Dempsey should seek Champions League football
It is looking more likely that Clint Dempsey is going to make the switch from Fulham to Liverpool this summer, and although the American would be joining a club with a new manager who plays attractive football, it is surprising that Dempsey has not held out for a move to that could provide him with Champions League football opportunity.
Dempsey enjoyed a fantastic season at Craven Cottage last year scoring 23 times in 46 appearances in all competitions and he also collected the Supporters’ Player of the Season for the second consecutive year running. His consistent form has now alerted top clubs and the player has also expressed a desire to play football at the very top level. Liverpool is one of the clubs that are interested in Dempsey and it is looking as though Merseyside will be his new home next season. No doubt this will be a great signing for Liverpool but Dempsey would be a far better fit at another club who offer Champions League football. And he wouldn’t have to move house.
The Emirates Stadium is crying out for a sign of optimism and the capture of Clint Dempsey would be a great one for Arsenal. The two fit like a glove and it comes as a great surprise that Arsenal has not acted by placing a bid for the American international. With the imminent departure of their want-away captain Robin Van Persie and the unstable contract discussions with Theo Walcott, Dempsey would go a long way in rectifying any losses in the forward department for Arsene Wenger.
The American would add unpredictability to an Arsenal attack that offers a lot of speed but little in craft, and if the Gunners were to line up with a front three that consisted of Lukas Podolski, Oliver Giroud and Clint Dempsey on the opening day of the season, they would certainly take some stopping. Comparing that to last season’s front trio, which usually lined up as Gervinho, Van Persie and Walcott, Arsenal would also be gaining in the physical department.
The main surprise in this whole transfer saga is Dempsey’s choice not to hold out for a move to a club who will provide him with Champions League football; after all it was he who expressed the desire to play at the very top level. This is not to say that there is no attraction in a move to Liverpool as it is a great club bathed in history, but at present they are not competing at the top level of the English game. Arsenal on the other hand is consistently finishing in the top four and despite not winning a trophy in the last seven years, Champions League qualification is where the big bucks are at, and the big players all want to play there.
Wherever Clint Dempsey ends up, he will definitely be a success. He is the kind of player that leaves everything on the pitch and is selfless in his roles at his club. He proved himself in the Premier League and has performed heroics in the Europa League against the likes of Juventus, and for this reason a club in the Champions League should snap him up. From a personal point of view, Dempsey should be considering a club at the top level because at the age of 30, this is his last chance at a hitting the big time in Europe.
Alex Smith, Football correspondant