It is WILD that the season starts this Saturday. Fulham (A), West Ham (H), followed up by Liverpool (A) in the league, with a delightful EFL game against Leicester wedged in between. 4 games in 16 days, you can’t beat it.
One thing seems certain, we’ll not have our transfer business complete by the time the season kicks off. It’s a shame, but when you remember that Don Raul spent this summers money last season, you can’t really complain.
We’ve already managed to land ourselves some injury news. David Luiz is out of the Fulham game with a neck injury (wtf?). That leaves us with Rob Holding to pick up the centre of defence. The boy from Bolton is back in favour, even without the injury according to reports… which does seem to point to a bit of hoarding in central defence from Arteta and his staff. It’ll be very interesting to see how long it takes Gabriel and Saliba to edge their way into contention.
There’s been quite a bit of buzz about who is and is not at training at the moment. There were stories that Xhaka came in on his day off. We’ve seen Mesut and Matteo training with the first team. There’s a whole load of youngsters that have been given a chance to train with the first team. I don’t think any of it means much. I think the coach, particularly with the players that had been ostracised, is just hedging his bets for the coming season and trying to avoid drama.
Of particular interest is Matteo. The club were keen to move him on as a bit of a star. Well, that hasn’t amounted to much. Juninho of Lyon had this to say.
‘I get along very well with the (Arsenal) sports director. We spoke on the blower. Houssem Aouar is really appreciated by Arteta. There have been some discussions for Matteo Guendouzi who is also a good player. He was mentioned during the discussion, but this is not the profile we need, we were very clear. If it is like that, it does not interest us at all – it is, and we stopped.’
That’s quite adamant from a club that were strongly linked earlier in the window. Is this because they don’t like what he offers as a midfielder or more linked to his ways that are now widely known? If the problem shifting Matteo is that everyone knows he’s a bit of a whopper, then the player has two choices, he either knuckles down, or he’ll be earning less money than Neil Maupay by the time he ends his contract with Arsenal.
Hector Bellerin, our vegan club owning fashion-forward man-beast on the right… is attracting interest from Barcelona. They’re pulling 2011 transfer tactics.
‘Hey Edu, we like that socially conscious right back of yours’
‘We have no money though, is this still a possibility?’
Hopefully, we tell them no. The same goes for PSG who think that £25m is ok for a top player in his prime. If Brentford can land £28m for a striker from Villa, we can go a little harder at these fees. The price we’re rumoured to be looking for is £35m, which would be a lot better, and hopefully give us the funds to bring Hossem Aouar to the club.
There’s been very little noise around Alex Lacazette, which is surprising, but the hint may have been from the Juninho interview.
‘That is not our level in terms of contract. For the majority of these players… In January I called Alexandre Lacazette to chat a bit with him because he was having problems at Arsenal and I said to myself: “Why not do a loan for 6 months with us where you will enjoy yourself, play all the games and score the goals like you know how to? And then you go back to Arsenal or somewhere else.” But from the moment that you start looking at the level of the contract of these players, like with Juventus and Barcelona, it is not possible for us today.’
It’s reported that Mr Lacazette earns about £180k a week. There aren’t many clubs looking to shell out that sort of money combined with a big fee at the moment. So you’re in a situation where you either have to take an L on the fee, which doesn’t help our midfield dreams, or you have to hope a club like Atleti really are desperate for goals and see value.
Other players, that don’t have a profile, are literally ripping up their deals to get the Bosman. We’ve already lost Mikhi for nothing to shake off his £180k a week deal. Sokratis is playing the same game as we try and free ourselves of his £90k a week. I can’t imagine that Schalke are going to drop a massive fee for Kola who is on £120k a week. What is a club to do? We know these players are more than happy to sit on longterm deals and pick up the cheque. It’s better that you just move them on and try your hardest to sign players that can at least play to the value of their contract.
I’m half wondering if a few Arsenal players are waiting to see if they are going to be included in the squad for the opening game of the season before they decide to move. We’ll also see some panic moves when teams lose their opening two games (pray it ain’t us), when inevitable injuries mount, or clubs start to bring in fees from late spenders.
Composure level: 💯
— England (@England) September 8, 2020
Eddie, cold as ice, 4 goals in 2 games, he now sits one goal from Franny Jeffers and Alan Shearers record. Hopefully, this is his breakout season. He needs to carry some of that swagger into the Arsenal games. It’s clear he has all the raw ingredients. He’s the fox in the box that Wenger spoke about all those years ago and he has a Bielsa workrate. I think he just needs a bit of luck to fall his way for things to click this season. Fingers crossed.
On that high note, let’s call it a day, and pray for some deals to drop. See you in the comments. x
P.S. WELL PLAYED AMN. England debutant. Hopefully the first of many.