Virgil van Dijk and William Saliba parallels are interesting

by .

Well, you know it’s a sign of the non-banter era when the biggest international break debate is whether or not there’s a conspiracy against William Saliba because the club wants to loan him to a Championship team.

A few things I wanted to clarify.

Talent

I think he’ll be a top player. The signing, as a standalone investment, was kind of wild, but I think his first season in Ligue 1 showed that he has the tools to make it big for us at some point.

Business

Although I think the deal was bad business, I don’t think it was failed business. This should be a good signing. My overarching point was that signing him was a little bit like spending $16k of your £18k home-improvement budget on beer cooler… before you’ve addressed the fact you don’t have a roof or running water.

Ligue 1 Quality

I 100% believe the Championship slander is off the mark. It’s a very strong league that consistently produces top, top talent. Ligue 1 is superior technically, because France, as a general rule of thumb, does its shit right. However, there’s a reason only one teenage centre back managed more than 300 minutes of football in the last 4 seasons in the Premier League… because it is far more competitive. In France, nine U20 players were given +600 minutes (thank you @GiantGooner), why? Because it doesn’t boast the same pound for pound quality as the Premier League… and I think you’d find that our top Championship clubs would battle it out in the top 8 in Ligue 1.

Generational Stuff

People keep batting around the notion of ‘generational talent’, it’s the new hot thing to talk about. However, it’s worth reading up on the early years of VVD. Things weren’t going off for him at 19 years old. He was apparently ‘overtired’ from playing a season at Willem II reserves. Even more interesting than that, and something that might be a consdieration for Saliba is this little snippet from when the player was 17 years old.

Van Dijk’s long rise began the summer he turned 17, in 2008, when he shot up 18 centimeters (7 inches) in height. Before then, Van Dijk has admitted to the BBC, he was a slow, short right-back with an unstable knee, not a player who was good enough to dominate as a central defender.

Saliba is 6ft4, has a huge frame, and he’s only 19 (debuted younger). That’s rapid growth. That sometimes comes with challenges that are best ironed out outside a top 4 challenging team in the Premier League.

Back to VVD, things eventually clicked at Groningen. He then moved to… Celtic. He left Celtic at 24 to go to Southampton. This generational talent didn’t make it to Liverpool until he was 27 years old. Why am I telling you this? Because we need to drop the idea that this loan says anything about Saliba’s future, and we need to take seriously the reality that it is VERY hard to make it as a young centre back at a big club.

MOVING ON…

The Premier League announced that we, the fans, can watch all the games this season. The games that aren’t shown on the normal channels can be purchased for £14.95. Wow, what a treat?!

This is a dreadful decision that reads like it has been made by a group of people that would be more likely to know the exact price of an AP Royal Oak, than that of a pint of milk.

The pricing structure makes so little sense on so many levels. Firstly, shouldn’t the league be looking to draw in new customers, versus hammering people you know will already pay £20 for a ticket (the captives)? The price point is so high, you immediately rule out casual fans from the party, that’s money only obsessives pay.

Also, is that sort of price point not a bit detached from humanity in an era of mass unemployment? There aren’t many places to find joy right now. Food, booze, and sport is where I get my kicks. Making football really expensive right now seems really unfair. It’s also counter-productive, because the thing with the internet, is if people think the price is too high, they simply find it for free. The music industry learned that the hard way, then Spotify reimagined its structure for the internet. I’m not sure why the Premier League thinks gouging fans is a smart move?

£5 would be fair. £7.50 would be pricey. £10 for me would be a monthly subscription. £14.95 is just a rip off… it is especially jarring when you consider clubs just dropped £1.2b on players. Between them, the couldn’t come to arrangement to calm down the pricetags and wages of players… so they just dumped the bill on the fans.

I speak out of both sides of my mouth because the reality is I love the signings and I’ll pay the price of the games… but as always, it’s a losing game to be a fan. Still, at least we can all be skint watching Thomas Partey beating the press.

Right, that’s me done, tune into our podcast if you like to hear things. Also, sign up to the newsletter by giving you e-mail to the the box on the right (desktop) or scroll to the bottom if you are on mobile.

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526 Responses to “Virgil van Dijk and William Saliba parallels are interesting”

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  1. Champagne charlie

    The Saliba bitching is truly something else, have read that a loan to the championship isn’t in the players best interests and it’s a short term thought.

    Like what… it’s clearly the exact opposite, they’re plotting his next step to best ensure he becomes the player we all hope he can be. He might be vastly more talented than many on the books, but if he can’t get the game time that we think he’s in need of then we’re not helping ourselves with him at all.

    Reading tales of Arteta devaluing players too, some truly odd views getting surfaced with no football up for us.

    So to summarise, we’re not playing Saliba because he’s better than what we have and we’re actively devaluing players. The fucking sense in that.

  2. Aasim

    Relax – the price is perfectly okay. Most times one guy would get pay the 15 quid and call a bunch of his friends over. Per person it will come down 2/3 quid.

  3. raptora

    How could I forget Martinelli… Benched in favor of Nketiah, Nelson, Saka? Anyone I missed?

    Biggest impact benching of Martinelli? Being a sub against Olympiacos for 105 minutes (yes, he only got a chance in the ET), when we were so shit to oblivion. His 3 changes, before Martinelli being the 4th, were Torreira, Willock and Sokratis, in a game we were bossed around by the Greek team at the Emirates losing 0-1 since the 53rd minute, with our first shot on goal coming at the 77th minute.

    Martinelli, surprisingly or not, was in the box to fight for a cross that would bounce off him into Aubameyang for this https://youtu.be/7eJkTknmh7Y?t=231 spectacular scissors kick goal. The Brazilian added intensity and energy to a sleeping Arsenal team as he has done numerous amount of times. Sadly it wasn’t enough for him to play again in the season. Unused sub for 4 games in a row including the 2-1 loss to Brighton that hurts a bit when you know Arteta played Willock, Nelson and Nketiah but not Gabi.

    Now if you think about what the hell could Martinelli have done to be on Arteta’s black list when he is infinitely more gifted and talented player than the likes of Willock, Nelson and Nketiah, I’ve no idea. He’s not a bad boy as Guendouzi or bad at challenges and set-pieces like Saliba. Must be that he’s too humble and not a winner. Or I guess he doesn’t fit the team somehow.

  4. Pedro

    Raptora… Auba plays in his position?

    Correct me if I’m wrong… but we gave him a new contract, which is an odd show of faith for a blackballed player.

