SALIBA STAYS

by .

It didn’t take long for the Arsenal media to fire up into power mode with regards to transfer movement this summer.

Mikel Arteta finally came out and said what I told you months ago.

“William Saliba has to come back. He has the experience to be competitive with us. We sent him to Marseille for his growth”.

“William wanted to be regular starter as you know but now we want him back at Arsenal

Oh my, so many spleens vented, so much projected angst, so many tears on the internet… and in the end, the loan move was about development, now he’s developed. Bill Saliba is coming back to Arsenal to compete as a centre back.

What a madness. I truly cannot believe how mental people went over him this season, hopefully now we can stop talking about the most boring story of 2022.

Next up, The Athletic are talking about the club tracking a left-sided centre back to give cover to Gabriel next season. We really do need to make sure that all the centre backs we have can do the same job. I love Rob Holding, but he limits and changes the way we play. Ben White and Gabriel also need some competition. This job could go to an up and coming centre back from around Europe, or it could go to a gamble, like Umtiti on loan. Bob Holding didn’t break 1000 minutes last season, the reality of a back-up signing is a club like Arsenal has to gamble. Do you find a cheap European option like Tomiyasu (Or Schlotterbeck), but run the risk of them turning out like Tavares… or do you take a gamble on someone with the right experience, but they have fitness challenges.

I don’t have the answer, but I suspect those discussions are going to be on the table this summer. We’re going to lose the experience of Lacazette at the minimum this summer, that will leave Cedric as the only 30+ year old in the side, I think we need to think about that. If you could get Umtiti on a loan for a year, it might not be the worst idea. He’s a World Cup winner and a triple La Liga Champion. David Luiz was many things to Arsenal fans, not always pleasant, but he was a hero to the younger players. Worth noting.

Kieran Tierney is also being linked away from the club, this time, it’s Newcastle weighing a £50m offer. Now, KT is talented player, one of the most powerful at the club, but it’s clear he has struggled with robustness having only played 60% of PL games he’s been available for. If there were an offer on the table, I think Arsenal would entertain it because we could certainly use that money very well based on what we did last summer. I’m just not sure the player seems like the sort to leave? But who knows…

The question then becomes what type of left-back do we want to replace him? KT is a power and pace beast, but he is a little one dimensional at times. Do we want someone that is a little more creative like a Cancelo? What have we learned from this season that we lack?

There was a story doing the rounds that Eddie had been given the #14. I’ve heard that isn’t confirmed, but we have to be real here… a new number is going to be part of the negotiation. I expect Saliba to be given a proper number and if Eddie stays, he’ll wants something symbolic that says he’s important. Also, he should defintely sign a new deal. We’re being linked to some 19 year old Czech player called Hlozek, could be the next Haaland, but we have no idea what he could do in the league. Eddie is a guarantee of goals and we know he fits into the squad and playing style we’re looking at.

The Brazilian media is double keen to insist that Gabriel Jesus is the main striker this season on the striker front. That might be true, but remember, the media gets played by clubs. It works for Arsenal to have lots of noise in the papers because it can distract and also shake out clubs looking to shift their wares. Charles Watts is saying Victor Oshimen’s agent was in London last week. For me, this is the sort of profile of player we’ll be looking at ahead of Gabriel Jesus. If you have the choice of a player that has it all, why would you opt for one that doesn’t have it all? We need a tall striker that can dominate the box, run the lines, and occupy defenders all game long. Jesus is a luxury option for me. A top player, no doubt, but a luxury option without a history of top finishing.

Ok, we’re going to do a podcast tomorrow, so stay tuned for that, Johnny might have a little cry about how happy he is about Bill Saliba. In the meantime, check out the latest NON-written content.

209 Responses to “SALIBA STAYS”

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  1. Chris

    I’m looking forward to watching the Europa Conference League Final tonight. Roma v Feyenoord is an interesting match up. Mourinho has a perfect record in European finals.

    Roma has never won a European trophy ( Fairs cup now not recognised) and Feyenoord not won one for 20 years. This is why I like the creation of this competition, it is sort of a Cup Winners Cup replacement in a way, but it should offer good competition for Smaller European teams and the chance of a trophy in some cases. Not everyone can win the CL and even the EL.

