It seems that we do not have any luck with Dutch international strikers born in August 1983 with their contracts expiring in June 2013. First we lost our former captain to FAnchester United because he refused to sign a new contract, then we conceded twice from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in two matches against Schalke, our former captain scored an opener against us when we were beaten at Old Trafford and, lastly, our pursuit of Huntelaar ended with failure since he decided to sign an extension with Schalke.
With the on-going contract saga with Theo Walcott who has been played as a central forward as part of the negotiations and a lack of world-class strikers in the team, it seems that we are heading in a different direction now. After a lot of transfers from London to Camp Nou in the past (Petit, Overmars, Van Bronckhorst, Hleb, Henry, Fabregas, Song), there is a possibility that David Villa could move in the opposite direction. One of the best Spanish strikers in the last decade, the top scorer for his national team in both EURO 2008 and WC 2010, has had a rather disappointing return after a long-term injury that sidelined him for the second half of the last season. The incredible shooting form of Lionel Messi who scored 91 goals in 2012 and the intention of both Guardiola and Villanova to play the Argentinian in the central position as a false nine forced Villa out of position on the left wing which is not his favourite. He has scored five goals this season (three as substitute) but his playing time isn’t exactly satisfying him so it is possible he would accept leaving Barcelona on loan in January.
Villa is 31, he is an experienced world-class striker that already has scored once at the Emirates and it would be nice to do the same in the right shirt. If Wenger wants a cheap exceptional player, Villa is the right choice given that he would cost only his wages for six months and possibly some minimal fee to Barcelona. He feels the best as a the centre forward, he is capable of finding m pockets at the edge of the box like RvP, and he can take a decent free-kick or a long-range shot from open play. Some would argue that the signing of Demba Ba on a permanent basis for 7,5 million pounds would be a better option but I disagree.
The Senegalese striker has had an excellent spell in Newcastle so far but he doesn’t have the experience of playing at the highest level like Villa, never mind his fragile knees that the Newcastle striker has struggled with. Ba has one advantage though – he could be registered for the Champions’ League Knockout Stage while Villa couldn’t since he has already played for Barcelona in the competition. Still, I’d take Villa over both Huntelaar and Ba because the Spaniard would make an instant impact in England just like his former team-mates from Valencia Juan Mata and David Silva.
The latest reports however suggest that Barcelona will be reluctant to send Villa on loan or on a permanent basis despite the fact Barcelona are firm favourites to win La Primera given that they are 6 points clear to Atletico and 16 to their biggest rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona were favourites to land all three big trophies last season but Villa’s injury in the Clubs’ World Championship match was a major blow that left them without versatility in attack. Given that Barcelona have big ambitions and need every big player in order to meet that expectations, it is unlikely they will let Villa either on loan or on permanent basis.
Andoni Zubizarreta, the legendary goalkeeper of Barcelona and Spanish national side, told to Sky Sports:
In January we will keep Villa and it is important to remember that Barcelona is a club that habitually does not accept offers for star players in January.
David is a player that brings goals and intensity to the team.
Now he has recovered from a serious injury I believe that he is offering a good level on the field.
It is normal that big players desire to play and this is perfect for the competition in the squad.
That could leave us with Wenger’s favourite “…like a new signing” routine which would require to Theo Walcott sign a new contract with Arsenal. Truth be told, that seems to be the most realistic option since every exceptional player on the market wouldn’t come to Arsenal without £100,000 per week, not to mention the substantial amount of money required by their respective clubs. The Chavs might make that “new signing” harder if the transfer of Sturridge to Liverpool goes through. It should be said that Arsenal already have Walcott and Podolski who want to play as central forwards while Olivier Giroud is comfortable only in that role so, despite rumours of Villa or Ba sounding nice to the Gunners’ ears, it is unlikely that we will sign any exceptional striker except the one that already wears the number 14 Arsenal shirt.