TRANSFER NOISE + CHEATING IN PLAIN SIGHT

by .

If you’ve been reading Le Grove for a while, you’ll know I don’t really raise my hand on transfer rumours, because it’s a risky game. There are very few that truly know what they are doing in this space, David Ornstein is obviously the best in the business, BBC on the resume, an actual journalist, can cut through the bullshit, has real contacts, very rarely misses. There are others that get good information, but it’s peddled via agents, the deal with the devil there is part of your messaging is good faith, but the other part is shifting nonsense, being the authentic face of bullshit designed to whip up interest.

If a big name Twitter account says X player is moving to BIG club, it might not be true, but that Twitter account creates 1000 stories that make it feel true. Football is a game of emotion and execs all have the same biases and ticks you do. So this tactic can be fruitful because a front-of-mind name for you can be a front-of-mind name in an insecure scouting office.

So, first up on the nonsense chart.

The Daily Mail reckon Cedric Soares has been denied a move to Atletico by the move of Ainsley. This is a big fat NONSENSE. Remember, Cedric was a player so average Southampton assumed that when his deal ran out, he’d go to a lower league club. The idea that Diego Simeone is going to swoop in for a £90k a week right back that; as someone neatly put it the other day,  is still our 4th best right back after shipping a few, is utter dross. This is a story of Kia’s imagination designed to fool other clubs into thinking there might be a player there. If Arsenal could shake his £90k a week salary, they’d stick Bernd Leno at right-back for the rest of the season. Cedric might land a move, but let’s be real, Soares can’t do anything Trippier can do, and if he’s not an Arteta or a Hassenhutl player, he’s not a Simeone player.

The second mega noise is around Dusan Vlahovic’s camp and club. Fiorentina folk are telling anyone that wants to listen that Arsenal needs to do something, like, so bloody crazy if they want the bring the striker over this January.

This story has flaws.

Firstly, the £58m price tag. Who are they kidding? The player has 18 months left on his deal, 12 in the summer, it would be nuts if they managed to squeeze £50m for the player in this market. Fiorentina desperately needs a club like Arsenal to come for their player now, because in the summer, the price drops again.

Then you have the summer. The pickings are slim when it comes to clubs with the money and the prestige to be a draw.

  • PSG – Haaland / Lukaku / Ronaldo
  • City – Kane / Haaland
  • Barca – skint (dreaming of Haaland)
  • Chelsea – Lukaku (Haaland)
  • United – Too many strikers
  • Liverpool – No room
  • Spurs – Broke
  • Juve – Would want a 6 year loan

It’s hard to ask for something crazy in a market of one.

Then let’s talk about the wages. The Mail again saying we’d need crazy money. He’s reportedly asking for £300k a week. Come on people. Are we losing our damn minds? Arsenal isn’t going to him with that money when we have Saka, Martinelli, and Smith Rowe on our book earning around £120k a week at best. We’re not going to fuck our wage structure on a 21-year-old that doesn’t have many options outside us / hasn’t proved himself outside a tier 4 league. You think Juve are going to give him that? No chance. They’ll ask Fiorentina to pay his wages on the loan move they’ll want.

The more noise I read about Vlahovic, the more I think the move is unlikely. This chatter is all driven by agents via Italian Football Twitter, but where there’s smoke… there’s usually a really annoying player that’ll come and want to leave after year one unless they land a new deal.

Again, think about the currency of the internet: Information. Look at how much info out of accounts linked to agents. This is part of a negotiation or it’s part of a noisy ‘PLEASE SOMEONE DRIVE UP THE PRICE’ campaign.

I’m going to say it again, I think Jack Wilshere might be an option this month, remember, it only takes a second to sign a deal.

Arsenal aren’t loaded this January, pulling money from the summer for a striker makes sense, but I don’t think we’ll be finding £60m for a midfielder. I suspect the pattern you see with the striker is what you’re going to see with the midfielder.

  • Age Profile: 21-24
  • Appearances: 2 seasons of consistent first-team action in a major league
  • Contract: 6-18months left on deal so the fee can be lower

Who knows what the specificity is going to be, but I suspect we’ll be looking at an understudy for Granit Xhaka after nearly losing him in the summer and someone that can add a bit of bite and edge heading into the end of the year.

The key for the window is to manage the emotion of it. The easiest thing to do would be to waste money on someone (Gini). The temptation will be to break the strategy with someone older that could block the path of a young player that simply needs a 6-month loan to put themselves in contention.

We don’t need to do anything wild. Arsenal has a wild couple of weeks coming up. The job is clear. We need to beat Liverpool for cheating their COVID testing, then we have to go to Spurs this weekend and take a point or more. After that, beat Burnley and we are game on for the Top 4 race for the rest of the season.

All we need to do is ride four games, then we enter into Phase 6 of the season with a 17 day break. Last season, I think Arteta took the team to Dubai. Get into that break without too much damage and the players will get some sun, they’ll have a mini-preseason with the new players, then we’ll jump back into Phase 6 of the season fresh, with no Europe, no more cups, just pure focus and a clear objective to chase.

Back to Liverpool. The press now seems pretty clear that, yes, conspiracies do happen in football, but only because Jurgen Klopp was dim enough to reveal it in the press. Liverpool opened their training ground a day after our postponed game, then admitted they had 10 false-negative tests. You’ve a better chance of winning the lottery than getting than many bad test results. Is there any other way of framing this outside cheating? There’s not.

At the core, this is a huge compliment. Jurgen Klopp has fucked Liverpool’s season by January again, which is a huge, huge failure on his part. He needs an insurance trophy, that is now the League Cup. He wants a good news story. Last Thursday, he knew Arsenal were in outstanding form, he didn’t have all the players he needed, so they gamed the system and had the event moved by Rick Parry (exLiverpool exec). False positives are rare. A load of them, at a professional football club, is impossible. This needs to be punished by more than a cursory fine.

Still, the ACTUAL positive here is Arsenal didn’t have Xhaka, who was really sick, and now they do. Arteta needs a performance, the boys need to get some good news into those tired legs, now they have a chip on their collective shoulders, so let’s see what we can do there.

I will say again… media that play the: ‘Hmmmffhhhopppphhh, fans are so dumb when they call out cheating in the game’ really embarrassed themselves with the lack of probing around what Liverpool did. Call it out, Klopp is a disgrace. Be a little curious on other things like referees and the drab data associated with how they behave around certain clubs.

