SAKA BACK + ONANA BACK ON + MADDISON WANTS IN, BUT WILL IT HAPPEN?

by .

Well good morning my darlings, what have we on the cards today?

Saka is back in training. Wonderful news. Can’t wait to see what he brings to the table this season. Outside a few trolls on the night, the whole of world football seems to be behind the young English star. We all have massive hopes for him this season, let’s see where we land.

Inter Milan is currently fending off £100m offers for 28-year-old Lukaku. I cannot imagine for one minute they aren’t going to sell. That sort of number is just simply beyond the pale when they could wait another year and get Haaland. Still, that’s how the big boys roll and we are a long way off being at that sort of level. The good news is that a few outlets are reporting they might opt for Lacazette… and they certainly won’t be able to plead poverty if they are still tracking Hector Bellerin.

The market appears to have perked up a little bit. Newcastle apparently want to go all-in on Willock for £23m. Crystal Palace is open to taking Reiss Nelson on loan for the season. I suspect we’ll see more clarity across the board as our transfer ambitions ramp up a gear and players see whether there’s a chance to play next season.

Granit Xhaka’s deal is still gumming up the works as fans cry tears of sadness just a month after crying that he was going. The deal honestly doesn’t look that terrible, he’s basically getting another year added to his contract, which stops him going into that hellish place of 1 year left on the deal after this season. I’m not that fussed. Would I have liked an upgrade? Yes. Were there clear upgrades available? Not really. Reuben Neves was our reality and you know it. Locatelli was always a pipedream. If this new deal sees a transition of power between him and Lokonga… and maybe Azeez at some point, then I’ll roll with it. Granit was good last season, we missed him when he wasn’t in midfield, we just have to accept there are bigger problems to fry this season.

The three positions I am very worried about are as followed:

We need a CAM. Odegaard looks like he’s going to commit to a season of being on the bench, now it looks like we’re in all or nothing territory with James Maddison. The player wants Arsenal, the question is, will Leicester deal? It’s never a good idea to keep an unhappy player, and clearly, something is not right up there. He’d be the biggest statement signing since Bergkamp. A player on the up that immediately gives us the next level. I just worry we might find ourselves led on only to be rejected last minute.

We need to address the right-back situation. Hector Bellerin wants out, there’s no use keeping him around, let him be free and replace him. Next season really cannot be Cal and Soares. I like both of them, but only Cal moves us forward with his final third work, I’m just not sure he has the pace to be what we need next season. Also, if ball playing centre backs is what we’re after, Cal was excellent before his injury, surely he’d be one to consider as part of the 4? Soares just isn’t fancied, which is a whole different issue. We need to have a right-back.

The final piece of the puzzle has to be a goalkeeper. We are in a terrible state right now. Bernd Leno looks a busted flush, he’s not committed to the cause, and he doesn’t like his setup. The two keepers behind him are very green. Aaron Ramsdale and Sam Johnstone don’t set the world alight. There needs to be a sharp signing because our #1 looks prime for getting dropped in November. There’s some very sexy talk that Onana has said no to Lyon because a big club has promised him riches in January… that big club is rumoured to be Arsenal. And why not? Onana is elite with his feet. I’d wait 6 months for him.

If we make moves on those three positions before the end of the window, we’re going to be in the mixer this season. If we don’t, I think it’s going to be a tough season, because we’re going to an injury away from dreary football.

Is that enough for you? Yes? YOU COWARD. Of course it’s not. Jump into our DOUBLE podcast. I speak with Johnny (@iJohnnyCochrane) about normal things going on at Arsenal, check out his WILD views on Xhaka. Then I was joined by Seun (@SVCarboholic) and Dan (@dankoogs) from Touchy Gooners podcast to discuss why they are feeling pretty hacked off about a number of things going on right now. It is GOOD listening. Also, there’s a video if you want to comment on my hair you absolute weirdos. xxx

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365 Responses to “SAKA BACK + ONANA BACK ON + MADDISON WANTS IN, BUT WILL IT HAPPEN?”

