by .

Another promising young player has committed their future to the new Arsenal FC. Kido Taylor Hart will drop a full season with the U23s this season whilst also being given time to train with the first team.

This is a coup for the system Per Mertesacker is setting up and it once again speaks to the new vision of Arsenal.

Young players, great coaching, fast-track to the first team if they do well. This is how clubs in our situation should be operating.

Granit Xhaka, as it currently stands, will be an Arsenal player heading into the new season. The Swiss was attracting interest from Roma, they apparently bid £10m for him, we turned it down because that level of compensation would have impacted our ability to move on other players this window.

I was kind of hoping the player moved on this summer, Xhaka feels like a hangover from the dark years of Arsene Wenger. I think that sentiment is shared by a lot of the fans. We all wanted to see a Locatelli at the carpet.

Not Arteta. He likes the player. This summer was never supposed to be about selling Xhaka, but the club was willing to do so if a proper fee was sent out way. £10m is no good if you need £40m to replace. We’re trying to move on a number of additional positions that need more attention than the one he normally occupies. If you take £30m out of the pot, that’s less money for a right-back, keeper, and CAM position. However you want to cut it, Xhaka was not a massive problem last season. When he dropped into defence, we weren’t as good.

Also worth noting that whoever we put there was going to be a problem. United is being linked hard with Reuben Neves, a player that the Arsenal fanbase went nuts over… but not United fans, who seem to be very excited about him. The role Xhaka plays is unsexy, but if he plays like he did last season, I don’t think we’ll be in bad shape, especially if he’s next to Thomas Partey.

The longer-term view is the one I’m paying attention to. Miguel Azeez has bulked up over the summer and he looks like he’ll be competing for the first team very soon, he scored another screamer over the weekend. Then you have Lokonga, one of the most exciting midfield prospects in Europe, who clearly can do a lot of things Xhaka can do and more. Don’t be shocked if our midfield pairing is Lokonga and Partey by January. The Belgian is not here as bench fodder.

The thing that really needs to kick up a gear in the next few weeks is transfer exits. People keep on saying that we’re not being ‘ruthless’ enough and I really don’t think they understand what they are talking about. What does get ruthless about selling mean? Like… force sales? To clubs with no money? Annul contracts?

So far this window, total sales from bigger clubs.

  • Chelsea: 4 players
  • United: 0 players
  • Spurs: 2 players
  • Everton: 1 players
  • Leicester: 0 players
  • West Ham: 1 player
  • Manchester City: 3 players

How about some of the smaller clubs?

  • Aston Villa: 1 player
  • Palaces: 0 players
  • Sheffield United: 0 players
  • Newcastle United: 0 players

Source: Transfermarkt

Notice the pattern? Selling players isn’t about being ruthless unless you think we should do another round of selling players for painfully low fees or we should just give free transfers to players the club thinks have value.

The market is dead. There’s a nasty combination of no one having money and no one wanting to sell the crown jewels to get the market going. If the best ‘selling’ club in the Premier League is CFC with a whopping total of 4 exits, then you know the market is totally fucked.

I suspect another consideration at play is a ‘it’ll brighten up next year’ mindset. Base premise of a portfolio manager, buy low, sell high. Why should Arsenal sell Hector Bellerin for peanuts at 26 years old? If the market bounces back next summer, he might have more than one club vying for his services.

What we’re waiting to find out is if clubs will start to show their hand a little more in the coming weeks. No good heading into a new season with no recruits. Clubs need to have players in the door. Ainsley, Reiss, Willock, and Eddie are very capable young players that would add value to plenty of squads. I expect (hope) there to be moves for them coming soon.

Lacazette, who seems open to a move, would add goals to any squad in Italy, France or Spain. Clubs will need goals and might move on him. Cal Chamber, Cedric, and Hector would be decent for certain sides.

These next two weeks are going to have to perk up for everyone because a market only works if there are lots of participants.

One thing to keep in mind: Arsenal won’t go into the season without a CAM or a back-up keeper. I think moves on a right back and a striker are going to be provisioned on exits.

So… plenty of summer still to come, just don’t blame the sluggishness all on Arsenal. I’m more than willing to go at the club, but you can’t look at a lack of movement without looking at the market as a whole… because a market and its health is predicated on active participants. You can’t sell if no one wants to buy.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments.