Final piece related to Cup nightmares and the internet. Nottingham Forest are trying to get a promotion this season, they are in the mixer for the Play-offs. Did anyone think it was nuts that Steve Cooper went out of his way to shit-house Arsenal and put Djed Spence, their excellent full-back, in the shop window like that? Boro’ now has a proper coach in Chris Wilder, who must be wondering why a player that can go toe-to-toe with Martinelli is out on loan to a rival, and now the rest of the Premier League is looking at the same player and wondering if they need a new right-back. Mad put your best silver on show in a trophy you can’t win, but here we are, that’s football for ya.

Ok, have fun in the comments and WATCH THE DAMN SHOW (subscribe too) or LISTEN (subscribe) to it. Johnny seems to have won MoTP for his showing. Thank you for watching and tuning in, we love you. x

316 Responses to “TRANSFER NOISE + CHEATING IN PLAIN SIGHT”

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  1. Sid

    Karis Mullis inventor of PCR test

    “It is important to note that detecting viral material by PCR does not indicate that the virus is fully intact and infectious, i.e. able to cause infection in other people. The isolation of infectious virus from positive individuals requires virus culture methods. These methods can only be conducted in laboratories with specialist containment facilities and are time consuming and complex.”

  2. Invincibles

    The EFL announcement was always a little odd

    the League has accepted Liverpool’s request after determining, albeit reluctantly, that a postponement was the only option as the club looks to mitigate against the further risk of infection amongst its squad and staff alongside ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London.

    It feels like even at the time Liverpool we’re arguing they did not know how many cases they had and were worried about the risk of further transmission – rather than purely they could not field enough first team squad players.

    Question is why were other teams not allowed to do the same – seems it’s them complaining more than Arsenal.

    Anyway I am not sure it’s that bad a thing

    The team we would have played would only have been different from the fa cup tie for Tierney and Lacazette anyway (who else was available and fit and I am pretty sure Leno would have played). Hard to see a Patino Lokonga midfield would not have proved too inexperienced.

    And even if we got a result at home a second leg at Anfield in front of their referee influencing crowd and with Klopp able to pick the team he needed to do the job would have been very difficult.

    I prefer us having Xhaxa for first leg (did I just type that) and home advantage for the second.

  3. Danny

    It’s getting very annoying what’s going on this season e.g. no VAR in our match vs N.Forest (clear foul on Holding for shirt pulling) while A.Villa denied a goal because of VAR, Brentford match not cancelled when we had 4 players (maybe more) infected but the Liverpool semis off because of one bloody player.

  4. Demetrios

    Yo Pedro, the Vlahovic numbers aren’t too far off actually. We’ve gone in hard from him but he’s not sure. That I’m itself should be a red flag for us.
    And be ready to see Renato Sanchez join us shortly. 99% done

  5. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    The priority in this transfer window has to be a CMF/DMF. I am sure that Arsenal have the
    money to buy a player in £30-40 Million price range and I don’t think that the wage bill will
    upset our pay structure.

    If we qualify for Europe with additional mid week playing demands then we need at least 3
    seasoned players in that department.

    Whilst there is a lot of uncertainty over CFs with both Lacazette and Nketiah coming to end
    of contracts and Aubameyang in the dog house I do not believe that we need to spend inflated prices in this transfer window unless one of Aubameyang and Lacazette leaves in this window, which does not seem likely.

    I agree also with your analysis about strikers. Paying an inflated price this month for Vlahovic seems daft particularly if we land up paying wage bill as well, which might unsettle other players in squad.

    Let us negotiate a contract extension and wage rise with Saka and Smith-Rowe before we
    embark on any striker deal.

    In the summer there will be competition for Haaland, Mbappe and probably Kane. Arsenal
    are not going to be in the market for any of those three.

    So our horizon will be more likely to players such as Vlahovic, David, Isak and Calvert Lewis.
    Personally I would be inclined to exclude Vlahovic, because I don’t like the mentality of his
    agent and there seems to be no enthusiasm from player to join us.

    What we want and need are players who want to join us and not recruit someone who if
    he does join us will treat us in a couple of years time as a stepping stone to move on to likes
    of PSG, Man City, Chelsea or even Newcastle.

    Liverpool should be punished for cheating and banished from Carabao Cup. Sadly I think that is highly unlikely unless we hear something today. If the game goes ahead on Thursday
    it is not going to happen.

    As I have said on many occasions in last two weeks our priorities in January are the Spurs and Burnley games.

    I am disappointed with outcome of Nottingham Forest game, but the club should have managed better that game and won it even in the absence of 9 players. Our first team squad
    should have been good enough to have beaten them. There were no excuses for the result
    and performance.

  6. Pedro

    Sid, if your entire value here is to take joy in losses and bat for everyone bar Arsenal, you will go the way of other trolls. Remember, this is an Arsenal blog.

  7. Sid

    PTAH, if your entire value here is to take joy in mediocre wins and bat for Diet Pep Not Arsenal, you will go the way of other trolls. Remember, this is an Arsenal blog.

  8. Dissenter

    Had we played Liverpool in the carabao cup semi with the same team that was crap on Sunday, they would have stuffed us at the Emirates. The tie would be over by now.
    Kindly stop all this conspiracy nonsense

    Liverpool may just have done us a favor, unwittingly.

  9. Tom

    Why would Klopp risk soiling his reputation concocting a scheme that gives him little if any advantage at all, in a competition he thinks so little of that he wanted to forgo the second leg at Anfield and only play the first one at Arsenal?
    Oh yes, he needs the milk cup trophy to lessen the blow from his tanking the league he was never favored to win to begin with, and which isn’t yet a forgone conclusion.

    I welcome an investigation into it by all means and let the chips fall where the may if there is one but call me a skeptic.

    Besides if our great form from a week ago put a fear of god into him then surely we haven’t lost it over one disappointing game against Forest.

    So if by cheating their covid tests Liverpool gave away the advantage of playing the second leg at home, gained no advantage of bringing their two biggest weapons in Salah and Mane into the fold, and gave us the opportunity to have a fit Xhaka back……… then it worked in our favor.

    If anyone is more desperate to use the milk cup glory as cover for a possible failure in the league then it’s probably us.
    Let’s be honest here , for some Arteta wining another title , even the milk cup trophy, would give him enough cover for any failure he might have in the league later on.

    Pedro from a week ago: Klopp doesn’t care about this competition, they should forfeit it and give us a by.

    Pedro today: Klopp needs this competition to save his failing reputation.

    My neck is sore from the whiplash.

  10. englandsbest

    Not at all sure Klopp rates Carabao Cup. He’s chasing City hard for the PL title, and we’re only halfway through the season. If he cheated, hardly think it was because he’s desperate for the lowest-rated trophy on offer.

