Emirates boss apparently wants to sign players you may well have never heard of!
Arsenal are being linked with a summer move for Udinese keeper Samir Handanovic.
The Slovenian stopper impressed during his nation’s World Cup campaign, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is thought to be interested in a potential move for the 25-year-old.
Handanovic made his senior debut for homeland club Domžale in 2003, before being signed by Serie ‘A’ Udinese the following season.
Loan spells at Treviso, Lazio and Rimini suggested a career at the Stadio Friuli might not be fruitful, but Handanovic has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the Zebrette and is now the No.1 at the club.
International recognition came as early as 2004, with Handanovic making his debut as a teenager against Slovakia. The nation’s top stopper, he proved himself in South Africa with performances that have led to interest from a string of clubs.
One of those is thought to be the Gunners, with Wenger keen to strengthen in the core position of goalkeeper ahead of the new Premier League season.
Reports in France are suggesting Arsene Wenger is about to make a double swoop for Ligue 1 stars Rafik Halliche and Stephane Ruffier.
Gunners manager Wenger is on the lookout for a centre-back to replace the outgoing William Gallas and Sol Campbell while Manuel Almunia and Lucasz Fabianski look likely to be replaced in goal.
Algerian defender Halliche would represent a cheaper option to his international team mate, Rangers star Madjid Bougherra.
Acccording to Chronofoot.com, talks between the Benfica player’s agent and Arsenal representatives have already taken place in London and Halliche is keen to make the move, having spent two years on loan at Nacional. (Give Me Footbal – Official PFA Website)
It would appear to me that whilst Arsene Wenger is renowned for his ability to find the diamond in the rough and has the nous to make an unknown into a household name that now is not the time for the Frenchman to be investing time and money in those players who will take time to bed in and may in fact not offer anything superior to what he has in his Emirates squad.
The three players named by this source are all very decent and capable player but are not in my opinion ready for the top half of the Premier League, let alone playing for a club that is hoping to end a five year spell without significant silverware.
Monaco keeper Stéphane Ruffier is a good keeper but the fact that at 23 he is still yet to be capped by his native France, I think that says it all. Samir Handanovic looked pretty decent at the World Cup but is probably no better than Manuel Almunia and what Wenger needs is a player who is consistent and has experience at the very highest level.
Rafik Halliche is also by no means a quality centre back. He never even got a chance to prove himself at Benfica where he was instantly farmed out on loan on his arrival at the Portuguese giants. Prone to errors and surely not the kind of player one can see be a solid customer in the Premier League.
It’s time the Gunners boss put some real money into his new acquisitions and I am sure the Arsenal boss will opt instead to look to complete signings of players who have been there and done it, hence the continued process of trying to secure the signing of Joe Cole. Whilst this trio would probably cost no more than £18m to sign you could argue that none of these three would offer anything of an improvement on the players Wenger already has at his disposal.