Will Arsenal look to Madrid for bargains this summer?

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We’re in that little dead spell before a major tournament. You’re hoping the club is out there makings deals before all the distraction happens and transfers hit the back burner… especially when you’re Arsenal who don’t need much of an excuse to bottle out of the coming season.

Arteta spoke the Evening Standard about the disappointing season. He didn’t really say anything you or I wouldn’t say. He trotted out the… ‘you have to win if you’re at Arsenal’ line which feels a bit tired considering how little effort or emphasis has been placed on that part of the game over the last 5 years.”We are very close to making the next step. We have the players, the potential, the quality and the coaching staff to be successful,”

“We are very close to making the next step. We have the players, the potential, the quality and the coaching staff to be successful,”

A little bit rich coming from a man who is going to up sticks to work with Pep in Manchester next season. Still, he’s hardly going to drop terrible words on his current manager, especially as you know he wants to come back and manage Arsenal in the future.

Arsenal launched their new shirt…


Alexis Sanchez starred in the advert, dishing out the…

‘Imagine the look you’d shoot at Theo if he fell over his feet killing an important break in the latter stages of a game’

…look. He looks great in that shirt. Anyway, the papers are assuming that him being given the number 7 shirt means that he’s going to stay. His pal, legend Ivan Zamarano said in the press his countryman is ‘recovering his happiness’… which is a romantic way of saying no one has come in for him yet and he’ll take it on the chin this summer.

I’m not totally bought on this idea that being in press shots means you’re saying. Players can break contracts pretty easily, so being in a picture is hardly going to tie him to us.

‘Sorry Alexis, you’re in a retail magazine, that ties you down for at least a year’

Hardly sounds compelling does it?

There’s a story running that we’re in for the 29 year old Benatia of Bayern Munich. I was excited about that until I read his age, then read that he’ll likely leave because he’s struggled with fitness issues over the past two seasons. You tend not to turn around those issues late on in your career. But with Chambers moving on to Everton next season, there sounds like there’s an opening.

Lukaku seems to be pretty sure he’s moving somewhere pretty damn soon.

‘You will know when it is concluded. I have to make a good choice but in my head that has happened already.’

I think he’d be a monster for Arsenal. He’s young, has Drogba like qualities and he has bundles of experience.

Another player who seems likely to move in this summer is James Rodriguez, who hasn’t really settled into a flow under Zidane. A very left footed player, but a total dream of a talent.

I always think the best way to make moves in the summer if you can’t afford to go mega premium is to sniff around the big clubs and pick up players that are out of a favour. Foreign clubs now do that to the Premier League… Chicarito being a prime example of that in action. Arsenal should be seeing what bargains fall out of the major clubs this summer, there’s always something exciting.

I mean, not sure how much of a bargain we could get for James… he cost them a fortune. He’s a great player though. So fingers crossed!

Right, that’s me done. TAPPING OUT.

737 Responses to “Will Arsenal look to Madrid for bargains this summer?”

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  1. shad


    My worry for Real is they don’t know how to keep a lid on it, esp since it’ll be Pepe and ramos at the centre. Feel like either one will get sent off. Then again, depends if Clattenburg will have a mare.

  2. Cesc Appeal

    If people had a choice then, between a ST and then a wide playmaker, or throwing the whole lot at a Griezmann or Aubameyang, what would you pick?

  3. Romford Ozil Pele

    Worth pointing out that Xhaka has had a hard on for AFC for a while. Good friends with Elneny too.

    CA, depends who the striker is. Wouldn’t be comfortable playing Griezmann as a lone striker. If it was say Morata and Fekir, I’d take that over either Aubameyang or Griezmann.

  4. Marko

    Romford on fire today. Also I don’t get the reservations about Koscielny becoming captain I really don’t. A captain is someone who leads by example and who’s consistent on the pitch and that’s Laurent for a few seasons now. The idea that we need a screamer is nonsense. Also Mussachcio would be a brilliant partner with him. Excellent defender who to be fair has had two or three unfortunate injuries the last number of years otherwise he’d probably be playing for Barca or Madrid

  5. STV

    Shad, that’s true. But if they score first or concede early they always have a chance. I can see a tiring game possibly going in to ET.

