Free transfer very likely

by .

I’ve penned this opening about 68 times.

Sincere? No

Advisory? Don’t be daft

Funny? Hmm… could age badly

I don’t know where to go with this.

So I’ll just jump in with some bland news. This summer, there’s no money to work with. So when you’re sitting there suggesting we should bring in superstar names like Thomas Partey, you’re off your damn rocker.

To buy, we’re going to have to sell. I think everyone is acutely aware that there’s not a lot of value in our squad. Contract issues, form problems, or players we just don’t want to lose at this stage are all adding up to an awkward window.

I think we’ll have to accept our lot. There will be some big names moving out this summer, and there will likely be an exit we really don’t like. There’s some hope though if we can sell smart.

  • Mikhi – £10m
  • Kola – £20m
  • Auba – £50m
  • Lacazette – £40m
  • Matteo – £40m
  • Xhaka – £35m
  • Hector – £35m (😞)
  • Mustafi – £20m
  • Sokratis – £8m
  • Torreira – £40m
  • AMN – £25m

People scoff at prices and I can’t hear it. We sold Alex Iwobi for £40m. Spurs sold Bentaleb for £19m. There’s a lot of money to be had up there… and Raul’s been doing some extremely questionable deals for his super-agent pals, so I fully expect to be reimbursed with some favours that work for Arsenal this summer.

We’re going to have to build from the ground up. We will have to become Dortmund 2.0. We’re going to have to rely on great coaching, unbelievable scouting, and an absolute change of tune when it comes to how our football operatives play the game.

We also have to hope that we’re not going to become a super-agent dumping ground again. One player I hear is almost a dead cert to join us is Willian. The 31-year-old Brazilian’s wife said she wants to stay in London and guess who that suits? Kia J. This is who we are right now and I really don’t like it. The only thing that stops this being a sleepless nights issue is his Arsenal fandom.

Willian is a great player, but Arsenal is a club under huge financial strain and we’re adding more players into the mixer that aren’t in the right age bracket for a business model that absolutely demands we find undervalued gems and flog them for huge amounts of money. We’ve spent 5 years trying and failing with more experienced players that are on the decline. I just don’t see how this sort of move represents a leap forward in thinking, outside keeping Kia happy.

Still, we’re also being linked to 19-year-old Orkun Kokcu. The Turkish creator is talked about as a Mesut Ozil successor. He has more energy than our German, he’s strong, likes to shoot and he’s an athlete. Exactly the sort of talent you hope we’re going to be interested in this window.

You bring in 5 players of his ilk, 3 of them make it, you sell one in 3 seasons time and have your Coutinho moment. What would Willian cost? £200k a week? That’s 4 young players with 2 seasons under their belt. I feel like we keep making the same mistakes over and over with senior players… but what can we do?

Stay safe, be good to your Roomba, treat your pets nicely, and don’t do anything stupid if you’re over 30… like get a TikTok account and start posting because you’re just ‘soooo zany.’ It’s embarrassing. That’s for the kids, not you. Put it away.

See you in the comments where we’ll keep it very much about football again. xx

169 Responses to “Free transfer very likely”

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  1. Gooner in Virginia

    You don’t think this whole coronavirus and economic down turn won’t cause a liquidity crunch or bring the transfer market down a little?

  2. Marc


    I think the Willian rumours are his agent trying to drum up interest – his main position is RW, we’re going to bench Pepe for him? Just doesn’t sound right to me at the moment.

    As for other transfers whether sales or purchases I can’t see anything happening until we have a clearer idea of when football will restart. If the TV company’s withhold money no one in the PL (bar City if the owner ignores FFP etc) will have a pot to piss in.

    I know it’s not what you want to hear and I appreciate how difficult it is to produce content with no football going on but that’s just the way I see it at the moment.

  3. Northbanker

    Pedro – totally agree – Willian not right for us. We need to find bargain 18 year olds and emerging talents at 22 / 23 (like i hope Tierney will prove to be). Sell off the crud – agree with the list except Bellerin. We have no top quality RB there to replace and I’s sure that isn’t Soares. Selling AMN does make sense.

  4. Northbanker

    Think its vital we sell Auba btw – re-signing will not be in our interests. It will cripple us financially and we need to spend half the fee on a new emerging talent and nurture Martinelli.

  5. Andrew Jones

    I think market prices all over will be down, maybe Auba maybe Laca get close to those but I’m curious to see how much clubs will have to pay back effecting how much we have to spend

  6. Marc


    If we can get £35 million for Bellerin why can’t we sell, replace him for £15 million or so and put the money towards other positions?

  7. CG

    PedRo ( fine post, with a little exclusive- many thanks)

    “”””There’s some hope though if we can sell smart.””””
    And who are the buyers?

    Italian clubs?
    Spanish clubs?
    English clubs?

    The transfer market is over. Get real.

    You wont be able to give all of the above away for tuppenace.

    Clubs will want to slash the wage bill not to add to it.

    You think what with the economic repercussions the world is facing post Corona- supporters will stomach players earning the salaries they have before?

    As for the signing of Willian- no surprise to me whatsoever.

    The Edu and Kia show continues.
    And if he signs as you state- it shows you MA is just as complicit in this farce.

    Time,our Mikel showed not only can he put on a quality training session but show his managerial back bone and pull the plug on this rotten deal.

    To have one ageing Brazilian Chelsea reject is bad enough: to have 2 would be intolerable.

  8. David Smith

    Would imagine Spurs may also be interested in Willian , Jose might be inclined to pay him more than we can, if Levy let’s him that is

  9. CG


    “””If we can get £35 million for Bellerin”””

    And if we can get a vaccine for Corona next month…..if ,if if ….how about join the real world?

    Bellerin , the poor blighter who can just about run – is now going to be sold for £35 million???

    Who are these clubs Walt?

    And why do they want a fullback that cant run like he used to?

    (And it’s not just you.)