    It seems the Florentine is not on Arteta’s menu. Who then? Probably no striker at all if Eddie and Laca stay. A midfielder is much more likely. But if I was betting on a striker, he would have to be a game-changer – like Haaland.

  11. raptora

    It was just a few days ago that I had a 20 min “scouting” of several strikers that we should be looking at, and Newcastle are supposedly in talks with one of them – Hugo Ekitike.

    8 goals and 2 assists in roughly 10 full games (10 starts and 7 subs for a total of 866 mins played). He’s playing for Reims, he’s 19 yo and 189 cm tall (6 ft 2).

    At that age you never know how a player will progress. Could be the new Sanogo or a potential Adebayor/Drogba.

    We already have Balogun who ticks similar boxes. I feel like the striker we are looking to bring should be a bit more experienced even if he’s in the beginning of his 20s.

    For the type of football we are playing, I’d bring Danjuma (Weagle’s idea that I should have thought about first……..) in the Summer, keep playing Lacazette till the summer when his contract is over, and go balls deep for Martinelli ST, Danjuma on the left, Saka on the right, ESR/Ode in the AM position.

    With that lineup, we could be the new City/Pool with the huge number of threats we’ll have from literally every player in attack being able to score over 10 goals in an EPL season.

    I’m not saying that the path with someone like Vlahovic is bad. It’s a good one as well. But in case the transfer doesn’t work, it’s a great plan B.

    Can’t believe we didn’t look at Danjuma this Summer, he moved to Villareal from Bournemouth for the laughable £20m after landing 17 goals and 7 assists in 30 games play time in Championship.

    Already has 9 goals and 3 assists in La Liga + Champions League in like 14 games play time. Dutch, about to turn 25 years in 20 days, and ready to bang exactly how it happened to the likes of Salah, Mane, Mahrez.

    Liverpool already interested with the rumoured price of £40m

  12. InsideRight

    Someone needs to tell FIFA the time has come to push AFCON back to once every four years. The disruption of a tournament like this in mid season every other season is too much.

    I would not be surprised if the current situation sees some managers privately avoid giving key African players contracts in future when there will be an AFCON in the middle of them. It’s too much hassle.

  13. raptora

    So annoying that if we were interested in buying Danjuma directly from Bournemouth – BOOOM £40m !!!
    But because it’s a Spanish club that wanted him – bruvs you can have him for £20m.

  14. Batistuta

    AFCON has pretty much been held in January basically since forever, don’t know what’s always got most folks knickers in a twist with it and I’m very sure most managers would still sign very good players of African descent tomorrow if the opportunity came in

  15. AFC Forever

    Liverpool and Covid
    The Liverpool situation proves what I was saying last week. The system is open to abuse. I actually thought the fiddle was done by claiming players are injured, that’s a really easy way to reduce your playing numbers. Trying to pretend, as some are on here, that cheating doesn’t matter is a road to disaster and the integrity of the game. It is irrelevant whether Liverpool did us a favour or not, they probably did, it’s about making sure the game is honest and ALL clubs are treated equally. Not deciding which games they don’t want to play for whatever reason.

    VAR = CLEAR AND OBVIOUS – or not so clear and obvious as they claim

    VAR is not being applied to meet the PGMOL rules. We now have ex referees and ex-players shaking their heads at the inconsistency of the way it is being applied, as the PGMOL are once again found guilty of not sticking to their own rules.

    PGMOL state that the entire point of VAR is: ‘Not to get correct decisions’. It is purely there to correct ‘Clear & Obvious’ mistakes, not subjective ones or those that need forensic analysis.

    This ruling is because they don’t want to slow the game down or run the risk of having games refereed by the VAR official and not the on-field referee. Mike Riley is clear he does not want the on-field referee undermined, especially by the VAR official who may not even be in the select group of 16 appointed to officiate games. So clear and obvious only.

    Yesterday the Aston Villa ‘goal’ took 3.5 minutes to forensically analyse before sending Oliver to the monitor. That’s 3.5 minutes between the players and fans celebrating to the goal to it being overturned. No communication just Oliver with his finger in his ear. Fans left wondering what on earth was going on. Finally Oliver was sent to the monitor so we knew the decision would be overturned, it always is (Except Mike Dean who once viewed the monitor, refused to change his mind but still got it wrong – yes he really is that bad!!)

    Today there is much condemnation of the decision. Not whether or not it was correct, although that has been questioned, but whether it passed the test of being “Clear and Obvious” As everyone is saying, it took too long to be clear and obvious. It was subjective and not what VAR is for.

    Forget agendas and who you support on this blog: Arsenal, Spurs or Manchester Utd – it is important that we get consistency with VAR and the Covid Postponement of games. If you want to live in fantasyland and pretend everything is working fine and it all evens itself out, you’re wrong. Aston Villa are out of the FA Cup they can’t get back in it now. Even if it did even itself out, it should not deflect from the fact that results are being manipulated by inconsistent application of the rules. With video replays that is unacceptable.

    PGMOL does need to be investigated because fans need clarity around the rules so we get consistency and can prevent the ‘possible’ manipulation of results. We also need to remember that without fans the game is dead – but there doesn’t seem to be any consideration for what we want.

    Ultimately, how many of us have confidence that the game is being managed with the highest level of honesty and integrity. Anyone?

  16. Samesong

    Raptora

    What about Brereton Diaz? 20 goals this season in 25 matches. Been on form since last season for club and country and is only 22?

  17. DivineSherlock

    I just wanna smash those Liverpool bitches , I hope we play our strongest team and nick a 1-0 win . Its very unfortunate that we have to play our most important PL match sandwiched between the 2 legs of the cup .

  18. Major_Jeneral

    Why are fans generally aleays after the next shinning thing on the blog.?

    How many fans have actually watched Jed Spence before the Notss vs Arsenal Fa Cup match?
    You cannot out of the blue look at at him to be on your transfer list just because of 1 game. Only unique prodigy can be looked at that way and they are few.

    A player can impress after one game but you will still need to do proper scouting before looking at him at as potential player.
    I will take Tariq Lamprey, max Aarons before Jed Spence

  19. AFC Forever

    EB

    “It seems the Florentine is not on Arteta’s menu. Who then? Probably no striker at all if Eddie and Laca stay. A midfielder is much more likely. But if I was betting on a striker, he would have to be a game-changer – like Haaland.”

    Haaland is Odegaards best mate. If we somehow manage a minor miracle and get top 4, why not?

    Transfer speculation is 99% BS, so I wouldn’t take anything the media says. They know someone needs a striker so they start throwing names around, it’s clickbait. It is also worth remembering the difference between January and the Summer and also how league position impacts on the quality of signing yo can attract. We do need a CM desperately though, so I expect that to get done – but not via the media.

