Sparta Prague have again gone public on their eagerness to sign Tomas Rosicky even though the midfielder has had his Arsenal contract extended by a year.
A lack of game time saw the Czech cut a detached figure at the tail end of last season and it was something of a surprise that Arsene Wenger decided to keep him on the books. All the more so given he turns 35 in October.
Despite the new deal his boyhood club remain undeterred in their pursuit of a reunion.
Speaking to local press at the unveiling of a new club sponsor Daniel Křetínský, Sparta’s majority shareholder, revealed there’s still room in the squad for their ‘Little Mozart’.
“I’d love him to come and for it to happen soon, but I don’t want to put uncomfortable pressure on Tomas. It’s up to him, I understand that leaving Arsenal isn’t easy.”
Adding uncomfortable pressure on Tomas, he added: “I’m not sure Tomas would forgive himself if he went somewhere other than Sparta.”
Last season Rosicky made eight starts and 16 appearances off the bench; most of them in a two month period after Christmas.
While his experience is undoubtedly important (not to mention the role he played in selling life at the Emirates to compatriot Petr Cech) you can’t help but feel slightly awkward at us retaining the services of a loyal guy who wants to play regularly but probably won’t be more than a benchwarmer.
Perhaps the contract extension is just our way of ensuring we get a transfer fee this summer. After all, we’ve grown a lot more hard-nosed on the transfer front. At the same time, as a free agent Tomas could have sealed lucrative personal terms elsewhere; something you’d think Wenger – a man who allowed a contracted Sol Campbell to walk free – wouldn’t deny him.
Let’s go with a fence-sitting 5 poos.
As an added bonus, here’s a teenage Tomas scoring for his old club against us in the 2000/01 Champions League. We won 4-2 that night and this happened in injury time. What’s Dixon doing?