Arsene Wenger answered questions from the press after today's 2-2 draw with SSC Napoli, and he had a lot of things on his mind. Obviously transfers were the topic of the day aside from the performance against the Partenopei, and his comments produced some faces peering out through the fog:
on players possibly leaving…
Gervinho we are at the moment close to an agreement with a club where he should go. Bendtner we are nowhere. At the moment he is completely here. Chamakh might go somewhere, it will be decided in the next 48 hours. [They are] permanent moves.
So, for those keeping score at home, that's two forwards possibly leaving, and one Greatest Striker Who Ever Lived stuck firmly in the mud.
I repeat: Nicklas Bendtner, at the moment, "is completely here". Not partly here, not one arm out the car window, not halfway through the Stargate. "Completely here."
Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh have not had the greatest of times at Arsenal. Both have had their moments, but overall, neither has panned out in the manner that many hoped for upon their arrival. Gervinho has had trouble finishing for all his danger otherwise, and Chamakh basically fell off the face of the earth after a middling start in 2010-11. The emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has rendered Gervinho less necessary, and Chamakh hasn't seen the forward line since the 7-5 lolfest last year in the Capital One Cup.
Bendtner has managed 8 goals in 37 matches for Sunderland and Juventus (for whom he never scored) in the past two years, amidst injury troubles and a somewhat boozy meandering through the legal system.
The clearance of at least 2 of the 3's wages from the books will help Arsenal as they look to strengthen the squad, but what are we to make of the Dane's "completely here"-ness? Does this signal an intent to use him this year as part of the squad? It seems doubtful, as recently he had said himself that several of Europe's clubs were interested in him, but theoretically, Bendtner could work as a squad player with limited minutes as a sort of pseudo-Giroud. When fully healthy and focused, he's not the worst striker that ever lived, but surely more than a handful of games for him this year would mean that Arsenal are in deep trouble.
Whether he stays or goes, there's always this moment:
We'll keep you posted as these stories develop.