    “””Genduzi for £40 million?””

    Who? Why? Would anyone buy this show pony.?

    He dont score,he dont assist and is a drama Queen….but some club are going to pay £40 million for him.

    Folk , I am afraid- just deluded

  10. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Raul’s been doing some extremely questionable deals for his super-agent pals”


    So selling all of our midfield then and only leaving ESR and Willock as backups? Not sure that’s a great plan tbh, would keep Guen and Torreira as well.

    Also doubt we’re going to raise 320m in one window.

    Kokcu doesn’t look that special, if we’re going young at Cam I would rather we went for Szoboszlai or Jonathan David.

    A little more realistic but still a pretty big squad turnover if it was up to me with a limited budget


    Xhaka 25m
    Auba 40m
    Laca 35m
    sok 5m
    Mustafi 10m
    mikhi 12m
    Elneny 12m
    Kola 15m
    Mavro 3m (?)
    Ozil free


    Jonathan David 17m
    Pape Gueye 7m
    Partey/Soumare 45m
    Edouard 30m
    Upamecano 50m
    Kurzawa free

    Net spend -2
    wage bill = reduced massively again.

    A very young team but would leave us with world class potential in almost every single position. Only Auba really that would be a big loss of the outgoings but that would be more than made up by the strengthening of so many other positions.

  11. Uwot?

    Like your thoughts,line ups & valuations.agree about kok.go all out for Grealish as the marquee signing.but is it all dependent on getting rid of the garbage first?of course the rumoug is we’ve agreed deals already with two top players?

  12. Marc


    If you want to have a conversation we me then refer to me by my name.

    Personally I think with what’s going on at the moment some good old football chat is a good thing, it’s also basic manners.

    Let me know if you want to have a conversation.

  13. James wood

    Well spoken Rhys Jagger.

    On another note who is going to buy our refuse.
    Clubs will be severely battoning down the hatches
    after severe cuts to revenue over this virus.?

  14. Words on a Blog


    Normally I wouldn’t disagree at all with your line and estimates on our players’ valuations.

    But I wonder whether player valuations for ALL players will come down quite a bit at the end of this season (whenever that is) what with the inevitable drop in revenues. I suppose that affects outgoings as well as incomings….

  15. kristoman

    jagger bravo, excellent comment. You couldn’t be more correct. Thanks showing yourself up

  16. Emiratesstroller

    The NHS has struck a deal with Private Hospitals providing 8,000 additional beds and 26,000 staff plus 1,800 ventilators.

    On a separate issue one of my neighbours and his family have contracted coronavirus albeit in mild form. His house is on opposite side of road from mine!!

  17. Pedro

    Words, even if it’s a 20% reduction on the value of players, it’ll be the same for everyone.

    All I’m trying to point out is there’s liquidity in the squad if we work hard for it.

  18. Ishola70

    “627 deaths yesterday and 793 deaths today in Italy. Absolutely scary situation.”

    The Champions League tie between Atalanta and Valencia on the 19 February cited by Italian reports was the absolute detonator for the disaster in this Italian region.

  19. andy1886

    Swiss Super League side FC Sion have sacked nine players who reportedly refused to sign an agreement for a wage cut during the coronavirus crisis.

    Former Arsenal players Alex Song and Johan Djourou and ex-Fulham midfielder Pajtim Kasami are among those confirmed as being dismissed by the club.

    Even the PL will not be immune, getting rid of anyone on a contract (let alone Ozil) will be very very difficult. Few players will take a wage cut and even fewer clubs will be willing to match their current deals.

  20. CG


    “”””All I’m trying to point out is there’s liquidity in the squad…..””””””

    But who are the buying clubs?

    If Arsenal are looking for free transfers- then surely 95% of other clubs will be doing likewise.

    The other 5% of clubs ( who might have some money to spend)….will have far better options than those plodders you have listed.

    And if Willian is available on a free transfer.

    How comes our ,for example Mikki is worth £10 million by your valuations?

    I would say they are exactly the same type of player…..and if we already have Mikki on the staff why even buy Willian?( then again we already know that answer)

    ALL those players listed- we would struggle to get £70-80 million combined.

    This is the new reality.
    Some of you – just have not realised it, yet.

  21. Habesha Gooner

    pedro that list is insanely inflated. Mustafi, Sokratis and Mhki are all entering their final years.
    Here are my estimated prices
    Mustafi 10 mil
    Miki 10 mil
    Sokratis 5-8 mil
    Kolasinac 15 mil
    Laca and auba’s prices are fair
    Xhaka 25 mil( he isn’t going to be sold, Big mistake I think Arteta will make)
    Elneny will get us 12 mil

    For a total sells of 127 mil by keeping Laca and selling Auba.

    I wouldn’t sell Guendouzi, Torriera and Bellerin. They are still integral to our team.
    Posted this before but I will do so again

    Players to target
    CB, Mari( 5mil) , Upamecano (50mil), Gabriel (30mil)
    Lb. Kurzawa(free), Jordan amavi (12mil), Sergio reguilon (loan)
    DM pape gueye(5mil), Kalvin Phillips (20mil), Partey ( 45mil)
    CM Fabian Ruiz( 50 mil), Piotr zeleniski( 40mil), Soumare (45 mil), Houssam auoar( 50mil),
    CAM Jack Grealish( 45mil), Emiliano Buendia(15 mil), Nabil fekir (35 mil)
    LW Diogo Jota(50 mil), Everton Soares (32mil), Felipe Anderson 45mil

    Move Martinelli To CF, Keep Laca as competition. Out of those players I would Ideally and realistically have Mari, Kurzawa, Pape Gueye, Fabian Ruiz, Jack Grealish and Felipe Anderson for a total cost of 150 mil. If we have 0 money to spend I would sell AMN too for around 15 mil and That would totally cost us around 8 mil net. That would give us a frightening Attack with a Competent Midfield and we could revisit the CB situation the summer after the next.