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  1. andy1886

    Shaun, in summer 2016 we signed Xhaka, Mustafi, and Perez. All based on data from StatDNA I believe.

    Better stick to old fashioned scouting – if we had any scouts left anyway.

  2. shaun

    “Plus Roma we’re playing us as they have diddled us before with Mhkitaryan.” no Mourine was playing us as he never really wanted Xhaka that’s why the ridiculously low bid Mourine said to us and the Media that you can only see one in that Arsenal team who does everything and what he really meant was “you can only see one in that Arsenal team who does everything wrong and as long as he remains in the spine of the arsenal team they will never compete for the top four and the title is laughable”
    and that’s true. Xhaka was the last of the serial offenders for individuals mistakes that cost Arsenal games and how arsenal fans can’t see that is beyond me .Can you imagine Mourines reaction when he heard Arsenal were offering Xhaka a life time deal , he’d have been laughing so hard you would have to take him to hospital

  3. Emiratesstroller

    andy 1886

    Have you ever met or socialised with a billionaire? Well I have. I attended the wedding of a
    brother of one of them who is one of Britain’s richest and incidentally British born.

    They live in an entirely different world to you and me. For a start they all have an oversized
    ego and whether it is business or their social lives they do not like to “lose”.

    There is always competition between them who has the largest estate, the biggest yacht, spends the most on works of art and jewellery.

    Football may be considered by some a business and I am sure that the Kroenke’s started off
    thinking in that way because he spent a billion buying the shares in Arsenal.

    However, I would remind you that the second largest shareholder in Arsenal was Usmanov
    who is also a major billionaire who wanted to buy the club. Usmanov failed and eventually
    sold his shares to Kroenke.

    So before you and Tony do your usual and criticise me I suggest that you do your homework
    first.

    I would suggest that you watch the recent tv series on Monaco. This provided a considerable
    insight in how billionaires think and spend their money.

  4. andy1886

    ES:

    They live in an entirely different world to you and me. For a start they all have an oversized
    ego and whether it is business or their social lives they do not like to “lose”.

    Then I suggest that you take a look at KSE’s portfolio ES. He may not like to lose but it seems he’s pretty damn good at it!!

  5. Kroenkephobe

    If true, the very best of luck to Joe W. I think a team like Newcastle plays to his strengths more than Arteta-led Arsenal. Not so much pressure on him to perform off the ball which I think is a weakness. Keep banging them in mate (except against us!) and you’ll be idolised for years by the barcodes.

    Edu – go out shopping now before the credit shows up in merkin man’s bank account. Take an easyjet over to Lyon and have a punt on Aouar. Do it!

  6. Emiratesstroller

    andy 1886

    I am afraid that you are as clueless as Tony.

    Kroenke’s wealth has been built on real estate backed by the Walmart Family. This is a man
    who spent US$750 million on a ranch in Texas.

    The Walmart family are the richest in USA.

    Spending a couple of hundred million on buying footballers is not going to impact on his wealth.

    Let’s be clear if Arsenal are going to compete with Man City or Chelsea they are going to have to spend money on the team.The complaint by many who post on here was that he
    did not spend on the team.

    The complaint now is that the club is spending money on the wrong players.

    All you lot seem to do is “complain”. FOR ONCE BE POSITIVE.

  7. andy1886

    Thanks for the advice ES, no need to shout, show some decorum!

    Again you avoid the point – Stan’s teams in general perform poorly overall. Winner? I don’t think so.

