How player valuations might shape Arsenal midfield dreams

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I am like, so embarrassed… I forgot it was the 13th birthday of LE GROVE… YESTERDAY.

Can you believe it? The site is now a teenager. Well, this week, it’ll be getting a new cleaner template. The site will work better from a mobile perspective so you have more space to comment. It’ll also look a lot sharper. I cannot WAIT.

Anyway, I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of the people that tweet, listen, comment, and visit the site on the daily. It’s a massive privilege that anyone pays attention to our mutterings and I am very happy you didn’t all bin me off for the fancy YouTubers.

Right, what do we have today?

I did some rummaging around yesterday on the Ozil stuff. I don’t have a++ stuff, but I think the return of the German was more a result of circumstance than a key indicator of how we’re going to operate this season. I think it’s still positive for the player, at least the coach is trying to include him, it’s probably also an indication he’ll be here all year.

At the end of the day, it’s in the interest of Arteta to get something out of a player costing the club £18m a year. It’s also in the interest of the player to show prospective clubs that he’s worth a punt at a rate he deems acceptable next year. Let’s hope this potential rebirth has more substance to it than the other 13 false dawns.

Then there’s nothing particular new to share on the transfer front. Arsenal need to sell before they can buy, but it sounds like the club is fairly confident of making something happen this summer.

The thinking seems to be that a lot of deals are going to happen towards the end of the window. I quipped that maybe clubs are thinking of holding onto players this summer in the hope of higher prices next year. PSG Tech Director, Leonardo, poured cold water on that idea when he said,

“All the clubs today need to sell. There is also FFP. PSG are in this situation. We made a big investment on (Mauro Icardi). We need to be creative. Player departures are anticipated. We finished playing in August and not in May. We have up until October 5th to sign players. But we have to look at the exit door before.”

I think it’s likely that a few big balls need to get rolling then we’ll see the merry go round kick into action.

Arsenal has a collection of players that could move this summer. We need to gather about £90m to make our dreams of midfield completion come true. This is the list of names.

  • Kolasinac £4.5m (£120k p/w)
  • Torreira £18m (£65k p/w)
  • Holding. £8m ( £40k p/w)
  • Sokratis £5m (£90k p/w)
  • Lacazette £35m (£120k p/w)
  • Reiss £20m (£40k p/w)
  • Mustafi £15m (£90k p/w)
  • Matteo £30m (£40k p/w)

Conservatively, there’s £140m we could bring in if the stars aligned… not to mention we’d clear £785k a week in wages which is £40m a season. I don’t even think the above is a long shot, we need to make it happen. We have far too many players on our books that we need to shift, transfer fee or not.

The imperative is to clear the wage bill this summer, so if you moved on the above players and took £100m, you’re still winning. You can afford to add Partey, who at the very most would command Lacazette money, and I reckon you could land Aouar for under £100k a week.

The really crazy thing about the above block of players is you probably don’t need to backfill any of the roles… the only area I’d say might need looking at is the striking department. If we could take Edouard from Celtic, a player who has two years left on his deal at a Champions League-less club, then we’d be in top 4 shape squad wise.

The imperative for the summer though is reshaping the midfield. We need more creativity and it’d be a dream to add more power and pace.

Though I will say, I still think we’ll improve on last year regardless of what we do from now. A strong start is imperative. We need to go into the second international break within touching distance of the top of the table. That then sets us up really nicely. 9 points from 12 would be ideal.

We also have quite a nice advantage of playing a lot of our tough away games in the front half of the season. Liverpool, City, United, Spurs, Leeds, and Everton all come before January. We’ll be playing to partially full stadiums. Hopefully, the return legs, we’ll have bigger crowds.

I’m feeling pretty positive about our chances this year, but I really do feel so much of our success this season is built into how we start. This is a team that needs momentum. Winning the Community Shield means nothing if we get shithoused by a late Mitrovič goal in the first game, and save David Moyes job with disastrous follow-up against West Ham. We need Arsenal versus City, Chelsea and Wolves energy… not ‘do I even like football’ vibes from Villa and Watford.

This is a huge season. I am very excited to get started. JUST SIGN SOME MIDFIELDERS PLEASE.

P.S. Xhaka doing bit against Switzerland, you hate to see it.

527 Responses to “How player valuations might shape Arsenal midfield dreams”

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  1. azed

    What has happened to the website?PedRo has done an Arsenal.He had his Highbury version of Le Grove.Quaint and perfect.
    Now he has gone all Emirates Stadium on us.Its ghastly. ( I need a magnifying glass to read any of it)ps. cant believe how many sycophants out there- who actually believe its better. It ain’t.

    You know it’s a cold day in hell when I agree with CG.


    Great work you do especially when you do it for free. I appreciate the effort to revamp the site but the font is awful.

