TETHERING EXPECTATIONS FOR SUCCESS AND TRANSFERS

by .

So with Ainsley off to Roma, we could have a bit of a nightmare shortage in midfield should something happen to one of our two available midfielders. Granit and Lokonga are keeping the club going with Mo and Partey out at AFCON. Odegaard and ESR might be able to drop a bit deeper if necessary, but let’s be real, it only takes an errant sneeze to ruin everything… and something like that could badly derail our season. Always remember, before clubs could just make a call to postpone a game… there was Arsenal vs Brentford, COVID ripping through the dressing room, and no option but to play on. Losing our opener then hit us hard for the next two games.

So what options do we have?

I think we’re about to see a number of clubs drop expensive goods from their contracts.

Coutinho will likely be given an exit ramp either on loan or on a free so he can pick up a fee.

Juventus are reportedly saying goodbye to Aaron Ramsey.

There will be others as clubs weigh up the reality: no one is buying ageing stars in 2022.

Could Arsenal bring Ramsey back to the carpet? I have my doubts. It’s a sexy thought, but the truth is he was a risk when we last had the chance to sign him, and let’s be honest… he was a massive waste of money for Juventus. He made 25 games worth of Serie A minutes for £300k a week. Colin Lewin said on our podcast a great indication of future fitness is the past… his past is quite a sad story.

BUT… don’t put it past Arsenal to move on a short term deal for betting advert sensation, Jack Wilshere. He has stature, he gets on with Arteta, everyone is very impressed with how he’s playing and behaving behind the scenes. Even if it’s only a few games, you can’t deny the technical levels he has in his locker. He’s baked in Artetaball, so he’ll hit the ground running. He’s basically had a 2 month medical/trial.

It’s the easiest option for Arsenal that doesn’t break the bank. He can do a Xhaka job, he can do a Partey job, he can do most jobs in midfield.

There’s obviously a big difference between training and match day… but he’s 29, not 38, I’d say it’s a gamble worth taking. There could still be a signing or a loan to buy move. Mattias Svanberg is interesting because all the big Italian clubs are looking at him, the idea there would be to nip in before he turns into a £50m player in 2 seasons time (check out this scouting report).

I have no idea what we’re doing on the transfer front when it comes to strikers, but the more I hear Vlahovic talk in the media, the more I wonder if we’re looking at a big mouth over a big name this summer. There’s not much to suggest Arsenal go for the obvious player these days, if his agents are telling the world they won’t pick up the phone to them, that might be because we’ve refused to pick up the phone to them. What is incredible is how hard the Italian transfer rumour circuit is working to pump him. I wonder if they are paid to do that? Media noise impacts decisions. If fan perception is that a player is right, don’t imagine that doesn’t affect some of the amateur hour minds that are in charge of purse strings in football.

Whatever happens there, don’t expect Arsenal to be making big money moves this January. The value is in the summer or in a try before you buy like Jovic.

I’m no financial expert, but I also wonder if the big rich men of world football are going to wait and see if there’s a mega-market crash brewing. Markets have been very volatile and there are a lot of warning signs that this year might be rough.

The Liverpool game was postponed yesterday. Apparently, their caseload is pretty wild. Klopp has been calling for transparency, but it doesn’t seem like he’s been too willing to share what a mess he’s dealing with or where the mess is.

The disappointing thing is that once again, a big club cries, and they get what they want. Leyton Orient get binned, Liverpool get the full primo service… and they will play the FA Cup on Sunday. Hard not to see that as a dirty darkarts move because Arsenal are in good form and Liverpool is not.

Still, for Arsenal, we have to take it as an advantage. More time on the training ground is a good thing. More rest in the legs is a good thing. Playing the first leg at Anfield is also a good thing. Liverpool clearly not wanting to be part of this thing is a good, good thing. So let’s see what happens there.

It was also nice watching Chelsea easily beat a very strong Spurs side. Not a spanking, but a paddled arse to drive home who the daddy is. 2-0 means Unai Conte has to go with a full team for the second leg. Did you see his body language after the game? Did you hear what he said?

