So it seems that as well as Arteta being on holiday, so is Edu, hanging out in Portugal. I like it, working up that bronze tan so there’s a distinct contrast between his skin and that crisp white shirt. Nothing says Technical Director like a dreamy summer bronze on white combo.
The transfer window is now a day in and we have signed NO ONE.
That doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.
I love the Buendia story and its evolution. Arsenal were beaten by Aston Villa for speed, until they submitted their own bid, then didn’t go back with a second bid. So it would appear there was a price point we didn’t fancy dancing past. Makes total sense for a club with limited funds this summer. I totally forgot that Villa also put the feelers out for Smith Rowe. I suspect they’d not have moved for Emi if they’d landed our guy.
There are fresh links today to Neves, Lokonga, and Onana.
Granit Xhaka is close to making his move to AS Roma according to Chris W over at Football.London, making him one of the first signings for Jose Mourinho. This is fantastic news. He’s a good player, but don’t ever forget that his presence in our side correlated perfectly with the decline of the club. Too many errors in his game and a ceiling that hasn’t moved us up a level. It’s a good thing that he’s out the door. If one of the best leaders at your club tells the fans to fuck off, you have a leadership problem. I wish him all the best.
Reuben Neves is a similar profile player with Premier League experience. If there’s a busy summer of ins and outs, it’s important at least a few of the players know the league so there’s not a painful bedding in period. I’m not excited by Mr Neves, but how many of those sorts of players thrill? Not many. He’s a good player, he’s a better defender than Xhaka, and I think we’re all underestimating him because he’s not the P&P midfielder we were hopeful on / Wolves were shite last season.
Lokonga looks much more like ‘thriller’ talent. He has a similar profile to Thomas Partey, but if we’re building out midfield, we need young players like that. We can’t be losing Partey and hoping Elneny finds a level he doesn’t have.
Onana had his sentence for doping reduced to 9 months, so he can play as of November. He can play football the way Arsenal need a keeper to play. Fast off his line, good with the ball at his feet, very decent shot-stopper, and very young for someone who is capped with 50 games in the Champions League. Would he represent our first black first-team keeper? I can’t think of anyone else?
James M over at The Athletic has Arsenal linked with American right back, Tyler Adams. The Leipzig player can operate both as a right-back and a midfielder. He has a Tierney like athletic profile, and his versatility marks him out as talent because he can play that inverted role. Honestly, how excited would you be if you had a right-back that could offer us effective play like Tierney? It’d give us so much more balance and hopefully open up that right side so we don’t look so lopsided next season.
Sky Sports are saying that Arsenal are interested in Brighton defender Ben White. Again, it’s clear why, Brighton’s style is what Arteta wants. They are excellent in possession and Ben White has the experience we’re looking for in the Premier League, he’s with England, and he’s very young at 23. I honestly think we might see a shock exit this summer from our centre back collection. It’s also notable that Sami Mokbel has us linked to Tosin Adarabioyo, another 23-year-old English centre back of a right-sided nature. Someone has to leave and it’s obvious that there are those in the group that can’t do what Arteta needs. I also think any links to Brighton players should be taken seriously because I think Eddie would be a steal for a team that creates high-quality chances in the box but WILL NOT FINISH.
Finally, great that Daniel Ballard will take a loan in the Championship next season, promoted Blackpool will be interested, but apparently there are other suitors. I wish Saliba had moved to the Championship at the start of last season, he’d have done well and picked up the language in a more complete way. Arsenal are also bringing Patino into the first team, high hopes for him, which is great news for creating the image that Arsenal is a great place to develop.
Right, that’s all I have for you today. See you in the comments.