by .

The Arsenal loans department is cranking through the gears as they race to move players out of the club so they can free some space for inbound players.

William Saliba has moved to France, picking Nice as his go-to. He’ll certainly land minutes due to their injuries, and hopefully he’ll play well so we can have him in the first-team squad next season, or sell him in the summer. I’ve never known an entire country to get so angry at a 19-year-old centre back not making it in the Premier League. The French media and their pundits have been nothing short of embarrassing when it comes to Big Will. L’Équipe claimed we were looking to sell him this month, untrue. Then, after we loaned him with no options to sell, they’re pushing that we’re maybe, possibly, loaning him the whole of next season. Why would Nice commit to that now? Why would Arsenal? Embarrassing carry-on.

What also has to be put down on the record is the abysmal handling of this. It was almost more boring than the Mesut stuff. Saliba might not be it, and that is fine, we’ve all fallen in love with Youtube super comp videos only to be disappointed. What is outrageous is that we didn’t make a decision on him until very, very late in the day, and it was so late we didn’t have a loan option for him. By price-tag alone, he is a generational talent. That is the message the world needs to know and believe. He should have been sent back to France or given a chance in the Championship so we could build him up to either start or sell. Instead, we soiled his name, and put a big BUYER BEWARE sticker on him. Very, very silly.

It’s also kind of baffling that Mikel Arteta has been sold as a top coach, but he chose not to coach William Saliba? Too rough for our Europa League squad, but Runarsson is our second choice keeper? Stronger technical leadership would not have allowed that to happen. Hopefully, the player takes his chance at Nice and we do get to see him next season.

I think the next big moves out the door will be for Mustafi and Sokratis. Those two need some game time in their legs to ensure the next deals they land are suitable. Liverpool lost last night, they could do with a center-back? There should be plenty of clubs interested in two very seasoned professionals that have both won trophies. That’d be another £180k a week off the wage bill.

There are also some rumblings that Eddie might find himself a loan move to somewhere like Leeds United. Not sure of the veracity, but it’s hard to see him landing minutes in this current moment. There are at least three players you’d rather see in that position, maybe 4 if you LOVE the Balogun hype.

I really hope that we find loans for the youngsters that aren’t finding minutes. What’s the point in keeping Willock if he doesn’t play in the Premier League? Same for Reiss and Cal Chambers. If they aren’t playing here, send them on loan, pump their value, then sell them in the summer.

The inbound rumblings mostly focus on Emi Buendia. The creative midfielder is way better than the Championship, but is, according to reports, happy in Norwich. Come on people, really? I’ve stayed with friends up there and I am simply not having that an Argentinian is buzzing about pints at The Fat Cat, elite as those pints might be.

If Arsenal comes a-knocking, he’d have to take the move. We’d just have to hope that he’s a Jack Grealish over a Saïd Benrahma. He created 83 chances in the league last season, those numbers can’t be ignored. ESR has made a huge impact at 19 years old, if you were a betting man, you’d say that Emi could at the very least offer what he has to the side.

We’ll see though…

Finally, LIVERPOOL lost to Southampton last night. The league is very, very tight this season. 5 wins on the bounce and you can make serious moves up the table. I think we have to accept that Hassenhutl’s side might be top 4 contenders this season. Our clash with them at the end of the month is going to be absolutely huge. We simply cannot afford to drop points against Newcastle or Palace.

Right, listen to the podcast, then, and ONLY then, can you go.

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332 Responses to “LOAN MOVES START TO CHURN”

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  1. Le Sauce

    Buendia cannot say no to Arsenal when we come calling. At best Norwich would come back to the premier league and then what?.. Get relegated again?
    The only possible issue will be if Arsenal are willing to go for him. Good piece Pedro, I hope Sokratis and Mustafi are able to get moves away. We need to get players who aren’t playing out of the club

  2. shad

    10 points off first…in the analytical world of Pedro. :

    But it is staggering that Ole’s squad could be table toppers should they win their game in hand, as embarrassing as their penalties awarded tally is.

  3. shad

    And good post Pedro. Happy New Year to you.

    Hoping we can shift some of British Project version 2.0. If Nelson can’t get minutes over Pepe and Willian, he should be shifted. ?Can’t see a higher ceiling for Willock and Nketiah too. I’d promote Balogun to be alongside Saka and ESR and dump the rest to the championship.

  4. DM

    Le Sauce

    I don’t think it’s whether Buendia wants to come to us or not, more whether Norwich would be willing to sell their star player when they have a promotion in sight. PL promotion is worth a LOT of money, so even £40m or so for him wouldn’t necessarily be worth their while if they can get promoted with him and then potentially sell him in the summer.

    If they were willing to sell, though, then sure, he shouldn’t have a problem coming to us (depending on whether there are other teams in for him too, of course).

  5. grooveydaddy

    Eddie loaned to Leeds again? We called him back because he couldn’t get a game there last time.

    Also seeing that we’re looking to sell him for £15-20 mill to Wolves, maybe.

    I’d say cash in. I like Eddie, but I’m not wholly convinced of his upside potential.


    There is absolutely no excuse for the Saliba debacle. The player is indeed as advertised. Just incompetence and bad management of the highest level and a massive indictment against the present regime.
    Fofana was the junior partner in their partnership at St Etienne.
    Played with Mari at U23 and was the more assured player. Mari has not been a disaster in his games at the PL level.
    Can play on both sides of center at CB.
    Yes, part of it was the inability of the club to manage the import/non import list but just no excuse for the continuous dropping of the ball in this situation.
    And to add insult to injury, they are supposedly still looking for an additional CB….


    Not sure that Bundeia is worth 40 mill…Might very wrong, but just cannot get excited about this rumour.
    For me, he might be more of a mid table player. If you are aiming for the top of the table, then get players for that level…Would he be targeted by any of the teams up there?

  8. JP

    “It’s also kind of baffling that Mikel Arteta has been sold as a top coach, but he chose not to coach William Saliba? Too rough for our Europa League squad, but Runarsson is our second choice keeper? Stronger technical leadership would not have allowed that to happen.”