  5. Karsa

    Relax – the price is perfectly okay. Most times one guy would get pay the 15 quid and call a bunch of his friends over. Per person it will come down 2/3 quid.

    And a £1,000 fine?

  6. raptora

    Pedro,
    Martinelli can play anywhere in a front 3. He was used as a LW mostly but has at least 2 games for us as RW vs Frankfurt and Burnley. He also played the CF for us in most Europa group stage matches and in Carabao cup. Actually his statistic as a CF is in 5 games he has 7 goals including braces vs Not. Forest, Liverpool and Standard Liege. Nketiah is a better choice according to Arteta. So was Nelson as a LW compared to Pepe and Martinelli.

  7. Tom

    The only thing more boring than the Saliba debate is the Ozil debate , and reading ( skipping) the Legrove top four race.
    The fact he’s 19 and a CB in the most physically demanding of leagues should be the beginning and the end of why he’s not ready to play debate.
    Asking whether the money was spent wisely has some merit but that’s about it.
    Sorry Pedro, I know your beer cooler/roof analogy was tongue in cheek but it’s dumb and not helping.

  8. Ubameyang

    Arteta should speak to Saliba honestly and communicate his take on him going to a championship club (Brentford, Watford) to get game time and get a feel of English game.

    If William prefers to stay close to home then, January we give him what he wants. Case closed!

  9. Sid

    “Ligue 1 is superior technically”✔

    ” I think you’d find that our top Championship clubs would battle it out in the top 8 in Ligue 1.” poor attempt at spin

  10. Bamford10

    Just to be clear about certain details, let’s note that when Saliba was signed in late July 2019, we already had the following CBs under contract at the club:

    Sokratis
    Mustafi
    Holding
    Mavropanos
    Chambers

    Koscielny was out, as he indicated in early July that he wanted out, and he was sold in early August.

    To replace Koscielny and to make sure we had a CB who was available immediately, they signed Luiz in August 2019, right after selling Koscielny.

    Therefore, given that we had five CBs — six if you count Mavropanos — who could play right away, I don’t think it was unreasonable to sign a highly-rated 18 year old prospect in Saliba.

    Would we be better off today if they had signed someone a little older and shipped out some of that deadwood? Sure. But no club’s transfer decisions are perfect.

  11. Northbanker

    I think with martinelli Arteta was just trying not to overplay. Technically he could play anywhere up front and in particular he and Auba could switch LW and CF. All ironic really given his current serious injury

  12. Tom

    The total Saliba outlay over four years under current conditions would be around 37m, so if he’s even marginally better than Mustafi in four years time, it still would’ve been worth it.

  13. raptora

    I do agree that Saliba could have been used in Europa group stages and in the League/FA cups. That’s 8 games guaranteed until late January when he could have been sent to a Championship team if we so desired.

    Have him for half a year, let him train with the team, see where he’s at, show him the level he needs to be, then if needed loan him for the remainder of the season where there are no easy games left so he won’t be playing as much.

    Arteta’s move is more of a manager who doesn’t like what he’s been bought. And it could be curtains for Saliba.

  14. Northbanker

    As Saliba has not been included in the Europa squad, it is imperative a loan is found for him. I hope therefore the Brentford discussions work out to allow him to get used to English football and London and indeed the English language. With a bt of luck we may develop some goodwill with brentford seeing as though they have 2 or 3 players of interest to us.

    Ideally a loan with option to purchase on Benrhama but probably more likely Raya

  15. Bamford10

    Given how much we heard about how Arteta helped to develop Sane and Sterling, it’s strange that we haven’t heard more about how he is bringing Pepe along. After all, Pepe is a raw, young 72m wide striker; you would think that he is precisely the kind of player that Arteta would be able to develop and raise to a much higher level.

    Has anyone read anything about how Arteta is bringing Pepe along? Does anyone have any thoughts on how Arteta is (or is not) bringing Pepe along?

  16. Raulishuss

    Jamie brace yourself. These people ain’t thinking straight no more. I wonder where CG is these days seems they’re all vying for his throne

  17. RH

    Aasim

    I’d agree – but for it to cost £2 per person, that means 7.5 people would have watch the game. Anything more than 6 is currently illegal in the UK.

    If anything this price point is going to encourage illegal streaming, rather than deter it.

  18. Northbanker

    In a year’s time we will have offloaded Luiz, Sokratis, Mustafi and probably Chambers so Saliba will fit in nicely then, being far more Prem ready than he is now. Even then i suspect he will be an understudy to Rob Holding for most of that season before cementing his position alongside Gabriel..

  19. Raulishuss

    Bamford IMO Pepe’s major problem is that he’s too laid back and struggles to understand tactical demands. He was having the same issue with the ivorian national team. He seems a very slow learner.

  20. raptora

    By beginning of January actually. 3rd round FAC is 8-11 of January. 8 games guaranteed and you still have time until the end of the Winter window to send him to a Championship team struck by a CB injury crisis where he would automatically start.

  21. Northbanker

    Bamford – I think part of the Pepe plan was to bring Willian in so he can be a mentor to him and a kick up the backside as well. I’m sure Willian is ultimately going to feature centrally especially now we failed to sign a CAM. At worst he will be one of the first choice subs to change the game as he did against Sheff Utd.

    I’m quite confident MA will coax the best out of him but it will be a gradual process.

  22. Champagne charlie

    Saliba is really going to miss out against Irish farmers in the EL, Championship still getting embarrassing poverty treatment.

    He’s a fucking teenager, he’s moving from a mid table side in France to a side that has every right to be aiming for CL places in the PL. Was a hopeful and romantic notion he was about to turn up and be a starter here, oh well, curtains now ffs? my god.

  23. Tom

    Players develop at different rate, obviously, as someone has already mentioned growing into and becoming in full control of oneself after a growth spurt might be an issue with Saliba.

    When Wenger passed over Bale and picked Walcott from the Southampton academy instead nobody questioned his decision at the time.
    How did that work out?

  24. Pedro

    Northbanker, if Arteta could sell him, he’d be gone. Not his sort of player.

    Still, he was promising against Sheffield United, if he can find his confidence more consistently, he might be a weapon this season.

  25. Champagne charlie

    Raulishuss

    Yea sorry, Arteta is here binning good players and devaluing the cream because………

    Oh, have yet to actually see the ‘reasons’ behind that idea explained. Suppose that’s the part where you’ve to just shut up and accept what’s being said on the matter even if it’s senseless.