  22. Pierre

    “The transfer market is over. Get real.You wont be able to give all of the above away for tuppenace.”

    Its swings and roundabouts.
    No different if you was selling and buying a house during a property slump.

    It’s all about buying smart.

  23. Ishola70

    “627 deaths yesterday and 793 deaths today in Italy. Absolutely scary situation.”

    “The mayor of the most badly affected city, Bergamo in the affluent northern region of Lombardy, said the true number of fatalities from the pandemic in his area was four times higher than was officially reported so far.

    “Many of the elderly are dying in their houses or in old people’s homes, without anyone testing them either before or after they die,” Giorgio Gori told the Huffington Post.”

  24. CG


    “”””””No different if you was selling and buying a house during a property slump””””””

    This is not just an ordinary slump. How we wish it was.
    This is the world in complete lock down.

    Society will not be the same as before…..let alone sport.

    Priorities will have changed. Supporters will not tolerate the obscene fees and wages any more. They had started to change pre- Corona anyway.

    What with VAR, the bloody agents, silly kick-off times, exorbitant ticket prices, indifferent owners, spoilt and entitled fans and now Corona- clubs -lots of them will end going to the wall or part time.

    The gravy train is finally over and the bubble has burst- it wont or cant be put back.

    87% certain of it.

  25. Pedro

    CG, football isn’t going to feel a recession unless TV stops pumping money into the game… which seems unlikely.

    Habesha, your guess is as good as mine. Igahalo is earning 180k a week, not sure anyone can question my valuations in a world that pays that for him.

  26. Words on a Blog


    Sure it’s the same for everyone, but if (presumably like Arsenal) a club is looking to be a net seller of players than it’s obviously better to be selling into a frothy market.

    An interruption until June 1st shouldn’t be too financially taxing for the Premier League. Hopefully other European leagues will be back on or around the same timeframe. Still some of the froth will be taken out of the transfer market, and Arsenal (Raul and co) may well opt to defer selling a few players – in particular Mikki comes to mind as I expect the financial firepower of Serie A (already comparatively weak) to be further weakened after the very strong impact of Covid-19 on Italy.

  27. Marc


    That’s the big question though will the current TV company’s look to pull back some money.

    I had an email from Sky on Thursday offering me the option of a pause on my Sport’s subscription with no penalties. There’s no bottomless well in this.

    I also think it would be pretty piss poor for the PL to just drop Sky at the next round of negotiations after the influence Sky has had on the PL for the best part of 30 years.

  28. Marc


    “Premier League planning to get back into it on June 1st.”

    I presume that’s matches behind closed doors?

    That’s also after the usual season ticket renewal date – the mess from this is going to take a lot of cleaning up.

  29. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Inter in for Auba…

    If I have one thing to say , it’s dont sell to Italians they never pay money.. only want loans etc…

  30. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    June 1st won’t happen

    Also aint that the day season ticket renewals are in…
    How can you pay for next when this year ain’t done.

  31. Marc


    No one’s going to accept a loan deal for a player in the last year of their contract unless it’s a player with either zero value and high wages or a player who will contribute nothing to the team.

    What would even a £20 million loan fee with wages paid really be worth to us if we’ve got to replace 20 PL goals a season?

  32. Emiratesstroller


    I would remind you that season tickets at Arsenal are normally renewable by
    end of May.

    Also the Arsenal financial year ends on 31st May.

    If the club insists on season ticket holders paying by that date I think there will be a lot of cancellations including probably me.

    No-one is going to make a financial commitment until there is clarity on
    outcome of this virus.

    Many scientists believe that this epidemic might last at least 12 months.

  33. Marc


    “Also aint that the day season ticket renewals are in…
    How can you pay for next when this year ain’t done.”

    It’s not only that it’s I’m paying out anywhere from £1,000 to £2,500 for something that I’ve got no idea when I’m going to get the goods.

    The clubs are also going to have to offer a refund / discount if matches are played behind closed doors. Currently Arsenal owe the ST holders a refund on 2 cup credits, we have 4 PL home matches remaining so that’s got to be an average of £300 or so for 40,000 ST holders. The club has already reduced ST costs since we were in the EL – clubs will definitely feel the pinch.

  34. Marc


    The club would be insane to try that – lot’s of people worried about paying the mortgage and a club leaning on them to pay up front for something that might not happen for months and months.

    They’d see a crash in ST renewals.

  35. WengerEagle

    Strange how China have all but ground the pandemic to a screeching halt with cities virtually going back to normal only a couple of mere months after being the epicentre of the outbreak and Italy with largely the same measures being put into place are breaking their daily death toll count day after day now, virtually doubling it in less than a week.

    People keep mentioning Italy being a very old population but so are Germany and Spain with the UK and France not being far behind. And their healthcare system is supposedly one of the best, so what gives?

    How are they reporting a near 10% fatality rate with the rest of the world reporting well below a 5% one? They’ve been in lockdown for weeks now.

  36. Emiratesstroller


    I think that a lot of clubs will be in serious financial trouble in current situation.

    It is by no means certain that Arsenal’s sponsors will meet their current commitments. We know that both Emirates and Adidas are strong companies,
    but these are exceptional times.

    Also it would not surprise me that there are clauses written into Adidas sponsorship should Arsenal fail to perform i.e. qualify for Europe. I seem to
    recall that such a clause existed in Arsenal’s previous sponsorship deal.

    Kroenke may well have to pump money into the club to keep it afloat. That
    is something that until now he has not done.

    As Pedro pointed out Arsenal may need to sell players to keep afloat.

  37. WengerEagle

    That June 1st re-start date is just an arbitrary one plucked from thin air, nobody has a clue how this thing will pan out is the reality of the situation. It could go on for half a year plus or we could all be back in the pub by May, more than likely it will be a long old wait for football to kick off again sadly.

  38. Marc


    The answer to all of this is quite simply “how long” before things begin to settle and move back to normal.

