3 very exciting kids linked

by & filed under News Review.

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”

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  1. Un na naai


    Have you actually been watching Arsenal this season? Swear to god, so many of you fools think your playing on your poxy Xbox

    Yeah it’s easy. Just sign him and him and him and him and him and him and him. You aren’t at Tesco. If he’s keeping Aubameyang and Lacazette next season he’d be a fool to drop either
    Both play better with the other on the field than off, as evidenced this season. We aren’t in a position to have a £50m striker sat rotting on the bench so either sell one of play both.
    And certainly not dripping either to play a ligue 2 punt. Wake up Freddy

    More likely to see 3 up front, 2 wingers and a striker, so that’s 2 positions where we have no one and then there’s Cam =3.

    How the hell do you know what’s “more likely”? Another crystal ball mechent.

    We played both striker beacuse they are the best players in the team. A teenager form french lower leagues isn’t going to produce what either striker can.

    As I said, we already have Nelson iwobi and ozil. Mkhitaryan too if we can’t projectile him anywhere. Shame he’s Armenian it he’d be ripe for turk

  2. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    The legendary dB 10

    Superbly put.

    Last night 23.34.

    My heart beats arsenal

    But my soul is dead for the club…

    Wining the trophy won’t ignite it…

    Playing in big cup to be humiliated again..

    Is it with the money.
    We were in it for years an only once did we have the chance to win it..

    Sorry my arsenal has gone.

  3. Freddie Ljungberg

    Un na

    “If he’s keeping Aubameyang and Lacazette next season he’d be a fool to drop either
    Both play better with the other on the field than off, as evidenced this season.”

    Yeah, because they’re the only 2 quality attackers we have atm.
    Sure, let’s just run them into the ground and be forced to play Eddie for a couple of months, that’s great planning ahead.

    You idiots complain all the time that we didn’t sign players like VVD, Salah, Hazard etc when we could afford them but have a meltdown when we’re linked to promising youngsters that are good enough to start for us now and has the possibility to become the next big thing. Pick a lane dimwit.

    Playing 3 up front is more likely because that’s what almost all big teams do, we can’t right now because we don’t have the players for it and an unbalanced squad. Fucking hell, you’re not just extremely unpleasant and annoying you’re also incredibly dim.

  4. gunnershabz


    some great talent there maurice and sadiba would be useful additions to our squad

    hakim ziyech would be a great signing for us, very similar to mahrez and he would come to Arsenal to play with his idol Mesut

    the talent for this summer is out there, i am not looking for world class signings just smart signings with great hungier

    like you said the signings dortmund, monaco and porto make

  5. Un na naai


    I’m not saying he won’t turn out to be a smart purchase. I don’t know. I habenr watched him at all. I’m saying that we already have one of Europe’s most promising teenagers cutting it in one of Europe’s top leagues and if we are going for a wide man I’d like to see someone who comes in and instantly improves us.

    Nobody said run both into the ground but again, we have to shift ozil and Mkhitarya/iwobi off our books or we don’t really have the room for another attacking midfielder.

    If we manage to shift one or two of those then great. I’m sick of watching us flounder in the final third with no link to the forwards out side of our full backs.

  6. englandsbest


    Dead right.

    We can try to pick up on the cheap the proven players that the elite clubs leave behind, or we can lead the field in Project Young and Vigorous.

    Let’s hope Emery & Co go the whole hog and sell off the current misfits to anybody who cares to buy.

    (Project Youth is a misnomer. It implies teenagers only, excluding guys in early twenties.)

  7. Gonsterous

    If we get a quality winger, it will help ease the burden on the two quality strikers we have and May be allow them more resting days and keep them fresh.

    Mustafi, ozil and mhiki top my “to sell” list, other than that, I don’t Mind keeping anyone else for a season longer.
    Get in a quality CAM. Rakitic, (experienced and maybe cheap). I get the need to flood the team with youngsters but adding in players that have quality and have big trophies helps when we have our backs to the walls.

    Get in a proper CB and a Ramsey replacement. We also.have the inconvenient problem of who’s going to be the no.2 next season. Surely we need someone pushing leno and not just another player who’s making up the numbers.
    So winger, CB, CM, CAM and then GK in that order of priority.

  8. Jamie

    The outgoing transfers are just as critical to our future as a club as the potential incomings.

    If Mustafi, Jenko, Chambers, Elneny, Xhaka, Mkhi and Ozil haven’t already been told they have no future at the club, we aren’t moving forward next season.

    I suspect the only 3 players on that list most likely to leave are Jenko, Chambers and Elneny. We’ll struggle to shift the others simply because they’re all overpaid underperformers.

    Why would any club looking to push forward be interested in Ozil, Mkhi, Xkaha, or Mustafi on big wages? Why wouldn’t they be doing what other sensible non-super clubs do and look for cheap young talent? There is no upside to paying those clowns what they earn at Arsenal (plus a transfer fee), which is why we’re probably stuck with them until their contracts expire.

    Feeling like next season is going to be a copy of this season.

  9. Un na naai

    After my own extensive research I’d say the kid has a style very similar to sterling. He’s quite aggressive off the ball too.
    Obviously a highlight reel can make Mustafi seem like Messi but yeah, the kid looks alright. Saying that I’m sure iwobi would look a lot better in the French second division too.