  2. Uwot?

    Torreira for £25 million
    Martinez for £ 20 million
    Bell end for £ 25/30 million .would still leave a shortfall for both Partey & ooh aghh.But impending sales of Sokratis,kolasinac,Balogun, might swing it? Because no one is chomping at the bit for Laca or Gwen Dozy.The two we are actually trying to flog/ swap.

  3. Leftside

    ‘cant believe how many sycophants out there- who actually believe its better. It ain’t.’

    bit of a stretch Azed, especially as it’s only you having difficulties

  4. Moray

    Good revamp, Pedders, even if I’m not sure what all those symbols at the top stand for.

    I still think what we miss most of all is comment upping, or being able to reply to particular comments. But I’ll take this.

    Are we any near to Partey joining the erm party?

  5. Graham62


    I admire your optimism in respects to China.

    The gist of my argument is based on what is so obvious to the rest of the world.

    Greed and wealth, the scourge of the west, has now consumed your country.

    The desire for the materialistic aspects of life will consume any thoughts of making things right and proper.

    Based on the size and population of the country, this is a frightening prospect.


  6. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    I never suggested that Willian, Saliba or Gabriel would not get into starting lineup.

    What I did say is that Saliba and Gabriel are unproven in EPL and we need to see how they perform before making any judgment.

    In any event I am sure that all three are decent players who will improve our squad. That is
    also important.

    It would not surprise me that Arteta’s team selection for Fulham game will be exactly the same as the starting X1 who played in FA Cup Final.

  7. Jamie

    Seriously though, what the fuck are we doing with all these CBs?

    New arrivals
    Gab and Saliba

    Already on the books
    Add Kola to that list just because.

    Absolute madness. Sok (and Kola?) is the only one on that list mooted to leave this window.

  8. Marko

    Jaime I imagine Sokratis and Kolasinac are going that we’d like to see Mustafi and one of chambers or Holding to go as well. I still see 3/4 at the very least going. In fact I think the only reason that they’ve held off on Holding going to Newcastle on loan is possibly to see if Mustafi and Chambers leave. I think so anyway cause why stall on holding leaving. Could be they’ve decided to keep him on cause others are going now. One thing’s for certain though all those CB’s we’ve accumulated in recent years have absolutely fuck all market value because they’re dogshit

  9. Marc


    Assuming everyone’s fit that’d be my guess as well – if the result is going our way I wouldn’t be surprised to see Willian and one of the new CB’s come on as a sub but Arteta seems by nature to be a cautious coach.

  10. Emiratesstroller


    Sokratis and Kolasinac will I am sure leave in this transfer window. It is also possible that
    Holding leaves on loan albeit that this might be delayed until Gabriel comes out of isolation and Mari is passed match fit.

    Mustafi only resumes training at end of October and Chambers is not expected to return until January at earliest. One or other of these two could be offloaded in January.

    Luiz current contract ends next June and I would not expect his contract to be renewed then.

  11. Jamie

    Marko –

    Not knowing much about Mari, and the fact that he’s essentially a new signing, I guess he stays?

    I’d happily bin Mustafi, Chambers, Sok and Kola for a combined £20m right now if it was an option. Gain £20m in fees, reduce the wage bill by a similar amount. Net gain almost £40m over the season, and we wouldn’t miss any of those players for a second.

    Leaves Mari, Luiz, Holding, Gab, and Saliba. Should be more than sufficient to get through the next season until we need to replace Luiz and determine whether Mari is a reliable backup.

    I was kind of hoping there would be more exits by now, hopefully there will be a fluffy of activity in the market in the coming weeks.

  12. Gonsterous

    Makes you wonder though, is it fake news or if it’s true, where are the funds coming from? Next summer’s funds??

  13. Marko

    Leaves Mari, Luiz, Holding, Gab, and Saliba. Should be more than sufficient to get through the next season until we need to replace Luiz and determine whether Mari is a reliable backup.

    I think that’s the plan with holding being up in the air maybe chambers stays instead or Mustafi. Important thing to also remember is what formation will be used going forward because if it’s a back 4 you could maybe get by with 4 CB’s all season but if it’s 3 you’ll probably need to keep at least 5.

  14. Marko

    I would love it if those reports that a highly rated 18 year old LB was being targeted as a backup to Tierney and a replacement for Kolasinac. Frees up Saka higher up the pitch and it keeps AMN away from LB. But it’s not going to happen O Jogo where the report is coming from gets absolutely nothing right ever. Otherwise right now we’d have Joelson, William Carvalho and Danilo playing for us with Rui Patricio in goal.

  15. Jim Lahey

    @Jamie –

    Holding may still leave on a years loan to Newcastle and Mustafi is not going anywhere as there is not another club on the planet that will pay him 90k a week.

