by .

The best news of the summer dropped on the .com, with Arsenal making Emile Smith Rowe their brand new #10.

This is huge.

The player is a pure manifestation of everything we want out of a young player at Arsenal.

He’s extremely talented.

His attitude is exceptional.

He has an outrageous athletic profile.

He’s a Gooner through and through.

This is a massive win for Edu, who despite his obvious flaws, has made it his mission to stop the flow of young talent exiting the club.

This is also a massive win for Mikel Arteta. There’e a vocal section of the fanbase that keeps telling us he’s bland, a dictator, and bad for young players… yet here we are, another of Hale-Ends finest, putting pen to paper on a long-term deal.

You can say that’s money, but it’s not. Hungry players give a shit about one thing and one thing only… career development. They see a future at Arsenal and you have to be pleased about that.

The other massive win is the new vision for Arsenal. Clearly, we’re ageing down the squad, finally accepting smartest way to the top is to do things properly.

Build a young squad, coach them well, make sure when they hit the Champions League, they are ready to compete for the trophy.

This model is already reaping rewards. Tavares said he wanted to play with The Smith and Saka. Sambi Lokonga had offers from elsewhere in Europe and he chose Arsenal. We are now and attractive option for a younger generation of kids who see London, great training facilities, elite stadium… and the chance to make their mark in the best league.

I’m thrilled about this. Nearly all the young players we wanted to stay are committing their longterm futures to Arsenal. Saka, Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe, Balogun, Kido Hart, Okowono… what a summer!

Now Edu and his team have to get to work to fill out the rest of the squad.

We still need a Xhaka replacement.

We are in desperate need of additional creativity in midfield.

We don’t have an acceptable right back.

The back-up keeper needs are getting desperate.

There are still 15 centre backs in the squad.

Plenty of work to do, but the summer is starting to feel a little bit sexier, and the mood is starting to lift.

Let’s see what the week ahead has for us.

Emile Smith Rowe, number 10, how very, very exciting.


We dropped another podcast that we recorded for the video creeeeew. Enjoy. Find my co-host @iJohnnyCochrane.

Spotify | Acast | Google | Audible


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Steveyg87

    Apparently Maddison’s peeps have told Arsenal to come and get him. Get that deal over the line and we are seriously in the mix for Top4

  2. TR7

    United’s big signings tend to flatter to deceive. Let’s hope Sancho is nowhere close to as good as WE tells us he is 😛

  3. WengerEagle


    20+ G/A in the PL, up thereabouts leading the league in take-ons/dribbles barring the freak exceptions in Adama Traore and Saint-Maximin that offer much less elsewhere.

    One of United’s star men along with Fernandes and Pogba if he is dialed in.

    I think that people will be surprised at how good he is.

  4. Mulerise14

    Leno kicking spread last season:
    Short: 265/265 = 100%…..did that include that hospital pass to was it cellabos or xhaka against Aston Villa?

  5. Champagne Charlie


    Considerable impact then. Be glad to see him in the league honestly, those kinds of players are where the entertainment lies. Obviously prefer if they lose Pogba and it disrupts their midfield.

  6. Olumide

    I believe Arteta gave Emi a 95% chance of starting the opening game of the season. He won’t have been able to give him a 100% of being number one the season because you have to remember that Leno hadn’t done much wrong at the time, besides getting crocked by Maupay.

    I think Emi asked Arteta for the first game alone and not the whole season. Giving him 100% for the first game isn’t really a bad thing. And contrary to people’s belief, Martinez won’t rest when Leno is still here.

    I can remember after a game last season (Liverpool I think), Leno said he never felt his number one jersey was under threat. If Leno felt that, then Martinez must have felt he could never get the number 1 jersey.

    And with the 95% comment, Martinez probably didn’t feel it was worth the risk. Personally, I think Arteta hasn’t been fair with the way he deals with players.

    You see a player like Willian stink the place out and still continue to start games. Then, a player like Pepe is back to the bench after a bad performance.