‘Chelsea spent a lot of money’

IT BEGINS

Arsenal will go with a skinny line-up against Nottingham Forest, they’ll probably go pretty meaty for Liverpool on a Thursday, then we roll the dice against Spurs on Sunday. If they get rattled by Chelsea at home again, it might impact how they play against us, especially if Conte plays the victim again.

Back to Spurs. They are really bad. 5 attempts at Chelsea’s goal, 2 on target… when Chelsea had Kepa in goal? It’s very drab. Antonio Conte is here to play on the break, you know what he’s going to do every game, and it is painful to watch. I really hope Arteta takes the same energy he took into last seasons win or bust game.

Here’s the big truth that you can’t escape: Top 4 is still a stretch goal.

‘You are making excuses’

No, I’ve been preaching the same reality all season.

This is the youngest team in the league.

We had the biggest reconstruction of any big team this summer.

This group has to suffer before it can truly be deemed top 4 quality.

That doesn’t mean I’m not hoping we can nick it, we have a lot of things going for us this season. Momentum is one of them. Hungry young players is another. The speed in which they’ve all bonded around the Artetaball idea. They’re all massive, but things can come unstuck very fast, as we saw against Everton.

I don’t want to pick on fan archetypes, but generally, I would say the fans that said the new signings didn’t move the needle / Arteta would be sacked by November, are the people now saying we should make top 4.

Don’t raise the highs too high and don’t take the lows to extremes.

Whatever happens this season, we are on a sharper track than most teams in the league at the moment.

You know where the Spurs story is heading, a massive arson attack that Daniel Levy will have to pay a premium to solve.

You know where United is heading under Rangnick… right into a painful transition. His success has been built around nobody young men from around Europe that agree to work themselves to the bone in a selfless system that requires every single player to do their job. He can’t work with Ronaldo, his system won’t allow it, and he just made him captain. Older players do not want to learn new tricks. Rangnickball is very bad unless everyone buys in.

This season is an opportunity to catch a leap on the competition, no doubt, just tether your expectations to reality. One day, we will drop a performance against Everton so bad, you actually want to cry. Two weeks later, we’ll put on the best show against City of any team in Europe and totally control them by making them look ordinary.

The rocket ship is heading to the moon, but buckle up, because we’ll get nicked by space debris, and occasionally, we’ll be pushed off orbit by a big fuck off rock you weren’t expecting to see.

Have fun in the comments. x

262 Responses to “TETHERING EXPECTATIONS FOR SUCCESS AND TRANSFERS”

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  1. Batistuta

    Dissenter

    All we’ve got is the eye test really, not a lot of strikers our there so not so sure the transfer team are going to be surprising us no matter who they bring in up front.

    Eagle

    Yea was skeptical when we signed him but he’s a real baller and Leao is another I’d take at Arsenal in a heartbeat too

  2. Tom

    “I don’t want to pick on fan archetypes, but generally, I would say the fans that said the new signings didn’t move the needle / Arteta would be sacked by November, are the people now saying we should make top 4.“

    Pick away, Pedro.
    I didn’t think the needle moved, happy to have been wrong.
    Never said Arteta would be or needed to be sacked.
    Predicted top six on 65 points and anything better a bonus.

    But things change and the way I see it, they have changed in our favor.

    United hired a manager unsuited to their immediate situation, and Spuds hired an Emery terrorist/arsonist type — not sure about that last one but if you insist.

    We won’t have a better chance for top four next season unless you believe United have taken on a long term rebuild.

  3. LoveSausage

    No need to get worked up about the whole “Vlahovic not taking calls” thing. The guy was a top 3 striker in Europe last year and this is his agent trying to whip up a bidding war. He’d deserve the sack if he didn’t. And as for a player not declaring his never-dying love for Arsenal as soon as we want him – well, that’s the consequence of having been out of Europe for longer than he’s been playing pro football, isn’t it? We just need to convince him.

  4. AFC Forever

    Dissenter

    “After the last transfer window, I can comfortably say that the transfer team know more than us fans”

    You did make me laugh Diss. I had to read it twice just in case I missed a typo.