  10. Bamford10


    “Great opinion piece from Jonathan Wilson on the state of Football. It has almost become like a Marvel film: assemble all the expensive players in one place and remove any peril by making them invincible. Football without excitement and regular upsets serving the giant corporate machines cannot continue in this vein”

    Except that Liverpool and Tottenham are in the CL final, and neither of them are described by the above. Neither is Ajax, who made the CL semifinal. Madrid, who are described by the above, were poor this season. United, who are described by the above, have been an underachieving mess for some time.

    City are very good and very expensively-fashioned but there are still plenty of interesting things going on in football, and there is still plenty of competition in football.

    If people are genuinely concerned about inequality of money making the game too unequal, the big leagues should get together and discuss wage bill caps or transfer spending caps — absolute caps, that is.

  11. Un na naai


    I’d hold fire on chambers for now. The rest I’d sell in a heartbeat but I’d hold onto chambers as an auxiliary dm cb and rb spare unless we get a really good offer or a better replacement. He’s better than people think.

  12. Un na naai


    Barca and real have won’t he last 6-7 champions leagues
    Before that Chelsea, Bayern, United.

    Porto and Leicester have been the only aberrations in league and champions league in 20 years.

    So out of 40 winners, 2 come from outside the elite.
    5% chance of non elite side winning major titles over 20 years

    It’s like saying that just because a few under privelaged kids make it into good colleges that there should be no educational reform.

  13. Jamie

    Un –

    Is he, though? He’s been part of two relegated squads as a CB, no? Middlesbrough and Fulham.

    The only thing he has going for him is his low wage. Not remotely convinced he has the skill set to help take us forward. Maybe he’ll improve and I’ll eat my words. Fingers crossed.

  14. Un na naai

    Saliba looks like a monster. Reads the game well and relishes a battle. How quick is he though and what’s his concentration like? Also if we blow our budget on these three I’m not sure we are going to be any better off next season. Will a bunch of under 20s come in and add points to arsenal next season?

  15. Bamford10


    “I am supporting a football club with people who are not even interested in winning anything. And this starts with the owner. His only remit is to get back in the top 4 so that he can make CL money and grow the value of the club. Nothing more.”

    I get that people are frustrated, but the above simply isn’t true. The men who run the club — Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham — have made it clear that the Kroenkes are fully engaged with Arsenal and fully committed to winning things.

    Here is Venkatesham with Ornstein in late October:

    “I’ve known Stan and Josh a long time, very well for probably five or six years. Raul and I a couple of weeks ago were out in Los Angeles, that’s the last time we saw Stan and Josh face to face. We’re on phone to them all the time. They are very very, very clear; they are 100% committed to this club, want to get the club back in the Champions League, back competing for Premier League and competing to win the Champions League.

    They’re 100% committed behind that vision. Two individuals who are hugely passionate about the sport, very energised and excited about the future opportunity we have. The fans are everything around what a football club is, they’re the lifeblood of this club. I don’t think fans should be concerned around any lack of engagement with the club going forward.”

    Here is Venkatesham on the same point to Amy Lawrence:

    “We want to win the biggest trophies in the game and, if you compete in the Premier League, there are only two – the Premier League and the Champions League. The short‑term ambition is to get back in the Champions League. That is a step on the journey but not the ultimate ambition. Raúl and I were out in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago and spent a lot of time over two or three days with Stan and Josh and they are 100% committed to that vision of competing to win the Premier League and competing to win the Champions League.”

    The “we are led by men with no ambition” narrative is dated and false. As I said, I get that people are frustrated, but the actual situation is different from what some allege. It will take some time to fashion us into a top team again, but the men who run the club are trying to do just that, and the hope is that this summer window gives us some genuine signs of that.

  16. Un na naai


    I think he is yes. Certainly worth more than both Elneny, Jenks and Mustafi as back up in any of their positions. 3 players in one for a 3rd of the wage. Just in thatbvalue alone he’s worth keeping but I think he’s better than people realise.
    Remember when everyone was starting to write off holding after dominating Costa and then last season he showed that he can add consistency to his game? Stroller was adamant he was sub standard and should be sold, Day in day out he banged on about it and he’s now our first defensive name on team sheet with Leno.

    I think chambers could have a similar impact. If not then as a valuable and versatile sub and failing that then he’s easily £15m to a mid table side but I’d not sell him just yet. Give him a year back at the club. Then re evaluate.

  17. Un na naai

    I’m sick to death of debating over kroenke. We’ve been insteady decline from the moment he darkened our door. We were an elite club fresh from 49 games unbeaten and a very close CL loss to Barca and it all went down hill from there. This all has coincided with our move to our new, soulless, corporate stadium though and throughout a period of austerity and selling our best to make payments while the oil clubs picked us off.

    He is the only owner not to invest a penny into the his club in the premier league though. Quite a damning fact

  18. OleGunner

    Saliba looks a REALLY good prospect imo.
    If we sign him together with a more mature CB, think I’d be happy.

    Provided Mustafi is sold in the process.

  19. Bamford10


    We went downhill because Wenger went downhill and because he was responsible for every single decision at the club when he was at the helm, not because a different person came to own the majority of shares.

  20. Dissenter

    The rumors about Saliba had better be true. That the type of players we ought to be signing. That kid is super fast and is is 6-4 and is ready for the league already. He may be raw no doubt initially. Koschielny will mentor the kid.
    That’s was we should have done last summer with Issa Diop
    Sell Mavros and lots of academy players to facilitate it. There’s no way he’s 25 mill lion though. $8-12 million ought to be enough.

  21. Graham62

    When it came to losing the winning habit, the buck stopped with AW, not Kroenke.