    Unfortunately it’s a question we just don’t know the answer to at the moment.

  39. Marc


    I think the PL are trying to drip feed info to keep people onside (excuse the pun!). If we’re supposed to be following social distancing rules how can we even have behind closed doors matches?

  40. WengerEagle

    The elite clubs should be ok but we’re already starting to see the effects this crisis is having on lower league clubs, Sion releasing half of the team, Hearts in the SPL threatening to, a hoard of Championship clubs will surely follow suit given the ridiculous wages many of their players are on in 2020, borderline PL wage packets.

  41. Spanishdave

    Wenger Eagle
    Spain and Italy are very heavy smokers, mostly the men.
    Also during the Franco years the Spanish were very undernourished.
    Before this outbreak both countries had a very high proportion of old and frail population.
    Italy and Spain have not implemented the EU standards for air quality so cities are of very poor atmosphere.

  42. WengerEagle


    Yeah being realistic even behind closed doors matches will be hard to execute given the spread of this thing. Only takes one player as seen in the NBA with Gobert’s diagnosis shutting down the entire league.

    Plus i would have thought that clubs would want to avoid behind closed doors at all costs to avoid loss of revenue from matchdays. Serie A waited until it was absolutely last resort with the Juventus-Inter title match.

    Will be interesting to see what they do regarding finishing the season/starting the new one. Anything but playing out the last 10 odd fixtures in this season makes no sense as the ramifications it has on dozens of teams is massive and the ripple effects potentially felt for years between teams missing out on CL/PL promotion if the season is voided.

    So even if that means finishing this season between November-January I think that’s the route that you have to go.

    Funny as it would be seeing Pool’s title tainted.

  43. CG


    “””Kroenke may well have to pump money into the club to keep it afloat.”””””

    His pumping and priorities will be on rescuing his US enterprises.

    Seeing Arsenal go into financial meltdown will be the least of his current worries.

    But never mind – if things do get as bad as they surely will for all clubs- at least we have the expertise of Vinny, Raul, Edu and Hussey to save the day.

    That should give some reassurance to all Arsenal supporters during these unprecedented times.

  44. WengerEagle


    Interesting, apparently Iran have a huge population of smokers too which would go some way to explain why they’re struggling so much with it as well.

    The Lombardy region is among Italy’s wealthiest, also oldest though. And vast majority of deaths seem to range in the 80+ year old age group.

    Pretty horrific to see a generation getting slowly wiped out and being told that they’ll be the last to receive treatment, if at all. Terrible but understandable situation that the health systems of these countries find themselves in, scary.

  45. WengerEagle

    That 4-4 at Newcastle was doing the rounds there today, the palpable embarrassment all too familiar came crashing back.

    Players really did reserve the bangers of their entire career against us over the years between Neil Mellor, Danny Rose, Cheik Tiote, Rooney as a 16 year old, John O’Shea finishing like prime Raul…

  46. Pedro

    James, I think Arsenal fans massively underplay the talent of the players. 3 months ago they were saying they were untouchable. Now we’re saying that it’s beyond the pale to get 25m for a young English utility player or 35m for a player we paid 35m for 5 years ago.

  47. Marc


    I did hear a stat the other day that said Northern Italy has more Chinese tourists than anywhere else in Europe, Italy also has the 2nd oldest population in the world behind Japan.

    In a few years there will be a huge amount of analysis into this – my guess is it’ll be a combination of small things that add up to a big deal.

  48. Marc


    ” or 35m for a player we paid 35m for 5 years ago.”

    Yeah but the player was only worth £2.17 plus a packet of fruit pastels when we bought him. Even with inflation £35 million is a long shot.

  49. Pedro

    Marc, we have Berlin offering 25m when we were literally putting him in the bin.

    Now he’s found form, he’ll be worth at least what we paid for him.

  50. WengerEagle

    I really do hope that we choose to sell Lacazette in the summer while he’s still going to fetch decent money [30-40m] and have Aubameyang lead the line next year while grooming Martinelli as the next number 9.

    Invest the Lacazette fee into rebuilding the midfield, enough of this lopsided mess up top shoehorning Auba and Laca into a front 3.

    At the end of the day you keep the guy that averages 2 goals every 3 matches over the guy that doesn’t even guarantee you a goal every 2 games, more like 1 every 2.5 games.

    One in Three this season in fact.

  51. James wood

    Football and life in general is going to take a time to recover from this
    Rugby clubs and the lower leagues Football will find themselves first and bigger clubs will follow.
    West End shows will close down
    Smaller pub chains will shut for good.
    Dire times to even think positive.
    Sorry but that’s how I feel at the moment

  52. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Marc maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough about Italian clubs

    They won’t want to loan Auba they will ge5 on cheap…
    They don’t spend big money with English cliubs…

    They will pay 35m top wack

    Avoid business with them.

  53. Marc


    It’s not good and of course the longer it goes on the more damage will be done but I genuinely believe that when you look at the amount of money governments around the world are pumping into economies and the fact that this isn’t a systemic failure in the economy but a “black swan” event I think things will rebound strongly.

  54. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Kronor in my opinion will pump into the club…

    I think he may look to sell..

    We know he is not skint but yank football clubs and us if no games by September…

  55. Marc


    Apparently they also tend to love together as larger family groups – no personal experience of that but as you say it’s a cultural thing.

  56. Mark S

    Meant to post this earlier today, however I didn’t have the time.

    I see a lot of similarities between Arsenal and the Minnesota Vikings. I am a fan of both, and a season ticket holder for the Vikings. The Vikings are in the midst of a big rebuild as well right now. They were up against the NFL salary cap, think no transfer funds available this summer, and they have had to make some big changes this offseason to their team. They’ve released some of their big name players, and they traded one of their best assets for draft picks in this year’s NFL draft. (Think Auba being sold for 50 million to Barca or Liverpool.) They are using those draft picks to get younger. They’ve had the same team of players for the last couple of years, and even though they have had some success (They made it to the 2017 NFC Championship Game and won a Wild Card playoff game against the heavily favored New Orleans Saints last year.) they needed to reset things. Sound familiar? They have taken it as far as they could go, and it was going to be too expensive to keep everyone around for another year. Again, sound familiar?