  6. boy dio

    arsene is going to not sign anyone else, too many loanees coming back and youngsters to trial, he will sign the next Dutch, French or Nigerian messi though

    vice captaincy will be given to ramsey, mert will be given the captains armband and promptly never get to step off the bench

    wilshere will get through preseason then promptly be out for the actual season after 3 games

    And as has become standard arsene won’t trust his second string players to do a job for him, expect le coq to get minimal game time and for the usual spate of injuries after running players into the ground

    question for anyone who would have an answer, which left back should we replace gibbs with?
    i feel a long term injury to monreal on the horizon and gibbs is soft anyway, will pick up an injury not long after the spaniard
    same for right back unless chambers is the actual back up for that position despite schools of thought saying he should be played central

    i really don’t know how arsene gets away with walking this tight rope for the full back positions

  7. Romford Ozil Pele

    Haha Marko, just passing on nuggets. I’d have to disagree on Kos being captain though. I think he’s a fantastic player and defender. Probably Wenger’s best defensive purchase outside of Sol Campbell IMO. Agreed that a captain doesn’t need to be a screamer but he should have an aura or presence about him which I think Kos lacks. Had Xhaka been here like 2 seasons it’d be a no brained for me. Mussachio is quality though. He or Manolas would be my CB target.

  8. qna

    Wallace – I actually am inclined to agree with you on your question about Kante. He does not offer what Cazorla offers going forward and we would lose a hell of a lot going forward. HOWEVER, we would be a hell of a lot stronger against the better teams. And our round of 16 play-off game would finally be at least worth watching.

    For me the issue would in games against the weaker sides where they sit back and we have to break them down. But these flat-track bully games are usually where we have little problems.

    We still do have Cazorla on our books and if we use him often but sparingly then hopefully we can get more out of him if we bring in a player like Kante. It would be truly a summer that would make me sit back and

  9. GoonerDave

    Great to see a player of Xhaka’s quality announced at last. It was a quick transfer done slowly. The Arsenal way!
    Not at all convinced by Morata for 50 million. He has got a lot more about his game than Giroud, he’s quicker and far better technically but his goal return is paltry. Yes he’s brimming with potential but 50 million?
    I’d like to see us buying a centre half – Gabriel looks to have all the raw materials for a good defender, but needs more experience before we can start him in every game. In saying that, I’d happily risk Per and Gabriel for the season if we were to blow a stack of cash on a top, top striker.

  10. Cesc Appeal



    My personal choices would be Morata and Mhkitaryan, really like Fekir as well (puntastic also) just a bit worried about that ACL and Arsenal’s ability to turn a tickly throat into pneumonia.

  11. qna

    oops.. premature ej.. (sorry Bams here)… um… i was going to say… sit back and tip my hat to the club if they pulled of Kante and Xhaka as well as a decent CF like Morata and a genuine CB like Benatia.

  12. Marko

    You’ve gotta choose one of Griezmann or Aubameyang. Age wise perfect, consistent and fantastic. Would be willing to stick out another year with Ramsey on the right and possibly Gnabry and Chamberlain if we got one of them. Still get rid of Theo and Jack. But I don’t see why we still couldn’t afford someone like Mhkitaryan. Money isn’t the problem it’s whether Wenger has the guts to say it’s not working out with certain players let’s cut our loses and improve the squad

  13. shad


    bale has been a different animal this season, esp since given a free roaming role a la CR7. However I just rank Griezmann slightly above him at the moment. Griezmann on current form is simply unstoppable.
    2015/16 belongs to Griezmann, Suarez, Bale, Higauin and Ibra (to a small extent).

  14. Bamford10

    Griezmann and Bale are such different types of players I’d say it is unfair to compare them. The former is much more of an Arsenal-type player, though, and would make more sense in our set-up, with our personnel.

  15. shad

    Just to put things in perspective, before we slag off Morata on his dismal returns, please remember that Adebayor was a piss poor striker but improved and hit 30 goals a season once (Ok, fine, 6 were against a relegated Derby County) but hey, IF we got him, for me he’d definitely be an improvement on Giroud and his goals return would be way better, esp given the service of our midfield.