P.S. I hope that picture of Thomas Partey out in Paddington was from yesterday, because he wasn’t limping around, and that is good news.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments











Decent post Pedro and I can agree on most points. IF we manage to sign a CAM then keeping Xhaka isn’t the absolute end of the world for me, especially is Lokonga can step up. but that is also a big IF at this stage.

Biggest concerns for me right now are Aubamyang who couldn’t hit water if he fell of a boat and Partey, who should be known as Mr Glass.


First trophy in a long while…..
Congratulations to myself as I consider taking a break from watching Arsenal this season unless the following players are somehow taken out of the matchday possibility squad:
El Neny

The Quartet are simply atrocious that I don’t think even championship teams would want them



Try again another day bro

Guns of SF



‘ This summer was never supposed to be about selling Xhaka, but the club was willing to do so if a proper fee was sent out way’

That’s some A1 grade revisionist BS right there


Im struggling with the discontent towards Xhaka, when you have Elneny still landing minutes. AMN & Azeez must be scratching their heads


Pedro I get your point on not many ‘sales’ have been made by clubs but saying clubs have had 0 outs isn’t true Palace ended contract for half if not more of their starting line up. If you count cities the 3 city exits 2 of which are Sergio Aguero & Eric Garcia. Then sorry you have to include the other clubs exits. I think the market is how Wenger predicted, lots of free agents. Not a lot of buyers as players hold the power. Which in hindsight doesn’t matter if a club buys and gets rid for free.… Read more »


I’m less concerned about Xhaka who has been a reliable performer than I am about getting rid of Leno. Never mind a back up keeper- we need someone who can put Leno on the bench.

Watching the Chelsea game yesterday, even though it was a season warm up, it became apparent that the real weak spots were Leno’s distribution and Bellerins lack of awareness

These 2 are more urgent cases for ousting than any other position


Im struggling with the discontent towards Xhaka, when you have Elneny still landing minutes. AMN & Azeez must be scratching their heads


“CG, what a revolutionary idea… hire one of the best managers in the world.Why not sign Messi as well? Honestly, people rallying around an idea Spurs just tried and failed at is quite spectacular.” Pedro just scoffed at ‘hiring one of the best managers in the world’ that’s available and would be willing to come to us (he heard spuds out) like it’s a bad thing! Lol. Almost like he prefers us hiring an assistant coach on his first coaching job who has since then had 18 months or more at it but seems completely like he doesn’t know what… Read more »


What I don’t I understand Pedro is the need to give Xhaka a new contract? Especially if you think the midfield in second half of season won’t include xhaka. So we are going to pay him more to sit on the bench and tied into a longer contract.


Pedro, Next summer, things may pick up, but not by much. Most clubs will need more than one season to recover from their financial difficulties. Bar the clubs with an oil rich sugar daddy, revenue will still be down. Clubs that have barely staved off bankruptcy and liquidation will not be let off the hook so easily by their creditors. Investments more in line with their financial reality will be demanded. Barcelona will get a stay of execution, but they are unlikely to engage into any big purchase until 2023. By that time, most of their expensive contracts would have… Read more »


Dead hands are on the wheel of the club
Expect nothing , they hav’nt got anything to offer.
Lower part of the league by November

David Boyle

Absolute rubbish if xhaka stays in our midfield we’re no higher than 8th again


If getting a good DM, AM, RB, and GK is predicated on more funds, we should have focused on CB last if what you were saying until recently, namely, ‘defence is the least of our worries’, was true. Especially since we were the only ones willing to pay the full amount for White.

I just hope Xhaka’s contract is not extended. That would be utter madness as the Brown Nose’s salary is already reducing his transfer value, and it’s only until 2023 as it stands now.