    Also, it looks as if Matteo Guendouzi is set to stay.. say goodbye to bringing in either Aouar or Partey.

  16. Jim Lahey

    It seems as though Arsenal are putting an £8m price tag on Sokratis. Bit rich considering there was earlier talk of just cancelling his contract to get him off the wage bill! An additional £8m into the club would be more than welcome!

  17. Chris

    I thought Mustafi had a serious injury also, if true he won’t be going anywhere this window I would have thought.

    I think the most likely to leave is Sokratis according to reports and maybe Kolasinac, but it wouldn’t be surprising if this is in the last few days of the window.

    Has been said before but we are just going to have to be patient with transfers in and out and be prepared to wait until October if necessary.

  18. Useroz

    Pedro. The new look feels good. It’d be even better if you could

    • up font size by 1pt in the comments section,
    • use a blacker font

    With an iPhone SE it’s rather hard to read ie lighter and smaller font compared with before.

    Ideally, there would be up/ down size icons we’d choose to suit the screen size of smartphones.


  19. Jim Lahey

    @Marko –

    “Possible second chance for Guendouzi I wonder how it’ll be viewed around here”

    For me, he could be a fantastic player, French U21 captain and could be sold for £50m + in a year or two. But…. if Guendouzi staying means we can’t bring in another CM then that is bad news.

  20. Emiratesstroller

    Jamie and Marko

    The problem at the moment is that Gabriel is in quarantine, Mari, Mustafi and Chambers are out injured.

    Mustafi should be sold, because his contract ends next summer, but before he got injured there was a discussion that his contract might be extended.

    Yes we have too many CBs on books, but making the right decision on who to offload apart
    from Sokratis is maybe problematic at moment and delayed until last moment.

  21. Guns of Brixton

    LeGrove is now all modern like the Emirates.

    Bring back the dodgy side ads and horrible mobile experience, its what made it feel so authentic!

  22. Marc


    That’s pure clickbait. We don’t have the money to sign 1 CM let alone 2 at the moment, we spend €40 million on a LB when we have Tierney and Saka who can cover and the fans will go mental.

  23. Marc

    “If the club manages to bring in £20m though the sales of Sokratis and Kolasinac I will be very impressed.”

    Only 1 man would be capable of such a feat – Super Sanllehi!

  24. Useroz

    Re moving on CBs. We’d be unable to register all if they aren’t sold Don’t know the exact cut off date but soon after TW closes I’d think.

    Very disappointed we haven’t managed to move people on Some have stayed way, way over their welcome so to speak. Elneny in training is sad. Ditto, Sok, Kolac,, Ozil,, Guendouzi, Torreira,

    Even Holding, Nelson, Willock should all be available for the right price.

    Leno and Martinez divides opinion. But Martinez seriously shouldn’t be sold. His form may dip eventually but he exudes confidence while patrolling the box. Not since Lehman days. If he keeps form for another season,, £40m+ price tag isn’t unrealistic. He builds for the PL, not Leno. Of course it’s a punt…

    Hopefully activities wouldn backend the TW.

  25. Marko

    Mustafi is earmarked for a return Oct and the transfer window closes in Oct so I don’t see why we can’t get rid of him outside of him being shit and no one wanting him. So basically we can’t get rid of him

  26. Marc


    That’s what people keep forgetting when they talk about moving players on. So many of players we want to sell are average, usually worse but on proportionally high wages.

  27. crimson

    Guendouzi has posted this on the world of twitter “2 games, 6 points. Proud of my team, Now let’s go back to work @arsenal”.

    Not quite a apology

  28. HighburyLegend

    If we can’t get rid of Ozil, we’d better make him play!!

    (although I wonder if he still know how to shot in a ball…)

  29. Paulinho

    Of course Guendouzi is staying.

    Our only chance of getting anything significant for him was Everton rocking up on transfer deadline day and doing something daft, but they’ve actually engaged their brains for once this transfer window and signed decent players.

  30. Marko

    Marc actually thinking about it all and it would be the most Wenger of windows if we signed no else brought back into the fold players who shouldn’t be at the club and proclaim them new options for the season (like new signings?).

  31. Goobergooner

    “One thing’s for certain though all those CB’s we’ve accumulated in recent years have absolutely fuck all market value because they’re dogshit”

    Hahaha Marko that actually cracked me up. Pretty well on the money

  32. HighburyLegend

    “I’m really, really happy to play for this great club, he said… A club with a great history.”

    James Rodriguez’s first words. (lol)

  33. Dissenter

    “I’m really getting worried that Arteta just can’t let players go. All the while the one we need to sign a new contract hasn’t.”

    Arteta is a keeper, he’s a hoarder who wants to fix everyone
    That’s why we need a sporting director to over-rule him and save him from himself.

