Arsenal: Transfer-ing like it was 1996!

by .

I cannot tell you how bloody good I feel today.

This summer has felt like 1996 all over again. That summer we landed Dennis Bergkamp and David Platt, which I think was pretty close to us onboarding Nike sponsor as a kit?

Back then, you used to have to hang around the bottom shelves like a perve.

‘Excuse me sir, what are you doing’

‘Nothing mate… nothing’

There was an absolute art to reading all the transfer gossip across 5 papers without buying one. I was the master of it. In fact, I would say I took a paper round at 11 years old purely to land a deep velvety fix of transfer gossip every morning. The other boys smoked and stole chocolate, I landed my kicks reading about what Arsenal were up to.

Think about how good this summer has ended up…

All the boring ITKs have had to hibernate. They’re scraping the barrel informing us about medicals they aren’t privy to. Literally no one, bar the UNTRUSTED MSM had the goods this summer, and it’s so fucking great. All these muppets that have a voice on Arsenal because they guessed a transfer correctly in 2014 need to delete their accounts and take up a new hobby.

Anyway, Raul has put on a show this summer after a really poor start.

He absolutely bodied the fans who savaged him at the Q&A, despite knowing what was coming.

He trashed the agenda narrative I was formulating about him being a total chance who couldn’t deliver.

He took us to the Darkside with the big agents.

Think about it… we literally didn’t know ANYTHING about Nicolas Pepe. He has been a Le Grove pin-up all season. He was going to be the… ‘we’re rolling with Perisic, United sign Pepe, I hate football’, and now the Spanish papers are perving over our attacking lineup.

Big question for you, is Raul bigger than David Ornstein? He could be, he could be.

We haven’t even spoken about Dani Ceballos. He’s somehow managed to take a backseat in all of the madness. He’s a superb loan deal for us. He’s highly technical, which couldn’t always be said of Ramsey. He’s grown up in a winning environment. He can pass, shoot, move the ball through midfield at pace, and hopefully offer us lots of creativity. We just need him to hit the ground running, adapting to the pace of the league is going to be tough for him.

The Tierney deal will no doubt go through and I’m sure we’ll see something in the centre back department move as we try desperately to ship out Mustafi and Koscielny.

I think the other important point the fans miss is this: Players LOVE new players at the club. There was often talk in the Wenger days that big names on big money disrupt the dressing room. Not true. Big players want to play with big names. Don’t tell me Auba and Laca aren’t over the moon about the two new attacking additions. The new energy is also a threat to Ozil and his name at the club. He’s going to have to perform for his absence to matter this season. The whole summer now feels electrified, which will also work wonders for the fans in the stands.

The most important part of this summer for me isn’t really this year, because I still think we’re going to have a tough time of it… it’s what this summer means for next season, and the season after that, and the one after that.

There seems to be a clear strategy emerging and it’s not Dortmund+, it looks more like Bayern Munich.

We’re picking up elite youth talent (Gnabry > Saliba), we’re hunting down value from major clubs (Thiago > Dani Ceballos (bit of an ish here, but we did try to buy him)) and we’re splashing big on the right young players (Leroy Sane > Nicolas Pepe).

We’re bringing people into the fold that have Arsenal DNA. We are trying to mold the club more in the identity of London/England with select youth players.

So basically, we’re still behaving like a Champions League club and the vision is go big but in a smart way.

In normal business, if you fail to spend your budget, you don’t get it back. Maybe that’s what Raul has been up to?

That’s why this season really is important for Emery. People have made a lot of excuses for him. Statistics don’t lie. Drab football doesn’t lie. The table does lie, but it doesn’t let you off the hook luck wise two seasons running. Emery has to fix the defence, he has to implement a better style of football and he has to win another deal next year… or it’s back to Sevilla for him.

Big year ahead people, I’m very excited.


394 Responses to “Arsenal: Transfer-ing like it was 1996!”

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  1. Travel Agent Tony

    Just been to a design and tech production meeting with the company in BKK building my home cinema when the owner of King Power (Leicester City owner) was wrapping up a meeting for their needs.

    We didn’t really have time to talk, but he and his family were friendly enough.

    Small world I guess.

  2. Cesc Appeal


    Who knows what is happening with Pogba.

