The big news this morning is that Theo Walcott has put pen to paper on a 5 year deal worth £25m plus a £3m signing on deal. His wages will rise to £90k a week... a significant increase on his previous deal and representative of what a young English goal scoring striker come winger should earn.
Do I think he's worth it?
It doesn't matter what I think. The market rate is what the market believes the player to be worth. Could he have landed a better deal elsewhere? Maybe. Not significantly better. Has he made the right decision to further his career? Absolutely.
I don't believe any other club in the country would give him the chances he's had with us and I don't believe there are many other managers as good in the league at turning an average striker in a very good one..
His stats speak for themselves this season. He's landed 14 goals, his shot conversion rate is around the 30% mark. Does he have the X-Factor a player like Drogba or Henry had? Not at the moment. Could he develop those traits? Well, at 23, you can't ever rule anything out... but for me, he'll never be much more than a speed demon. I don't think he has the natural gift of football some of the more elite strikers on the planet posses.
This re-sign signifies a turned page. We've managed to secure a player we didn't want to lose. We have our core of English players lined up ready to take the next five years on. At the very least, if Theo does bomb, there will always be a Liverpool ready to snap him up. So I doubt we'll lose in quite the same way we have with players like Chamakh.
Now the race is on for him to prove himself. The spotlight will be burning more brightly than ever before. Once the joy of him signing dissipates, which will take about 5 minutes, the grumblings of, 'how did he miss that? If I earned £90k a week I'd have buried it' will begin. He has to live up to that contract in the eyes of the fans.
Did you know Theo Walcott's sister is a body builder?
Cassandro Rossel has put a kibosh on our David Villa approach...
"I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market.
"He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."
They never do us a favour do they? Not that I'm particularly fussed about this. I'd dearly love him in on loan, but if that £17m is all we have to spend on a striker, I'm pretty sure there's a younger version we can find somewhere else. If we have Theo and Giroud, signing a tall powerful and fast striker is what we need to complete the pack. If he can finish, that would be totally marvellous. A 31 year is a short term solution. It wasn't long ago we were turning our nose up at 28 year old strikers... still, if it's a signing to help bed in Pep Guardiola, I'm game for him!
Did you know that 78% of NFL players go bankrupt 2 years after retirement?
My favourite piece of leaked news yesterday was the piece about the Fellaini release clause. It sits at £22million. This will have been leaked by his agent and apparently the story started in The Times. So it'll have an element of truth to it. Usually this type of noise indicates the player is thinking about pastures new. Usually, headbutting a player for no real reason during a game indicates your discipline is flagging because you're frustrated. Remember Alex Hleb and his late red card before he left us?
The ice cream loving melt...
Anyway, this season, so far, he's scored nine goals and made five assists... he's also had more shots on goal than Theo Walcott which is amusing. He's the box to box midfielder we need. He's 23 years old, he has physicality in abundance but that is combined beautifully with a deft touch and an eye for a killer pass or ruthless shot. I've been told by someone I sat next to at the AST that Wenger loves him as a player... this chap (@mattspicer66) had dinner with Arsene... but the issue was the £30m price tag. Well, now it's £22m. Wenger is on record as saying, 'if you can afford it, you should do it'... well Arsene, we can certainly afford it. Do we have the conviction to make a move for a player we clearly need? Or are we once again going to pass on a player we can easily afford because signing a big name might bring some sort of expectation for the manager?
... to digress... I still can't quite believe that if Wenger has a bit of spare cash floating around, he'll bang it on a players contract. That is such a negligent attitude. If you have spare cash and you don't have anyone who merits earning it, save the money so we have more money for squad improvement. Our wage bill should be the same size as Tottenham's... if it was, we'd have £50m spare for players each summer. Shocking mismanagement just because we can afford it. It's like an old boys club... tantamount to the way CEOs ramp up their pay because the people who sit on their salary committees are their mates.
and back... that's what's interesting at the moment. 5 years ago, when a player moved to another club, we could just play the 'we're poor card'... when a Demba Ba moves for £7.5m, Wenger had to excuse his lack of interest with nonsense like... 'he's too similar to Giroud'. No he's not Arsene, you just didn't fancy him for some strange reason. For me, if we're willing to spend money on contracts, just because we can, we should have that approach to top quality players
Can we afford him? Yes. Should we do it. Yes. It's as simple as that... well, providing he'd move.
Anyway, plenty to talk about today... see you in the comments.