  34. Marko

    Goober I was thinking of all the arguments we’ve seen on here in recent years in regards to our defenders they’re not bad it shouldn’t be that hard to get rid of them Kolasinac was in the German team of the season and Mustafi is a german world cup winner they’re not that bad. Just can’t get rid of them in any kind of smooth way it’s torturous

  35. Marc


    Well we haven’t really got a previous track record to judge Edu on. Either way Arteta needs to stop this – it’ll cost him his job otherwise.

  36. TheBlaster

    Erm. I like the redesign. Unless I’m getting all confused ‘nice one!’ is not a choice of words an arse kisser would choose.

  37. Emiratesstroller

    I think that Arsenal will still buy at least one more player in this transfer window and that
    will be irrespective of transfer fees generated from sales. The most likely acquisition will be

    Arsenal will have to offload at least 5-6 players in this transfer window to be compliant with
    registration requirements. This may be on sale, free transfer or loans.

    I am excluding both Martinelli and Chambers from equation, because both are not expected
    to return to fitness before end of year.

    I am certain that Sokratis, Kolasinac and Torreira will be sold or in case of LT loaned out with
    obligation to sell. I think that at least one more CB will be offloaded in this window.

    So I think that we are discussing 2-3 more departures from first team squad. Smith-Rowe
    could be loaned out or kept on books as U21 HG player.

    My other preferred departures will be Elneny and Guendouzi. Neither have a future at Arsenal.

    Personally I think that Arsenal have the money to buy Partey and I suspect that Athletico
    Madrid and player know this already. The only issue is when Arsenal will make the offer.
    My guess is that they will wait and see how much money they can generate in this transfer
    window before making their bid.

  38. Gonsterous


    Yah we really need someone in charge of transfers.
    Some players have to be let go of, or else we don’t stand a chance of getting the players we need.

  39. Marc


    The problem we have is if it goes pear shaped and Auba won’t sign on we’ll end up selling him so late in the window we wont’ have time to replace.

    It’ll be Wenger all over again.

  40. Emiratesstroller


    Aubameyang is not leaving in this window unless there is a mega bid and that is not going to happen. He will only leave if a club like Real Madrid or Barcelona come in and I don’t see either bidding for a 31 year old and paying a large transfer fee + mega wages.

    It is beginning to look like Aubameyang will wait and see how Arsenal perform this season and keep his options open. I said many times that Arsenal would be better off not making
    a huge financial commitment which they regret afterwards.

  41. andy1886

    Given his injury and contract situation I can see Mustafi walking for free next summer. It is the Arsenal way after all….

  42. Marc


    Which is fine except it means we could be about to watch a £60 million signing walk on a free and Laca’s down to 2 years on his contract.

    I thought we were supposed to be getting the house in order not making it worse.

  43. Marc


    I didn’t say there was or that we are. Doesn’t change the fact that the player hasn’t signed and is clearly waiting for something to happen.

    As andy says above we’re looking at Mustafi walking on a free next summer, Laca down to 2 years on his contract as well.

    Auba and Mustafi are the best part of £100 in fees paid – what will we get for Laca next summer £15 – £20 million? People talking about how keeping Guendozi till next summer because he’ll suddenly be worth £30 million – he’ll be down to a year on his contract as well.

    We are not looking as if we’re making the changes we need to right the ship.

  44. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Arsenal are reportedly ‘hugely interested’ in signing Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard this summer as Mikel Arteta steps up his hunt for a new attacker.

    The Gunners have already wrapped up deals for Willian from Chelsea and Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille in the transfer window so far but Arteta wants to add a new striker as speculation mounts over Alexandre Lacazette’s future in north London.”

    This would be a proper succession plan for Auba regardless of if he stays one or three years more. With Edouard and Martinelli we would be set for a decade in the striker position.

    I’d take a CM + Edouard over CM+ Aouar any time of the week tbh. Willian can play Cam for now but we need to sort out our striker situation, Laca is not good enough to start for us and neither is Eddie.

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Freddie Ljungberg and Marc

    I did not discuss Lacazette. I am sure that if there is an offer made for him Arsenal will consider it. He is replaceable in this window.

    Aubameyang is frankly not and he will only leave if a very small number of clubs come in
    for him. Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Bayern and even Man City are not going to make a serious offer when they know that he can leave next summer on Bosman.

    The situation with Aubameyang is frankly no different from Ozil, Willian, Luis Suarez or for that matter Messi. Once these players are in final year of contract they are in total control of
    their destiny.

  46. Marko

    Arsenal have not made any contact for Houssem Aouar since the initial money + Mattéo Guendouzi proposal was rejected by Lyon, according to

  47. HighburyLegend

    “I can see Mustafi walking for free next summer. It is the Arsenal way after all….”

    As long as he get the fuck out of our club, who cares ?