawara …………..

    Anyone heard if Mikael Arteta is back in training ?

    Instead of the incessanty focus on players who very few have heard of until the meeja and their agent decide to “announce” they are a target for the Arsenal I would be more interested in hearing some solid info on realistic targets and players who we might have a bit of confidence could cut it in the PL.


  43. @ anicoll5 – the Chamakh quote is attributed to Wenger, not to an agent.

    @ Hey Nonny Mouse – Well said mate. We’ve had some great Scottish Arsenal players; Bob Wilson, Frank McLintock (double winning captain), Charlie Nicholas, David Danskin (first ever Arsenal captain), George Graham, etc.

    It is certainly time for another. It’s a shame the only Scottish player who is anywhere near good enough would be Darren Fletcher and he has already turned to the dark side.

  44. Dan – There is no quote attributed to Wenger in relation to buying or intending to buy Chamakh during his radio interview with RMC. AW was asked what he would do if Ade left. He responded he would then probably be in the market for a new striker. He was asked if he had “seen” Chamakh. He said yes he had seen Chamakh. Had he been asked he would also have said he had “seen” Luis Fabiano, David Villa, Michael Owen and 23 other strikers.

    Presumably if he had said he had not “seen” Chamakh the headline would have been WENGER’S INTEREST IN SUMMER TARGET CHAMAKH COOLS!

    That Arsene has “seen” someone means very little in spite of the meeja’s efforts to create a story out of nothing.

    Taxi for Tasci ?

  45. @anicoll5 – I’m simply wondering if anyone knows anything about him, as he is a player I am unfamiliar with. I understand the point that the media hype things up and I am not suggesting that we are interested or that we will sign him. I learned a long time ago not to get my hopes up on potential signings! But the fact that he has been mentioned in a conversation with Wenger (and not an agent) means that I would like to know more about him, that’s all.

  46. Fair enough Dan – I am getting oversensitive to the daily torrent of new names of who we are supposed to be going to sign

    Things could be worse though – Michael Owen could be having a medical at Colney !

  47. We would have it all if arsene wenger could build up a better midfield just like barcelona.

  48. i hopr this is not going to be another BROTHER BEAR story till the end of the transfer window.
    ade leaving or not am sure we do need an additional striker.
    so go on mr WENGER and buy the bastard i believe he can do the job…

  49. @ Filipino Dan – Darren Fletcher??? Seriously – I don’t think he’s good enough for Arsenal. Gary Caldwell is the guy I’ve been championing – but there are others. Scott Brown, who Jay-Jay mentioned. Barry Ferguson, Kirk Broadfoot…they’re not ‘star’ names. So what?

  50. When remembering great Arsenal Scottish players we should of course add Alex James to the list. One of the legends from the Herbert Chapman era.

  51. tim cahill at arsenal would be a fantastic signing…hes aggressive,dynamic and grabs a game by the scruff of the neck…hes an inspiration when his team is under pressure or behind.we currently have no player like that.
    fergie sets the standard when it comes to big signings and it kills me to say it..when he wants some1 he goes out and rarely does he not have his man within 2 days of it been reported whilst our signings become sagas….fergusons capture of owen wil prove a master stroke….ffs he got him for FREE
    whether we have money available or not we are the worst operaters of the top 4 in the transfer must be extremely frustratin for cesc,arshavin,rvp etc to see the club twiddle their thumbs while our rivals who all finish ahead of us go out and restock

  52. Owen great signing for United. and for FREE. I dont think he will fill the void for Ronnie, nor will Valencia but still a decent signing.

  53. Also breaking news (tabloid bollocks) is that we can have melo if we pay 20 mill euros and give eboue in exchange but I’m not an eboue fan but he is a good 2nd choice rb and did pretty well cutting out the dives and such but we do need melo or cahill (thanks for backing me up shambogunner)Couldn’t we of kept bischoff instead of releasing him and offered him instead of eboue and been better off in the long run?

  54. @ Gibbs: I agree. Especially considering Cana is available for €5-10 Mil. Plus he speaks French so he would integrate quicker than Melo.

  55. Tim Chail ? But isn’t Robbie Savage available !

    I thnk if we are gong to sign one vicious cheating bastard it should be the one with the biggest reputation donchathink ?

  56. @ anicoll5 we might also go for thatcher and alonso as well then at least the training sessions will be full on then haha.

  57. yes! i desperately want some brazillian flair at arsenal !arsenal offload eboue and get melo!

  58. Eboue is a decent utility man, RB or RM when we need him. But we are in need of a tough tackling DM. 21 mil sterling release cause on his contract. Eboue + 20 mil Euros is ridiculous price. I want to Melo, and i believe Melo was told he would leave if he wanted but to sign a contract so Fiorentina could put that clause it. Clever business from their point of view I would say. I wouldnt mind putting Eboue in the deal but less money and buy another RB even if its a young prodigy so we have back-up for Sagna.

  59. With you on that one jay-jay as I don’t think we are lucky to have hoyte step up like gibbs did last year but it’s also the lb slot we always have in abundance as silvinio, ca$hley, clichy, gibbs and maybe traore have all been really skilfull and played with flair since winterburn left our hard 4 and that has been arsnes undoing as he inherited that back 4 but could never rebuild the toughness but going for flair and that is one area of the pitch you don’t need people showing off their skills.

  60. @ Xabier – Thanks for the info. I’ll be back on today with a post, a lot’s gone on and I haven’t had an opportunity to speak about it yet. Cheers.

  61. @ shambogunner – Owen might be a great signing for manure – but not for us. We already have Ade, RVP, Eduardo, Bendtner and Vela. Not to mention some of the young guns coming through. What good would Owen do but push some of our own further out of the pecking order?
    What I do like though is the way manure (and the others) go for what you might call local players. Like that Wigan player they also bought. It just makes sense buying someone who’s already got Premier League experience doesn’t it?
    With this in mind your Tim Cahill idea sounds good – but he’s really an attacking midfielder isn’t he? and do we really need another one of those with Arshavin, Fabregas, Walcott, Rosicky, Nasri etc.? I think not. We need someone defensive. Gareth Barry would have been our best bet. That ship’s sailed. But there are others…

  62. i think mohammed diarra would be a great pick up for arsenal.does anybody else agree?

  63. i think mohammed diarra would be a great pick up for arsenal.does anybody else agree?

  64. Mo Diarra – isnt that the Real midfielder who the Club cant play at the Bernabeu because of the abuse he gets of the home fans who think he is absolutely crap ?

    Do you think some sort of swap for Eboue might attract Perez ?

  65. if arsenal doesnty sign a new central midfielder it will border criminal neglegence

  66. every big and succesful club in football has a cdm.
    Man u-Carrick,fletcher,scholes
    bayern,van bommel,ze roberto
    and who does arsenal have,song,denilson

  67. Reports speculate Milan are lining up a bid of 20 mil plus Flamini for Ade. This means we get 20 mil, get rid of Ade, we have our favourite DM and we can keep our money or invest in a defender or youngsters.

  68. if that is true we need 2 buy a nother forward because van persie cant play 2 games without getting injured,eduardo has a groin that wont seem to heal, and bendtnar and vela are not established goal scorers yet.that 20 mill that we get needs to be invested in a striker

  69. Also news is that fabregas has been put up for sale for 40 mill where do these things come from if ronaldo’s worth 80 we should at least get 60-70 mill.

  70. thats true butter fingers. fab is worth atleast 60 million but dnt worry ronaldo will be the biggest flop in the history of football

  71. woah the media’s really trying get more money with all these speculation

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