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January Quick Approaching and Changes Expected For Tomorrow

A game of pretty high unimportance for Arsenal tomorrow but of significance to the Greek Champions who will want to be playing on Thursday nights at least now that the Group stages are just about over. 

We should see almost all 11 players that started against Wigan getting some rest and I wouldn’t be surprise if you see the same team that gave Money Bags City a real run for their money.  

For a few of these players it may be their last chance before they go out on loan, or possibly even sold!  If rumors are to be believed we could see the end of Chamakh, Arshavin, and a few others before January 31st.

Both Coquelin and Frimpong will be looking to put in a good performance tomorrow as well with both vying for a spot as Alex Song’s backup.  Both players are fully capable of fulfilling that but it looks like Coquelin will be the one taking that spot while Frimpong is sent out.

Frimpong could benefit from moving to one of the lower teams in the EPL as he would really strengthen any midfield he went to.  

Another Midfielder who really didn’t get time in the Carling Cup is Oguzhan Ozyakup.  The midfielder made a few small appearances in the Carling Cup but really didn’t get a fair run out with both Coquelin and Frimpong ahead of him.  We should see him going out on loan to a Championship side, or possibly a team in France of Holland might be on the cards.  

The talented midfielder recently signed a new contract and will be hoping to have a future with the club, and for that to happen he will need to go out on loan, gain experience and be quite successful.  Coming back next year he will have even more to compete with Lansbury returning, along with Coquelin and Frimpong with an added year of experience.

My hope is that we’ll even see him get some time against Olympiacos tomorrow but I don’t think we will.

With all that in mind, the transfer window is fast approaching and while Wenger doesn’t seem to want to buy players with his large squad, the board, and Ivan Gazidis may want to splash a little bit of money to get us back into the top 4.

Wenger was very quick to quash the rumors of Mexican Midfielder Marco Fabian saying it was an agent starting a rumor, while the press is saying it’s from a family member.  It could be possible it’s one in the same, maybe Wenger is hiding something.  Most likely it’s absolutely nothing!

Interesting rumors going around that Arsenal is in preliminary negotiations with AC Milan for Alexandre Pato.  In return AC Milan would receive a large sum of money and the person we’ve paid the most amount of money for ever!  To me he’s a fantastic player with great ability, great pace, and could really bring something to this Arsenal team…but, I think he’s overpriced.

Now if this happened I would not complain for a second, but with Lukas Podolski wanting out of Cologne, and a smaller price tag he may be a better option.  The 26 year old comes vastly experienced with the German National Team and is a real goal scorer.

As exciting as all the rumors will make you, my gut tells me we will go through January and see absolutely 0 incoming players unless we have injury problems.  There is also still the possibility of Henry rejoining the club.

Until tomorrow!

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The Season Starts Now For Arsenal

Back again to the blogging after taking a few days off to see how this whole transfer debacle went and to tell you the truth, I’m pumped!  It wasn’t the perfect week we were hoping for but it looks like we’ve added some valuable players to the squad and we’ll gain a lot of confidence from the players that have come in!  In the beginning of the summer we signed 3 players all under 24 and at the end of the transfer window we signed 5 players all over the age of 24!  It’s been quite a hectic day to say the least.

About midday it was thought that we only had two targets left Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun.  It appeared we weren’t going to get Arteta because of differences in his wages so we only had one left, being Benayoun.  Fans who had slated Arteta for being to old or injury prone or a fake Cesc or whatever you want to call him were now looking back and thinking “what have we done, we’re only getting Benayoun?”  Well we got them both!

Arteta I feel will go right into the team and I see him really making a difference! Especially playing next to Wilshere.  Arteta is a deep lying midfielder who will let Wilshere roam more frequently.  The Spaniard is also a great set piece taker which will really give us a boost!  The only question is how he’ll cope with injuries.  The last few years he’s been plagued by them but if he can keep out of the injury room then he’ll do wonders for us, and won’t need to get used to the Premier League.

Yossi on the other hand will most likely be a squad player and his experience and creativity will definitely bring something to this young Arsenal team.  He has a lot of experience playing for both Chelsea and Liverpool so he’s no stranger to Champions League.  He’s now an Arsenal player though so we owe him our full support!

Andre Santos is our left back replacement who came in yesterday as Armand Traore left for QPR and I have to say, “phewwww what a relief!”  I’m very happy that we’ve signed a left back and honestly Andre Santos is a fantastic signing!  For those of you who have thought this isn’t a great signing, we could be going into the season with an injury prone Gibbs and a below average Traore, or we could deal with the fact that the starting Left Back for Brazil plays for Arsenal now!