    He is trying to get United to sell him but with Madrid the most likely destination it could be interesting as apparently Perez doesn’t want him anymore but Zidane still does.

    Madrid are looking a right mess at the moment.

  3. Pierre

    I was the first to say on here yesterday that and Ozjl/Coutinho swap could be on the cards ..

    It would benefit both clubs ..

  4. Marc

    Arseblog has already suggested that Sanllehi is on the phone swat talking rogers into spending £70 million on Mustafi.

    I’d laugh my arse off if Leicester bought him even for £25 million.

  5. Un na naai


    It’s being reported in a lot of outlets. I hope he isn’t coming though. Maybe it’s the edu link. Another Brazilian

  6. Marc


    What odds on Zidane walking at some point mid season?

    Wasn’t one if his conditions on going back more control on transfers?

  7. Marc

    Un na

    Mate I can’t see it happening in a million years. If we did and then didn’t sign a CD the fans would go from over the moon to fucked off in about 3 minutes.

  8. KAY Boss

    Greatest player to have played for club was signed today. Arguably the best all round striker I’ve witnessed in my existing life. #TH14 was signed today 20yrs ago for £11m. Must have been a huge amount of cash.
    Who compares to him?

  9. chris

    It’s got even crazier with talk of a double loan of Umitti and Coutinho. Only a week of silly season left.

  10. Pierre

    We will see if Ceballos is this exciting ,ball carrying , dribbling, aggressive midfielder.

    Some may be disappointed as I think he is a decent technical player who is comfortable on the ball and is good in possession of the football ..

  11. Marc

    If Coutinho was to come to the PL Liverpool would be a far more likely destination than us. They won the CL and effectively haven’t strengthened.

  12. chris

    Back in the summer of 99 we had Bergkamp, Kanu, Suker and Henry. Remember being super excited about Suker at the time of him signing.

  13. S Asoa


    “ happens when players think the manager won’t be there again next season.The last thing we need is another cloud over our club, and players downing tools for a manager they think is on the way out.We’ve got literally nothing to lose from extending Emery’s contract. “

    We tried it with Wenger offering him a 2 year extension when he should have been left on pasture in South of France. We paid totally 17 mill for the folly. Enough for a Defender plus change.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    If it is an EPL side I think it will be Liverpool.

    Paying £20 Million for the loan is not really that much for them given they finished 2nd in the league and won the UCL and they haven’t spent really this summer.

    They do rely on the front 3 and their full backs as well, Coutinho certainly provides something different for them.

    Right now I do think Liverpool are maybe running the risk of not reaching the same levels as last year unless some young players step up.

  15. Un na naai

    Derby have signed Bielik and Clarke.

    No fucking around there
    Bang. Straight in. Two new centre halves. Ready for the premier league
    That’s how it’s done.

  16. Pierre

    “Being serious now what do you think Ozil in worth?”

    I presume you mean in the context of an Ozil/coutinho swap deal

    Put it this way , when United were trying to sell Mhkitaryan and there was talk of a swap with Sanchez , fans would have asked how much is Mhkitaryan worth.

    If Barca want Coutinho out of the club it may suit them to swap ( with a fee on top)… Both players and both clubs would be happy with a swap deal.

  17. chris

    Un nai

    Sure retrospectively I agree. I was excited for both Henry and Suker. I remember a game at Highbury against Sunderland where they both ran riot and it looked like the beginnings of a great partnership. Suker seemed to tail off after that game I think.

    I remembered Henry from France 98 and champions league games on tv back in the day and Suker was a Real Madrid superstar not long removed from that lob against Schmeichel at Euro 96 so I was super hyped for both.

  18. S Asoa

    Ha ha ha
    Courtesy Arseblog

    The Laurent Koscielny thing rumbles on with reports that Bordeaux have sent a delegation to London to convince us to let the captain go for free.

    Bordeaux: Let him go for free.

    Arsenal: No.

    Bordeaux: Ah please.

    Arsenal: No.

    Bordeaux: We’ll be your friend.

    Arsenal: Get out.

    The BBC reported during the week that we were in talks with ‘a number of clubs’ over the departure of Shkodran Mustafi:

    Arsenal: Fancy a Mustafi. Still in very good condition?

