Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wenger closes in on another central defender - Squillaci from Sevilla

Today the news from North London is that Wenger is close to bolstering his back line by signing French international Sebastien Squillaci from FC Sevilla. Based on some what I am reading on Twitter you would think that Wenger was on the verge of signing former French central defender Maxime Bossis...who is currently 55 years old...and not someone
who has played for the past few seasons for a solid Sevilla side in La Liga, prior to that has also showcased for Ligue 1 clubs Lyon and Monaco (where he was the starting center back when Monaco made their run to the Champions League finals). A 30 year old who has 20 full caps to his name for France as many caps does Koscielny have?

Squillaci is a good sized (6' 1") center back, who is a solid no nonsense defender and very strong in the air (he isn't the bean-stock that is Koscielny). He can bring the ball out from the back but will not be mistaken for Beckenbauer any time soon. He can chip in a goal now and then. As a teammate you never hear complaints about his attitude or being a cancer in the dressing room...not something you could say about his French predecessor - Gallas. I think his game will be very well suited for the Premiership especially during the slog days of winter time when pitches are wet and muddy and the ball heavy.

Of course he does not come with the hype surrounding other signings. Net net, this is a good signing for Wenger. With Koscielny, Vermaelen, Squillaci and Djourou the Gunners have the potential for a very strong rotation at center back. I would not be surprised if eventually Squillaci and Vermaelen were the featured pairing. Nothing against Koscielny, I think that was a great signing for Arsenal for this season and the long term, but we cannot forget that he has never featured at the international level and was playing for Lorient - not one of the big Ligue 1 clubs let alone for a side like Sevilla who played Champions League as well as La Liga. So the young French center back has made a big jump from Lorient right into the very deep end, on a team that expects to be top 4 every season - those are lofty expectations.

A good buy for Wenger, you would think by some of the reaction that Arsenal fans would rather see the return of Wenger better buy a good keeper and soon otherwise the central defensive rotation will be a moot point.


SSJ said...

I'm not sure who Arsenal fans would be happy with, honestly. Both Campbell and Gallas were tainted by their former clubs, Vermaelen & Koscielny were unknowns which counted against them.

In other positions, Arshavin was a big hit, but is now looking almost like a bust. Everyone loved Nasri, people were unsure on Eduardo...

I think we love big names, those are rare for Arsenal.

I think we love guys who are just about to come into their own (like Nasri). Squillaci isn't that. But maybe he's exactly what we need. Experienced, older, etc.

Still, Frog, I'd bet you that Koscielny ends up with more Caps (especially if he goes for Poland).

GFC said...

I think your last statement sums up why the Squillaci purchase would be smart - Koscielny could very well be a better player and may get more caps (definitely if he plays for Polska) but for this season and the next few it is good strategy to have a veteran like Squillaci to lean on for the back line.

My recent critics of Wenger is that he refuses to retain veteran players - Pires, Gilberto - who would be useful. Nor will he go out and sign players that might not be 20 year old stars in the making, but know how to play a long season and bring a level of experience otherwise lacking. I wish Wenger would make more of these moves in addition to the up and coming starlets he continues to collect.

But again, if there is no keeper...then this is all moot.

GFC said...

Signing a player like a Gattuso would also be nice...a tough veteran who is not afraid to deliver a hard tackle....

philip said...

I think Squillaci would be great for Arsenal I hope it actually happens. I think Koscienly is good but I think its too much for him, who played in Ligue 2 to be a starting Centre back.

Shay given would be great for goalie. Then I think Arsenal would have a chance to win something as long as their great players like Nasri would stop getting injured. Man that sucks

philip said...

Also if you look at Koscielny wikapedia it says he is 4 ft 1 tall haha

GFC said...

I hope Arsenal get Given, a solid keeper. Might not be at the level of Casillas but will more than get the job down for Arsenal and is familiar with the EPL

GFC said...

The latest is that Arsenal and Sevilla cannot find an agreement on the price for Squillaci. Great. Come one Wenger!

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