Arsene Wenger has a history of completely denying interest in a player at one moment, but not long after, he ends up signing the same player. In 2012, while the club was on tour of Asia, when speculation was rife about the club’s interest in Santi Cazorla who was then of Malaga, the manager simply told the press that he did not know who the ambidextrous Spaniard was. Few weeks later he was an Arsenal player.
Fast forward to last week Friday, the manager was asked about Loic Perrin of St. Etienne. His reply was we are not on that case. The question came about after series of speculation in the media, particularly in France about the defender. However, despite Wenger’s denial, French publication, L’Equipe, has again linked Arsenal to the 29 year old Loic Perrin, but this time it added an interview of the central defender, where he claimed that Arsenal had been in contact, and that it would be difficult to turn the club down.
“There are always rumours, though Arsenal made enquires and contacted my agent. But Saint-Etienne has always been important, full stop,”
“I have always said that Saint-Etienne are my club and if I go, it would be to take the next step. When it comes to Arsenal, we are not just speaking about any club.”
That was Perrin’s speaking to L’Equipe ( quote via goal.com ). And it has come after Wenger dismissed any link with the defender, whether something is brewing somewhere, its unclear. It’s common for the manager to deny interest in a player.
For Loic Perrin, he has spent his entire footballing career at St. Etienne, at 29, it would be a late move for a player who would be thirty in August.
Despite this hint about a possible move to Arsenal, doubts remain as to his qualities as a centre half. Question is, if he was any good, how come he has not featured for the French national team? International football can be a mark to determine how good a player is? Perhaps his obvious lack of height (5ft 11in) could have played a part why he has not earned a call up.
He can still double up as a defensive midfielder assuming the club decides to follow up its reported interest with the €8 million that it would cost to sign him.
The age thing does not serve just as negativity; he could be another signing with bags of experience. Mikel Arteta was signed at the same age (29) with Loic Perrin, and he is an important player in the Arsenal team being the captain.
Perrin will also be eligible to play in the Champions League if the club were to sign him.
Arsene Wenger’s denials no longer quell any transfer speculations, if anything it sometimes fuels it, whether this takes the form of the Cazorla episode of few years ago, there is still enough time to know.