    Not like we’ve shown the first signs in years of improvement on a real level, backed with a complete script rewrite end of last season to win the FA cup. I’ve no idea how Arteta lasted the summer with all he’s done against institutions like Pepe and Torreira, now Saliba. Talent killer Mikel.

  26. Captain Tierney

    15 Euros for a game is absolutely disgusting.

    I live in India and for about 12 Euros a YEAR I get to watch about 95-99% (sometime they dont show a match or 2 if the schedule is too tight and two of the big 6 are playing each other at the same time as us) of all Arsenal’s Premier league games. Some seasons I get all the matches.
    This type of broadcasting system is very good for the top 6 fans as we get to match most/all of our matches for pennies.

    But in India there arent many fans who support any teams other than the big 5 in the PL ( not much support for Spuds here), Barca, Madrid, Juve or Bayern.

    So its a big win for us.

    Throw in other 12-16 Euros and you also get all of the Europa and CL matches and the latter stages of Carabao and FA.

  27. Tom

    “Tom, then he went to Spurs and he was shit for a bit. Didn’t Redknapp try to sell him?“

    Pedro, not sure if Redknapp wanted to sell him but he wasn’t anything special , and I remember Arsenal fans thought we got the better of the two for at least three seasons or so.

  28. raptora

    Laugh all you want at what I said it could be curtains for Saliba.
    It happened to Guendouzi, no? From 82 games in an Arsenal shirt in 2 seasons (absolutely massive number), more than 60 starts, to not making squad in 11 games in a row to getting loaned for a season. See if many people could have predicted it 6 or 12 months ago when he was starting every game. Yet it happened.

  29. Champagne charlie

    Raptora

    Do you have inside info of Saliba being a fucking melt?

    Because that’s why Guendouzi no longer kicks a ball for Arsenal despite your protestations that Arteta is here to kill talent in his first managerial job where all eyes are firmly on him.

  30. raptora

    CC,
    I read Saliba is being loaned cause he goes to ground too much, when he was 3rd in Europe when it came to successful tackling and 1v1s won. Zero fouls committed in the process. It sounds like an extremely valid reasoning. Or just finding any type of excuse.

  31. Bamford10

    I think Arsenal might be playing with three CBs (and two CMs) for some time to come, maybe even another 18 months. I just don’t see this CB pairing that is going to allow us to play in a back four.

    Theoretically, you could play Luiz and Gabriel together in a back four, but you’d have to hold a low line to make it work, and even then there would be questions about Luiz in a back four.

    Therefore I think we could be watching Arsenal play in a three-CB set-up for another 18 months or so. You tell me who the CB pairing is going to be if you think I’m wrong.

  32. Graham62

    Who was it yesterday that said Saliba is an adult?

    Was that you Pedro?

    He is still a teenager and although, legally, he becomes an adult at 18, as far as I’m concerned he’s still a long way off adulthood.

    What were we all doing at 19.

    I was at college, understanding the significance of ‘the yard of ale contests’ and driving around in a clapped out Mini Cooper.

  33. Karsa

    I read Saliba is being loaned cause he goes to ground too much,

    But no quotes from Arteta to substantiate this.

    Any facts to support your theories?

  34. TR7

    For a guy who hasn’t played even one game for us, Saliba is getting a lot of attention and traction. Also don’t like the premature comparision with the likes of VVD and Rio.

  35. Pierre

    Personally, I know who I would choose if I was offered Gareth Bale on loan for 9 million for a season or a 19 year old centre back for 27 million, who will be sent on loan for another season , with no guarantee that he will ever play for Arsenal football club .

    If Saliba is not good enough to even start in the league cup , that is not Arteta’s fault .

    However, if it turns out that Saliba has breached the non negotiables or similar and is being gently eased out of the club, then the blame lays solely with Arteta.

    Of course , we will never learn the truth..all I can say is Saliba must be a seriously weak defender( in Arteta’s eyes) if he can’t make the league cup squad, especially with Mustafi, Mari out injured and Luiz suspended

    I can guarantee you that if he played league cup and Europa games for Arsenal , Saliba will have more game time than sitting on a bench for a championship side.

  36. Champagne charlie

    Raptora

    Genuine question, do you think YOU (or any Joe bloggs) has superior stats at hand on Saliba than Arsenal FC who spent 27 million pound on him?

    Now, I’m not saying that deferring to authority is always the choice, but the argument you’re putting forward is making for painful reading. The comparison of Saliba and Guendouzi is incoherent, what point are you making? Guendouzi is hardly reaping the benefit of all those games in an Arsenal shirt is he, if you want to be silly about it?

  37. Tom

    Saliba couldn’t even buy beer in the greatest country Jesus himself has ever created, so how can anyone expect him to start at CB for the greatest football club in the world.

  38. Bamford10

    Karsa

    The below is from James Olley:

    “Yet Saliba is set to join a Championship club before the Oct. 16 deadline — Watford and Brentford are among the possible destinations — as a result of Arteta’s assertion the centre-back is not ready for regular Premier League football.

    The deal to sign Saliba was struck during Unai Emery’s tenure but Arteta and his backroom staff believe the 19-year-old needs more time to develop despite impressing in Ligue 1. Sources told ESPN that they would like to see the Frenchman improve in defending set-pieces and mature in style, notably avoiding diving into tackles.

    He is still rated as a bright prospect, but Saliba is expected to be continue his development at another club as Arteta focuses on delivering immediate improvement. Arteta played an influential role in convincing owner Stan Kroenke to stump up the £45m to sign Thomas Partey on deadline day to aid him in that mission.

    Arteta may only be embarking on his first full season as a manager, but his importance to Arsenal cannot be underestimated.”

    https://www.espn.co.uk/football/soccer-transfers/story/4203968/man-united-transfers-special-solskjaer-frustrated-dortmund-baffled#six

  39. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    I agree 100% with your viewpoint that Saliba will not be impacted by playing one season in Championship.

    There are plenty of top class Centre Backs who have played down the years in similar fashion either in lower English Leagues or elsewhere.

    Van Dijk played in a lower league until the age of 24 and so did I believe Maguire.

    I agree also as I posted previously that it was a mistake loaning back to St Etienne last season.

    It is interesting that the loan deal back to St Etienne in this window fell through because Arsenal insisted that the player should attend training sessions and medical assessments
    under Arsenal’s supervision.

    I think that was a very wise condition to attach to any deal.

  40. Pedro

    Pierre, not sure lacking the right level of fitness and experience is a breach of the non-negotiables.

    Let’s not have Untold Arsenal conspiracy theories on here.

  41. Bamford10

    Karsa

    So what if we don’t have a quote from Arteta? You’re not going to get a quote from the manager on a million stories. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to the reporting.