Also comparing today’s Conte with today’s Jose to score a point?? Damn. This Arteta love in is just so much lol



Watch Pedro spin it that the defence was the priority. You know…we desperately needed to replace Luis. Systems and wll. At this point, anything diet pep does is lapped up by this blog. Lol


I think the Xhaka situation is a lot lower down the priority list than people are making out. I think almost all of us agree that he needs replacing but not more so than we require a right back, creativity, & a goalkeeper. Granit is still capable of doing a job, granted it may not quite be at the desired level but it’s a damn sight closer to the level than the aforementioned positions! Interesting to see reports that Willock has earned a stay. Could have done with the £ but like the thought of him coming on in the… Read more »


Whilst another CAM would be nice, there is little point in making this a priority over a CM partner for Partey, if we are building from the back with the useless Leno feeding our CM’s we need an upgrade on Xhaka and Elneny otherwise the ball will never get to a new CAM, buying Bruno G would enable us to revert to a 4-3-3 if ESR wee to get injured, this would also suit Willock if he stays as he’s not a CAM nor can he play in a defensive 2. Should have got Onana and binned Leno in the… Read more »


” However you want to cut it, Xhaka was not a massive problem last season. ” – Pedro This sentence right here is the problem , Its like the Burnley games never happened . Costing us points when the margin between 5th and 8th were fucking minimal . Jesus what the fuck kind of magic has Xhaka done over these people , why cant you see the mediocre player that he is . And no Pedro , that position wouldnt cost the club 30million ! Soumare went to Leicester for so less than that , You cant plead fucking poverty… Read more »


If it was later days Wenger or Emery dithering on selling Xhaka a player who has been ever presence in the team during the time they struggle to get top 4,will you have accepted it with very good paragraph? I’m sure you would have caption the post “YET AGAIN, DITHERING WITH A MEDIOCRE PLAYER” or something like “WEAK PERSONALITY CANT MAKE UP HIS MIND ON WHAT HE WANTS” …. No need bothering for an answer because by the end of the season we will be here with the same problem, Xhaka is not fit for what we are building, he’s… Read more »


Of course Xhaka isn’t the end of the world. But it’s kicking the can down the road for possibly another 2years.. or more if we extend his contract. We have to move on from a midfield that doesn’t rely on covering up limitations and has a built in inherent weakness in our defense. Anyhow.. I’m tired of talking about it.. I think it’s been covered by Ishola and Marc enough in the past… Hopes pinned on Lokonga now as you mentioned Peds. Really think it is negligent to not get in another midfielder though, Just an injury away from a… Read more »


I have a little bit of sympathy for our three-headed transfer monster (Artedulick?). Xhaka might have interest from other clubs but no-one will pay 18-20m for him if he’s not prepared to sign a 4 year contract with them. That leaves a team like Roma (who Xhaka clearly likes) offering a derisory 10-12m for him which we rightfully reject. So we’re down to two choices. 1. Kick the can down the road and sell to a team like Roma a year from now for around 10k. 2. Renew Xhaka’s deal and hope that protects his transfer value. Except it likely… Read more »


10m not 10k!


Haven’t we learnt from past mistakes. Why give xhaka a pay rise, for being part of a team that has finished 8th 2 seasons in a row when there seems very few clubs in for him, ok to give him a 1 or 2 yr extension but on the same wages, wasn’t he going to accept a pay cut from Roma


Pedro,is it not the same Xhaka that Hertha almost double that amount the other season and we turned it down and today he’s lower than the previous price,by the time we finally make up our mind to sell he will be let go for free


Pedro Well Conte went to Inter before the won the League. We even had a better record in Italy than Inter and he went there on the promise of a project he could get on with. So if we are giving Arteta this much freedom and money to spend and build his team, why do you think Conte won’t come? We all knew Levy wasn’t going to allow any coach that level of freedom but it’s important to note that Conte sat down and listened to what he had to say. And like Marko pointed out, we are bigger than… Read more »


We even have had a better recent record than Inter*


It must be close to 100m we have turned down in last 18 months for Xhaka, Bellend, Eddie and Ainsley , what would we get for them now 35m tops


Every manager should has played Xhaka has been fired!!
Arteta will be no exception !