    The Vikings have signed younger free agents to replace some of their older stars, and they have stock piled a bunch of draft picks to get younger. (Think playing AMN, Eddie, ESR, Saka, Martinelli, Saliba, and co next year.) In both cases I’m excited by the turnover of the squads. I really enjoyed watching both of the current teams, however things were getting a little stale. The Vikings revamped their assistant coaching staff and are going younger, and Arsenal are doing a similar thing. Will it bring success for both teams? It’s hard to tell at this point, however in both cases it was time for a change.

  57. Marc


    I think we need to get Pedro to start some “themed” days on here. Movie and box set recommendations, good books to read etc just some stuff to help pass the time if people are cooped up.

    I would suggest some favourite recipe ideas but the bloody shops are empty!

  58. Marc


    I don’t do deserts – didn’t have a sweet tooth even as a kid. Now you want to talk main course I’m all over it – I’m getting a serious urge for a Coq au Vin – it’s piss easy to do, tastes great and the best way to make it is to make loads as it’s better the 2nd day.

  59. James wood

    Un this is bread pudding an old recipe using stale bread / suet/ sultanas /raisins
    But I will take the bread and butter pudding especially made with the Brioche bread.

  60. Marc


    I’ve always liked the story about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck re Good Will Hunting. Some of the women bitching about gender bias in Hollywood should take a leaf.

  61. Marc


    Yeah they didn’t think there were enough good roles out there so wrote the film – fucking good on them.

    Nothing stopping all these amazingly talented women doing exactly the same.

  62. WengerEagle


    No, I’ll have to check it out. Just had a glance at the cast and it includes De Niro, Pesci, Alec Baldwin who are three of the very best in the game.

    Been meaning to check out The Irishman too. Part of me doesn’t want to watch it because it’s peak Goodfellas cast 30 years on and I’m worried it’ll be depressing but heard it’s pretty great so I’ll watch at some point.

  63. Marc


    It’s a really good film, it’s a long one at almost 3 hours but worth doing. Tells the story of a guy joining the OSS in WW2, it’s turning into the CIA up to the Bay of Pigs.

  64. WengerEagle

    Who are your favourite actors? I tend to go by performances more than body of work but for the latter it’s hard to look past De Niro, Pesci, Nicholson, Caine from the older school.

    Denzel, Hanks, Samuel L, Gary Oldman, Spacey for nineties/early noughties and from the new school Christian Bale, Ed Norton, Leo DiCaprio, McConnaughey, Pitt, Hardy.

  65. Marc

    Something different for any real film buffs. Michael Mann directed Heat with Pacino and De Niro etc in the mid 90’s but he also directed the same story in the late 80’s as a film called LA Takedown.

    LA Takedown was a low budget, made for TV type movie which he revisited when he could demand a bigger budget.

    Its quite interesting to watch the two in comparison.

  66. Wasi

    Smart by Pedro to write about transfers because it is something fans can talk about to lengths even when there is no football around. Lets get to it.

    Pedro you’ve listed 11 players there and somehow forgot about Elneny which would make it 12.
    It would be some task to sell and replace 12 players in one transfer window I think. Nearly Impossible imo. And even if it was possible,it probably wont have the desired effect. By replacing 12 players we are literally signing another team with a substitute.
    It will affect the team chemistry, friendships, etc etc. The squad will take a lot of time to gel together and we wont really see the positive effect of such a mass transfer project until at least 6-7 months.
    I would rather go a bit slow. Maybe replacing 6-7 players a window.

    Also the prices you’ve listed are maybe a bit high considering the financial impact of the Covid-19 on football clubs and football as a whole. We are probably going to see players go for comparatively lower amounts as compared to last few transfer windows.

    The players who seem very likely to leave imo are
    Mkhi- 8-10mil
    Elneny- 10-15 m
    Auba – 45-50 ( Idk why but I have a feeling he might stay if we make CL, Wishful thinking I beleive)
    Sokratis- 6-10m

    Other than these 4 the Players which the club May move on depending on a variety of conditions are

    Mustafi 10-15m
    Kola 15-20m
    Amn 15-20m
    Calum/Rob 15-25m
    Laca 35-45m
    Mavro- If a good offer worth 15m+ comes in

    That takes the list up to 10.

    If it were me Id sell Auba, Mkhi, Elneny, Sok .
    + Kola and Amn if we get 2 cheap/ free LB and RB as covers. (Kurzawa and Soares). That will at least bring in about a 100m. Add to that we’ll probably have a 40-50 mil from the club which takes the total money available to around 140-150m

    At RB we should be looking at Meunier whose contract is up at the end of the season. Would provide real competition to Bellerin instead of someone like Soares who is clearly a backup.

    One thing about the new regime I like is the profile of players we are targeting ( If the reports are to be believed that is). Young , high ceiling , unknown.
    Very much like a Dortmund 2.0 and I’m all for it.

    Kokcu , Jonathan David, Upa, the 17 y.o. Swede cant remember his name Emil Roback was it, Malen, Dumfries etc.

    There seems to be a growing presence of Kia around our club and I dont think its as worrying as some make it out to be. He is clearly a big Arsenal fan. And if he can get us some free transfers done whats so bad about it. Yes he’ll get paid but at the end of the day we are the ones benefitting from the deal .

    If we get Kurzawa for free. We can sell Kola for about 15m+. And Kurzawa will definitely not bag 140k a week like Kola. So even if you have to pay Kia a good 2-3m here. Thats 12m+ net added to the transfer kitty and the wage bill slashed.

