There are several rumours floating around linking Arsenal to arch rival’s Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Rafael Van Der Vaart, after it seems that the Dutchman has fallen out of favour with manager Harry Redknapp.
Since making his £8 million move from Real Madrid in 2010, he has impressed and became a fans favourite last season, however this season has been quite contrasting, with the Dutch international bizarrely omitted from the Europa League 25-man squad.
After the loan signing of former Gunner Emmanuel ‘Ade-by-poohole’ Adebayor, Harry Redknapp has reverted to a more standard 4-4-2 formation this season, which has worked excellently, pairing the Togolese striker with Jermain Defoe. ConsequentlyVan Der Vaart hasn’t been able to occupy his favoured attacking midfielder role and this is another reason why Redknapp may let the player move on.
A recent text message that Ajax midfielder Theo Janssen had received from Van Der Vaar may have angered Redknapp further. In the revealed message the Dutchman appears to aim a jibe at Redknapp:
“I was taken off in the Champions League against Olympique Lyon and I was really angry. The next moment I received a text message from Rafael, who said he was wondering if I happened to have the same contract as he has at Spurs.”
“I asked him what kind of contract that was? He answered: ‘One which states that you are only allowed to play 70 minutes in each match.”
According to French media LesTransferts.com, Arsenal believe they can poach the talented playmaker with the offer of Champions League football, although AC Milan are keen to get amongst as well, which will naturally push up the asking price. According to The Mirror, AC Milan are willing to bid around the £12 million mark in January, and this may be an offer Spurs may feel they have to accept in order to prevent a move to rivals Arsenal.
So it actually seems that Rafael Van Der Vaart’s days at Spurs may well be at an end come January or next summer, but will Wenger actually make a move for the talented playmaker? I was extremely annoyed when Hotspurs snapped him up on deadline day last summer, especially with speculation all summer about Fabregas’ departure and Van Der Vaart’s extremely cheap price tag.
International team mate Robin Van Persie apparently approached Wenger when Van Der Vaart was available last summer and tried to convince him to sign his fellow Dutchman. hopefully he can do the same, because he would be an excellent addition to challenge other members in the squad for a starting place. Competition between players is very healthy, and the rate that we go through injuries, the opportunity to rotate top class players would be a welcomed situation once again.