Does Xhaka actually want to extend his contract? I thought he made it clear he wanted to move to Roma. If he does stay then it will only be Dumb & Dumber offering him far to much for his level of play and we will be stuck with him like Ozil, Willian Kola etc. As we have some tough games ahead and already have a reliable pairing in Holding and Mari and Elneny needs to go how about White being the deepest lying midfielder who can drop in to the back line to cover the RB going forward. Sort of… Read more »




Also the idea that we can only replace Xhaka with a 40 million singing is ridiculous when you see Soumare going for 18 million, Aouar and Guimaraes apparently going for less than 30 million and even AZ Alkmaar with that Koopmeiners lad are having a fire sale this summer


With the best wil in the world Pedro this is why many of us were sceptical when you wrote the following on June 12th:

Joe Willock – £20m

Hector – £30m

Reiss – £10m

Leno – £25m

Xhaka – £18m

Matteo – £8m

AMN – £20m

Mavropanos – £15m

Cal Chambers – £20m

There are deals to be made this summer and clubs are going to deal with us.

Turns out that these deals aren’t going to made the way you predicted. No shame in being wrong but a healthy dose of realism can be a good learning experience.


Don’t make excuses for a club with no plan and a manager with no philosophy it’s pointless


Pedro, Arteta liking Xhaka is never in doubt,just like he likes Leno sold the better keeper and today we are here

Not sure liking someone that even him knows has some limitation to how he wants his team is the best both for him and for us


“You have to understand this: Arteta likes Xhaka.Everything around him makes sense when you know that.”

This also. With you under Arteta you sort of started accepting what ever he’s doing regardless of whether it’s the right or wrong thing. And mostly looked for a way to spin it.

You didn’t give Wenger this benefit of doubt when you thought he wasn’t fit for the job. And I ain’t talking 2016. I am talking 2009/10. You didn’t even give Emery jack. But with Arteta you seem hamstrung. On the back of sweet FA.


These are the moves that shift a club forward. We’ve been nibbling around the edges shifting on periphery players, when the hard facts dictate you have to address the fatal flaws in some of the first-teamers. Xhaka, Willian, Luiz, and Hector are all starting 11 players… but their ceiling is low and stinks of average. Changing culture properly often needs big shocks. When you start in a new business, there’s often a section of people that are incapable of changing because they’re so wounded by the ways of the past. To truly move on, you need to scrub the decks.… Read more »


Berkeley or Loftus-cheek from Chelsea on loan would be an upgrade on Elneny at least


Managers to die besides Xhaka . Wenger , Unai Emery . Now its Mikel Arteta’s time.


We spent nearly 300 million the last three seasons and counting the idea that Conte wouldn’t be interested in us is ridiculous. We just have to sell him on a project and actually show ambition


foxy the only player I might from Chelsea would be Zouma and that’s only because he’s better in the air than anyone we have



Spot on . These so called leaders we have in the squad are shit . I would give Aubameyang a pass because he had a difficult season last year . Besides him Xhaka , Bellerin , Willian or Lacazette are all pretty shit


He is not in our league and he doesn’t suit our project

Agree with the first part the second part is untrue there is no project at Arsenal..

Also he took over Chelsea when they finished 10th and an inter side who don’t spend as much as us.


“We spent nearly 300 million the last three seasons and counting the idea that Conte wouldn’t be interested in us is ridiculous. We just have to sell him on a project and actually show ambition”

I agree. No how Conte ain’t coming here if we give him what Arteta has been given so far. Arteta is king in the club ATM.


Once again, if we start Xhaka and Elneny in midfield, someone needs to be fired.

There’s no defending that


CG for DOF at Arsenal. 😂

Anyone think we best Brentford?




I wonder if we could get more out of Xhaka as a ESR back-up/ rotation. Xhaka isn’t the type to dribble past players or make lung bursting strides into the box to be a threat… BUT Xhaka has a good long range shot. He is intelligent and can be a creator who has a reliable pass. He can press although I am nervous when he goes hard for a tackle, a forward player pressing wouldn’t have to make such tackles… I think we need to get Xhaka out from the back. That emphasises his weakness and puts us at a… Read more »


Mostly agree, with one logistical quibble, come January Partey will be off to AFCON, so in January the midfield pairing will be Xhaka and Lokonga. Will Lokonga be an every game replacement for Xhaka before January? Arteta being Arteta, probably not, but if Partey is out for three or four weeks, I certainly hope it is Lokonga and Xhaka starting, not Elneny and Xhaka,. Given the u turn on Xhaka, the big money CM signings are out, but unless they are keeping one or more of the midfielders who were out on loan last season, I’d like them to sell… Read more »


Xhaka is a decent squad player to have and he won’t be much more than that this season. Despite all his flaws he is still good in the air and is one of our best passers who doesn’t mind doing the dirty work. Give the guy a break.


