Arsene Wenger reportedly failed in January with a bid for Blackburn Rovers’ centre back Christopher Samba, and that failure proved to be extremely costly with Arsenal’s defence being the main culprits in Arsenal’s demise after the Carling Cup final.
With the fans’ and board running out of patience with Le Prossfeur it’s expected that finally, he will abandon his usual transfer policy and spend big in the transfer market and the media are expecting Wenger to go back in for Samba as he is what Arsenal need; for once I actually agree with the Fleet Street bigwigs.
Laurent Koscielny’s indifferent season has proven how hard it is to adjust to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League but Samba has established himself as a strong and physical player at the heart of the Rovers defence, all attributes Arsenal have lacked this season. The Premier League is arguably the best in the world and over his four full seasons for Rover’s the Congo international has continually proven his ability to play consistently at the highest level.
Thomas Vermaelen is arguably Arsenal’s best defender but despite this, the Belgium defender lacks that physical presence that a centre half should have. Samba would give Arsenal that much needed bit of brute force in the middle, which in turn would enable them to compete with the most physical of sides such as Stoke City, where the Gunners have dropped ‘silly’ points of the season due to them being ‘bullied’ off the park.
Set pieces should bring anticipation or reassurances depending on whether your team is attacking or defending one. This season the Gunners’ faithful have rarely got excited at a set piece because they know that their side lack the hunger or aerial prowess to win the ball, something which Samba has in abundance with the majority of his Blackburn goals’ coming via set pieces. When it comes to defending a set piece the Arsenal fans’ are a bag of nerves not knowing if their keeper will flap at the ball or Johan Djourou will take it upon himself to score for the opposing team. Samba has shown his composure when under pressure while playing for Blackburn and will give Arsenal the attribute they have lacked for so long, the ability to clear the ball quickly and cleanly or even just a good ol’ fashioned ‘hoof’ up field.
Recent big money transfer involving Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones have proven how costly buying Premier League experience is, and Samba has plenty. The real bonus in signing the former Hertha Berlin player is he shouldn’t cost more than £10 million, an absolute steal when you see the money being touted for another Arsenal target Gary Cahill.
Samba is a must for Wenger this summer as he begins his seventh attempt at ending Arsenal’s barren spell, which may well be his last chance.