    I find snobbish opinions about it sad. It may be the unfortunate word in it ‘Conference’ from an English perspective, but only European Super clubs have any real right to be dismissive of it. Our European record actually leaves a lot to be desired for the third biggest club historically in England.

    I expect us to be taking the EL seriously next season with a view to winning it (another way into CL) and if we do underperform and somehow end up 3rd in our EL group, we would absolutely need to be winning the ECL.

  2. raptora

    With us renewing Elneny’s contract, given the position of Xhaka in Arteta’s heart and that we still have Partey and Lokonga, it’s more than obvious that we are not bringing two additional CMs.

    For all the potential of Lokonga, he’s had a pretty dire end of the season and I believe that a proper CM like Anguissa for dirt cheap, or someone similar, would have made the difference in our top 4 crusade.

    Central midfield is an area that we are really weak especially when Partey is missing. Lokonga’s season starting from December till May, was like we effectively loaned him. As a matter of fact, we’d have done better if he wasn’t in the team at all. Arteta has to take negavites there as he looked a better player in the beginning of the campain than in the later stages of the season, probably has to do with playing 124 mins in 16 EPL rounds between December and April.

    I like Elneny as a backup choice but that’s why backups are backups – they aren’t supposed to play 5-10 games in a row but the odd game here and there. Else their deficiencies are going to show sooner rather than later.

    If we’re bringing in just one CM (if we are lucky), I’m not sure how they will rotate with Xhaka or whatever the plan is knowing how high Xhaka is rated by our manager, but we need to be so careful with Partey’s fitness. With the additional games in Europe, if we’re not careful, he might break even sooner and we saw how many games it took Arteta to realize that Elneny > Lokonga (losses to Brighton and Southampton that ultimately cost us top 4).

  3. Moray

    “ I imagine if he had Adams Campbel and Cygan at his disposal you would see Cygan playing 38 games a season and Xhaka slotted in at CB before he went with Cambel and Adams.”

    Good comment. Though more likely, if Arteta had Adams, Campbell and Keown at his disposal, he’d be dropping 50m on Ramon Vega.

  4. Matt B

    Terraloon: Fair comment. Just that some of the opinions we’ve heard recently and at the beginning of the season are so driven by an Arteta-out agenda, that they hardly amount to an opinion worthy of debate.

    And also, it just gets a little tiring when 80+% of posters are tearing into the club. I understood that this time last year but this season? Have we been that terrible?

    Where do we have to finish for the tide to turn — just a few more points and all would have been good this season? I doubt it, some people just want him out…

  5. Moray

    Chris, rather than adding more competitions I think it would be better to democractise the ones we have. No way should the Champhons League ever have become a league format. Run it like the FA Cup and have it knockout through with early rounds. It means more clubs get a go. And more excitement. And less advantage to the rich clubs with larger squads.

  6. Moray

    Mr Serge, exactly. The risk of going out in an early knockout round was too much for the big clubs so the league format comes in and means you can have an off game and still qualify.

    Cup competitions for me are all about the excitement of the risk and the fact any team has the potential to win on the night.

    I would do away with home and away legs too. There’s too much football these days anyway.

  7. EdTheREd

    Robert PiresMay 25, 2022 11:13:39
    Which means Xhaka will be sold.

    Hate to break it to you, but I have it from good sources that Xhaka will be at Arsenal for another three seasons, unless HE choses otherwise.

  8. InsideRight

    Matt B, it’s not just where we finish that matters, but how we do it.

    I defy anyone to make an evidence based argument that Arsenal’s playing style this season has been dynamic or exciting. We play in one gear, the side does not seem capable or permitted (pick as you see fit) to slide into another gear, and there is no Plan B which is why we almost always lose without scoring when we go 1-0 down in a match.

    It seems an increasing number of people can see the problems and deficiencies, and forums like this are the place to spout off and let go of steam, rather than in the stadium. It doesn’t help when some of the editorial content can be summarised as “Don’t believe the evidence of your lying eyes”. That just provokes a response.