    Willian also one of his client has been linked to us in the past couple of days. Tbh I don’t think we should sign him unless we sell both Auba and Laca.
    In that case I think if we get Willian on 150k a week for 1 yr + 1 optional yr. just like the Luiz deal we’ll be the better for it. He can play LW, RW and will be a good option to rotate with Gabi, Saka, Nelson to provide them with the time to develop well.

    If we dont sell both of our strikers then I dont really see the point of signing Willian. But anyhow you put Willian is a good player. And even if he is not starting he can be your super sub. Barca has been sniffing around for him in recent times and thats a compliment in itself.

    Next season should also be one in which we raise the value of some of our players by sending them out on loan. After that we can sell them or give them a chance in the team.
    Mavro , One of Rob and Calum,Amn, Joe , Balogun + other ready academy prospects like Sheaf should all be sent out on loans which will land them playing time , cover their wages and by their loan ends increase their value.

  67. Wasi

    I forgot to mention.
    The squad building over the last 5-6 years has been very bad which is clear for all to see.
    Our squad value is very low if you compare it to the other big 6. That is due to poor squad planning and being complete idiots in the TW.

    We only really have Auba who can be sold for 50m and that is our best player and captain right there.
    Auba with 2 or 3 yrs on his deal is well worth 80m.
    That is poor planning.

    Compare that to Chelsea , Manu, Spurs.
    Kante easily 80m+
    Kovacic, Pulisic, CHO All 50-60 m players.
    Mount, Tammy, Azpi -40m +
    Also a shoutout to Billy Gilmour who looks Fire.

    Spuds have
    Kane, Son 80m+
    Alli 60m
    Ndombele, Lo celso , 50m+
    Sissoko, Winks 40m

    Pogba 80m
    Bruno, Rashford, Martial, Harry all 60m
    Bissaka , De gea 40-50m

    And our best is worth 50m. After him we have maybe
    Pepe 45m
    Laca – 40m
    Leno – 40m
    Guen, torreira, Tierney, Xhaka, Etc in the range of 25-30.
    From here on out Raul and Edu have to manage the contracts properly. Make some good sales and smart buys.
    But theres hope. We have some very exciting young talents who in 2 , 3 yrs time can all be worth a lot.
    Gabi, Saka, Esr, Saliba have the highest ceiling and they could be easily worth 70-80 m three years down the line if developed properly.

    Tierney , Guen , Nekson could be around 60.

    And then we’ve also got Eddie, Balogun, TJJ, Joe .
    Hopefully a bright future ahead.

  68. Just Another Customer

    any chance of one guy stuck somewhere in some big clubs to come here for redemption?

    or are we through that stage too

  69. Tony

    Been researching Locura by Yasmin Levy this morning and so far can’t find any reference to the instrument you’re looking to name:-

    Seems her songs are influenced from the middle 1500s including instruments: Darbuka, Oud, violin, cello and piano but so far no sign of any form of pipes have been named.

    As pipes were associated with early Greek music, which Yasmin also incorporates I’d hazard a guess that the instrument is either the following or a derivative: The ”diaulos” (double-aulos)

    “It was the most popular ancient Greek wind instrument. It consisted of two diverging pipes, suspended at their base. Each pipe had a separate mouthpiece and reed (single or double). In the unequal in length “auloi”, one played the melody while the other “supported” it. In the equal in length “auloi”, playing in the same register, a richer sound was achieved.
    The “aulete” with great virtuosity, using circular breathing and blowing hard, achieved the harmonisation and the marvellous assonance of the two “auloi”. Often, he wore a kind of leather strap, the “phorbeia”, that went across his mouth (with two holes for the pipes), the cheeks and to the back of his head. Sometimes it was tied to an additional strap going over the top of his head for secure suspension.
    The “diaulos” with its rich, intensely sentimental, rhythmical and penetrating sound was capable of accompanying choruses consisting of tens of men all on its own.
    SOURCES: “M.L. West, Ancient Greek Music”, “Curt Sachs, The History of Musical Instruments”, “Julius Pollux, Onomasticon”, “Athenaeus of Naucratis, Deipnosophistai”, “Aristotle, (Musical) Problems”.”

    I believe the answer you’re seeking is linked to the above. Would help if I could see a video of the solo instrument, but alas only a picture of Yasmin is shown.

    If you find a link to the song Locura with Yasmin and the musicians, it would make solving the puzzle easier.

    I’m curious, too now so I’ll look for a Hi Res version (maybe on Qubuz) when my cinema is completed that is also doubling up as a music room. I will be able to dissect it better then, which might provide more info.

    Best I can do for now, China, but maybe it’s a starting point for you to research further.

  70. Tony

    If Covid-19 is responsible for Arsenal to drop in value sufficiently I wonder if that would motivate Kroenke to sell?

  71. Emiratesstroller

    The most likely departures are:

    1. MKHITARYAN who is out on loan and apparently wanted by Roma if price is
    right. They will probably want to pay £10 million or less for 30+ player.

    2. ELNENY who is out on loan and unwanted. Turkish clubs will want him on loan rather than paying transfer fee. I doubt that he will fetch more than £10 million in current market.

    3. SOKRATIS is no longer guaranteed starting X1 place. We are overloaded with mediocre centre backs. At his age would probably fetch less than £10

    4. AUBAMEYANG will be sold if he refuses to sign new contract. There will be
    competition for his signature, but unlikely to fetch more than £50 million on
    account of age, unexpired length of contract and wage demands. Selling him
    to Chelsea or Man Utd would be disastrous.

    5. MUSTAFI For same reasons as Sokratis albeit that he has shown improved
    form since Arteta arrived. Arsenal would demand at least £15 million.

    6. MAVROPANOS has no prospect of making first team. Unlike most Arsenal
    players he is on low wages and therefore more affordable. Arsenal will take
    a transfer fee which shows them a profit.