    Technical director shouldn’t be telling the coach who to pick in his team. If Arteta doesn’t think he’s ready from everything that he sees in training then surely you have to accept that judgement, even if we disagree.

    Wenger probably would have thrown him straight in but you can’t tell the manager who he picks and who he doesn’t.

    Think everyone needs to chill on Saliba. We’ve not handled the situation well so far but we paid the money because we thought he was a generational talent. Someone who can be a mainstay in the team for the next 10-12 years. As long as he maximises his potential what does it matter if he breaks into our first team now or in a years time?

  9. raptora

    Dude this shit is pissing me off.

    People are now saying that if Arteta had played Saliba and Saliba had failed we would have got on the coaches backs for playing him before he’s ready. Twitter post with a lot of likes “If Saliba was pushed for first team & struggled, coaches would be slaughtered all the same”.

    How are we going to slaugther the coaches for playing someone that is 100% healthy and has been preparing to play for us for months??? Play him in Europa vs the 3rd tier teams and give him a place to showcase his talent. Even if he gives a penalty so what? Mari (average player) did it in his 1st game back vs Chelsea. Gabriel got a red card vs Southampton. Mistakes happen. But not giving a top young talent the chance to play NOT ONE OFFICIAL GAME FOR US is absolutely scandalous.

    People trying to excuse Arteta are willing to manifacture excuses for the sublime failure we are seeing.

    Pepe has been given quite a lot of chances, maybe not in a row like he would have liked to, but we could see he isn’t what we thought we were buying at the time. Arteta might have a blame on it cause he brought a Willian as a 100% direct replacement to a 72m player, in a way that he completely decided that Pepe will not be good enough. He might be right about Pepe because he has struggled under both Emery and him, but also Pepe has been given many chances. So Arsenal fans are in a state of mind where we know that Pepe isn’t that super player like Salah, Hazard and will probably never be.

    But with Pepe we saw it with our eyes.

    With Saliba we are forced by Arteta to just close our eyes and BLINDLY TRUST his judgement and to not trust the many, many reports that the player is a top talent.

    He had the foundation to show us if he is THAT bad, by playing him in Europa. It was a ZERO risk decision. That he decided to not let us even see him at play in a official game just sounds shambolic and horrendous. All of the fans are excited to see him play. We were going to be patient with him. It’s gone to the point that he just wants the player gone, same way he kicked Guen and benched Martinelli but then was quick to bring Gabi back cause he was on the verge of getting fired. It’s a fuck up of massive proportions.

  10. Mark

    What concerns me about the Saliba situation is that it gives me vibes of the Zidane and Ceballos relationship, ie no place for you whilst I’m here kinda thing. It’s just been handled so badly from start to finish that, it smacks of more behind the scenes.

    I read today that if the initial loan goes well that it could be extended to 18 months!!! I can see it now. Arteta says the team is settled,so in order to continue his development Saliba will stay for the next season. Then he’s sold for a profit after that.

    To see another Top talent go out the door especially since we’ve been crying out for proper defenders for years, is unforgivable. Every time I see Villa play I can’t help feeling regret how we fucked ourselves.
    So unnecessary, all Arteta had to do was keep Martinez as No.1 (as he’d earnt it) telling him it’s his to lose. Leno would’ve had to raise his game if he wanted it back. We have 2 good keepers. Leno not happy we sell for much more than the 17m we got for Emi. Simple.

    Arteta is a poor judge of talent and has that new manager syndrome, where they feel that they have to Flex, instead of being smart.Why so few minutes for Balogun if you wanted him to stay. He showed pace, finishing, good hold up play and something different to what we had. Yet still couldn’t get a sniff in the Prem when others were stinking out the place week in week out.

    Why were Mustafi and Kola getting any minutes over Saliba if they’re out the door??? Those who say oh Saliba’s not even played a game for us yet… I’m sorry a blind man can see he’s better now than Mustafi /Kola . Everyone else except the person who rates Xhaka and offered Mustafi an extension. Excuse me if I don’t agree with him.
    It will become apparent when we get to watch him play for Nice , as for him ever playing for us , let’s hope the choice isn’t down to Arteta.

  11. Upstate Gooner

    “Instead, we soiled his name, and put a big BUYER BEWARE sticker on him. Very, very silly.”

    Replace “we” with “Arteta”, Pedro, next time around. It’s totally on him.

  12. Mark

    Tweet from Matt Spiro (French football corres.) on Saliba
    “Well done to Nice for signing a top young defender in William Saliba. To suggest he ‘isn’t ready for Premier League’ is disingenuous at best – and if you look at some of the guys who have been deemed ‘ready’ by Arsenal, it’s laughable”

  13. Ernest Reed

    “The French media and their pundits have been nothing short of embarrassing when it comes to Big Will. ”

    Is that what suffices as embarrassing in your thoughts, Pedro?

    What’s embarrassing is Arsenal paying a ridiculous fortune for a kid and then inexplicably not providing said kid with proper opportunity to actually play and develop.

    Give your head a shake, this one has the foul stench of both Arteta and Edu all over it. What’s embarrassing is you continually coming up with excuses for Arteta’s sheer ineptitude and incompetence.

    Call a spade a spade and stick with it, please and thank you.

  14. Redbearer

    The Fat Cat is a great boozer Pedro, they even produce their own ales and pies!
    My sources tell me Norwich would accept a bid of nothing less than 20 million+ for Buendia so the obvious concern here is whether we have the funds to sign him?
    He’s a quality player with a superb touch while he also oozes footballing intelligence and most importantly he has a good attitude, unlike Aouar who we wasted our time pursuing in the last window. I’d love to see Buendia play for Arsenal but unfortunately we may have to wait until the summer to secure any potential deal for him.

  15. Ernest Reed

    40+ Covid infections in the EPL and climbing. You can count on a League shutdown soon, and if they are not considering it, then it’s obvious they don’t give two shits for player safety.