  20. DivineSherlock

    AFC Forever

    Not that I dont agree with you but its hard to feel sympathy for Aston Villa , who without THAT disallowed goal against Sheffield United , should have been relegated. But I agree with your much larger point about PGMOL and referees. But I dont think its a consipracy , its just plain incompetence and then consequent attempts to hide those which have blown on their faces recently.

  21. Nelson

    For me, FA should have a policy to ensure every player and personnel participating on the game day be clean. If a team can’t come up with enough clean first team players, then it is a mistake of the team. They either fill the team with subs or forfeit. That would force every team to be very careful. It can only be a good thing.

  22. AFC Forever

    DivineSherlock

    I hope you are right mate. However, the inconsistency from game to game doesn’t get corrected, which is very odd. The good thing is everyone has cottoned onto the fact that something needs to be done. From match appointments, the make-up of the select group and VAR the finger is being pointed at Mike Riley. I think all we fans want is to understand the rules and see them applied the same for everyone. There is no way we should be sitting around for nearly four minutes. waiting for fo a ‘clear and obvious’ decision, which is obviously not clear and obvious. I agree with ex-referee Keith Hackett, I definitely believe unconscious bias exists & plays a part.

  23. AFC Forever

    * There is no way we should be sitting around for nearly four minutes. waiting for a ‘clear and obvious’ decision, which is obviously not clear and obvious.

  24. Graham62

    Major=jeneral

    This is one of the reasons why I’m falling out of love with the game.
    For me, Spence showed in that one game, he is more than capable of stepping up to the plate.
    No doubt our scouts will be looking all over Europe and we’ll end spending an arm and a leg on recruiting someone.

  25. raptora

    Samesong,
    I hear you about Brereton Diaz.

    He looks like a no-nonsense striker. Much like Haaland btw. They’ll score the ugly goals that the pretty boys don’t score.

    Not that easy on the eye though. Not exciting or a fantastic footballer. Uncultured. Would probably fit the likes of West Ham and Newcastle.

    Might do well though. As I said, Haaland also scores SO MANY ugly goals

    As a whole I’d be reluctant on making Brereton Diaz our starting striker for the next years. Need to see more quality in his play than at this moment of time.

  26. raptora

    Samesong,
    Yeah. His driven shots are very good. I’m more of a sucker for curlers but a goal is a goal. With so many clubs finding themselves short of goals, he’ll be in the EPL in no time.

  27. AFC Forever

    Graham62

    “This is one of the reasons why I’m falling out of love with the game. For me, Spence showed in that one game, he is more than capable of stepping up to the plate”

    Mate, you don’t scout or sign a player after one game!! I have been involved in football for years and let me tell you Spence will be known to the clubs. Professional football clubs have huge amounts of data with their analytics-led process with dossiers on most players. They know more than we can see in one good performance. Ask yourself how many players you have seen be brilliant in one game but absolutely rubbish in the next?

  28. Graham62

    Djed Spence, is talented, of that there is no doubt.
    I’m sure the likes of Martinelli, Tavares and Tierney would love to have him on their side.
    How much would he cost in today’s market?
    Exactly!
    Let’s go out though and spend another £40m on a proven player.

  29. Fedda

    Batistuta & Insideright:

    AFCON was played in the summer last time in 2019 and will forever more unless something changes. Covid disrupted it this time (2021) and it had to be moved to January.

  30. Graham62

    AFC

    I’ve been involved in professional coaching for over forty’s years, in various sports.
    Data is overrated.
    How did all that data work out in respect to Pepe?

  31. DivineSherlock

    AFC Forever

    Is it just too much to ask PGMOL to change ? I dont think it’ll happen anytime soon or until every stadium in the PL starts booing the refs . To make wholesale changes we as fans need to make it loud enough that we wont tolerate this BS. a

  32. Batistuta

    Fedda

    Yea I’m aware, just all of the noise around the tourney like it’s not for the longest time been played in January and teams haven’t still gone on to win leagues and cups despite having African players

  33. AFC Forever

    DivineSherlock

    They can’t change mate. Mike Riley is the problem. He hates VAR and opposed its introduction. Unfortunately, it is a protectorate but I think things will change because there are just too many terrible inconsistencies. You are right though, fans have the power to demand change but too many stick their heads up their backsides. At least former referees are speaking out now.

  34. curse

    30 yr old Wiltshere or
    31 yr old Wijnaldum?

    pass the Dutch…
    then add a Svanberg/Luiz/Guimeres/Danilo.

    We paid 56m for Auba in Jan 2018, he was 28…
    60m, four years later for a 21 yr old who potentially looks like the next best after Haarland/Mbappe and fits our style, doesn’t seem that crazy. we’d have one of the top strikers in Europe for the next 5 yrs if he lived up to his potential.
    Even the wages don’t seem that crazy. 160,000 over 5 yrs after tax? someone said Saka was on 120,000? is that before or after tax? In 5 years he’ll be 27 have one contract left, either he’s doing well and we up it to 200-250k which is reasonable for a striker at his peak doing well, or we sell.
    Either way whether he decides this is a good project or not, we need a striker, maybe. Or maybe Auba comes back and after Jan we shithouse the rest of our games, we’ll see:

  35. Unoni

    in the Summer, keep playing Lacazette till the summer when his contract is over, and go balls deep for Martinelli ST, Danjuma on the left, Saka on the right, ESR/Ode in the AM position.

    Raptora
    You’d put all your money on martinelli as mail striker when thus far he’s not shown any real aptitude with his back to goal?
    He’s better feeding off a striker, not doing the feeding.

  36. Double Double

    Hope we sign that Vhalovic, he’s the image of Chris Klein out of American Pie, so bound to be a good song for him at some point ‘Chickity China the Chinese chicken’
    Someone must’ve be able to do that justice!

  37. China1

    Sign an understudy for granit Xhaka? That’s the most absolutely pointless plan ever

    A player who isn’t good enough for us does not need an understudy. He needs an upgrade

    Funnily enough I was actually quite curious after being impressed by Bruno Guimares’ YouTube compilation for this season so I searched for a Xhaka compilation and Low and behold he has fuck all wow bits. Outside of the occasional slow high diagonal ball to a winger (he’s good at those but they rarely lead to anything) his highlights were absolutely basic. Short passes to players in space. The kind of passes and headers Kevin from your five a side team would be expected to make. Absolutely unreal lack of elite moments. Literally it’s your best bits, besides Chamakh everyone looks world class in a YouTube reel. He still looks absolutely basic lol

  38. China1

    Seriously if you’re going to sign a CM and he’s not even better than Xhaka what is the actual point lol. Might as well put el neny on a new contract if that’s the case rather than set fire to millions on a player inferior to someone who is demonstrably not a top class footballer

  39. Spanishdave

    Why should jonny foreigner be better than Spence?
    Bowen at West Ham came from Hull and is a good solid player.
    Hardened pros are needed in every team not always pretty but reliable like Milner.
    We need some more Ray Parlours.