Per Mertesacker is probably my favorite signing of the window because I’ve been practically begging Arsene to buy him the entire window!  The Giant German will have a big impact on Arsenal this year with his experience and height.  I’ve heard way too many people say he’ll be too slow for the Premier League but do you honestly think he’s never faced opposition who play quickly like they do in the EPL?  He will not have too much trouble adjusting along with really bringing some order and discipline to this defense!  His height will definitely help on our set pieces as well.  I do think he’ll be a starter so watch out for Vermesacker!

One thing that’s really been improved in my opinion is our depth and it will be interesting to see what happens in our midfield this year with the addition of Arteta and Benayoun.  Our defensive midfield has Song, Frimpong, and Coquelin in it still which is why we didn’t improve this spot this summer.  Coquelin was in my opinion our best player on Sunday against Manchester United and I think he’s very ready for the first team and could be valuable if Song ends up at the African Cup in January!

The season starts here for Arsenal and these last 4 buys from Arsenal are a real statement of intent because they are four players who know how to win, and they know what it takes to win!  They can really push this team and they can bring these younger players up to play at their full potential so I’m very excited about how this season is looking from here on out!

Arsenal U-20 World Cup Report

We have two players at the U-20 World Cup as well as one potential player in Joel Campbell playing as well for Costa Rica.  French midfielder and striker Francis Coquelin, and Giles Sunu both enjoyed successful loan spells at Lorient last season and have spent the summer with their national teams at the U-20 World Cup.

The first game against Colombia was not pretty for France but Giles Sunu scored the only goal of the game for France and it was quite a beauty.  Here it is:

Francis Coquelin played all 90 minutes and put in a good shift, but not good enough to beat the rampant Colombians who have taken 6 points out of their 2 games and will look to go undefeated against Korea.

France’s second game was against Korea in which they won 3-1 and again Giles Sunu scored for France but this time from a set piece which is here:

Coquelin also played all 90 minutes and was a solid performer.  Coquelin will be looking to be in Arsene Wenger’s mind when he gets back from the World Cup as he will see a few reserves being promoted today to the first team.  Sunu on the other hand has been rumored to be on his way back to Lorient for another loan spell but in my opinion Arsene should look to give him a chance in the Premier League with Afobe being promoted and a possible need for a striker at Arsenal with a few players leaving for the African Cup.

Lastly we have Joel Campbell who has played with Costa Rica in this U-20 World Cup and has been in negotiations with Arsenal.  Costa Rica did not start off well losing their first game to Spain but have recovered against Australia winning 3-2 and scoring 2 outstanding goals!  Check them out!

Arsenal Weekly Preview

So a slow start to what hopes to be a busy week for Arsenal in the Transfer Market, we are still waiting for a conclusion on the Gervinho transfer, as well as seeing what Center Back Arsenal go for.  Will it be Cahill or Samba?  Maybe Arsenal will pull a fast one on us and buy Mertesacker…wouldn’t that be a pleasant surprise?

The only news today is about QPR midfielder Adel Taraabt…he’s saying that Arsenal and Chelsea are interested but he wants to go where he’ll get first team football.  I don’t think he would get that at Arsenal.  Sounds more like he’s trying to engineer himself a move to a big club more than anything…he’s kind of like Bendtner’s dad!

Speaking of the Dane, a lot of speculation has been heating up about where he’ll be off to next.  Not sure many top teams are going to want him and he may realize he’ll have to settle for a lower team.

Actual Arsenal news though, it looks like Emmanuel Frimpong will be leaving on loan this year which is a good career move.  If he can be a regular starter out on loan this year he can come back and be a regular starter for Arsenal and really give Song a run for his money.  For now it’s Coquelin’s chance.  Unfortunately for Coquelin, he won’t be back for preseason because he’ll be with the French U-20’s.

If reports are true, then there should be a crew from Barcelona in London today to try and negotiate with Arsene Wenger to give up Cesc Fabregas.  They are thinking of even bypassing everyone else and going straight to Kroenke.  We’ll see what happens with that but if he does leave it will be important we have a replacement and I think that Arsenal should prepare for his possible departure with a big midfielder signing whether he leaves or not.

It’s a little disheartening seeing some of the players we’re linked with as possible replacements for Fabregas though.  If we sell a world class player we should be signing a world class player, not a potential world class player… we are linked with Jurado, Taraabt, Barton, Menez  when we should be linked with players like Diego, Hamsick, Gourcuff, and Lucho.