  16. qna

    Bamford: He is much, much better than Giroud. Watch his performance against Bayern, for example. Very good player, very dumb remark on your part.

    Well, it depends on how you evaluate this. He will in my opinion definitely surpass Giroud. But the last couple of seasons he has not scored many goals at all. Giroud, also has not scored many goals, but has scored more than Morata. We watch Giroud week in week out and so we see him at his worst and tend to not give him credit for the goals and assists and hold up play that he does offer in his best moments.

    But my main point of that conversation thread was that next season Morata would give a smaller goal return than Giroud and so Giroud would still be our No 1. striker. But hopefully in a year or two, Morata can be our Kane or better.

  17. Marko

    Is Griezmann better than Bale?

    Oh that’s tough. Very different players. I’d favour Griezmann though think he’s got another level or two to go and probably a safer bet to score more. And bales got a questionable injury record. That’s tough though

  18. Wallace

    Bale over Griezmann all day every day, especially in the PL.

    and still think we should bid for Rashford. reminds me a bit of Anelka.

  19. gonsterous

    The big story here in Switzerland, is the transfer of xhaka to arsenal which is confirmed, making him the most expensive Swiss player ever !!

  20. karim

    Don’t think so. It would be a wtf moment.

    I know, I’m one of them !

    Definitely, very exciting player.

  21. STV

    “Adebayor was a piss poor striker but improved and hit 30 goals a season once”

    And?? He gone back to type after that one season wonder.

    I think Where Morata improve us would be the amount of goals we score. He’d link up very well with our attackers contributing to more goals (especually with a new goal scoring winger) contrary to Giroud who often slows down play.

    No doubt he’ll be better than no good signing which Wenger probably looking forward to.

  22. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah different players. Griezmann is more an Arsenal type like Bamford says, Bale more explosive. Griezmann is still immensely quick though, has scored a few Messi type goals this season.

  23. GS88

    Brilliant news about the Xhaka’s offical signing.

    So now for another 3-4 positions to be filled. We need a CB, RM, CDM and a CF.

    Would love us to get Kanté to play with Xhaka – what a middle that would be – pretty dominant.

    I’d still go for Lukaku as our CF, even though he has said that he wants a Chelsea return. Not overly keen on Morata, but would settle for him if nothing else comes our way. Would actually take Higùian but Napoli would ask a king’s ransom for him which we may not be prepared to pay.

    Been hearing strong rumours about Vincent Janssen, but not too keen on him either. He seems a little lightweight, but who knows.

    Whatever we do, we need to move quickly as other teams, (mainly our rivals) are looking for the same or similar calibre players to us.

  24. Marko

    I think Griezmann is slightly more consistent than Bale that’s purely why I’m going with him. The lad was banging them in for fun at Sociedad and then the move to Atletico didn’t faze him one bit he’s gone up another level. He’s a baller. France’s chances at the euros hinge on him and Pogba

  25. GS88

    Griezmann was a miss. I thought we were going to nab him after WC14, even had a dream about it at the time.

    No lie.

  26. vicky

    The market rate for any top class striker is above £60 M and plus at least £4-5M of wages per year. The annualized cost is £ 20 M if we assume a 4 year contract.

    Why not sign Ibra on a free transfer whose wages can’t be anywhere close to £20M that we will expense on any other quality or even upcoming striker. For me a 1 year deal to bring Ibra in makes more sense than signing Lukaku, Morata etc.

    And I also think too much is made of his potential negative impact on our dressing room. He has been a success everywhere, won trophies whereever he has gone. Surely a team can’t win leagues if it’s dressing room atmosphere is vicious. On the contrary, I believe signing of Ibra could really motivate our team and the likes of Ozil,Alexis and Santi will be thrilled to have him as our striker.

  27. qna

    vicky. What you say is true. There is logic in doing a short term deal for Ibra. But what is your long term thinking then? What do we do in 1 or 2 years time. I agree with your general premise. That the really good players show are available very rarely. We SHOULD have made a massive effort to sign Dybala last summer for example.

