Silvestre linked with Arsenal as Appiah also becomes an option + Wednesday Poll

If someone had told me that Mikaël Silvestre would become an Arsenal this season I think I probably would have kicked them in the shins for wasting my time.  But it seems there is a genuine chance that this might just be the case after it was reported that Arsene Wenger is interested in bringing the Frenchman to the club from Manchester United in a deal worth £750,000.

On some levels it makes sense. The current Arsenal squad is in desperate need of experience at the back and a 31-year-old centre-back with bags of European and Premiership action under his belt fits the bill perfectly. Add the fact that he is French and you can definitely see where Wenger is coming from.

But it does seem odd to me that the third or fourth choice centre-back at Manchester United would want to move to their closest rivals when a similar position on the bench awaits. Does he just want a new environment or does Wenger actually see him as the first-choice partner for William Gallas at Kolo Toure’s expense? And what of Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos in the meantime?

Too many questions and not enough answers at this stage, so I’ll wait for the move to be confirmed before saying any more about it. Either way it’s a bizarre piece of news on an already crazy day.

While the acquisition of an experienced central defender would be a pleasant surprise to Arsenal fans I still believe it pales in comparison to the need to find a defensive midfielder. Just last week the manager promised that he would be making a signing in this position before the second game against FC Twente and that admission has got me thinking about just who it might be.

Originally I was convinced that it would be Xabi Alonso, but his appearance for Liverpool against Standard Liege means he would be cup-tied for the Champions League – an unacceptable situation for a club like Arsenal. Now it is Udinese midfielder Gokhan Inler that seems the most likely candidate with rumours of a move refusing to go away.

However, a fresh name that came to my attention this week was that of Stephen Appiah. Indeed, the Ghanaian captain has quit at Fenerbache after falling out at the club making him – in his own words – a free agent. He’s had some health problems at late but Appiah remains an outstanding player and it wouldn’t suprise me if Wenger took advantage of this situation to bring in the ex-Juventus midfielder.

Now I want to make it 100% clear that there has been nothing in the media suggesting that Arsenal are going to sign Appiah. No rumours, no links, no kids in Ghana creating their own blogs saying that it’s already a done deal. I just think that even if Wenger was not previously interested in Appiah he would have seen what has happened at Fenerbache and might make the most of the situation.

My advice? Watch this space. And get ready to hear me say “I told you so” if it happens. Just joking.

In other far less tantalising or enjoyable news, Samir Nasri has gone and got himself injured training with the French national team. The thigh strain may see him miss the game against Fulham and if he does, I might just have to write an angry letter to Sepp Blatter telling him how much I hate International Friendlies. I won’t post it to him, of course, but just writing the letter should calm me down a bit.

Completing a quite bizarre day are comments from Tomas Rosicky predictably stating that he was misquoted yesterday, some words of encouragement from the manager with regards to Theo Walcott and the news that Nacer Barazite has gone on loan to Derby County.

Now onto the Wednesday Poll. I was going to use the poll to look at whether people thought Johan Djourou should keep his place ahead of Kolo Toure but with the news of the potential transfer of Silvestre I couldn’t refuse the invitation to change tact. Let me know what you think.

How would you feel if Silvestre signed for Arsenal?
Relieved – we’d have the defensive cover we need
Thrilled – put him in the starting side!
Pissed off – he’s over the hill and not good enough for Arsenal
Don’t really care
Web Polls

That’s it for an action-packed day. I look forward to reading some very interesting comments.

Have your say on Silvestre, Appiah or the other Arsenal news by leaving a comment.



  1. I’m sure we have been linked with Appiah before. I don’t really know much about him but if he is a DM, i would be happy if we signed him.

    Silvestre would give us some experienced cover all across the back four, so sign him AW.

  2. I would like to see Appiah at Emirates he is a great player.

    Signing my name-sake Mike would be a plus to us but only to warm the bench, he got expirience in champs league and priemier which we need.

    All the best to our GUNNERS this season.

  3. Hmmm, I’m not mad keen on signing our rivals’ left-overs, but Silvestre was certainly a good player at his peak. He played a versatile role at Man Utd, and perhaps he can fill in areas like defensive midfield if we really get tight.

    If it’s nothing more than an insurance policy, then I’d be satisfied.

    By the way, he’s French.

  4. I think Silvestre would primarily be cover for Clichy, and his age would allow for Traore to come through as the long-term cover/replacement.

  5. i thought i was the only one thinking that the appiah move to arsenal is an obvious choice. at 27 he is stil one of the best mids on earth. we missed out on him 2 years ago but a player with his quality available for free its almost a no brainer that wenger will at least give him serious thought. i think he could be our missing link in the middle next to fabregas , he is an intelligent hard working ,box to box midfielder , still very much ghanas vieira.

    as for silvestre i dont see him as a starter or at least not regularly.toure is still our best central defender . however , there is an option of partnering silvestre and gallas at the back and toure in the central midfield next to fabregas.

  6. if he’s still a good choice,why only Sunderland and will go for him?yes, he can be the sub-player to Clichy and while he can be an example for the lads too.But the question is that he really past his good time .It is clearly that he was a great player,but,what about now?A consistently erroneous palyer i think.

  7. Appiah’s Ghana’s best player (yes including Essien). They missed him badly in the African Cup of Nations which he sat out injured. Problem is he’s a pure playmaker. Essien does the scrapping for him in Ghana’s team. Best comparison I can think of is Andrea Pirlo. Quality but not what we need. Shame but a bit of a non starter really.