    I mean, who would have thought that eh? Professionals with all their experience, knowledge, connections, and teams of scouts know more than Bob the Builder – it seems a bit of a stretch. I mean, come on mate that fat bloke with a wheelbarrow full of muck with his arse hanging out of his trousers, once came 198,984 in an online fantasy football competition, thanks to a bit of expert scouting on Youtube and FIFA. Okay, he got Aaron Ramsdale wrong but he did single-handedly relegate two teams after all. Meanwhile, Bob has just phoned his mate, Dick the Dustman, and asked him to fix his gas boiler; it’s making a banging noise and spreading carbon dioxide into the kid’s bedroom. Who needs a Corgi engineer, he hasn’t got a dog after all.

  5. Pierre

    Batistuta
    “All we’ve got is the eye test really, not a lot of strikers our there so not so sure the transfer team are going to be surprising us no matter who they bring in up front.”

    Not a lot of strikers out there ?

    Maybe we should be looking at a striker who for no apparent reason has only started 3 games this season and scored 5 goals , 4 of them pretty good i have to say..

    Is there another striker in europe who has scored at a rate of a goal every 60 mins this season.

  6. AFC Forever

    Vlahivic is top quality. Ignite all the bollocks in the media, one day the penny will drop for some of you. They lie. As for Nketiah, look he’s got a good goalscoring record but he’s more if your traditional fix in the box. I personally believe that the way we play demands a bit more from a striker, sorry Pierre. I hope he makes it with us but I can’t pretend his overall game seems lacking to me. Nothing would please me more than to be wrong.

  7. Balagoon

    Would it be fair to suggest that a 2 year deal for Wilshere @ £40k/week would cost the club a total of £4m, and provide an alternative (homegrown) to Elneny (out of contract in 5 months time), whereas anything involving Ramsey or Coutinho, or even Wijnaldum, @ 100K, or 200K (or more) could cost £20m + (sign-on, agents etc.) and involve a player/ego wanting first-team action?

  8. TeeCee

    If Eddie was to play against Forest (not sure they’ll cup tie him though) then he will be playing at his level…..Championship!
    Just read that Xhaka hasn’t trained for 4 days…..Covid? Normally I’d be delighted he was nowhere near the team but midfield is going to be very short of non attacking players!! 😯

  9. Dream10

    Had a feeling that Wilshere building up his fitness would result in a possible contract offer. I don’t want him anywhere in the squad tbh. He’s being propped up like he was peak Yaya Touré in the media. Why loan Niles when he is able and capable of covering CM, both fullback and wide positions and sign a player who has been well past it for years?

  10. Rich

    If we’re going to make a splash this month, then we should do everything possible to explore signing Frenkie De Jong

    Barcelona apparently open to a sale, the player might well give us the middle finger, and tell us to spin, but if we don’t ask, then we we’ll never know…

    It’s too good of an opportunity not to explore, at 24 he’d be a game changer, and potentially sit in our engine room for the next 7-8 seasons

    Rarely do players of this type of quality, at this type of age and experience, potentially come onto the market

    If we don’t try, then the best we can hope for would be he goes to PSG or Bayern Munich, because he’d walk into any team in the PL and significantly improve them, and that would be bad for us

    He’s some player, a real joy to watch, makes the game look easy

  11. Tom

    “This group has to suffer before it can truly be deemed top 4 quality.“

    Not sure what this means, Pedro.
    Haven’t they already?
    Liverpool, City ….twice, Brighton, Palace…..how much suffering do they need?

  12. Rich

    MidWestGun

    Not sure why they’d swap 1 misfiring striker for another misfiring striker, seems counterintuitive

    Particularly bringing in an ageing striker, on massive money, with disciplinary issues

    Italy might be good for Auba though, we’ve just got to pray that someone’s willing to take him off our hands

  13. MidwestGun

    Rich … Juventus likes to throw money at old players.. Auba would be a short term help for them.. He is still much better then Morata and Italy would suit his game… Kind of like when we shipped Gervinho off to Roma… he was actually pretty good.

  14. WengerEagle

    I don’t think Auba is much better than Morata now, based on what?

    Two very out of form and poor strikers. Morata with age and his all-round game better is still the more attractive proposition for clubs imo.

