French Star Defender Heading To Arsenal?

If rumours are to be believed Arsenal draws closer and closer to signing Montpellier’s center-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who they have been watching this season as he captained his club to the French Ligue 1 title.

The defender who was recently called-up to the French squad in the 25-man pre-EURO squad has been tracked by Arsene Wenger’s scouts in this successful year at the French club and they have been highly impressed at what they saw.

After being sent home from the National squad when manager Laurent Blanc had to choose the final 23-man-squad for this summer’s tournament, many believed that Arsene Wenger would drop his interest, but it seems that the French manager is still very much interested in the possibility of bringing him to the club.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has admitted that he would love to make a switch this season, and Montpellier have slapped a £13m transfer fee for the Frenchman’s services, but he would have to be persuaded that he would not be an automatic starter in Arsenal’s back line.

Arsenal are still looking for a midfielder, and that will be their most important target despite the fact that they are still looking for reinforcements all around the pitch, but if Johann Djourou gets his wish to leave the Emirates then Mbiwa is a much more talented replacement.

Arsenal and Man United both keen on Ligue 1 Star Man

The Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has put in some some spectacular performances this season in Ligue 1 and is now looking to take a step up to the Premier League. It’s no wonder some of the biggest names in Europe, like Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle have entered the race to try and persuade the 22-year-old into giving them his signature.

Nevertheless Mapou’s current club won’t be so willing to let their star captain slip through their fingers without a fight and are sure to offer him a pay-rise to waylay his new appetite for English clubs.

Sir Alex Ferguson could surely use a talented footballer such as the 22-year-old in order to strengthen his team’s defence, regarding Mapou as a wise and profitable investment, however Fergie will once again have to compete against Arsene Wenger and use all his tricks if he wants to snatch Montpellier’s El capitan away from the Gunners.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa told L’Equipe: “My desire is to play in England ahead of any other European league.”

“For me it would be a dream come true to see myself in the Premier League. Arsenal or Manchester United? They are two great clubs.”

“I feel very honoured they are interested in me and at the end of the season I will evaluate my future.” declared Mapou.

As in previous seasons, Arsenal’s rise up the table has been hindered yet again by a glut of defensive injuries, but is there really any hope that Wenger will buy a defender, especially after turning down the supremely versatile Jan Vertonghen?

Can someone tell Vermaelen he’s a DEFENDER!

I know, I know, we all love a central defender who goes forward from time to time and aids the attack, and we love it when defenders like Chelsea’s David Luiz, or our own Thomas Vermaelen scores a goal from action or offers an assist, but look where that took Arsenal!

Yesterday’s match was a nice spectacle to watch from the neutral point of view, but for a Gunner it was extremely frustrating as we were forced to see a very skillful attack and an incredibly unsure and basically stupid defense.
Even though recently Vermaelen was the man to watch and he was in an incredible form, yesterday’s forward runs were the main reason for Arsenal’s defensive inability. What is a team supposed to do with Coquelin who is not a pure breed right-back, Gibbs who is still young and inexperienced and Koscielny who can’t look after everybody’s mistakes and fix them?

Wenger, or somebody else at the club, should take Vermaelen into a corner, slap him once and let him know that he’s a CENTRAL DEFENDER, not a playmaker, not a target man, and that he should focus on…errr…DEFENDING! His forward runs and the fact that Arsenal was time and again caught with two, or in the best case three defenders, might cost the Gunners their Champions League spot if Tottenham manage to win today’s game! Good Job Vermaelen!

Arsenal had a fit ready-made defender to hand – Why was no loan deal made?

I have just read that the Bolton manager Owen Coyle is trying to sign Thierry Henry’s team mate Tim Ream on a loan deal right now. Ream is a defender with New York Red Bulls and one of the best in America, in fact he won the prize for Rookie of the Year in the season just finished.

The 24 year-old has been watched many times by Arsenal scouts and we reportedly even made an offer for him last summer, and even Owen Coyle admitted that he is keen for him to cover for Gary Cahill after Arsenal had first choice.

Ream himself told the press in December about Arsenal’s interest. “I guess that’s common knowledge now,” he said. “I think there are a few others. It’s just one of those things, you always have eyes watching you; it’s an honor to have a team of that caliber watching you, following you. … At the same time, you can’t let that be a distraction either. If something comes of it, so be it.”

He is fit and in training (with West Brom now) to stay in condition for the beginning of the MLS season, and would have been a very easy option to loan alongside Henry for these two months.

So why on Earth didn’t Wenger take advantage while he had the chance, instead of trying out an unknown Omani international?

Wenger – I want a defender (but NOT Cahill and only on loan)

Arsene Wenger is still worried about Arsenal’s full-back injury crisis, and has admitted that the Gunners simply need a short loan period to cover for the injuries to Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Andre Santos. He has to all intents and purposes rulled out any chance of a permanent arrival for either flank.

He said that Sagna was ahead of schedule and his return may negate the need for any cover at all. “It depends now on how quickly Sagna will come back,” Wenger. “He has started to run a little bit.

“I have to see what is available – if I have a good opportunity then why not? But I haven’t made any enquiry yet, so for the moment no Wayne Bridge or anyone else.

“It is of course something we look at but as well it depends on how long you have to take them,” added Wenger.

“They have a big impact on your wages as well. If you have to sign a player for three or four years and then you have three or four left backs, only one can play, so they are not happy.

“It can only be a short-term solution for us because we have bought Santos, we have Gibbs, we have Vermaelen who can play there, so we do not need a long-term solution.”

He also made it clear that he wouldn’t be bringing in any centre-backs either, and most definitely not Gary Cahill from Bolton. “I have had no contact with Bolton about Cahill,” Wenger said.

“We have plenty of centre backs, fortunately they can play on the flanks too as they are at the moment. We are not looking for any centre backs. No chance.”

So it looks like, no matter how many Arsenal transfer rumours you hear, there is unlikely to be ANY defender coming to the Emirates this January……

Wenger Is Searching For A Top Defender And Has Two Targets

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger is now interested in finding another defender for his team since Sagna and Santos have injured themselves and he has to play with two of the best centre-backs on the wings.

Vermaelen and Koscielny are most likely to cover the left and right sides of the defence and Arsenal will probably play with 4 centre-backs in the defensive line until Santos gets back in about three weeks time.

Wenger is likely to try to bring another defender in January, and Bolton’s Garry Cahill is still linked with the Gunners. Although Wenger submitted a big in the summer it was rejected and even made fun of by manager Owen Coyle, so now they’re less likely to bid for him again, but there is still a chance.

Wenger might even look across town to Chelsea for his selection with Brazilian defender Alex now out of Villas-Boas’ team on a regular basis. The Brazilian is expected to leave in January, and Arsenal might be a destination. Who do you think should be transferred?