    If a James Olley writes, “Arteta and his backroom staff believe the 19-year-old needs more time to develop” and “sources told ESPN that they would like to see the Frenchman improve in defending set-pieces and mature in style, notably avoiding diving into tackles,” you can generally regard that as reliable.

    It’s clear they think he needs more time and experience and maturity. This is why he’s going out on loan. The above sounds like a reasonable account of what they think about him at present.

    I’m not sure what your point is.

  42. Tom

    “Tom thinks it’s because Saliba has had a growth spurt.”

    Pierre, maybe, maybe not. I couldn’t tell because I haven’t seen him play, nor have I even looked him up yet.
    But I’ll tell you this much friend, when the news broke we had signed him and everyone was full of excitement I said on here he wasn’t gonna play in Arsenal’s first eleven fore a long while.
    Seeing as you pride yourself as being footballistically( yea I said it) astute , I’m surprised you didn’t see it coming.

  43. Luteo Guenreira

    “ However, if it turns out that Saliba has breached the non negotiables or similar and is being gently eased out of the club, then the blame lays solely with Arteta. Of course , we will never learn the truth..all I can say is Saliba must be a seriously weak defender”

    In case you were wondering this is what it looks like when an old fart tries to troll people. Don’t let the stink get to you. It lingers for a bit but usually goes away without much harm done.

  44. Pierre

    If , and it is only an if, Saliba is not considered good enough for our 2nd string side , why would a middle to top championship side consider taking him on loan.

    I would say the championship is a tougher league to perform in than Europa or league cup football..

    It must cast some serious doubts to these clubs as to whether Saliba is of sufficient quality.

    Personally, I wouldnt know but he must have serious flaws in his game for Arteta to not consider him good enough for our 2nd string…

    Another excuse is he’s too young …did anyone see the age of some of the liverpool kids against us , a couple in defence .as well…

  45. Guemboozy

    I can safely say that after ten years of following Le Grove closely, it’s the first time I felt really bored with the comments section. Pedro should had never continued the useless debate by following up with a second blog.

  46. Valentin

    CC,

    The reason a lot of people expected Saliba to start for Arsenal is that most who had seen play thought that he was ready to play. And not just anonymous guy on a blog, but His coach Claude Puel, his U18 coach Jean-Luc Vannuchi, his U21 coach Sylvain Ripoll, his teammate former France and Arsenal right-back Matthieu Debuchy.

    In Saliba breakout season 18/19, ASSE finished 4th, the next season where Saliba was injured most of it, ASSE finished much lower. Maybe he was one of the reason they fared so well. Maybe he was one of the reason why Saint-Etienne wanted him back as well for this season.

    Regarding his tendency of going to ground, when you compare to Mustafi he does it a lot less. Moreover when he does it, his stats prove that when he does he win cleanly the ball: no foul, no missed tackle.

  47. Pedro

    Pierre, he’s not robust enough. It’s not a talent issue, which is why he will find a club. Ligue 1 is easy on young players, the PL is not. It is very, very simple why he is going out on loan.

  48. Pierre

    It all adds up to one thing…Arteta doesn’t fancy him as a player .

    Nothing to do with age , growth spurts death in the family , injured foot, has not played sufficient games and a few othe excuses.

    There is nothing wrong with that , it is the manager’s prerogative as to who he plays or leaves out, after all it his hos job that is on the line.

    When you add it all up , not playing Saliba makes absolutely no difference to this season’s results, so I don’t know what the big deal is .

    Just another 20 odd million down the drain ..
    Kronkes got enough, a drop in the ocean for him .

  49. Karsa

    Bamford

    I’m not sure what your point is.

    My point is numerous posts have stated that Arteta has said that Saliba is useless at set pieces and can’t stay on his feet whilst tackling.

    My point is that he hasn’t said anything of the sort.

    A journalist has attributed such suggestion to ‘back room’ staff. Sounds a bit like ‘an unnamed source’ to me.

  50. Tom

    ‘Just another 20 odd million down the drain ..
    Kronkes got enough, a drop in the ocean for him ‘

    Pierre,
    Or maybe it’s a smart financial decision ( a rarity for sure) since he’s the only Arsenal CB on small enough wages who’s willing to go out on loan anywhere, as opposed to the rest of our CB roster.

  51. Valentin

    Tom,

    Not everybody has an agenda when they give their opinion. Sometimes they just give a honest opinion.

    Claude Puel wanted Saliba for an extra season and could have said that he is not ready and needs to spend another year with us. That would have suited his agenda a lot more, but He did not. He did not say the same thing for Wesley Fofana…

    Debuchy has always be honest in giving his assessment of players. That caused him issues with the players. Some players who were leaving ASSE were not ready.

  52. Luteo Guenreira

    “Not everybody has an agenda when they give their opinion. Sometimes they just give a honest opinion.”

    This statement has been brought to you by its proud sponsor, Valentin’s agenda.

    Would be a wet dream of his to have all his “honest opinions” accepted as he intends. The fact he’s referencing Pierre in this statement is unintentional comedy at the highest level.

  53. Valentin

    Karsa,

    When 4 newspapers have the same quote, either they have copied each of their in which case they mentioned according to, as reported by, or they have been given off the record info.

    In view of the wording it is clear that they have all been given an off the record interview and that this info come from Arteta’s backroom staff. Most of such off the record communication is done with the full agreement of Arsenal management including Arteta.

    This is just PR 101.

  54. WengerEagle

    ‘Given how much we heard about how Arteta helped to develop Sane and Sterling, it’s strange that we haven’t heard more about how he is bringing Pepe along. After all, Pepe is a raw, young 72m wide striker; you would think that he is precisely the kind of player that Arteta would be able to develop and raise to a much higher level.’

    I have yet to see much evidence that Pepe is close to these two other players in terms of ability tbh Bamford. Sane was fantastic for Pep at Citeh at a much younger age [21-24] as was Sterling at Liverpool as a teenager in the season that they very nearly won the title.

    Pepe put nice numbers up in France alright but his goals contribution was padded by his 9 Ligue 1 penalties in his breakout season there.

    When you get away from the raw goals/assist numbers he really struggles to make an impact. He is easily dispossessed, gives away the ball really cheaply, lacks intelligence of when to make a final pass or slip players through and he looks uncoordinated when he is dribbling at times, doesn’t have great on ball technique other than striking the ball which he is good at.

    He also seems fragile mentally and blows very hot and cold ala Gervinho when he was here albeit he’s a much better striker of the ball than Forehead was.

