3 very exciting kids linked

by .

A mere 9 days to go until Arsenal touch down to strong stop and searches in Baku.


That’s a lot of time to kill with previews. I was going to do ratings, but what’s the point, might as well wait until after the season. A win moves it from bland to good. Emery basically has the opportunity to force the pessimists like me underground with a win against Chelsea. Lose, well, run for cover people… because I’ll be blasting out (LONG READS) left, right and centre.

One thing that’s kicked into gear is the transfer rumour mill. I love it, especially post Wenger, we actually get linked to names that are semi-exciting. The latest one to pique my interest is Alexis over at Lorient. The left-sided attacker looks like he fits the profile of what we’ve been missing… namely, a person who can score goals from a wide position.

After some extensive analysis, I would say that the Ligue 2 players looks quite the prospect. He’s a little in shape of Freddie Ljungberg. A lot of goals come from late surges into the box. Many of last season’s 14 goals came from outside 12 yards, quite a few of them with low drives (Overmars like). He can also sniff out moments inside the box like Auba.

He’s not much of a specimen, clocking in a 5ft7, but nor is Griezman. At 20 years old, he looks like a very smart gamble. He might not even need a loan move to land game time next season. Watching him play, he seems to have a lot of the ingredients Lacazette has, so a move more central if 2 strikers ever becomes a thing again could very well be on the cards.

If we do sell one of our HERO strikers this summer, I really would like for us to hunt down a replacement that’s tall and powerful. Laca and Auba lack the useful physical presence Olivier Giroud, Adebayor and Robin Van Persie would offer us in tough games. It’d be great to have someone ready to bully defenders in big games.

I’m guessing that’s why we’re tracking Zaha, but at £70m, I find that story hard to stomach. We’re low-balling Palace because they’re mugging us off with their asking price (I actually don’t believe we’re dealing with them like the papers are suggesting).

For me, there’s more value to be had elsewhere… paying a British premium for 10 goals and 10 assists from a 26-year-old seems a little excessive. Ryan Fraser, though not as cool to look at, has a year left on his deal, he has 14 assists and 7 goals to his name. Also, climb down from those nonsense clouds… we’d be able to land Nicolas Pepe from Lille for the Zaha numbers be knocked around, the guy is 3 years younger, scored 22 goals and has 12 assists… and I’ve said it before, but Ismail Sarr had a good season and is only 21 years old.

I was asking around in the comments who the best young keeper was in France, seeing as we’ve finally moved David Ospina to Napoli. Mike Maignan was just named the best keeper in France by his peers. His deal runs out next summer with Lille, he’s a French under 21, he’s 6ft3, has a great build and his ability goes beyond shot stopping… he’s a good all-rounder, good with crosses and on the ground.

Might be a little out of our range and obvs, without Champions League, we don’t have much to offer him. I think we’re going to need a spare keeper, losing Cech with the likelihood of Emi Martinez not cutting the mustard. Young or old? That is the question.

The final player I’m going to talk about is French under 20, William Saliba. The kid was born in 2001 ffs… he’s 18 years old, rocking 16 starts for St. Etienne. He looks an outrageous prospect, 6ft4, built like a 24-year-old and a bit of a flat track bully. He looks very calm on the ball as well.

Those are the sort of signings Monaco and Dortmund make. I haven’t seen enough of him to be able to make any sort of real judgement, but generally, teenagers that make a big impact go on to have good careers. I think he might be too young to rock a Premier League defence, but for £25m, it looks like it’d be a smart investment… and the sort of player that’d not go to City, Chelsea or United because they wouldn’t be able to offer them pitch time. If we’re truly going Project Youth again, the prize is that the kids will be given a platform to shine, which would put us ahead of most of the other clubs in Europe that rock this sort of strategy… we’d be the best of the youth offerings, you get me?

I mean, I don’t know why I’m buying into this… #WelcomeBanega is weighing on my nightmares. Unai Emery is out there scouting players as we speak. He was at the Atleti game, the papers are speculating that he’s looking at Thomas Partey, who has a £43m release clause… but who knows. He might just be out there looking to get a bro date with Simeone.