    But my thinking is that there are very very few top CFs around and in Morata’s age group is not exactly a golden generation of them. So perhaps he is the player that in 4 or 5 years time we will be saying that we wished he signed him. For me this is the reason why I like the Morata rumous. I have huge doubts about him, but he is probably the only player in his age group that I see as taking the step up to be a Lewendowski-level striker one day.

    So if we cant sign the real Lewendowski, or Benzema/Higuain/Auba/Griezemann then I do like the idea of taking that big gamble on Morata – rather than missing out on him and going for a one year gamble on Ibra.

  28. WengerEagle

    ‘Is Griezmann better than Bale?’

    Not a chance.

    Bale has been unbelievable this season, literally been Real’s best player and one of the top 3 players in La Liga.

    Griezmann is quality in his own right but Bale is simply top shelf, averaged a goal every 80 minutes in the league this season. His dribbling and link up play has improved in his time in Spain too, he’s a better player now than he was in his last season at Spurs.

  29. WengerEagle

    I’m sorry as well but I wouldn’t touch Fekir with a 10 foot cattle-prod after doing in his ACL.

    Superb player before the injury but it’s an injury that doesn’t have a lot of success rate re recovery.

    Falcao was arguably the best out and out no.9 in the world before he injured his ACL, since then he’s averaged like 4 goals a season and can’t get ahead of Bertrand Traore, Pato or even Remy on the Chelsea bench.

    Strootman’s career is pretty much over, Essien went from a world class CM to a liability after his knee gave out, Torres has never returned the same player pre 2010.

    Mobility is a big part of Fekir’s game and there’s absolutely no guarantee that he’ll return the same player he was before the injury. Sadly, I’d avoid.

  30. karim


    I’m no doc but they say it’s ok if you are under 25 when you break it.
    Far harder to recover beyond that age, which could explain Falcao can’t make it back

  31. WengerEagle

    ‘but Griezman been better this season hands down.’

    Yeah you can make an argument for Griezmann tbf as he’s scored 32 goals and 7 of those in the UCL including crucial goals vs Barca/Bayern Munich, for me Bale has been better in La Liga but Griezmann has been better in Europe.

  32. WengerEagle


    What about Strootman, was he not 23/24 when he injured his?

    Even if that’s true I’d be very wary tbh, it’s a proper nasty injury to receive, arguably the worst in the sense it hampers you agility and ability to change direction which is so vital for smaller forward players.

  33. vicky


    Wenger didn’t cough up £ 50M even for Suarez who was even in those days one of the best 3 strikers in the world. He passed up on Higuain when Napoli jumped in to fray and offered more than £ 35M. So why do people expect him to spend 40-50 M on Morata who is not even close to Suarez or Higuain and at best is a promosing striker. I think Romford info is probably correct when he says we are not looking at Morata. Makes little sense to be honest.

    I don’t know about our long term options to be honest. Let’s us sign Ibra and then we will see. May be we will see the rise of one or two upcoming talents in 12 months, I don’t want us to be in a situation where we have shelled out a fortune on the likes of Lukaku/Morata and then aren’t left with any money to get another top striker if at all one becomes available in the market. I would rather we tried to lure away the likes of Ichenacho (can’t spell) who have been playing in a top side but are second/third options bu have got loads of talent. I am not quite sold on Rashford but if wenger thinks he is a good talent, then target him.So for me the options are :

    1. Ibra
    2. Ibechenacho
    3. Rashford

    I am sure Romford, karim, WE and Dream can add a few more names who are in the similar kind of situation ( young,talented, at a good club but second choice)

  34. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah Fekir is still a baby in terms of age so I think he’ll be fine. Had he had this injury late 20s then you’d avoid like the plague. From what I’ve seen of him since his return doesn’t look like he’s suffering bad effects. Probably does make sense to wait a season to see if he can replicate the form he showed previous, especially as a front three of Lacazette, Ben Arfa and Fekir is more than decent!

  35. grooveydaddy


    Pires came back pretty well from an ACL injury, but yeah, he was probably an exception rather than the norm.

