All in or future planning?

by .

Arsenal are probably not going to extend our Dani Ceballos past his current loan deal, which makes you wonder if we’re going to use him in any sort of capacity over the next batch of games. Would it be wise to play him when you could give Joe Willock some games?

That’s the major talking point for me. Does Arteta think about next season, or does he get the job done with the best of what he has?

I suspect he’s going to go all out at 1) Finishing in the top 4 2) Winning a trophy

The thing that excites me a little is knowing that every player is going to want to fight. If you’re leaving, you want to show risk-averse clubs you are worth the cash. If you are staying, you’ll want to ingratiate yourself to the manager and make yourself a first-teamer in a squad of players that haven’t found a pattern with the new system.

I am genuinely thrilled about where this squad could go. I think there are big futures for the kids we have at the club at the moment. The hopes are high for ESR, they think he really could be something special. Martinelli, Saka and Saliba are all pretty big names already considering they are teenagers. We might get to see a run with Tierney, who has a dreamy delivery. Then there are the maybe crowd. Willock, Eddie, AMN (who found his way back into contention), and Matteo all have it in them to be big players. Then you have a whole batch of kids that are buried in the reserves that might have something special. Balogun, Greenwood, Medley and Smith

This is a good time to be an Arsenal fan. We have an exciting young coach, we have young kids that are ready to break, and the world is going to look very different for football… hopefully, we can find some stardust to add to the talent. This could shape our summer nicely, if young talent speak to Arteta, they’ll be sold… but if they see the actions of a club that gives youth the chance at a major club, they’ll be more likely to join.

If we get it right, we could be challenging for the title in 2-3 seasons. Get it wrong and it’s going to be miserable. Hopefully, the club is going to refocus on landing more of the Martinelli’s, versus some of the other bums we let in the backdoor because of special relationships.

Right, short post, see you in the comments! x

285 Responses to “All in or future planning?”

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  1. Upstate Gooner

    “Arsenal are probably not going to extend our Dani Ceballos past his current loan deal” – good news. Another deal that didn’t exactly come to a fruition. I’d rather see one or more of the academy players given a chance in his place.

  2. Upstate Gooner

    “I suspect he’s going to go all out at 1) Finishing in the top 4 2) Winning a trophy” – top 4 is a pipe dream at this point. We’re 8 points off pace (Chelsea), and I don’t see us gaining much ground. Maybe 6th place finish? As for the trophy – another FA Cup would be nice but again, don’t see it happening. Would rather Arteta uses remaining fixtures to figure out who to keep, and who to ship in the upcoming few months.

  3. Upstate Gooner

    “Then there are the maybe crowd. Willock, Eddie, AMN (who found his way back into contention), and Matteo all have it in them to be big players.” – sorry but AMN doesn’t belong on this list. He’s had numerous chances and he blew them all.

  4. Upstate Gooner

    “If we get it right, we could be challenging for the title in 2-3 seasons.” – put that sigaweed down, Pedro, and slowly walk away.

  5. Upstate Gooner

    “Hopefully, the club is going to refocus on landing more of the Martinelli’s, versus some of the other bums we let in the backdoor because of special relationships.” – finally a comment that I can agree with. P.S. Thanks, Peds… and where the F is everyone?!

  6. Marc


    You’re forgetting that as it stands City are banned from Europe next season so a CL place is there to be had at 5th place – 5 points away. It won’t be east but it’s doable.

  7. Marc


    Nice piece.

    I think Arteta’s got to go for it. CL football and the money that comes with it will have an even bigger effect this summer than normal.

    An FA Cup win would just set us up nicely for next season.

    And oh yeah – every day is a good day to be a Gooner. Our darkest day is still a million times better than being a Spud on their best day.

  8. Marc


    From previous post.

    So what do they do – take the trophy back from PSG to then give it back to them in a few weeks?

    All seems a bit daft.

  9. Marc

    ” and where the F is everyone?!”

    They’re still on the last posts comment section – Pedro that’s what happens when you get lazy and don’t post enough!!!

  10. goonerkitt

    I think top 5 is a possibility. All the teams above us have tough fixtures and players who are already thinking about their next club. There is a possibility that Chelsea’s youngsters will become disillusioned with the fact that after getting the side into the champions league places the club are buying more new players, Spurs players realising that even after the whole world has changed, they are still in fact Spurs players and Manure will have Pogba back meaning it’s all going to go to shit for them.

  11. Marc


    The Spud’s have Mourinho being a cock, City can’t win the league and are currently banned from Europe so nothing to play for (KDB has already made noises about leaving), OGS is all over the place and the Scouser’s would have won the league by the time we play them.

    Like I said it won’t be easy but chasing down ManU and 12 points wasn’t easy in 97/98.


  12. goonerkitt

    I feel our young’uns will come out all guns blazing. They know that with the way our finances are currently there is going to be some older pros getting sold this summer. They’ve got a 13 game (hopefully) window to show Arteta that they deserve to be in the first team every week.

  13. Marc


    It’s not just the young guns who have something to prove – as Pedro says older heads – possibly Luiz, Auba if he wants out has to show that they’re worth splashing some very limited cash on.

  14. Stephen Argent

    Good question but surely he has to go for it. It’s a free hit – get it right and we might sneak CL, get it wrong, it’s a new project, roll on next season.

    Will be disappointed if Ceballos leaves. Don’t think we’ve quite seen the best of him. He’s one of those players that brings fluidity to our side, a bit like Pires providing the ‘oil’ (wasn’t it Pires that Wenger referred to in this sense?).

    Good to see you mention ESR also – just love the way this guy moves and plays the ball, has always looked at top talent to me.