    Overall, he has yet to even remotely justify the 72 million we spent on him given he’s not even a dead cert for a starting spot half the time and we’re hardly stacked, are we?

  55. Pedro

    ‘doesn’t fancy him’

    Is obviously true at this moment.

    The rest of your comment is just you projecting what you hope is the case.

  56. Tom

    Valentin,
    Wenger thought Walcott was ready for England’s World Cup squad at seventeen, or did he?
    When players get bought or called up into situations suggesting advancement coaches and teammates usually support them anyway they can, usually by a positive comment.

  57. raptora

    One would wonder if Arteta doesn’t see Saliba as good enough to play in Europa + domestic cups, where he would have had guaranteed games, compared to the uncertainty of having to go to a Championship club where we’ve seen what happened for Nketiah – 2 starts in 5 months with Leeds, Nelson – 5 starts in a full season with Hoffenheim, Gnabry – 0 starts in a full season with West Brom.

    We have some record loaning players now don’t we.

  58. Valentin

    Luteo,

    Revert to type, when you can’t win on the argument, smear, insult, belittle people you disagree.

    Arteta is entitled to not rate Saliba, but that does not mean that you have to be a fool and take all he says for gospel.
    When he said everybody starts from a clean slate, what he really means is that Everybody start from a clean state but not you Guendouzi, Mesut, Torreira and now Saliba.

    I can spot favouritism.
    Saliba and Holding have to be absolutely awful in training to rather play Luiz in a back 4 and watch him as he tried to get sent off in the first 5 minutes of a supposedly easy game rather than give a chance to somebody else.

  59. Pedro

    Valentin, you talk about Claude Puel like he’s some sort of legendary manager we should all be paying attention to. Guy hasn’t won a trophy in 20 years, he tanked at Leicester, and now he’s managing an St Etienne who finished 17th last season.

    Who cares that he wanted Saliba back?

  60. WengerEagle

    Originally wasn’t mad keen on the Championship loan for Saliba but after mulling it over, it’s a good move I reckon.

    Gives him a year experience of English football and to be honest, the Championship is at a high level these days when you look at some of the players that have made the jump to the PL and are still there even in Watkins, Benrahma, Mitrovic, Bamford, etc who Saliba would be facing on a near weekly basis.

    He’s 19 and he’s a CB, they simply take a bit longer to break out than forwards do and it makes sense why, they’re in a much more physically demanding position that also requires exceptional reading of the game as well as much lower tolerance for making mistakes. Every once in a while you’ll get a Micah Richards/Raphael Varane that dominate grown men from the time they are teenagers but most top CB’s season into their 20’s, just look at VVD. Even Sergio Ramos used to get the run around as a teenager at RB and took a couple of years to develop into a world class CB.

  61. Bamford10

    Pierre

    “It all adds up to one thing … Arteta doesn’t fancy him as a player.”

    Complete nonsense. If Saliba were 26 or so — not 19 — it might make sense to interpret the situation that way. Given he’s 19, given how highly he is rated, and given the reporting we have, the reasonable conclusion to draw is that Arteta thinks Saliba is a little immature and needs more time to develop. It is *not* reasonable to conclude that he simply “doesn’t fancy the player”.

  62. Valentin

    Tom,

    When the Swedish lothario asked Wenger if Walcott was ready, he thought he was being asked to be part of the squad and learn from the experience, not being an automatic starter.

    He would have been a perfect substitute in games when the defense was tiring. The problem is that the press presented his inclusion as the end for some of the stars who did not appreciate that. The coach then subsequently loss his bottle and did not play him at all.

    Anyway that comment is completely irrelevant with the Saliba situation.

  63. Tom

    “Overall, he has yet to even remotely justify the 72 million we spent on him given he’s not even a dead cert for a starting spot half the time and we’re hardly stacked, are we?“

    And most likely he never will so the sooner people get over the inflated price Pepe had absolutely nothing to do with setting on himself, the better off you are going to be.

    The better and more fair approach of judging Pepe the player might be based on his salary.

  64. Champagne charlie

    “Long may live Arteta’s judgement. Long may live the One who knows!“

    See, this sort of comment just about confirms the sentiment behind your posts.

    Instead of thinking the person running the multimillion pound sports team has info you might not, you’re happy to hypothesise all manner of bollocks (and I say that kindly) in place of what’s a pretty basic observation to many.

  65. raptora

    Pedro sept 11 2020: “My overarching concern here is that we’ve spent years trying to move away from a superstar manager structure, and we’ve just walked right back into one. If things go well, then the concern is moot… the problems come when things go badly, or, the superstar manager leaves. What are you left with?”

    We are a manager centric club again. We changed Wenger with Arteta. I hope he deserves what the club is doing for him, cause as it stands he is absolutely the main figure by far. He has the power and every decision of his is a rule. For good or bad, remains to be seen.

    As things stand he knows best. No need to change the famous AKB acronym either. Coincidence? I think not.

  66. WengerEagle

    ‘And most likely he never will so the sooner people get over the inflated price Pepe had absolutely nothing to do with setting on himself, the better off you are going to be.’

    Na, not having that. Come on, that’s a crock of shite.

    Clearly the amount that you spend on a player comes into assessing his performances, if you buy a player for 72 million and are getting the production of a 20 million player out of him, you have a big problem.

    We’re not in a position to be chucking around such silly money at a player unless he’s going to elevate the entire side and make a huge impact. That’s what Aubameyang has done for 60 million and hopefully what Partey will do for 45 million.

    Pepe is just another player, getting benched for guys like Nketiah.

  67. Tom

    “When the Swedish lothario asked Wenger if Walcott was ready, he thought he was being asked to be part of the squad and learn from the experience, not being an automatic starter.“

    said Wenger after it became painfully obvious Walcott wasn’t ready and media made a bit of stink about it.
    Not like Wenger to spin things up a little when needed.

    I’m sure Sven asked Wenger whether Walcott was ready for a World Cup “experience “ and his suitability to the team got lost in translation lol.

  68. Ashwin Gunner

    You can compare players as much as you like, but at the end if he has the pedigree and the right coaching , then the player will flourish.

    We have signed loads of wonder kids over the years like Walcott ,Chamberlain et all. But none of them, none of them came close to be even called a good player. Forget about being great, They were decent footballer at the most. So lets stop this hoopla about some young player. Only time will tell if he is good enough. Its ok to get excited, but lets stop at that. Keep your expectations low until they actually come good. I remember when Wenger presented Park Chu-young as the next best thing… we all know how it turned out to be..

