Could Paddy really turn Arsenal down?

By Avenell Dave

So Patrick Vieira has today ruled out a departure from Inter Milan in January.

This is the same Paddy who has also got so frustrated at his lack of playing time that he said earlier in the season that he would have to move in January in order to retain his World Cup dream.

So what or who do we believe?

The fact is, Paddy is an Arsenal hero and although his departure came at the right time for Arsenal, mindful of his recurring injury problems, the fact is we haven't won anything since he scored the winning penalty in the 2005 FA Cup final.

Arsene Wenger is intent on following Project Youth and I can't blame him for that.

But the fact is that as far as the heart of midfield is concerned, we are a little light.

With Denilson injured, Alex Song has played a starring role in covering the defence and allowing the likes of Cesc Fabregas to play in an advanced role where he can cause so much damage.

But Song will be off to the African Nations Cupfor most of January and that will leave a hole that needs to be filled.

Paddy would fit the bill perfectly - a born winner who knows the club, would raise morale, guide the younger players and provide experience when we need it most.

I've watched a couple of Inter games this season and was surpised at how well he played.

Ok, so he's not quite the box-to-box player who arrived from AC Milan in 1996 but he still has a lot to offer, is tenacious in the tackle, a great passer and provides real leadership.

And the fact that he is the wrong side of 30 means he is not going to block the progress of the younger players coming through. 

Even if we only signed him on a six month loan deal from Inter, I am sure he would get more playing time than he is at the San Siro, and the guidance and influence he will have on the team is beyond measurement.

Wenger has a habit of never bringing former players back to the club, but if we're to believe some of the rumours, Vieira was almost a Gunner again in the summer, but for a delay in a payment to Inter.

Even if we go for Gokhan Inler or Blaise Matuidi, bringing Paddy back as short term cover can only be a benefit to the club as a whole.

And given his relationship with Wenger and us Addicts, could Paddy really resist returning to his spiritual home in North London?