Rumours all over the place about who we’re going to sign to replace Aaron Ramsey. Denis Suarez has thrown his name into ring, and I couldn’t be any less excited there. The versatile Spaniard had a spell under Emery back in the day, he clocked some solid numbers considering he was 20, but I’m not sure he’s really hit the heights at Barcelona.
Emery might want to bring in a player he knows can work under him. I’d certainly imagine Suarez can do more of the things the manager wants for a fraction of the price, but I think we could do better.
The player everyone hopes we’re in for this summer is Kai Havertz (watch here for a download). The precocious teenager is lighting up German football this season. He’s notched 16 games, 6 goals and 5 assists. Those are Sancho/Nelson like numbers. The rumour is Bayern Munich are going hard for him as they look to refresh a squad that’s lacking ideas… however, it’d be rude of Arsenal not to make a play for him. He’s quite the player to watch on the ball, and he’ll certainly be a force to reckon with for many years… not just that, he’ll have resale value, which is I assume something the club are keen on doing as they look to play catch up with the big boys.
There’s a lot of talent around Europe at the moment. Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong look ready to make big moves this summer, and again, they’re two players who are going to have long illustrious careers ahead of them. De Ligt shouldn’t be controlling games from defence as a teenager, and De Jong shouldn’t be running games with such swagger. The thought of Manchester City signing them makes me feel a touch ill.
That’s the big question for Arsenal fans. Are we able to compete for the cream? Or do we have to take lower level gambles that come with more risk? Is even Pepe of Lille in our league? Is a Sarr move our type of buy?
It’s an arms race for talent, it’s just a shame that the game is so rigged in the favor of the clubs that are using nation wealth to fund their opulent squads.
Still, there are plenty of good players out there, and Arsenal have a lot of smart people scouring the plant for exceptional talent. I also think we have the luxury of a great city, and a backroom team that are going to be more willing to pull the trigger quickly. I’m looking forward to Arsenal pulling off some audacious deals, as well as the continuation of excellent off the radar signings like the ever impressive Guendouzi, and the superb Lucas Torreira.
Granit Xhaka has been heaping praise on Unai.
“It’s definitely my best season so far,”
“Without doubt, I think I’ve taken another step forward.
“It’s the best I’ve felt at Arsenal since I came to the club and the coach has had an enormous influence.
“He prepares us all and we have a plan. We know how to do it with the ball and without the ball. We know how and when to stand where.
“Emery is like Lucien Favre [whom Xhaka played for at Gladbach], a freak who pushes us back and forth, 10 times, until everyone understands.
You can’t help but read the subtle dig, I mean, we don’t need to keep going here, but it still gives me great satisfaction after all those years of people telling me Wenger was a tactical mastermind let down by the players. It doubles down on an observation someone from Germany shared with me about Xhaka’s failings… he went from a ruthless tactical overlord, to someone who just wanted the players to express themselves without the contraint of a plan.
The jury is still out for me on Xhaka. I think we can do better. But I am happy to see him improve. Less big game mistakes would be lovely. My concern is if you’re still brain farting at 26, that might just be your thing.
Right, that’s me done. See you in the comments! x