  69. Valentin

    Pedro,

    Claude Puel is not a good manager, but in France everybody agree that he is a terrific coach. He knows players and when you see the list of players who have improved under him it is impressive.

    Even at Leicester where he got into a fight with Vardy, he gave a chance to a lot of young players.

    Regarding Saliba you keep using the argument that he is not physically ready, I am sorry but this is patently wrong. This is why the leaked stories don’t mention that. Saliba is a unit, who is more than capable of handling himself against big strikers.
    Going to ground for me is a bs excuse, because nobody should care if a player goes to ground but still emerge with the ball without making a foul.
    The heading would be a valid reason, but then when you look at the stats in France and it is clear that it is also bs. His stats regarding headed clearance and set pieces is one of the top in Ligue 1. Both he and Gabriel were in the top 5 of Europe big leagues.
    I would have understood if the arguments were about his good but risky distribution, his tendency to move into midfield and leave a gap, but none of those were used.

  70. Biggles

    My biggest concern with loaning Saliba out is that this is 2 years out of 5. Even if next season he comes good and if a first team player, that is us down to only 3 seasons left and after 1 good year we might need to start selling or extending to protect the value. Not to mention the fact that he will probably have been paid £4m in wages before he is even in the squad.

    Buy potential to loan it has worked for Chelsea, but it wasn’t £27m players on £40k a week.

  71. Tom

    WE
    Yes you have a problem but maybe with people’s judgment more than the player himself.

    I don’t watch league1 but people who do said he wasn’t worth the money we paid for him so how is that on the player?

    Btw, this ties in nicely with the point I was making to Valentin; no Pepe’s coaches or teammates said he wasn’t ready, picked the wrong league, should’ve stayed another season ( pick one). They were all supportive and thought he would be a success.

  72. Champagne charlie

    “Revert to type, when you can’t win on the argument, smear, insult, belittle people you disagree.“

    Big lol, you obviously forget your casual gaslighting and belittling of others views as you go about spreading the seed of your numerous sources Val.

  73. WengerEagle

    We all called Walcott’s steep decline [well except you London Gunner ;] years before it happened. Always said that without his freakish pace [and it was sensational in his late teens/early twenties]that he was a lower PL player at best/Championship player.

    To his credit, he developed his finishing/final pass to the point that he was still useful for a year or two after his serious injury in 2014 that KO’d his speed but he was never the same after it. He put up many memorable performances and moments in the CL especially with his speed a key feature, my favourite being when he came on and completely changed the game vs Barcelona at the Emirates when we were 2-0 down, scored and then won the penalty for Cesc to score.

    Run assist vs Liverpool that deserved a SF spot alone, assist at the San Siro to seal a huge win where he rinsed their LB, beautiful dinked goal vs Villarreal in the last 16 or maybe it was the QF in 09′. He also loved a goal against Chelsea and the Spuds so he did.

  74. MidwestGun

    Sources told ESPN
    ________
    Sources? Are the sources Pierre’s son? hahaha I too have never seen a quote from Arteta saying anything negative about Saliba’s play. The point is.. Bamford, Raptora was going on a rant about how Arteta devalued him in the press and embarrassed him.. well then show me the quotes where he did that.

    But sure .. it’s curtains for Saliba, he doesn’t fancy him, he is Wenger 2.0.
    The leaps of logic that go on here are mind spinning at times.

    Pierre, however is still just mad at Arteta for sidelining Ozil. Get over it dude. Here is what Arteta actually said to the press. .

    “Obviously there are a lot of things that are new for him and he will need to adapt but certainly he has the right qualities for this football club and as well the right attitude to keep improving and showing the player he can be for our future.”

    Devalued the shit out of him , am I right? 😀

    Sounds like he thinks he just needs more time and experience. People thought he was gonna be the next defensive Jesus. I get that they are disappointed because of all the hype but it turns out he might need more time before he can be the starter that everyone wants him to be right away.

    I’m disappointed too.. I don’t like Luiz’s regular mental and physical fuck up’s either.
    But to say Saliba was ready to take his spot or Holding’s with zero games and 2 preseason scrimmages is a bit much. Arteta has to win now our schedule is brutal upcoming. That’s it really. It would be desperation mode to pin his hopes on Saliba anytime soon this season.
    You can debate about loan versus 5 or 6 cup games if you… want .. either way he is not starting so it’s a debate about proper development strategy which isn’t exactly worth all the angst.

  75. WengerEagle

    Tom

    It’s not on Pepe, it’s on the club no doubt.

    If he came over and performed way below his capabilities, then it’s on the player. But I really don’t think that there is much more to come from Pepe unfortunately, really do think that we got finessed out of 72 million by Lille.

    Wasn’t the only time that we wasted money, Toreirra has been a failure too albeit at a much more modest fee which we’ll likely nearly recoup.

  76. MidwestGun

    Pepe will never be worth 75 mill.. we over paid for him to begin with.. How many players are actually worth that much? 4 or 5 maybe worldwide. Raul got the sack for that surely.

  77. WengerEagle

    London Gunner

    No doubt, you went off the rails with your Wally > Hazard take though.

    But yeah, Walcott deserves some respek from Arsenal fans. Scored over 100 goals for us and some of them were big ones. Also provided us with some notable highs even though he would would make your want to yank your hair out, much like Giroud.

    Prime Walcott walks into our XI at RW.

  78. Tom

    “Going to ground for me is a bs excuse, because nobody should care if a player goes to ground but still emerge with the ball without making a foul.“

    Really?
    Going to ground easily, whether that’s the real reason or not, is a huge issue for a CB in the premier league, because players are so much faster and quicker to go down at a hint of contact.
    Vardy, Son, Kane, half of United’s squad and a few on City have made a career out of getting cheap pens.

    VVD is still the best CB in the league despite his latest few errors, and he hardly ever goes to ground.

  79. Pedro

    Valentin, I am sourced, you are not. He’s not up to the Premiership physically, that’s why he’s being loaned. Claude Puel is not a counter to that argument nor is how he looks.

  80. WengerEagle

    Going to ground is an even bigger issue now with the penalty handball bollocks that we are witnessing on a weekly basis.

    You lower the control of your hands/arm position when you commit to a sliding tackle, making you a prime victim to a VAR call.

  81. Bamford10

    “Pierre, however is still just mad at Arteta for sidelining Ozil. Get over it dude.”