    When you just shrug your shoulders and plod on after yet another embarrassment, it shows you really don’t care.

    Kroenkes mistake was to keep trusting him.

  22. Dissenter

    If makes sense to sign an 18 year old goal scoring forward player as back-up to Auba or Laca. Either of them will be sold soon, if not this summer then next summer.
    Nkettiah doesn’t have the juice. He works hard and all but just reminds me of Chiba Akpom

  23. Freddie Ljungberg


    Or we can sell Mustafi and Chambers to fund him and a left back.

    No need to sell Mavro until we know what he’s like. I know you don’t like him but wait and see is the better approach there, won’t fetch much anyway. Different with Chambers, we already know by now he’s not going to good enough to start for us and with the english premium we can get 20m for him.

    Sok, Holding, Saliba, Mavro and Kos is still an improvement on what we have now, although a bit light on experience. If we get in a great left back as well we look pretty decent in defence, for now.
    Would help if they didn’t have Xhaka in front of them waving the opposition by him.

    He just signed a new contract in april so I doubt 8-12m is going to make them want to sell.

  24. Bamford10

    We’re also being linked to 24-year-old wide forward Leandro Trossard from Racing Genk. See below. I realize these are all only links — i.e., Saliba, Ziyech, Maurice, Maignan — but if some of this reporting is true, I think people should be a bit more optimistic both about this summer and about the general direction of the club.

    “Arsenal Circle As 22-Goal Belgian Ace Gives Strongest Hint Yet He’ll Leave His Current Club”

  25. Freddie Ljungberg

    Add Ospina and Jenkinson to that.

    Yes it does make sense adding a young striker with potential that can also play on the wing. I don’t think Eddie is going to make it either.

  26. Un na naai


    How the fuck would you know? You only started watching arsenal 6 years ago.

    Wenger gone
    Arsenal still shit
    What’s the common denominator?

  27. Un na naai


    He’s ready for the league already?? Wind it in. He’s had one season in French league, is 18 but now he’s premier league quality right away from a 7 min highlight reel?

    Jesus Christ

  28. Dissenter

    I believe he’s ready for the league provided he doesn’t play too many games and has the mentorship of a veteran
    Who better than Koschielny to help the young lad?
    Of course he will be very rough around the edges and will make mistakes.
    You can’t buy 6’ 4” and pace in a central defender. The kid is ready.

  29. Dissenter

    What was Kroenke compelled to spend money on?
    -There was no debt to clear
    -There was no stadium to build
    -Wenger always insisted that he wasn’t denied transfer funds. Which says lot about Wenger. I’m heartened to see Poch use his leverage to publicly insist Spuds spend money on transfers. . Wenger converted whatever leverage he had after the stadium move to political capital to use to guarantee another 12 years of stay.
    As we speak the Arsenal coffees will swell to over £200 -250 million again this summer when all the premier league payments come in.

    When people say Kroenke hasn’t spent money, it’s because he chose to buy the right club that didn’t require him to spend a dime from his pocket.

  30. Graham62

    Un na

    Your head is still buried firmly in the sand.

    It’s about the amount of “shit” left behind by Wenger. Frigging bucket loads of the stuff…….everywhere!

    Of course there’s still going to be some “shit” lying around the place for Emery to step in.

    That goes without saying.

    Pull your head out of that sand and try opening your eyes.


  31. Un na naai


    So kroenke has no culpability whatsoever? Or Gazidis? Yes wenwger went down hill after cesc and rvp left but the suits sat on their hands nd watched us sink

  32. Nelson


    Talking is cheap. When the team really needed help last Jan due to injury, all we received was a message to cut cost in every departments.

  33. Emiratesstroller

    There are reports today that a number of players in our successful U23 programme are being targeted by clubs on continent and there appears to be
    a reluctance for these players to sign new/extended contracts at Arsenal, because of the lack of first team progression or opportunities.

    The situation was not helped by the recruitment of Suarez in January and Arsenal’s continued interest in transfer market to recruit a new winger.

    I have suggested on many occasions that Arsenal need to bring into first team
    squad at least one or two young players each year even if their gametime is
    limited to sitting on bench and playing in less important matches.

    Arsenal do have on their books some talented midfield and forward players and it makes absolutely no sense not to use them more regularly than we do.
    Can anyone honestly suggest to me that Arsenal should not have used either
    Willock or Smith-Rowe in preference to Suarez this season or Nelson or Saka
    next season on wing.

    I stated many time that Arsenal should focus this summer on improving our
    defence through transfer market, because there are limited resources in our
    Academy in that department, but that is not the case in offensive department.

    Buying players approaching their 30th birthday or recruiting Barcelona/Real
    Madrid rejects as we have done in past is not my personal preference.

  34. Dissenter

    The Liverpool owner had to spend money to clear the club’s debt from the outset.
    Then they had to spend money to solve the issue of stadium capacity. They opted to expand capacity by building a new stand
    These are two things Stan Kroenke never had to because he methodically chose the right club to buy.
    I bet he researched the fans too and knew they are some of the most pliable and gullible football fans on the planet. Why else would Wenger still be lauded after the last 10 years of stagnant marshes that he built up in the club?

  35. Bamford10


    We have a bloated wage bill. Much of what occurred in January is down to that. None of that means that the club is not planning to spend and fully use the resources available to it going forward.

  36. Ishola70

    The kid from St Etienne Saliba is noted for having good concentration levels which is a good sign for a defender especially one so young. It’s seen as one of his strong points.