  15. AFC Forever

    Midwest

    Was never a fan of Morata. But Aubameyang has fallen off a cliff. I posted these earlier:

    Auba’s shot conversion stats:

    17/18: 32.2%
    18/19: 23.4%
    19/20: 23.7%
    20/21: 17.5%

    So his shot conversion has almost halved.

    We’ve all seen the sitters he’s missed. Only thing he doesn’t seem to miss are parties & Covid..!!

  16. WengerEagle

    Would love Juve not to qualify for the CL and to really fall off.

    They are the United of Italy in a way. Have/had all the built-in advantages and a dominance on the league all undone by their own in-house incompetence.

    Their financial power and popularity in Italy means that this will likely be short-lived till they get their act together. All the more reason to enjoy it.

  17. LoveSausage

    WE,

    Their wage bill is too high and they’re in trouble with the league. Bringing in Ferran T probably didn’t make things better. Xavi seems to want a restart with academy players and they have a couple of big talents in that position. I’m sure they wouldn’t be interested in taking a big loss but they’d sell if the deal is right.

  18. Dissenter

    AFC
    I’m sure we had lots of footballing people when we re making transfer mistakes repeatedly at the end of Wenger’s tenure or when we spent 70+ million on Pepe.
    All that great knowledge and scouting advantage and still yet we ended ups signing a 28-year old reject from Southampton on a 4-5 year contract and then there’s Willian

    Great reputations or experience does not always translate into successful transfers. This transfer team had to earn their chops from the fans, they did.

  19. MidwestGun

    Eagle well they both have about the same nimber of goals.. But Auba isn’t needed as a hold up striker for them.. Juventus has a decent midfield… Auba is a volume striker.. think he would put away a lot of these chances. anyhow it isnt based on anything.. but my observations. 😀 Haha which is basically what anyone posts on here unless they are a professional scout.

  20. WengerEagle

    Dream

    Bayern is a good shout, they really do lack quality midfield options outside of Kimmich and Goretzka.

    Asking Musiala to play in the pivot which he has done brilliantly but is a waste when he is at his best as a wide forward/in Muller’s position.

  21. WengerEagle

    LS

    The Ferran Torres deal would indicate that they do have money wouldn’t it?

    It would make zero sense to take a loss on their best midfielder and arguably best player coming into his prine years while he is still under contract.

    And even in their state, have you known many prime players to walk away from Barcelona? Alexis was out of favour with Pep as was Cesc by the time Chavs came calling.

  22. Habesha Gooner

    Bati
    Look at Vlahovic’s passing and defensive numbers. A lot of lowly 20s percentiles compared to the top 5 leagues strikers.

    https://fbref.com/en/players/79443529/scout/365_euro/Dusan-Vlahovic-Scouting-Report

    You can compare his passing and shot creating stats with a real complete striker in Karim benzema who is setting the standard for strikers.

    https://fbref.com/en/players/70d74ece/scout/365_euro/Karim-Benzema-Scouting-Report

    Vlahovic is no where near. Even the likes of David come out better in these categories. If his holdup play was so great, these numbers wouldn’t lie. Even if we get him, we are going to get a lethal strike that will need to develop the rest of his game.

  23. WengerEagle

    Mid

    Have to disagree there, as AFC Forever’s stats show his conversion rate has torpedoed since his new deal.

    And Auba even in his best days offered you little to nothing outside of goals, at least Morata is a workhorse and has more refined all round ability. Not that I am a fan of either.

  24. Unoni

    And even in their state, have you known many prime players to walk away from Barcelona?

    Wenger eagle
    Figo, Romario, R9, Neymar, Ibrahimavic, Eto,o, Yaya Toure. Off the top of my head

  25. MidwestGun

    What is Moratas conversion rate… can’t be too good.. and sometimes a change of scenery to Italy is all a player needs. Juventus stands to lose a lot ,more money if they miss out on CL so I personally wouldnt be surprised if they made a loan offer for Auba. Just sayin.

  26. WengerEagle

    Unoni

    Ibra, R9, Eto’o, Yaya were all sold willingly by Barca, rightly or wrongly.