    All it would have taken for Martinez to hit the bench is a single mistake.

  7. raptora

    Excuse me, I’m 5 days behind.

    “I left Arsenal thinking about the national team, to be a club-level starter and help Messi win the America’s Cup,” said the goalkeeper.

    “Today, Leo hugged me and after the match said to me: ‘You gave me the trophy'”.

  8. englandsbest

    My guess is that Madison transfer was no more than a rumour spread to entice ESR to sign. No more about him, then. And does Arteta now need to bring in another midfielder anyway? Even if Xhaka goes. I guess that depends on how and where he uses Ben White. And whether he believes that Willock and AMN (or Elneny and Chambers) can fill in adequately when needed.

    No doubt there will be an outcry on here if he doesn’t get that magical midfielder (from me too, I guess). But right now I rate a suitable GK a higher priority. And, if I’m honest, keeping the home-grown products.

  9. WengerEagle


    Same question to you, what will a successful summer look like for us?

    If comes the end of the window our business consists of White, Lokonga, Tavares, Neves [example] and Ramsdale, how would you rate that window?

  10. raptora

    I see what’s happening.

    In addition to Ben White, Ramsdale is going to improve us offensively.

    Need to improve on your 55 goals per season – our worst GS performance since 95/96 – easy fix – just add a GK and a CB.

    I knew Arteta is big brain.

  11. Champagne Charlie

    “If comes the end of the window our business consists of White, Lokonga, Tavares, Neves [example] and Ramsdale, how would you rate that window?“

    As last season ended I felt the needs for the upcoming one consisted of replacing Odegaard and Ceballos before anything else. After that I saw Saliba/Luiz, Bellerin, Leno, and Laca dictating potential changes.

    If we bring in:
    – Maddison for Odegaard
    – Neves for Xhaka
    – Lakonga for Ceballos
    – White for Saliba/Luiz
    – Ramsdale for Ryan/Leno **
    – Abraham for Laca

    I’d call it a great window. I think you could argue positively for each transfer over the departing player in terms of ability right now, nvm beyond when you consider the collective profile of talents being all sub-24.

    **The GK situation still needs some clarity, I doubt if Ramsdale can replace Leno from the off so see it more as a view to him taking over – money aside I like the foresight vs a cheap backup resigned to being a number 2 until retirement.

    Lakonga is the real unknown quantity as we touched on earlier. Reason I’m encouraged is because his physical profile and skill-set mirrors Partey which is a big plus in the PL, a total opposite of Ceballos.

    Overall Arsenal have needed an overhaul since Wenger departed. This kind of summer is more what I’d envisaged for 2018 when the club was going a different path for the first time in two decades post-Wenger. I won’t delude myself into thinking every purchase will work out as intended, but the intention is highly commendable. The strategy is much more concise, and it speaks to me as a fan who wants to see young, hungry players put the club on its back and grow taller.

  12. Pedro

    CC, interesting data there… Ben White’s pass completion gets a hammering with his longer passing as well. Is it because he’s bad at it, or he’s passing to small players?

  13. PhD2020

    Did anyone catch the Olympic opening ceremony?

    For anyone interested-it was unique and interesting.

    The highlight-Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic flame.

    She really gave those critics of her’s lambasting her for one’s mental health issues and telling her to suck it up- the one fingered salute on this one. 🙂

    Same critics campaigning all these years for mental health,suddenly descended on her like a pack of wolves,stating :”She’s paid well,so she should do her job,screw her mental health.”

    Well,she’s human like everyone else.

    Loved it today.On a global platform-she gave it to those critics x 1000

    P.i.e.r.s.-you can do one & M.e.g.-K-get a life.

  14. Champagne Charlie


    So many variables in place for understanding passes via a spreadsheet, one of those that in reality needs a much deeper analysis with some sort of expected value for type of pass, choice of pass, receiving player input etc. (Arsenal has such ridiculous data pools, of that I’m certain).

