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Chelsea may have landed an Oscar this summer, but it appears that Arsenal look set to miss out on both of their Brazilian summer targets - Ganso and Paulinho.
Arsenal do not have much of a culture of South American players, with their pursuit of youngsters from the continent traditionally ending in disappointing. The only South American to achieve any level of success with the Gunners in recent memory is Gilberto Silva, and apart from the non-tackling defensive midfielder any other imports from the Americas have flattered to deceive. The most recent to belong to the latter category are Denilson and Carlos Vela.
Brazilians in particular have tended to struggle with England's harsh winters and the absence of a Christmas break doesn't particularly help attract talent from that part of the world.
That being said, Arsenal's need for a quality attacking midfielder is rather obvious, with the Gunners having failed to fill Cesc Fabregas' position in the team last year. In his last four seasons with Arsenal, Fabregas scored 44 goals and contributed 75 assists, a figure that will be very hard for any newcomer to match.
Arsenal's chase for Paulinho appears to have quickly fizzled out, and with Ganso making it perfectly clear that he has no intention of leaving Santos this season, despite being unhappy with his contract situation, it appears that the Gunners' Brazilian interest has come to an end. In fairness, given the inflated nature of the Brazilian transfer market, one can't believe that Arsene Wenger would have ever dished out close to Â£25 million to land either player.
That brings one to the interesting situation of Santi Cazorla. When we first heard the rumours, we rushed in an attempt to dismiss them as nothing but idle gossip, after all why would Arsene Wenger need another winger, that too a 27-year old one who would cost in excess of Â£15 million.
Wenger himself helped lay to rest the rumours briefly by joking after his side's slightly fortuitous win in Malaysia that maybe he should look to buy some Malaysian players instead!
However, with Mikel Arteta talking up the move this week, and new suggestions emerging that Wenger is actually looking at making Cazorla play through the middle, one can't help but wonder if sanity has been lost.
On the one hand the Gunners have Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky, who would have loved to play down the middle, but have spent an eternity banished to the wings, and now there is news of a winger being signed who will play behind the lone striker!
Will Arsenal find a saviour in Santi? Don't get your hopes up too high Arsenal fans. It is just as likely that Malaga's rich owners return from their holiday, pay-off the club's debts and Cazorla plays against Arsenal in the Champions League next season.
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- 27/07/2012 13:56 - Adebayor's Tottenham transfera off after striker's latest demands