Good morning, and welcome to Thursday. Without a match this weekend and five long days until our trip to Bavaria, it's a tad bit quiet 'round these here parts that we know and love as Arsenal. So how about we dive into some fun Arsenal news - what news there is, I should say - but with a twist. Let's see what's floating around the intertubes regarding the red side of north London, shall we?
Question #1: "What sort of fools does John Cross think Arsenal fans are?"
The Daily Mirror is reporting that Manchester City are lining up a summer bid for Carl Jenkinson, with Arsenal lining up a move for Feyenoord's Daryl Janmaat. My first thought is this bit of transfer news makes about as much sense as having an arsehole on your elbow. Lest we forgot, Carl and the rest of the British boys signed up long-term deals this past fall and January, and of all the six who signed up, I'd argue Jenkinson would be the very last one to move away from the club, let alone this soon after signing an extension. Troll on, John. Troll on.
Question #2: "How bad would losing Thomas Vermaelen hurt the club?"
Yes, more transfer news. This time, though, the target in question as well as the rumored club have a bit more legitimacy to it, even if it's the Daily Mail. They are reporting that Arsenal captain and oft-scrutinized defender Thomas Vermaelen will be targeted by Barcelona in a £15m bid this summer as they look to secure the replacement for their captain Carles Puyol. After such a strong season last year, Vermaelen's struggled to regain the form this campaign as he's made direct mistakes that's led to back-breaking goals (fairness to him, so have the rest of our defenders). Many are already calling for Jack Wilshere to succeed him as club captain, and there've been rumors that Arsene Wenger wants make the center back position a priority this coming summer; where Vermaelen's status with the club, through all of this, remains uncertain.
Question #3: "How good could Nicklas Bendtner have been if he wasn't so immature?"
This is tangentially-related to Arsenal, considering it's been two seasons since Bendtner was on the first-team and Wenger and the club can much better afford to terminate his contract in the summer if the club can't find a seller since there's only one year left on it. However, here we are faced with another Arsenal youth academy product who's failed to live up to the expectations bestowed upon him. With TGSTEL, though, the feeling was there that he had all the physical tools to come close to his self-imposed moniker, but the thing that's followed him throughout his career has been his inability to grow the f*ck up. With his latest run-in, this time driving smashed on the wrong side of a Copenhagen street and his subsequent six-month ban from Denmark's national team, Bendtner's career is now at a crossroads. He made a mere nine appearances for the Old Lady before a thigh injury ruled him out for an extended period of time back in December, and there are less than zero indications his career lies at Arsenal. How he rebounds from this, and many other ill-advised decisions and comments he's made in the past, remains to be seen.
Question #4: "What will Benik Afobe's ACL tear do to his development and chances at a first-team spot with Arsenal?"
As you may recall, Arsenal forward Benik Afobe made the short trek south of the Thames earlier last month on a season-long loan to Millwall. Two days ago, in a Championship match versus Wolverhampton, Afobe did his left knee in and looks to spend a considerable amount of precious time rehabbing. This will be the second serious injury the just-turned 20-year old has suffered, and while he's shown promise and received praise and U-20 call ups, he'll be further behind the growth curve at a club that he's struggled in the past secure a spot - Millwall being the 4th loan deal of his short career. Personally, I don't see a considering amount of future impact being made by Afobe at Arsenal, which makes me a touch sad since he appears to be a good kid with an unfortunate streak of severe injuries suffered.