    But strangely his weakness has been listed as aerial duels which isn’t because of size so must be because he lacks positioning at times but this can be ironed out with the coaching and passing of time.

    He looks to be very much worth the investment.

  37. Marc


    An insight into Pedro’s weekend and why we didn’t get a post yesterday!

  38. Valentin

    William Saliba is a CB by formation, but he has mostly been playing right back this season. He also played right CB as part of a back 3.

    He is a better defender than Bellerin or AMN, but he is not going to go galloping forward and deliver teasing crosses or cut back.

    I suspect that he will cost between €20~25 millions because Monaco, Juventus and some other clubs are already sniffing around him.

    Gasset, the Saint-Étienne coach has an option to automatically extend his contract if he makes 8th or better position in the league. They finished 4th. But he has decided not to renew because the club has reneged on their promise to invest next season. In fact one of the players whose sale they have already planned is Saliba, hence his refusal to extend his option.

  39. Dissenter

    How do you go from a GENERAL statement about abortion from Bellerin to zoom on just black people?
    Save that stuff for stormfront mate.

  40. Alexanderhenry

    Un na nai

    You’re quite right on kroenke of course.

    I think the penny’s dropped for most fans, but some still absolve him of any blame which is quite staggering.

    The man is really not motivated by success on the pitch and has said as much.
    The fact that arsenal trot out their CEO who says the Kroenkes are dedicated to arsenal is utterly meaningless and completely disingenuous.

    Right now for example, it’s perfectly clear arsenal have fallen behind. The smart and sensible move would be to make additional funds available, perhaps just for this window, and try and close the gap.
    If you speculate in football, there’s a risk, but there is also a good chance you’ll reap the rewards further down the line

    Will Stan make that kind of move?
    I’d be shocked.

  41. Pedro

    Alex, the smart thing to do would be for Arsenal to get on top of their finances.

    We’re the second richest Europa League team
    Wages topped £235m
    We spent £70m last summer, despite not really addressing said wage bill
    We’re going through another restructure after our CEO left

    You can’t make funds of your own available nowadays. Nor should we. Arsenal can take the Liverpool route back to the top.

  42. Un na naai

    Anyone who doesn’t look like me?
    funny that because I could pass for Southern European and middle eastern. Also my mrs hails from that part of the world so keep trying

  43. Samesong

    Bamford isn’t no racist!

    Don you should think before you speak.

    Black people don’t need require you defending them.

  44. Dissenter

    Are you sure that we re still the second richest blah blah blah
    Not after all the mishaps of recent years.
    Try to ground your beliefs in some reality mate.

  45. Pedro

    I’m getting into so many youtube holes, these kids that make the videos are really fucking talented. No idea where they find the cuts from.

  46. Un na naai

    Alexander Henry
    The fact that we have such cash reserves yet we’re given nothing in Jan and just £40m this summer speaks volumes. Let’s all pretend to that the current owner, coach and set up is all going swimmingly though.

    They need to let wenger go. Too many bitter Jonny come latelies holding onto their resentment

  47. Moray

    @ Bamford, your point about Spuds and Liverpool not being top tier teams doesn’t stand if you are looking at the “richest” clubs table rather than recent past European performance or league performance.

    In fact, the Premiership currently has 9 clubs in the top 20. It was 10 last year. While the European domestic leagues tend to be skewed to one or two clubs, in England there are a big four or five and an underperforming three or four, so it is a bit more competitive, but that was before the richest club bought the best manager and opened their cheque book. Make no mistake, it is all about money and man City are primus inter pares in this regard.

    Globalisation and (centralisation of) money. That’s what’s fucked everything up. I don’t think anyone wants to see that pick system in US sports but there must be better controls on the money a club has and where it comes from.

  48. Jamie

    The Chamakh highlight reel is the best. First 3 minutes are of him missing chance after chance. And that’s the best they could find to showcase his talent.

  49. Un na naai

    You can’t make funds of your own available nowadays. Nor should we. Arsenal can take the Liverpool route back to the top.

    Then let’s flog Aubameyang and press the reset button
    Let emery fall on his own sword or lead us to the promised land

  50. Pedro

    Guys, appreciate as a group of men, you’re all well placed to discuss women’s reproductive rights… but I would rather you keep your opinions for Breitbart, not Le Grove, especially after I’ve penned you an absolute banger of a post.


  51. Dissenter

    please list a couple of things that Kroenke had to spend money on
    The club’s finances are already paying for the training ground and Modernization.
    There’s no new stadium to build. The repayment plan was already built into the club’s finances when Kroenke came on board.
    There was no debt to clear before buying the club, which is another are that demands financial commitments from new owners.
    I think most owners [besides the Russian and oil sheiks] only spend when they have no choice.
    Kroenke haven’t been in these situations because the club was run extremely well by the previous owners,

  52. Samesong

    Anyway what the hell going on with Gareth Bale?

    Maguire to City?

    Leicester Hamza Chowdry I would swap for Xhaka. Crucify me.

    Who we buying and who we selling?

  53. Valentin


    Yes Arsenal should get on top of their finance, but the initial signs are not good.

    We don’t need to increase Lacazette and Aubameyang to the level talked about. Nobody is willing to pay them that amount. And if anybody is willing to pay Aubameyang that salary on top of offering us £100 millions for his services, I’d say accept the deal.

    Same thing, I like Guendouzi, but no way is he worth £70k a week. To put that into context, that’s Christensen salary! That’s more than what every players in LOSC, the second In Ligue 1 is paid.