  15. Valentin

    There is only 6 clubs who could afford Aubameyang’s fee of £35 millions and his wage: ManCity, ManUtd, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Juventus.

    ManCity, Juventus have already made clear that they are not interested.

    Chelsea just bought Timo Werner, extended Giroud by a year and have Tammy Abraham so very unlikely.

    Arsenal is not going to sell to ManUtd. And would he go there and compete with Sanchez, Martial, Rashford for a place in the Europa League?

    PSG are now thinking of extending Cavani for 1 year as backup for Icardi as Cavani is willing to take a massive pay cut.

    Real Madrid may be Aubameyang dream team, but they have never ever been remotely interested in him. Their main target this summer is Camavinga. With MBappe marked for the following season, I can’t see them paying top money for a 31 years old striker to replace him the following season by a younger, better player at three times the price.

    So Aubameyang may decide that the best thing for him is to stay an extra year with us and see who is biting next season. The big question is then what will Arsenal do? Will he dig in refuse to leave and extend?

  16. Goonerkitt

    I think its time to reboot the whole club. Id keep auba and luiz (if they want to stay and are committed to the cause) and sell/give away
    Try and blood as much youth between now and the seasons end using the 5 subs to our advantage and depending on how our league position and european chances are.

  17. Upstate Gooner

    I did indeed forgot about City’s ban. But do you actually think it’s gonna be upheld?

  18. Buckagh

    I read somewhere probably the Athletic last year that Auba stands to collect a 15 million loyalty bonus at the end of his contract make what you will of it

  19. Marc


    That’s the thing I’ve already commented on about Auba – everyone can scream sell him all they want but if no one’s buying and he’s not agitating for a move, happy to see out his contract there’s not much anyone can so.

  20. Marc


    My gut feeling is the ban will be reduced to one year. City are seen to be punished appeasing other clubs, UEFA are seen to be applying their rules and City get off lightly.

    If we can grab that 5th place it’ll give us a leg up to close the gap for next season.

  21. Marc


    So he’s on £200k per week – £10.4 million a year over 3 and a half years = £36.4 million and then he’s going to add £15 million to that?

    And before anyone (you know who you are!) blames Sanllehi Auba was signed before he joined the club.

  22. Habesha Gooner

    Two teams are still on the running for him. Barcelona and Inter Milan. It all depends on Lautaro Martinez’s transfer to Barcelona. If they succeed and get him, Inter will need a New hitman and they will go for Aubameyang. If not Barcelona need a top class striker for an affordable price and They will go for Aubameyang. If he doesn’t go to these clubs then he will run down his contract with us next season unless we will sell cheaply and I don’t see us doing that.

  23. Valentin


    Barcelona are broke. They can’t afford Lautaro’s fee. They are still trying to find a way to pay for Griezman’s transfer.
    They are so broke then can’t even afford Aubameyang’s wage. And he is not moving to Barcelona to earn less than half of what he is currently on.
    Next summer when On a Bosman he can pocket some signing-on inducement to compensate his lower wage but not this summer.
    Plus if he move to Barcelona, unless they sell Suarez he would not get a game. It would be a game of musical chair to sit in the bench between him and Griezman.

  24. DivineSherlock

    Id rather we sell Laca to Atletico . Buy Partey from them. Partey and Torreria is a good CM . We’ll need a good CAM ,ESR is just too raw for me.

  25. The Godfather




    Keep Ceballos

    Starting Lineup 2020-21 season





    And then I woke up😂

  26. Habesha Gooner

    I know they are broke but they are moving on some players this summer. They really need a striker. And There is no guaranteed hit man like Auba for below 35 mil+. They just spent 16 mil+ on braithwaite when they knew they were going to move him on this summer. I hear anyone is for sale at Barcelona this summer. Dembele, Arthur, Semedo, Rakitic, Umtiti all have been linked with a move away and some of these players are on big wages. Teams will gamble on these players even on loan. So I can see them having Some pull in the transfer market. And If they can’t sign Lautaro then Auba is the only one who is left. And He might reduce his wages to go there rather than wait for a Bosman. If they Magically find the fee for Lautaro though, I can realistically see Inter moving for him. Conte likes premier league players. And he knows how much Auba will score.

  27. Sid

    With the improvement that Xhakalson has made because of Artetas coaching we should get more for him than was offered in January when he had been playing under Emery, but because of covid19 we should atleast get the same offer.

  28. Overmars

    Habesha Gooner

    “Dembele, Arthur, Semedo, Rakitic, Umtiti ”

    Transfer fees and wages aside.. any one of them would improve our first XI.

  29. Wasi

    All signs are pointing that Arteta will most definitely go all out. CL is still not out of reach(if City’s ban is upheld) at least mathematically. A win at City and you never know. And even if not CL , EL is very very doable. Like many , even I would love a season where Arteta can focus only on the league without the distraction of EL and get the kids up to speed to fight for trophies in the coming years. But right now we need money to cope up with our financial demands and if Europa can help with that cause. And if achieving EL requires Arteta to play a loanee over homegrown talent for a month or two he should definitely do it.

    In all fairness Pedro , Matteo is not a maybe anymore. His development has been so rapid that he is already considered a full fledged professional desperate only turning 21. Thats a testament to his ability. Even here at Legrove , many judge his performances in comparison to top players. Now compare that to Willock, who is 20 and is treated as a kid with a potential. We forgive his mistakes on the pitch and say that he will learn with time but when Matteo does those same mistakes many here lambast him as a waste of time and money.