  36. Romford Ozil Pele

    Vicky, it’ll be interesting to see what Pep does with Iheanacho. When he won the U17 World Cup with Nigeria and was player of the tournament he was coveted by everyone. City got him. Funny thing is at the time he was a number 10, very creative. Since coming to the PL and bulking up heavy he looks to have changed his game and is more of a #9 to me now.

    Rashford I don’t think we have a prayer in hell of getting. I know Mourinho can be adverse to using youngsters at times but considering what Rashford has done in such a small amount of time, it’d be foolish not to give him minutes. Who knows though.

  37. shad


    Are you suggesting Griezmann isn’t top shelf (going by your opening statement)?
    Griezmann had 32 goals this season, 22 in the league alone. his work rate is bananas and he is absolutely clinical.
    Bale is definitely much, much improved. His team dynamic, overall game play and efficiency has gone up, majorly because he has improved his heading ability and uses his right foot more.
    I’d pick Bale if he could stay fit for longer, but this season, I’d pick Griezmann.

  38. qna

    Eagle. The thing is with Fekir is that what is his price going to be now? Before his ACL he was off to Barca and his price was going to be through the roof this summer. What you say is correct and everybody will be wary of that. So the top clubs will not be looking at him which will lower his price signficantly.

    So it again then comes down to risk vs reward at whatever his new price is. If his price was lowered sufficiently and he was willing to take a wage of around 60k/wk – which may be all he can get now elsewhere, then he would be a worthwhile gamble. His upside would be incredible and even if he wont go on to win a Balon d’or he would likely still hold down a starting eleven spot at AFC.

  39. STV

    Also worth noting Bale missed 15 league games to injury. Still top performance especially in liga but he was not Real’s best player. Ronaldo was.

    Ronaldo 16 goals in ucl
    Bale 0 goals in ucl

  40. shad

    Think with Xhaka signing we’ll have to lose one or two of Ox, Ramsey, Wilshere, Coq, Feo. Given the fat money that Wenger dished out in unwarranted contracts though, seems some there will rather ride the bench and cash in over agitating for a move elsewhere.

  41. WengerEagle


    Good point, Pires did recover well from his.

    I’d say that there’s more Falcao’s/Strootman’s/Essien’s than Pires’ though.

    (Could well be wrong on this)

  42. TitsMcGee

    History of Wenger tells us that Xhaka will be the only signing of note.

    We’ll see if that continues but pretty hard to see Wenger splashing multiple big money signings in one summer. Very hard.

  43. WengerEagle


    Not at all, phrased that badly I now realise.

    Griezmann is a world class player no doubt, I just meant that Bale is literally top shelf, for me he’s one of the top 5 players in the world and is on the same level as anyone that’s not called Messi, Neymar or Suarez.

  44. Marko

    Acl’s are tough to judge. But I personally wouldn’t dismiss a player who’s had one especially someone so young like Fekir. But you’re usually better off waiting to see how he recovers

  45. WengerEagle

    ‘Strootman is completely fit again btw, just earned his first Dutch call up in 18 months. ‘

    He’s not the same player tbh.

    Was a CM colossus pre-injury, such a shame as I would have loved to see him in CM with Pjanic and Nainggolan on a regular basis.

  46. Romford Ozil Pele

    Haha CA, too true! You need to check out his first interview as well. Describes himself as aggressive and likes to lead from the front. Kudos to him for doing it all in English too. Far too ignorant in this country

  47. WengerEagle


    Valid point and not a terrible strategy alright, he wouldn’t have got close to the Barcelona first XI though as he plays in Messii’s position so not sure how much I’d read into those rumours.

    I’d just rather we spent more money on a player that’s less of a risk tbh, it’s not like we don’t have the dough and as good as Fekir is, there’s lots more options out there RE wide playmakers.

  48. Romford Ozil Pele

    Eagle, you have to give it a bit of time. He’s only been back a couple months. Form will come with more game time. That’s what he needs right now. Being a Roma advocate it’s weird because Ninja was on the bench for a long time when Strootman was fit previously

  49. WengerEagle

    ‘Also worth noting Bale missed 15 league games to injury. Still top performance especially in liga but he was not Real’s best player. Ronaldo was.’