    Once again, for the hard of understanding, there’s no point in using Chelsea as a spending yardstick when we’ve spend more than them over the last five years. See the below totals of highest spenders as published by F365 four days ago:

    1) Manchester United: £-457.6m
    21/22: £-76.5m
    20/21: £-58.32m (2nd)
    19/20: £-138.24m (3rd)
    18/19: £-46.94m (6th)
    17/18: £-137.61m (2nd)

    2) Manchester City: £-357.31m
    21/22: £34.92m
    20/21: £-90.14m (Champions)
    19/20: £-79.67m (2nd)
    18/19: £-18.89m (Champions)
    17/18: £-203.54m (Champions)

    3) Arsenal: £-291.33m
    21/22: £-75.6m
    20/21: £-59.27m (8th)
    19/20: £-96.08m (8th)
    18/19: £-65.03m (5th)
    17/18: £4.64m (6th)

    6) Chelsea: £-209.15m
    21/22: £31.68m
    20/21: £-169.56m (4th)
    19/20: £101.04m (4th)
    18/19: £-113m (3rd)
    17/18: £-59.31m (5th)

    Ironic that you then go on to complain that folks think that we spend our money on the wrong players!

  8. CG

    ””’Have you ever met or socialised with a billionaire? Well I have. I attended the wedding of a
    brother of one of them who is one of Britain’s richest and incidentally British born.”””’

    Crikey , from billionaires, to Ken Friar, George Graham, Arsenal journalists to many more others.
    you sure get around ES.

    I am amazed you have the time to get to watch the bloody games!

  9. Vickingz

    Pedro, can you please quit saying a player wants arsenal? What’s in arsenal that a star player is looking for if not that we are offering mumu and maga money? Is maddison coming on same wage or a lower one? If not, how then does he want arsenal? Same way willian wanted arsenal, right? Oshisco

  10. China1

    ES what are you talking about we’ve spent lots of money for years now and we’ve gotten worse since we started

    That’s why people don’t get excited just because the club throws money at players. We’ve seen it happen literally several times already and it’s only paid off on literally a couple of occasions

    I think people are beyond caring about ‘spend some money’ and now care about ‘genuinely improve the team’. Plenty of other teams have done so without having to remortgage the house, and experience tells us we’ve absolutely no idea how to buy big, so forgive people for having serious reservations

  11. China1

    Serious question, if willock had the season he just had playing for Brighton and arsenal had wanted to sign him this summer, what do you think they’d charge us for him?

  12. NORG

    ES

    Suggest you delve deeper into the the Walton family – you will find they do not support KSE other than leasing part of the shopping malls that are attached to some of his sporting venues.

    His wife Ann is a cousin of the main shareholders and her stock is tiny compared to theirs (hers has risen by 350% due to the pandemic) .

    A friend of mine sold a small shopping mall to Kroenke in 2017. He is currently waiting to be paid for another chunk of land which Kroenke will use to build a condo for the over 55’s. Currently Kroenke does not have cash and his real estate has fallen in value considerably.

  13. andy1886

    China, at a guess I’d say that Brighton would ask for £40m-£45m. Goal scoring midfielders are worth their weight in gold. A modern Lampard for example would be worth more than Grealish in today’s market.

  14. Emiratesstroller

    Andy 1886

    I have been always “polite” on Le Grove, but there are certain individuals who seem to like
    to score points and belittle. Frankly I am sick and tired of it.

    The stats that you post are “net spend figures”. No-one disputes that Arsenal’s historic trading and contract negotiations when dealing with players has been appalling. I have commented many times on this.

    However, Arsenal are now beginning to show that they are “heavyweights” in transfer market. Let’s see how this summer pans out.

    What I do know is that Arsenal are progressively culling the deadwood at club and it is interesting to see what is going with the youth at club.

    Arsenal are recruiting new blood in the Academy and have concluded also this summer new contracts with Tierney, Smith-Rowe, Okonkwo, Balogun, Taylor-Harte and today it
    was announced that Azeez has also signed a new contract as well.

    So we should start being a little more positive about what is going on. I don’t expect Arsenal
    to finish in top 4 this season, but I do expect them to be competitive and close the gap.

  15. NORG

    £25million for Willock – most of which will pay for the contract extension for Xhaka.

    Willock is not robotic enough for Arteta and is like an ordinary meal but has hidden spices that deceive with each mouthful. Xhaka just gets toasted.

  16. Danny

    China1
    August 5, 2021 11:20:44
    Serious question, if willock had the season he just had playing for Brighton and arsenal had wanted to sign him this summer, what do you think they’d charge us for him?
    ——————
    Good one!