    It took PSG to smash the world transfer record to smithereens and pay what Barca thought to be an unpayable €220m transfer fee to trigger his release clause.

    And Figo was bought by prime Galacticos Real Madrid. Is that comparable to us?

  27. Habesha Gooner

    Wenger Eagle
    De Jong isn’t coming here. It is just wishful thinking. He fits Xavi’s philosophy. And even if he left, city, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern will be all over that. I am hoping we get Bruno G. before he blows up more than he already has.

  28. MidwestGun

    Weston Mckennie playing well too.. although he missed a wide open header.. Hope he doesnt do that in World Cup qualifiers.. haha

    Yep Eagle.. Chiesa is that good. Really great shooter.

  29. WengerEagle

    It isn’t just Rich, he has been mentioned here as much as anyone besides Vlahovic the last month.

    I like the little I have watched of Bruno G Habesha although have not seen much of Lyon. Is he very good?

  30. WengerEagle

    McKennie has gone off the boil a bit this season at Juve.

    Sauciest US NT player seems to be Tyler Adams now. Does he warrant the hype? Very underwhelming stats so he must be an eye-test guy.

  31. Habesha Gooner

    Wenger Eagle
    I think he is as good as we can get in this market. What I like is he can do everything. He wins his tackles, he can dribble or drop a shoulder, he passes well and he is creative for a CM. I have seen him play and he is improving every season. I think he is at the right age at 24 too. And he wouldn’t break the bank. 30 to 35 mil ought to do it.

  32. MidwestGun

    Eagle-

    It’s a close call on who is better Mckennie or Adams.. Adams is better at defending so his attacking stats won’t be as good . But he is an intelligent players and seem to always be in the right place so. yep it’s an eyetest thing with Tyler Adams you have to watch him play.. Weston Mckennie I would say is more of a mature player for his age… and can score goals.. Also he is never stops running is tireless. and uses space well.. Will take it up with dribbling if needed.

  33. MidwestGun

    The thing about Juventus is they have a lot of great players.. just not that number 9 they need. So its weird they wouldnt spend any money there.. if they need to.. I know everyone is Covid broke though. so..

  34. Rich

    WE

    Barcelona are apparently open to a sale, they want his €350,000 p/w wages off the books (£292,000 p/w)

    His agent has openly talked about him potentially moving, because Barca need the money

    We missed Ronaldo in 2003
    Alonso in 2007
    Suarez 2013
    Wenger was in Mbappe’s living room

    I’m fuc*ed off to the back teeth with missing out on these types of opportunities, rarely do opportunities this good come up

    To not ever explore the opportunity would be a mistake, we could match what Barca are paying him, particularly if we trimmed some fat off the sides of our squad

    Auba probably earns similar type of money

    Even if it’s a long shot, we may as well take the shot, because sometimes even 35 yard pot shots go flying into the top corner, or squirm through the keepers legs…

  35. Dissenter

    CIES most valubale players list 2022
    Their methodology is always subjective but it’s always worth a mention.

    1) Vinícius Júnior – €166.4m

    2) Phil Foden – €152.6

    3) Erling Haaland – €142.5

    4) Mason Greenwood – €133.9

    5) Florian Wirtz – €133.0

    6) Jude Bellingham – €130.1

    7) Alphonso Davies – €122.3

    8) Rúben Dias – €120.5

    9) Pedri González – €118.0

    10) Frenkie de Jong – €115.2

    11) Jadon Sancho – €115.0

    12) Bruno Fernandes – €113.9

    13) Trent Alexander-Arnold – €112.8

    14) Mason Mount – €108.9

    15) Achraf Hakimi – €108.2

    16) Reece James – €108.0

    17) Bukayo Saka – €103.0

    18) Leroy Sané – €102.4

    19) Jamal Musiala – €101.7

    20) Kai Havertz – €101.2

    Pretty soo Martinelli and ESR will sneak into these lists

  36. AFC Forever

    Diss

    You need a muzzle mate. You literally bite on everything!!! Chill out a bit, light hearted humour is good for you. You remind me of a couple of blokes going on a camping holiday; you’re too intense

  37. Dissenter

    I believe Saka and Florian Wirtz are the only players on that CIES list who didn’t play for clubs in the CL this season. .