  40. Bigper

    Djed Spence spat twice in the tunnel at halftime and then chucked the bottle on the floor, complete twat with no respect. He then ran down the wing and kicked the ball out for a goal kick because he can’t cross.
    No wonder le grove champions him with his terrible opinions

  41. Guns of SF

    No to Vlhaovic

    Many reasons why.
    Price, league, is he what we need?, etc etc

    Yea he is 22 and scoring a lot but there are others too in the mold.

    Would prefer to see someone less pricy and also with more upside and a master ad heading the ball into the net

  42. Unoni

    think he could become van Persie type of player. Or Suarez/Aguero.

    Raptora
    And you are willing to lay out ambitions on him being able to carry that weight as early as next season? More than a little unrealistic don’t you think? What have we seen to suggest he’s even suited to the role of no9? He can finish yes but his all round game is lacking in that position. IF he is ever able to produce effectively as no9 it won’t be next season and it won’t be playing the sort of football we are currently. He’s a low touch forward. We need someone who brings others into the game

  43. Raulishuss

    I don’t know but gabriel martinelli and rvp? Plus sanchez was always better as a wide player or ss at best. Look gabi might be a very good st later but nothing he has shown so far makes him look ready to lead the line on his own yet imo

  44. Unoni

    China1January 11, 2022 15:18:03
    Seriously if you’re going to sign a CM and he’s not even better than Xhaka what is the actual point lol. Might as well put el neny on a new contract if that’s the case rather than set fire to millions on a player inferior to someone who is demonstrably not a top class footballer

    China
    Like who? Guendouzi, torriera, Ceballos, Suarez and Lakonga? Great question

  45. Raulishuss

    And there’s your problem china, your basic understanding of football is like how you describe xhaka, anything that doesn’t stand out and you’re lost. In the position xhaka plays most coaches prefer lowkey. How many times does jorginho “wow” you? This ain’t playstation guy.

  46. Unoni

    Raulishuss
    Spot on. For now he’s better off coming from wide picking up on the threads from Saka laca and Odegaard
    He’s the least creative of the quartet

  47. Unoni

    Sf

    Martinelli will never play like rvp. Rvp had touch, vision and the ability to link play with world class passes and flicks at a very young age. Totally different game. Martinelli might fill out and make the position his own one day, maybe, but nothing like the style and variety rvp offered

  48. raptora

    Don,
    There were doubts about ESR being good enough to be intergral to our game this season just like there were for Saka the year before.

    I’ve claimed in the Summer that we shouldn’t spend big in the AM position because ESR, who was already a 20m, would be a 50m player a year from now.

    Saka went down the same road, ESR was a full year of competitive football experience behind him. So was Martinelli. By the end of this season, Martinelli as well, will be a 50m player if he’s given enough opportunities.

    We don’t really need to spend a fortune for a CF that at the end of the day will not be what we’re looking for in terms of quality and/or style. I see that Vlahovic is someone we are interested in. But if he’s our 1st choice, and we fail to bring him here, would our 2nd choice be of the required quality and/or style? Not so many CFs around that upgrade the rest of the team, while scoring on a decent rate. It’s not a position with abundance of quality lately.

    Quality (left) wingers, however, are not so rare – Danjuma, Sterling, Oyarzabal, Neto, Moussa Diaby, Leao, Saint-Maximin, Sulemana just a few names in there.

    The level of striker that Martinelli could/will become + bringing a LW, might be better for us than buying an average CF and playing Martinelli on the LW.

  49. Guns of SF

    RVP was technically skilled… good with foot, head, pressed, high work rate, sweet left peg, and a ton of aggression.

    Exactly what we need. or any team needs really.
    Wenger stuck him on the wing as a youngster and he did ok,,, but moving him to CF he really became world class

  50. Dissenter

    Djed Spence bossed us on a day when we were operating at 10% capacity.
    So we go and sign him now?

    Djed Spence is not considered good enough for his parent club, Middlesbrough
    They obviously don’t value him enough to send him on loan to a club that’s only two places behind them in the championship.

  51. Unoni

    There were doubts about ESR being good enough to be intergral to our game this season just like there were for Saka the year before

    Raptora
    I don’t doubt wether he is good enough to be integral to our game. I doubt wether he can play with his back to goal and bring others into play at any point in his career.
    I know that he certainly won’t be leading the line for us next season as our main no9

  52. raptora

    Don is joining the Pierre head-down merchant club.

    He’s scored 3 headers, he’s scored curlers, he’s scored volleys (vs Newcastle for an instance), he’s scored from power shots, solo runs, tap ins. And he’s 20 yo. We’ll talk again about touch and variety. This touch should have lead to a penalty vs City.

  53. Unoni

    Raptora

    I agree to an extent. I’d offer Lacazette a one year deal to allow Balogun and martinelli time to learn the role and see which of the two takes to it
    I would focus my funds on the best midfielder we could possibly get hold of to help us protect possession and offer a greater range in passing, penetration and variety.
    If Lacazette can still play the following season then I’d keep him on another one year deal but by then I’d hope Balogun or martinelli would be able to stake their claim to that spot
    I really don’t see it being martinelli though as he’s just not shown the ability with back to goal

  54. Bertie Mee

    Pedro
    I love your stuff normally but our season could be effectively over by the end of January . We don’t know if Xhaka will be back ( how mad is it to be depending on one of the most unreliable players we’ve ever had?) and on Sunday we were considering Kolasinac in midfield because Roma insisted they needed AMN and we caved . Our two midfielders were completely overwhelmed on Sunday and if those two play again at Anfield and/ or the Lane we are in serious trouble . .
    As for Vlahovic Ornstein confirms there is serious interest . I agree the figures are blown up out of all proportion but we are just negotiating to sell Nketiah and loan Balogun and Auba is likely to be permanently on the naughty step . That must mean we will get a striker . Or can Kolasinac play there as well ?

  55. Unoni

    Martinelli is quite similar to cr7 but cr7 excelled most having water carriers like tevez, Rooney and benzema. A link player. Martinelli will always score Goals from either side of a main target but right now his game is not at 9

  56. Ray+in+LA

    Dissenter

    I agree with your earlier comment about Liverpool’s delay actually helping us

    If we had played like we did against Forest, Liverpool would have murdered us

    As it is we have Gabriel and perhaps Xhaka back and can keep the score close enough for a return game victory to be feasible

  57. raptora

    Don: “right now his game is not at 9”

    And ESR and Saka weren’t 50m players 2 years ago.