    A vaccine is available, why is it being administered so slowly?

  16. Greg

    I love watching Theo Walcott 2.0 at Southampton. He looks like a biker gang pledge candidate – rough and ready, big muscles, taped up hand from bar brawling, scruffy hair and even more tattoos. A 180 from the nice middle class kid at Arsenal. Finding his feet at age 30, good for him.

  17. Pedro

    Ernest, crying about a 19 year old not starting games. Making up stories. Doubling down and making up new ones. That sort of thing.

  18. DUIFG

    Glad Pedro has seen some sense on saliba on how badly this thing has been handled rather that saying people were wet.

    This isn’t an edu fuck up its artetas, I think he got hard for holding late on and didn’t like the look of saliba hence no time to do loan plus other stuff going on.

    It makes no fricking sense to recall a guy before a cup final by edu to then fuck him later in the window unless arteta said nah this ain’t my guy late on. Edu also does not pick the Europe squad that is purely mnager.

    Saliba is where I saw a chink of weakness in this manager, a touch of wickedness even

  19. Ernest Reed

    I’ll give you 28 million reasons why the whole affair stinks to high hell, Pedro.

    Call it what it is, botched business. It can still be saved but it has the similar stench of Willian all over it.

  20. Nelson

    “If Arteta doesn’t think he’s ready from everything that he sees in training then surely you have to accept that judgement,”

    I am sure that Arteta sees Alex Rúnarsson in training and we have to accept that he is ready.

    Arteta also used Kola multiple times as one of the three CB’s in the 3 4 3 formation. And we have to accept that Kola is a better CB than Saliba. All I remembered is that we lost the NLD because Kola assisted Son for a goal.

  21. Mark

    You keep talking about Saliba as a ’19 yr old’ yet neglect to mention we paid nigh on £30m for said ’19 yr old!

    The way this has been managed is Scandalous! It’s all on Arteta.

  22. Dissenter

    We are the laughing stock in some circles because of this Saliba debacle. Everyone know the lad was done by.
    Hopefully it passes and we stop making these silly blunders. There’s no reason why Arteta should be trying to extend Mustafi’s contract while denying an incoming 29 million transfer fee youngster a chance to prove himself.

  23. Mark

    I would say Saliba was viewed by many more people as a Generational talent/prospect ,( By what they had seen themselves) than people (You ) who said Arteta is a Generational coach.

  24. salparadisenyc

    I’m so over the Saliba drama, no question club fucked it with not loaning him no question theres been a massive over reaction from many, no question some think he’s the second coming of Maldini based on little data.

  25. Biggles

    The problem with the idea of Saliba as a mainstay of the team for 10-12 years is that he’s on a 5 year contract. By the end of this season, he’s only got 3 years left. His fee will have been amortized over the length of the contract, so by the end of this season, £10.8m of his value will have been amortized. That means any offer over ~£16m would be considered a profit.

    And if – as most would probably want – he does great on loan and is in the squad next year, we’ll get a *single* season before we’re at the two-years-left mark where we either extend or sell (or at least should).

    It’s a monumental screw up.

  26. The BFB

    Raptora summed up the Saliba situation perfectly. It is just one in a whole series of monumental blunders committed by a manager so clearly out of his depth. And how many more times must we hear; if only we win the next three games…….?

  27. Mark

    I don’t care what anyone says, oh it’s just YouTube highlights we’re going off. I’ve seen enough to know he has more about him and a higher ceiling than the majority of our defenders , (Prior to Gabriel arriving) So for him to not get to play any games even against the mighty Dundalk is fuckin Scandalous!!

    Well we’ll all be able to see just how ‘Bad’ he really is when he’s playing for Nice. We’ll see if he’s so shit that Arteta was right to persist with Mustafi and Kola. But if it’s apparent that he isn’t worse , can’t wait to hear what the excuse will be.

  28. Le Sauce


    My point of view is if we make an offer and he does a Sanchez then they would regret not selling him. Almost like what happened to Zaha when we bid for him

  29. Dissenter

    I doubt whether Saliba is coming back.
    He will be 20 years old with three years left on his contract by the time the summer transfer window ends.
    If the next 6 months on loan rebuilds some of his reputation, we are better off selling him to put an end to the whole saga.

  30. redbro14

    Everybody should chill on Saliba. He is now gone on loan, good luck to him, we have many positives to talk about. Partey coming back into the team will be massive. Our young academy players coming of age…..The test for Edu is this January window. Let’s see if he can produce something that will strengthen the team for the second part of the season. Brandt seems an attainable option, although I would be more inclined to go hard for Buendia, but can’t see Norwich agreeing a January sale. Jordan from Sevilla. Can we dream of Partey, Jordan and Buendia in our midfield?

  31. JP


    Don’t disagree that Rúnarsson looks well below the required level but Arteta also sees Macey, Hein, Okonkwo etc…in training and if he’s picking Rúnarsson then its because he thinks he’s better than those.

    I don’t agree with the treatment of Saliba and its been a wasted few months when he could have been out on loan but people in the media aren’t on the training ground everyday. If Saliba was the new Van Dijk and ready to play I have no doubt he would be in the team.

  32. Guns of SF

    Honestly, Mike becoming manager has really messed us up.

    How does he get that title so fast?

    Someone must have been drunk or stoned or both… Vinai smoking some really good stuff or coked up!

    Mike is a terrible manager. Terrible player and as a result has no clue about talent.

    Indeed, he is going to plan B, as his ass was on the line to be fired.

    I still do not think he is the right person for the club.

    I do hope Saliba plays like Maldini to spite Mike in the face

  33. JP


    3 years is a long time in football. If he plays well at Nice and “is ready” to be in the first team squad next season then we can offer him a new deal.

    Don’t see the issue there.

  34. DUIFG

    Biggles has it right, 3 yrs left on deal, he will come back hating the club, probbaky won’t start when he coems back, so 2 yrs left, can you monetise that and sell? The contract issue is big, if I had an option I could chill but of he turns out well he could easily run down his contract to zero he’s only 19, you think he won’t, malang sarr did at niece for chelse to pick up for free.

