Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Appiah to decide on Arsenal move after Friday?

By 1970’s Gooner

Stephen Appiah looks like a typical Arsene Wenger transfer target.

He is going to cost nothing as he is now a free agent and is therefore not restricted in any way by the closure of the transfer window.

And he has been out of action for almost a year (since last October) so there is no significant competition from other “big” clubs, making Arsenal and the prospect of playing in the Champion’s league highly attractive.

The Premier League clubs to show an interest are reported to be West Ham and Portsmouth.

West Ham are in melt down at the moment having parted company with Alan Curbishley today so that much discussed move to Upton Park is now in jeopardy.

And if faced with a choice between Arsenal and Portsmouth then it’s no contest really.

The 27-year-old former Juventus star is available on a free transfer after leaving Fenerbahce last month.

He is reported to have left after a row with the club accusing them of botching a knee operation which is responsible for his long lay off.

Arsene Wenger usually checks out, through his wide network of contacts, the fitness of a player he is about to make a move for.

He has done that with another signing this transfer season, Amaury Bischoff, who has faced fitness problems for almost a year.

He made only one substitute appearance for his previous club, Werder Bremen, but is now expected to be fit in about five weeks time.

Appiah seems to have convinced Ghana’s national coach, Milovan Rajevac, of his fitness as he has been called up in the squad for the World Cup qualifier against Libya next Friday.

"Stephen Appiah is really big player. It's very important to be with rest all the players here as a leader," Rajevac told the Ghanaian media.

"As the coach I will assess him and check on the training and see how much he can play if he can play”.

Appiah, a former Fenerbahce midfielder, had trained with his former side Brescia in the Serie B in Italy to regain fitness and his Ghanaian colleague and friend, Manuel Junior Agogo, is relishing the chance to reunite with Appiah.

"I can't wait to get back and see Stephen because it has been a long time since he' s been with the boys so that's that going to be a boost for the boys. I have been speaking to him quite frequently this couple of weeks and I can't wait to see him” Agogo said.

Appiah arrived in Tripoli with Sulley Muntari and even though the team did not train on Wednesday morning, he went through two hours physical training at the team’s beach side base.

And afterwards, he told he was just happy to be back. “It feels really good because now I am training knowing very well that I could be playing”.

He also gave an indication that he will decide which club to join after Friday’s game:

“There are talks but where I will play my club football next will become clear after Friday’s game. Then I will sit down and look at my options very well,” he said.

Appiah, nicknamed the “Tornado”, has been consistently linked with Arsenal over the past four years and his availability could prompt Wenger to consider adding him to a midfield which is in need of strengthening after the summer sales of Mathieu Flamini, Gilberto Silva and Alexandre Hleb.

Appiah has been given the captain’s armband for this important World Cup qualifier and Arsene Wenger is sure to send his scout to Libya as it’s a real opportunity to assess the player’s fitness in a competitive game.

If Appiah signs for Arsenal then he could give some useful hints to Wenger and the Arsenal players on how to face Turkish side Fenerbahce who are in Arsenal’s Champion’s League group.

Stephen Appiah Fact File

Date of birth December 24, 1980 (age 27)

Place of birth: Accra, Ghana

Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Current club: Free Agent
Youth clubs: Hearts of Oak

Senior clubs

1995-1997 Hearts of Oak 0- (-)

1997-2000 Udinese 36 (0)

2000-2002 Parma 29 (0)

2002-2003 → Brescia (loan) 31 (7)

2003-2005 Juventus 48 (3)

2005-2008 Fenerbahçe 64 (11)

National team
1996- Ghana 53 (13)

Arsenal are too dependent on Cesc Fabregas

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Anonymous said...

Check it out - this guy would be a good signing !

Anonymous said...

I have seen this player in action and i tell you he is ideal for Arsenal. And he is 27 with lots of experience just what we need in this young team we have now.

Anonymous said...

This is almost too good to be true, just want we need, on a free, just as Arsene likes it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anonymous 9.42pm


Anonymous said...

I just can't wait till I C 'Steven appiah wearing the Arsenal shirt, he is quick feet, powerfull, reads the game very well, exellant vision and wil be really what we just need..(Stevei.G) tybe.
So Mr.Arsene..Please get this guy and we will sure go 4:
Preimer Leage & Champions Leage
ARSENE KNOWS (hopefully).

Anonymous said...

Inler would have been better, but you can't find a better free transfer!

Anonymous said...

Appiah is the Real Deal.. he is strong with apowerfull header, v.good stamina, sharp passer & shooter and if he's fit + ready 4 'Preimer leage' then he will be perfect as an Arsenal Defence Midfieald.

Anonymous said...

Wishful thinking mate. You have no basis for this article but yor own conjecture.

Are the guys posting comments here about 12 years old?

I'd like to see Appiah sign and I'm sure Wenger is aware that he is available. But if he wanted him he'd surely have acted before now.

Anonymous said...

Ive always liked appiah & think he maybe could do a job for us. However surely if wenger felt the same he wouldve taken him a few years ago when he was offered in part exchange as part of the vieira deal. Id be really suprised if he came now unless wengers opinion has changed?

Anonymous said...

dude, this blog is awesome. really nice work on this. it would be a typical wenger-signing, apart from the fact that every gooner with an internet connection is talking about it =]

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Anonymous said...

I don't think this guy is really 27 - look at that face.

Anonymous said...

i believe this guy will success at Arsenal..must signing him ASP..

Hans izal said...

Arsenal must signing him..plz....:)

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate the extensive research for players that you go through here, articles like this build up unreasonable expectations among fans who read a story like this without sources of any kind and start to think a signing is in the cards. When it doesn't come to pass they harbour resentment towards the club/manager. To me, it's not right, or fair.

I think Appiah could be a canny signing, but it could also go pear shaped.

The point is, though, nobody should expect anything and just try and focus on our actual team (hard during int'l week I know).

Anonymous said...

Also what's the deal with people that think that somebody like Stephen Appiah could be the difference between a concerted league and european challenge and meek surrender? That's just not right.

Anonymous said...

Whenever there's speculation about a certain player never does Mr Wenger go for it. It's so typical of him.
Anyhow I can't see Appiah coming to Arsenal, he is lacking match fitness. We need a player ready to step up and play the next game.

Anonymous said...

midfielder available + arsenal need a midfielder = arsenal must be trying to sign midfielder.

That seems to be the logic ehind this and a million other speculative articles about appiah on the net. I'd love it if he did sign but there's absolutely nothing to say he will.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others. There is no proof that Arsenal are interested in this player. You guys are are seeing an equation x + y = z

X being Stephen Appiah, Y being a free-transfer midfielder, and Z being Arsenal.

The only thing we know is that X exists. The Y and Z are complete unknowns.

Don't assume Z will add up to be Arsenal. There are other factors to consider (player salary.. hello Mathieu Flamini!) which are a much larger factor in most players decisions.

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