    Look, I don’t mind Martinelli staying a winger long term. But I see that he might have a future as a striker and this summer we’ll probably be without a senior one. It could be his position just like TH14 and RvP were eventually converted to strikers and excelled there.

  58. Just Another Customer

    why not just let Ødegaard play the false 9 role that way even ESR can slot in further back as attacking midfielder

    most defenders can’t handle Martinelli and Saka anyway and with ESR coming late on penalty box that will be an added threat

    just focus on the centre/defensive midfield targets

  59. Unoni

    Raptora

    But ESR was an attacking mid and Saka was an effective wide player
    I’m telling you now. 1000% martinelli will not be playing as no9 next season. He’s just not got the skill set to make the role his own.
    He’s at his best facing goal and bearing down on it, with or without the ball at his feet

  60. Unoni

    Henry wouldn’t have been deployed as a no9 in a modern system
    He’s be playing the left inside forward role is sanchez and martinelli
    Football has changed.

  61. WengerEagle

    Imo Martinelli will end up a pure 9. He is at his best through the middle and he’s a naturally gifted finisher.

    But as of now we desperately need a more senior ST to lead the line. As much as we all love Martinelli, Erling Haaland he is not.

    I think that in 2ish years time he will be ready to lead the line but until then we need a reliable 15-20 PL goal a season ST to replace what Auba used to provide us.

    We also need that ST to be powerful, mobile and able to bring others into play. A more physically gifted and younger type of Lacazette if you will.

    We cannot have that disconnect that we have seen with Auba leading the line between the midfield and the forward line. We have played so much better with Laca through the middle but he just doesn’t have the pace to really impose himself anymore.

  62. WengerEagle

    Unoni

    Henry could have played as the lone ST in the modern game imo, he basically did just that in his best season here which was in 2005/06 imo.

    As he showed under Pep at Barca though, he was also elite as the LF in a 4-3-3 so agree he could have played in either spot.

  63. Raulishuss

    how do you see top class cfs all over europe leading the line and think yep gabi for us?. Nothing in gabis game scream cf. He isn’t even patient enough,not strong to compete with cb yet and his touch and general awareness with his back to goal needs a lot of work still. Gabi is gold but a cf he isn’t just yet. He still has a lot to learn imo

  64. raptora

    WE: “But as of now we desperately need a more senior ST to lead the line.”

    Wonder who that player is. All of the options I’ve thought of are young forwards, who have no more than 1 quality season and could realistically fail at Arsenal in England.

  65. WengerEagle

    Michail Antonio would be near perfect for what we need. He is definitely better than any of DCL, Watkins or Toney for me.

    His age and importance to West Ham make that a non-starter though.

  66. WengerEagle

    Rap

    I mean I am not Vlahovic’s biggest fan or anything but he is no flash in the pan. 40 goals in his last 60 games for Fiorentina is near elite.

    We may need a more veteran ST to bridge the gap though, agreed. Would not be opposed to that so long as they were not on stupid Auba/Laca money.

    Duvan Zapata is earning peanuts over at Atalanta for one.

  67. raptora

    Raul: “how do you see top class cfs all over europe leading the line”

    I don’t see the top class CFs. I see Juve lead by a bum Morata, Manure lead by 2 pensioners, Real M rock with a pensioner, Bayern M – a pensioner, City have Jesus who is good but compared to the rest is one of their weaker players, Liverpool have a 30 yo Firmino (the type of player that would fit us) who gets injured and was benched by a midget, PSG don’t even play Icardi, and Milan (currently leading Serie A) boss it with Giroud and Ibra.

    Under 30 yo CFs that are either world class or thereabouts are currently Mbappe, Haaland, Lukaku and Kane. End of. Which one of them do you see us bringing to the Emirates instead of my idea to try Martinelli there?

  68. raptora

    WE,

    That’s what I said earlier. “I see that Vlahovic is someone we are interested in. But if he’s our 1st choice, and we fail to bring him here, would our 2nd choice be of the required quality and/or style?”

    I don’t mind Vlahovic. But if the transfer fails, who would our 2nd option be that will be good enough for the next 5 years?

  69. WengerEagle

    Rap

    They don’t have to be our main ST for 5 years because it presumably will not take Martinelli half a decade to mature and polish as a finished product with where he is already, more like 2 years.

    You could get a prime age 28-31 year old to fill that gap imo so long as they are on reasonable wages and we are not prisoner to their contract.

  70. raptora

    WE,

    raptoraSeptember 19, 2021 23:03:09
    I rate Antonio a lot btw. If he was 5 years younger he’d lead my list of attainable CFs by quite the margin. Sadly not the case.

  71. Tom

    ” Trying to pretend, as some are on here, that cheating doesn’t matter is a road to disaster and the integrity of the game. It is irrelevant whether Liverpool did us a favour or not, they probably did, it’s about making sure the game is honest and ALL clubs are treated equally. Not deciding which games they don’t want to play for whatever reason.”

    AFC, and who on here is pretending cheating doesn’t matter?
    No one.
    Klopp might be full of shit to the same extent most other managers are by wanting every decision to go their way, but thats miles off from calling him a cheat based on scant covid testing evidence.
    You telling me he’s gonna risk his reputation built over 35 years by telling players to pretend they’re injured and the team doctors to falsify covid tests so the club van file with the league to postpone a game in a competition he’s shown over and over he doesn’t care about? …..And have that hanging over him for the rest of his career until one day one of them will eventually spill the beans, which is what usually happens with bs conspiracies.
    Nuts.

    The VAR thing is totally different though and I agree, it is a joke by now.

  72. WengerEagle

    Unoni

    Finishing aside he played one of his best games for us ever in that CL Final in ’06. Led the line magnificently but it did destroy him physically, down to 10 men and covering so much ground his legs were gone by around the hour mark and imo it is what caused such a tepid and un-Henry like finish when he was through on a 1 vs 1 in the 2nd half and scuffed it.

    He would be a gaffer’s dream today because of his versatility to play LF or CF.

  73. WengerEagle

    Nigeria beating down Egypt.

    Feel for Salah a bit, this is a very poor Egypt side. I remember when I was a kid they were so dominant in AFCON, won x3 in a row.

    Had guys like Ahmed Hassan, Aboutrika and Mohamed Zidan.

