Tag Archives: Karim Benzema

Arsenal A to Z of transfer Speculation – Open for business

Long term followers of the blog / Facebook page / Twitter will know that every transfer window, we at SheWore like to keep a list of every players Arsenal are linked to in the month leading up to the transfer window opening, and during the transfer window itself.

So it’s December the 1st. That means it’s time for us to dust down the spreadsheet and start logging.

Of course, this is not us linking the players, nor saying we will sign them, it is a list to highlight just how much crap the media print to fill column inches / get web hits.

All players linked will be added to our dedicated page. Keep an eye on this and feel free to add players we’ve missed to the comments section.

On the opening day, we have already been linked with Karim Benzema, Lucas Silva and Sami Khedira


B. Benzema









K. Khedira








S. Silva








Alvaro Morata – What can Arsenal expect?

Rumours seem to be growing about an agreed deal between Arsenal and Real Madrid over the 6 month loan signing of Spanish youth international Alvaro Morata in January. These rumours seem to of originated in a Spanish newspaper which many compare to the UK’s ‘The Sun’. They were thing picked up by The Daily Star, giving credence to the story. What will likely happen next is other more reputable papers in both the UK and Spain will pick up on The Daily Star’s story and run with it, giving the rumour even more legs.

Whether the deal is a ‘done deal’ yet is unlikely. Arsenal have been linked with 7 players since we started our A to Z of Transfer Speculation yesterday. What is the more likely story is Arsenal have agreed 1st refusal on the striker. That if he is available for loan, he will come to us first.

But if Arsenal do get the young striker, even for 6 months, what can they expect?

At 21, Morata has long been touted by the Real Madrid faithful as the next Raul. Not in a playing sense, but in a culture sense (He is more similar to style to Fernando Morientes). He is a Real Madrid born boy and has been at the club since 15. Whilst Barcelona have bought through the likes of Puyol, Xavi, Ineista, Valdes, Fabregas, Pique, Messi, Alba (via Valencia), Montoya, Busquets and Tello in recent years, Real Madrid have not provided a regular international to the Spanish National side since Casillas in 2000.

In a country still split with regional differences, it hurts Madridistas that over recent years, the majority of the Spanish side has been made up by Catalan’s, a region of Spain which do not accept they are Spanish. Morata is supposed to stop that rot, with him being pencilled in as a potential to lead Real Madrid’s line for the next decade, as well as break into the Spanish National side sooner rather than later.

Why would Real Madrid be looking to loan him in January? For the simple reason that he needs to play. With Karim Benzema currently number 1 striker, Morata has started just once in 12 appearances for Madrid this season. If he is to progress next season and take over the number 1 spot from Benzema, he needs to prove himself. With lack of opportunities at Madrid, the only option is a loan deal, and with the Spanish league so weak, a long deal abroad will be best.

Where does Arsenal fit in? Florentino Perez was very impressed with the way Arsenal handled themselves during the transfer negotiations with Mesut Ozil. Already a fan of Arsene Wenger, having attempted to prise him away from Arsenal numerous times, he knows Morata will be in safe hands with Arsenal. With Olivier Giroud as Arsenal’s only option upfront, Morata will get more playing time at Arsenal than at Madrid, and will benefit from top coaching. The physicality of the Premier League will also add something to Morata’s game which you do not get in Spain. 6 months in England could make him a very rounded striker for European competitions.

Morata is 6ft 3in. He is a giant of a man. He has the height of Oliveir Giroud, but not yet the core strength. This can be built into him though. To this physicality, he also adds pace. Quicker then Giroud, he might not be lightning, but he has enough pace that once he has turned his man, he can run away from him, similar to Robin Van Persie. What he also has is brilliant technique and skill, a given with Spanish players these days. He also has excellent movement, able to drift into space like a true poacher, and has the clinical finishing to match. With his physical attributes and technique, you can see why Real Madrid are keen to progress him.

Whilst he might not have much first team experience, 30 games for Real Madrid, scoring 4 goals, his appearances for Castilla (Real Madrid B) highlight his ability, scoring 45 goals from his 84 appearances. You can start to understand why Real Madrid want him to get more 1st team experience. He also scored 34 goals in a single youth season.

For Spain, his youth record is equally as impressive, scoring 23 goals in 24 games. He won the Golden Boot in both the u19 European Championship and u21 Euoprean Championship, leading the line to glory for Spain in both competitions.

If Arsenal do get Morata, they would have signed a very talented, but very raw striker. Whether he is what we need to push us to glory in January is inconclusive. He is certainly better equipped than both Bendtner (Who will surely leave if we get Morata in) and Sanogo, but good enough to take pressure of Giroud? That is up for debate. Especially taking into account his wage and whether he settles quickly.

Were we signing him on a permanent contract, I would be very happy, as he is clearly talented. A loan is a risk, although he will add depth. Also, if no one else is available in January who is of quality, it is perhaps better to not spend but see what is available in the loan market. Signing Morata would give us striking options of Giroud, Podolski.

If he does join, I hope we have an option to make the deal permanent, as Morata could become a very special player over the next couple of years.


5 key factors to remember during the transfer window

With the transfer window less than 6 weeks away, speculation is beginning to mount on who will be coming to join Arsenal in January. Whilst thinking about what to write on the matter, 5 key factors came to mind. Rather then write on each individually, I have collated the thoughts into ‘5 key factors to remember during the transfer window.

Ignore the Speculation

Journalists throughout the globe use transfer speculation to write easy stories. Sports editors use speculation to fill up column space and gain hits for advertising revenue. And ITKs use transfer gossip to gain followers, to fill the void in their lives where friends should be.