  38. WengerEagle

    Rich

    It isn’t an opportunity though, he’ll cost close to €100m if he is sold and we’ll have to get in line behind Europe’s elite who could all use a world class CM talent.

  39. Dissenter

    AFC
    I have no idea what you’re on about.
    I’m not flustered in the least by what you post, I just replied your post in a nonchalant manner

  40. Unoni

    And Figo was bought by prime Galacticos Real Madrid. Is that comparable to us?

    Wenger Eagle
    Not saying he will come to us but they are certainly capable of losing star players only to later regret

  41. WengerEagle

    Unoni

    True but to me the more unbelievable part is that he would choose us over everyone one else rather than he would actually leave Barca to begin with.

    We are in a transitional phase at the moment and he is coming into his prime years soon (25/26). He won next to nothing at Barca so cannot see him being super patient to join a work in progress.

  42. Habesha Gooner

    Wenger eagle
    That list considers contract length and the position af a club that is holding onto said player. If not Mbappe would definitely be there. And Greenwood won’t be top 4.

  43. Rich

    WE

    If I was the Arsenal owner, I’d immediately hand you your P45 if you brought that type of negativity and lack of ambition into London Colony….

    A dream without ambition, is like a car without petrol… you’re not going anywhere…

    No player is too good for Arsenal…

  44. WengerEagle

    What planet are you living on Rich? This isn’t 2004.

    It’s not lack of ambition to suggest that De Jong isn’t a player that will join us.

    We aren’t close to as attractive a destination as PSG, Bayern, City or Liverpool right now. It’s a toss-up whether we even qualify for the CL next season.

  45. Rich

    WE

    It was a joke, I’m not really buying Arsenal…

    Calm down, if you’ve got a job at London Colony, it’s safe

    At least for now….

  46. WengerEagle

    Rich

    You’ve been lusting over Frenkie for a while now, it wasn’t a joke. 🤣

    Anyway those mega signings don’t fit the new model/ agenda do they?

    Which is why I also do not see Vlahovic happening.

  47. Habesha Gooner

    WE
    Yeah. It’s mental. Saka is worth more than Greenwood. Vinita is great but he wouldn’t be calued above Haaland if he didn’t have a release clause and Mbappe would be at least top two if he didn’t have 6 months left. Havertz is there because he was signed for big fee and he has a long contract. His value didn’t increase. It just means it is harder to get Chelsea to sell him. It is a very weird list.

  48. MidwestGun

    Damn they just said Verona in Serie A played today with 10 players out from Covid.. Clearly the Covid protocol standards are a bit different from Italy to the PL.

    How many did Pool actually have out today. Just curious mostly..

  49. Pierre

    Oh yes , pace, power , can hold up and link the play with effortless ease, and look at the quality of his finishing …exquisite.

    Put his highlights alongside the others in the frame and he compares cery favourably …and he won’t cost a penny.
    https://youtu.be/yb3yIhRgmWU

  50. Habesha Gooner

    Pierre
    But he is so afraid he won’t play, he is leaving for free. If he backed himself he would have stayed and fought for a starting role. He is still 22. He can sign a 3 year contract and leave if things don’t work out by then. He is a good player but he knows who is no more than a backup at a top club himself.

  51. Dissenter

    Habesha
    Isn’t Bruno Guimarães an attacking MF who would occupy the same positions as ESR
    ESR can’t even get starts anymore because of Ode’s form.
    Seems to me, Arteta will just be buying himself a headache

  52. Time Up

    That list of Dissenter is laughable, useless Sancho is almost 15 mil more than Saka. Foden 50 mil more and that mental waste of talent Greenwood 30 mil more.

    The most laughable is Trent Alexander 10 million more than Saka 😂. The funny thing Saka is better than him even at full back..