  30. Habesha Gooner

    Yeah they would. If they were looking for swaps The most exciting out of those which would fix a problem would be Arthur melo. But I don’t think they would swap him for Aubameyang. Rakitic is 32 so it wouldn’t be great at the cost of Auba. I would rather have him for the season and let him leave on a free than that.

  31. China1

    I wonder if willock has the smarts and passing ability to be a 10

    He’s definitely got half the required ability but the other half I’m not sure yet. I wonder what Arteta thinks of him and has planned

  32. Northbanker

    Wasi – agree with your comments on Guen – amazed he has been written off so easily by many on here. He has made incredible progress and for someone who has only just turned 21, he has some really impressive experience. Coaching and maturity will help the headless chicken aspect of his game but he has proven he can be a real warrior of the lower half and has on occasion delivered some killer passes.

    For me, he should remain vey much part of our new younger look and a great success to our scouting network we got him so cheaply.

  33. Ishola70


    “For me, he should remain vey much part of our new younger look and a great success to our scouting network we got him so cheaply.”

    Here! Here!

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing if he was playing in a midfield with better older players around him. Even just one.

    I’m sure we would see better of him if only he had some good older midfielders around him.

    Torreira not quite there yet.

  34. Wasi


    I know , Right. Guendozi has a lot of excellent qualities and under Emery earlier this season, he had a spell where he was the best player for us. His positioning game has definitely improved as he doesn’t run around like a headless chicken anymore.
    Imo , what he needs for his next stage of development is a specific role. He is like half box to box midfielder and half defensive playmaker (Jorginho like). If it were me coaching him , I’d advise him to develop his game in the mould of Fabinho or Casemiro. He is tall enough , his touch and passing is good , his vision is good enough , his dribbling , tackling and interception numbers are alright with scope for improvement + he’s also got the aggressive attitude we need in our squad. The only thing holding him back is his defensive positioning ( it has improved but needs some more work) , heading ( major improvements required here ) and goal contributions.

  35. Valentin

    Guendouzi best performance was when he played in tandem with Willock behind Ceballos.
    When he is combined with Xhaka or Torreira, Xhaka lack of movement and Torreira poor long passes ability just highlight his deficiencies: slowing movement leading to getting caught in possession and poor penetrative long passes.

    That has nothing to do with experience but with incompatible style of play or at least learning to adapt his style to the teammates. Guendouzi needs vertical movement so he can play off the movement. Willock needs lateral movement so he can have a direct run to the opposition with the ball at his feet.

  36. Ishola70

    So Guendozi plays better with Willock.

    Strange that considering Willock himself has not really convinced.

    And Ceballos being erratic in his overall performances.

    Arsenal lack quality midfielders and it’s a shame that Guendouzi could not progress with being surrounded by better quality midfielders. It would have certainly helped him along.

  37. Habesha Gooner

    I think we should ditch the N10 role in my opinion. There is no future for that in the future. We should go 4-3-3. Liverpool have succeeded by having great attackers who are protected by A dependable midfield and supported by attacking fullbacks. I think we would get the best out of Guendouzi, Willock Torriera and Even Xhaka. It would also give more license to our forwards. Most of all Pepe would benefit from it. Guendouzi is a good prospect and I think we need to give him time. Not just jump the gun and sell him like pedro is advocating. Honestly there is no one at the club under 25 I would sell right now. The most at risk in my eyes are Niles, Holding and Chambers. And I don’t think I would even sell them.

  38. Sid

    Dozi is not a good dribbler and is afraid to get dispossesed so looks to pass to a teamate, playing him alongside Xhakalson who has 0 movement is a disaster and Ozil ahead of him who doesnt make himself available turns the disaster into tragedy.

    Dozi alongside Willock who can make runs is positive and would work even better with a creator who doesnt hide ahead of them.
    If Dozi improves his tackling he will make a good CM.

  39. Ishola70

    Guendouzi’s best performances were Newcastle away and against Spurs second half.

    There really wasn’t a pattern regarding who he was with in midfield in those matches.

    A mix of all of them. And all of them not real quality.

  40. Sid

    Most of our midfield problems stem from Xhakalsons and Ozils in that order.
    Not even the greatest CM in the world could solve arsenals problems playing with those 2

    Im telling you for free!

  41. Ishola70

    “Most of our midfield problems stem from Xhakalsons and Ozils in that order.”

    Don’t we know it.

    I would expect this info free of charge on this occasion.

  42. Pierre

    Guendouzi has a habit of holding onto the ball a few seconds too long so consequently the passing avenues that were available to him are often closed .

    Due to his options being closed he either passes the ball backwards or looks to gain a free kick by falling over when touched.

    For some reason Guendouzi is often reluctant to play the forward 5 yard pass and this is a flaw in his game.

    I believe Arteta will recognise this flaw and try and educate him to play one and 2 touch football and start to let the ball do the work and recycle the ball quicker.

    He’s still young so he can learn, if he doesn’t Arteta will regard him surplus to requirements.

    Torreira is actually very good at passing early between the lines, Xhaka not quite so good, he is better finding a team mate in wide areas.

    passing between the lines effectively is the key for Arteta’s style of football to succeed.

    Failing to pass between the lines effectively will mean that we will have a lot of sideways passing with no penetration.

    Pepe and Ozil need to receive the ball early for them to be an influence in the game.

  43. Bob N16

    Good analysis Pierre. I would add that sometimes Guendouzi runs to a defender to collect the ball rather than find space and allow the player in possession to draw a man.

    I agree that if Guendouzi is receptive to coaching then he could have a great future but I worry that he may be a little over confident in his abilities and lack the humility to listen. I obviously hope I’m wrong as he has many qualities that could, with some tweaking, enable him to be a top player.

