Baptista exit sparks more Arsenal transfer speculation

Julio Baptista’s time at Arsenal is overBaptista to leave Arsenal 

After an uneventful week at the Arsenal Football Club things have exploded into life with the news that the club will not be signing on-loan Brazilian forward Julio Baptista on a permanent deal. The chances of the club striking up a deal with Baptista were heavily reliant on whether Real Madrid decided to sign on-loan Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes on a permanent deal. The intention was for Arsenal to sell Reyes to Madrid and gain the services of Baptista for next season at a heavily reduced price. But with Reyes looking more and more likely to join Atletico Madrid over the summer, the decision was made by Arsenal to send Baptista back to Spain rather than pay in excess of €20 million to sign him at the club.

“Arsenal have told me they are not able to buy me and so all I can do is return to Real Madrid. I have enjoyed my season with Arsenal and in England. I adapted well. I didn’t play much at first but finished much better. The first year is very difficult.”

Arsene Wenger made a correct decision to let Baptista goWenger makes the right decision about Baptista

I have previously stated that although I believed that Baptista’s first season in the Premier League had been exceptionally disappointing, I would have preferred to sign him permanently and given him a second chance next season on the condition that Reyes stayed at Real Madrid. However, in light of recent events the amount of money it would have taken for Arsenal to sign Baptista is exorberant to say the least. Giving Baptista a second chance is not worth the €20 million fee that was being reported, Arsenal have realised this and the correct decision has been made.

To ‘The Beast’ all I can say is, good luck to him. He tried his socks off in his time at the club and things just didn’t happen for him. I honestly believe his form would have improved if given the chance at a second season with Arsenal but now we will never know. He seems like a top lad and a real team player and I personally wish him all the best.

Will Emmanuel Adebayor play for Togo again?Togo lift Adebayor ban

The Togo Football Federation has lifted the ban it enforced on Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and will allow him to participate in the African Nations Cup in 2008. Adebayor had previously been banned with two other Togo internationals after protesting about player payments from the World Cup in Germany that had not been paid by the federation. Whether Adebayor does return to the team is a different matter altogether – he has previously stated his reluctance to play for Togo due to death threats – but if he chooses to play for Togo then it will place an enormous risk on the club during the tournament, with Emmanuel Eboue and Kolo Toure already away.

With this news and the news that Julio Baptista will not be signing on with the club, Arsenal will be left with just two established strikers in Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie for the best part of two months during the African Nations Cup which starts on the 20th of January and runs until the 10th of February. With Henry and van Persie missing much of the previous season through injury, there is a real worry that Arsenal’s strike force will be severely undermanned at times next season.

Ryan Babel looks the most likely candidate to fill in for AdebayorWenger to sign new striker? 

There are a two basic options that manager Arsene Wenger needs to consider to solve this dilemma. The first is quite obvious, and the one that most Arsenal supporters would prefer; to sign a new player. At this stage the club has been linked with a number of forwards, the following being the stand-outs:

In my opinion, there are only two players on that list that Arsenal could realistically lure to the club – Babel and Owen. If Owen was to sign for the club he would surely be expecting consistent first team football and I’m not sure that Wenger would be looking to give it to him. I could see him being used in much the same way as Tottenham manager Martin Jol utilises Jermain Defoe, and I’m not sure that Owen would be happy with this. As for Babel, he looks a real possibility if Arsenal do push hard for his services. He is valued at around £6m and is probably the most likely candidate if Wenger does chose to sign a new forward.

Henry and van Persie may rotate as lone strikers in Adebayor’s absenceChange the formation?

Wenger’s second option is a little more obvious; to alter his teams formation for the time when Adebayor is away. Whilst Wenger’s preferred formation is a 4-4-2 with two out-and-out strikers (Henry and van Persie), he has also previously used the 4-5-1 formation to good effect. This would especially be effective if Arsenal manage to sign either Franck Ribery or Ryan Babel and utilise them on the wing.

Playing only one of Henry or van Persie for a month or so would mean that both players remain fit and rested while Adebayor is away – and whoever is on the bench can come on midway through the game and provide real impact when necessary. If one of the two players did get injured then the other could cover for them and young Danish strike Niklas Bendtner could be brought in as an emergency replacement. However, injuries to both players would leave the club in a dangerous situation, especially if Arsenal are in the middle of a fight for the Premier League title, as we all hope they will be.

Either way, Wenger has a lot of thinking and planning to do in the summer if he is to get his squad just right for next season.