    7. MAITLAND-NILES as I pointed out previously is not guaranteed a place on
    the bench let alone in starting X1. I suspect that Arteta will wish to offload if
    price is right. Might fetch £20 million if we are lucky if there is competition
    for his signature.

    8. TORREIRA wanted to leave last summer as he was unsettled in England and
    has struggled to secure regular starting eleven place under both Emery and Arteta. Club will sell if they recoup what they paid for him presumably in equivalent of Euros [not sterling]

    9. KOLASINAC is now probably surplus to requirements following acquisition
    of Tierney and emergence of Saka. Main problem is his inflated wages which
    could impact on his transfer fee, but since he came on Bosman anything north
    of £10 million is a plus.

    I don’t think that the other players on Pedro’s list i.e. Bellerin, Xhaka, Lacazette
    or Guendouzi will leave this summer. Lacazette could leave if Aubameyang stays.

  72. Emiratesstroller

    In the past it has been suggested that Kroenke never sells assets.

    However, I do think that Arsenal could be the exception.

    1. It is the only overseas sports franchise in his portfolio.

    2. He has huge financial commitments in his US Franchises including building a new stadium.

    3. Arsenal is now a diminishing assets due to the drop in value of sterling and
    our declining performance. You need to factor in potential loss of sponsorship
    and reduced gates as well.

    4.It will require a huge investment to bring club back to level it was previously

  73. Moray

    Have to agree with the above comments.

    The big money days of Football are gone.

    People will think twice about buying a season ticket next season, even if the grounds reopen. The sky subscriptions will be an extra expense for people who have lost their jobs as their companies close or their jobs become automated. People who lose half of their savings and pensions are not going to be shitting a grand a year to watch Football.

    Sponsorships will evaporate as marketing budgets are some of the first to dry up when cost-cutting measures are imposed.

    We get a chance to clean the swamp. No teenager needs 80k per week and a solid gold Maserati. A responsible company will clear its financial liabilities, which are typically salaries. We have too many chancers on extraordinary compensation.

    There will be few buyers this summer but many sellers. If we remain liquid or have a cash investment from wiggy then we could pick up some great deals. Otherwise, it’s going to be slim pickings. As for renewals, Auba should be thinking urgently about renewing, even is its for a 50% reduction in his current deal.

    If anyone is still not clear that this virus doesn’t distinguish between rich and poor, it has killed Lorenzo Sanz, the guy who built that galactico team at Real Madrid. Stay at home.

  74. Moray

    Stroller, like other investors, Kroenke may look at this crisis and suppressed prices to make further deals. If so, he’s not going to get rid of his ballast (AFC), unless it starts to lose value. There will always be money in Football in the UK due to the National obsession.

  75. Emiratesstroller


    These are not normal situations.

    Arsenal’s status has dropped like a tombstone under Kroenke’s ownership.

    Leaving aside Coronavirus I don’t see the owner showing the requisite ambition and being prepared to make the requisite investment in what is
    becoming a failing project under his stewardship.

  76. Dissenter

    My tupence about why Italy was especially hit the hardest.
    1. Italy perfected the art if keeping their citizens very old, that gave corvid-19 the perfect substrate even though the health care system is just as good as anywhere in the western world. Italy has more beds per capita that the United States.
    2. The industrial north of Italy had a special relationship with China’s “ belt and road memorandum” deal. That brought in a lot of Chinese tourists and factory workers, There were as much as 200,000 Chinese visitors to that part of Italy/monthly … big money because the Chinese have the biggest wallets when they travel. Their money kept Venice going even though it was flooded.

    Ultimately it will take time to understand why Italy has been so devastated by the virus. Many experts believe the unites states is just as vulnerable because our health care system is not the best. Too many people don’t have coverage and don’t stay healthy.

  77. Tony

    More to the point with Kroenke is that how much Covid is going to affect his US sports franchises.

    he could take a hit at home and abroad.

    Will Dangote step in earlier the he anticipated?

  78. Freddie Ljungberg

    Lots of reports linking us to Edouard today, yes please.

    Selll Auba and Laca and get Edouard and a top notch CM like Partey or Soumare in and we’ll be better off overall.

    Also links to Evan N’Dicka, would be a good Upamecano alternative for a decent chunk less money.

    Exactly the kind of signings we need to make to progress.

  79. Sid

    Nobody will buy Mustafinovs in this market, Elneny and Mikhi max is 5 m each, xhakalson is at most 20 if we are lucky

  80. Alexanderhenry

    Tony and ES

    Good points.
    The silver lining to this Covid crisis could be Stan selling up.
    He’s committed to building the new Rams stafium remember.
    Fingers crossed

  81. CG

    Alex H

    “””The silver lining to this Covid crisis could be Stan selling up.”””””

    But he has to find a buyer.

    And buying soccer clubs is not on any oligarchs current list of priorities.

    As we all know- in order to sell something, you need to find a buyer first.

    But there are no buyers in town for soccer clubs or indeed players.

    There are people out there, who genuinely think we will be selling our dross for circa £300 million.

    Are they mad or is it me?

  82. Terraloon

    Before the outbreak Arsenals finances were in a mess and things are just going to get a whole lot worse.

    To suggest that some of the dross listed will go for anything like being suggested is just fantasy.

    To those that think clubs are going to be paying monies on that sort when they too will be experiencing cash flow issues you need to get a grip.

    Bear in mind that Arsenal already have substantial commitments in terms of historical transfers which will have to be met and if the cash surplus is impacted by tens of million due to a decline in gate receipts then it won’t be only the dross going it will most likely be a case of any offer being taken and most likely way below market value.

  83. NEEG

    There are those that doubt Silent Stan could find a buyer – wrong. Look no further than Alisher. He will not acquire any shares in Everton – his investment is purely sponsorship. He still owns a ‘double box’ at the Emirates and his loose change covers Stan’s wealth.

  84. Marc


    It’s silly season gone mental – click bait into overdrive. You’ve got the perfect storm for journalists, thousands of fans with no football to watch who are also cooped up at home.