So I leave you on a question.

Can a gilet be deemed saucy?

I’m caught in two minds. I used to hate them, but under the right circumstances, they can work (shooting pheasant that the weekend type gig).

What are we saying here? Unai looks like he’s taken a lighter approach to hair product, the shirt looks crisp and am I losing my mind here… but does it look like he’s taken a different approach to his skincare regime?

Let me know in the comments you beautiful fashion bitches. x


356 Responses to “3 very exciting kids linked”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Jamie

    So you’re saying we’re paying out £223m a year in basic wages to our senior squad members only?

    I’d like to see that breakdown vs what’s up on spotrac out of interest. Can’t see how it’s possible when our highest paid player is Ozil on 350k a week, and Auba, Laca, and Mikhi don’t earn more than £250k a week each. That’s a total of £57m roughly. We’re paying out 166m to the other 21 senior players? Averages out to around £150k a week each for the other 21 senior players! (I think my math is right).

  2. gambon


    Mykhitaryan is on £144k per week, this was leaked not long after he moved, rather than the guess work that goes into Sportrac.

    So its not £97m short, its £99m short now.

    Why are you choosing to believe an error strewn website?….because it says what you want to be true?

    It says Ozil is on a 4 year deal when its a 3 year deal.

    It says Mykhitaryan is on a 4 year deal when its a 3.5 year deal

    It says Auba is on a 4 year deal, when its 3.5

    It says Bellerins on a 5 year deal, when it was a 7 year deal.

    It says Kolasinac is on a 4 year deal until 2022, but he signed in 2017, so clearly thats a 5 year deal.

    It says Ramsey is on a 2 year deal, when he hasnt signed a deal for years now, and we certainly didnt give him 2 years.

  3. gambon

    “So you’re saying we’re paying out £223m a year in basic wages to our senior squad members only?”

    Of course what you could do is invent arguments that im not making.

  4. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I’d sell Auba
    2=years on deal

    Get 50m

    Or more …

    Bleed the yoot.

    If laca wants out …then out him n all.

    Club needs to start getting the power back.

    Sack ozil over pictures…

    Mikhail will get 5-10 m

  5. Dissenter

    Sorry but what are you saying?
    Are you suggesting that the wage bill of the senior squad is 223 million?
    You are really underestimating the wage bill of the non-playing staff, academy stass etc. The club has about 1500 permanent and temporary staff.
    You are also glossing over the huge bonuses.

  6. gambon


    Well no, im suggesting that the website people are using to “prove” their point is absolute nonsense.

    Ive literally proved its nonsense after just spending 2 mins looking at it.

    But if you want to pretend its all accurate because it backs up your point, then go ahead.

    In other news, a talking snake went up to a woman called Eve once. You should read the book, you’d totally believe it.

  7. Champagne Charlie

    “In other news, a talking snake went up to a woman called Eve once. You should read the book, you’d totally believe it.“

    Haha a lot of that goes on around these parts.

  8. Goonah

    Seems around 130£M is senior player wages.

    So about 90£M is staff,bonuses, addons and……??

    Is that about right?

  9. Dissenter

    nice one that story about the snake and Eve
    I don’t think that website is 100% accurate. It doesn’t get updated often enough but the isn’t that far from accurate.
    I wasn’t even trying to prove anything.
    I was just rendering he source of the info, same as you saying Holding is not on 25k weekly, without providing any shred of evidence to support that counter-claim.
    I believe I read recently that Arsenal are trying to get Holding to sign a contract.

  10. Jamie

    gambon –

    I don’t want nor do I need the spotrac website to be true, I said I thought it seemed fairly accurate. It might not be, which is why I asked specifically what wages you thought our players were on vs what sportac publishes.

    So far, you’ve stated Mkhi is on £144k a week, not £180 as stated on spotrac. All I was asking for was a source. No biggie if you don’t have one. I am not ‘inventing any arguements’; I asked you a question. There’s a difference. So touchy..