    If you pay Guendouzi, a fringe player £70kpw, you can expect to see half the team coming in and asking for more, just when you are trying to reduce the wage bill.

  54. gambon

    “If you pay Guendouzi, a fringe player £70kpw,”

    He played 48 games last year.

    How have you convinced yourself he is a fringe player?

  55. Pedro

    Valentin, kind of with you… though I think Matteo playing 48 games a season puts him firmly as a starter. Also, make him sign a 7 year deal for that. One extra year looks like we rolled over for him.

    Absolutely wouldn’t be giving Auba or Laca raises… I’d sell one to get some extra cash in the door.

  56. russ99

    A win over Chelsea would help our transfers as well, we badly need a center back, but good center backs are very expensive, and I don’t see requisite funds with a return to Europa League.

    The cheapness or our billionaire ownership reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns says he’d make a donation “when pigs fly”.

  57. Valentin


    How many game has he started and completed since the beginning of the calendar year? How many of those games were major, difficult gams according to Emery?
    He is not a starter anymore and unless we intend to make him a starter next season, we should not have substitute players on £70kpw as basic.
    Most people here castigated Wenger for his communist/socialist/equalitarian (whatever you want to call it, I am not interested in starting a discussion on the wording) wage policy that wasted so much cash on fringe and substitute players. Yet, because it’s not Wenger doing it, they are fine now giving to a substitute a higher salary.

    This is exactly how we ended up giving a 7 years contract to Jenkinson who for 18 months looked good. So good he got called on by the England team. Since we have been unable to get rid of him. I can see the same scenario developing with Guendouzi in two years time. Especially if we upgrade our central midfield.

  58. Ishola70

    If Guendouzi is seen as a starter next season then Arsenal can wave goodbye to any thoughts on real improvement in league position.

    Yes he has some good technical aspects and gets around the pitch but his immaturity still is there for all to see.

    He is not a starter for any real top side at this stage. Just a prospect.

  59. Emiratesstroller


    The intelligent, motivated and knowledgeable owners will find always the resources to achieve their goals.

    Sadly that has not been the case at Arsenal and indeed the club has been totally naive in their so-called self financing model.

    Arsenal’s lack of ambition and ruthlessness started off with the Suarez debacle
    when Liverpool managed to hoodwink us and we backed off buying the player.
    Liverpool were in poor financial shape and vulnerable at the time.

  60. Guns of Brixton

    “If you pay Guendouzi, a fringe player £70kpw,”He played 48 games last year.How have you convinced yourself he is a fringe player?


  61. Pedro

    ES, let’s see what a new TD will bring. We’re being linked with exciting players, maybe we have turned the corner?

    New youth project is the way forward

  62. Alexanderhenry


    I’m not talking man city level money.

    Even a pick me up of 30 odd million this summer would make a big difference.
    Couldn’t the club have made a bit of cash available this January to allow Emery to buy a defender at least?

    Regarding emulating Liverpool, they had valuable assets (Suarez, coutunho, Stirling etc).
    We don’t. The idea that, arsenal can fund an elite rebuild off the back of selling Özil and Xhaka is pretty far fetched.

    The one player we did have that was genuinely valuable has just walked for nothing of course.
    That level of mismanagement doesn’t fill me with confidence for the future.

  63. Bamford10

    I can’t believe people are seriously talking about a European Super League as a “solution” to the inequality within domestic leagues. Caps on spending (of one kind or another) would be a far better solution. We already have the Champions League; we don’t need to create a European Super League and thereby destroy the domestic leagues.

  64. Bob N16

    Love the way Bamford sucks up the PR spin on the Kroenkes. ‘We want success, we want to compete for the PL and CL”.

    Action speaks louder than words.

  65. Bamford10


    “Regarding emulating Liverpool, they had valuable assets (Suarez, Coutinho, Sterling, etc). We don’t.”

    So maybe our rebuild will take a little longer. Is this really such a massive problem?

  66. Alexanderhenry

    Bob N16

    That statement is about as sincere as Gazidis’ claim that we’d be equalling Bayern Munich within two seasons.

    Remember that one?

  67. Bamford10


    I know, I know; every man who wears a suit is simply a paid liar.

    “Gazidis was a liar!” “Vinai Venkatesham is a liar!” “Raul Sanllehi is a liar!”

    Soon enough: “Edu is a liar!”

    This is all so much nonsense.

  68. Pedro

    Alex, would you not agree that addressing the chronic overspending in our squad to raise funds organically would be smarter than 30m of injection?

  69. Bamford10


    If Wenger had spent our money more intelligently, maybe we would be in as good of shape as Bayern. It’s not on account of a lack of money spent that we are not where we could be.

  70. Nw9 gooner

    Bamford – regarding your reference to the interviews our CEO gave , what did you expect him to say – no they are not bothered and are only interested in increasing the value of their club? See our history – AW was kept on because he got us CL regularly and was let go when he failed in his only remit. If UE gets us Cl this year and next his contract will be extended. We are a“safe” club and will remain one-

  71. Receding Hairline

    I don’t know how anyone can argue in favor of a wage increase for Guendouzi after one good half of a season. Didn’t he sign a four year deal last year? What’s the rush? Hope it has nothing to do with the phantom 70m valuation.

  72. Bamford10

    I said this the other day, but my biggest concern about Guendouzi is that he lacks athleticism. He is a very good player in terms of his technical ability, his vision and his intelligence, but the game is highly, highly athletic these days and Gundouzi is a little weak on this front.

