Saliba? You better beliba it…

by .

Plenty of news out of France at the minute suggesting that we’ve agreed on terms with William Saliba about a move away from St.Etienne.  This from Lequipe.

‘The Gunners will now enter into negotiations with the Greens to try to complete the operation. The idea of ​​the different parties is to make a transfer, followed by a loan to ASSE for the coming season. The Forez club could thus finance its mercato, in addition to keeping its player an additional year.’

The reason this signing should excite you is two-fold.

The idea that we’re about to drop sexy money on an 18-year old that we’re not going to have in the squad next season is absolutely massive. It suggests we likely have more than £40m in the kitty, Stan K is buying into the future plan, and that the club is fairly confident of raising more funds from player sales this summer. If this move happens, it’d show we’re future planning at a far more ambitious clip than ever before.

The second part of this move that excites me is that it doubles down the hope that we’re moving towards a smarter model for rebuilding Arsenal. It means that the Dortmund+ vision is where we’re likely heading. That’s exactly how we win moving forward.

I’ve read some folk moaning that this approach is neglecting the short term, but here’s the rub, Arsenal has given a full throttle go at short-termism and it failed. We signed Auba, Lacazette, Sokratis, Leno, Xhaka, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Perez, Welbeck and Kola… at great expense and we didn’t make the top 4.

Short-termism comes at a cost, we bought in players on CL money and now we can’t move them on. We tied players down like Ozil and they’re not motivated.

The last thing we should be doing is giving the short-term game another go next season. It’s not sustainable, it’s dry to watch, and the Premier League is too competitive for that approach to be a smart one when you don’t have buckets of money to throw at the problem.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Arsenal did stabilize last season. Sure, Emery finished worse than he started, but when all was said and done, we only had ourselves to blame for not finishing 3rd. That’s a good set of footings to build from. If we ship out the bad eggs, replace with capable young players with high ceilings, and rebuild the departments surrounding the manager with people that share Arsenal values, blended with a true winners mentality, we could be on course for improvement next season.

I’m being very hopeful here… the main angle I want to get at is that Edu is going to come armed with ideas, energy and a fresh footballing philosophy. Hiring in like Sevilla this summer would have been a disaster for the next manager. Next season should be a speedy assessment of infrastructure weaknesses, with an action plan for a rebuild. The recruitment seems to be off to a good start, let’s just hope Raul keeps things focused on elite youth so the transition to the next person is smooth and cost-effective.

The manager leaving shouldn’t break the club… hopefully that’s what’s being put in place.

Remember, 5 years ago Spurs and Liverpool were behind us on the pitch, as brands, and financially. Now look at them! We could have some of that, but the building has to start now. Saliba, Claude, Schubert and bringing back the kids is where we should be heading… very exciting if true.

We’re being linked to Kimpembe. He’s on Neymar’s shit list. He’s a good player, he’s young, could be an interesting move as PSG look to offload talent.

Even more exciting? David Ospina is nearly gone… feels like he’s been here so long, he should be landing a testimonial? Right? He’s like that one guest at the end of a house party, ‘shots, shots, shots’, no David, you just pissed all over the toilet seat again and you’re wearing my wife’s bra on your head. Time to go matey.’

One man I’d like to do shots with at a house party with is Steve Bould. He’d be doing them from fish bowls telling a crowd of people he’s not down with gender pronoun bollocks, ‘you are what you are, and while I’m here, gluten-free, fucking bollocks is what that is.’ I’d never tell Steve I drink oat milk. Not worth the aggro.

Anyway, he’s swapped roles with Freddie. I think the move is very simple, Steve Bould wants to coach and there’s probably not a lot of opportunity to do that under Emery. I like that he’s been kept in the club, he’s a great personality to have about the camp and he’s a legend. I’m also very excited about Freddie, I’ve heard interesting things about how he is, clearly hugely ambitious, has had a good stint with the kids, so it all looks very positive. Unai apparently has a thing about making sure anyone he hires outside his group of buddies can’t have any hair. It’s weird, but what can you do?

