The papers are hotting up with stories about Coutinho. The Spanish press is working very hard to connect Arsenal, Kia, and Arteta to 2016 fever dream.
What we know for sure.
- Barcelona need money, they are on an all-out assault to let everyone know that they are open for deals.
- Coutinho is struggling to find a home. He didn’t work out at Barcelona on the left. Bayern wouldn’t put him in the #10 position. He’s a bit lost.
- He’s very, very expensive. £250k a week in wages + £110m buyout clause.
- His agent is Kia.
Now, I’m not quite sure what’s going on here, but a move for Coutinho makes little sense for me. He looks a bit like a younger version of Mesut Ozil. He flourishes in a position that’s being sidelined. You have to build a team around him. He may have his best days behind him.
I’m not sure why Arsenal would entertain another traditional #10 that has failed at his last two clubs. Even if it’s just a loan for the season, that still seems like throwing money in the fire. Shouldn’t we be looking to find a player that can become what Coutinho was, but in the shape of now?
Bringing him to Arsenal for a season would cost a minimum of £13,000,000 in wages, and likely a £7,500,000 fee if we’re lucky. Maybe there’s a masterplan for him, I’d happily be proved wrong, but I just don’t think our approach to picking up expensive risks has worked out very well. We’re also very, very bad at loans going back to Julio Baptista.
We’ve also asked all our players to take cuts to their wages this season, I’m not sure piling in with big money on Coutinho is the right move politically (also worth noting his Barca salary is 75% less than it was last year, which might be driving some of this panic to move to the Premier League).
More of a worry, I’m not sure he’s right for the team. It’s certainly a terrible look that the two big names on Kia’s books are both being heavily linked (Willian). We’re like the new lottery winner that suddenly has hangers-on. It’s appalling to watch.
Talking of agents, it’s amusing to see that Mino Raiola is looking for Arsenal to take out the option to extend Mikhi’s contract another year and loan him back out to Roma. Nuts. We need to move the Armenian on ASAP. Another disaster signing, though I will say, a gamble that I could agree on at the time.
Players on the out seem to be shaping up. David Ornstein thinks Holding, Mustafi and Sokratis will be moved on. It’s a shame about Rob, he looked like a beast in the making after his FA Cup heroics, but injury and poor form hasn’t helped him. Sokratis needs a longer deal. Mustafi will now likely find himself a better club. What will be interesting is whether we sign another centre back, or we roll into next season with Saliba in the mixer. I heard that we were very interested in Diallo last season, but instead, opted for David Luiz for obvious reasons. It’ll be interesting to see if we go back for him this summer. Also, we’ve been linked to Fofana at St Etienne. All rumours, but the sort of young players I can get behind. It’s such a shame our footballing execs are more interested in having a seat at the table with elite agents, versus dealing with where we are as a club and playing in a market we can really dominate.
Jermaine Aliadiere has some not so subtle READ BETWEEN THE LINES commentary on Matteo Guendouzi.
“He’s like my little brother & I always told him that Arsenal would be a very good team for his development as a player & as a human being. He took my advice & came to the club, but I just feel Matteo hasn’t grown up as a human being yet”
“He’s grown up as a player, he’s matured massively as a player & every year he gets better. But unfortunately, as a man, he hasn’t grown and matured as much as I thought he would by joining Arsenal“
“I think thats what he’s missing & why he’s not playing as much under Mikel because Mikel isn’t really up for that. He wants players who are going to do a job for the team & do what they ask him to do. If they arent happy to do that, then he’ll have someone else do it”
I’ve been telling you for a while that the noise around the young Frenchman hasn’t been great, one day I’ll share some of the stories, but not worth it right now. Needless to say, don’t be surprised if we ship him out somewhere this summer. He could probably do with a stint under Diego Simeone.
Final player who could be moving out is AMN. It’s not been great for him this season. His attitude has been poor. He complains far too much for someone so early in his career, he took that red under Emery that looked sloppy, then continued his bitching under Arteta when asked to play a role he didn’t fancy. I think you need to be adaptable in this game. He’d rather be in midfield at a lesser club than get game time regularly at right back. He’ll move, no doubt have a solid career, but the chances are, it’ll look more Theo Walcott than Cesc Fabregas.
As you can see, the shape up this summer won’t just be about the wage bill. It’ll be a savage culling of players that aren’t up to it from an attitude perspective. This sort of squad shaping is what should have happened two years ago. Better late than never. I just hope we don’t have as many hold outs as we did before. I don’t know how you force players out, but let’s be real, the time is different now, you’d be mad to hang on at a club if there’s the chance of a long contract elsewhere.
Right, that’s me done, who would YOU sell. Notes below. Also, heard that the game is definitely going to be back week of the 20th, Dani C was NOT lying.