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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.

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Diet Pep has made fans lose interest in football, something the Taliban could Not do using violence

James wood.

Would have thought Leicester
will need cover for Vardy he cannot
have a lot left in those legs.?

S Asoa

China1August 3, 2021 07:52:34

The compulsive BS of passing out from the back, preferably going to the goalkeeper started with Emery who introduced it as the greatest invention since sliced bread.
Arteta who is basically dumb copied it from Emery, like he copies from old defunct scrapbooks of others like Birlas , etc.


“Maybe they’ll take Holding as Fofana cost them CL football last season (lol)“

Take that snarky shit to Reddit, Andy.
Legrove is no place for snark.


James they bought Daka and Ihenache or whatever his name is


I think we can use one of Chambers or Holding in Maddison deal.


AMN if he cannot displace Elneny in MF at Arsenal is hardly going to get much game time at Leicester except maybe as injury cover and for minor cup games.


Yeah, AMN won’t be dropping Maddison’s cost to 30 or 40m nuh uh.

I don’t think they’ll want Nelson as they moved his sibling Demarai Gray a year ago for less than 2m pounds.


I’d take Aouar all day right now

Can play deeper but also supports with creativity. Cheap price. I’d totally take that risk on his mentality at that price, age, quality stand point


Here I am hoping for a partnership of Partey and Guimaraes and seeing Xhaka contract on table. Then thinking surely we can’t enter another season without adding another goal creator to the squad and like clockwork the Maddison rumours reappear with a mental fee.

I’m not one to heavily scutinize a transfer fee for an area we need addressing, i’ll leave that to Swiss Ramble but thats seems a bit extreme on heels of White fee with what can be acquired in this market for cash + player exchanges.


Hypothetically speaking I would be delighted with Pepe-Maddison straight swap.


You know you could probably get two of Aouar, Odegaard or Brandt for what Leicester are demanding. Jesus English players with that premium you swear you’re getting world class players for it


If we start the season strongly then then there shouldn’t be a need to rush Partey back back too quickly.

Ankle injuries tend to recur a lot.


Hypothetically speaking I would be delighted with Pepe-Maddison straight swap.

I mean for all his faults Pepe’s 24 goals and 15 assists the last two seasons compared to Maddison’s 20 goals 13 assists all the while one is in a stable environment with a good manager the other is not. Can’t really bemoan a lack of goals and creativity when you wanna replace someone with less.


Arsenal won’t start strongly. Not with the Xhaka El Neny axis of mediocrity. Don’t be surprised to see White being asked to play high up from RCB with one of the two midfielders covering in a high defensive line alongside Mari. Add Willian and Bellend in there to season the dish of poo served by MA.


I read pretty much nothing re Pepe vs Chelsea. He was dangerous. Our best attacker.


My theory as to why Partey didn’t pick up injuries in spain is that he played deeper and was there to protect the defence and snuff out the opposition attacks . The injury v Chelsea occured with Partey on the front foot in attacking mode amd he was overstretching A previous injury last season was i think at home to Villa, and Partey was again in attacking mode on a one on one with the keeper and he overstretched… Maybe the club need to look at how they use Partey in the future, some players are just not suitable for… Read more »


Arsenal are unlikely to start strongly We have to beat Brentford Chelsea have a better team, we’re at home, it’s a 50/50 game that could go either way, if Chelsea add an elite striker, they’ll be genuine title contenders this season We’ve taken 2 points off City since December 2015, we’ve lost the last 9 league games straight, City are at home, and have a much better team than us We can secure a back to the wall, smash + grab victory, but any type of result at City, is an exceptional result, they were already much better than us,… Read more »


” read pretty much nothing re Pepe vs Chelsea. He was dangerous. Our best attacker.”

Pepe was decent but our best attacker was obviously Nketiah in the short time he was afforded on the pitch.


You’ve become the resident truthsayer here
It’s not a theory, it’s fact. Partey’s job at Atletico was essentially as defensive mid. He passed the ball unto Saul who was the carrier. Not to say, Party can’t pass progressively.

Partey needed a midfielder of the same stature as he is to do his job. He’s being asked to do too much.



Pepe’s numbers are padded up. Barely performs against any good team. Maddison on the other hand has orchestrated games against the best PL teams.


We have won our last 3 matches v chelsea and we will beat them again in a couple of weeks …

Brentford may be a draw with the city game a draw at best, playing them early may help us.


I love it when people bring up padded stats like everyone doesn’t have them and like goals don’t matter against lesser sides.



I like the optimism, not sure about drawing with Brentford, but 4 points from Chelsea + City, and 5 points and unbeaten in our first 3 games, I’d certainly take if I was offered it now

Would be a nice early platform to build on


“Partey needed a midfielder of the same stature as he is to do his job. He’s being asked to do too much.”

I see no harm in sitting Partey in front of the back 4, he has the skill set to dictate the play and has a good passing range..

Could play willock and Lakonga either side of him which would hive Partey good passing options.

The only problem with that is how do you bring Xhaka into the equation.


Partey is starting to of the worst signings Arsenal ha ve had considering the 50 millions we paid for him. Last season he spent a lot of time in the treatment table, and in some games he was garbage. Now he will miss the start of the season again because of an injury. Yeah he was great for Atletico in la Liga, just as Torreira was great for Sampdoria in Serie A. But it is pretty clear Torreira year one at Arsenal was much better than Partey first year. Just ask you this question Who on us 50… Read more »


The problem is that we tend to combine either of Xhaka or Elneny with Partey
Xhaka is not vey mobile so Partey is forced to over-compensate

Willock’s skill set is closer to the goal. He has that unteachable knack of anticipating the final pass to shoot at goal. His runs are difficult to pick up.
Maybe Lokonga can fit into that role


On the subject of over paying will man city really stump up some £150mm for Kane and no doubt a £200k per week plus salary. I hope not as do we really want Spurs to have £150mm to rebuild their squad and a disgruntled Kane stuck at Spurs would be great.


SAGG This is why I’m suspicious of big wages and big fees, we’ve burnt a few times now Maddison is a top player who ticks a lot of boxes, and will improve us significantly if we keep him fit, but anyone who isn’t: 1. Concerned about his hip injury 2. Concerned about his professionalism + lifestyle 3. Concerned that a transfer that’ll cost us around £120 million over 5 years, is a massive gamble for these two reasons 4. That Leicester will absolutely invest that money very smartly, and are probably letting him go for a reason Are just getting… Read more »



I have exactly the same concern than you about any expensive deal for Maddison.

I also think that the COvid breach party show a level of immaturity and unprofessionalism that worries me. Once caught by Rodgers, they decided to move the party to somebody else ‘s house.
I can’t imagine how that behaviour would go done with Arteta. Unless he is treated like Royalty Willian 2nd, It’s breaching the non negotiables multiple times on the same night.

KAY Boss

According to sagg, Partey just got injured because he fancy being injured. His injury was caused by Loftuscheek sliding while his studs caught Partey’s ankle.

Madison over Ode all day. Rich pipe down with the numbers. It’ll be useful in tax revenues. This seem to be the only club whose supporters are more concerned about money than the value that will be derived from the player.

Guns of SF

Drop a 50 Bill on Dani Olmo if we want to spend money.

Forget Maddison, lets look at others too.

Or 28ish M for Aouar. Take it…and use the remainder on a RB!

What is so hard about this?

Guns of SF

look at old man Dani Alves, still doing it for Brazil.


After Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi, Mkhitaryan etc. etc. We need hungry players with upside potential and resale value, Oordegard at £30m and £100 per week would fit this, Maddison for £50m and £200m as Rich said perhaps not.

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