Diego would be quite a signing for Arsenal, he’s at an average team with Wolfsburg and could do so many great things with Arsenal with his slick passing, great awareness, his set piece accuracy, and is just a great footballer, although he’s had some troubles in the last few years.  His last few years haven’t been successful with Juventus and Wolfsburg but I still rate him quite highly and with the right team around him he could return to being the brightest Brazilian talent and at a cut price of around 6 million, but I don’t see it happening anways.  Anyways, wishful thinking

Who Will Back Up Arsenal Midfielder Alex Song?

Many Arsenal fans believe that Arsenal need to buy a defensive midfielder this summer, in fact most have thought that for the last 3 or 4 years ever since Gilberto left.  So who are our options and what would they bring to the table?  Would they challenge Song for the starting position?

1. Emmanuel Frimpong

The Young Midfielder was looking very promising at the beginning of the 2010/2011 season and was looking to challenge for a first team place.  Tragedy struck as the midfielder missed almost the entire season due to injury but was able to make it back for a few reserve games.  Frimpong will this year be looking to play in the Emirates Cup again and in preseason.  It is almost certain that he will go out on loan this year as he has already revealed he is in talks to go on loan.  I think he is too good for the lower leagues and Arsenal should try loaning him out to Lorient where Coquelin saw much success.

2. Francis Coquelin

 

Alexander Kacaniklic Alexander Kacaniklic of Liverpool battles with Francis Coquelin of Arsenal during the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final sponsored by E.ON, between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on May 26, 2009 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Alexander Kacaniklic;Francis CoquelinCoquelin went to Lorient on loan for the 2010/2011 season when Laurent Koscielny came the other way permanently.  Coquelin is not the biggest player on the field but he makes up for it in fight, speed, a hard tackle and a competitive attitude.  After his successful loan spell Coquelin will be looking to backup Alex Song this year as a replacement for Denilson.  The French midfielder will be looking to force his way into the team just like Jack Wilshere did last year and with the heavy schedule Arsenal already have, and the African Cup Coquelin could see himself getting quite a lot of playing time unless Arsenal decide to buy.

3. Scott Parker

Player of the year Scott Parker was high on the list for many Arsenal fans and he would come on the cheap as West Ham were relegated.

Most Arsenal fans love his attitude and competitiveness and how hard he works.  He would help whip the kids in shape!  Parker does have a downside though, he spends much time on the doctors table along with too many of our other Arsenal players.  His age will be getting to him soon as well.

4. Gokhan Inler

Ever Banega Ever Banega of Argentina battles for a wall with Aleksandar Zivkovic of Serbia during the Men's First Round Group A match between Argentina and Serbia at the Workers' Stadium on Day 5 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing, China.

Inler has been at Udinese for quite some time and has been constantly linked with a move to Arsenal although nothing has really ever happened.  Many Arsenal fans see him as a fitting midfielder for Arsenal but it doesn’t look likely for him to be on his way to Arsenal.

5. Ever Banega

Banega is more wishful thinking than anything else, and ever since Arsenal played Valencia I have been hoping Arsenal would eventually land the talented midfielder.  Good in both attack and defense and really doesn’t like being pushed around Banega is technically gifted and would fit in quite well with Arsenal.  Not the tallest player out there but makes up for it well with his aggressive play and good awareness!

6. Blaise Matuidi

A player that has been linked with Arsenal for a couple of summers now, and his transfer fee isn’t getting any lower.  Someone we should have brought to the Emirates last summer to help Song as he was fatigued late in the season.  Matuidi was rated the best tackler in the French Ligue 1 last year and would be a welcome addition to Arsenal when Alex Song plays in the African Cup in January, and we will need a player who can tackle as well as work really hard for the team.  Matuidi could be that player!

Transfers: Boring Weekend With Flip-Flopping Press

What a weekend eh? No official transfers from Arsenal except Jenkinson just speculation and reports saying we’re waiting to announce things until a certain time.  A few days ago it was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was said to have completed a transfer to Arsenal but it wouldn’t be announced until July 1st.  Today I saw reports that Liverpool would hijack it, and that Manchester United were going to get him.

It’s all a load of crap to me and I love looking at the news and hoping and getting excited thinking that Arsenal signed Gervinho and are going to try and get Benzema but in reality we just have to take a step back and realize most of the stuff put up is a load of crap.  Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that Benzema and Gervinho won’t sign for us.

As of right now though we need to be worrying about the team we have already!  We have two guaranteed departures in Bendtner and Denilson, possible departures from Nasri, Clichy, Fabregas, Vela, Almunia, and Rosicky.

We have one signing so far in Jenkinson and over 30 players linked to us who are possibilities but most very unlikely.  Wenger looks willing to splash the cash but still looks like he’s going to low ball a lot of his offers to try and not overpay..when he has the money to pay for these players.

