Yobo (left) in Everton colours
So we’ve read that former Everton midfielder, Joseph Yobo, is one of a number of free agents which are on Arsene’s 911 diary to rescue our defensive frailty, and we know that the boss has not (in his usual way) mentioned any names in any of his press conferences. Well, it appears he is a great fan after all.
Yobo has been quoted as saying that despite the fact that Wenger has always wanted to sign him at some point in the past, he is definitely not aware of any request for his services at present. The now retired Nigerian International who returned to England last season but unfortunately was part of the relegated Norwich City, stated with a staggering certainty that Wenger had contacted David Moyes and his then bosses for the services of the defender but access was denied. He was ‘supposed’ to be the future partner of Kolo Toure upon Sol Campbell’s exit from Highbury.
Go on, argue with him.
What matters at the moment, though is that Arsenal are in need of a defender, not to replace any of Koscielny or Mertesacker, nor one to be the future partner of Calum Chambers. We just need someone who will be ready to keep that place on the bench, do the regular pitch-side warm ups and help out when any of the aforementioned strains a muscle. With our exit from the League Cup, our need has not decreased. Isaac Hayden showed a few signs of potential but standing up to Graziano Pelle is not exactly the same as facing Diego Costa. Someone who’s been there, seen (something that looks like) it and done it all before. Yobo may not exactly tick all the boxes considering he’s towards the later years of 30, but Yobo is not the worst option out there.
The ex-Everton man had a somewhat impressive career during his days at Goodison, first signing on loan in 2002 before going on to make over 200 league appearances for the then David Moyes coached side, spanning 10 years. As captain of Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations’ winners in 2013, Yobo has both the top level experience (played in 3 World Cups) as well as the leadership ability which will come handy for the Gunners as it sometimes have appeared to be a lack of sufficient leaders on the pitch, especially during defensive circumstances.
“Maybe the club is speaking with my agent” may be interpreted as a prayer of hope from Yobo. On the other hand, it could be an inadvertent slip from him on what has gone on behind the scenes, having previously tried to be coy on the matter by saying there had been no formal contact.
We are dealing with a manager who has signed Mikael Silvestre before. So just you don’t place bets on Yobo-to-Arsenal not happening.
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