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Friday Morning Funnies: Arsenal want Nathaniel Chalobah

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When exactly did silly season become stupid season?

Jamie McDonald

Silly season never really ends, as talk of transfers is always good for getting page views and selling papers. February tends to be a bad month in general for these sorts of stories though, as it's coming just after the close to a transfer window and not much is usually going on in that regard.

Many of the shadier tabloids will still come up with some sensationalistic garbage, and today we were treated to some of it for the ever-reliable Daily Star. According to one of England's finest rumor mongers:

Arsenal are plotting an audacious swoop for Chelsea whizkid Nathaniel Chalobah.

And...

Arsenal fancy their chances of exploiting the situation and tempting Chalobah to make a shock switch across London by offering to fast-track him into their first-team.

This story is just laughable on so many levels. First, playing time probably won't be any less of an issue at Arsenal than it would be at Chelsea. Arsenal have quite a few major problems with their squad, but quality in the central midfield isn't among the bigger ones. Chelsea also have squad construction issues, with depth and quality at Chalobah's position is right at the top of that list. He's good enough to earn minutes at either London club right now, but the team with the more pressing need for quality at his position is most certainly not the North London side.

The bigger issue with this story is almost certainly money. We all just saw the enormous fee paid by Manchester United for Wilfried Zaha, and Chalobah is a prospect of very similar quality. There's the Chelsea issue to consider as well, as unlike Palace, they won't really have any sort of financial need to sell. Unless Arsenal came to Chelsea with an offer just too ridiculous to turn down (and by that, I'd be thinking considerably more than we paid for Oscar), there is just no reason that Chelsea would even consider selling one of their best prospects to a rival club. Given the spending history of Arsenal, there is no reason a sane human being would believe that sort of offer would ever be coming.

Chalobah has been sensational this season, and his contract is set to expire in June of 2014. Because of that, we're going to see all sorts of nonsense about his situation until he puts pen to paper on an extension. This story certainly qualifies as nonsense, and probably wasn't worth the time I just spent writing about it. Oh well, at least it gave me something to laugh at today.


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