WELCOME TO MONDAY.
Quick breeze through today as there’s not much news to take on.
Alex Lacazette is being linked with a move to Atletico Madrid for the 387th time in his career. If you remember correctly, he was heading there before they landed a ban way back when… or something like that. The fee is rumoured to be about £12m, which I find exceptionally high considering he earns £180k a week, but look, I’d take anything at this moment in time.
I think we’d be losing a leader in the squad. Even when he’s playing badly, he stands up, and he never hides. I also think he has some very specific skills we might miss, like his ability to drop deep and roll as a playmaker. Still, if this summer is about reengineering for the future, swapping him out for Tammy Abraham would make a lot of sense. You can’t plan for a future if a player is out the door next season… you also have the post-February drag where there players hunting out a new move start preserving their bodies.
Arsenal has signed Mika Biereth from Fulham (via The Athletic). The 18-year-old banged in 21 goals in 21 games for the U18s last season, he also dropped 13 assists. The player will be picking up the gap left by Nikolaj Moller, who is moving on loan to FC Viktoria Koln for a season.
What do I like about this move? Mostly that a hot young prospect playing in England is entrusting their future to Arsenal. I’ve been writing for years about moving to a Dortmund++ model. The concept is really simple.
- Hire in developmental coaches
- Attract young talent with the offer of fast-tracking to the first team
- Sell one of these young players for HUGE money
- Put that money into even better kids
- Rinse, repeat until eventually, this approach brings success
Obviously, things are a little more complicated than that, but we’re already seeing the impact this model is having on the club. Our best youth players are no longer leaving by not signing new deals (Kido/Okonowo/Balogun). Our best first team young players are committing their long-term futures to the project (ESR/Saka/Martinelli). We are attracting top young talent from the continent and they are saying things like ‘I want to play with The Smith’ or ‘I was attracted to the club because I was told the club was building around young guys.’
As I said yesterday, there’s always a lag between perception and reality. A number of Arsenal fans are still stuck in mid-November thinking… well, does it really matter if the players are showing what the project is all about by committing to the club? It doesn’t.
Obviously, there’s still work to do this summer and we need to have a much better start than we did last season.
Transfers need to flow…
I’m guessing there’s no movement on a centre midfielder because Granit Xhaka’s move to Roma looks to be in doubt.
It seems like there’s no movement on a CAM because Martin Odegaard does not sound happy in Madrid and there are Spanish journos leaking that he might leave on loan again.
There’s no movement on the keeper because it sounds like Arsenal are not going to pay £35m for Aaron Ramsdale. If the stories of £18m are true, is the move that bad? The player has been called up to England, he’s won back to back player of the year awards for relegated clubs, he has 75 apps in the Premier League at 23 years old, and Asmir Begovic likes him… remember when we liked Begovic?
“He’s already proved that he can play at the highest level. He’s got a lot of potential still to fulfil.
“The more he plays, the more he’s going to progress. So I’m not surprised to see him linked with some of the top clubs.
“What he’s done over the last couple of years shows everyone the quality he has.
“With his age, where he’s at, the potential is there to become an even better goalkeeper.”
Whatever is going on with Ramsdale, it seems like professionals like him, fans of the clubs he plays for love him, and we just don’t get it.
I think it might be because a lot of us had really hurt feelings over Richard Wright when we signed him from Ipswich and he was terrible.
Anyway, I refuse to get upset over a backup keeper…
What I do find interesting is that there was a massive amount of complaining when we were signing senior players… now we’re looking at players with potential to grow, we’re complaining about that as well?
Tammy Abraham is 23 years old, he scored 48 goals in the Championship, he’s scored 26 in the Premier League, his Champions League record is 13 games, 4 goals, and 3 assists… and people are spitting feathers over that. That is a high potential player, why wouldn’t we be interested in his profile? Adebayor joined Arsenal at 22, do you know how many goals he’d scored in Ligue 1? 22 in 80 games. He was absolutely appalling when he landed with us, but he was young, had all the right attributes, then he banged and became one of the most devastating strikers in the Premier League. If he’d had better people around him, he’d have made it to Drogba levels.
Anyway, point is… young players don’t have ceilings. The point of having elite coaching is that you can take rough diamonds and make them shine. This is the direction Arteta should have been pushed down from day one, the club never should have allowed him the authority to say yes to older players.
Ok, that went on for longer than I expected. Let’s see you in the comments. x