    I’m waiting for it to be announced that Arsenal are going to sign the first extra terrestrial player.

  85. Moray

    If the club fails to remain self-sustaining then for sure there is an imperative for wiggy to sell. Even if the value is halved he will make a profit.

    Football is very tight-wired: salaries, deferred payments, money spent one year based on the next year’s income. It will only take a few months’ disruption for many clubs to be in the shit.

  86. Nelson

    I read a report: ” Reports in Spain claim Serie A sides are on the brink of slashing player wages by between 20 and 30 per cent due to the coronavirus outbreak.”

    Is a government allowed to do things like that?

  87. CG


    “””If the club fails to remain self-sustaining then for sure there is an imperative for wiggy to sell. “””””

    How can any club expect to be self sustaining, when it shells out £100 million on Pepe and Tiereny alone?

    What did The Dopes think these two were going to do?

    Recoup that outlay by selling them on for a profit or were they going to propel us to the Champions League later stages? ( where the big money is)

    Stan has allowed the lunatics to run the asylum. It will cost him and the fans big time.

    But the madness don’t stop there. We now want to extend David Luiz’ contract and get another ageing Chelsea reject in too. ( Willian)

    Total and utter insanity in The Arsenal FC Asylum.

  88. Nelson

    I think that the government can come up with a special coronavirus tax on the football players since they are not working.

  89. Micheal

    Kroenke’s toy:

    Everyone and everything has a price and we could be reaching the trigger point for Sleazy Stan. Because he has, so far, not milked AFC by withdrawing huge sums from the business, he has relied largely on the vlaue of “asset” or “soccer-ball franchise” increasing in value.

    That has now changed. All clubs, big and small, are in severe danger and their intrinsic value is falling.

    Kroenke must now decide whether this is a temporary blip and that the value will rebound when normal service resumes. Or more likely in my opinion, the fundamentals of football finance have changed forever and the value of clubs will never be the same again.

    A big call. But everyone and everything has a price.

  90. Arteta’s Hair

    Ummm Kroenke takes money out already, not vast sums but discreet payments under a different heading!!

    He will not sell as we are a cash cow for him

  91. Valentin

    Looking at the rumour of the players Arsenal is linked with is getting funnier by the day.

    The summer where Raul insisted we went for experienced (Lichsteiner, Sokratis, …), I mentioned that we should go after younger CBs instead (Söyüncü, Todibo, N’Dicka). Of course the same usual trolls insisted that Raul knew what he was doing: Lichsteiner and Sokratis were great purchase.

    Like I said at the time if a player can’t cope with the physicality of the Italian league, there is no chance of he would be able to cope with the EPL. Lichsteiner legs were gone. Sokratis’s club were happy to sell him but put up a fight for his Turkish younger teammate. As soon as reality set in, Sven the specialist in recruiting young players was blamed by those for the purchase of old heads. Same thing last summer when Everybody was happy to congratulate each other on Arsenal winning the TW. None of the team flaws had been addressed, but we gambled money Arsenal did not have on superfluous positions.

    This summer suddenly Arteta, his new scout analytics team and Edu seem two prioritise young players and we are linked every single one of those players I mentioned. We basically wasted two years of recruitment.

    We are interested in Evan N’Dicka because he is a left footed CB who can also play left back. He would be a much cheaper alternative to Upamey. And he is also more versatile. We could sell Kolasinac and still have cover at left in the “unlikely event” that Tierney is unavailable due to injury.

  92. Freddie Ljungberg


    Wasn’t Gazidis still in charge when we signed Licht and Sok? And as far as I remember Sven was the head scout then. This is the same bullshit some people use against Raul when they blame him for hiring Emery.

    We bought Sokratis from Dortmund, which Turkish younger teammate are you thinking of? Because Soyuncu played for Freiburg before Leicester bought him.

    We didn’t address any of the flaws in the squad?

    Our whole squad was a flaw, except strikers.

    We didn’t have a DM, we didn’t have any real wingers, etc etc

    We bought a CF with world class potential in Martinelli, a CB with the same potential in Saliba and we have our starting LB sorted for the next 5+ years at least.
    We also bought the most sought after winger in Europe last summer despite you having another ridiculous agenda against him too.

    All part of your ridiculous vendetta against Raul.

  93. Spanishdave

    Football players values are in free fall.
    Most teams in Europe are struggling at best to survive.
    No income , no sales they cannot continue.
    They will not be able to pay wages, and future contracts will not go up but down.
    The golden age of extreme wages is over.
    Mass unemployment is the next disaster, then riots.

  94. Wengaball

    So everything that was trashed is back in vogue again.

    Get back into top 4. For how many years we heard that was not good enough for Arsenal.

    Buy undervalued young players. We did that for 10 years but the constant clamour was spend on big names.

    David Dein once quoted Wenger as saying “David, the only certainty with a big name player is big money.”

    All through the frugal years he somehow still managed to have a team filled with talent and creativity who could play good football. And guarantee champions league.

    Wenger’s latter years were a disaster had a lot to do with the fact that he was pressured into giving up his financial discipline.

    Of course sometimes he was too frugal. But the solution was not the baby, bath water etc. but a better version of the same.

    Which is where we need now. Full circle and all that.

  95. Freddie Ljungberg

    Wenga, Don

    Who was the last great youngster Wenger bought with the potential of Martinelli or Saliba?

    Or the ones we’re linked with like N’dicka, Edouard, pape Gueye etc?

    Cesc? Maybe Bellerin 8 years ago? Far and few between in the last decade that’s for sure.

    Do a lot of people want to see what we had in the early Wenger years? Sure, why the fuck not, it was great when we picked up fantastic players on the cheap/young. He completely lost his touch a long time ago though so harping on about it is useless.

  96. Marc


    Glad your keeping your sense of humour.

    Apparently Greta Thunberg has made a statement to the UN saying Corona Virus has stolen her limelight.