Date: 14th March 2011 at 11:22am
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Football is a funny game. It definitely has a fan-base of a billion-plus around the globe, so you can be sure that it’s enticing and invigorating. But it can also be the absolute worst type of capitalistic enterprise at times – if you’re a fan of a team losing a star player to huge money that is.

Take Barcelona’s Nolito (Manuel Agudo Duran) as a prime example. This gifted 24-year-old forward is considered to be one of the best strikers around. And that’s great news for any team to pick him up, but it’s rotten news for Barcelona’s faithful, currently upset that Nolito has refused to sign a contract extension.

Such is the game of life, however, and that leaves the door wide open for Arsenal to bring in yet another talented Spanish player to Barclays Premier League.

Liverpool is also in the hunt for Nolito, and given the friction the squads are having over their Champions League clash and youth player transfers, Arsenal stepping in now, given Wenger’s power in these situations, is a real slap in the face to The Gunners’ arch rivals.

However, Arsenal is not afraid to get on Liverpool’s bad side. And if Liverpool has any complaints about it, they’ll have to beat The Gunners to voice their grievance – a task made exponentially more difficult should Arsenal pick up Nolito.

Every sports book and online casino from the UK to the US would have Arsenal out in front next season with Nolito’s power and skill added to the roster, and the team should have no trouble integrating the Spanish player into the roster immediately.

The implications of picking up younger talent are huge for Arsenal. It’s not that their roster is incredibly aged, unlike some other rosters in the Premier League, but their youngest stars seem to be prone to injury, whereas Nolito has shown to be tough as nails.

Both Liverpool and Arsenal are making their first offers for Barca B’s star athlete, but don’t be surprised to see other teams join the hunt simply to make a good showing.

To date, Arsenal isn’t a lock to grab Nolito. He could ultimately go to Liverpool, another PL club, or even stay in Barcelona if the pot is sweetened just right. But if Liverpool is chasing, Wenger has to put his money in the pot to let his presence be known. He can’t give up Nolito without a fight. Just like a game of Internet blackjack – you have to play to win.

And if anyone knows anything about Wenger, he loves to win.