One thing I think though, is that Arsene needs to get his first team sorted out before he goes for his kids like Jenkinson and Oxlade-Chamberlain, because I don’t see either of them playing full time for the first-team this year.

Something I thought interesting was our transfer dealings with Bolton and Gary Cahill where Arsenal would offer cash plus Miquel and possibly Bartley on loan.  Last time we did something like this was with Coquelin and Lorient, and that turned out quite well for Arsenal as Coquelin became a full starter and looks like he’ll get to see some action this year.  It would really be good business for both teams!

Kroenke is looking to keep Nasri and Clichy by offering more money and it seems as though Clichy just wants out.  It seems as though he’s slowly declined this year and I think we all realize he just wants to leave.  Who knows what Nasri is thinking though and I’m not worried because there are many who can replace him.

Anyways, today is the big day!  Reports have claimed that Arsenal will receive an offer for Fabregas and that Arsenal will accept it!  Sometimes I wish we would get an offer that was sufficient enough to accept so I would not have to hear about it anymore!  Apparently, we’ll get Bojan out of the deal and Thiago, but I would rather Barcelona keep those two and they give us Afellay.  At least then we have our replacement for Cesc already.

Lastly, we’re getting linked with all these defenders and most of them are crap.  Why would I want a Birmingham City defender!  They were just relegated how can he possibly be Arsenal material!  Lets just get Cahill, or Vertonghen and move on! Boom!

10 Players To Watch for in the 2010/2011 Season!

As the end is near for the 2010/2011 season we saw many new players emerge and shine for their teams.  Players like: Jack Wilshere, Shinji Kagawa, Mesut Ozil, Marko Marin, Eden Hazard and whoever else I may have missed.  Now I’d like to preview some of the players who I think will shine in the 2011/2012 season.  Click the name of any of the players to see a clip of them.  Feel free to comment on what you thought or if anyone else deserves to be in the list.  I’m sure I can make room somewhere!

10. Alan Dzagoev

Alan Dzagoev Stanislav Ivanov (R) of FC Moscow competes for the ball with Alan Dzagoev of PFC CSKA Moscow during the Russian Football League Championship match between FC Moscow and PFC CSKA at the Eduard Streltsov Stadium on November 10, 2008 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Dima Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Alan Dzagoev;Stanislav Ivanov

Number 10 is CSKA youngster Alan Dzagoev.  In the 2010/2011 season Dzagoev started 19 games and put in 6 goals.  He has also played now for the Russian national team and it won’t be surprising to see him on the radar of some top teams soon enough.  The 20 year old is a very clever player who can make killer passes and has a good eye for the final ball.  He is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and if he were to move abroad that is his destination of choice…unfortunately.  CSKA Moscow sees action in Europe so for teams that will have to face them next year…good luck.

9. Ivan Perisic

New Borussia Dortmund signing and Croatian International Ivan Perisic is definitely one to look out for in the 2010/2011 season coming over as the top player in the Belgian league last year.  He netted 22 goals and impressed enough to get signed by the Bundesliga Champions whose coach has a real eye for talent.  He is good all around the midfield but will probably start for the Germans on the left side of the midfield completing a very dangerous midfield consisting of Shinji Kagawa, Mario Gotze, and new signing Ilkay Gundogan.

8.  Francis Coquelin

Unless you are an Arsenal fan you probably won’t know the name Francis Coquelin.  Coquelin is an Arsenal player who was loaned out to Lorient in the deal to land Laurent Koscielny.  Coquelin has made 23 appearances and has played in the Center of Midfield, Right Back, and Right Midfield.  He scored 1 goal and made 1 assist and is known more for his defensive abilities.  Coquelin is fast, has a good touch and despite being a little smaller, doesn’t like being pushed around.  Many Arsenal fans are excited to welcome him back and hope he can give Alex Song a little bit of competition

7. Ilkay Gundogan

20 Year Old German/Turk Ilkay Gundogan obviously did something right this year because on May 5th it was announced he would be joining League champions Borussia Dortmund.  With that he has some big shoes to fill left by Turkish Midfielder Nuri Sahin who recently announced he had signed for Real Madrid.  Gundogan didn’t score the most goals this year in the Bundesliga with FC Nuremberg but he did make his presence felt with his well timed runs and slick passing.  He has been dubbed the next Mesut Ozil (even though nobody new who Ozil was until about a year ago).  Manchester United was tracking Gundogan for much of the year but Dortmund beat them to him.  Gundogan could not turn down a chance to play for the Champs as well as play in the Champions League next year.