  44. Bob N16

    Agree totally that Guendouzi and Xhaka should never play alongside each other in midfield, terrible combination.

  45. Gentlebris

    ‘Pepe and Ozil need to receive the ball early for them to be an influence in the game.’

    Why do I have Ozil and Jack Wilshere in the same line of thought?

    Maybe because they are both FORMER Arsenal players and they both didn’t live up to the hype…although JW can’t be accused of lack of efforts.

    Then about Willock:

    Iwobi was much better for us. Willock should be playing the league one game.
    Sell asap to any sucker who wants to buy.

  46. Ishola70

    Guendouzi has to cut out though falling below an unacceptable standard in matches.

    He can go badly, badly off the boil in matches and that has to stop.

  47. Bob N16

    Gentlebris, I think you’re way off with your criticism of Willock. As a young player attempting to progress in a disfunctioning side, it is hardly a surprise that he is inconsistent. He has real potential, not least in his ability to receive the ball on the half turn, run with the ball and to get in goal scoring positions. He may not make it, a loan might be sensible but to suggest he’s a League One player says more about your judgement than his ability.

  48. Sid

    Guendozi has the most passes into the final 3rd and highest progressive distance , saying that he passes backward is totally false

  49. Kay

    With all due respect copying Dortmund model can help us be a top 6 club with occasional top 4 finishes.
    EPL is a different ball game compared to Bundesliga. We need a cash injection of 200million and sooner we understand that the better. Wenger’s steady decLine of top 2 to top 3/4 were due to Chelsea and Man City.

    Don’t cite liverpool. We need to loads of luck to get ourselves into a coutinho situation.

  50. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Ozil need to receive the ball in 2017 to be an influence in the game.”

    Fixed that for you Pierre, you’re welcome.

  51. Santan

    In the prem

    Guendouzi – 313 passes forward / 151 passes back / 1,591 minutes played
    Xhaka – 439 passes forward / 204 passes back / 1,908 minutes played
    Ramsey (2018/19) – 201 passes forward / 148 passes back / 1,328 minutes played

  52. Uwot?

    There’s a “ player” in there some where with Gwen Dozy.Hopefuly AM can dig it out with his coaching & cajoling.As for caballos get rid.He is a crab.Tidy with no end product.We can do far better.Hacker & bug eyes are the major stumbling blocks to our piss poor midfield.once they’re shifted you’ll see a noticeable improvement.

  53. andy1886

    Not entirely sure what Guendouzi does to be honest. A bit like much of our midfield. Can he tackle? Can he pick a great pass, create chances? Does he run past players, can he shoot, does he score? Really he’s a bit of a ‘meh’ player unless Arteta can decide what he could bring to the side and educates him in how to deliver that consistently.

    We have too many similar players who really don’t have any particular attributes. What stands out about the best midfielders is that you knew what they brought to the team. Right now I’d struggle to pick out any of them and say that’s their role and that’s what they are good at.

  54. Leedsgunner

    Personally I think there is a very good chance that Man City’s ban from the Champion’s League will be overturned… the barrister that they’ve instructed is very very good, Lord Pannick QC, probably the top litigator in the UK right now in matters such as this.

    If I was in Arteta’s shoes, I would send Ceballos back if he doesn’t want to extend with us and give that playing time to Willock.

    I’ve seen lots of people panning Cedric but effectively he’s a Debuchy like option whilst we allow Bellerin to get back to his best… probably should have picked him up on a free but in the big scheme of things we haven’t lost much.

    Osei-Tutu, the first choice U23s right back out on loan has been doing a decent job in Germany. Hopefully we’re thinking of bring him into the main first team squad next year.

    We need to look forward to the future… and bring in key experienced personnel to supplement our great batch of youngsters.

  55. Leedsgunner

    If we can attract top money for Guendouzi (£50m plus) I would be tempted to sell him and bring in Upamencano to shore up our defence.

    We haven’t had solid back four since the Invincibles. If we are serious about winning the league in 2-3 seasons time we need to build a solid foundation from the back now. Make the Emirates a hard place to play in again. No one fears us anymore because everyone knows how brittle our defence is.

    Attacking and flair players make for beautiful football but league titles and European Cups are won by teams with solid defences.


  56. Marc


    In the current climate who is going to pay £50 million for Guendozi?

    If you can’t come up with a couple of clubs it’s a pointless comment. I mean why don’t we sell Ozil for £150 million?

  57. Dissenter

    Regarding; Soares
    What do you mean by “in the scheme of things we haven’t lost much”
    Spending at least £2.5 million rather than waiting to pick him up for free…..isn’t much?
    That £2.5 million wasted would have made it easier to hold on to the likes of Saka, doesn’t it?

    In another post you’ll excoriating Kroenke for not spending his money but you’re happy to see us waste away 2.5 million.

  58. Leedsgunner

    Chelsea is finalising the deal for Werner for £56m, so there is money out there. Plus isn’t that why we brought in Don Sanhelli? To make more of our transfer deals?

    Newcastle is about to sold to a Middle East consortium who will be eager to spend money and make an impression, I can see them looking Guendouzi as well as PSG.

    More and more clubs will be looking at younger players because of the current climate… it will be resale value from now on.

  59. Marc


    You really need to take a major chill pill with regards to Soares. He was brought in as back up – no more and despite what you say in the scheme of things £2.5 million is not a damaging amount of money for a club with a turn over of almost £400 million pre COVID.

    You do realise that Mustafi and Xhaka take double that every year in salary give or take EACH.

    What if Soares goes on to make a worthwhile contribution?