  74. raptora

    WE,
    Yes, I like that plan. Heard you mention Zapata. I’ll add Raul Jimenez from Wolves. Both 30 yo, will be relatively cheap and could easily give us a couple of good years. Same goes for Lacazette doe. If he is in good shape, might not be the worst idea to keep him for a couple of seasons more.

  75. Unoni

    Weagle

    Henry is a managers dream in any era. He literally had it all. Could play effectively on either wing, as a 10, as a 9 or as a combination of any and all of these roles in the fluidity of a Wenger side.

    High bar to set for Martinelli. However in Arteta’s rigid tactical frame work, I don’t see martinelli with his back to goal. Maybe in future. 1000% not next season

  76. Guns of SF

    Again, a player like Martinelli needs the freedom to create and move with the ball.
    Ala players who are in that mold – your Suarez’s , Messi’s, Salah’s etc.
    Needs the ball at his feet to do his magic.
    Will Arteta want this? I doubt it.
    I think Mike is getting a taller target man, which I agree with right now,
    Our lack of headers and incessant crossing means this is a critical need.

  77. WengerEagle

    Unoni

    Agreed. And look, I would love Martinelli to just get to even Sanchez levels eventually.

    Henry was hands down the best ST of his generation (2000-2010) so that would be a stupid high bar to set for him.

  78. WengerEagle

    Rap

    Sadly I think Jimenez has had it, he doesn’t look the same player since the head injury.

    The Jimenez before that, absolutely.

    Joao Pedro of Cagliari could be a smart pick up. 29 but only starting hitting his stride the past few years, scoring 15+ each season for one of the worst and lowest creative sides in Serie A.

  79. Raulishuss

    Rap everybody you listed there can play the cf role better than gabi. Jesus who’s like gabi isn’t trusted enough to lead the line over foden etc

  80. raptora

    Raul,
    Yes, the “top class cfs all over europe leading the line” are CFs in their 30s + 4 others that we have negative chance of bringing here. Okay. Glad we figured they are better than Martinelli.

  81. raptora

    WE,
    Still believe that Jimenez can come back from it by the end of this season. It’s wishful thinking so far. He was 4 goals in 9 games when Luiz maybe killed his career. Roughly 17 goals extrapolated over 38 games. Very good in addition to his overall play.

  82. Balagoon

    Why not swap Aubamayang for Jovic for 5 months?
    – Auba goes to his happy place – if he can’t impress there then he is done.
    – Jovic gets to play every game for half a season.
    – Madrid have Benzema and Auba.
    Maybe Madrid get Mbappe or Haaland in the summer… Arsenal get a ready solution.
    + they trust Arteta to play their loanees, however poor they are.
    + Jovic is good (a bit of a Shearer type).

  83. Batistuta

    Big win for Nigeria there against Egypt. Seems the new coach has something about him compared to the German who was in charge there before

  84. raptora

    Jovic is exactly what can happen when you buy a player after 1 quality season.

    Since his transfer to RM, he’s scored a total of 7 goals in 63 games (a lot of games as a sub obviously), including the loan back to Frankfurt in the 2nd half of season 20/21. In that loan deal, he finished the season with 1 goal in 15 games as he was benched even in Frankfurt.

    Might be a player there, but just how badly can things turn out buying after a breakout season. It’s literally a roulette most of the times.

  85. raptora

    Grats on the win to the many Nigerians that support Arsenal. When a 35m Iwobi doesn’t start for their NT, you know it’s a quality one. Big win today.

  86. Vintage Gun

    “Someone in the RVP skill set would be welcome.”

    Mason Greenwood. From the 1st time i saw him play i thought he had Van Persie(ish) skill set.

  87. Unoni

    Raptora

    How many did anelka score at Madrid? How did Torres and Crespo do at chelsea? Ibrahimovic or Griezmann or Sanchez at Barca?
    Good players can be rescued from these elite clubs and restored.

  88. Unoni

    WengerEagleJanuary 11, 2022 17:31:04
    UnoniAgreed. And look, I would love Martinelli to just get to even Sanchez levels eventually

    Eagle
    He’s got it in his locker. Could very well exceed sanchez levels. But yeah, I’d snap your hand off for 4 years of elite sanchez returns

  89. Balagoon

    Also, Jovic might have matured a bit from his disappointments, like Ramsdale maybe.
    A couple of setbacks, a bit of reflection… come to realise the value of being at the right level,
    and of how lucky you are… (to be at Arsenal).
    (Vlahovic doesn’t have any of this – he’s at a different part of his ‘arc’)
    Plus, if Jovic isn’t good enough, send him back in June. (and it costs virtually nothing).

  90. Habesha Gooner

    The Vlahovic story is getting tiresome. David Ornstein, Fabrizio Romano and Chris Wheatley all confirmed that the player and the agent are the problem or he would have signed by now. I can understand that he thinks he has better options. But we should never be anyone’s backup plan unless they are expected to dominate the next 10 years of football. Even then we should rather have someone of lesser quality but committed to the project than a superstar that doesn’t care. For all we know he could end up like Jovic. He is a specimen physically and that is his advantage. But he is not a guarantee of goals like Mbappe or a Haaland. I would move on personally. I wouldn’t be held to a ransom by any player. Any relationship that starts that way has never worked for us. Think of Ozil, Auba, Willian all with massive contracts to play for Arsenal. Just go get Isak. He is different. But it is the same risk involved.

  91. Dissenter

    Liverpool, are being very disrespectful towards Salah. They won’t even pay him as highly as KDB.
    He just wanted to match the highest paid player in the league, which is KDB.

    Just shows why it’s important to . tie your best players to long term contracts. They still have him tied down till 2023.

  92. Unoni

    Got to admit though, the noises coming out about Vlahovic are off putting. Sounds like a bell end if reports are to be believed. But many of the world’s best attackers are total bell ends too so…..
    Ah fuck I’m on the fence on this one

  93. Tom

    Habesha, just read Vlahovic played and scored in the Belrgrade derby at 15 ……….that’s crazy good.
    Can you really blame him for wanting to play in the CL though, which is supposedly his main sticking point when choosing the next club.

  94. raptora

    Don,
    I don’t agree with your examples. Anelka had a breakthrough season for us before Madrid, but it happened in one of the best teams in the world and a top 2 team in England. Not for Eintracht Frankfurt who finished 7th with 17-goal Jovic. Anelka was a safer bet because he was a standout player in a top, top club.

    Torres and Crespo at Chelsea is more about players who had MANY fantastic seasons before Chelsea, and during and after Chelsea they were never able to go back to the quality they had before Chelsea. Nothing to do with Jovic really lol.