  8. @ Goonoo – Interesting. I always saw him as an out-and-out central midfielder much like Essien or Vieira. From what I’ve seen of him he’s been hard as nails and an energetic performer.

    I’d welcome him although, as I said, there are no rumours just my opinions. 🙂

  9. Im all for Appiah. If he is a so called ‘free agent’, then lets get in there quick. I haven’t seen alot of him, but read enough to know he can hold his own in the midfield.
    As for Silvestre, I dont care if he’s from Man U, but I do care if he’s good enough. And he’s not, not for us. Im a huge Senderos fan, and would love to see more game time for him.

  10. I think Appiah would be a good signing for us in the midfield but i fear that arsene will not go for him because he is not an unkknown, the fact that he has made a name for him self already may just go against him. Arsene does not appear to be interested in established players, although he is on a free transfer(Appiah) so that amy turn Arsene’s head.

  11. To be honest it’s getting that late on in the transfer market appiah will play for whoever offers him the most money silvestre would be a good asset and at 750,000 thats not a lot of money.@ sf when seriously did you last write a letter wouldn’t it be an e-mail haha.

  12. If you look at the ‘arses’ from a couple days ago you’ll see that I thought the same thing about Appiah, so be prepared for me to say “I told you so” as well.

  13. according to me, if signed, appiah will be a key signing.
    silvestre will be a good capture .

    hi there ….spanish fry….

    from this yr on i have joined as a network engineer (in india) which is a 24*7 job. so sadly i am not able to watch premier league.

    but thnks to ur blog ….. i am now seeing those matches thru ur eyes .
    so continue ur blog buddy….

  14. Appiah played great for Ghana at the 2006 WC. He teamed up with Essien very well and ran the midfield in the match that Essien missed due to suspension. He appears to have recovered from his knee injury. I think he would be a great signing, better than Alonso or Inler.

  15. pavon why cant you watch the matches? if you have a dvd player me any many of us gooners out there will able to burn you matches and send them over won’t be live but at least you can see our beloved arsenal. Missing arsenal for me would be like having I don’t know really maybe that could be wednesday poll if you run out of things. eh spanish.

  16. If Clichy gets injured we are F**ked so Silvestre would be a good signing.£750,000 is nothing today.Has played CH with Gallas for France

  17. Great blog Spanish Fry, I am a first time poster – but a long time reader! Thanks for all your efforts – I always start my workday by reading your blog 🙂

    @ Pavon; there are many ways too see matches. If they dont show it on the telly, there is always the possibility of going to the pub – or watching it (or recording it) via P2P. I would post some P2P links, but I am not sure if this site allows it…

    As for Silvestre, I really hope we do NOT sign him! He has been playing for Man Utd (which makes me hate him), he is a Man Utd reject and he is just not good enough anymore. There are many other options – I would look to our youth instead of signing Silvestre!

  18. No to Silvestre, he is not good enough. He is a man utd reject! Appiah howeve would be a signing welcomed greatly, he a class player and would be able toplay the holding midfielder to get the best out of the midfield and Cesc and of course Arsenal and For FREE, GO ARSENE QUICK!

  19. Well Gooners, Mikel Sylvester it is(Official, that is), We need to welcome our new defender.

  20. Oh No, its official, Silvestre has signed for arsenal, the manc reject becomes an arsenal first team member. Number 18 :(:(:(

  21. This is a strange one by Wenger singing a 31 years old from United. I’m disappointed but I can see why Wenger signed him its purely as a back up for Clichy and Senderos or maybe Wenger want to shove him in midfield the boss has a plan. Also he costs us almost nothing. I remenber his last few games at united he commited lots of errors and he was dropped but I hope he discovers his form and help us this season.
    JAY- there isn’t much we can do he is a gooner now and we have to greet our teeth and support him.

  22. If this is the signing that Arsene mentioned I will be very pissed off!!!

    First sells a good young english player (Hoyte)

    Second, buy a rejected who is not better than Hoyte

    Third, he isl not buying a player in the position that we really need.

    What is this man thinking???
    I hate to say it but next year we will not play the Champions.

  23. @ Mexican Gunner – Silvestre is a better player than Hoyte, hands down. He is a centre-back and exactly the type of player everyone was looking for at the start of the transfer window.

    Also, there will be another midfield signing to come. I’m quite sure of it.

  24. I agree with you Fry, im sure Silvestre wont be out last signing.

    But im pretty sure (and hope) that if/when Wenger signs someone, it will be Gokhan Inler from Udinese.

  25. @ Demetrio – Hey there again mate. I think you’re probably right – I’d be happy to see him come in but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for Appiah :p

  26. Yeah i think Appiah would make an impact sooner then Inler would, so i would be happy Appiah signing. I just think from watchin Inler at Udinese he will be a world beater given he gets with a team that could really bring out his full potential, and theres no better team for that then Arsenal.

    Appiah/Inler, i wouldnt mind seeing either at the club.

  27. let’s get them both if possible though I would prefer Inler….

    Silvester is an unknown quantity given his age but I believe can provide defensive cover when needed for Clichy and Senderos….

    Gunners are looking good guys……

  28. We all know that Arsene is more interested in young players nad his policy about players over thirty, so can someone please explain to me the selling of Gilberto and the buying of Silvestre?. I hate to say it but i think that is the experinced player he was talking about and if it is then we all have the right to be very pissed off.Sorry to say it but Wenger has lost the plot and we wont win anything this season.

  29. Why everybody talks assuming that Appiah will be the next signing??

    Nobody reads the original post or what???
    ok so let me tell you that Philippe Mexes will be our new defender.

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