6. Ryo Miyaichi

Arsenal’s young Japanese starlet Ryo Miyaichi will either spend the next year playing in the Dutch League for Feyenoord 0r at Arsenal if he can get a work permit.  Ryo scored 4 goals and 3 assists and was one of the best players for Feyenoord after making the move from High School football.  If he can get a work permit then he will go right into the first team possibly replacing Andrey Arshavin on the left side of the midfield.  Miyaichi was also clocked with 15 step-overs in 10 seconds.  He has very quick feet, he’s a good passer, and has a rip of a shot.  His speed almost matches Theo Walcott’s and he is great at crossing the ball.

5. Christian Eriksen

Most people now know of the talent of this Danish sensation.  The Ajax attacking midfielder has attracted a lot of attention from top teams but isn’t looking for a move to the Premier League.  For many, the first time seeing his skills was Denmark vs. England when the spotlight was on Jack Wilshere.  Eriksen certainly took it off him with his dazzling display and good footskills.  Eriksen is small but has quick feet and very skilled dribbler.  He is currently at Ajax but may be tempted away by a top Spanish or Italian team.  How Italian teams still get good players is beyond me though…the Italian League is terrible.

4. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Southampton star midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain will probably find a new home within the next year.  Most thought he would be joining Arsenal but that never materialized so we’ll see but odds are he’ll find a top team to play for.  Chamberlain is small, agile, a good passer, a good finisher, fast but is still very young yet and will probably take some getting used to the speed of the Premier league.  Should be a top player in the near future though if he can find the right team.

3. Julian Draxler

Most probably haven’t heard of Draxler, and the only reason I have is because my second favorite team is Borussia Dortmund and he plays for Schalke, their arch rivals.  Draxler grew up a Dortmund fan but somehow ended up on the wrong side unfortunately.  Dortmund can counter that saying they have a young up and coming midfielder named Moritz Leitner.  Draxler though, is an outstanding dribbler and has no fear of shooting or running at people.  Plays as a winger usually, and just turning 17 and already have substitute appearances for Schalke.  You can bet your sweet bippy that Draxler is definitely a top prospect.

2.  Romelu Lukaku

#2 on the list is a widely know Striker known as the “next Drogba” Romelu Lukaku.  He’s quite an animal and is very strong.  The reason he is compared to Drogba is because of his physique being similar to Drogba but he has quite a few skills as well.  He’s a good header, great finisher and great strength to hold off defenders.  He is wanted by basically every team in the world but looks as though Chelsea may be the ones to shell out enough cash to bring him in.  This scares me because Arsenal’s defense already has enough trouble dealing with Drogba so we don’t need another one.
1. Mario Gotze

Finally, we have a man making ALL the headlines (thanks to Shinji Kagawa) Borussia Dortmunds attacking midfielder, Mario Gotze.  Gotze came into the year like Jack Wilshere, trying to establish a spot in the first team.  Shinji Kagawa was starting in the attacking midfield role of Dortmund’s 4-3-3.  Kagawa got hurt in the Asian Cup and was ruled out the rest of the season.  Up to that point Gotze was sharing time at Right Mid with Kuba.   Gotze made the easy transition over to the middle and may not want to give it up next year.  He will probably move back to the right mid spot for Kagawa but his presence will still be felt.  He’s small but quick and has a Fabregas-like pass and vision.  He’s very very smart, and has a good finish as well.  If you haven’t seen him play, it’s jaw dropping to see an 18 year old with that much skill already in his young career.  There are far too many young Germans that they won’t have enough room for all of them in the National Team because they’re all so good!

Nasri and Bendtner Latest/New Transfer Target

Well its already Tueday and I’m bored out of my mind but on the bright side…Transfer Window opens tomorrow!  Latest on Nasri is that there has been a snag in the contract terms.  Nasri wants less money and Wenger just keeps pushing the number up!  Sadly it’s probably the opposite as Nasri wants more money after his fantastic year.  While I wish he would just sign and take what he’s offered, I know that he probably does have an ego and wants what he thinks he’s worth.  Personally I think Cesc is more important this year than Nasri but it would be nice to keep them both.  Wenger has also said that we will NOT be selling him to Manchester United, which is far more comforting.

Nasri had a breakthrough year this year and we all knew he had it in him but didn’t know when he would stun the premier league.  I could see there being a snag in the contract if Cesc stays too because Nasri will want that spot in the middle.  His big breakthrough came after the heartbreak of missing out on the World Cup.  With a summer off he was able to focus on Arsenal and improving.  I thoroughly believe that is  what all of the Arsenal players need this summer so they can all improve significantly.