    Club 1: No.

    Arsenal: Can I tempt you gentlemen with this World Cup winning centre-half?

    Club 2: No.

    Arsenal: Ah please

    etc etc.

    And like weather report
    No light change

  19. Travel Agent Tony

    Liverpool have the Klopp sauce factor, so expect them to be mounting a decent challenge.

    Probably too early to make predictions until the TW closes, but I feel City will win the league again but perhaps not with 90+ points.

    Liverpool will run City close again into 2nd.

    3rd & 4th spots are anyone’s guess: just hope we get one of those 2 then see what Raul & Edu can do with a better budget with CL money and reducing the wage bill further next summer TW when selling more dross.

  20. Un na naai


    Yeah I expected more from suker myself but I always felt Henry was going to be a top striker. Not as good as he turned out but he was a signing I was excited about as a lad. Remember suker missing about 5 sitters vs Leicester; in the fa cup I think.
    I also remember his double vs villa and thought he may pick it up after that.

  21. Marc


    I really don’t know where you’re getting the idea that Barca would be happy to take Ozil on £350k wages.

    The only way you can get to this conclusion is if you can’t see Ozil for what he is and want to be able to say look where he’s moved to – he’s so good he’s gone to Barca.

  22. Un na naai

    I cannot stand Paul Pogba
    His stupid big teeth
    His high check bone.
    His arrogant face just irritates me

  23. Travel Agent Tony

    I don’t understand why we can’t fire Kos for contract Force Mejeure, which Kos has surely brought into question by him striking and causing potential dressing room negativity.

    We’ll save his salary, which is probably more we can sell him for. Yes, we’ll lose a fee for him, but we will also send a message to the players that the hierarchy have finally realised they have a pair of ball between their legs.

    Cesc A are you involved in the legal world? Do you have any thoughts?

  24. chris

    Cheers Un nai

    Think that was all of his goals for us, didn’t score again after January that season.

    Lovely combo with Bergkamp for that goal against Villa.

  25. Jamie

    No club wants Ozil on his wages, even on loan. Barca are after Neymar if they’re after an attacking player, not cack Ozil with his constant disappearing acts. We’re stuck pissing £17m a year up the wall until his contract expires.

  26. Un na naai

    Man you forget just how awesome suker was in Euro96. And Croatia
    We were brilliant that year though. So unlucky aagaisnt Germany. Just like 90 and 98 v Argentina

  27. CG

    Un na ai

    “”””Derby have signed Bielik and Clarke. No fucking around there

    Bang. Straight in. Two new centre halves. Ready for the premier league
    That’s how it’s done.”””

    Well said.

    And that’s because they have a very talented manager in Cocu.

    They have Cocu!
    We have Coco!

    The last time Arsenal sold a midfielder to Derby County….

    His name was Charlie George.

    He was mesmeric at The Baseball Ground- let’s hope the young Pole can hit the same heights.

    (Gawd knows why we got shot of him!!!- probably to pay agents fees!)

    Short term thinking, methinks!

  28. Gentlebris

    Ornstein is hurting…. that’s all. He hates the regime and would love to spite them anyway possible.

    We don’t need Coutty, not at those figures being talked about.

    You don’t think the regime is not aware of our basket of a defence just because they bought a great winger.
    We bought a great winger because we needed a great winger urgently, not because Raul is stupid, so stupid that he would continue raining money on attack when we have Mustafi as CB while KOS is on his way out as well.

    So clean up your slate people, Coutty is not happening.

  29. Graham62

    Personally I would prefer to see one or two more physical brutes in our squad.

    I like Kolasinac, even though he can go walkabout on occasions.

    Players who scare or intimidate the opposition and act as a protective barrier for the more technically gifted, wouldn’t go amiss.

  30. CG

    Page 11 of soccer management -( volume 1)

    Never buy a player from Real Madrid or Barcelona.

    They ain’t HUNGRY enough. They may be good- but they are never that hungry when they depart those juggernauts)

    We need Hungry Hyennas not Spanish Suarez effeminate types.

    Steer well clear of Coutinho.

    I want to see Arsenal fans next season with Dunk on the back of their shirts.

    Dunk from Brighton.
    Get him before Leicester City snare him.

