Monday, June 13, 2011

Arsenal Transfer Prospects: Analyzing the Pros and Cons of Signing Peter Odemwingie

Arsenal's Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis will be attending the Q&A session today and will face some hard questions regarding the direction in which the club is progressing after enduring six long years of trophy drought. He is going to have a busy summer and will try to finalize deals for some transfer targets along with persuading some key players like Robin van Persie, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri to sign new improved contracts to commit their futures to Arsenal.

With a number of players set to leave the club, it is important that the Gunners can retain their best players. According to the Mirror, it is likely that Samir Nasri will stay at Arsenal while Cesc Fabregas could possibly depart the Emirates. The contract negotiations between Nasri and the club is still ongoing and the Daily Mail reports that Stan Kroenke will open his cheque book to keep Nasri at the Emirates.

There could be a number of players leaving the club and some players like Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson have confirmed that they are looking for a move away from the Emirates. Arsene Wenger is certain to be active on the transfer market this season and will be looking for quality players in this window. However, it is not going to be easy to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and many other clubs.

Arsenal have been linked with a number of players and could target various positions as well in the summer. If Cesc Fabregas does leave in the summer, the Gunners will have to negotiate for a good deal to bring in quality players. According to the Swiss Rambler, a respectable football finance blogger, Arsenal should have a healthy transfer budget which can be used to spend on players and also, the board is likely to grant the money obtained from player sales to the budget.

The Gunners will look to spend money on quality players in the market but Wenger is also likely to look for players who can add quality depth at a bargain. One of the players who suits the bill in that respect in West Brom's Peter Odemwingie who joined the Baggies in 2010 and scored 15 goals in the season. The striker, who will be 30 before the first game of the season, will not cost too much but is proven in the Premiership and has been linked with the Gunners. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of signing Peter Odemwingie is discussed.


Odemwingie was not very well known in England until he joined West Brom but his performances in the 2010-11 season proved that he can be consistent in the Premiership and also, his signing was regarded to be pivotal in the Baggies retaining their top flight status after promotion from the Championship in 2009-10 season. He was signed for an extremely low fee and though they are in the process of contract negotiations, the Nigerian International would prefer to ply his trade in a club playing in the Champions League at this stage in his career.

Though West Brom will not sell him at a cheap price, the player's age and his desire could be important in bringing down their valuation of the striker. Odemwingie is not a world class striker like Karim Benzema or Fernando Torres, but he can certainly provide good depth to the team. Also, he is a very hardworking striker and will link up well with midfielders.

He can also drift wide and pull defenders out of position and though he has not been very prolific throughout his career, he was amongst the top goalscorers in the Premiership this season and proved he can score vital goals. He is also comfortable playing as a winger but is likely to favour playing in the centre.

With Bendtner likely to leave and Vela's uncertainty over his Arsenal future, Odemwingie could provide good depth in the squad and having played in the Premiership for a team that passes well, he will not take time to adjust and can fit into Arsenal's style of play with minimum difficulty especially if he can participate in pre-season. Though his signing is not likely to excite supporters, it is signings like these that could make the difference in the end.

Odemwingie possesses good technique, strength on the ball, movement and can use both his feet for shooting. The West Brom striker could be an interesting addition to the squad and can fill in when players are injured. Though his signing could be viewed as a step backward by some supporters and critics, his experience could be vital for Arsenal.


Many supporters want to see the Gunners sign a world class striker in this year's transfer window because Van Persie has a tendency to be injured at some point in the season. Also, the Nigerian International has not been prolific throughout his career and though he enjoyed an excellent season at the Hawthorns, he might not get much playing time.

Also, he plays for Nigeria which means that if they do qualify for the African Cup of Nations, then it would mean that Marouane Chamakh and Odemwingie could both miss a lot of games in January and February. Also, he will be 30 by the time he plays in the next season which means that he can only be a stop-gap replacement.

Another fact to consider is that playing for Arsenal as a central striker would mean that he would have to work with tight marking and lesser space when compared when he is playing for West Brom because every Premiership team believe that they can defeat the Baggies if they play to their potential. But that is not the case when teams take on Arsenal as some teams try to remain as compact as possible and even play for a draw.

Arsenal have endured a six year long trophy drought and Wenger has confirmed that this is the year where there will be a lot of transfer activity especially because financial fair play regulations will apply from the next year. Hence, if there is a time to spend, it is this year and fans will be happy if the Frenchman signs a world class striker who can be the future of the club like Karim Benzema.

It will be a tricky summer for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and he will have to make the right signings to put things right for the Gunners. They will have to work within their limited means and their priority must be on improving the defence. In attack, they might need a winger and a striker and also a central midfielder if their talismanic captain leaves the club.

Though signing someone like Odemwingie will not be a sensational swoop for Arsenal, the Gunners will also need to sign some players on a bargain to improve the overall quality of the squad and to cope with injuries which have hampered the Gunners in the past.

If interested, read Arsenal Transfer Prospects: Pros and Cons of signing Jan Vertonghen, Falcao, Ricky Alvarez, Scott Parker and Gervinho in this series of Arsenal Transfer Prospects  

1 comment:

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