Arsene Wenger might be taking a leaf out of Fagin’s book this summer. The Charles Dickens character sings about ‘picking a pocket or two’ in the musical version of Oliver Twist and it appears that the Frenchman is looking to ‘sign a Russian or two’ after watching them at Euro 2008.
But which Russians, if any, will be playing for Arsenal this summer? While there can’t be a single Gooner who doesn’t want Andrei Arshavin playing at the Emirates next season, this signing might be a bridge too far, there are plenty of others in the team who could bring something to the table. Sporting Life reports that Wenger has enjoyed this shop window opportunity.
“The eye is always looking at who can strengthen Arsenal,” Wenger said in the Daily Express.
“You always think, ‘could this player play for your team?’ or perhaps there is a good player you didn’t know.
“Mainly I would say that you discovered only Russian players at this tournament because you see them playing less. All the others you know.”
In addition to Arshavin, the players who have stood out include Yuri Zhirkov, the roving left wing-back, and Roman Pavlyuchenko, the Spartak Moscow striker who has scored three goals at Euro 2008. Will Wenger be gunning for one of these players, rather than chase their star man who is reportedly joining Barcelona ahead of next season?