    No, this isn’t why Pierre is pushing that bogus “Arteta doesn’t fancy Saliba” line. He’s pushing that line because he dislikes the tendency to see the transfer market as the solution to all problems. Pierre is a Wenger-ite of a certain type. Pierre likes old-world ways, homegrown solutions, Academy players. Pierre prefers Nketiah to Martinelli.

    Pierre would like to believe that the Saliba singing has proven a failure so that he can say, “you see, the transfer market is not always the solution. More money down the drain!”.

    Right, Pierre?

  82. englandsbest

    My only comment is this: ‘Why £14.95? Do they think we’re gonna say, ‘Ah, it’s fourteen quid.’ Do they take us for half-wits? Yes, I’m afraid they do.

    Great stuff on Saliba/VVD, pal. That ought to end the vindictive stuff about Arteta. But it won’t.

  83. raptora

    Anyway you twist it, you don’t loan a 27m player if you consider this player all that. You are basically removing him from your sight for a year and when he comes back he’ll be diagnosed again if he’s got what it takes or not. You are already halfway conceding the money might have been thrown away. Else he would have been counted at least as a 2nd string member.

    Lately it’s happened to James Rodriguez, it’s happened to Coutinho where the managerial change might have saved his Barca career, it’s happened in Real M with Bale and Ceballos. Lukaku and KdB at Chelsea. Remember Renato Sanches and his 9 starts for Swansea? Deulofeu never made it in Barcelona now did he? Chambers was supposed to be loaned so he could get experience and start for us. That one worked out great.

    We have Mavro, Saliba but we buy Gabriel. It’s obvious by now that Mavro is apparently not gonna make it. In a year we’ll know how many games Saliba has played and if he has progressed. But by definition if you loan a player aka not finding him a place in your team, you are admitting and facing the odds that there is a very good chance that in a year from now things could be in the exact same situation as they are at the moment.

    Sending a 27m player to be coached by another manager, who might and might not play him enough, in good hope he’ll come good in 10 months from now it doesn’t work all that often.

  84. Pedro

    Raptora, the money isn’t relevant… and sending young players out on loan to gain experience has worked out well for plenty of top footballers.

  85. Raulishuss

    I mostly don’t agree with val but he was spot on about pepe from day one. Dude was waayyyy overpriced for the amount we paid it’s scary. I think he has a big issue upstairs. He’s a slow learner and he doesn’t look like he has the zeal to improve might be wrong tho

  86. MidwestGun

    Mmm Idk.. Pierre is on this Arteta is a liar and not clear to the media angle, lately…. due to his Ozil love. . Even though I haven’t seen Arteta be anything but as open as he can be. The opposite of Wenger who used to make stuff up.. Like I didn’t see it or like a new signing. We only sign top top quality. etc..

    That’s why Wenger had to write a book I guess to clarify all his bullshit. $25 dollars coming to Walmart near you.

  87. Champagne charlie

    You don’t send young players on loan for experience now? Hahah wtf?

    Saliba had that sort of fee spent on him because of potential, if Arteta doesn’t think he’s going to get enough games for his development here then a loan absolutely is the right decision.

    Was talking to Paulinho the other day about this very facet (game time) missing from a lot of youngsters who emerge at elite clubs. Phil Foden was the subject that sparked it, unbelievable talent to the lad but he’s 75 first team appearances short of learning his trade and finding his niche at the level, made the same remark about Reiss Nelson (aged 20), and even Joe Willock who would benefit from a season of being in the first XI every week.

  88. Raulishuss

    Foden is ace but so is saka. The thing with saka is he can play instinctively and be so mature at the same time. He just lack a lil bit of raw pace but he has a good acceleration. He’s a classic creator lad’s got a big future ahead as an 8/10/11 hybrid IMO like iniesta(big boots and all lol)

  89. Champagne charlie

    Weagle

    Don’t disagree, we were talking more about the absence of that game time early on that can really hurt your development. Look at Sancho and Foden, both gifted players but one had access to first XI football the other was never going to get at Man City.

    Similar situation to the players we have that are looking at scraps, Saliba and Nelson are two players who need game time and there’s a limit to the benefits of training with the elites. At some point you need a block of games to learn your trade within the 90 minutes.

    I hear arguments that Saliba is a super talent and Arteta needs to watch what he does or he’ll kill him here before he takes off. So what, he’s ‘good enough to play for us and should stay’, meanwhile we ‘need to be careful loaning him to Brentford because he might not get games’? Does it get more stupid? Lol

  90. WengerEagle

    Agree with the point you made though.

    Hard for young talent to break through at elite clubs. Only real examples I can think of in modern times being Busquets making the step up at age 20 and forming the best CM of all time with Xavi and Iniesta. And talk about being helped along the way, the 2 best midfielders of their generation as your midfield partners.

    Actually incredible how he seamlessly made the step up, Pep had shreds torn out of him for ousting a world class Yaya Toure to make it happen.

  91. raptora

    Ye, CC, the idea of a loan is good. But mentioning Nelson who managed 740 minutes which is the equivalent of what, 8 full games in 1 full season? It didn’t work out for Nketiah either it reached a point where the club recalled him in January cause he would get more chances in our team than a Championship team where he managed 2 starts in 5 months???

    It’s actually a step back in the development of highly talented young players being 2nd and 3rd choices in a lower teams that play different football than us. I bet even participating in our training games next to Auba, Willian now, David Luiz and all the emerging talent would have been better for said players to be in a highly competitive group and learn and develop our style of play.

    Both Nelson and Nketiah loans were a huge failure. I shouldn’t even mention Gnabry’s spell at West Brom. Starting 2, 5 and 0 games was not what they needed. Chances are Saliba loses a year too.

    How is taking such a gamble good for an expensive, obviously really, really talented player? When you can nurture his progress and use him in cup games while he’s training on a everyday basis with the players he’s aiming at taking their place, with a far better manager/coach than any 2nd league manager in the world? It’s also his second loan. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  92. Raulishuss

    Speaking of yaya I really get his vibe seeing partey. Partey not as technically gifted from the videos but I think he’ll take his game up a bit with us except Mikel plans on playing xhaka as a kinda Toni kross for us I.e as the d dlp in the central zone on the left and partey as the box to box cm but with greater defensive responsibility but then ceballos had been groomed for that role so I don’t know. But I’m super excited to see what Mikel has planned

  93. WengerEagle

    Yeah Charlie, and it makes sense. Unfortunately, the stakes are just too high for at an elite level club to blood in a young player as they make mistakes as you say, a big part of learning their trade and all of the best go through it.