    They know what they are doing….
    Follow them Foxes…

  31. Nelson

    Marc “What odds on Zidane walking at some point mid season?”

    That’s not good news for us. As long as Zidane stays in Madrid, there is a good chance that we can keep Ceballos longer.

  32. Un na naai



    So you’re saying Ronaldo was a bad move?
    Yaya Toure? Sanchez? Ibrahimovic? Eto’o? Seedorf? Khedira? Xabi Alonso? Robben? Cesc? Higuain?

  33. chris

    Un nai

    Euro 96 and France 98 are my favourite every international tourneys, possibly sentimental as they were the first ones I can recall clearly all the way though but also the timings of games meant you could home from school in time to watch every game each day. Great times. The Denmark Brazil quarter final was amazing, Ronaldo and Rivaldo ran the show along with Brian Laudrup. So many great names. It may be my age but I just don’t see as much star quality in players or teams these days.

  34. Graham62


    Reference to the consequences of the Ozil contract, do you seriously think that it has had no impact on how things are now being managed at the club and, more significantly, what actions have had to be taken by the powers that be to work around such bad financial planning by the past regime.

    None of us know with 100% certainty what has really taken place to accommodate our recent financial outlays on new players but, what I can tell you, based on personal experience, is that the consequences of Ozil’s contract has meant that certain other things within the clubs operation have had to be adjusted( sacrificed) to accommodate his wages.

    It’s called adjusting your budget accordingly, which I’m sure the vast majority of other posters on here can relate to.

  35. Nelson

    I would understand Barca signing a young Frenkie de Jong for the midfield. But signing a 28 years old Griezmann to replace a 27 years old Coutinho is something beyond me. Coutinho is every bit as good as Griezmann. It must be again Messi there pulling the string. And Messi hates Ozil.

  36. Un na naai


    100% those teams were picked to the brim with world class players
    Their benches were stocked with world class players

    Players like Del Piero couldn’t get into the Italy side
    Ian Wright, Andy Cole, platt and Robbie forlwer couldbt get in the england side
    Kluivert was on the bench for holland
    France’sbench was amazing.
    Argentina’s bench was amazing.
    Brazil’s bench was. Denilson on the bench.

  37. CG


    (Hope you are keeping well)

    Gazidas and his Chum ( Raul the Spiv ) signed off on Ozils contract

    Fiscal responsibility has now totally been jettisoned

    Post The Q&A – Raul and Vinny have completely changed tack- and gone on a frivolous spending spree.

    The Arsenal Way – vinny alluded too??

    Over paying on players and agents fees alike.
    Selling youngsters like the young Pole to Derby.

    They will be long gone time Pepes fee will be finally paid off and in 5 years time – we will be in the Championship.

    100 % Guaranteed.

  38. chris

    Un nai

    The Argentina team from that time was white hot also, Batigol, Ortega, legit hardman Simeone, Zanetti and Claudio Lopez.

    How they wish they could pluck a few from that time now. It’s still incredible how they haven’t won anything since 1993 I think.

  39. chris

    The Italians had a hell of a side, full of proper defenders.

    Maldini, Nesta, Cannavaro, Costacurta, Bergomi, Pessotto.

    Then they had to pick from del Piero, Baggio, Vieri, Chiesa and Inzaghi. Embarrassment of riches!

  40. KAY Boss

    Which defender is been linked today?
    In as much as we try to ignore CG’s posts, it’s sometimes OK to read to justify the psychiatric therapy he may need to get out of his lunacy.
    Oh boy! Guy is one hell of a nag.

  41. Leftsidesanch

    ‘They will be long gone time Pepes fee will be finally paid off and in 5 years time – we will be in the Championship.100 % Guaranteed.’

    Put a bet on it, you big talking pussy.

  42. CG


    “”””“Kieran started kicking a ball on Wednesday, but he’s still feeling some discomfort there. We’ll see how it is when things settle down because it’s a very unsettling time for him at the minute.”””””

    Bad Decisions get Clubs In the mire.

    Here is one- right there.

    Spending £25 000 000 on a player who has not been able to run for 6 months.

    Only Arsenal in for Tierney??

    How Bizarre?