I think Nasri will sign eventually which could make up Wenger’s mind up on Alvarez.  For me though Alvarez is a must buy and would be our best signing of the summer.  I think his height and quickness will help him adjust easily to the Premier League and give him the boost in his career that he needs.  10-15 Million for him isn’t a significant fee when you think about it.  We paid over 10 mil plus let Coquelin go to Lorient just to get Koscielny.  We would be idiots not to go for Alvarez who is probably the hottest prospect in Argentina and you know how those Argentinians are…

Nik’s agent has come out and said that 10 million will be enough to get his son away from Arsenal.  I think that is a fair fee considering with a good run of games Bendtner can be quite a deadly Forward.  I’m not for or against him leaving but if he stays I hope he gets more games in the Center next year and works harder to get into the team.  Thats all I have on him because I’m pretty neutral on the subject!

Today I was thinking about some signings that Wenger would go for and I thought about all the talk of Benzema and Falcao and it came to me.  A top class striker who is experienced, wouldn’t cost the price of the other two and could put goals in.  How about Miroslav Klose?  He’s free, he’s experienced and he’s a real goal scorer.  Klose is also one of the hardest worker I’ve ever seen on the field.  He’s like Dirk Kuyt except he’s actually good!  This positive trait could be contagious on the field and his winning attitude could push Arsenal across the finish line.  He’s fallen down the pecking order at Bayern to Mario Gomez and there is still the possibility of Bendtner going to Bayern.  Klose could look for a move like this as well because he gets a chance at a new league and still have Champions League.  I don’t see much of a negative to this signing, what do you think?

10 Players to Watch for in the 2011/2012 Season

As the end is near for the 2010/2011 season we saw many new players emerge and shine for their teams.  Players like: Jack Wilshere, Shinji Kagawa, Mesut Ozil, Marko Marin, Eden Hazard and whoever else I may have missed.  Now I’d like to preview some of the players who I think will shine in the 2011/2012 season.  Click the name of any of the players to see a clip of them.  Feel free to comment on what you thought or if anyone else deserves to be in the list.  I’m sure I can make room somewhere!

10. Alan Dzagoev

Number 10 is CSKA youngster Alan Dzagoev.  In the 2010/2011 season Dzagoev started 19 games and put in 6 goals.  He has also played now for the Russian national team and it won’t be surprising to see him on the radar of some top teams soon enough.  The 20 year old is a very clever player who can make killer passes and has a good eye for the final ball.  He is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and if he were to move abroad that is his destination of choice…unfortunately.  CSKA Moscow sees action in Europe so for teams that will have to face them next year…good luck.

9. Georginio Wijnaldum

Next is the 20 year old Feyenoord winger/mid-fielder Georginio Wijnaldum.  Known to have good pace, good vision, and quite creative Wijnaldum has seemingly carried Fayenoord on his shoulders.  Scoring 14 goals in 34 games including a game in which he scored 4 himself.  Wijnaldum could be getting some calls from some good European teams and I would expect him to maybe make a move to Italy with a Champions League team like Napoli, or a good French Team.

8.  Francis Coquelin

Unless you are an Arsenal fan you probably won’t know the name Francis Coquelin.  Coquelin is an Arsenal player who was loaned out to Lorient in the deal to land Laurent Koscielny.  Coquelin has made 23 appearances and has played in the Center of Midfield, Right Back, and Right Midfield.  He scored 1 goal and made 1 assist and is known more for his defensive abilities.  Coquelin is fast, has a good touch and despite being a little smaller, doesn’t like being pushed around.  Many Arsenal fans are excited to welcome him back and hope he can give Alex Song a little bit of competition

7. Ilkay Gundogan

20 Year Old German/Turk Ilkay Gundogan obviously did something right this year because on May 5th it was announced he would be joining League champions Borussia Dortmund.  With that he has some big shoes to fill left by Turkish Midfielder Nuri Sahin who recently announced he had signed for Real Madrid.  Gundogan didn’t score the most goals this year in the Bundesliga with FC Nuremberg but he did make his presence felt with his well timed runs and slick passing.  He has been dubbed the next Mesut Ozil (even though nobody new who Ozil was until about a year ago).  Manchester United was tracking Gundogan for much of the year but Dortmund beat them to him.  Gundogan could not turn down a chance to play for the Champs as well as play in the Champions League next year.

6. Ryo Miyaichi

Arsenal’s young Japanese starlet Ryo Miyaichi will either spend the next year playing in the Dutch League for Feyenoord 0r at Arsenal if he can get a work permit.  Ryo scored 4 goals and 3 assists and was one of the best players for Feyenoord after making the move from High School football.  If he can get a work permit then he will go right into the first team possibly replacing Andrey Arshavin on the left side of the midfield.  Miyaichi was also clocked with 15 step-overs in 10 seconds.  He has very quick feet, he’s a good passer, and has a rip of a shot.  His speed almost matches Theo Walcott’s and he is great at crossing the ball.