  60. Wasi


    No way. Soares is Kia’s client . There is absolutely no way he can make a worthwhile contribution.

  61. Wasi

    No mention by Pedro in today’s post about the clubs attempts at cutting middle men costs using the online transfers platform btw.

  62. Graham62

    Obviously the reality check that has hit football hasn’t yet sunk in with some posters on here.

    £50m for Guendouzi!


  63. Sid

    Soares is Kallstrom/Denis saures Mark2, a pointless signing given his age, a mid table team player
    just to prove a point to AMN that he can be dropped from the team /he can do without him.

    Im telling you for free

  64. andy1886

    “If you can’t come up with a couple of clubs it’s a pointless comment. I mean why don’t we sell Ozil for £150 million?”

    You may have to move the decimal point eight places to the left….

    But yeah, Guen isn’t one I’d expect to attract massive interest, certainly not from the likes of PSG who probably have several equally talented prospects on their books. Only the really top players will go for big money, the rest may be saleable for modest sums but that’s all.

  65. China1

    Dissenter tbf I doubt we’re so skint that 2.5m for Soares is the difference between us being able to offer saka a suitable contract or not. This is ‘living in a cardboard box’ levels of destitute poverty if we’re down to that level

    So take a deep breath and put your double quilted stiff away mate!

  66. Marc


    I’d be over the moon if someone offered £50 million for Guendozi but it just ain’t gonna happen.

    Strangely if it did do you think Sanllehi would get any praise for brokering the deal?

  67. Marc


    If we “can’t” keep Saka it won’t be because we can’t afford to pay him more it’ll be because we make a decision that whatever he’s asking for is too much for a player in their breakout season.

    Personally I hope we get it done and dusted ASAP with a contract that is mutually acceptable.

  68. Dissenter

    I think you need a splash of ice- cold water on your face to the tether you back to reality.
    2.5/400 may come across as small but £2.5 million is a LOT of money for any enterprise, especially one that has most of the £400 already committed to other causes.
    We wasted £2.5 million on an injured back-up RB for Bellerin who was expected to be available for only 3.5 months when we had TWO players that could provide the same back up until the rest of the season.
    If that doesn’t bother you, then what will?

  69. China1

    We’re not selling guen for 50m in 2020 I’m afraid.

    I don’t know what the future holds, but this summer I’d be shocked if someone offered us more than 20m for him.

    This is the same market where auba is being talked of as a 35m player. Regardless of age and contract differences, guen hasn’t yet demonstrated he is in the same universe as Auba in terms of his levels – so we’re not selling him for way higher than we’d get for Auba right now

  70. Habesha Gooner

    I knew dissenter was Crazy when he suggested letting Sokratis and Mustafi leave for free while paying them their wages for the last year potentially costing us 20 to 25 mil. But he can’t let go of the soares deal like a dog with a bone. Soares was signed to provide adequate backup for Bellerin while we were trying to compete in the premier league, Europa league and FA cup. Is it Raul’s fault we got knocked out early by Olympiakos? Now we might not need him because there aren’t enough games left but If we were still in Europa league he was sorely needed. And No AMN isn’t a fullback. He proved that against Chelsea in last year’s Europa league finals. Only people here would make a big deal out of a football director providing a standard two players per position because of some conspiracy they believe is going on.

  71. Dissenter

    You don’t think having an extra £2.5 million laying around gives you the flexibility to up an offer if negotiations for Saka’s deal gets deadlocked?

    … and yes, we are that skint. We aren’t exactly loaded with money, if you haven’t noticed.
    Legrove is not some blog of home owners on millionaires row at Knightsbridge, is it?
    Since when did £2.5 million stop being big money?

  72. China1

    Dissenter it presumably was a waste of money (we’re assuming soares doesn’t walk into the first season now and play better than Bellerin (hardly would take a miracle)

    But even so, 2.5m is pocket money in football, you have to admit. We’re trading in 30-60m players on the regular. We find money to pay some of the highest wages on the planet.

    That 2.5m was probably a waste, but it’s a drop in the ocean of financial waste for us. We’re that obese diabetic guy in Aldi whose just spent £45 on several boxes of miniature heroes who then buys a KitKat at the checkout

    If we’re gonna die of diabetes I can tell you it’s not the KitKat that will have done us!

  73. Dissenter

    I think you have me confused with another poster
    Please refresh my memory about that silly accusation I wanted PapSok and Mustafi to leave for free.

    AMN is a serviceable BACK-UP RB. He deputized in that position most of last season and we came close to the CL
    Soares was anonymous at Southampton, now that we’ve signed him, he’s suddenly worth £2.5 million for a 3.5 month loan stint to back up Bellerin.

  74. Marc


    “Please refresh my memory about that silly accusation I wanted PapSok and Mustafi to leave for free.”

    You said the other day you’d keep them for next season and then let them leave for free when we were discussing the CB lineup for next season.

  75. Dissenter

    China 1
    Agreed, the 2.5 million was a waste if money
    Let’s agree to disagree that it’s not significant in our current plight.
    It certainly gives me a different perspective about Ozil’s refusal to take a pay cut.

  76. Marc


    You said 2 players could provide serviceable back up – who’s the other one – if you say Sok I’m going to have the Football God’s infest your armpits with the fleas of a thousand camels.

    Oh and AMN is poor at RB.

  77. China1

    Dissenter yeah it probably was a waste but we actually don’t know yet. If come the end of the season he’s done nothing of note it was a waste but I don’t know if we can be sure of that yet, even if it looks likely

    I wouldn’t have paid for him. I actually think after Arteta came in AMN was doing ok and better than Bellerin (who looked dismal) when he came back

    But still. This being talked of as a major deal is like that sketch (was it the fast show)? Where that morbidly obese French guy is in a restaurant and the waiter keeps pushing him to have one more wafer even though he’s stuffed and he explodes lol.