    Have a word with Real fans mate, you’d be surprised.

  50. Cesc Appeal


    Very impressive, I know, I would so like to be able to speak another language, always feel ashamed when a foreigner can string together perfect English sentences and I can just about ask where a library is in French! Thank you Year 8 French class.

    Trouble is, because of our country’s position in history, and the US being English speaking and the dominant force commercially and in terms of media, English is so widespread we have no need to learn other languages, much to our shame our laziness kicks in and we just think ‘f**k it.’

  51. Red&White4life

    “From now on I’m totally focused on playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
    lol Granit these are very kind words, but we perfectly know that arsenal is no longer one of the biggest clubs in the world.

  52. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, yeah it’s true. We just have this mentality that every other country speaks English so we can’t be bothered to learn their tongue which is poor IMO because we wouldn’t want that if it was the other way round. They must emphasis languages in Swiss schools though because I read a few years back that Senderos spoke like 6 languages which is crazy when I have chavs round my end who really struggle to master their own language!

  53. shad

    ‘Also worth noting Bale missed 15 league games to injury. Still top performance especially in liga but he was not Real’s best player. Ronaldo was.’

    Bale has been standout. Ronaldo is struggling to keep his prima donna status but both Benitez and Zidane figured the value of giving Bale a free role. Absolute beast mode.

  54. qna

    Eagle. Yeah for sure. His position is not on our MOST WANTED list. I am thrilled with Xhaka – who I know you were talking up probably 2 seasons ago. But I also question whether he is our biggest need as well. He is more of a DM – I know he has an eye for a pass, but I really wanted us to nail down a bona fide playmaker. Like Cazorla offers on his rare best days. Wish we made a big offer for Kroos for example. Fekir too is not what we need I agree and unless and until we sign a first team CB and a first team – first choice striker – its pointless talking about Fekir. But it is a good time to get him on the cheap in addition to our most desperate needs.

    Personally I would love a massive summer – Xhaka, Kante, Morata, Rugani and Fekir IN with Walcott, Oxlaide, Flamini and Mertesacker (I guess) OUT the door.

  55. vicky

    “I would so like to be able to speak another language, always feel ashamed when a foreigner can string together perfect English sentences and I can just about ask where a library is in French”

    CA English is the Lingua Franca in modern era. You would expect most of the educated people around the world to speak decent English.

  56. grooveydaddy

    speaking of knee injuries, it looks like we signed this Maxi Romero kid from Argentina

    we held off last summer because of his ligament injury.

    under the agreed terms, he will stay @ Velez Sarsfield for two more years.

  57. Cesc Appeal

    Wenger shocking us all and having a massive summer would be great, would make everything much more pleasant for the old codger’s last season, success or not.

    It will be his last season, do not even come at me with that.

  58. Bamford10


    “Morata would give a smaller goal return [next season] than Giroud”

    Nonsense. Simply because he has had fewer goals than Giroud in the past two seasons — at Juventus, where he played in a different system and didn’t always start — doesn’t mean he’d have fewer goals than Giroud next season if he were at Arsenal.

    That’s an apples to oranges comparison, not apples to apples.

    One, in order to make the comparison apples to apples, you have to ask yourself how many goals would a Morata — given his skill-set, his attributes, his qualities — score if he were the starting CF at Arsenal, if he were given the number of starts Giroud was given, if he were the lone central striker in OUR system.

    Two, you need to ask yourself how many goals GIROUD might have scored if he were at Juventus, if he were only given so many starts, if he were playing in a 2-forwards system, etc.

    Three, many of you need to watch Morata play and draw a judgment about him based on his play, his skill-set, his qualities, etc. as opposed to simply looking at his goal tally number.

    That is not an adequate way to draw a conclusion about a player.

    Finally, I will remind you that a certain Thierry Henry did not score a boatload of goals before coming to Arsenal, yet he was young, silky, pacy and promising — just as is Morata.

    No, I’m not saying Morata will be the genius that Henry was, but simply that the argument that he is a no-go because of his goal-tally is a narrow and superficial one.

