Hands up those of you who watch Serie A football and knew about this player? A report carried in today's Daily Mail suggested that Arsene Wenger is about to bid for Felipe Melo, a wonderfully gifted Brazilian who plays for Fiorentina. I have to confess that for once I had not even heard his name mentioned on our site as a possible replacement. The fact that he spent most of his career in his native South America may have something to do with that I suppose.
Just for once I am going to dwell upon this media speculation because of what it tells us about the intentions of Arsene Wenger. I am also hoping that this transfer speculation is accurate. According to the paper, Arsene Wenger has apparently tracked this player and made enquiries last December. Inter Milan, Aston Villa and Chelsea are also said to be interested in the player, but his preference is quoted as being for Arsenal.
Fiorentina are believed to be fighting a rear guard action based upon the fact that the player has four years to run on his contract which contains a break clause according to some reports. His Agent Bastos is quoted as suggesting
“Apart from Arsenal, another powerhouse of European football has shown interest in Felipe. I believe that if he continues to play at these high levels then Fiorentina will have difficulty in retaining him.”
We all know that agents have a vested interest in talking up their clients and encouraging auctions between wealthy clubs, however with Felipe Melo, we have more than the invisible wall of Gilberto, we have a tenacious defensive midfielder who has an amazing range of vision. His ability to retain the ball is better than Flamini's and his passes are of the highest quality as this video demonstrates.
Felipe Melo video 1
I am intrigued by a suggestion that the player was quoted as telling his local website the following
"Inter is a team who allows you to fight to win the league and the Champions League, but I leave this to my agent, I just want to concentrate on my national team.
There is an offer from Inter and it's concrete. I just want to think about working on the pitch, but the request does exist.
I still have a contract with Fiorentina, but we shall take into consideration the possibility. I have four years of contract with Fiorentina and I'm very happy, as I received a lot of affection from the Viola fans."
"However I aim high, I want to win great trophies in Europe and at Inter there is the possibility to win titles like the Champions League and Scudetti."
What ever you make of these conflicting comments attributed to the player and his representative, I would feel encouraged by the fact that even if the report in the Daily Mail is not 1005 accurate. The indication that Arsene Wenger has eyes for this player rather nails the accusation that he has no long term interest in winning trophies for our club. Note this surging run made by the player in this International match for Brazil against Peru which ends with a goal in this second video
This is the kind of desire from a player that I would love to see wearing an Arsenal shirt. Arsene Wenger's ability to pick Brazilian players was questioned with the early poor showing of young Denilson last season. But this mature 25 year old is the kind of quality player that will teach many of our young players the kind of skills that will enable themselves to make that vital step up.
Melo's excellent vision and range of passing, his tackling and tactical awareness mean that he would be the ideal defensive midfielder in our side which would allow Fabregas to become even more creative and go back to scoring goals. For once, I am hoping, perhaps beyond hope that these media reports are correct. As this player excites me, which is more than can be said of some of the other players that we have been linked with recently, and I thought that I would share this excitement with you.
Felipe Melo - Factfile (from Wiki)
|Date of birth||
August 26, 1983 (age 25)
|Place of birth||Volta Redonda, Brazil|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive Midfielder|
|2001–2003 Flamengo p 26 G(3)|
|2003- Cruzeiro p29 G(1)|
|2004- - Grêmio p19 G(3)|
|2005- Fiorentina p8 G(0)|
|2005–2007 -RCD Mallorca p34 G(7)|
|2007–2008- Racing p34 G(7)|
|2008-Fiorentina p29 G(2)|
|2009-Brazil p5 G(1)|
Fabregas the King email@example.com