    That guy “Clive” (guest on this weekend’s Arsecast) made a number of good points about our lack of pace, running and athleticism in the squad — a point I have been making for some time — esp. midfield and said something like, ‘Xhaka, Elneny and Guendouzi are all joggers; we need runners; so two of them need to go; for me that should be Xhaka and Elneny’.

    I agree with that, and while I basically like Guendouzi, he is a bit un-athletic — he is a “jogger” — and depending on how he develops from here, this could hinder what he is able to become.

  73. Nw9 gooner

    People have been saying here that FFP rules do not allow us to increase our wage bills and we did not buy players in Jan because of that and now we are increasing the pays of at least three of our current players if reports are to be believed

  74. Chris

    Worrying that some of our best academy prospects are linked with moves to the continent, if true.

    I think to see a substantial improvement in the league next season the club should be looking to purchase 2 or 3 of the best players they can buy with the money they have, ones who will make an immediate impact and preferably aged between 21-27. Trim the squad of those who are not good enough and fill the squad with the best players from the youth team. They may not play every game but at least they will have the exposure and it may motivate them to commit their long term future.

    I would dread a summer where we fill the squad with say 4-5 players who are not likely to take us to the next level and continue to marginalise the youngsters.

  75. Un na naai


    Fair point. Was just responding to Dissenter’s scandalous claims.

    I say flog Aubameyang hardcore Real Madrid and use the money to coutinho our way into the upper echelons of the game.
    I would t be putting guendouzi on £70k a week just yet. Playing games and not influencing them is not enough for such a wage for a club with a budget as limited as ours

  76. Bamford10

    Imagine we sign Hakim Ziyech and Leandro Trossard and play the former on the right and the latter on the left. Who would you rather see “paired” with those two? Who would be better through the center — Lacazette or Aubameyang?

  77. azed

    If a decent offer (30) came in for Guendozi, I think we should sell.

    He should be our 4th choice midfielder.

  78. Dream10


    I agree with Clive that we lack athleticism. Particularly the ability to play at intensity.

    Guendouzi isn’t fast, however he has the fitness and stamina to play many successive matches. He is progressive with his passing and has a chance to be a top CM. Probably one that plays behind the ball. A #6/#8 as opposed to a pure #8 or an #8/#10.

    One of our ways of coping for the lack of athleticism was to be good on the ball. We had plenty of quality technicians on the field at once which allowed us to dominate the ball. We’ve had teams that had poorer defensive personnel, but had better defensive records due to technical superiority. Ideally, we become better on the ball and more athletic.

  79. Marc


    Yes but we have the wages of Ramsey, Welbeck, Cech, Monreal, Lich and Jenkinson coming off the wage bill this summer circa £500k per week.

  80. Valentin


    My point exactly. Some may laugh at me calling Guendouzi a fringe player because of the number of appearances, but most of his appearances were done when Torreira was not available and when Xhaka was injured.
    Since the beginning of the calendar year, he has been used in meaningless or supposedly easy games and as a substitute. At this stage of his career, he is a prospect and a substitute not a starter. We need to make a distinction how se financially treat players. Prospect, Substitute, Starter, Star player.

    Experience has proven that giving a long contract (7 years is long in sport) with guaranteed money is a bad move. A deal that is initially viewed as a good deal can become suddenly like a weight across the neck of the finance of the club.

    By all means incentivise a deal on total number of appearance and other metrics, butbdobit intelligently . Not in the stupid way ManUtd, PSG and other big clubs have done. Giving a bonus for every goal scored or every assists distort players behaviour on the pitch. Look at MBappe refusing to let Neymar score his hat trick from the penalty spot, because he is going for the golden shoe. Same thing happen between Zlatan and Cavani.

  81. Dream10

    Ornstein tweeted that Welbeck scored a hat trick in a behind closed doors friendly.


  82. Pedro

    Alex, injections of owner cash aren’t allowed these days.

    We should rectify the mess. Do things properly.

  83. Ishola70

    “Imagine we sign Hakim Ziyech and Leandro Trossard and play the former on the right and the latter on the left. Who would you rather see “paired” with those two? Who would be better through the center — Lacazette or Aubameyang?”

    Of course it’s going to be Auba because he is a more physical CF than Lacazette.

    These two should still be paired together though upfront as it makes both of them more effective and better players for Arsenal. Bring in a decent standard bench striker.

    What a waste of Lacazette who has been seen by many as Arsenal’s best player this season.

    Wingers is not a priority for this team as much as people scream it is.

    The priority for this team is to tighten up midfield defensively meaning getting rid of Xhaka and getting in a good attacking LB to go along with Bellerin at RB. Bellerin has his faults but he can be very useful from an attacking aspect and getting in a better CB than Mustafi.

    Wingers are down the list of importance.

  84. Bamford10


    “Wingers are down the list of importance.”

    Unless Emery wants to play 4-3-3, in which case they are of supreme importance.

  85. bennydevito

    Afternoon Grovers,

    Good post Pedro.

    Lol! I actually thought of you when I saw Emery with those glasses, shirt and Gillet and thought I bet Pedro will start thinking differently of Emery now and be conflicted! 🤣

    Like you said, speculation at this point we don’t know for a fact why he was there.

    So it looks like De Ligt is going to Barcelona now and City getting Maguire. I yearn for the day we can just click our fingers and get the very best available.

    Remember when we snared Sol Campbell away from Spurs and from Man utd’s, Madrid’s and Barcelona’s clutches? That signing made me feel euphoric like we really were the pinnacle of Elite clubs, the same excitement as when we signed Bergkamp.

