Mulumbu Coming to Arsenal?

Mulumbu gonna Mulumbu. - Clive Mason

You know the pre-transfer window drill by now: player makes offhand comment to one source, journalists fall all over each other to write story, fans speculate. In this case, it's a West Brom enforcer who wants to play in the Champions League.

Today's transfer window speculation has nothing to do with strikers, strangely. Instead, it involves a central midfielder slash defensive midfielder from a mid-table team, apparently with aspirations to play Champions League football.

Youssouf Mulumbu, a Congolese national player who's been one of the better players for this year's version of West Bromwich Albion -- a less exciting version of last year's fast-out-of-the-gate West Brom -- told France Football this:

"They (West Brom) are aware of my ambitions for the future. If I have the opportunity to join a more upscale club, I will. I owe West Brom a lot but now I would only go elsewhere to play in the Europa League or Champions League. I think it is the right time. I have progressed in my game, my game management, mentally, tactically, physically and I am ready to go to a top-four club.Clubs have enquired with West Brom [about a transfer this winter]. There have been approaches. But I do not dwell on it - I leave it for the club and my agent to handle. England is my first destination. I feel good here, there is no longer a language barrier. Beyond that, maybe there are opportunities with other clubs in the Champions League."

So, as a result, Metro ran with a story saying that Arsenal and Mulumbu had mutual interest in one another. While the Daily Mail and Sky Sports were more even-keel with the report, others on the Internet ran with the rumor. Arseblog did its usual good job of analyzing the rumor, naming Arsenal's entire midfield as reasons that the team probably doesn't need a less proven version of Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye, who Arsenal reportedly considered signing in the previous window before picking up Mathieu Flamini -- a move that's worked out quite well for the team to date.

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