    Don’t get hung up on the wafer, blame the 150kg it’s being added to!

  78. Dissenter

    We are talking about back-up for one position for 5 months. A position two other players could have done just-okay performances; AMN and PapSok.
    We could have lined up Soares for a June free transfer [if we wanted him and made it through to the end of the season in one piece.


  79. andy1886

    “Strangely if it did do you think Sanllehi would get any praise for brokering the deal?”

    Yup, it’s not incompatible to believe that he can do a good job on individual deals (Iwobi for example) but still think that he’s a dodgy character that could drag AFC down with him if he does another Neymar style deal behind the back of the club or gets caught receiving back handers from his favourite agents.

    For me it’s not just that he’s a bit iffy, it’s that he has no real understanding of football, he’s an ex-marketing man who got the Barca job because of his contacts at Nike. If you check out the deals he did while in Catalonia you’d see that he signed a lot of trash that cost the club a fortune with little return. The only decent signing was Neymar and as everyone knows that was dodgy anyway.

  80. China1

    As a point of perspective, if we guess xhaka and mustafi’s wages over the last 3 years have been 70k a week, they’ve cost us combined over 90m including their transfer fees. Add their cost to ozil s since he joined and we’ve literally burned in the region of 200m on these 3 players and what value did we get out of that? Some assists a few years ago…

    If Soares is a 7/10 player consistently over the what’s left of the season that 2.5m would probably have been better bang for our buck…

  81. Habesha Gooner

    June 6, 2020 16:00:35
    Saliba, Holding, Chambers, PapSok [to finish his contract] and Mustafi [to finish his contract] It’s time to start clearing out the mess to rebuild Luiz isn’t part of any smart rebuild. He’s never been the best defender in any club or national side he’s played for. He’s just been part of the pack of ‘okay’ defenders. Gooners have developed an inferiority complex and have become comfortable with accepting the dregs of other clubs. We should have kept put powder dry after Kosh left and saved that money to get another young defender with a high ceiling. Instead we
    splurged it on Luiz.

    This was you three days ago. Stop Lying. This isn’t about the 2.5 mil. Just admit you don’t like Raul. I didn’t like Gazidis but I didn’t make up a nothing situation like u about this soares deal to criticize him. Find something tangible. If you were going to let Mustafi and Sokratis for nothing what’s 2.5 mil then?

  82. Dissenter

    You asked me who I consider as the central defenders in the club if we didn’t renew Luiz contract and I listed the CURRENT full backs we have in the club. I said they re just as good as Luiz and will do.
    I was making the point about us not even getting Luiz in the first place. I stated that we should have bought another young fullback with a high ceiling, , instead of splurging out on Luiz last season.
    This is the point Valentin was making about you getting desperate in an argument You are really clutching at straws.
    You have to be super wealthy or financially naive to consider £2.5 million to be tiny for an organization with a budget of. just 400 million annual revenue.

  83. Chris

    If we are discussing Sokratis and Maitland Niles as right back options, then it is reasonable to see why the club wanted another full back option for the rest of the season.

    Sokratis is a centre back, he could play as an emergency right back for a few games if we were down to the bare bones, but he doesn’t have the enterprise or pace to play as an attacking right back for nearly half a season. That would affect the balance of our right side.

    Maitland Niles has admittedly shown glimpses of good ability at right back, on the other hand he has also been found wanting and it is debatable whether that is his best position. Also, he seemed to have fallen out of favour with Arteta at the time.

    So it is quite simple to see why we looked to bring someone in. Soares can play either side of the centre backs and is a Euro 16 winner, presumably with attributes that Arteta admires, he is much more experienced than AMN to play wing back and much more suited than Sokratis.

    As Marc pointed out, we were aiming to still be in Europe until the final stages, and depending on Bellerin after his fitness issues and the above two could have been risky. When you look at the league table it is fine margins for European qualification and having as many squad options as possible (square pegs in square holes) the better. Soares was a deal worth doing and it seems daft to get worked up about it to the point where you are debating it what seems like every day on here.

  84. Santan


    As everyone says you can’t judge the transfer yet as he hasn’t played a single game yet. If he does admirably will then 2.5m is amazing. If he does terrible then yes i would agree that would be a complete waste of 2.5m. Very simple

  85. China1

    Dissenter it’s not really accurate to compare us directly with other companies of a similar size outside of football, because football as a business is run nothing like most comparably sized companies in the real world

    Football clubs tend to be far more willing to spend speculatively on highly uncertain opportunities and at top level football, you can barely buy a fart for 2.5m, so in this industry it’s considered an extremely low risk gamble relative to the market value.

    Football also exists in a bubble where income is more guaranteed than many other industries. As long as you don’t totally fuck up, in England you can count on gate receipts from fans each week as a given, sponsorship money is nailed in for the years ahead and an absolute fortune from things like TV money is as good as nailed on. It’s not like standard chartered bank where normal market fluctuations can fuck us quite rapidly if we aren’t careful – in football it takes huge risks backfiring, gross mismanagement or a covid19 style crisis (or a combination of these) to fuck a club at this level. As bad as we are we’re still not facing anything akin to an existential crisis and that 2.5m was a low risk gamble even if it likely was pointless

  86. Dissenter

    Are you suggesting that a new back-up RB [other than the ad-hoc work of PapSok or AMN] was the difference between salvation qualifying for European competition or not?
    I think the midfield is where we were and are still lacking? The back up to Bellerin is so superfluous … it was like number 15 on a list of priorities till June 2020.
    Soares could have been a target for the summer, that’s essentially the point I’m making.
    Anyways, have a nice day. It’s good for us to disagree. .