  53. Dissenter

    I believe they didn’t factor in release clauses for that CIES list
    These lists are always goin to be subjective

    I don’t consider Saka to be #17 on the list, the English premium wasn’t factored and they overrated the value of the younger Bayern Munich players

  54. Rich

    WE

    Not joking about trying to sign Frenkie De Jong, I’m under no illusion that it’s a long shot, but sometimes long shots pay big

    I was out in Manly years ago, I’ve gone to put €50 on No6, but I was so smashed, I accidentally put it on No9

    No9 then came in at 34/1

    If you don’t shoot, then you don’t score….

  55. Time Up

    I would say no to Vlahivic, not because he’s not a good player. Because he’s style isn’t what we need.

    We need striker can drop deep to pull defenders with him, control the ball, turn and release the wide attackers, can do mainly number 10 and some 9 job. Vlahivic not that type of player he’s out and out number 9.

    My pick would be ….
    1) A Isak
    2) Joao Pedro
    3) J David

  56. Rich

    Diss

    I’d go with De Jong, he’s at a better age, just coming into his prime, and we need a deep lying midfielder, he’d hit the ground running, and instantly be one of the best players in the league

    I’m not sure what position Bellingham will end up, brilliant talent, certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if we went for him, he’s giving me Zidane vibes, but still has plenty of developing to do

    Who would you go for?

  57. Time Up

    When we talk about a striker, you can be sure Pierre will arrive and talk about Eddie. What Pierre don’t or can’t see, there are strikers 10 times better than Eddie and playing at bottom 10 teams in the EPL.

    I could mention few here…

    Wilson at Newcastle
    Watkins and Inges at Villa
    Bamford at Leeds
    DCL at Everton
    Edwardo at Palace
    King at Watford
    Etc

  58. Dissenter

    Rich
    I think both are out our reach already but if I was drinking the same sauce as you, I’ll prefer Bellingham because of the wide range of skillsets that he has.
    He can plan anywhere in the middle and he’s not even 19 years yet.

  59. Tee

    Pierre,

    Nkethia is nothing more than a fox in the box. I don’t know where you are getting this hold up, link up attributes.of him.from.

    I’m sorry but nkethia gives me a tap-in Merchant vibes.

  60. izzo

    Pierre must be trolling with his Nketiah nonsense. Don’t know what he sees while watching him play football. I mean just have a look at what Martinelli does in PL and look at what Eddie does whenever he’s gotten chances in PL . The gulf in desire and overall quality is gargartuan. No one will miss Nketiah when hes gone. Just another Chuba Akpom and Benik Afobe type. Do we miss them? NOPE!

  61. Zacharse

    If the press are anything to go by doesnt look as though we’ll be buying any english players in jan. Unsurprising unless we’re targeting youth players etc

    The vlahovic story gets bugger everyday. Is anyone sure hes not just going to hold
    Out and go to juve on a free?

  62. Tony

    I can’t make up my mind whether Nketiah is a late bloomer (Ian Wright? late bloomer type) or a mid to low table club player?

    I agree with Izzo, but also see Pierre’s frustration.

    In pre-season Nketiah showed he has more to his game, but for whatever reason he gained limited game time to express and explore that side of his game. He also didn’t fit into Arteta’s pampering of Auba showing considerable lack of understanding his younger players. He’d still be pandering to Auba had he not breached the sacred non-negotiables.

    As always, what many here including myself were wanting, was for Arteta to play Martinelli since February last season, where had Arteta had the same thinking, both Bolagun and Nketiah would have had their time to impress along with Azzes.

    The form we had from post Xmas was lost before our pre season, so playing the kids would have benefited us more. It’s not hindsight because the posts are there to read from many here.

    The man to question is Arteta.

    Arteta missed a golden opportunity last season post Xmas to integrate several Hale Enders into the squad with the right amount of game time including last pre season.

    Another view is that Nketiah had the game time last season to impress where seemingly Arteta chose Balogun over Nketiah from training I presume.

    Selling Nketiah won’t affect us and we’ll have some money to buy Dusan V who apparently isn’t buying in to the Arteta revolution and saying or his agent is saying this repeatedly if reports are to be believed.

    My question is why our chase for a quality MF seems to be a non event again while Arteta are on a striker hunt?