  43. KAY Boss

    I think Lenon is talking to much about Tierney. He is a part of unsettling him.
    Lenon might be exaggerating the situation to maybe to draw off our interest in him. He’s becoming irritating.

  44. Pierre

    “It’s called adjusting your budget accordingly, which I’m sure the vast majority of other posters on here can relate to.”

    adjusting it to spend possibly 150 + million if we bring in Tierney and a centre back…

    This is great news that we are finally loosening the purse strings…why was some of this money not used to buy a central defender or 2 in January ….we would all be looking forward to champions league football next month.

    The more quality we bring in the better as far as I’m concerned…

  45. Bellerin's New Hairdresser

    I don’t normally comment or take any notice of rumours linking us to players like Coutinho.
    But….. Coutinho’s agent is Kia Joorabchian and he was really close to Edu when Edu was at Corinthians and helped them secure a lot of talent.

    It could be a smoke screen as we actually chase Umtiti, but with Coutinho’s agent being so close to Edu and Raul so close to Barca this might actually make sense.

    Clutching at straws a bit here but when I saw that on transfermarkt I thought Kia is either doing us a favour by providing cover for our real intentions or he is doing his client a favour and trying to find a decent move.

    Is it me or does not feel like we are getting our club back?

  46. Marc


    Signing players in January is not as straight forward as you make out. Yes you can get players but are they the players you want long term?

  47. KAY Boss

    Dybala seem uninterested in the swap deal. Being forced to train alone by Juve. They’re being ruthless.
    Either u accept to go or be relegated to the reserve. Man Utd might end up with a a far more divisive player than Pogba. Loving what’s going on there.
    Any positive news on Tierney and a Cb? Someone update me😀😀😀

  48. Freddie Ljungberg

    Holding got 60 minutes for the u23s today, that’s some good news at the CB front at least, still need to bring 1 player in there.

    He’s still going to miss the start of the season but not as many matches as feared.

  49. TR7

    Of course we have overpaid for Pepe. £72M for a one season wonder in French League is what you call overpaying.United too have overpaid for Maguire.

    As for Coutinho, although I have never rated him highly even when he was in prime form for Liverpool, he is still levels above Alex Iwobi who is a championship level player. £20M loan fee story is BS. No sane club would demand such a fee for a 12 month loan tenure. I am all for nabbing him on a loan. We will then have a real quality attack and an array of talents to pick our starting 11 from.

  50. Marc


    That’s great news – I knew he was back in training earlier than anticipated but I didn’t realise he was that far advanced in his recovery.

  51. Guns of Brixton

    Couthino ar Arsenal??

    What would be the formation some 4 2 4 hybrid ??

    Bloody hell the counters would be stunning

  52. Cesc Appeal

    Guns of Brixton

    I doubt its happening but if it did it would likely be a 4-3-3 away from home with only one of Lacazette or Aubameyang playing, Dani Ceballos as CM/CAM in a 3 man midfield, Pepe wide and Lacazette/Aubameyang at ST.

    At home against certain players you could get them all on in a 4-2-3-1 with Dani Ceballos playing next to Torreira.

  53. Cesc Appeal

    *Obviously that would mean Coutinho on the left in a 4-3-3 and at CAM in a 4-2-3-1 at home against some teams.

  54. Uwot?

    Lennon the carrot headed c** t has always been irritating change for Arsenal meeting Barca reps.more than likely to get a deal of some sort over the line for Umtiti.The ozil swap plus money for Coutinho isn’t such a bad idea.could suit both parties? But don’t believe this is the main focus,if at all.messi hates ozil????? Where did that come from?

  55. Trask

    Is Umtiti even fit? I have a feeling that the club would like to bring in a left footed CB for some balance. Just not many around though

  56. WengerEagle

    How could you go from 25 year old Dybala being used in the swap to Lukaku 26 to 33 year old Mandzukic being the player that they trade?

    Why would United want Mandzukic? I’d argue Lukaku is better and he’s 7 years younger. Mandzukic hasn’t scored more than 10-11 goals in a season in all comps since 2015.

  57. Valentin

    Guns of Brixton,

    I made the same comment yesterday.
    Who do we then leave out of Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe and Countinho?
    Otherwise 4-2-4, I can’t see Arsenal keep a single clean sheet with that formation.