  1. As a Arsenal supporter i think it is obvious we need some world -class attacking options both up front and on the wings,Our defence and midfield are as good as anyone’s.For me i would love to see us buy the following players this summer,
    Jan Huntelaar;Fantastic as he showed against Barcelona.Micheal Owen-a world class striker who would fit perfectly into Arsenal’s work/team ethic.
    Ribery;Very clever and not only scores lots of goals but links play very well,
    Others to look at may include;Joao Moutinho,Miroslav Klose,Stephen Appiah,Ryan Babel,Micah Richards and Samuel Eto’o.

  2. As previously mentioned, I believe Babel and Owen would be the only strikers who are suitable for the club. Ribery would also be a good buy – but he has a clause that should keep him at Marseille next season due to their UEFA Champions League qualification. I think Owen will remain at Newcastle to ensure first-team football. As for Babel, we will just have to wait and see.

  3. I think wenger is not planning to pick up Chelesea and Man U or even Liverpool market and thinks he will utlise the young squard in all fronts.

    One would imagine think by know that speculations would have guided fans on what the team will be like, but in vain as of now?

  4. Speculation is just that, speculation. In the world of football it is almost impossible to predict who will sign for who until it officially happens. This is even moreso the case at Arsenal, where showing public interest in a player is likely to send their value skyrocketing needlessly. Stay patient and we will soon see how things shape up.

  5. With Ronaldinho,Messi,Gudjohnsen and Samuel Eto’o i don’t see why Barcelona are again trying to persuade Arsenal talisman Thierry Henry to join them this summer.
    This is funny,forget about Henry and let us all think about the champion league.

  6. Joshua – It’s all speculation. It happens every year and like you said, it is just annoying. Henry will remain at Arsenal next season, end of story.

  7. In my openion, i think arsenal need to be ruthless upfront, such thatwe dont just look at winning a game but the margine at whiech this games are being won. Then you can begin to think what king of players can give you the ruthless winning formular. Fabrigas, Hleb, Riscisky’s combination are enough to turn any ruthless attacker on for more than ninty minutes, small but ruthless and full of speed also can fire from all angle is the Nigerian Obafemi Martins, think of adding the flexibility of Ribbery behind him then we still the almighty Henry to give us the deserved confidence. Wenger needs to sit tight andn do his home work ‘cos am getting tired of trophyless seasons.

  8. Jimoh – I think that Martins would be a good addition to the squad but there is the small matter of the African Nations Cup which would rule him out for over a month during that period. Arsenal definitely need to be more ruthless in front but with Henry and van Persie to come back from injury I think that area of our game will be improved considerably.

  9. I hate to hear about Henry leaving Arsenal.I will stop supporting Arsenal if Henry leave.

  10. Why always Arsenal?,yesterday it was Patrick Viera and today it is Thierry Henry and at long last they leave.I’m really disappointed,honestly speaking i’m sick and tired of all these ”here and there”about Arsenal.
    The club is no where to be found in the transfer market,While others have started signing quality players.We need ”Action”

  11. Patrick Viera three years ago left Arsenal by the time we need his services,A.Cole also left to Chelsea last year and this time again it’s our captain Thierry Henry,My question is ”Why always Arsenal”?Why always our key players?something must be done to solve this problem.Henry or no Henry ”Arsenal is Arsenal.”

  12. I don’t agree with what Adebayor suggested.”Thierry Henry to change club this time will not help him.(Henry please think twice for your future)Thanks!

  13. Joshua Asante – Good to hear from you again. Where are you from? To answer your question about why Asenal is always being picked on, it’s because compared to many other clubs in Europe we are quite small and Thierry Henry is one of the very best players in the world. He will naturally attract a lot of attention. But as I have said many times, don’t worry, he won’t be going anywhere. Wenger has “guaranteed” it.

  14. Spanish Fry ”I LOVE YOU SO MUCH”I thank you for your advice.I am from Ghana,but i base in Israel now.

  15. Joshua – No problem. Just keep checking the main blog page and you’ll get all the latest information. I encourage you to leave your comments on the latest news. All the best mate.

  16. Honestly speaking i totally disagree with Samuel Eto’o suggestion,Arsenal also is one of the greatest clubs in the world.So if Eto’o want a possible partnership with Arsenal star Thierry Henry”Why not come to Arsenal.”Eto’o if you are staying at Barcelona”stay”Henry also is staying at Arsenal,What is your problem.