    Ahhh they were the days.

    City with Maguire to replace Kompany along with Stones and Laporte have their cbs sorted for the next 10 years. They will sign a LB too as Mendy is broken. I still expect them to sign Chillwell.

    We’re so far behind it’s depressing.

    Thanks Wenger, great legacy you left behind.

  86. Ishola70

    Emery should be playing a formation on most occasions that includes both Auba and Lacazette.

    If he doesn’t he’s a fool.

    He has a good attacking RB in Bellerin. He needs to bring in a good attacking LB on the other side.

    Auba and Laca will get him his goals and the attacking width comes from the fullbacks.

  87. Guns of Hackney

    Lolz. Lots of exciting kids being linked…

    A couple of ligue 2 players which is basically Hackney Marsh level after 18 pints the night before.

    Another midget.

    Another couple sons of bitches.

    Emery needs to work on his style game fast. Nothing about that ensemble worked. Nothing. You want this man to buy players and he’s rocking a weird suede body warmer? Fuck no.

    We will buy a couple of busted Spanish jerks on big wages.


  88. Valentin


    Our team lacks athleticism, but also dynanysm.
    None of our midfield player have that. Apart from Ramsey, none of them presents a threat while running with the ball. There had been games where Guendouzi was played further up. He ran with ball away from his marker and then stop did not know what to do. Never try to go at the goalkeeper.

    We also lack the technical ability to shield the ball. You don’t necessarily need to be big, you need good upper body strength and good foot technique in small spaces. Cazorla was a specialist at using his superior technique (two footed) to bamboozle opponents and break the line.

    When was the last time we have seen one our player receive the ball on a half turn and running away from an opponent direct to the center of the defense creating an opportunity for himself or a more advance striker?

    Or midfielders either break the line via a pass or they don’t break the line at all. So frustrating. Some is due to coaching, but some is also due to players not willing to take a risk.

  89. Marc


    Like anything in life the key is balance. Pay players well but not excessively , reward improvements and success push out players who don’t perform.

  90. Marc

    benny’s comments about City throw up an interesting question. If they do get banned from the CL for a season that will affect their income. I don’t mean they’ll struggle to pay the bills but if they keep spending at current levels losing CL money will mean they are breaking FFP by a larger margin.

    Would UEFA have the balls to squeeze them by further bans? If they did at some point players are going to avoid joining them because they can earn good money elsewhere and play CL football. There was also a rumour a couple of months ago that a group of PL clubs had got together and written a letter to the league complaining about City’s behaviour.

  91. Ishola70


    “Or midfielders either break the line via a pass or they don’t break the line at all. So frustrating. Some is due to coaching, but some is also due to players not willing to take a risk.”

    Or it’s because they are just not capable.

    As we see Xhaka is a snail over the first 5-10 yards. This affects him both defensively and also from an attacking aspect.

    People go on about Xhaka passing between the lines, breaking the lines with passing and rave about it. Well he can’t do anything else. It’s so limiting to the midfield.

  92. Valentin


    Long deals are good if you start from a low base. £70kpw is already elite salary for most league. In the EPL, bar some elite players most starters at club vying for best of the rest are not even on that.

    I remember when Arteta had to take a pay cut to join us from Everton.

    All Spurs deals have incentive. Even Adebayor deal had incentives. However toward the end of his time at Spurs, Adebayor did not care because his basic was so high. In the end they had to pay him off to leave.

    Why not create a deal with a step ladder salary. If after two years you and the club have met those targets, your salary increase to X. If after 4 years it increases to Y.

    Or have a deal with an option by the club to extend by two more years in exchange for an increase in salary.

  93. Gonsterous

    Nothing can suggest giving gwendouzi 70k a week is a good idea. Lad needs to be worth that money. His productivity is definitely worth the 35k per week in today’s market but anything above that is robbing the club. Maybe if he shows that he’s as good as cesc was back in the day, he could.command a higher fee.

  94. Valentin


    Some of our players have shown their limit. Xhaka can’t do it when put under pressure. However there has been instances where he chose the easy ball rather than the more difficult one.

    I don’t know whether he was following Emery instructions of keeping the ball or he simply did not see the ball or did not have the courage to attempt that.

    Some of the passes are not technically difficult, but they are more risky than a 5 yards pass to the CB.
    For example, Song used to launch those loopy balls over the defense to RvP. I can recall only one attempt at such ball this season by Guendouzi.

  95. Eric

    I love that the top 4-5 comments on every one of Pedro’s posts is just people trying to be the top 4-5 comments …how droll :p I say we get rid of the slag and let the kids we have play, grab a couple more MG type signings and maybe Pepe (yeah right …if anyone above Arsenal even sniff at him he’s not coming to Arsenal) …I’m very ok with the rebuild being through the legs of babes (wait that’s not the saying) …you know what I mean though

  96. Dissenter

    If city get banned, it will be in 2032 or something
    Relying on other clubs getting banned is like us relying on FFP to create level playing field.
    We have to start buying up the most exciting 18-21 year olds and be ready to sell them off when they make a name for themselves. Wenger got the first part right but should have insisted the proceeds be re-invested on new players. Instead, he diverted the new money to wages.

  97. Champagne Charlie

    “Love the way Bamford sucks up the PR spin on the Kroenkes. ‘We want success, we want to compete for the PL and CL”.“

    Spot on Bob, imagine giving it the ‘here you go’ to some sound bites given to national newspapers when citing ambition.