  35. Mark


    “If the next 6 months on loan rebuilds some of his reputation, we are better off selling him to put an end to the whole saga.”

    Errm, where’s the logic in that? Lose do much potential cos someone can’t admit they got it wrong? That’s just doubling down on the mistake.
    He has the potential to possibly become a fantastic defender and mainstay of our team. But Nah just cut him loose for some cash. How much would it cost to truly replace that talent?
    Selling cos we fucked up is not the best way to deal with your assets. Put it right, otherwise we’ll continue making the same mistakes.

    When are we gonna ever learn?

  36. azed

    It’s also kind of baffling that Mikel Arteta has been sold as a top coach, ”


    Do you have any idea of those people who sold Mikel as a top coach?

    My “sauces” tell me that a guy who lives in New York and drinks oat milk was a big part of the selling.

    Apparently he also runs a blog used to push the Mikel is a great coach propaganda.

  37. DUIFG

    JP why the hell would be commit to a new deal after we fucked him with no gtees of starting next season, he needs tk wbe written off already, 28 m spunked in a min playing cb and can’t be flipped for profit, it’s unbelievable scenes

  38. china1

    lol pedro you literally cannot be serious

    you said arteta has been sold as a top coach but isn’t willing to take on Saliba – but you yourself have literally been the n1 ‘arteta is a generational coach’ proponent since barely 6 months of him leaving the team

    I honestly doubt anyone on the planet has waxed lyrical about arteta’s elite coaching skills more than you. you should accept that his coaching isn’t actually half as good as has been made out to be by you and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up.

  39. JP


    He will have 3 years left, he’s not going to sit and chill and waste his career nor if he’s playing every week would he be happy to be on the same wage he was on when we was 18.

    We are not privy to the conversations he’s had with Edu and Mikel. I’m sure all he cares about is playing.

    If he’s starting, or getting regular games, in the team next season at a big club in London and, fingers crossed, challenging at the top end of the EPL why would he want to leave?

  40. Zacharse

    Do most people still think arteta should be sacked?
    I think there’s a case to be made that his promotion might end the type of deals we gave to runarsson, cedric, luiz extension…
    I hope to see some smart moves in the window and that if hes the real deal he’ll show that his promotion has effectively ended the backroom incompetence- or at least is phasing it out
    Saliba out the door to play first team is a good thing. Im not surprised that while we struggle to build a new identity from new and peripheral players at the back (holding, mari, gabriel, tierney) he doesnt want to introduce a new teenager w a big name.

  41. Mark

    I’ve seen so many fuck ups over the last 10yrs at Arsenal, and whilst a lot of it was down to Wenger having absolute control and no longer being fit to wield it. men on the board and owners.
    Now to add Arteta’s many (simple) mistakes is getting too much. He needs to have his wings clipped and a TD or Manager of football above him, overseeing and overruling some of his decisions. Before irreparable damage is done to the club.

  42. MGooner

    Cal Chambers used to play defensive mid.

    He should have been given a run of games in that position. He could complement ESR pretty well or be a back up to Mo.

    Crazy that we let Gwen go and now Saliba. I have seen him play and he would have been great in our backline.

  43. Hitman49

    Why don’t we do the deal for the Norwich player now give them Willock and Nelson as part of the deal they keep him until promoted then he’s ours..?

    We have nothing to play for at this point and nothing to lose either, play as we are the rest of the season..

  44. DUIFG

    Jp lots of speculation on how mahy games would he play, does he like the club.

    For me though he won’t start next year given all we ahwv seen from arteta. So if he breaks into the team end of season your ‘generational’ cb has 2 years on his contract, does not make me feel comfortable, nasri, rvp, sancez, ozil, rambo at points some were all gernsrional and left once they got down to that number.

    None of this fills me with confidence we have bought well, I was ecstatic thinking Gabriel and saliba at some pint this year, currently we are looking at a cash loss on saliba and having to buy another cb, massive fuck up

  45. Dissenter

    I fear a lot water has gone under the bridge already
    Things said that can’t be unsaid – remember this was a lad who was in bereavement [reportedly] and in a foreign land feeling like he wasn’t being treated properly ]. Then you factor in the young manager thing,
    If both parties can rise above the past then maybe there’s a future.

  46. redbro14

    Hitman49……we have a lot to play for. This season is very unpredictable so anything can happen, FA Cup and Europa League. No reason why we can’t go all out for all of these competitions…..but we need fresh blood this window.

  47. Mark

    “why would he want to leave?”

    Cos he’s been treated so badly by Arteta that he doesn’t want to play under him. And if he does perform really well, he will have plenty of suitors who would appreciate him.
    Why go back to somewhere who said You ain’t ready, and gave him no chance to prove otherwise.
    If I was him I’d say Fuck you, I’m going to Real or Barca or anywhere else than back to that Cnut .
    Who’d blame him.

  48. Words on a Blog


    I know it’s not really the done thing but I do think your post today, whilst stupendously excellent and on-the-money, could do with a light edit.

    Please could you change: “It’s also kind of baffling when Arteta has been sold as a top coach.”

    to: “I also kind of feel confused and schizophrenic when I sold Arteta as a top coach.”

  49. Tee

    It’s saliba again? He is gone on loan for good. See no reason for the continuous moaning and whinging all over. Arteta this Arteta that is getting boring.

    We need to find clubs for mustafi, socratis, willock, eddie, and nelson before the window closes. This is the only way to get in some fresh legs to help out the remaining of the season.

    A buendia or Brandt will do than just relying on Rowe all through the remainder of the season with the hope that he doesn’t get injured.

  50. Mark


    That’s on Arteta to be the bigger man and put it right. That’s what ( a proper manager would do) I’d hope he’d do.

  51. china1

    yes words!

    pedro you can’t refer to arteta being sold as a great coach when you are literally the guy who has done that selling more than anyone

  52. Mark

    Saliba nonsense must end now, what’s done is done, learn the lesson and move on.