  17. Mr Serge

    Not seen willock sale on any reliable source football 365 is not cutting it for me

    If I see it on sky or ornstein says it I will start to worry about it

  18. Gentlebris

    Willock was given his go here like Saka and ESR, and couldn’t take it. Good luck to Arsenal that somehow it worked for him at Newcastle or we would have been persuading people to take him for £8m now.

    Willock for £25m is very happy news for me.

  19. andy1886

    ES – that’s far more reasonable post. Of course there are things to be positive about. Our academy for example producing real talent – let’s hope we utilise it for our own benefit as Pierre often suggests. I hope we sell the right players though, Willock for me is a potential ‘keeper’ (not goalie) whereas the likes of AMN and Nelson could generate much needed funds (I think Nelson could develop into a decent player but probably wouldn’t get the minutes he needs at Arsenal).

    It’s still concerning that we’re looking to extend the contracts of some of our older less able players (no need to mention names) which suggests we haven’t entirely learned our lesson in that regard. But ultimately it’s up to the management on the football side to utilise our home grown assets to the maximum and I’d imagine that there are differing opinions on how likely that is to happen.

  20. andy1886

    ‘Bris, £25m would be useful but the question remains where are our goals from midfield coming from? I think that we scored 4 in the PL last season.

    Partey? Oe or two all season would be above expectations.
    Xhaka? Averages around a goal per PL season.

    That leaves maybe ESR who if he scored more than 5 would be doing well. There’s no suggestion that Odegaard if we signed him would be prolific. If we’d have signed Buendia I’d have been more confident about letting Willock go, but as it is I think we could do with his goals.

  21. Emiratesstroller

    andy 1886

    Willock has always been 50-50. Naturally I will be sad to see him leave as I was when Iwobi was sold to Everton.

    However, the writing was on the wall when we recruited in January Odegaard and sent him
    out on loan to Newcastle.

    Smith-Rowe is rated more highly than Willock by Arteta and that was abundantly clear
    when Arsenal rejected offers of AV.

    If we are spending serious money on a new creative midfielder then it is clear that there is
    no place for Willock in squad next season and he will be sold.

  22. shaun

    China , Brighton would be asking for 30 million from Arsenal and possibly 35 as they know we have money and they also know both Arteta and Edu are novices .If Willock was a capped England player then same as white

  23. Kroenkephobe

    Pedro

    On barnet transformation, my other half thinks you’ve morphed from a catweazle type look into Welsh great Anthony Hopkins (in his role as Hannibal Lecter). She did add, however, that neither look was average.

    Almunia – hows about a 5 a side Arsenal team of worst haircuts? I’ll give mine some thought too.

  24. Leftside

    Chris, yes I agree with you – it’s just how it is. I wonder if we can insert a buy back clause if he does end up going to Newcastle, just incase he develops into a really good player.

  25. Foxy

    It would be interesting to see an analysis of last years premiership to see how many goals were scored by “midfielders”. In Wenger,s prime years we had our MF’s scoring for fun.

  26. Kroenkephobe

    Arsenal barnets 5 a side

    1 GK. Very, very controversial this one, and I loved him as a player, but it has to be Pat Jennings I think. I reckon Viz character Billy the Fish probably modelled himself on PJ. A pre 80s mullet – avant garde in some respects but he would have looked more at home in a folk music ensemble.

    2. Def. Pascal Cygan. His billiard ball look and piss poor defending often left us snookered. Boom boom.

    3. MF. Siggi Jonnsen. Hard tackling Icelandic midfielder that we picked up from the Owls (who possibly influenced his coiff) . Typical GG signing. Post-Jennings long blond mullet. North London style no-no.

    4. MF. Any early Cesc Fabregas shed. Looked like a flock of seagulls with haemorrhoids that had been eating custard had crapped all over his cabeza.

    5. CF. That ridiculous thatch that Auba flirted with for a week or so. His napper looked like a chess board with public hair growing out of it.