  11. Jamie

    spotrac*. I can’t even get the spelling right, such is how little I care about his particular source.

    It would be nice to have a solid one with which to compare the spotrac one. How much is each player actually earning so we can determine what our senior squad wage bill runs at annually?

    Does anyone know, or is it just a case of dismissing all google-able sources for ITK ‘insider’ knowledge? If yes, cool beans.

  12. Words on a Blog

    Just having listened to Raul and Vinay over at Arsenal.com, it is pretty damn clear that there is no way they are gonna get rid of Emery this season, which I am sure will disappoint many on here.

    Both Raul and Vinay say that, knowing what they know now and having seen how the season has planned out, they STILL would have hired Emery.

    So Emery may not have the special sauciness, but according to Raul and Vinay, he has “courage”.

  13. Catalyst

    Can’t really get how some would want us to sell our best players. Auba and Lacazette are our best and selling either would be taking steps backwards.
    Can’t write off next season before it’s even begun.

  14. salpardisenyc


    Just listened to it as well, uninspired is how’d i’d describe that.

    Adding i’m not sure theres a bigger YES man working at elite level than Vinai, literally didn’t give one concrete marker for club to hit.

  15. MidwestGun

    ‘Has literally anyone in here ever worked in any kind of business before?’

    Does selling weed count? just asking for a friend … 😀

    Imo, fix our midfield and we fix our team. We will score more goals and give up less. Proof of this is when we had only 1 half decent midfielder in Ramsey we looked like a decent team.. despite our crap defenders. This is why rumors of us selling Xhaka had me so excited. Part of this fix is getting a winger so we can stop playing wingbacks.. 3-5-2 is not the way forward. That said we need to replace Mustafi the walking defensive error. as our number one priority this summer . and not with a journeyman Argentine nicknamed the ” dirty pigeon” please.

  16. Words on a Blog


    Yeah, it’s that nauseating vacuous corporate speak mixed with praise with the knowledgeable and visionary owners, who of course care deeply about the club etc etc

  17. englandsbest

    One of the problems of overpaid underperforming players is morale. It has a negative effect on the rest.

  18. Valentin

    If Freddie is promoted to first assistant, I am willing to bet that he or Emery’s first assistant will not be at the club the following season. I could even see a scenario where both Freddie and Emery not at the club the following season.

    While Steve Bould avoided any confrontation, Freddie will make his point across. Emery’s assistant who suggested most of the absurd tactic is in for a rude awakening.

    I can’t see Freddie not speaking his mind when the following is suggested.
    Man-marking at corner against team known for set pieces?
    Man-marking at set pieces against a team on average 7 cm taller than us?
    2 smallish lightweight midfielder against two powerful midfielder?
    2 midfielders including 1 slow against 3 midfielders?
    Mhikitarian as a 3rd defensive midfielder?

    At least, Freddie is likely to champion the cause of youth team players such as Willock and Nkethia.

  19. Words on a Blog


    If the reports are right and Freddie moves up to the senior team as Assistant Manager, you are likely to get your wish.

    I would expect to see quite a few more of the Under23s be integrated into the first team squad, as well as Nelson, Smith-Rowe and possibly Bielik.

    This would suggest that we’re not gonna be splashing out in the transfer market, and noes we manage to get value for any sales – the £40 million cap is real

  20. Valentin

    Having watched the Arsenal Media video, I have the following points

    On the content:

    * Bland, Corporate message.
    * Media training at his worst where a lot of time is spent saying nothing of note

    On the form:
    * They look like they are attending an afternoon TV show: Oprah, Ellen, …
    * Raul appears like like an over-excited puppy who can’t believe his luck.
    * When you start praising somebody you helped sacked, don’t over do it as that appears insincere.
    * When you try to big up Emery, saying that the EL is his comfort blanket is the wrong metaphore. Somebody should have reviewed that part.