    Are lessons being learnt,. That’s the question!

  53. JP


    How is he going to get to Barca or Madrid? If he comes back in the summer and says he wants to leave and doesn’t want to play for us then we have a young centre back with 3 years left on his deal. We would be able to get a decent fee.

    I agree its been a fuck up but I still think its salvageable.

  54. Graham62

    Every Tom, Dick and Harry can see “that Runarsson looks well below the required level”.

    What really concerns me here is that as a football coach, you should have a natural feel and understanding for all the positions in your team. Runarsson is, to put it mildly, utter shite. Whoever spotted him must have been down the Dog and Duck all night consuming large amounts of the local brew. There’s no other explanation. It’s like when you were kids, you all knew the importance of having a decent GK and you all had a solid understanding of what makes a good keeper.

    At Arsenal this has not been the case since we lost Jens Lehman. My feelings on the Martinez/Leno saga have been evident to you all these these past few months and irrespective of the financial benefits of letting Martinez go to AV, it was a ludicrous decision. To then go out and bring in Runarsson proves quite clearly that those at the top (Arteta) do not have a basic feel for the game.

    The Saliba scenario is very concerning because, based on the Runarsson situation, are we letting a talented youngster go buy the wayside.

    Time will tell.

  55. Tee

    “I do hope Saliba plays like Maldini to spite Mike in the face”

    This comment says more about you than saliba/ Arteta.

    If saliba plays like maldini, has you have said, then it’s a plus to arsenal. It’s either he comes back to play or get sold for profit.

  56. Mark

    Discussing Arteta’s failures may seem boring, but just don’t be surprised if we haven’t kicked on like we could have as a club in a year or two time.
    I do care how Arteta got to the current team selection, cos it indicates issues that he is a Bad judge of talent,has favourites and most importantly has very poor man management skills, not learning from mistakes and persisting until he had little choice.
    You may be happy to ignore all these warning signs but I can’t.
    I’m not saying sack him, but I definitely feel some checks and balances need to be put in place.
    Which won’t happen if people ignore them cos we won 3 games in a row, off of the back of our worst start in almost 50 years.

  57. Tee

    “You may be happy to ignore all these warning signs but I can’t.
    I’m not saying sack him, but I definitely feel some checks and balances need to be put in place.
    Which won’t happen if people ignore them cos we won 3 games in a row, off of the back of our worst start in almost 50 years.”

    Maybe pedro will convey your message to Josh.

  58. Tee

    Reading the incomings absolutely depend on the outgoings. So, the earlier we are able to shed some loads, the better and quicker it is for us to get in the CAM targeted.

    Don’t want any deadline day frenzy.

  59. Mark

    I totally understand the logic as to thinking if Saliba performs well we’d have a good player who’ll be a starter for sure. However as I said the vibe I get from Arteta is once I’ve frozen you out, you ain’t never coming back…
    And that’s not good.
    Look at the impact VVD had on Pool, the impact Martinez is having with Villa, Fernandez at Utd etc. It’s only one player, but it can massively impact the team.
    Selling Saliba (if it happens) will be a big mistake to the detriment of the club.
    This I truly believe.

  60. Tom M


    I know you’d heard some word about Arsenal’s interest in Brandt and as of yet he’s the only name that Ornstein has mentioned, so do you think him and Buendia are at the top of our list for this month?

    Chris Wheatley said yesterday that Arsenal think they can get him from Dortmund for as little as €25 million which seems like a very good price.

    For me Brandt’s versatility gives him the edge despite Buendia’s premier league experience. For Dortmund he’s played as a 10, as an 8, on the left or right and even as a false 9. Given how impressive Smith Rowe has been as our number 10, I’d be more inclined to get a creator who can feature in a variety of positions so we don’t impair ESR’s development entirely.

  61. Mark

    Not sure how true this is apparently Saliba in line to play Tomorrow for Nice. May get a chance to see how bad he is sooner than expected.


    No more from me about him.

  62. Tom

    The original argument was no 19 year old comes into the PL and plays straight away let alone for a top four contender. I remember it well because that was my line based on factual data and given to stick up for Arteta when he was getting pelted.

    Then we saw supposedly less talented Saliba’s former partner Fofana inserted out of necessity into Leicester’s back line and flourish, and all of a sudden the new line has become maybe every scout had it wrong and Fofana was the better one.

    Yea, maybe.
    Maybe the whole country had their future CB’s hopes pinned on the wrong talent and now they’re overacting because Arteta has exposed Saliba’s weakness and they feel embarrassed.

    Or Maybe Rodgers is a better coach who got a 19 year old Fofana playing like an all star for the team sitting one point of the top ,while Arteta has Arsenal sitting in the bottom half of the table and Saliba back in France without a single start for Arsenal senior side.

  63. NORG

    Enquiries were made about Buendia in the summer – the Norwich asking price was £22M. AFC did not make contact again. It is doubtful Norwich will sell him now as Buendia is an essential ingredient for the push for promotion and whats more he is teaching Ed how to do the Argentine Tango.

    The Fat Cat is an excellent pub.

  64. Nelson


    Please continue to be critical. This is the only way our club can progress. There are a few posters who act like Lemmings, believing that the coach is always right. Imagine that if the fans not keep pushing to play ESR, Arteta would still playing his old favorites.

  65. Tom

    “I don’t agree with the treatment of Saliba and its been a wasted few months when he could have been out on loan but people in the media aren’t on the training ground everyday. If Saliba was the new Van Dijk and ready to play I have no doubt he would be in the team”
    JP, not sure this is such a great example considering the 24 year old VVD was looked at by Arsenal and passed over at £13m despite being recommended heavily by our man in Scotland.

    Southampton jumped in and a couple seasons later made themself a tidy profit of around £50m.

  66. Pepesuave

    Buendia…not happening! No way Norwich sell in the middle of a realistic promotion fight when they are not strapped for cash after selling Ben Godfrey and Jamal Lewis.

