Thauvin to Arsenal, Villa eye Boateng, Stekelenburg to Fulham?
With the final few days of the transfer window upon us, the rumours are flying thick and fast. Here, the Life’s a Pitch panel take a look at whether Arsenal will sign Bastia winger Florian Thauvin (pictured, left) for £5m, if Roma’s Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is to be reunited with former Ajax boss Martin Jol at Fulham, and whether Dnipro’s Derek Boateng is the player Aston Villa hope will kick-start their escape from relegation.
“He’s 19 years old, he’s played 23 games over two seasons and scored a massive two goals,” points out the Mirror’s Martin Lipton of Thauvin’s inexperience. “We know that Arsène Wenger likes a gamble on a young player he sees as talented. We’ve had Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming through as wide men who’ve mutated into different roles now. [This rumour is] possible, but I can’t see it as probable, unless Wenger really sees Walcott as a centre-forward. I think maybe four out of 10.”
Which is the same score the People’s Tom Hopkinson gives the Stekelenburg to Fulham rumour. “He’s a goalkeeper Martin Jol absolutely adores. He’s worked with him before. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Mark Schwarzer is on his way out of Fulham, if not this month, then in the summer. What I would wonder is why a keeper of Stekelenberg’s talent would want to go to Fulham: he has Champions League options. I’ll give the move four out of 10 because I know that Jol likes him, but he’d take a lot of convincing.”
Tom’s colleague at the People, Janine Self, is even more dubious that Aston Villa will sign Ghanaian midfielder Boateng. “When you actually look at where he has played, he’s played in Israel, in Greece, he’s now playing in Ukraine. He hasn’t played in the Premier League. What Villa are crying out for is experienced Premier League players. To sign somebody like that, in January, after the Africa Cup of Nations, seems a really huge risk. I’d give that two out of 10.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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