  87. Dissenter

    *Are you suggesting that a new back-up RB [other than the ad-hoc work of PapSok or AMN] was the difference between qualifying for European competition or not?”

    sorry, caught in two streams of thought.

  88. Sid

    AMN is a better right back or atleast equal to Soares,
    signing Soares is a case of cutting your nose to spite your face.

    Im telling you for free!

  89. Sid

    3421 with Nelson as a right wingback was another option to give Bellerin a break instead of signing Soreness

  90. Marc

    As for AMN and Sok being just OK options for RB.

    AMN has been barely OK and has according to reports had run ins with Arteta.

    Sok is completely unsuited to a RB position.

  91. Moray

    “If we get it right, we could be challenging for the title in 2-3 seasons. Get it wrong and it’s going to be miserable.“

    History would strongly suggest we find new and innovative ways of getting it wrong.

  92. Dissenter

    AMN having run ins with the new manager is no big deal, it’s not uncommon for when new managers to throw their weights around all the time.
    That was not a reasonable reason to seek a 2.5 million solution for less than 4 months.

  93. Santan

    “I think the midfield is where we were and are still lacking? ”

    You want to fix the midfield with roughly 2.5m?

    “The back up to Bellerin is so superfluous … it was like number 15 on a list of priorities till June 2020.”

    Who did we have there
    -AMN who is primarily a CM and was unhappy at playing RB.
    -Sok who is slow cb and can barely play RB

  94. Marc


    And a first choice RB just back from a serious ACL injury who’s been struggling for fitness.

    Bringing in a loan player for low money is not any sort of issue any where except in Dissenter’s head.

    If he’s like this with all money fuck getting into a round with him.

  95. Chris


    I wasn’t stating that Soares would have been our salvation (if that’s what you meant!) but he could have been, and in fact, still could be, of massive help in terms of achieving European qualification this term. When every point is needed it helps when you have player suited for every position. It would have been risky to rely just on Bellerin, who has been struggling for fitness and form.

    I won’t say much more on it because that’s simply how I see it. He was a low risk option that can still help out pay dividends. You disagree, that’s fine. Time will tell if he was worth it or not, I would just point out he was signed pre COVID when we had 3 fronts to fight on and the aforementioned situation in terms of full backs.

  96. Marc


    And Chamber’s out with an ACL – a player in the squad who is better suited to RB than certainly Sok and probably AMN.

  97. Northbanker

    Jeez – are we really discussing a bit part player who provides emergency cover that much?

    £2.5m was the loose change on the Pepe deal so why are we losing sleep on it? There are many more pressing concerns.

  98. Dissenter

    I found myself laughing as I read Micah Richards complain about being racially profiled.
    He said he was called the “bling king” in reference to him buying expensive cars.
    He said this led to him altering his behaviour.

    “I found myself having to act in a certain way just to fit in so people wouldn’t judge me,” said Richards.”

    They probably saved his bank account. He ought to be thanking those that helped make him a better person.
    He was called the bling king because he was the king of bling. The lad used to adorn himself with the thickest gold neck chains, like a 1980’s rapper

  99. Valentin

    Micah was never the sharpest tool in the box, nor was he the most dedicated player. With his physical ability, he should have done a lot more in his career.

    I remember the story about Patrick Vieira and Micah Richard. PV4 criticised Micah Richard for wasting his natural talent by not working hard enough: arriving late at training and not doing extra fitness or technical exercise.

    The Apocryphal story goes that PV4 asked him what he wanted to achieve in the game: ‘I want to play for a successful City team and play for England too.’
    ‘Really??’ replied a surprised Vieira. ‘Then how come you’re the last one onto the training pitch every day and the first one off it?’

  100. DigitalBob

    Sokratis for all his effort needs to be shown the door, playing at right-back for anything longer than a few minutes per games is ridiculous. He’s no longer an adequate first choice CB either.

    AMN had the makings of a decent RB but his head and heart are clearly not in the position. I’d have no problem giving him Xhaka’s centre midfield minutes and then upon failure, for sure show him the door. This all depends on him respectful to MA and applying himself in training of course.

  101. Wasi

    Soares is a sensible signing at the time when it was done. Heccy b was sidelined with ACL , Chambers had just suffered Acl , Niles was crying he didnt want to play there and Arteta wanted / needed to assert his authority. Sok was deployed as a desperate option and he was politely put not suitable for that role. 2.5 mil to solve so many problems at one time while also providing decent enough LB cover if required was a good deal imo.
    And in pre-corona and even post-corona world 2.5mil is chump change for us. As a matter of fact 5 mil is also not a big deal.

  102. Valentin

    I would have taken a decent central defensive midfielder on loan for £5millions over a £2.5 millions injured right back who was battling relegation.

  103. Northbanker

    Valentin – lots of them around were there?

    All at £5m and so good they were unwanted by their clubs in Jan

  104. Marc

    If we’d have taken the £20 million plus we were offered fro Xhaka we’d have had more funds to go for a “decent” DM.

  105. Emiratesstroller

    I think that there is too much importance attached to Maitland-Niles performance against Charlton who are currently 22nd place in Championship.

    I would be more impressed if he was able to perform at that level in midfield
    position against top level opposition in EPL.

    AMN is now aged 22 so clearly decisions need to be taken whether he has the
    potential to secure a starting place in any position if first team.