    Never mind we have the hugely experienced Xhaka and inexperienced Lakonga (with real future potential) to rule our mid field for the next 4 weeks or so against some 4th place rivals. The handbrake will be back on I assume.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  63. DivineSherlock

    I am surprised people are talking about #9 but nobody gave a mention to Emmanuel Dennis at Watford ? He is playing beautifully over there . I would love some stats just to compare him with some names on here.

  64. China1

    Nah I do wish welbeck all the best. I’m harsh on him but I don’t really dislike the player he just used to drive me crazy. Good luck to him

    Btw has anyone else seen the stats underpinning auba’s decline in the last 4 years

    The decline is statistically obvious and quite remarkable. Goals to minutes declined every single season since he joined without fail. Meanwhile attempted shots has actually increased. As well arsenal are a better team these days than we were when he joined so what possible excuse is there except his own decline? Very glad the club is being ruthless here

  65. Tee

    “@Dissenters list of favourite players is more disastrous than ValentinesIm telling you for free!”

    Most times, about to expire or worthless products are given out for free.

    Besides, how’s your world-class willock fairing at Newcastle?

  66. Sid

    “””Besides, how’s your world-class willock fairing at Newcastle?”””

    Pierre, help this football patsy with some elite football knowledge.

  67. TR7

    Did some YT scouting of Isak. His signature move is to cut inside from the left wing position and hit a curler from his strong right foot, very similar to some of the goals scored by Auba when he played on the flanks for us. Doesn’t strike me as a well rounded central forward, more like a LW.

  68. Terraloon

    Pedro

    It’s the easiest option for Arsenal that doesn’t break the bank. He can do a Xhaka job, he can do a Partey job, he can do most jobs in midfield.

    I really had to a double take when I read this about Wilshire.

    Sadly he is a busted flush . No club with any ambition would invest even a single £ in a player who ( if you include this season ) has played in total 30 league games in the las 5 seasons.

    There is a reason clubs such as Brighton, like Bournemouth, like Reading haven’t gone close to taking a chance on him. He is built of glass and whilst the romantic attraction is there you really aren’t doing anything to motivate academy players who are straining at the leash to get a chance .

  69. Pierre

    It’s ok sid , willock’s 8 goals in 8 games FROM MIDFIELD to save newcastle from relegation last season says more about willock than i ever can.

    Tragically mis used in a defensive/holding role this season for Newcastle and people question why he hasn’t repeated his heroics of last season.

  70. Raulishuss

    willock was producing some crazy defensive numbers before he got bench earlier. Thing is willock will develope to be a good box to box midfielder but newcastle are a mess.

  71. Raulishuss

    chris is older and has been playing consistent footie for almost 3years now. Joe has always been rated higher even when both were in our academy.

  72. Rich

    According to Ornstein, Arsenal are actively trying to sign Dusan Vlahovic in January, so far they’re ahead in terms of fee + wages if the player were to move this month

    City want Haaland and will do everything they can to sign him this summer, but Haaland apparently wants Real Madrid, they’re also monitoring Alexander Isak + Dusan Vlahovic

  73. Leedsgunner

    Even if Coutinho moves and has a stellar six months we need to start thinking longer term.

    We need players that will give us more than 6 months but more like 6 years… especially if we are going to be paying these silly ages.

  74. Samesong

    Why are wanting a player that literally doesn’t want to sign for us? Arsenal not his preferred destination.

  75. Leedsgunner

    “Why are wanting a player that literally doesn’t want to sign for us? Arsenal not his preferred destination..,”

    True… although is this actually what his agent is saying or what the player actually wants?

    I have a feeling that agents are driving this and not the player.

  76. China1

    So this summer Real could sign Mbappe on a free and Haaland for 65m

    I know there are loads of sign on bonuses, agent fees and insane wages so I don’t know if it’s remotely possible, but it’s Real Madrid so you wouldn’t write it off.

    I really hope it doesn’t happen. Having the two best players on the same team is pretty boring imo. Imagine is Messi and Ronaldo had both played together, it would’ve made la liga way more boring

    As well I’d much rather see haaland come to England. Mbappe too but I can’t see it happening