    Honorable mentions to Terry (not Roberto) Mancini, Alan Sunderland and Jervinho.

  27. andy1886

    ES – I don’t see ESR and Willock as mutually exclusive. Two different types of player, one direct who can deliver goals, one more creative that can deliver the passes needed.

  28. NORG

    Brady on his debut looked as if a strong wind would blow him away. His long straggly locks were pretty unkempt – fashionable at the time – and his hair length matched his shorts which were to his knees. Quite a few people around me were taking the P about his appearance but when he started pinging passes around the pitch they soon quietened down.

  29. Kroenkephobe

    WOAB
    Very good call. Chamakh’s scant hair used to chase the baldy bits around his scalp much more energetically than he chased defenders after miscontrolling the ball.

  30. NORG

    KroenkeP

    It is interesting the youngsters that have signed their new deals all praise KFL. They are all still in touch with him. His problem was he wouldn’t sing Raul’s song – Arteta did.

  31. DigitalBob

    If the Willock news is true, I wish him all the best.

    For a 21 year old midfielder to score the way he scores I have no doubt he will push on and improve his overall game and be a great player for Newcastle and possibly England.

    In my opinion in 2/3 years most, even those that would prefer the £25 million instead of the young talented baller, will regret that we didn’t give him a proper chance now he’s found his footing.

    I really hope the £25m is actually spent and spent wisely!

  32. Chris

    5 a side worst barnets

    Rush Keeper -Almunia with his bleached hair, so 1990s but decided to rock it in 2010.

    Defender – Igor Stepanovs – if I remember he went with a very fluffy look that was verging on a receding hairline. No hair product used whatsoever.

    Midfielder – Steve Morrow – a more severe case of the receding hairline even in his 1993 pomp

    Attacking Mid – Gervinho. No more words needed!

    Striker – Nic Bendtner – A frankly atrocious manbun.

  33. Emiratesstroller

    andy 1886

    Yes Willock and ESR are different type players, but they are still competing for the same position in the team.

    If we buy an expensive AMF that player will be competing with ESR.

  34. S Asoa

    ValentinAugust 4, 2021 17:35:12
    Only two people on this blog were complaining that we were selling Xhaka. Both registered member of the cult of Arteta, so must rejoice of that turn of event.

    1 ajustou a carapuça

    Who is the other cult member ?

  35. Almuniasaynomore

    Kroenkephobe,
    You’ve picked some good ones there if that’s not a paradox.
    I’d go with:
    GK: Seaman, brilliant, but the pony tail was like a pre mid life crisis.
    DF: Sagna, never really sure what he was trying to do on the barnet front.
    MF: Petit, another who succumbed to the ‘I am Achilles ‘ look.
    MF:Walcott when he shaved his hair, Samson effect (except Samson was good before he lost his locks)
    CF:Gervinho. WTF? And don’t get me started on his hair…..

  36. Batesy

    Good luck to Willock they are perfect from him. Its a dilemma for me as we need goals and I belive he would outscore all of our Midfielders and think he would even outscore ESR. Its just the rest of his game is not great but should we let that go for his goals? Lampard used to get away with this season after season and Chelsea made it work. Anyway if its true I just hope we have a sell on fee or first refusal fee in the contract.

  37. Mr Serge

    Willock is good not great he is a level below ESR and saka if we can get 25 to 30 m for him we should really sell him if we get In a player like maddison or ode

  38. andy1886

    Serge, it’s all about opinions of course but I wouldn’t have a problem with Partey/Lokonga at the base of a midfield three with ESR and Willock as # 8’s (ESR on the left, Willock on the right). Effectively we dump Xhaka but I’m convinced that those two would offer more energy and better pressing, ESR would create more chances and Willock would provide more goals.

    You could replace Willock with Maddison but IMO Ode wouldn’t deliver the goals that we need.

    Front three of Pepe, Auba/Laca and Saka (both can play either side, Martinelli in reserve).

