The Moroccan forward has been a long-term target for Arsenal and was very close to signing for the gunners last season, but instead decided to stay an extra year with the French side.
Chamakh has been ever-present for Les Girondins, appearing 36 times in Ligue 1 and managing to collect 11 goals along the way. He also featured for Bordeaux in this years champion’s league, helping them reach the quarter finals of the competition.
The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and is now set to leave the club which he has been at for a decade. The Moroccan international will put pen to paper and reportedly sign a five-year-deal (£50,000-a-week) contract with Arsenal this summer. The striker did confirm that he had other offers on the table following a successful season with Bordeaux this year, (Liverpool and Tottenham were alleged to be in the mix) but in the end, the striker opted to join Arsene Wenger’s red army. He spoke of his excitement and prospect of playing for Arsenal in the French daily newspaper L’Equipe saying:
“I count the days, 11 short days. As time passes, it feels weird. I feel many emotions. I am delighted to join the English football atmosphere, it is something amazing. I love Arsenal’s game. I know I will have to adapt but I know the short passing game.”
He finishes off by adding:
“In February, I made my decision. A departure clause [in a potential new Bordeaux contract] was not logical after refusing Arsenal last summer.”
The Arsenal bound man, is said to be leaving Bordeaux with a heavy heart, having been with the club since the age of 16. He says:
“For my last matches with Bordeaux I can feel a lot of emotion, but I am leaving for a new challenge. At Bordeaux I was the club’s child. In London, I won’t be a kid anymore. I have grown, I have things to prove and I am motivated to achieve it.”
Arsenal will have another crack at Europe’s finest next season, but after Spurs’ win against City last night, the gunners are not yet certain of the automatic spot. Nevertheless, Arsene knows he has a difficult summer ahead of him in trying to strengthen his squad. Speaking to the Mail yesterday, Wenger implied transfers aren’t what they used to be:
“It is not any more as it was 15 or 20 years ago – everybody knows everybody now. It is more about shrewd buying now in taking a gamble than in discovering somebody.”
Chamakh’s imminent arrival in the summer will have diverse views from the Arsenal fans. Some may believe the striker is not ‘accomplished’ enough, not proven, and as such, a gamble by Wenger. A number of them believe that the Bordeaux star has to be given a chance to show what he is capable of before casting a judgment. However you have to take into consideration that the French league is poles apart from the English game. The Premiership is more physically, quicker and more competitive…will Chamakh be able to adapt to it or will he flop? This remains to be seen.
On the other hand, others may know a lot more about the striker’s potential and have seen the player develop in the French and champion’s league, but the question on every Arsenal fans mind is: is he the man Arsenal need in order to bring silverware to the club next season?
At the age of 26, Marouane Chamakh should be in his prime as a footballer, yet Arsenal fans are questioning his ability and jumping the gun as it were, before he has even kicked a ball in the premiership. Remember, the striker will move on a free transfer, which can only be good news for the Gunners no matter what the result. Despite all this, Wenger will be urged by the fans to go out and buy a prolific striker, one that is feared and predominately accomplished, even though they have attained the services of Chamakh next season.
Video of Marouane Chamakh, some of his goals and assists. Enjoy!
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