  21. Valentin


    I do think that Freddie will push for the integration of more U23 players. But clearly that would happen anyway under instructions from the top as we do not have the budget to completely change the squad.

    However a few youngsters may go on loan abroad, especially in Germany. The England lower leagues are not necessarily good to develop our players. Some team just bypass the midfield and launch it upfield negating the need for skillful midfielders.
    That mad rush style of play also negatively influence the type of players developped there. Exactly the opposite of what we want. Agile, quick defenders composed with the ball and good distribution.

  22. MidwestGun

    Let’s be real… Bould should have been moved on circa… 2015 or sooner.. Our goals conceded never improved significantly ever. and Got worse in general. There was no need to bridge the Wenger era with the new era.. dumb idea anyhow. Would have been different if we were successful the previous seasons.. so I welcome it. Sounds like a good move to me.

  23. Words on a Blog


    You’re right that Bould should have moved on some time ago.

    What I find interesting though, is that it’s Freddie who is promoted – I think it’s a definite sign that the club is looking to integrate more of its U-23s, including loanees, into the first team squad

  24. Words on a Blog

    Also, if I put my Machiavellian hat on, if we also take Guendouzi’s reported salary increase (whatever you think about is merits) , maybe the club is sending out a message to all those (cheap) Young European and English players out there , is that Arsenal is a good place to come to….

  25. Valentin


    The only thing that Steve Bould was in charge both under Wenger and Emery was the defense at set pieces. Both last season and this season we were the best that exercise in the league. In fact when the Spanish first assistant took over, that’s when we started to leak goals at corners and set pieces.

    So the big question is whether Steve Bould has any influence on the rest of the defense. Because if we replace him, by somebody who is not allowed to have any input, the problem will remain.

    For me, a lot of our defensive problems stem from the midfield, wrong players, wrong systems which quite often meant that we are wide open through the middle. Changing the defense coach without giving the new one the means to change that is pointless.

  26. MidwestGun

    Not sure they have much of a choice.. I think they have determined the payroll structure is unfixable short term.. so it would be almost impossible to sign 8 new experienced players unless we can move on Ozil, Miki, Xhaka… one of Auba and Lacazette. So to me it might signal we will be keeping both Auba and Laca. That doesn’t upset me… Project youth could go very wrong though… so having Freddie there for continuity is probably a good move.

  27. Valentin


    No need to put your Machiavellian hat on, Arsenal is trying to attract young players, so of course the signal that they will be given an oppy and a high salary is part of that policy.

    BTW, we are using MG to seduce one of his former teammate from Lorient to join us. Releasing that Matteo has been raised does not hurt on that front.

  28. Takin the Mhik

    Bit of a long shot..

    But does anyone on here live in Sydney? And does anyone know of an Arsenal pub or something where the Europa final is being shown at 5am kick off?

    Be nice to watch a game with a bit of atmosphere rather than on my own for once lol.

  29. MidwestGun

    Bould wasn’t great under Wenger either so to me he was pointless before this. Anyhow… now if things fail defensively you can say it’s all on Emery now..he has his staff .. it may create less friction as well.. I don’t subscribe to Bould doing absolutely nothing but set pieces either. If so and he said nothing even during the Wenger era he should have walked.. have some personal integrity.

  30. Words on a Blog


    I’d be happy enough for Project Youth 2.0, as the wage structure problems are clear, and I can’t see Özil or Mikki sailing off into the sunset.

    Would still want to see Mustafi and El Neney gone, and ideally, Xhaka sold and replaced with someone more dynamic and less error prone.

  31. Dissenter

    In fairness to Bould, he was ready to leave last summer until he was convinced to stay one year yo help the new guys. His job was not to coach the defense, that was always a myth.
    His job was to help the new foreign crew understand there nuances of the English game.
    He was also there this season to be the plan-B/Caretaker should the shit his the fan. If Emery had been fired, Bould would have led the team till a new manager was appointed.
    Pedro will confirm that his exit was always planned for this summer.

