Arsen Wenger’s decision to let Lauren move to Portsmouth is both brave and generous – and Harry Redknapp and Portsmouth will thank the Arsenal manager for it.
Lauren’s departure from the Arsenal defence means less experience in the squad, even if Lauren had spent all of 2006 injured. His return would have been a serious reminder for the likes of Eboue and Hoyte, who despite promising performances are still short of what is expected of them.
As it is, Wenger has banked on the future (as he has in the past) and is laying the foundations for a strong Arsenal side that will challenge on all fronts well into the next decade. Lauren is another part of the ‘old’ Arsenal, consigned to history.
The move also gives Lauren the chance to get some much first-team action, something that would not have been possible given Wenger’s desire to blood youth and get them playing together as much as possible. Portsmouth are 5 points behind Arsenal and well-placed for a European berth this season, and Lauren’s experience will given the Portsmouth backline good support.
Under Harry (and backed by some money), Portsmouth have turned from relegation fodder to a genuine contender for a place in Europe and while that might not last for long, it’s proof that there is still quality in these players – it’s only a matter of making good use of it.
And you can rest assured Portsmouth will get full value out of Lauren – and thank Arsenal for him all the way.