5. Christian Eriksen

Most people now know of the talent of this Danish sensation.  The Ajax attacking midfielder has attracted a lot of attention from top teams but isn’t looking for a move to the Premier League.  For many, the first time seeing his skills was Denmark vs. England when the spotlight was on Jack Wilshere.  Eriksen certainly took it off him with his dazzling display and good footskills.  Eriksen is small but has quick feet and very skilled dribbler.  He is currently at Ajax but may be tempted away by a top Spanish or Italian team.  How Italian teams still get good players is beyond me though…the Italian League is terrible.

4. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Southampton star midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain will probably find a new home within the next year.  Most thought he would be joining Arsenal but that never materialized so we’ll see but odds are he’ll find a top team to play for.  Chamberlain is small, agile, a good passer, a good finisher, fast but is still very young yet and will probably take some getting used to the speed of the Premier league.  Should be a top player in the near future though if he can find the right team.

3. Julian Draxler

Most probably haven’t heard of Draxler, and the only reason I have is because my second favorite team is Borussia Dortmund and he plays for Schalke, their arch rivals.  Draxler grew up a Dortmund fan but somehow ended up on the wrong side unfortunately.  Dortmund can counter that saying they have a young up and coming midfielder named Moritz Leitner.  Draxler though, is an outstanding dribbler and has no fear of shooting or running at people.  Plays as a winger usually, and just turning 17 and already have substitute appearances for Schalke.  You can bet your sweet bippy that Draxler is definitely a top prospect.

2.  Romelu Lukaku

#2 on the list is a widely know Striker known as the “next Drogba” Romelu Lukaku.  He’s quite an animal and is very strong.  The reason he is compared to Drogba is because of his physique being similar to Drogba but he has quite a few skills as well.  He’s a good header, great finisher and great strength to hold off defenders.  He is wanted by basically every team in the world but looks as though Chelsea may be the ones to shell out enough cash to bring him in.  This scares me because Arsenal’s defense already has enough trouble dealing with Drogba so we don’t need another one.

1. Mario Gotze

Finally, we have a man making ALL the headlines (thanks to Shinji Kagawa) Borussia Dortmunds attacking midfielder, Mario Gotze.  Gotze came into the year like Jack Wilshere, trying to establish a spot in the first team.  Shinji Kagawa was starting in the attacking midfield role of Dortmund’s 4-3-3.  Kagawa got hurt in the Asian Cup and was ruled out the rest of the season.  Up to that point Gotze was sharing time at Right Mid with Kuba.   Gotze made the easy transition over to the middle and may not want to give it up next year.  He will probably move back to the right mid spot for Kagawa but his presence will still be felt.  He’s small but quick and has a Fabregas-like pass and vision.  He’s very very smart, and has a good finish as well.  If you haven’t seen him play, it’s jaw dropping to see an 18 year old with that much skill already in his young career.  There are far too many young Germans that they won’t have enough room for all of them in the National Team because they’re all so good!

10 Players to Watch for in 2011/2012 Season

As the end is near for the 2010/2011 season we saw many new players emerge and shine for their teams.  Players like: Jack Wilshere, Shinji Kagawa, Mesut Ozil, Marko Marin, Eden Hazard and whoever else I may have missed.  Now I’d like to preview some of the players who I think will shine in the 2011/2012 season.  Click the name of any of the players to see a clip of them.  Feel free to comment on what you thought or if anyone else deserves to be in the list.  I’m sure I can make room somewhere!

10. Alan Dzagoev

Number 10 is CSKA youngster Alan Dzagoev.  In the 2010/2011 season Dzagoev started 19 games and put in 6 goals.  He has also played now for the Russian national team and it won’t be surprising to see him on the radar of some top teams soon enough.  The 20 year old is a very clever player who can make killer passes and has a good eye for the final ball.  He is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and if he were to move abroad that is his destination of choice…unfortunately.  CSKA Moscow sees action in Europe so for teams that will have to face them next year…good luck.

9. Georginio Wijnaldum

Next is the 20 year old Feyenoord winger/mid-fielder Georginio Wijnaldum.  Known to have good pace, good vision, and quite creative Wijnaldum has seemingly carried Fayenoord on his shoulders.  Scoring 14 goals in 34 games including a game in which he scored 4 himself.  Wijnaldum could be getting some calls from some good European teams and I would expect him to maybe make a move to Italy with a Champions League team like Napoli, or a good French Team.