    For a Real Madrid it’s not financially worth their while to blood in academy players given in the time it takes to get them to the level, they would fall behind their rivals. They are better off buying ready-made or on their way to being elite players for hefty sums to help ensure immediate success.

    Although they look to be in the process of changing this a bit with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo funnily enough. Both super talents but extremely raw and still far away from being elite players.

    They must have looked over at Barcelona in recent seasons and thought ‘fuck that, we need some semblance of a plan for the future’ and have invested in a very talented young core of players in Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Asensio, Odegaard, Mendy, Militao, Valverde. All are getting much more game time than they would have during Ronaldo’s era.

  94. raptora

    Yeah Foden in the City team that is obscenely full of talented attacking players, managed 1150 minutes for City last season.

    I bet Foden wished he went to Hoffenheim to register 740 minutes, or to Leeds – 500 minutes. He would have progressed into a far better player than staying at City where he would play more and with better players under the best manager in the world. He totally regrets his decision.

  95. MidwestGun

    Martinelli_____Auba_____Pepe

    Saka_____Partey____Ceballos

    Tierney____Gabriel___Saliba_____Bellerin.

    ___________(Martinez haha kidding) Leno

    Seems like this is the Golden Vision that some people had in their minds for later this season and when anything contrary to that vision happens.. Arteta is playing favorites. I don’t think that’s the case.. so many factors go into it, I don’t think you can have that kind of linear thinking.

  96. WengerEagle

    Raulishuss

    If Partey can even be half the player that Yaya Toure was for City, we are onto a winner there.

    He’s still the single biggest one-man wrecking ball CM that I have ever laid eyes on in the PL was Yaya. Could literally do it all when he was arsed, score and create goals, dribble, pass any distance, tackle, win headers, link up midfield with attack and from defence. Was huge, powerful, fast, agile, fit as anything.

    Lucky for the PL he was a temperamental sissy more often than not. But even at that, he was the best CM in the country by a distance for a time.

  97. WengerEagle

    Middy

    I really don’t see Pepe surviving till next season when Saliba’s back. I think that we’ll sell him for 30m ish next summer. Arteta doesn’t fancy him, you can tell. Look at Toreirra.

  98. raptora

    CC: “So what, he’s ‘good enough to play for us and should stay’, meanwhile we ‘need to be careful loaning him to Brentford because he might not get games’? Does it get more stupid? Lol”

    Coming from a fan who is aware of what happened to Gnabry in West Brom, and has also witnessed how Nketiah became an Arsenal regular after being an absolute bench warmer for Leeds. It’s supposed to be stupid that Gnabry started 0 games and was subbed in once, same year but later went to the Olympics and scored 6 goals, got his first call-up for the German senior team and scored a hat-trick in his debut for Germany’s NT. All in the same year Pulis started him 0 times.

    But it’s stupid I guess.

  99. Champagne charlie

    Raptora

    Wish you’d get this idea out your head that nothing harmful can come of a young player staying at the club when not deemed ready to play. It’s a balancing act for staff to pick the right career choice for youngsters on an individual basis. What might not have worked for one can work wonders for another.

    Id be amazed if Nelson came away from his loan under Naglesmann worse off in any way. He tasted a new country, league, coach, and his minutes might not have reflected his initial hopes but it’s bogus to label that loan a flop on that alone. I know less of Nketiah, but is he struggling since he returned?

    Saliba’s needs are different, he needs to absorb English football and play games to adapt. If he’s at the level many suggest then he’s a starter for almost every championship side right this moment. Trining next to David Luiz is great, but young players need games ultimately.

  100. Champagne charlie

    Nvm Raptora, you’re obviously another totally immune to the sense being spoken. I can understand the importance of getting a loan right in all aspects, but to continue to use Gnabry as a hard stick shows your immaturity.

    We get it, you think Arteta is killing talents left and right on his devaluing streak.

  101. MidwestGun

    Eagle-
    I actually think it’s too early to say… .still. . I do think Arteta prefers Willian for now. I kind of would like to see Willian sitting deeper in the midfield. For me that would make us more fluid and dynamic. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Pepe didn’t work out, too.
    It’s very disappointing that he isn’t more direct at times like he was last match when he came on.. He just has too much to work on for what we thought we were getting for the money where I could see us wanting more of a finished product. We need a large amount of goals from whomever starts front 3 because our midfield is lacking in them. So I guess bottom line it will depend on how many goals Pepe scores whether he stays or not.

  102. Marc

    Pedro

    Nice piece – can’t be bothered to get back into the Saliba debate it’s already been said. As for the pricing of matches – complete madness the only justification I can think of is for when COVID is gone and fans are back in the stadium. If they made all matches available for say a fiver you’d see demand for that to stay and it could affect attendances – if you won’t pay the TV price it doesn’t become a habit.

  103. WengerEagle

    I mean Gnabry had Tony fucking Pulis to contend with, kid never stood a chance with a guy who’s football philosophy revolved around literally players that could throw the ball very far with their narrow pitch pushing legal limits.

    Shame on us for loaning him out there, remember a similarly stupid loan was sending Carlos Vela there.

  104. Marc

    On the food subject I’ll shortly be doing the prep work on a Coq au Vin for tomorrow which will be served with suicide mash.

    And no you can’t have any.

  105. Raulishuss

    True WE yaya is/was better than partey offensively. Partey is like casmeiro but better when receiving under pressure and has more refined game. Kinda like yaya in that sense.

  106. raptora

    CC,
    In a perfect world where you know the said player will start over 30 games a loan could be worth. And in here we are not talking about an ordinary youth player that you take a gamble and maybe he gets good or not. It’s a player who’s started many games in Ligue 1. To me chancing that the player gets in the right team, under the right manager, he fits in well and gets to play many, many games for them when you consider the player a great talent, with potential first team future, you don’t send him on loan. It’s why Foden is a good example, also Iwobi, Declan Rice, Sterling, McTominay, Tom Davies, Saka, Greenwood, Max Aarons, Alexander-Arnold, Wan-Bissaka. You don’t loan players that you consider ones with huge future ahead of them. You just don’t.

    My stance is that Arteta doesn’t see Saliba making it here as things stand. What the problem is I’ve no idea, as obviously he is very talented, but also obviously not good enough. Not good enough to get cup games is very, very, very, very disturbing. Or it might be the Arteta extra. Torreira, Guendouzi, Pepe, Martinelli have all got a taste of it.

  107. raptora

    CC,
    You really have to tell me I’m immature and immune to sense being spoken, right?!

    As a matter of fact, I haven’t called you anything. Might as well think who the immature of us two is.