    My personal view based on what I have seen over last 2 years is that he does not. Clearly he does not have potential at left or right full back and I think that
    both Guendouzi and Willock have probably better potential in midfield and
    are also younger.

    There are also questions about his attitude.

  106. Valentin


    Your assertion that Chelsea was in financial difficulties and that Roman Abramovitch was cutting them off was proven wrong one day later with the news that Chelsea was buying Timo Werner.
    But if you still believe that Chelsea is in financial constraint mode. The final nail on the coffin assertion is the news that Chelsea are interested in buy Kai Havertz for £70 millions.
    Looks like that mine and Terraloon belief that Abramovitch would continue to fund them was correct.
    If what happen at Chelsea is what restricted is, then I wish Arsenal were so financially restricted.

  107. Bob N16

    I know there was talk of one of the Berlin clubs being interested in buying Xhaka an that Arteta vetoed this move. Do we know for sure that Xhaka could have been sold for 20m +? Many of us would have been very happy to take the money but did this somehow give the story greater legs than it deserved?

    I do feel Arteta should get a pass if this is true as he’d only been at the club a couple of weeks but clearly if it was just a rumour then any criticism of Arteta for this storyline would be bullshit?

  108. Gentlebris

    ‘If we can attract top money for Guendouzi (£50m plus) I would be tempted to sell him and bring in Upamencano to shore up our defence.’

    Yes, pls.

    £50m plus for a young dude who seems to specialize in falling down and yelling at the ref to whistle would be a good deal.

    Only problem is that Pablo Escobar was the only dude who could pay such money.

  109. Marc

    Does anyone else remember Albert Stuivenberg joining as joint Ass Manager back at the turn of the year?

    I seem to have completely missed that one.

  110. Gentlebris

    ‘If we’d have taken the £20 million plus we were offered fro Xhaka we’d have had more funds to go for a “decent” DM.’

    Our disco boy ran himself into a corner on that.

    It had been decided that Xhaka was off for £21m or so, then our boy came and stopped the deal. What now happens if Xhaka continues to flop and no one wants him for half the price, covid considered?

  111. Habesha Gooner

    Marc and Gentlebris
    What is mind boggling is Xhaka will never be more than a good player at best. If you cover all his weaknesses, He will not provide you with a consistent performances for a whole season. We should have taken the money. and run. We could have targeted better players if we had done proper scouting.

  112. Marc


    He might be able to be a “good” player in Italy or Germany but in the PL he’s not fit for purpose and is nothing more than a liability.

    Do the tiny number of positives he possesses actually balance off how we have to cover for his major inadequacies?

  113. Santan

    Arteta probably thought “he has good passing and if i cover his weaknesses he will look good and go for more in the summer while playing alright/good for us”

    It was definitely a mistake not to let him go

  114. The Godfather

    The savings for the club by moving the salaries of

    Plus earnings for any transfer fees obtained:

    Could easily help pay for signing Partey and Upamecano

  115. Ishola70

    Berlin went for Toussart in the end and he didn’t even join in the winter and will join them in the summer.

    Toussart is a genuine ball winner in central midfield while Xhaka isn’t so if Berlin were looking for a genuine DM in that window then they got the right man instead of Xhaka.

  116. Habesha Gooner

    Totally agree on that. I hate compensating for players with major flaws in their game that can’t be Ironed out. Their positives need to outweigh the negatives massively to have them starting. And Xhaka hasn’t got enough in him. I actually think Spanish Laliga would be perfect for him. Tackling and speed aren’t the main attributes needed, Rather passing range and keeping things ticking.

  117. Pierre

    “And Chamber’s out with an ACL – a player in the squad who is better suited to RB than certainly Sok and probably AMN.”

    Back in the day you would have been singing Gus Caeser’s praises as a centre half.

    Chambers at right back is the equivalent to Caeser at centre back….

  118. Sicario

    Problems Arsenal have are simple. 1) Idiot fans that think Arsenal are still a great team. Arsenal are no better than 06 Stoke or Bolton. 2) An amateur coach who has 0 idea how to manage a game, pick a sub or pick a team. 3) Hideous players like Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Ozil etc etc etc. Ozil’s immense when he wants to be but his head hasn’t been in it for 5 years. Saka is not gonna sign in if he’s got any sense, Martinelli should bail ASAP with Auba. The only way to save Arsenal is get hold of Stan or Josh make them
    Put their hand in the pocket

  119. jwl

    Maybe Pedro can start worrying less about agents fees.

    The online player trading platform, Transfer Room, is being used by 13 Premier League clubs, with teams paying up to £2,500-a-month to speak directly to each other and cut out the middle men.

    Arsenal are among those turning to Transfer Room, as well as Everton and Brighton, with clubs on the hunt for bargain deals this summer.

    The first deal was made using Transfer Room in 2017 – with over 250 transfer agreed since – and chief executive Jonas Ankersen expects more than 100 more this summer.

  120. Danny M.O

    People who are doubting ainleys potential at centre mid are idiots. The man won a motm award playing against Pogba and matic who are two of the top midfielders in their respected positions. His learning curve at midfield was sacrificed so he could help the team at full back. He was that good that he could cover at full back. He done the job that Xhaka, torreira, guendouzi could not do. He is the missing piece that Arsenal are lacking. Not since Ramsey have we had a midfielder who can break the lines and stretch teams when needed. Not just that but he has the recovery pace to cover a fullback if tierney or bellerin get caught in no mans land. I genuinly think when this restart happens we will see AMN for what he is. A really good player!

  121. Marc

    In 2 years AMN will be playing for a team in a PL relegation dogfight or in the Championship.

    A distinctly average player.