Should Arsenal have done more to keep Senderos?
By Jonny Payne.
Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos will be playing in the Premier League again next season having signed for Fulham. The Swiss international, who is currently training with his international teammates ahead of their World Cup opener against Spain, has signed a three-year deal after seven years at Arsenal.
Senderos told Fulham’s website:
“I’m delighted to join the club during the most successful period in its history,” he told Fulham’s website.
“I will be looking forward to meeting up with my new teammates and of course, Roy Hodgson, a manager I respect very much, shortly after the World Cup.”
Senderos’ departure is not a big surprise, as he has seemingly been unwanted by Arsene Wenger for almost a year. Everton took him on loan in January and were rumoured to be in the frame for his signature, but Fulham stepped in to secure his signature.
The question is this; is letting Senderos go a mistake? The Swiss has had plenty of criticism during his time at the club for some well-publicised blunders, but he is the type of player that Arsenal currently lack, a commanding no-nonsense centre-back.
Moreover, with the futures of William Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre in the balance, that could leave only Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou as Arsenal’s only two recognised centre-backs. It is surely an area Wenger will look to recruit, but as Arsenal have found in recent days with the reported unsuccessful £8 million bid for relatively unknown French centre-back Laurent Koscielny, good defenders are not cheap.
With two defenders needed if the three veterans leave, that could amount to around £20 million. That’s a lot of money for Arsenal’s board to sanction given recent transfer activity. So maybe the club should have done more to keep Senderos. The only other option is to promote from within, something Wenger is very keen to do, but the two likely candidates Kyle Bartley and Havard Nordveit may not be ready just yet.
‘Big Phil’ was a fixture for years at the club after signing as an extremely promising 18 year-old. He was one of the first of Arsene Wenger’s youth signings to make it through, so let’s hope the current crop does not meet the same fate.
Do you think Arsenal should have kept hold of Senderos given the current centre-back situation at the club?
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