    Ibrahimovic scored 21 goals in his debut season in Barcelona. Just Pep decided to move him on cause he didn’t fit his playstyle. Also Ibra before Barca had over 150 goals in his career. Hardly Jovic who has a total of 60 goals scored at this moment of his career.

    Griezmann and Sanchez similar to Ibra. Top quality players that played many, many games for top clubs – Sanchez had 140 games for Barca, he wasn’t a flop, they wanted someone better in his place – Neymar.

    The classic examples for us, Arsenal fans, were all saved from huge Italian clubs – Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry – Inter, Milan and Juve.

    Bergkamp had over 120 goals for Ajax already, he was not a 1-season wonder by any means.

    Vieira was not bought for big money by Milan. He was at Milan for half a season before we bought him for 3.5m. Jovic cost RM 60m euro.

    Henry was at Juventus for half a season before we bought him. His situation is probably the closest to Jovic’ as Juve paid good money at the time – £11 m, and we paid good money at the time – £14.5 m. He was a highly rated player, albeit not a proven one which is similar to Jovic. Turned out a phenomenal gamble.

    I’m not crossing Jovic out of the equation. But as things stand, he is in a deep hole. If he recovers or not, time will tell.

    But then there are Jese Rodriguez, Boyan Krkic, Renato Sanches, Andy Carroll, Kepa.

  95. Unoni

    Don,
    I don’t agree with your examples. Anelka had a breakthrough season for us before Madrid, but it happened in one of the best teams in the world and a top 2 team in England. Not for Eintracht Frankfurt who finished 7th with 17-goal Jovic. Anelka was a safer bet because he was a standout player in a top, top club.

    Raptora
    Surely it’s easier to score when you have Dennis Kanu and overmars setting you up on the way to a double than a lower league side? Either way I think the comparison stands.

    Yes he could flop at arsenal but so many elite players flop at Real Madrid or Barca only to rediscover their form elsewhere. Our own Martin Odegaard is a prime example of how a player can flourish away from the burdens placed at places like Madrid
    Defiantly has quality. I’d like to give it a go.

  96. raptora

    I remember Michu – the one-season wonder for us, Fantasy football enthusiasts. Scored 18 goals in the EPL for a garbage ass Swansea City. Was literally the transfer of the season in the Fantasy football league. 2 years later he was playing for a Spanish 4th tier team!

  97. Taylor Swift

    If Laca goes and we sign a 21 year old whom I’ve never heard of, but everyone else on this site has been following since he was 5 years old, our front 5 are

    19, 20, 20, 21 and 23

    I didn’t think I would say this but I think keeping Laca for another year would be very good business.

    If Josh drops £100 then go for striker and midfield, but midfield has to be a priority

  98. Habesha Gooner

    Unoni, Tom
    Vlahovic is good. But there are other good strikers too. We need to check his attitude and the agents aspirations before we sign him. It’s no good to us if he comes and disrupts the good group we have assembled. And our tragectory is definitely headed to at least consecutive CL football over the next years. Either he believes in it or not.

    And Bergkamp would have been committed where ever he went. That was his personality. Ian Wright was talking about Bergkamp’s diet and how he followed every rule of meals at home too whether the food was crap or not. Can we guarantee Vlahovic’s commitment to Arsenal and to stay put and not make it all about him like pogba has been doing for 5 years at United? That is what I am against. He hasn’t even joined us and the noise is very annoying.

  99. raptora

    Don,
    Yeah. Loan deals have worked for us with Ode. It’s a safe bet as we wouldn’t lose much if anything.

    What I meant is that I’m not sure we should throw 60m on a one-season wonder, like Real Madrid did with Jovic, because we could end up in RM’s place. If we’re buying a Striker for huge money, it better be someone who has shown the right quality and our management is almost certain the player will bang for us. Else, just get by with what we have or buy a stop gap for a couple of seasons.

  100. Tom

    “Can we guarantee Vlahovic’s commitment to Arsenal and to stay put and not make it all about him like pogba has been doing for 5 years at United? ”

    Habesha, actually, we can guarantee the opposite because he’s apparently said he sees himself playing for the biggest clubs in Europe.

  101. andy1886

    Raulhuss: “In the position xhaka plays most coaches prefer lowkey”

    LOL, is this the ‘lowkey’ Xhaka who has a record number of red cards since he joined us, that is a gobby donkey that is good for the odd Hollywood pass and little else? The guy that Wenger told not to tackle because when he does it’s more suited to rugby than football?

    And he has the cheek to say that China doesn’t understand the game.

  102. andy1886

    @Taylor Swift – we’ve already offered Laca another year with an option for a second year but he wants a longer deal.

    I’d let him go, we’re done with older players on big deals who down tools as soon as the ink dries.

  103. Habesha Gooner

    Tom
    Honestly, I don’t think he is that good yet. He can believe he can play for the top clubs. And may be he can. The demands and the noise is like a Haaland or an Mbappe. But he is not that level yet. There is a lot of growing up to do in his game. And I don’t know if he is the right fit for us. His overall game needs work. He doesn’t make his own chances, he needs service. And his hold up play can get better.

    I feel like Arteta doesn’t understand what has been working for him when it comes to the CF role. He Luke’s out and out goalscorers. It’s why he persisted with Auba so much. And that’s why he also like a poacher like Nketiah. Vlahovic has more tools to his game like physicality and Aerial prowess. But he is still not an elite player but an elite goalscorer. And that is not the right fit for us IMO.

    We need someone in the mould of Lacazette. But that has more tools to his game. I think Isak would fit us better because he creates space for others just because of his fantastic dribbling ability. And he is a threat in behind. He is not an elite goalscorer though. Not like Vlahovic. I wouldn’t mind David either. We need someone that is an elite player that isn’t an elite goalscorer yet. Someone that can play. Like a Berbatov with better attitude. Or someone like Firminho that has scope for improvement in terms of goals. And I feel Vlahovic isn’t that. He will do well in a setup like city that can make chance after chance for him though.

  104. Habesha Gooner

    I remember Lewandowski when he was a backup to Lucas Barrios at Dortmund. Barrios was getting all the goals and Lewa was a backup. But even the you could see their was a great player in there by his ability to play football. And the goalscoring naturally came to him eventually. I would rather have someone like that at the start of their career than someone who is an elite goalscorer but not enough overall game yet.

  105. Unoni

    Raptora

    Time will tell. They’ve got it right with tomi Gabi and ramsdale so far, transfer wise so there’s credit in the bank with the scouting team for me

  106. Habesha Gooner

    Would you have wanted the lukaku that moved to United from Everton? He will still score goals but won’t be the answer. That is what we will get with Vlahovic I am afraid. With a better first touch though.