  17. Please Fry, any good news for Arsenal supporters about the transfer market?Thank u

  18. To me yesterday and today will never be the same,Let him go.Henry will not be the same like he was before.Bring in Samuel Eto’o & Ryan Babel and no club can beat Arsenal next season,Trust me.

  19. i think OBAFEMI MARTINS will be a good addition to the squad…………………… pls think about it…
    arsene wenger sometimes shows interest in OBAFEMI.
    pls i want to review his interest again…..
    cos we need an aggressive and powerful in arsenal………………..
    keep smoking GUNERZ…….Z……….Z…….Z

  20. ola – Hello to you too! Whilst I believe Obafemi Martins is a great player the main problem for next season is that he will unavailable during the African Cup of Nations. That would mean that both he and Adebayor would be out and the striking duties would be left to van Persie and Henry without much back-up. Also, who would you drop to let Martins in?

  21. Patrick Viera stop talking 2 much,Henry,Peres,Bergkamp and Ljungberg they were all there when you left Arsenal.What happened before you left Arsenal.Arsenal got Fabragas after you left and if Henry leave definitely another player will come.
    Arsenal is capable to solve their own problems.

  22. Please sign Ryan Babel,Itip Ryan Babel to be ”the big hope”for Arsenal and Holland in years to come.I can only see him becoming a very good player,he has got the physique as well as the skill.I think he will be a good asset for Arsenal,Give him maybe a couple of years he will be one of the best in the world.
    Hopefully he will turn out to be a top world striker,Thanks!

  23. ”Sad”but no one is bigger than Arsenal.Patrick Vieira left and we got Fabragas,last year Ashley Cole also left and we got Clichy.
    Anyway we love Henry and respect him,but to my own view i dont think Henry can perform like the way he was before,It will rather give a chance for another player.
    Arsenal to surprise the whole world after Henry signing for Barcelona next season.
    Henry or no Henry,”Arsenal is Arsenal”.

    Good news to Arsenal fans!
    Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbator are already in Arsenal transfer fishing net.

  25. Let’s wait and see what happens, you people should show a lot more respect for our young but verrrrrrrrry talented squad, they were the best last season but Henry and ill luck slowed us down, just watch out for the boys and you’ll see what happens this season, enough of this Henry NONSENSE.

  26. It had to happen Henry to leave,and money was the draw card .Arsenal gets $20 million,hes 30 so sell now rather than wait till end of contract and get zero+ithink he knew Arsenal were playing well without him to.Best striker Anelka for us,he is fast and skillfull. But Henry we will never forget his pressence and superb football that put Arsenal on the list of giants in the football world Regards Clive

  27. ”Wenger”one of the best managers in the world.You won the premiership without defeat what a great achievement,something that Jose Mourinho cann’t achieve before he ends his coaching career.Please sign Tevez and Ryan Babel,”period”

  28. Thanks Fry,I see Ryan Babel as a future star believe me.Huntelaar is ok.But if possible the two of them.”But my choice is Babel.”

  29. Babel was excellent in Holland’s win over England. Joshua, you check some of the latest posts and leave your comments there. People will be happy to discuss with you about your thoughts on Henry leaving and possible replacements. I look forward to hearing from you again.

  30. What is all this about getting ready made players whose only loyalty is to the money they earn, let’s leave Arsene to make his choice afterall he made Henry, i don’t think Henry would have been as good as he is, if he had started life under any other manager, yet we’ve seen Arsene consistently produce great footballers over the last 10 years at the club, the choice of who ever comes in should ultimately lie with the manager 100%, i see the exit of Henry as the start of another great era for the club, mark my words.

  31. Spanish Fry, i like your posting about life after Henry and i definitely agree with u that with or without Henry life has to go on, and don’t u think the board should leave the manager alone to make his decisions, after all said and done he will be the one to carry the can if team does not perform well.

  32. Ryan Babel has confirmed his desire to leave Ajax for Arsenal.I think that it is hugely important that we attempt to buy babel this summer.He clearly loves the club and it would be unfair to not take him off Ajax.We cannot let a potential talent like that dissapear from our View.
    We all know the mistake of not buying ribery last year,signing of Ribery last year might have even saved something to the club.Why not this summer!
    I think he would be a good buy,if Babel has another season like he did this year,you can imagine the price for him would go up even higher.if we do not sign babel this summer it is ”Abomination”

  33. Joshua – Babel has also said that he does not want to leave Ajax for another season so our chances of signing him are perhaps a little bit less than we predicted. I agree that if he impresses, his value will go up, and Arsenal should push very hard for his signature.