8.  Francis Coquelin

Unless you are an Arsenal fan you probably won’t know the name Francis Coquelin.  Coquelin is an Arsenal player who was loaned out to Lorient in the deal to land Laurent Koscielny.  Coquelin has made 23 appearances and has played in the Center of Midfield, Right Back, and Right Midfield.  He scored 1 goal and made 1 assist and is known more for his defensive abilities.  Coquelin is fast, has a good touch and despite being a little smaller, doesn’t like being pushed around.  Many Arsenal fans are excited to welcome him back and hope he can give Alex Song a little bit of competition

7. Ilkay Gundogan

20 Year Old German/Turk Ilkay Gundogan obviously did something right this year because on May 5th it was announced he would be joining League champions Borussia Dortmund.  With that he has some big shoes to fill left by Turkish Midfielder Nuri Sahin who recently announced he had signed for Real Madrid.  Gundogan didn’t score the most goals this year in the Bundesliga with FC Nuremberg but he did make his presence felt with his well timed runs and slick passing.  He has been dubbed the next Mesut Ozil (even though nobody new who Ozil was until about a year ago).  Manchester United was tracking Gundogan for much of the year but Dortmund beat them to him.  Gundogan could not turn down a chance to play for the Champs as well as play in the Champions League next year.

6. Ryo Miyaichi

Arsenal’s young Japanese starlet Ryo Miyaichi will either spend the next year playing in the Dutch League for Feyenoord 0r at Arsenal if he can get a work permit.  Ryo scored 4 goals and 3 assists and was one of the best players for Feyenoord after making the move from High School football.  If he can get a work permit then he will go right into the first team possibly replacing Andrey Arshavin on the left side of the midfield.  Miyaichi was also clocked with 15 step-overs in 10 seconds.  He has very quick feet, he’s a good passer, and has a rip of a shot.  His speed almost matches Theo Walcott’s and he is great at crossing the ball.

5. Christian Eriksen

Most people now know of the talent of this Danish sensation.  The Ajax attacking midfielder has attracted a lot of attention from top teams but isn’t looking for a move to the Premier League.  For many, the first time seeing his skills was Denmark vs. England when the spotlight was on Jack Wilshere.  Eriksen certainly took it off him with his dazzling display and good footskills.  Eriksen is small but has quick feet and very skilled dribbler.  He is currently at Ajax but may be tempted away by a top Spanish or Italian team.  How Italian teams still get good players is beyond me though…the Italian League is terrible.

4. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Southampton star midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain will probably find a new home within the next year.  Most thought he would be joining Arsenal but that never materialized so we’ll see but odds are he’ll find a top team to play for.  Chamberlain is small, agile, a good passer, a good finisher, fast but is still very young yet and will probably take some getting used to the speed of the Premier league.  Should be a top player in the near future though if he can find the right team.

3. Julian Draxler

Most probably haven’t heard of Draxler, and the only reason I have is because my second favorite team is Borussia Dortmund and he plays for Schalke, their arch rivals.  Draxler grew up a Dortmund fan but somehow ended up on the wrong side unfortunately.  Dortmund can counter that saying they have a young up and coming midfielder named Moritz Leitner.  Draxler though, is an outstanding dribbler and has no fear of shooting or running at people.  Plays as a winger usually, and just turning 17 and already have substitute appearances for Schalke.  You can bet your sweet bippy that Draxler is definitely a top prospect.

2.  Romelu Lukaku

#2 on the list is a widely know Striker known as the “next Drogba” Romelu Lukaku.  He’s quite an animal and is very strong.  The reason he is compared to Drogba is because of his physique being similar to Drogba but he has quite a few skills as well.  He’s a good header, great finisher and great strength to hold off defenders.  He is wanted by basically every team in the world but looks as though Chelsea may be the ones to shell out enough cash to bring him in.  This scares me because Arsenal’s defense already has enough trouble dealing with Drogba so we don’t need another one.

1. Mario Gotze

Finally, we have a man making ALL the headlines (thanks to Shinji Kagawa) Borussia Dortmunds attacking midfielder, Mario Gotze.  Gotze came into the year like Jack Wilshere, trying to establish a spot in the first team.  Shinji Kagawa was starting in the attacking midfield role of Dortmund’s 4-3-3.  Kagawa got hurt in the Asian Cup and was ruled out the rest of the season.  Up to that point Gotze was sharing time at Right Mid with Kuba.   Gotze made the easy transition over to the middle and may not want to give it up next year.  He will probably move back to the right mid spot for Kagawa but his presence will still be felt.  He’s small but quick and has a Fabregas-like pass and vision.  He’s very very smart, and has a good finish as well.  If you haven’t seen him play, it’s jaw dropping to see an 18 year old with that much skill already in his young career.  There are far too many young Germans that they won’t have enough room for all of them in the National Team because they’re all so good!