  59. STV


    Iam no Ronaldo fan but his numbers this season is quite telling. Except for the early days of Rafa where the pair didn’t go very well, he was quite same as he was.

    I like Bale’s beast mode and look like at his best recently but you could say Ronaldo single handedly steered them thru CL. 16 goals!

  60. Sam

    Some1 just said:

    Coquelin won’t be starting next season so not point making him a Captain, Really?

    Grovers being dellusional as usual
    Xhaka is signed to play alongside him not to take his place

    Giroud might start next season but Wenger instead prefer to spend 30Millions to replace the man who protects his shabby defense.

    Ha ha ha ha

  61. Bamford10


    If you could sign one player into our team right now — Bale or Griezmann — whom would you sign, why, and where would you play him.

    I’d sign Griezmann. Even though Bale is the more over-the-top athletic talent, Griezmann fits our system and style of play more. If Bale were a genuine CF, I’d take him over Griezmann, but unless I’ve missed something, he is not that — not yet at least.

  62. qna

    Bamford. The most important thing will be adjusting to the pace and physicality of the EPL. That was the main reason. He is not a proven striker that we can just bring in and say your number 1. With any luck he will be a gun in 2 years time. But if Morata is our summer buy then Giroud will start next season as No.1 – that is 100%.

  63. WengerEagle


    Yeah mate was banging on about Xhaka for ages, delighted we’ve signed the lad. Doesn’t happen often that we sign a player who’d I’ve been shouting about for a while.

    I think that he’s exactly what we need tbh but I get your concern- he’s not as gifted on the ball as Kroos who’s insane but he’s better suited for the BPL IMO. Better build, a more capable defensive contributor and still gifted on the ball in his own right (Kroos is probably the best deep-lying playmaker out there). His passing range is great and he’s very brave on the ball, he demands it in congested areas from the back which will be crucial when we travel to places like Anfield and WHL where we are pressed high up the pitch.

    ‘Personally I would love a massive summer – Xhaka, Kante, Morata, Rugani and Fekir IN with Walcott, Oxlaide, Flamini and Mertesacker (I guess) OUT the door.’

    Yeah agree basically, I’d sell all of those players and get in Xhaka, a CF, a CB and another midfielder.

  64. Bamford10


    Coquelin will be a squad player next season. No way he starts centrally — unless Wilshere, Elneny and Cazorla are all injured.

    Maybe in this or that match he would be favored over the above, but the choice pairings next season will be Xhaka-Wilshere, Xhaka-Elneny and/or Xhaka-Cazorla.

    Coquelin is a stud player. Sorry.

  65. WengerEagle


    ‘If you could sign one player into our team right now — Bale or Griezmann — whom would you sign, why, and where would you play him.’

    Bale, in a second.

    Griezmann would be great too but Bale has already proven himself as a one-man wrecking ball in the BPL with Spurs, he’s an even better and more mature player now so he would be scary good (would also be epic revenge for Kane).

    Bale RW, Sanchez LW and a decent CF ahead of Ozil.

  66. WengerEagle


    Ronaldo has scored a tonne of goals as per usual but his all-round contribution has waned significantly this season, Bale has taken on the mantle as the go to guy under Zidane in that free role and he’s thrived.

    Ronaldo has basically goal hanged all season, still didn’t outscore Suarez.

  67. Bamford10

    “But if Morata is our summer buy then Giroud will start next season as No.1 – that is 100%.”

    Disagree. Even if Wenger began the year with Giroud as his #1 — which would be a mistake — it would only take a few games before it became obvious that Morata is a far better player/striker.

    I think you’ve misjudged Morata’s quality. That’s fine. To each his own.

  68. STV

    “Bale has taken on the mantle as the go to guy under Zidane in that free role and he’s thrived.”

    Completely agree there.

  69. Bamford10


    I think I disagree, though I agree that Bale is a phenomenal talent, a kind of one-man athletic dynamo wrecking-ball.

    I think Griezmann is the smarter, better footballer and I think he would work better in our system. The fact that he might be able to play through the center effectively (as the lone) — for me this is an open question — also makes him more attractive to me.

    To each his own, I guess.

