Do you know who whipped the cross in for RVP to score his sensational volley away to Charlton a couple of years back and do you remember who sent that cross in for Henry to head the winner against Man U at home? Yep, that’s right; both were delivered by no other than Emanuel Eboue. This was at a time, of course, when he was still our first choice right back and not only very popular amongst his team mates but popular amongst all us, the fans, as well.
So good was Eboue at whipping in those crosses that at the time it seemed to make sense for Wenger to try him further up the wing. But if we are honest, and even the most tolerant of Eboue’s fans have got to admit, that it has not worked out, leaving him in a difficult position.
A difficult position compounded by the return of Walcott not to mention the competition for the right midfield slot from Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky and even Bendner. It is obviously impossible for him to move back to his former position of right back as Wenger has closed that door by buying Sagna, which seems to make Eboue’s chances of playing first team football more and more remote as the season draws to its close. The result being that he will inevitably be sold at the end of the season.
So how much do you think he is worth? The answer to that question seems to range form a bottle of Gatorade to 12 million English pounds, the last figure being mine. I can hear the laughter from those at the Gatorade end of the scale mixed with spluttered retorts of; £12 million for Eboue are you mad?
But remember, this figure is not based on Eboue the attacking midfielder, this figure is based on Eboue the right back, a position in which I firmly believe that he would still get in the first team of most clubs in the EPL as well as many in continental Europe.
There are those of course who suggest the figure is more likely to be somewhere in the middle: the logic being that if Hleb was sold for 12 million then Eboue is worth somewhere around the £5 million.
Although, at first sight this makes sense but it falls down for two reasons. Firstly, prices have moved on so much from last season that they make the Hleb deal seem very dated, and secondly, valuing players based on prices Arsenal buy and sell at is fraught with danger.
Arsenal are able to reduce a clubs asking price by enticing a player with the promises of Champions league football and that Arsène will make you a better player. Once the bait has been taken by the player, Arsenal are then able to make an offer lower than asking price in the knowledge that the player will start putting pressure on his own club to accept the lower offer
Nothing shows this better than the Ashavin deal. We bought the captain of the Russian national team for a snip at £12 million. Did we pay the market price? I would argue not.
Market prices are determined far more by the likes of Tottenham and Man City, neither of which can use Wenger or the Champion’s League as a carrot, in an attempt to reduce the asking price. Modric at £16 and Belamy £14 million are good examples in both cases their respective clubs had no choice but to offer the asking price because if they didn’t then, quite simply, clubs wouldn’t sell and players wouldn’t go.
If Eboue were to be put on sale in the summer it is not inconceivable that Tottenham would want to buy him; so, if that were to happen, how much do you think he should be sold for? Well, on the basis that they paid £15 million for someone as average as Palacios maybe Eboue the African Messi is worth more than my estimation of £12 million.