Middy I sort f agree. Xhakas best play in the Euros waswhen he was nearer to the opposition penalty area box being positive, than back in his own half where he is more of a liability than asset


Arteta;s true market value with two years left in his contract is the £10 million Roma offered.

So what does Arsenal do on Arteta’s instruction? they are going to pay him even more money and extend his contract.

…and of course Pedro will defend it with the now famous…’but Arteta likes him”


“I have a little bit of sympathy for our three-headed transfer monster (Artedulick?).”

Keep it simple:


You wonder why we didn’t use the resolve we showed towards Roma for Brighton?

Why didn’t we tell them to do one when they started asking for more and more or when they started dropping pathetic stories about city and Chelsea’s interests in Ben White.

It seems to me that Arteta never wanted Xhaka to leave and prioritized the midfield changes much lower than getting Ben White.


Divine Sherlock

Graham Spot on


Not my quote it was Pedro’s around 2 months ago

KAY Boss

Seems we’re about to repeat the same mistake we did with AMN to Willock.
Sell for the opportunity presents itself.
Repeat it and Willock will be on loan to Sunderland come January.


Lots of ill informed opinion on here. there is a month to get things sorted, and whether Xhaka stay or leaves i believe it will allow Arteta to phase him out for Guimareas/Laknonga or another.
additional body in the CM role needed


For all the flak Levy received, he is a tough negotiator and a lot more decisive than people gives him credit. Conte realised that he would not be able to throw tantrums or bully his way to pick his team, so he walked away. I am pretty sure that if Conte were hired at Arsenal, the one hiding behind the desk would be Vinay. Conte would eat him for breakfast, same for Edu. Josh would not be able to give him lip services. One drawback of hiring Conte is his poor record at promoting young players and at building long… Read more »


Don’t worry arteta won’t last long once the fans are back in gooner land


What’s happening with Torreira. I don’t understand why there’s an acceptance that he has no transfer value at all. Surely still an attractive player to Serie A clubs at a price tag of £10m (let them pay over 5 years; or 18 month £3m loan with obligation to buy for £7m). Anything is better than allowing a 25 year old talented guy we paid £27m for to leave for nothing in 2 years. Wages high for Serie A at £75k, but not ridiculous. Arrange these crappy deals to skint clubs on long-term payment plans, then sell the future receivables to… Read more »


Kido Taylor-Hart has signed his first professional contract at Arsenal.

The 18 year-old scored six goals and assisted four in just 11 appearances for Arsenal’s under-18s last season.


Can we just laugh at spurs for a second… then go on debating


Mustafi £90k p/w Sokratis £90k p/w Luiz £120k p/w Total £300k p/w £15,600,000 p/a £78,000,000 over 5 years + £4mill for Mavropanos should Stuttgart stay up Total £82million Ben White £50million £120k p/w £31,200,000 over 5 years Total £81,200,000 Arsenal now have 4 centre half’s in their squad instead of 8, with Saliba out on loan, with his wages paid, and probably a loan fee Net spend will say – £50 million, but it’s likely just a reallocation of revenue Lacazette Fee £12million Nktetiah Fee £12million Willian Free Transfer fees received £24million Lacazette £160k p/w Willian £120k p/w Nketiah £20k… Read more »


Pedro The transfer numbers you posted aren’t correct for instance Chelsea have sold 7 players for fees in this window that number will 8 within 24 hours. As has been pointed out to you by Andy 19886 not 2 months ago you were tellin* us that there were plenty of buyers out there for deadwood or players who wanted out many of us were sceptical about this but no you maintained that stance. There will be significant transfers in the next few weeks some on loan , some buying outright with delayed payments the trouble is it’s pretty obvious that… Read more »


Lokonga and Azeez could be the CM pairing by March if Partey is absent for any long period. Xhaka is just a make weight. So too is Elneny. Rejoice in the younger players coming through rather than looking back on who we should have bought. FFS some of you need to be a little less suicidal


Reading some of the comments here one might start to believe that replacing Xhaka is akin to finding a replacement for Zinedine Zidane. As Marko says Soumare went to Leicester for 18M and Bruno Gueimaraes might be available for 30M. Bottomline is Arteta is enamoured with Xhaka and he doesn’t want to replace him. Hopefully we bid adieu to both Arteta and Xhaka by December-January.