  70. azed

    “speaking of knee injuries, it looks like we signed this Maxi Romero kid from Argentinawe held off last summer because of his ligament injury.

    under the agreed terms, he will stay @ Velez Sarsfield for two more years.”

    Wellington Silva mk II.

    Who was the Gambon nemesis that used to big up Wellington?

  71. Wallace

    * “squad” player, not “stud” player

    saw it and thought ‘stud player’ must be an American phrase i hadn’t come across 🙂

  72. Wallace

    Henry – Ronaldo – Bale….the three most devastating attacking players in the PL the last 15yrs.

  73. BillikenGooner

    I guess the wages coming off the books due to retirement are the best hope that Wenger and the Accountants will approve of a couple more signings.

  74. STV

    For a 68 year old coach and on his last year of contract, it’s unbelievable he still looking for these long term projects..

  75. WengerEagle


    Yeah both are so good that neither is wrong really, I personally don’t think that you give Bale enough credit in how much he’s improved his game this season espeically, London Gunner put up an excellent piece after the City tie might have been the guardian showing just how involved Bale has become in the build-up play and how deep he now drops into midfield.

    He’s not just this athletic goalscoring beast, he also has subtlety to his game and can mix it up in midfield.

    Does Griezmann not play off of a CF? Fernando Torres has played in most of Atleti’s matches this season, he couldn’t do that with us unless we were to drop Ozil. (A fair few on here wouldn’t be too happy)

  76. Jim Lahey

    Its got to be Xhaka and Cazorla partnership in the centre. Sell Wilshere to City, could possibly recoup the Xhaka fee, would be great business.

  77. Ashley

    So xhaka is official … However , who else has this nagging feeling that we won’t sign anybody else ? …

  78. BillikenGooner

    How much will Iwobi factor into Wenger’s decisions? Will he try to keep him playing regularly and in what position?

  79. TitsMcGee

    For a 68 year old coach and on his last year of contract, it’s unbelievable he still looking for these long term projects..”


    I fully believe Wenger signs a new contract next season.

    I mean if 12 years of failure isn’t enough for him to get the picture then what will?

    His approach to squad-building is deliberate. Throw the fans a bone to get them off my back. He knows(or must know unless he’s mad) that buying 1 player a season isn’t the answer.

  80. grooveydaddy

    after a quick look, some others who recovered brilliantly from knee injuries:

    Shearer (Blackburn)
    del Piero (’98)
    van Nistelrooy (pre Man U)

    there’s probably a number of contributing factors, including age, severity of the injury, and perhaps most importantly, the player’s mind set, but it’s probably still worth taking a gamble on Fekir.

    he did look a bit special before he got banjaxed…

  81. Wallace



    yeah yeah…I had forgotten him, but I was thinking more of those guys that could pick the ball up in their own half and you’d anxiously glance to see if you had enough players back. Suarez beats you more with trickery & intelligence.

  82. Wallace


    he still scored a shedload, but don’t think Shearer was the same player post-injury. he was another one man wrecking crew in his early 20s.

  83. gonsterous


    Sorry mate, I’m at work and just heard it a bit on the radio. Dint have time to stick around to hear the rest 🙂

  84. STV


    That’s exactly what it is. Eternal squad building! He says he’ll leave when Arsenal start winning again and the new guy could build on his squad. Neither happened and not a sign in foreseeable future.

    As long as he can dish out some hope to his loyal followers and convince the owner, he can stay. Look at him highlighting his FA cup wins and the ‘improvement’ from 3rd to second.

    He’ll probably add a couple of players now and finish in top 4. Everyone will be happy now that he can compete with Mourinho Pep and Klopp.. He’ll be given another chance and the cycle probably will continue!

  85. Dissenter

    Juventus are real geniuses at getting these elite players for nothing.
    It seems they’ve grabbed Macherano on a free transfer from Barcelona.

  86. TitsMcGee

    He’ll probably add a couple of players now and finish in top 4. Everyone will be happy now that he can compete with Mourinho Pep and Klopp.. He’ll be given another chance and the cycle probably will continue!”

    We’ll finish a distant 4th next season.