The Puma Deal: Arsenal FC and the evoSpeed Project
Jan 29, 2014 1:32 PM EST
As I sit here at my desk this morning, drinking the remnants of a cup of foul tasting coffee reheated from Monday, I can’t help but be excited by the announcement that Arsenal Football Club has entered into a Club-record sponsorship deal with Puma.
This news arrives as Arsene Wenger inches ever closer to a new three-year contract. Upon signing, and reaping the financial rewards of the Puma deal, it is rumored that the Professor will be given a 100 million pound transfer kitty to upgrade the squad.
Now it may just be the rancid coffee that has me twisted, but consider the strange possibility of a secret Puma evoSpeed Project (think Manhattan Project in scope) underway at the Emirates that forever changes the Club/Sponsor relationship…
Lukas Podolski and cash (18-22 Million) to Borussia Dortmund for Marco Reus: Jurgen Klopp is resigned to the fact that his side will be blown up this summer - Robert Lewandoski is moving on to Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan is likely on his way to Real Madrid, and with Matt Hummels constantly being targeted by numerous top Clubs, Reus will read the tea leaves and decide to move on as well. Arsenal’s fluid style of play best suits his skill set and offers similarity to the football he enjoyed with Dortmund. For Klopp, he signs another player with Polish roots that he has had so much success with, a player with a proven track record in the Bundesliga, and aditionally he get’s the cash he needs to resign Shinji Kagawa from Manchester United.
Thomas Vermaelen and cash (15-19 million) to Barcelona for Cesc Fabregas: Yes, Cesc comes home. Despite enjoying a better run of form this season under Tata Martino, Cesc has had a love/hate relationship with the Camp Nou fans at times and he decides to return to his North London home. Tata, gravely needing another quality center back is willing to let Cesc go with so many promising young midfielders still coming through the ranks of La Masia.
Bacary Sagna and cash (12-14 million) to Manchester City for Yaya Toure: With Fernandinho taking the reigns as the rangy, box-to-box goal scoring midfielder for City, and the need for cover for Pablo Zabaleta, Manuel Pellegrini feels he can let Yaya spend his twilight years at Arsenal. A few late night glasses of red wine by the fireside shared between Arsene Wenger and Patrick Vieira do enough to convince Wenger that Yaya still has enough in his tank, and he decides to give the responsibility of right back to Carl Jenkinson.; bringing the Toure brothers and Arsenal full-circle.
12 million pound transfer of Dante from Bayern Munich: After letting Vermaelen go to Barcelona, Wenger phones Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva to help lure and secure the talents of experienced Brazilian defender Dante. Dante’s arrival at the Emirates helps provide coverage and competition for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
The players transferred-in above join Puma athletes Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, and Olivier Giroud already at the Club.
In the early months of the summer of 2014, we hear word that Club legend and Puma athlete Thierry Henry is retiring from the New York Red Bulls to join Wenger’s staff at Arsenal.
Weeks later – as the World Cup is fully underway – pictures are leaked in The Mirror of Wenger having coffee with Radamel Falcao on a street corner in Rio.
Speaking of coffe...
I think I need another cup.