    Thoughts on Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez on loan for the 2nd half of the season? He’s had a falling out with the Coach and currently frozen out of the squad. I am concerned about his diminutive size adjusting to EPL physicality but sure love his football brain. Low risk loan in my view as an experienced alternative to ESR

  67. Guns of SF

    Buendia might want a move.
    I mean come on… he is 24- no spring chicken anymore.
    The chance to play for a top club in EPL- not relegation fodder? And get a pay raise?

    Forget this nonsense about Norwich- its the player who might want a move as well. Its likely he gets sold in the summer anyhow, but Norwich might even make more money selling him in Jan, versus the summer.

    Chances are they stay up, for promotion with half a season left. If we give them Eddie or Nelson, Willock, that should be enough for them.

    Buen has been a good servant to them, and at some point they need to let him go for his own professional career development.

    A strong bid and some loan players as part of the deal and I think they do it.

  68. JP


    My point was more that I don’t think there is a great conspiracy to why Saliba isn’t playing.

    Not getting Van Dijk was a big miss but he was something of a late developer. He was passed over by the big clubs in Holland before Celtic and then every big club in Europe missed him when he went to Southampton.

  69. Tom

    I think I got your point.
    A conspiracy would require a malicious intention……..where more obvious scenario is one of simple lack of good judgment.

    Not sure why other big clubs missed out on VVD but also I’m not aware he was being personally recommended to them as he was to Arsenal.
    Arsenal ignored every one of his attributes like world class speed, aerial prowess, great technique and passing ability, but instead concentrated on his “lackadaisical” style of play.

    We got Mustafi instead.
    Say what you will about Mustafi, lackadaisical he is not.

  70. Mark

    “about Norwich- its the player who might want a move as well. Its likely he gets sold in the summer anyhow, but Norwich might even make more money selling him in Jan, versus the summer.”

    Exactly, plus the loan players help ease the loss ( theoretically. 😁) Plus they put the cash towards a couple of replacements or one good one in the summer.

  71. Tom

    Unless Norwich are seriously cash strapped why would they want to sell a star player in a middle of the title race?
    Losing Buendia now would mean having to find a replacement for 30% of all teams assists and 24% goals he’s provided for them.

    Makes no sense when his price will only go up once they are in the PL again.

  72. Karsa

    Losing Buendia now would mean having to find a replacement for 30% of all teams assists and 24% goals he’s provided for them.

    How many goals and assists would Nelson and Willock get them?

  73. NORG

    The Holy Grail for Championship football clubs is the EPL. Currently Norwich are in a strong position for an immediate return.

    Buendia is their ‘golden ticket’. What is promotion worth to Norwich? Would they achieve promotion if they sold their star player half way through the season? They could sell to AFC but after the season has finished. His value would depend on whether they are promoted or not.

  74. Bojangles

    All this talk about Saliba is pretty ridiculous. As far as I’m aware, the only poster here that has sources at all levels of the hierarchy at Arsenal is Valentin, so unless you got your news from him, you know as much about what is happening at our club as I do. The rest is rumours and assumptions

  75. London gunner

    whether we can get buendia or not I wouldn’t go for brandt.

    He has been at dortmund only for six months and they want to sell him for only 20 million (he cost 22.5m) in January seems like they are desperate to get rid of him… that’s a pretty worrying sign

    apparently he has no pace and isn’t a very robust player…

    got to be better options out there

  76. Dissenter

    “Ozil to Fenerbahce this month is apparently close 🤞”

    Someone is ready for the daily Pierre to begin
    Pieere has Le-grove wired so anytime Ozil gets mentioned, the klaxon goes off on the golf course and he can show up to defend Mesut

  77. Sly

    Good post Pedro
    Need to stop cutting arteta slack though
    The amount of rope Arsenal has given him to ‘learn’ is incredible
    The jury is out on him
    Really hope he can step up quickly
    Remain doubtful
    Reality appears to be we signed an inexperienced immature narcissistic coach with an oversized ego and limited ability

  78. Rich

    The sooner we put the Ozil debacle to rest, the better.

    Hopefully the Ozil cult don’t then latch onto Willian as our potential saviour, if only he was given just one more chance……

  79. Tom

    “How many goals and assists would Nelson and Willock get them?“

    Nobody knows is the answer, but expecting these two, or one of them to walk into a new team mid season and pick up right where a settled star player in his prime left off is wishful thinking.

  80. Karsa

    Nobody knows is the answer, but expecting these two, or one of them to walk into a new team mid season and pick up right where a settled star player in his prime left off is wishful thinking.

    In a weaker league. I doubt it.

  81. Mark

    When Norwich went down, Why didn’t we nip in and get Buendia then at £22m. Or did we think Xhaka/Ceballos/Elneny were the answer to our creativity?
    We always do this, make no concrete moves until a target has had a great tournament or world /Euro cup., When everyone else wants them and the price has rocketed.
    AFC needs a rocket up the arse.

  82. Ustyno

    Arteta didn’t trust Gabriel until injury/suspension to Mari/Luiz and we all accepted at that time that Gabriel has something in him,Saliba is not trusted in that same manner,he even ignored Martinelli for Eddie now we all know better

    Saliba might turn out to be great or shit but until Arteta trust him we will never know

    I’m afraid but Arteta’s learning from Pep is affecting him,he just believe that buying his way out of any challenge is the key but we are not Man City

  83. Samir

    He didn’t trust Saliba but trusted Rúnarsson. It’s just crazy. Even Mustafi, he should have got 0 game time this season.

  84. salparadisenyc

    “When Norwich went down, Why didn’t we nip in and get Buendia then at £22m.”

    Many on here calling for just that, notably when the window was extended for biz between Championship and Premier league clubs after the regular window shut w/ Aouar shading Arsenal.

  85. Mark

    Saliba might turn out to be great or shit but until Arteta trust him we will never know”

    He’s playing for Nice tomorrow, we should be able to get some idea if he wasn’t’ up to starting for us over Mustafi/Kola.

