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Pandev To Arsenal, Anyone?

Goran Pandev

by Rachid Parchment

According to The Daily Mail and, Arsenal are one of a host of clubs keeping close tabs on SS Lazio’s 25 year old Macedonian striker Goran Pandev. Pandev has made it clear that he’s ready leave Lazio because he feels the need to test himself in another team as he’s grown too accustomed to life at Stadio Olimpico. In an interview with Sky Italia, Pandev said:

“My cycle with Lazio is over. I want to find other motivations and go and play for another team.  I have spoken to (club president Claudio) Lotito and I explained to him the situation.”

His agent, Leonardo Corsi said Lazio have valued Pandev at around £17,000,000 but he could be had for around £13,500,000 because of a friendly relationship between Pandev and Lazio. According to Corsi:

“They retain a very good relationship and mutual respect, as has always been the case.  For our part, the decision is not based on economic reasons…He wants a change and to test himself in a fresh environment after growing comfortable in his many years at this one particular club.”

If this rumour (as that’s all it is at the moment – a rumour) is true then it would point to Adebayor leaving and/or possibly Robin van Persie going as well, since he hasn’t signed a new contract yet and Inter have revealed their interest in him.

I would be elated that we’re going after a player like this. He’s the type of player we’ve missed since Thierry Henry left us two years ago. He’s very quick, he’s a very good finisher and he has bags of technique.

We’ve been linked to other strikers in the last few weeks such as Edin Dzeko and Mario Gomez but I don’t think they fit the bill of the striker we need, if we’re indeed looking to buy a striker. From the many games I’ve seen of both players they’re strikers who rely on a playmaker to support them while they latch unto any balls provided by that playmaker and provide a finish. I’m not suggesting that anything’s wrong with that but what about days when Wenger insists on playing Abou Diaby and he struggles to make any impact on games whatsoever and doesn’t provide our strikers with the ball? Remember how isolated Adebayor was up top against Chelsea at Wembley a couple months ago? With a striker like Dzeko or Gomez in the squad I could see that happening again on days when our midfield has off performances. If we had Pandev, we would have a player that would link up very well with the midfield but someone that could also create his own goal if needs be.

Since Thierry Henry left us we’ve lost that type of player that can run a long distance and take on 3 or 4 defenders and beating them before finding the back of the net. We’ve also been missing a lot of highlight reel quality goals. We’ve been scoring a lot of team efforts lately and while nothing’s wrong with that, it’s become a bit boring to watch. Arsene Wenger himself said it’s necessary in football to have an entertainment factor since the fans are paying their money weekly to watch games. So with that said, we need to have a striker that will provide some entertaining goals like Henry did and not always score the typical pass, pass, pass, tap in goals that we’ve become so accustomed to now. Goran Pandev definitely fits that bill.

What we have to consider if we do sign Pandev though, is the effect it will have on Jay Simpson returning to the squad. As I’ve said in a previous blog, I think Jay Simpson is a very talented young striker and it would be a shame to see him return to the club and then have to go out on loan for another season. Would signing Pandev mean Simpson still wouldn’t have a space in the team or is it that Arsene Wenger knows something we don’t? Is it that Wenger is anticipating both Adebayor and van Persie leaving, if in fact this rumour about us being interested in Goran Pandev is true? Let me know what you think in the comments section…

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Finally, here’s Pandev at his very best.


Until next time.

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