Can someone get me the odds on caretaker manager Freddie?

On that sexy note, I’ll see you in the comments x

222 Responses to “Saliba? You better beliba it…”

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  1. RodneyK


    “Would Ferguson have capitulated, not on your Nellie.”

    There’s really no basis for comparison but the Ferguson, who later went on to become the greatest manager the PL has ever seen, certainly wouldn’t.

    Not saying that Emery has it in his locker to become like Ferguson. But even the great Ferguson himself had to wait 4 and 6 years for his first FA Cup and EPL title respectively. I also vaguely remember ManU having some of the best players in the league during his time.

  2. Dissenter

    Actually you ran through a couple of drum beats I’ve banged on in recent times. so you’re arguing with yourself when you call me one-liner.
    I’m yet to see what the Greek kid we signed from the Greek super league 2 can do.

    You’re proving my point, which is that you like to downplay the scale of our problems, which are systemic and were brought on by 10 years of Wenger and Gazidis flapping around a stationary point while Spurs/Liverpool were edging past us. You pretend that our challenges are nascent so that you can blame the new guys on the block.
    That you even question that Arsenal were driven into the ditch by clueless Wenger and ‘lying Gazidis drives the point home.

  3. Up 4 grabs now

    Good post Pedro one of your better ones.
    Good news about Saliba but will wait to see him grinning on the website next to emery before I get too excited.

    Dortmund route is definitely the way to go considering where the club is at the moment.

    I don’t believe the 40 million rumors for a minute though.
    Plead poverty then you won’t be over a barrel when dealing with teams.

    Look at utd everyone will be asking top dollar knowing that utd have to buy big now.

  4. Caligooner

    I live in Los Angeles and I’ve never even heard of oat milk.

    Love that we seem to be focusing on the youngsters.

    May be punting on next season but I’m down for a mediocre year if it sets the base of a nice build and expansion of the talent level, which is sorely needed.

    Of course then we have to develop that talent to make it worth while.

  5. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Roy to be back for england next week after tearing his hamstring last week

    Get that medical team at our club.

  6. Victorious

    Good signing this Saliba kid but how does he help a defense that allowed in something like 60+ goals last season? Most especially if rumours his club wants him back on loan is true?

    We absolutely won’t be doing anything of note next season if a genuinely elite starting CB isn’t brought in

    Saying so anything to get that clown Mustafa how of the club anyway would appear a progress

  7. Victorious

    Hopefully we’re really working hard on Ziyech.Just love that guy to bits ..he could potentially make so much difference for us regardless of the ever limited Emery

  8. Kay

    I dont know how turning into Dortmund+ will land us a EPL?
    Unless we have – no prices to guess the teams below

    300 million budget or
    A sellable asset worth 150 million or
    Cristiano or
    Messi or
    Neymar or
    1 of the team in a 2 horse race or
    Can always do a galactico.

    I hope people understand why and how Chelsea struggle now to get PL or maybe all we want is to be a top 4 team like spuds?

  9. Kay

    I am not pessimistic but even if we become a Dortmund +, all we can do is an occasional semi of the big thing like Ajax or Monaco or Roma.
    I dont want us to accept being an also-ran given the bloody potential we have.
    Shame really.

  10. Hitman

    Stan if loaded.
    £100m wont kill him. Buy buy buy.
    He can sell the dross over the summer to recoup his spare change.
    Saliba, Claude, Ziyech sounds like a good start.
    Nelson, Holding, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Chambers will all be like a new signing.
    New defence right there but we need one more leader. Can ‘t be any worse.

  11. Champagne Charlie


    Still waiting for the definition of this “major ditch” we’re in. You talk in such unspecific and hyperbolic jargon then cannot substantiate the apparent point you’re trying to make.

    Arsenal were left much worse than we should’ve been under Wenger and Gazidis, but this idea there’s some long lasting effects is total dogshit. The “major ditch” yielded joint 4th place in the prem and a EL Final last season, so please spare me the utterly gash sentiments of Arsenal in the mire.