    Rob Holding has good base passing stats, but most of us recognise he’s not prolific at breaking lines, going progressive early, passing under pressure, interplay with midfielders to create angles etc. The club will know that and it’s precisely why Luiz was valued so highly, and Ben White targeted.

  15. Almuniasaynomore

    London Colney

    Edu: I still don’t understand why we have to meet here boss,didn’t we train last week?
    MA: That is your problem my friend, you are too trusting. The english media have their spies everywhere. We can talk safely here,no one will expect us to be working!
    Edu: If you say so boss
    MA: We must always be careful, remember what that sneaky Argie did to fat Frank? Come to think of it who is that fat bald man over there talking to the long haired girl?
    Edu: Eh,boss, that’s Rob Holding and Auba.
    MA: Ah,I see,dreadlocks back in then. No, we can take no chances as the new season approaches, our secrets must remain safe. Look over there at Willian,covering his mouth as he speaks,that’s what I’m talking about,the consummate professional.
    Edu: He’s eating a share bag of crisps boss.
    MA: Of course he is,always taking on more than his fair share, a real team leader.
    Edu: Anyway boss, can I ask you to explain it to me one last time?
    MA: Jesus wept, not this again.
    Edu: Please boss,I nearly have it. 50 million on Ben White is net.
    MA: NO ,you son of a donkey, 50 million on Ben White is gross,really gross
    Edu: So 30 million on Aaron Ramsdale is net, because he’s a goalkeeper, right, a net minder????
    MA: No,that’s even more gross .
    Edu: It’s all so complicated. Thank God for you boss. What would you like me to buy next?A forward?
    MA: How many times must I explain this to you? Listen carefully. I am the manager. I am the most important person in the club, comprendez? I cannot have people who challenge me,it……offends me.
    Edu: So,no offensive players boss?
    MA: Exactly.
    Edu: Ok boss,but if you could just tell me who you want, the new season will be here soon, you’ll want your new signings asap I’m sure.
    MA: No no no my little brazilian nut, the exact opposite.
    Edu: But boss, I don’t understand.
    MA: You never do. Listen carefully. Our opening fixtures are a gift from the devil himself,we are doomed to failure if we do not approach them in a most cunning manner.
    Edu: You mean you have a plan to defeat Chelsea and City?
    MA: Not in my perfectly formed Spanish arse! I have a plan to lose to them!
    Edu: Boss? I don’t understand.
    MA: Listen you half brother of Denilson. Without our new signings and with pre season being abandoned we will have all the excuses we need for our glorious failure.
    Edu: So that’s why you told me I had to pretend I had covid before we went to America?
    MA: Of course. And with extended leave necessary for players on Euros duty, White and Ramsdale will also be excused for their ineptitude.
    Edu: Delayed signings, players on extended leave, no pre season, it’s genius boss.But will the fans really buy it?
    MA: You’d be amazed my friend, you’d be amazed………..

  16. jwl

    Mikel Arteta has revealed that Emile Smith Rowe asked for the No 10 shirt – and says it underlines the attacking midfielder’s ambition.

    “We talked a little bit, we discussed it and he knows the consequences of that, but he feels prepared to do it and if he is prepared to do it, then I am going to be right behind him to try to make him as comfortable and as happy as possible to do what he wants to do.”


  17. Zacharse

    LG fan fiction? Interesting turn…
    Better than complaining i guess

    Seeing that the ramsdale deal is prob falling apart fue to fee. Anyone surprised? 32m is quite a bit too
    High for a 2nd choice gk… unless youre chelsea in which case its tiny

  18. Leftside

    I’d be surprisrd if Pogba stays at United, apparently he doesn’t want to sign a new deal. So do they sell him to PSG or let a player of that calibre walk on a free next year (for a 2nd time too)?