  58. CG

    Celtic 3 St Johnstone 0
    30 mins gone

    They clearly ain’t missing their left back

    That league is utter filth.

    Tierney- someone has to be on the take….

  59. Mr Serge

    You can play Coutinho with Pepe and laca and auba as long as laca played on the left of a 3 and coutinho played behind auba as a 10
    Then you play 2 beeper CM like LT and DC
    Although we will never sign him

  60. Valentin

    Looks like Ornstein is pissing on Raul’s parade.

    The bottom line is that Lille had agreed a deal with Napoli for 64 millions in 4 installments and 2 millions for Pepe’s agents. Arsenal comes in and offer 72 millions in 5 installments, plus 8 millions add-ons and 10 millions in agents fees. Of course Lille and Pepe’s agents are jumping at such a deal.

    Great to have Pepe, but got the feeling that we have overpaid and everybody knows it.

    Looks like the petition and the rancour of the Q&A session just scared Raul into panic buy the same way Arsene Wenger did.
    Plus ça change, plus …

  61. WengerEagle

    Would be ridiculously offensive a line up but a CM of Toreirra-Ceballos behind Coutinho with a front 3 of Pepe RF Aubameyang LF and Lacazette CF would score a silly amount of goals.

    We could 5-4 teams.

  62. Marc

    Didn’t take long for the usual suspects to find a way to criticise the Pepe signing.

    Do you think Liverpool fans would be doing this? Do you think Spud fans would be doing this?

    ManU fans at the moment would give their left bollock to do some decent business.

  63. Valentin


    That would be we will score more goals than you or you will score more than us.
    Could finish 3-3 or 5-2 either way.
    For sure our defense will be overworked.

  64. Cesc Appeal


    It would work for certain teams at home.

    The tougher teams and away games not so much. But then you drop one of Aubameyang or Lacazette.

    Can you imagine being a bottom of the table team knowing that was coming at you at Arsenal?

  65. TR7

    Wouldn’t be a bad thing to go completely attacking in our set up. Our defense is going to leak goals no matter our formation. We saw it last season. 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 …we tried all the formations and still could not manage a clean sheet away against any opposition with 11 outfield players.

  66. Graham62


    That’s Arsenal fans for you.

    Wenger leaves……….. Not happy.
    Emery arrives…………..Not happy.
    Change occurs…………Not happy
    We buy Pepe…………….Not happy.
    Progress is being made….Not happy.

    They only seem to thrive on negativity.

    Crazy bunch!

  67. Marc


    I don’t think all of our fans are like that – all of the ones I know in the real world are buzzing.

    It’s a handful on here plus Pedro who seems to be suffering from some sort of football bipolar disorder.

  68. Receding Hairline

    We outbid Napoli to buy Pepe…big deal

    That’s how football works. We are paying a 72m fee over 5 seasons or so. No one handed Lille 72m pounds. City just parted with 62m for Rodri and I can’t see anyone on their backs.

  69. KAY Boss

    Ornstein has lost his mojo. IMO guys, the deal for Pepe is less than the reported figure. Ornstein is clutching at straws. And those saying Pepe is a season wonder just have no idea of what they’re talking about.
    The season before last, he scored 13goals and bettered it by 9goals last season. If you follow his reports on performance, he’s been bettering his goals each season he’s played for his respective clubs. The figure doesn’t matter so long as he produce the goods.
    Is Ornstein bitter we’ve overpaid or bitter he’s well informed on dealings as he used to. Was he not the same person who doubted our ability to pull such deal and said he would be surprised if we did. He leaves much to be desired.

  70. Marc


    If we hadn’t of gotten Pepe you’d have people talking about our lack of ambition etc etc.

    I’ll stand by my basic belief that the vast majority of these arseholes hate Arsenal and have to find a way to slag us off.

  71. Leftsidesanch

    Marc, the vast majority of Gunners can be classed as glass half empty. Always pessimistic about us and optimistic about other teams chances.

    My friend said on Sat when it emerged that we were in for Pepe not to be excited. I told him, if that is the case then we may aswell pack it in if this signing doesn’t get the juices flowing.

    Lifes too short to be grumpy about everything, especially football. If it is that much of a strain, don’t follow.