    Absolutely no barrier to us doing what Liverpool have done the past few seasons. None at all. The only dependent factors are whether the new hires are up to task. Wenger and Gazidis have left the chat as far as that issue is concerned.

  12. Dissenter

    Where does Atletico Madrid get all this money they are spending from.
    They are set to sign Joao Felix for just under 110 million GBP.
    Something aint right.

  13. Batistuta

    Anywhere i can put a tenner on how many times we’re all going to be complaining about how horrible VAR is next season?

  14. Graham62


    Maybe AM just had an excellent business plan after they moved to their new stadium and a manager and owner/board that put their club first. Whereas, back in London , England………………………..

  15. Dissenter

    I think Clubs like Atletinco leave everything on the field.
    The main assets of a football club ought to be on the field, not idling away in a bank account

  16. Cesc Appeal


    Well for years on here many of us have said the constant reference to our money in the bank just highlighted economic stupidity. Player appreciation was a trend that was always going to go from strength to strength.

    We’ve missed out on it in a big way because we have an incompetent manager for so long buying inadequately in the first place and then creating a dysfunctional team that saw individual performances and so valuations drop.

    It really is painful how shittily this club was just allowed to be run. We’ve not only caused damage that will take years to repair but we’ve lost out on massive opportunities.

  17. MidwestGun

    Remember when we were considering Griezemann and Wenger dithered in 2013 and was like nah we good we getting Sonagoal.

    You means those kind of opportunities?

  18. Cesc Appeal

    Dani Ceballos has a price tag of £27 Million apparently.

    I would give that a good look if I was Arsenal.

  19. Cesc Appeal


    Just in general not having a clue. Absolutely hilarious so many fans and media lackeys held him up as an ‘economic genius’ for so long.

  20. CG

    Cesc A.

    Broken Record.

    Wenger has left
    Gazidas has left.
    Peter Hill Wood has deceased ( RIP)

    Emery and Raul are in charge.

    18 months Raul
    12 months Emery
    30 Months Combined

    £70mill Spent
    6 players bought and counting

    There not really doing a Great Job.
    In fact- they are Stinking the place out….

    Arsenal were 3rd with 6 Games to Go
    (They also beat the 2nd best team in Italy in The Loosers Cup too by the way)

    You can decry the Old Guard till the Cows come home.
    But they have gone.

    You are just another with a Loosers mentality-completely and utterly deluded too…

    Face Reality
    The New Regime are actually worse than The Old Regime…

    Arsenal were 3rd with 6 Games to Go.

    Only the League Champions
    Only the European Champions were ahead of them- in the toughest league in the world….

    Fact or Fiction?

  21. MidwestGun

    We can’t be dithering on transfers like that anymore.. if we lose out on Saliba a great young prospect because of waiting and end up with some hack.. then it isn’t much different. I think Griezemann even said at that time he was insulted because of that and would never come here.. kind of like making Zlatan do a trial.

    Anyhow.. yeah we need to be smart about things now.

  22. Cesc Appeal


    I agree.

    We have to be looking at players as football assets but also potential financial assets as well.

    The new lot have done alright in that regard. They brought in Leno and his value will have shot up, Torriera the same, Guendouzi the same.

    The strategy seems to be the right one so far. We’re trying hard for Saliba and Claude Maurice, Martinelli is inbound as well and we’re looking at Reinier.

    It’s the right idea. We need to undo the incompetence of Wenger and Gazidis and start making smart decisions.

    Said last summer it was a reset button moment.

  23. MidwestGun

    If we are going to do a full on reset… I would include the manager in that… but he is on a short term deal. So can see the importance of making him accountable to this season and moving things along without completely blowing everything up all at once.

  24. MidwestGun

    Broken record…the irony.
    70 mill spent and those players are all worth more now..
    You don’t add peoples experience together when their time is concurrent. (google what that means)
    Do we really want to list all the times the old regime screwed up from winning positions ?

