This week’s News of the World is touting Mark Noble as a replacement for Flamini at Arsenal. The Gunners apparently considered an approach for Noble in the last transfer window, says the article. We shouldn’t be surprised that Nobes is attracting attention. Even though he’s not the finished article yet, it’s clear that he is going to be one of the best midfielders in the country. I fully expect him to make the England squad within twelve months. Arsenal apparently value him at £8 million.
Mark Noble is West Ham born and bred. It’s now up to the club to make it clear to him that they intend to build a side ready to challenge for honours, and that they will build the squad around him. If his head was turned by a move to one of the big four, it would be a tragedy. If that is not to happen he needs to be confident about the club’s ambition. It still breaks my heart to think what might have been if we had been able to hold onto James, Sinclair, Cole, Carrick, Lampard, Kanoute, Di Canio, Johnson and Defoe. Best not to go there.