The newswire is alight, nonsense rumours, bundled with some threads that are of interest.
The biggest transfer I suspect we’ll try and do this summer is Martin Odegaard. Madrid pushed Zidane out and there are journos saying this means the Norwegian will be back in the plans. I’m not sure I believe it. A rebuild is coming to them this summer and they need cash because they are absolutely broke. Perez, the man on the sinking super league ship telling everyone there was no iceberg, is not turning down £35-40m for a 22-year-old that is still pretty raw by their standards.
That doesn’t mean we’ll get him, obviously, there are a million ways to fuck up a deal… but they love him at Arsenal and I think people have underestimated his talent. He’d be an immense signing and one for the future.
Stuart Webber, the Norwich Sporting Director, has put out noise that they are open to selling their stars this summer if clubs come armed with a big number that starts with a ‘3’. Emi Buendia, another player that could blow up in our team, would be a very sexy consolation prize. I like his game because it has the bang-bang of Alexis Sanchez, something our team has sorely lacked over the past year. He’s not a true #10 though, so would be a bit worried about him eating into some development time we have with the younger Hale-Enders.
Matteo G, fresh from burying his nose deep into the backside of Unai Emery this week, looks set to complete a move tooooooo… Marseille. It’s hard to work out what the deal looks like, because no doubt it’s dripping in sell-on clauses, but it’s certainly not a mega deal.
Well, firstly, sirens generally flash when young kids have blowout arguments with their coaches. If there’s a history that follows your entire career, it’s more than a siren, it’s a pattern. Matteo is 22 years old, he’s always been a problem, then he went to Hertha, dropped a very average season that was capped by an unflattering interview from their coach where he was called an ‘animal.’
There can be a narrative that we handled him badly, but that dies a death when the player fucks the redemption tour. There could also be a view that we tanked his value with coaching. Outside that being a total nonsense, do the people of the internet truly believe the sharpest mines in world football would ignore a top-level 22 year old for a very low fee brutalised by ‘coaching’? Don’t be silly. Matteo G costs what he does because world football knows the deal. When you are a father of 1 and 22 years old your shitty behaviour doesn’t get a pass.
… and I’ll say it one more time for those at the back of the room: Being a dickhead in 2021 is not an admirable trait. It does not mean you care more. It does not add to a high-performance culture.
Dick heads clog up the system. Their bad behaviour creates a gossip vortex. It unsettles. It wastes time that could be spent coaching. It toxifies the air. You cannot afford to carry dickheads, even if they are good, and the jury is still well and truly out on whether Guendo can hit the heights.
There’s some Sheffield news that Sander Berge is interested in Arsenal but they want to recoup his full fee. Not sure they’ve seen the news, but there’s no chance anyone is dropping full fees on relegated players this summer. There’s also a low chance anyone is going to take the valuations of Sheff U seriously after they dropped £18m on Rhian Brewster.
Eddie Nkeitiah is attracting the interest of Watford, who are next door to us in a training ground sense, and back in the Premier League. His price tag is £15m, which is a snip, and mostly because he’s down to the last year of his deal and I don’t think there’s an option for us to extend. I think the better move for him is Brighton. They have a clearer need, a better coach, and the shops are really nice in Brighton… AND BISSOUMA.
Daniel Ballard took Blackpool up a division in a hard-fought battle against Lincoln in the play-offs. I don’t know if he’ll make it with Arsenal, but doing 32 appearances at 21 years old in a tough league and going to Wembley is very impressive. The Blackpool fans love him, hopefully, he goes back there next season for another rough and ready season.
William Saliba has been shortlisted for centre-back of the season after only 6 months in Nice. The painful back and forth of ‘will he stay or won’t he’ is very boring. Pretty sure he’s going to get a chance this summer to impress and if he’s good enough and strong enough, I think he’ll stay next season.
Right, that’s it, enjoy your Bank Holiday/Memorial Day weekend!