“Can we just laugh at spurs for a second… then go on debating”

Crimson with post of day from where I sit, Conte, Lopetegui, Fonseca, Gattuso eventually landing on Nuno is all kinds of quality. Now Kane refusing to show up for training. Revel in it gents.

How you boys on LG hanging?

Dull summer after Euro, transfer window been a very strange one. Hoping we pull it together in dying days.


As stated earlier, if i could have just one new signing, it would be a goalkeeper. Not a no 2 but someone who is ready to be no 1 who will dominate the penalty area and distribute with awareness and foresight. And yes i know we had that before with Emi but let’s move on from there.


TR7 – what a really odd comment – if we sack Arteta it would mean we’re having a terrible season. You really don’t seem to think things through properly.


Apparently ‘Arteta loves Xhaka’ . Just more evidence that Arteta’s judgement is impaired, as if we needed more after Willian, Runnarson, Martinez and AMN. Xhaka is clearly not suited to the premiership or how Arteta wants his team to play. So I don’t get the love in.
That being said keeping Xhaka would not be a disaster as long as we got another body in the midfield and we don’t extend his contract or increase his salary.


Remember that Rich does not really support the signing of Ben White

…and yet he spends all his time defending and trying to justify why paying £50+5 million for a defender with only one year premier league experience makes no sense at all.


*makes any sense at all


Because Dissenter he’s now an Arsenal player so theres no point sniping about who we should have bought. Focus on the now and support White. There’s every prospect he will massively improve us


Just read that “STAN KROENKE GIVES ARTETA £100M”? After White, we still have 50M left.


I can’t believe that after agreeing a guaranteed £50 million fee for White, there’s still a sell on clause in the contract. We’ve really gone all out for him, I hope he proves to be worth it. Hard to defend if by the end of August, the glaring holes in midfield, GK and RB are not tended to.



How do you see our season panning out ? I don’t have much hope and that’s why I see Arteta being on a sticky wicket by November-December.


Per Romano, Laporta at Barca has said today Ilaix Moriba can leave the club. Mike McDonald identified him as the potential “bargain of the window.”

Obviously we now have Lokonga as younger CM profile, and yutes coming through, but if you could poach Moriba at a low fee, he could become a monster of a player with huge re-sale value.


Pedro Of course, only Arteta and his follower can see what no one else is seeing. You forget to mention that …”but Arteta likes him”, the four magic words. Thats all you need these days to support any decision. ‘Arteta likes him’, then you build a case for it. You went from saying we had the 3rd best defense post December to arguing in favor of us buying an inexperienced defender for £50-55 million, when we had an exciting defender who did quite well on loan. You said we had money….but not quite enough to take a 5 million loss… Read more »


If any of the below players are on the lineup card as starters on Aug 13th, I will not watch. May put me off watching for a long while.

Elneny (Partey unavailable or not)

Graham, good post, I agree wholeheartedly.


If we can’t sell players.. arteta should inform them they have no chance of playing..
It’s a closed door find another club.


We should take whatever we can get for Xhaka. The 40M is a sunk cost. The market probably won’t recover in a year. Meanwhile Xhaka will be one year older, dumber and slower. And if he’s going to have any value left, it will require making him a starter this season. If we don’t sell him now, we’ll end up terminating his contract a year from now, like Mustafi.

On a more entertaining note, who else loves everything going on at Spuds right? By the time the league starts that place will be more toxic than Chernobyl. Fucking hilarious!


Just take what they are offering for xhara…


Dissenter It’s not that I don’t support the signing of Ben White, it’s that he’s never really stood out to me I like the age profile of the player, I think the way he’s managed his career trajectory shows character, and I want to see more of him up close, before drawing a definite judgement If we’re signing a player who’s on the verge of crossing over into a top class ball playing centre back, who sits in our defence for the next 7-8 seasons, then £50 million could turn out to be good value, particularly if we’ve just offset… Read more »

1 2 3 5