  34. I am greatfully a long time Arsenal supporter. As a suggestion on my side to our beloved Arsene {manager}, we would try our best to sign for good young full potential young stars Ryan Babel and also Jan Huntelaar they will realy fill Thiery’s exit from arsenal. If we have such talent at Emirates stadium together with the spectacular existance of the best players at hand next season, Arsenal will be a strong challenge to the rest of the clubs in the English premier league.
    Thanks Mr Wenger, we are always and will still be greatfull for what you have done at Arsenal.
    From Sekagya Vincent, Kampala, Uganda

    Ryan Babel will make us very successful for the years to come,He is strong with pace,good dribbling and can score.
    Look at AC Milan,They sold their star man to chelsea and have hardly suffered for it,Kaka took centre-stage,and showed the world how brilliant he is,Arsenal must not sign a big name player for the sake of it,We must be astute,looking carefully for someone who can fit in with the premiership.
    Please sign Ryan Babel & Huntelaar.
    I think it will be Arsenal’s dream come true if they manage to get them to the Emirates.

  36. It took Thierry Henry a season to adapt and Babel could be just as good as henry in my opinion

  37. Hello amigos!!! I think we should get Fernando Torres if possible. This explosive striker is only 20 plus and have many years ahead. Yes some say he may be out of reach due to the our financial constraints, but i believe he is one of the ideal replacement for henry and moreover getting him would be making a class signing something arsenal fans always long for:)Besides getting him would deny clubs like Liverpool who is chasing him.Getting Torres would cost us a bomb, but i strongly believe that if we buy him,we can earn back the money use to pay for him in just a couple of months.Don’t forget we have earn at least 22million pounds from the sale of henry, muamba and the rest.Just forget about the constraint,STRIKE EARLY before other clubs get him and we can start to envy and cry…

  38. surely lets face this fact.henry is holding this club at ransom, let him go to barcelona. the young team was feeling intimidated. they could not play very well in front of goal when there was henry they felt threatened. what we need now is a very nice goalkeeper,one central defender,and two speedy wingers.let me give you who i may wish;ribery,babel,alex,henri camara and malouda

  39. By the end of the summer,we”ll have signed,(Fabianski,Havard Nordveit,Bakary Sagna,Ryan Babel,Jan Huntelaar,Carlos Tevez and Bendtner)Which would be about 7 players,So don’t worry about signings.
    I am sure Wenger will sign ”Babel and Huntelaar”

  40. Ryan Babel is a great talent and has the ability to become a great player.
    Ryan Babel will make us very successful for the years to come,I think it will be Arsenal’s dream come true if they manage to get this players to the Emirates.(Ryan Babel,Bakary Sagna,Samuel Eto’o and Robinho.)

  41. I would have love to see arsenal signed Ribbery, but that i think is too late for now, i only want to pray Wenger to sign from the list of Babel, Huntlar, Etoo, Obafemi and Owen. Arsene is very ntelligent and i think Henry’s departure is no big deal. The guy has given us his best. He cant reproduce all he did here for any other club. I love him AND i wish him well always. Nigerians are crazy about him.

  42. I’m guessing you’re also Nigerian Ade? I think Wenger knows what he is doing as well – it’s great to hear your comments. What do you know about Chinedu Ogbuke?

  43. Finally here is the list of Arsenal targets!
    Samuel Eto’o(Barcelona)
    Curtis Davies(WBA)
    Carlos Tevez(West Ham)
    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar(Ajax)
    Wait till next week.

  44. Who does Arsene Wenger need to bring in after Eduardo ”Matador”da silva to make Arsenal genuine title contenders?

  45. i think arsenal should make a 14.5 milion bid for porto’s queresma im not sure if its spelt like that but hes the portugese right mid plays like c.ronaldo they grew up together and i reakon with queresma on the flank our attack would bost up

    Arsenal to announce the signing of Bakary Sagna and Martins tomorrow.

  47. Arsenal haven’t won sht since Viera left, arsenal are going down the toilet fast. They’ll be lucky to finish mid table next season.

    Man U – Tevez
    Liverpool – Torres
    Arsenal – da silva LOOOOOOL

    wtf? forget it, arsenal have NO HOPE of challenging anything in the premiership.

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