  86. Tom

    Words on the blog and China, sorry fellas but you don’t get points for spotting inconsistencies and examples of double standards in Pedro’s articles when it comes to Arteta.

    It would be like bragging how many fish you caught……………after going fishing with a shotgun and the pond is a barrel.

  87. Raulishuss

    This is the people you made Pedro. Children going berserk because their fm golden didn’t get the red carpet treatment at arsenal and at 19 too. Sweet

  88. Tom

    If Nelson or Willock can do for Norwich what Buendia has done, then why not keep them and have them contribute those assists and goals for Arsenal instead and save ourselves all that money.

  89. Dissenter

    “Many on here calling for just that, notably when the window was extended for biz between Championship and Premier league clubs after the regular window shut w/ Aouar shading Arsenal.”

    It may be because Arteta was fixated on Aouar to the detriment of other options. That’s the same reason why we may have waited so late to go for Partey.

  90. Rich

    I wouldn’t sell either Willock or Nelson.

    Half a season in the championship would benefit the players development, which in turn would benefit Arsenal medium to longer term.

    If we send them out?

    It’d have to be somewhere they’ll get regular playing time.

    The Championship is a good level to gain competitive experience, I’d have preferred Saliba to have gone there,

  91. salparadisenyc


    Maybe, no question for me Aouar’s the pick of the litter and we needed a creative more than anything else knowing Ozil was out. Understand the fixation but pretty daft to then not move onto another option with players like De Paul, Brandt and Buendia available and us rocking into the season with gaping hole.

    We all saw how that worked out, only positive is that its given ESR his chance and he’s taken it well thus far. But we still need another body imo.

  92. Pierre

    Are Arsenal finally getting good on field relationships on the pitch..
    I always think the crucial relationships in a football team are
    2 centre backs
    Left back -left midfield
    Right back – right midfield
    2 centre mid
    And the CAM is the difference maker and links it all together.

    During our dismal run , we struggled in all of these areas.

    Holding and Gabriel struggled due to Gabriel’s impulsiveness leaving Holding isolated.
    Mari coming in has brought an element of calmness to our central defence …Holding looks a different, more confident player with Mari alongside him.

    The Tierney /Martinelli combination is developing well and they clearly enjoy playing together .

    Bellerin/Saka has given Arsenal an edge on the right hand side and gives the side a great balance, whereas Bellerin/Willian gave the team nothing.

    Centre midfield is still an area where we need 2 players who have a good rapport and to build a good on field relationship.
    Partey is basically looking for the perfect partner so that is still an area that Arteta needs to get the decision right.

    ESR has provided the link, his one and 2 touch football and the simplicity of his game is a joy to watch..

    I’m hoping that Arteta allows these on field relationships to grow and not feel the need to keep chopping and changing the line up

  93. Habesha Gooner

    Called for buendia again and again last summer. We would be far ahead if we had him.

    And also I just want to clear the misconceptions about julian Brandt. He is not a washed up player like Isco and Eriksen. I want Buendia but I would be excited with Julian brandt at 25 mil too. Last season he had 7 assists and 4 goals. And he wasn’t starting in his favourite position always. They have put him at CM next to witsel, On the wing and also at CAM.

    For comparison he had 18 goal contributions at Bayern Leverkusen the season before that. What he doesnt excel at is putting a defensive shift in. He is really good at passing, dribbling and creating. Especially with one twos. Buendia is the better player in my eyes but Brandt is a german international with a point to prove who hasn’t hit his best yet. I dont know why dortmund are selling him but he is by no means a poor player. I just worry about him adapting to the league.

  94. Tom

    After Klopp has brought up the United’s penalties record in the media it will be interesting to see if they get any cheap ones today.

  95. Habesha Gooner

    When I say he doesnt put a defensive shift in, I dont mean like Ozil too. I mean he is like a regular 10. Buendia though is a monster. He does everything and he also defends like a proper CM.

  96. Temagooner

    He didn’t trust Saliba but trusted Rúnarsson. It’s just crazy. Even Mustafi, he should have got 0 game time this season.

    Arteta, a rookie coach, no proper performance to judge by except being assistant coach to Pep G. And given Arsenal to coach. Should have started with the Arsenal B team. Zidane & Pep G were groomed and prepared that way. The inconsistent results we are seeing is what we deserve for the gross mismanagement at Arsenal.

  97. Valentin

    I am not sure that Saliba will play tomorrow for Nice.
    The kid has not played competitive football for 2~3 weeks if you can call U21 Premier League 2 competitive football.
    He will have had no more than 1 training session with his new teammates.
    The team itself is not a settle team as Nice has a new coach since the departure of Vieira. So if he starts it is really throwing him into the deep end.

  98. bacaryisgod

    One thing we can all agree on is that we have an incredibly bloated squad. I’m really not worried what we do in January because this summer is the critical window.

    Ideally, we would have a squad of 27 with 2 players in each position (except 3 GKs) and utility or academy players filling out the other 4 positions. Based on a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 system, it should be fairly easy to identify the moves we should be making.

    GK: Leno is good but Runarsson should be demoted to #3. We need a new Number 2.

    RB: Bellerin is looking solid with Saka on the right. Cedric is #2 and going nowhere (4 yr deal).

    LB: Tierney nailed on with a back-up LB needed. .Under no circumstances should Kola return.

    RCB: Holding takes one of the two RCB spots but we need a mobile skillful alternative too.

    LCB: Gabriel and Mari seem to have this nailed down.

    RCM: Partey is a lock and Elneny can be his back-up.

    LCM: Xhaka isn’t going anywhere but we need a better partner for Partey w/ Xhaka as the back-up. Give Guendouzi a chance with Partey.

    RW: Saka has the position. One of Pepe or Willian for back-up with the other leaving on loan or sale.

    LW: Martinelli and Aubameyang. Next season it could easily be Auba as the back-up.

    ACM: Smith-Rowe has a spot and we need a quality option for him to compete with or understudy.

