Younes Kaboul. According to many a headline, he’s about to follow in the path of Big Sol and switch from wearing a cockerel on his shirt to a black cat. Surely not….
If that didn’t make you laugh, this might, well you have to really otherwise, well slitting your wrists would be silly but shedding a tear might be nearer the point if any such story about Kalou became reality.
Kalou told the BBC World Service:
There has been a lot of talking about me going back to England. I had an amazing time with Chelsea and I always keep that good memory with me.
If I have the chance to go back, I would love to, because it’s the most exciting league in the world so I would like to try it again.
Whatever team comes for me after the World Cup, I can decide where I can develop as a player, where I can have an impact, because it’s important to go to a team who suit me and who give me the opportunity to excel.
If you happen to write for the London Evening Standard, those few sentences, although spoken in English, have somehow translated into a headline which suggests that Arsene Wenger is making plans to sign the Ivory Coast striker in the summer.
Kalou has been linked to us more times than Olivier Giroud has poked his tongue out this season after missing a chance to score!!
He hasn’t joined us yet has he and I’m quite confident he won’t in the summer. Let’s forget that silly story right now!
Anyway, Kalou is getting on a bit at 28 years old and Arsene Wenger has been talking about just how important it is to give the youth players a proper chance:
It’s one of the values of our club. We want to be very successful without neglecting the need to give a chance to people.
I want it to be part of our tradition and I also want to develop a spirit inside the club that makes the young players be faithful to this club. They think the club has given them a chance so they want to give something back as well. It has to work in both ways but we want to be the ones who give a chance.
It’s a big mental test for the players because you see how they resist stress, how they can deal with the pressure and how they can be committed in a very demanding environment. These kinds of qualities you discover only when you play the players.
Of course it’s an early test that not everybody can take on. Some fail but the strong ones just feel they belong there. They are not at all surprised that you give them a chance. In fact they are more surprised that you did not do that earlier!
You could take that one of two ways.
Either, project youth is on it’s way back and no more experienced players are going to be signed in the summer. No, Arsene wouldn’t do that would he, that’s not his style. (cough)
Or, he truly believes that one or two of the younger players are simply proving they deserve a chance to make the step up into the first team squad.
I don’t count the likes of Serge Gnabry, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain etc as they are already proving that they have what it takes, although strangely, our young German, who despite putting in a number of solid performances earlier in the season, is being overlooked these days.
We have a vast number of players out on loan, 13 I think it is in total – some like Park, Djourou and Coquelin are no doubt heading for the exit door but others, younger players like Aneke, Campbell, Wellington, Afobe, Boateng etc are no doubt waiting for the summer to arrive arrive and only then will their future be more clear.
Boateng has not long signed a new contract and Wenger has hinted that Joel Campbell could finally be part of the team next season but as for the others who are on loan, I’m not sure where their future is…
And let’s not forget, there are one or two in the Academy side who no doubt believe they are ready to join the big boys….
Not everyone will have what it takes, not everyone will make the step up but I strongly suspect that one or two will or at least be given the chance.
It’s been a long time since Jack Wilshere came through the youth set-up and surely we are long overdue seeing another young player follow in his footsteps…
That’s your lot for another day….