  32. Nelson

    I read that there will be a friendly fixture at London Colney this Thursday against a team from the Austrian Bundesliga. It is supposed to be behind-closed-doors. Hopefully, there will be a report on the game.

  33. Nelson

    What do you think replacing Lichtsteiner with Juanfran? He is also free. Could be a better backup.

  34. MidwestGun

    If you say so… All I know is he was assist manager during the worst period of Arsenal for the last 25 years. Not exactly a resume filler.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    The removal of Steve Bould as a first team coach if confirmed has been a long time coming.

    Those who observe the club’s training programme in the last years of Wenger
    were unclear what exactly was Bould’s role at club was.

    What is clear is that he had very little input in recruitment of defenders or more importantly how they played. Our defence in last 2 years has been frankly appalling.

  36. Emiratesstroller


    I keep on reading comments about all the young attacking players we should
    be recruiting from other clubs on the Continent and presumably having to pay transfer fees for the privilege.

    How about investing in playing time for some of the youngsters in our Academy. Many other clubs appear to be interested in recruiting these players but they get virtually no opportunity at Arsenal.

    There is no point in investing heavily in an Academy Programme if so few players are coming through the system and making an impact in first team.

  37. jwl

    I don’t how accurate it was but I remember reading that Bould was forced by Wenger to take over from Pat Rice or he would be fired from his then job at club. Bould didn’t want to be Wengers assistant but he also needed paycheque and he loyal to Arsenal.

  38. Paul Mc Daid

    Bould being replaced will be worth a few points for sure , A complete waste of space, time and money, Pathetic that he sat there like a dummy the last few years, Delighted that he is going if this is true.

  39. Emiratesstroller

    Yesterday it was reported that Dennis Bergkamp wants to return to England. It
    will be interesting to see if he is offered a job at Arsenal.

  40. Takin the Mhik

    I dont think Bould had a voice under Wenger. And it seems like he was kept on by Emery to help with the transition of new coaching staff. He hasn’t done enough in my opinion.

    I’d like to see Ljungberg take over as assistant manager, as he has done a great job for the under 23s.

    Bergkamp and Pires to take over the under 23s would be brilliant.

  41. Gonsterous

    Is don’t get why gwen is getting a raise. Who had a better season gwen or Torr? How much is Torr on ? Or are we planning on doubling his wages too?

  42. Tony

    Let’s see how this works out when players don’t renew and don’t want to go to other clubs.

    “We’re either going to renew those contracts or we’re going to be selling them’:

    Arsenal vow to avoid further contract embarrassments after Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez shambles

    Arsenal are ready to sell any player who goes into the last two years of his deal
    Eight players have two years remaining on their current deals at the Emirates
    Ramsey and Sanchez were allowed to leave without the club receiving a fee”


  43. Dark Hei

    I see Bould getting a lot of stick.

    But I would give him kudos for the increase in goals from set pieces once he took over as AM.

    From abysmal to something respectable.

    It doesn’t excuse him since he was part of the Wenger’s crew that failed but it is not like there were no improvements.

  44. Dream10

    Not impressed with the interview with Sanllehi and Vinai. Lot of hot air and little substance in their message. We have a structure up top that isn’t saying much.

  45. Dream10

    Have no problem with Freddie replacing Bould. Can’t blame big Steve for our poor defending on set pieces. That’s on Emery and Carcedo. If I am not wrong, we were the best side in defending set pieces three years ago. Bould was with Wenger at the time. I would say he is neither a big help or a massive hindrance.

  46. Graham62

    If Bould is going………….Hallelujah!

    Another piece of the stagnant jigsaw has been removed.

  47. Freddie Ljungberg

    Un na

    pretty sure that was a carling cup game, Park, Miguel and Frimpong was hardly starters.

    Sure we can do worse now if we want.

    Competition has become much harder since then too, City hadn’t started their crazy spending, Pool and Spurs was languishing.
    So relatively compared to our top 4 rivals, yeah, it’s probably worse now.