My advice, as always, is ignore the bullshit. It can be hard not to get drawn in at times, such as with the Higuain deal last summer, but its important to remember the basic stats. We will be linked with over 100 players, and likely sign 1 or 2. I have seen people getting angry at the club when one of the targets a paper prints ends up at another club. It is unlikely this player was ever a target, so the person is getting angry for no reason.

Finally, remember planted stories. Agents representing players will play a story, in the hope it brings to light the availability of said player and someone else signs him. They will also plant a story to quicken up a deal, or in crease a contract offer, with another club. And often a selling club will plant a story in the hope that it will generate interest in a player. This is where Arsenal’s world wide media appeal is a disadvantage. Link a player to Arsenal for those reason, the world will write the story.

Do not believe the speculation until you say the player holding the shirt.

If you want to keep up with the transfer speculation, or just have a laugh with how many players we get linked with, from Sunday, we will be running SheWore’s famous ‘A to Z of Transfer Speculation.’

The World Cup Matters

One player generating a lot of interest at the moment is Diego Costa. The Brazilian Spanish striker has recently declared his allegiance to his new nation. Yet to win a Spanish cap, yet certainly on the radar of the Spanish management, he will be foolish to leave Spain.

Join Arsenal, have to settle in a new country, and no longer be guaranteed the starting spot that he currently gets for Atletico Madrid, he would likely be cast aside in the thoughts of the management before he has even kicked a ball for Spain. Why would he leave?

We saw a similar situation nearly 2 years ago with Lukas Podolski. A deal was done in January, however he decided to hold off until the summer as he was worried about his Euro 2012 spot.

The World Cup is key in players’ thinking. Better to be playing and performing for a lower side and get into your countries squad, then make the move, fail to settle then lose your place. It’s why I can not see the likes of Diego Costa and Karim Benzema changing club, let alone moving country.

Obviously when it comes to players such as Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney and Robert Lewandowski, this does not apply, as they are so key to their national sides, that the could not play for their respective clubs between now a June 2014 and still be starters in the World Cup.

The Champions League Doesn’t Matter

Whilst the World Cup is uppermost in the mind of players when thinking about a January transfer, the Champions League should not come into a clubs thinking.

Whilst a player can have a lot of short term benefits, giving the squad a morale boost, and adding depth to an injury ravaged position or improving the overall squad quality, a player needs to be signed with a long term vision. That means being cup tied for the Champions League does not come into thinking.

When you are investing in a player over a 4 of 5 year contract, the Champions League should not come into the thinking. You do not turn down a Lewandowski because he can not play in the Champions League. Likewise you do not sign a Papise Cisse for the sole reason that he is not cup tied.

When making a January transfer, it is important to not just focus on the next 6 months, but more importantly the next 4 years.

Beware the Year Long Loan

Romelu Lukaku and Loic Remy are two names on many people’s lips as January transfer. Stop them thoughts dead as they will not happen. You can not sign someone in January who is currently on a season long loan. Rules do not permit this.

Whilst both players would be ideal signings for Arsenal, they can not happen. As Donnie Brasco says ‘Forget about it’.

Sometimes NOT SPENDING is Best

Fernando Torres ( to Chelsea – £50m), Andy Carroll ( to Newcastle – £35m), Alfonso Alves (to Middlesbrough – £12m), Scott Parker (to Chelsea – £10m), Jermaine Defoe, Robbie Keane, Pascal Chimbonda, Carlo Cudicini and Wilston Palacios (all to Spurs – combined £44m), Nicolas Anelka (to Chelsea – £15m), Shay Given, Wayne Bridge, Nigel De Jong and Craig Bellamy (all Man City – combined £48m)

The best players are often not available in January. Yes you could land a Suarez or Arshavin (remember his 1st 12 months!), but these players are few and far between.

Whilst Arsenal’s squad does need strengthening, and a couple of key transfers could see us lift the title come May, it is important that we buy the right players, and not just spend because we feel we have too.

Last January we were heavily linked with Diame and Ba. We could have tied up a big chunk of money over many years on two players who are not really Arsenal quality. Just because you have money in your pocket, it does not mean you should spend it.

If the right player (Lewandowski, Ginter, Benzema, Suarez) does come available, by all means sign him. But if what is available is not good enough, then not spending is best. ‘Keep your powder dry for the next window’ is the key moto.

What you are usually best off doing is investing the future. In January 2006, Manchester United signed Patrice Evra (£5.8m) and Nemanja Vidic (£7m). Both looked vastly out of depth in their 1st 6 months at the club. After the initial settling in period, they became amongst the most consistent players in the Premier League, winning back to back to back Premier League titles and a Champions League. Did the 6 months pressure free time to adjust to England give them an advantage? Likely. But in  January 2014, not for the 2013/14 season, but for the next 4 or 5 seasons. Let them adjust and adapt, then become world beaters of the futures.

The January transfer window is a tricky one. Arsenal got it spot on back in 2004 buying Jose Antonio Reyes. Whilst he ended up struggling as he failed to fully adapt to England (dyslexia, bullying, consistently fouled) he was an important cog in the title race. Who can forget his goals against Chelsea (both league and cup). He was a fresh of breath air, both for the players at the club and the fans.

Signing someone in January can be like taking a shot of adrenaline during a marathon. When you are lagging, tiring, the fresh legs can galvanise the team, the fresh face can galvanise the fans. Personally I would always make one signing every January.

Just remember, as speculation builds up, don’t believe it, don’t get your hopes up, and it is important that Arsenal sign the right player, not just a player.