  19. Zacharse

    What i want to see this coming season is a team that makes every player who questioned coming to us for this project, øde, locatelli etc regret the decision to their very core.
    If we dont shake up this soft belly perception we’ve gotten since 2nd half of wengers reign, the refs, pundits etc will continue doing what theyve doing giving fuel to the ding dongs of our support who repeat the ideas of loser fucking pundits like keane and jenas. Its gotta end

  20. Tom

    Almuniasaynomore, can you throw a bone to the Legrove “positivistas “ and do one on Emery?
    Seems unfair the malcontents only get to have all the fun reading your work.

    BTW, as someone who appreciates the off the cuff the humor more than the next guy I’d like to complement the Legrove community for having an above average sense of humor.
    Almuniasaynomore being a standout obviously but WEagles’ recent comment on Willian wearing a sports bra to comfort his breast had me in stitches.

  21. Almuniasaynomore

    That’s a very fair point,will do my best. As regards humour your own wit is something that entertains me constantly, you’re right,it’s rare on football blogs so please don’t change. Sarcasm is particularly tricky ,as I’ve discovered more than once ,but you are a master, fair play.

  22. Elmo


    If it’s White, Neves, Lokonga, Tavares (c. 110m incomings), then I think par would be 6th-7th, with no real surprise if it were 8th again.

    If it’s White, Neves / Locatelli, Lokonga, Aouar / Odegaard, Tavares (c. 140-150m incomings), then par would be 5th-6th.

    If it’s White, Locatelli, Lokonga, Maddison, Tavares (about 190m in spending), then I’d see par as 5th, hoping for 4th.

    Imagine if Enos Stanley Kroenke’s ‘250m to spend’ was true: would equate quite closely to Ramsdale, White, Locatelli, Lokonga, Maddison, Abraham, Tavares. We could spend that and not even be odds-on for top 4!

  23. Mb

    When a 20 year old asks for #10 t-shirt, you give it to him and tell him what it means.

    Appreciate Arteta on it, credit where it’s due – Edu and Arteta has been pretty much able to tie down the best ones, Saka, Martinelli, Balogun and now ESR.

  24. Ustyno


    Great piece of work there,but in reality MA might actually be Edu’s boss instead of the other way, everything with is always seeming like joke till we witness it in real time

  25. Mark


    “, if you can’t recognise how teenagers withhold a teams potential because they’ve yet to reach theirs then there’s nothing more to say…”

    Poppycock! Did Cesc hold back arsenal?

    You can’t just use age as the deciding factor. Because someone hasn’t reached their personal potential, this doesn’t mean that they can’t have had a positive impact to the team!

    Oh by the way that link to the data site is good. I just wondered if you bothered to look at Fofana’s stats whilst you were there. You know to add credence to your theorum.

    I did and do you know that on defensive actions under errors in the premier League there’s a big fat ZERO!! Do it looks like the stats are not showing Fofana as culpable cos of his age.

    Have a look yourself 😂

    PS. Let me know what you can find on the web that’s detailing his 1st year in the prem as s negative for him or Leicester.
    5 mins , I bet you won’t be able to find anything in 5 days.

    So Charlie put up or shut up about playing teenage defenders in their first season in the prem.

    If you’re good enough you’re old enough. Just Cos Arteta’s got shit in his eyes, don’t try to justify it by saying other teams don’t do this.

    What we do should be dictated by the quality we have at the club, and not copy or follow others.

    Do you really still think ESR and Saka negatively affected our season, as they haven’t reached their full potential?? Just need to know this 🤔

  26. Mark


    “Ben White’s pass completion gets a hammering with his longer passing as well. Is it because he’s bad at it, or he’s passing to small players?”

    It’s statements like the above that shows your bias. The stats say his passing isn’t that great, and you ask are the players short ???

    Why the mental gymnastics? Do you wonder about other players who have good stats that they must be passes to taller team members 😂

    This is what people push back on the suspension of reality and a desperate attempt to rationalize data that doesn’t suit the narrative. ( He’s worth £50m )

    An accurate pass has never been height dependent, and I’m damn sure you will not find any data of that (absurd) kind anywhere.

    Feel free to provide some tho