    Old Regime 22 years.. new regime 1… No comparison to how much time they had to screw things up financially.

    Loser is spelled loser… looser has a different meaning.

    Everyone has already admitted Emery screwed up in the last month so not sure what your point is.. other then stating the same thing over and over.

    Remember when we had quality trolls on Le Grove.

  25. WengerEagle

    ”It hasn’t worked and I’m not sure how it can work,” he told Sky Sports News. “I’m also convinced that he couldn’t say no. How can you say no when Barcelona come knocking? As a Brazilian, you could never say no, but there are clearly two problems.

    One is that they signed him as an [Andres] Iniesta replacement, and he’s not. Nobody’s an Iniesta replacement, but certainly not Coutinho. He’s not a genuine midfielder; he does his best work in the final 30 metres of the field. He was signed for a role that he’s not fit for.

    Also with [Luis] Suarez losing a little bit of pace, that’s why [Ousmane] Dembele is ahead in the pecking order. You can’t see him fitting into the midfield three and you can’t see him fitting into the front three – and his relationship with the supporters seems to have broken down.”

    From a really good piece by Tim Vickery on Sky. Pretty much spot on here as to why Coutinho’s move to Barcelona has’t panned out.

    Messi and Suarez aren’t as physically explosive as they once were so Coutinho’s lack of running power results in a bit of a static front 3 at the elite level. He doesn’t possess the defensive attributes or discipline to play in a midfield trio though, he just isn’t a fit for their system.

    Still a brilliant player and will succeed somewhere else given the right environment.

  26. MidwestGun

    Eagle you have always loved you some Coutinho haven’t you.. But your right the grass isn’t always greener.. You like Firmino too if I remember right. They understandably had some chemistry.

    If Edu could get us a little bit of that in the future I wouldn’t complain..

  27. WengerEagle

    Bit depressing watching the Copa America so far, most of the group that played at the 2015 CA are still the top dogs for the countries without much new talent emerging.

    And they are seriously declined in the case of Chile [Sanchez, Vidal, Valdivia, Medel, Vargas, Isla, Aranguiz] who are seriously struggling to beat Japan’s reserve team.

    Same goes for Peru [Guerrero and Farfan still play up top for them and are 34/35], I saw Cardozo playing for Paraguay the other day who is closer to 40 than 30, Suarez and Cavani are both 32 now for Uruguay and still their marquee names, Argentina have no option but to stick with much of the old guard that have failed them time and again at international tournaments [Messi aside] because they themselves don’t seem to have much in the way of talent coming through.

    Only Brazil are still consistently producing talent in SA.

  28. WengerEagle


    I do like him, few players can cut inside and bend a long-range strike into the top bin like he so often does. He’s also such an exciting player to watch with the ball at his feet when he’s in the mood.

    Having said that like James Rodriguez, Isco, Ozil pre 2016, Cesc pre 2017, he’s a player that is being phased out of the modern game that is increasingly based on aggressive midfield and forward pressing which makes pace pretty much a necessity especially if you’re weak off the ball and defensively which they all are.

    It’s a shame because all of these at their best are/were a joy to watch and represent so much about why football is called the beautiful game. There’s no getting away from where the game is headed though, just look at Liverpool and Spurs’ CM this season. Neither hold a candle technically to these players at their best but they dominate through their sheer athleticism, power, and ability to overwhelm you over 90 mins.

  29. MidwestGun

    Eagle yeah…
    I think it has to do with money.. as well… There is still a huge grass roots movement in those SA countries but they don’t have the money to develop young players like Germany and Spain and France can with the facilities and the Clubs so have fallen behind..

    Mexico has some good young players though. Not SA country obviously but they have benefited from being able to come to US and train and play in MLS in some cases.

  30. alex cutter

    “Loser is spelled loser… looser has a different meaning.”

    Don’t bite. It’s part of his schtick.

