I’m really struggling to keep my emotions in check with regards to this summer because all the noises are positive. In fact, even the noises that aren’t positive are positive.
There’s a story doing the rounds that Ryan Bertrand is going to take the Leicester offer over Arsenal. I find it odd that a guy who grew up in Gillingham would head to Leicester (I’ve lived there, it’s nice, but it’s no London), but hey, who knows if our offer was real in the first place. He’d have been a very solid back-up left-back, but I don’t think there will be many tears shed on that one.
Granit Xhaka is top of the list for Jose Mourinho’s rebuild. Shows how rated he is. A managers player, one that baffles the fans, but over and over he gets the nod. I’m a bit surprised about this move, I’m not sure he’d have been an expected exit this summer, but fuck it… good for him. He’s 28 years old, the Italian league will suit him down to the ground, and we have to be honest… Arsenal has to be doing better if we want to go back to the top.
There’s a bit if fear about how we replace him. A lot of detractors don’t understand that Granit Xhaka does a hard job very well. He’s a server, he moves the ball between the lines better than anyone in our side at the moment. Sure, he’s one-paced and slow, but he’s very effective and our midfield without him not as good.
The rumblings that I’ve heard is that this summer will see a focus on Premier League players, so clubs like Wolves and Brighton will be attracting interest. I hope our Premier League hunger is not at the expense of the deals that’ll be available in more financially fucked leagues, but I suspect the logic is pretty simple here: We need a good start next season. If we’re shipping major names in our team, our fans will not tolerate a rough opening.
There’s a bit of fear in the system we’ll be going after Reuben Neves. A player that isn’t exactly a mobile monster in the midfield. I have absolutely no idea who we will go for. I think we’re more likely to move on someone like Bissouma, knowing that Brighton are going to be in the hunt for Eddie Nkeitiah. Remember, we have replace more than one central midfielder. Bissouma is an excellent party crasher that has done really well in Brighton’s midfield, he could do the dirty work next to Partey and give us that athletic bite next season. You still need a midfielder that can be an outlet though, fastballs through the lines with absolute efficiency. We’re looking for a rare breed, but hey, that’s what scouts and analysts are paid to be good at.
Sorry, we have to interrupt this blog to see a SAUCY SHIRT.
Damn. That’s my Klaxons reunion gig outfit set. Neon face paint. Dusted down bright blue skinny jeans. New rave is back baby. Gonna be magic. WHAT A SHIRT THAT IS. Love it. Adidas brings me so much damn joy.
The word on the street is that KSE is absolutely going to try and buy our love this summer. We’re not in a sell before you buy mindset, we’ll be making moves, there is cash to spend and we will spend it. Arsenal lost 22% value according to Deloitte. Honestly, it means fuck all, because no one is bidding for Arsenal based on a pricing, but it’s important because it does show that if KSE don’t get a grip on their prized asset, it’s going to get more and more expensive to fix it longterm. The money injection isn’t just to appease fans, it’s to reduce noise in their lives, and it’s to make sure their star asset is healthy.
That’s not to say we won’t be selling players, we absolutely will. We have plenty of opportunities to make the summer even bigger. Willock, Reiss, Hector, Guendouzi, Cedric, Kola, Torreira, and maybe one of our centre backs will bring in at least £80m. But we’re not in the mess we were last year where we had to run the clock down because everyone was low-balling us.
The market is deflated though. Roma offering £10m for Xhaka is going to be par the course this summer. It’s so amusing to watch fans turn their nose up at getting any fee for an expensive player that will be 29 in September. Move on players that aren’t good enough, find younger models that don’t need galaxy brain systems to protect their weaknesses, do all of the business as fast as you can so we don’t get off to a clunky start next season.
Also, I swear down, if Edu fucks up moving on Willian because he sought out a big fee, I will go to London myself to hand-deliver a stern letter of disapproval. Let him go on a free, don’t top up his salary, move on from this absolute debacle.
There’s a real opportunity to move to the next level this summer, every signing has to be perfect, but if we can manage that, next season could be a major surprise to the league.
See you in the comments.