Mad times at Hotel Rumour Mill. We are being linked with MANY players and some of those rumours refuse to go away. One thing is clear, we have profiles we’re targetting, with many options that are moving targets. That’s great news, years gone by, there was one target and then we were done.
First big one, Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal #2 for… £30m.
I can’t really suss it out. That sort of cash seems extremely rich when we have a very, very competent #1 in Bernd Leno. The young keeper clearly has talent, he’s capped for England, but he doesn’t boast any outrageous qualities we couldn’t pick up elsewhere for less outside youth and Englishness. When a player like Onana is moving to Marseille for sub £10m, you really have to wonder what is going on here.
The other side of this is that Bernd Leno hasn’t signed a new deal yet. The keeping coach that hasn’t delivered is still here. What is going on there? Most players we have going into the final two years of their contracts want a new deal, I’m not so sure that’s Bernd Leno who told the club before the end of the season he wanted out.
One thing I will say, you can bemoan Martinez being sold last summer, but you can’t say we sold him only to buy back homegrown. We sold Emi because he asked out of the club. £30m for Ramsdale seems nuts, but we didn’t push the Argentine out, he just didn’t like that he wasn’t being given a guarantee to start last season.
New rumour: I asked Johnny on The Arsenal Opinion podcast where this leadership was coming from that Mikel Arteta has been talking about. None of the players we’ve moved on so far have the experience to really step into that role this season. Then bang, out of nowhere, it became totally obvious… Jordan Henderson. Sky Sports are linking Arsenal with the 31-year-old and you really wouldn’t be shocked. Can he lead? Yes. Does he know how to win things? Yes. Would Liverpool cash in on a 31-year-old? Yes. Henderson has never been a sexy player, nor earned the respect his game probably deserved, but could he add something to our midfield if Xhaka is moved on? Likely.
Next on the Brit list: Tammy Abraham.
Again, another weird signing. The young England striker isn’t exactly in favour over at Chelsea. He’ll be looking for game time this year in the hope of securing a place in the World Cup squad. There are very, very meek ITK suggestions that we’re in pole position to sign him. It just seems an extremely weird signing.
Firstly, I don’t see Auba or Lacazette going anywhere this summer. They are on mega contracts and they can’t even attract smoke this window. Secondly, Folarin Balogun was just given a kick into the first-team squad, he signed a 5-year deal, and he looks the business every time we see him given a sniff in the first team. Abraham blocks his path and clogs up the forward line.
What is there to like about him? Well, he has a physical profile we lack. His height and pace is similar to where Adebayor was at his age (23). He’s also pretty reliable for goals in the now. It wouldn’t be a bad move, but it would be very confusing without a serious shuffle of the pack this summer.
In an interesting twist of fate, fans are now looking at the Ruben Neves signing differently as it would appear that United is in the mixer for his talents.
Another rumour that won’t die is the Locatelli one. There’s two ways this one is going. We’re either being used as a wedge to get Juventus to cough up some actual money for Sassuolo’s prized asset… or we are the only club in that mixer that has the money for the player. To put the tiny Italian club’s numbers in context, over the course of a decade, they made a profit of €1.6m, their record transfer is €2m, the most they’ve ever received for a player is €12m. Arsenal waving £40m in their direction is game-changing, I’m not sure they could really agree to let mega-rich Juve bully them into a 2-year loan in the current climate. I’d also be surprised if the player would waste a year on subpar wages to wait in the hope Juve will be loaded next summer.
So, it would seem that the transfer window is taking us in quite a British direction, which would see a reboot of Project British Youth. Who knows where that’ll end up, but I won’t be complaining about Arsenal signing young hungry players with a point to prove. There’s a tweet doing the round complaining about us signing these players because they don’t have fashionable profiles… let me remind you of some profiles we’ve tried.
‘Swiss captain, best passer in the Bundesliga’
‘World Cup-winning right back’
‘Heavily trophied Brazilian winger that offers control in the final third’
‘Keeper with the most clean-sheets in Premier League history’
‘Greatest Swiss right-back of all time’
Some players with unsexy profiles that have banged.
‘Right wing-back from Juventus’
‘Failed French midfielder from AC Milan’
‘Mohawk kid from Halmsteads’
‘Guy that had a heart attack from Inter reserves’
Sexy comp videos aren’t everything.
ON THAT NOTE.
We dropped another podcast that we recorded for the video creeeeew. Enjoy. Find my co-host @iJohnnyCochrane.