  39. Mr Serge

    Andy I would take maddison over ode all day
    I get people saying ode has a high ceiling my concern is he has one foot so over reliant on his left

  40. Raulishuss

    Interesting take andy even though that might lack a little bit of creativity. I just think a maddison would ignite that front three a bit more, i’ll still keep joe around for tactical flexibility and a chance to grow even more.

  41. DivineSherlock

    Sooo here are some of my thoughts , a rant if you will . If anything last season showed and even before that when we won the FA Cup , it showed us that we absolutely do not have a midfield that is press resistant ( I think many of you will agree ) . Its why we employed that backs against the wall type strategy (some may call it park the bus ) and relied on efficient finishing . As we all know we what happened after we won the FA Cup ,was we relied on Partey , Xhaka and to some extent Ceballos and Elneny . That was a disaster as Partey was injured and Ceballos was just a older version of Guendouzi. Fast Forward to this upcoming season and Once again Partey is set to miss the first month and there is no Ceballos , we will rely on Xhaka and Elneny maybe Arteta would be brave and start Lokonga but to expect him to start every game would be foolish . So I dont really mind Xhaka getting an extension as long as we added another midfield player , which we already lacked since Arteta came in . Even more now since he refuses to play AMN or Willock there . To make matters worse as we all saw in the preseason game with Chelsea to play High Line and High pressing game is suicidal with this midfield . How will Ben White gonna be beneficial to us ? What is the plan here ?

  42. Raulishuss

    Ode is to maddison how bernado is to de bryune(in my option anyway) in the sense he brings control and calm in the final 3rd while a de bryune/maddison is more all action trying to make something in every situation. Personally i’ll ode since we already have esr who can become as good as atleast maddi or better.

  43. andy1886

    Raulishuss – I’m hedging my bets on Maddison because I think that we’ll struggle to meet Leicester’s demands for a cash sale. Could be another repeat of last summer with a last minute capitulation and we pay what they’ve asked for all along.

  44. Dissenter

    It sucks to sell promising players like Willock while the likes of Elneny are still allowed to hang around knocking sideways passes around the field.
    The idea is to get rid of the deadwood but is seems it the embering wood that Arsenal are getting rid off.
    Willock is wise to accept the transfer though, better to have a manager who believes in you and will play you to your strengths than one who just seems muddled up.

  45. Davey

    Why do people keep saying we have ESR why do we need to spend all that money on Maddison?
    Maddison is an 8 that is where his best position is, not my words- his.

  46. salparadisenyc

    Can’t be said enough, this summer all about maximum effect on starting XI. Willock doesn’t enter that equation for me and should be sold. All this talk of cash plus player for Maddison then become moot, take Willock profit and utilize it there if he’s primary target.

    For me might be wiser to go Aouar and Guimarães for that kind of dosh but this crew seems set on going English premium which I can certainly get on board with if all areas get addressed.

  47. Mr Serge

    salpar i agree it would be wiser to get both but maddison is a proven entity my fear with aour is he is a man child

  48. Mr Serge

    SidAugust 5, 2021 15:18:47
    Willock will be as good as LampardIm telling y’all for free!

    stay off the booze bro

  49. Mr Serge

    Sal

    A lot of journalists have said this Aour is a tough player to manage tantrums and all sorts, plus his fitness is questionabl he gets hauled off a lot maybe he physically cant hack a league like the prem

  50. Kroenkephobe

    Joke Thursday (thinking about Aouar’s non- stickability for the entire quatre-vingt dix minutes).

    Aouar signs for Arsenal and is picked to play against Brentford.

    Tets takes him to one side before the game and says, ‘given you’re new and going to find English football a bit full on, I’m going to pull you off at half time’.

    ‘ Sacre bleu’, replies Aouar, ‘at Lyon, Monsieur Aulas only gave us a slice of orange’.

  51. La croqueta

    I hope you guys are all noting down and keeping score on how much pedro is defending arteta over Xhaka. At this point. Xhaka is an Arteta signing. I don’t want to see any excuses being made about Central midfield or a Xhaka mistake or “Arteta needs his own players” when this all crumbles around Artetas feet.