    Ambition is near tangible, we can witness the lengths it stretches at Arsenal and the evidence for the ambition is fantasy – until proven otherwise.

  98. Ishola70

    Alex Song could have been so much more of a player for Arsenal if only Wenger had sat him down and tried to install more discipline in him as a CM but Wenger only cared for what Song did on the ball and offensively.

    Alex Song used to break the lines with the ball at his feet plenty of times for Arsenal.

  99. Dissenter

    I remember I was laughed at when I suggested that Guendouzi should have signed a 7 year contract at the outset. The wage increment should have been built into the contract
    We haven’t learned from our mistakes. Mr Levi made a name for himself with cointracts because he would increase the wages like 5k weekly more per year signed.
    Guendouzi shouldn’t be on more than 30-50k on the post-Wenger wage policy. Let him work his way up slowly to the top. His contract is for 4 years so he’s not going anywhere soon.
    We shouldn’t raise the wages of Auba and Laca. We should be operating on a Europa cup footing and we have to sell them at some point, be it this summer or the next.
    Keep them grumbling and irritated so they will play their way out of the club. We should be fanning their hunger not satiating them,

  100. Nw9 gooner

    Marc – regarding the wages – what about the new players coming in. Their wages? And why this wasn’t done last year- Ramsey, Elneny etc we stink as a club in long term planning

  101. Nw9 gooner

    Marc – regarding the wages – what about the new players coming in. Their wages? And why this wasn’t done last year- Ramsey, Elneny etc we stink as a club in long term planning.

  102. Moe

    The Kroenke’s are very complicit in Arsenal’s decline. Sorry excuse of an owner really.

    Guendouzi ain’t good enuff, too many limitations: Not fast, can’t dribble, no power, always drifting to the left with zero ambidextrousity.

    Need two midfield starters to partner Torreira.

  103. Dissenter

    Where’s Karim?
    I miss his input on French football even though Valentin [when he’s not up to mischief] does a very good job of distilling that that important league for us.

  104. Dream10


    My money is on Welbeck going to Everton or Palace. Despite his Man Utd heritage, I think he could do a job for Liverpool.

  105. Dissenter

    “Guendouzi ain’t good enuff, too many limitations: Not fast, can’t dribble, no power, always drifting to the left with zero ambidextrousity.”

    The lad is only 19. How many midfielders are anywhere near polished at that age. He’s going to get better. He was overplayed this season , after a while all he relied on was just athleticism because the footballing senses aren’t that developed yet. It’s hard to see the game well when you’re 19 y/o.
    “The Kroenke’s are very complicit in Arsenal’s decline.”
    No doubt …yes.
    That’s because of an absence of a vision for Arsenal and not imposing proper oversight on the local people running the club.
    They bought the club convinced that it would function well on cruise control when in fact we needed a proper engine tuning and switch of gears.
    I think people are blaming them for the wrong reasons. Leadership failure—YES…,Not spending —NO
    Abramovich got Peter Kenyon in to plan their spending
    City got Soriano and Txixi in to execute a plan
    We had no one but a once-great manager who couldn’t a knowledge his own weaknesses.

  106. Marc


    My point about City wasn’t in relation to what we need to do more curiosity as a football fan in general.

    They’re being linked with Maguire etc who won’t come cheap if they get the ban how do they afford the players without getting into further trouble with FFP.

    It should be a vicious circle.

  107. Dissenter

    aargh. i fuc*ed up

    That post was in response to Moe’s earlier post
    Somehow I read it as “Marc”
    sorry mate.

  108. Marc


    Well I’ll let you off this time. I would demand that you give yourself a damn good thrashing as penance but you’ve probably done that already at least twice today!

  109. Marc


    I think Liverpool would be cautious of the injury situation. If it weren’t for the fact he’d probably spend 2/3 of the season injured again I’d push for another deal.

  110. Dissenter

    How dis things go so bad for Gareth Bale?
    He’s not on talking terms with Zidane is reported to have told other players that he’s ready to play golf for then next three seasons to play out his contract.

  111. Marc


    They don’t. It’s CC who nibbles at me because I showed him up a couple of times. I made a point about where this season would have gone if Wenger had stayed in charge and he decided that I was predicting the future.

    Things getting worse year on year under Wenger isn’t exactly picking the lottery numbers!

  112. Samesong

    Alex Song could have been so much more of a player for Arsenal if only Wenger had sat him down and tried to install more discipline in him


  113. Samesong

    How dis things go so bad for Gareth Bale?

    It’s madness Dissenter. On 600k who is going to take him now?

  114. Nelson

    I am afraid Guen has been found out by other teams. How many times he got knock down with the ball during last game. He always tries to carry the ball one step sideways and gives the opponent time to knock him down. Of course, it is not all his fault. Other players have to provide him a passing lane to get the ball moving. MC is expert in executing this team game. Whether Arteta has anything to do with it???

  115. James.wood

    Same Song
    Song was a great player for us.
    His stint late on at centre back
    would have been ideal for us with all our injuries a similar player to him
    would have been ideal for us.?
    Trouble was supporters started getting on his back.
    A good player and clubman,
    And badly underestimated.?.

  116. DivineSherlock

    Why is no one talking about Van de Beek from Ajax . I think he is the perfect replacement for Ramsey.

  117. Un na naai

    As long as nelson isn’t involved inthe deal I’d be quite happy with that. Would rather let Mkhitaryan Mustafi and Jenks go however. Those three just about equate to £40m between them