  31. WengerEagle

    Lukaku is a funny one isn’t he? One of those CF’s that can look like a force of nature and a throwback to Drogba in his prime one week and then look like a Carlton Cole impersonator the very next week.

    Always thought that he should bully CB’s more given his freakishly powerful frame, he really does have average technique and should accept this and play more to his strengths.

    I reckon United will sell him to Inter Milan this summer. They must know at this stage that he’s not kicking onto another level.

  32. MidwestGun

    Lukaku is too slow on the turn for me… with the ball at his feet. That’s one thing great big body players have to have so they can get their shot off. Seems like he is a bit worried about his technique instead of just playing naturally.

  33. WengerEagle


    Yeah definitely a factor but even saying that, there’s not much talent coming out of SA these days that are poached by European teams.

    Felt like there was more in the previous tournaments. Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay were all at their peak around the 2015 Copa America. They’ve all declined since then and are still playing the same group that were in their prime that have begun to decline.

  34. WengerEagle

    Yeah his first touch is shocking for the top level, he genuinely can’t keep the ball within a foot of his body when he’s lasered a pass.

    Drogba’s first touch on the other hand was brilliant for a target man.

    Honestly is the difference between getting off a shot or not in those crucial half chance scenarios in the box.

  35. MidwestGun

    Most of Lukakas goals I’ve seen were rebounds… hustle goals … Headed goals from crosses and almost all of them he ran onto them and hit them first time. Great if your getting those chances. But not much created for himself. . But like you say he will probably go to a less physical league and play better.

    Kind of like Jozy Altidore in the Eiredivisie .. lol Looked like Drogba until he got to PL and was terrible because he got exposed with poor tech skills.

  36. WengerEagle

    Crikey, some finish that Vargas.

    Has there ever been a more night and day CF for club/country? Guy is useless at club level but has been for whatever reason world class for Chile.

  37. WengerEagle

    Ha yeah Jozy couldn’t finish a Twix in the PL but he’s been somewhat prolific in the MLS/for the USMNT and he was along with Wilfried Bony and Afonso Alves stupid good in Holland.

    Same league that made Ryo Miyaichi look like the second coming.

  38. WengerEagle


    It’s usually the other way around isn’t it? So used to seeing guys that are class for the clubs only to flatter to deceive whenever they pull on the NT shirt.

    And then you have your Vargas, Klose’s and Maniche’s [Portugal NT baller] of the world.

  39. WengerEagle

    What do you make of Pulisic? You see him coming anywhere close to Hazard level in the future?

    Timothy Weah also has lots of hype around him, I saw him not too long ago in a friendly vs Ireland and I’ll be honest, wasn’t overly wowed. Scary pace but not much to worry about on the ball.

  40. MidwestGun

    Pulisic has great turn of pace very quick.. good tech skills, good passer.. can beat his man. However… he isn’t an amazing finisher yet.. and he isn’t very stout… Like Hazard has thick legs… So Pulisic gets injured a lot and his stamina is off at times. .. I would be surprised if he makes it through PL season.. will have to be managed..

    At times he will be great and others you will be like 50 mill?

  41. WengerEagle


    Yeah he’s never scored more than 4 league goals in a season, that will have to dramatically improve.

    He has to be the most talented player ever to come out of the US though. Pretty amazing skillset and potential there.

    He’s nowhere near ready to carry the Chavs though which bodes very well for us.

  42. MidwestGun

    Yep.. plus it’s a lot of pressure on him.. but we will see.. Unfortunately since he plays for the SCum he is basically dead to me until he puts on the red,white and blue.

  43. Valentin

    WestHam has rejected ManUtd’s offer of £40 millions +1player for Issa Diop. They wan £60 millions in cash.
    Last season some of us were praising Issa Diop and said that he was the kind of players Arsenal should go after. He cost £5 millions more than Sokratis, but he will have a positive resale value at the end of his contract. It was a no brainer.
    Seems that Arsenal have learned their lesson with the pursuit of Saliba. Better late than never.