    CF: Lacazette will be in his last year. Let him play it out as back-up to a quality CF.

    Utility/Academy: Obviously AMN is a great choice as he can play either full-back position or even CM at a pinch. Saliba should be given a chance to ease into the team as the 5th CB and let’s hope he rises quickly. Willock can be an option out wide or possibly as a 3rd choice ACM. With unrealistic hope, Balogun should be in this final utility/academy spot.

    OUT: Macey, Kolasinac, Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Sokratis, Ceballos, Ozil, Pepe or Willian (loan or sale), Nelson (loan), Nketiah (loan or sale), Torreira (sale), Mavrapano (loan or sale)

    IN: GK (back-up) RCB, LB (back-up), ACM, CF

    5 incomings with 2 of them back-ups seems reasonable with Saliba and Guendouzi coming back from loan. Whether there’s any way back for Guendouzi may depend on who our manager is next season or if both Arteta and Guendouzi mature.

  99. Mark

    I find a lot of talk how Gabriel is suddenly not good enough and is a poor player. He’s still adapting to our league and is still learning his trade. Apart from a few shaky moments, he’s been immense for us.
    Unlikely in his sending off, got a yellow cos he kicked the ball away. Yet saw the opposition player do the same a bit later with no card.

    He’s a quality defender. How was he POM 3 months running ( after just arriving) but he’s shit now 🤔🤔

    How often have our defenders messed up, Kola, Mustafi, Holding Bellerin…. But now Gabriel is a liability??

  100. London gunner

    Not so sure that the argument buendia isn’t any good because he is in the championship is a good one…

    as was grealish

    are they not good enough?

    you have to look at the player as an individual and the context of that league they are in

    he went down with Norwich sure but the stats show that in that season they were relgated he was top three in pl for chances created… maybe we can infer with better players around him finishing the througballs he provides maybe he does a fair amount of damage, no?

    we then look at how he is he performing in the championship? is he doing ok or just playing well? if the answer is yes than that is worrying but if the answer is he is absolutely bossing it as the most creative productive player in the league scoring absolute scorcher wonder goals… and now has Norwich at the top of the table… whilst being their absolute linchpin dynamo…

    let’s stop this silly talk about buying players from the championship its a very good market to dive into this isn’t 90s football anymore.

  101. London gunner

    I have no issues with holding starting as rcb fergie had plenty of players of his level of quality as bedrocks of the team consistent reliable 7/10 near every game.

    Sure there are better rcb out there but this isn’t a priority

  102. Pierre

    Gabriel probably became a little too over confident after all the plaudits in the first couple of months, he started to take risks and his positional play became erratic.

    Sometimes it’s not about the best 2 players in central defence , it’s more about the 2 players who play best together..

    That’s not to say that Gabriel has suddenly became a poor player, or that Mari is a better player.

    Over the next 6 months i would expect Arteta to know his best centre back pairing and his best back 4 .

    A settled back 4 is essential to a successful side.

  103. OCGooner

    Buendia not coming in – Norwich is top of Championship and club has already declared Buendia, Aarons and Cantwell off limits in January in anticipation of coming straight back up.

    Besides securing the obvious creative attacking midfielder and a proper backup GK, business in the January window should be focused on subtraction. Low hanging fruit – buyout Ozil’s last 6 months (cost 8m) and get him away from the club. Kola already done. Move Sokratis, Mustafi and Luiz on at a minimum, loans or sales. Those few moves alone save 775k a week, 40m a year off the wage bill. Find Eddie, Nelson, Willock quality loans in lower PL or upper Champ where they start every game. Then call them all back in summer along with Saliba. Get AMN on the field regularly here 2nd half of season. And continue to blood the Hale-Enders, including Balogun.

    Then in summer continue the cleanout with Xhaka, Ceballos (he wants back to RM), Lacazette, Pepe, Elneny, Soares, Chambers, Runarrson. Only Laca has real resale value to fetch proper transfer fee but all these minimum need to be moved on for whatever we can get. Unfortunately we might be stuck with Willian for at least another year due to time left on his contract and no resale value (maybe also Soares).

    Not sure any of this can be properly executed unless Edu is moved on and proper DOF brought in between now and summer though. Someone that can make a judgement on Arteta and get him back to proper coaching role if he’s kept.

  104. Mark

    “Sometimes it’s not about the best 2 players in central defence , it’s more about the 2 players who play best together..”

    True. Wasn’t Gabriel paired with Mustafi and Kola and Luis at times. None of whom I rate. So with better players next to him, I’m confident he’ll resume putting in more MOTM performances.

  105. Nelson

    I wonder whether Pedro has an assistant living in London. Le Grove has enough influence in the Arsenal community to be invited to the Pregame and post_game interviews. I know that Charles Watts from Goal attains those meetings. I am interested to hear Arteta’s response to the suggestions from all Le Grovers.

  106. Dissenter

    His last tweet was from Istanbul though.
    I think a Turkish move is more likely, He supported Fernabache as a child and the MLS doesn’t pay that much these days.

  107. bacaryisgod

    London Gunner

    I have to disagree with you. When we come up against top quality pressing teams, Holding is a liability. Gabriel struggles too.

    I actually think a top quality RCB is our biggest priority but only if we can find a superb ball-carrying leader. That’s a very tall ask. I agree that if that player isn’t available, then we shouldn’t settle for an average player. Holding will be fine in most games.

  108. Arsnil

    Bottom line on Saliba is that if you are a footballer and you ae giving a big commitment, then the least that you deserve back from the management is that you get some kind of a commitment back. The poor lad has been left in limbo for the past six months. If the management decided that he was not ready for the Premiership then blood him in the Europa. That they left him out of the Europa squad smacks of something much less palatble.
    Luiz or Mustafi better centre halves. Couldn’t be. Was Emi not deserving of a no. 1 starting role given what he had done??? You have got to as a management be able to assess your squad better than this. We play a style that needs sharp athletic players. It took until half way through December for Arteta to finally realise this.