There’s an argument to the effect that nobody in the Premier League knows the qualities and stature of his players better than Arsene Wenger. This makes him particularly astute when it comes to transfer dealings. His ability to ‘read’ players, means not only is he able to bring in decent players at decent prices, but he also almost always manages to sell on an Arsenal player at the best possible moment.
It’s difficult to think of a player in recent history who has moved on from the Gunners and gone on to find greater glory. Sure, Thierry Henry got two La Liga titles under his belt along with a Copa del Rey and a Champions League winners medal, but it can hardly be said that this was done playing his best football. I think it’s fair to say that ever since Thierry left Arsenal he has been on a slow decline. Now aged 33, he currently plies his trade for the New York Red Bulls.
Patrick Viera may have a few Serie A titles under his belt, but is struggling to get a game at Man City. Alexander Hleb, who left the Gunners to join Barcelona in 2008, is currently on loan to Birmingham where he operates mostly as a substitute. He has admitted that he regrets leaving Arsenal. I’m sure he’s not the only one in recent years who harbours this regret.
With this in mind, I’m sure that during the January transfer window Wenger will be looking at his squad and determining which players have come to an end of their Arsenal career. One man who seems to be on his way out is goalkeeper Manuel Almunia. After being a mainstay last season, a series of high-profile mistakes has seen him slip down the pecking order and he is now thought to be seeking a move to a Spanish club.
Beyond this, Wenger might look at the likes of Tomas Rosicky and wonder if he isn’t somewhat surplus to requirements at the Emirates. The 30-year-old winger has found it difficult to work his way into Wenger’s first-team plans thanks to the development of players like Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri. Part of the problem is that Rosicky no longer contributes goals. Indeed, it’s been 11 months since Rosicky last netted for the Gunners.
At 30-years-old, Wenger would only be able to offer Rosicky a one-year-contract. Perhaps he will instead be tempted to move the ‘Little Mozart’ on whilst he will still command a hefty transfer fee.
What’s your take? Are you ready to see Rosicky move on? Please feel free to comment or to follow me on Twitter @ThePerfectPass for more debate and discussion.