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Reo-Coker: The hottest property this summer?

West Ham and England U21 captain, Nigel Reo-Coker is on the verge of a move out of Upton Park. With reported interest from a host of the Premiership’s top clubs speculation as to where the unsettled midfielder will end up is mounting. Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal are all interested in adding the 23 year-old to their ranks and it looks like Arsenal are in the lead to capturing his signature.

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger is a long term admirer of Reo-Coker but is apparently holding out because of disagreement with West Ham’s evaluation of their former talisman. West Ham favour a 9 million price tag while Arsenal are digging their heels in and considering Reo-Coker reportedly favours a move to the Emirates then it could be a long wait.

Reo-Coker, who was a hero at Upton Park last season, has suffered abuse at the hands of the clubs own fans after the Hammer’s disastrous start to the season. An apparent lack of hunger and desire on the part of the players lead their own fans to launch an astonishing attack on the player’s wages and lifestyles. Reo-Coker was singled out and reacted angrily to the fans after a home defeat to Watford earlier in the season. This has obviously taken its toll and after completing his duty to the west London club for this season he handed in a transfer request to manager Alan Curbishley.

So where does he go from here?

A promising player from a young age, he signed for Wimbledon when he was thirteen and came through the ranks to become club captain. In 03/04 Harry Redknapp signed him for Portsmouth but financial difficulties at the Selhurst Park club meant he remained a Wimbledon player. Until the following season that is when Alan Pardew signed him for West Ham and he worked his way up to club captain once again.

Who ever is getting Reo-Coker this summer is getting a young player who may yet develop into a top player in Europe. His combative manner and inspiring displays make him an obvious choice for the captain’s armband. Thirteen yellow cards this season in the premiership alone endorse this fact yet this is not the only side to his game. A comfortable passer of the ball, he is also able to get forward and offer support to the wide men and the strikers. Although he only has one goal to his name from this campaign, this will surely improve with time.

Arsenal look like favourites to sign Reo-Coker and it is Arsenal who could do with him the most. Arsenal, who have been mediocre and lacking this season would benefit immensely from a presence in the dressing room like his. Also, the passing and movement game Arsenal play could also do with a defensive midfielder to hold and break up play and also offer presence on the pitch against the Bolton’s and Blackburn’s of the league.

While any club would benefit from having him in the squad the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United don’t need him as much as Arsenal, Spurs and Villa and out of these three it’s Arsenal that need him the most. After the season Reo-Coker has been through he deserves to be at a club where he is appreciated and needed. Expect him, if he does make the move, to have the captain’s armband by the beginning of the 09/10 season. Did someone say Patrick Viera?

Considering it isn’t very often an English player, of Nigel Reo-Coker’s potential and class becomes available then this is one of the transfers of the summer. Come to think of it, Arsene is really being stingy holding out on 9 million considering they spent in or around 10 million for Rosicky last summer. Now if David Dein was there…

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