    Strangely enough, many people don’t like being told “You’ve never had it so good” and get challenged with a “Are you not entertained?” narrative, when they see and criticise failings that should have been fixed after two and a half years. It also doesn’t play well when enthusiastic Arsenal fans are told they are “shitting on the Arsenal” for criticising the shortcomings of the manager and the squad he’s built. But hey, potato/potarto and all that.

  9. Moray

    Mr Serge, maybe not. But there is a limit to how much of any product you can supply. While we’ve had some great matches at domestic and European levels so far this season it’s hard not to look at the same clubs playing the same other clubs every year and start to lose interest.

  10. raptora

    The need to improve our quality in midfield pales in comparison to our attacking struggles.

    xG is undoubtedly very important, and we did alright there – 5th in the league, behind the top 4 that finished in top 4 in the league.

    But in the big chance created stat we are 17th with 39 big chances created. At the top are Pool with 97, Man City – 87 and spuds – 84. That’s a gigantic difference and not really influenced by having a better striker or not. It has more to do with the general idea of our offensive game.

    In the last seasons the stat goes as:

    season, big chances created, total goals, position in the stat

    2017/18 – 81 BCC, 74 TG, 2nd
    2018/19 – 72 BCC, 73 TG, 5th
    2019/20 – 47 BCC, 56 TG, 12th
    2020/21 – 45 BCC, 55 TG, 12th
    2021/22 – 39 BCC, 61 TG, 17th

    This season, we are by far the biggest discrepancy between BCC and TG with +22 total goals. Second in that list is Man City with +12 and Leicester with +11. On the other spectrum, teams like spuds and Watford managed to come out with -15 TG compared to the big chances they’ve created.

    This whole stat bomb should show that the way we’ve managed to reach our total goals wasn’t through something that we can rely on – our own ideas in attack, our own game where we can consistently create big chances for our forwards to score; it was mostly due to other factors which I assume has to do with –

    – individual class to score from an unlikely position (Saka)
    – purple patch where every shot, regardless of the position, was going in (ESR)
    – hustling and being persistent enough to cause and be there for an opposition mistake (Marti, Eddie)
    – goals from set pieces (Gabriel)

    We definitely have a deeper problem than just – let’s buy a new classy CF. It would surely help, but we need to create much better chances as a team if we want to reach the next level. Having created 2x less big chances than the top teams is a huge problem that needs to be taken care of for the next season.

  11. raptora

    On a sidenote, we did alright in the xG compared to the rest of the teams in the league, but nowhere near close enough to City and Pool. If the idea is to challenge them in the next couple of years, we’ll need to find 30 odd goals from somewhere, or 50% on what we managed to score this season.

  12. Valentin

    The lack of meaningful games was the reason why second groupe stage was removed.

    The problem is that big teams want more group or league games to guarantee their revenue, but most fans want the excitement of knock-out games. Also people wants condensed competition rather a long dredged competition with few meaningful games.. Nobody can stay excited when the following game is 2~3 weeks after that.

    That’s why the condensed off game qualification game during COVID were so exciting. There was a sense that the underdogs had a chance to win. It was “All or Nothing”! No possibility of the dreaded tactic of staying in the game for the first game of the tie and then finish the tie at home.

  13. englandsbest

    InsideRight

    Agreed, but as you say, as of now. My belief is that this summer Edu/Arteta will make the necessary additions to personnel you listed, and more.

    With regard to tempo, it’s about pace. At times, at their best, Arsenal’s pace matched the best. Arteta was constantly urging the players to raise the tempo. But by the end the tank was empty. That won’t happen next season.

  14. Chris

    Moray/Mr Serge/Valentin

    Yeah pre 2000 the European club competitions were mainly 2 legged knock out affairs, where you could get Liverpool vs Real Madrid in round one. I would be very happy to see that return but it 99.9% never will.

    Now from 2024 each CL club will get 8 group stage games. It’s remains to be seen whether this will create much more excitement. I suspect not. I do recall the 2nd CL group stage and it was way too much. It only lasted 3 seasons I think.

    I’m in two minds about 2 legs. On one hand one off ‘cup games’ would hold far more jeopardy, but then we have just had an absolute corker of a 2 legged semi final in Man City vs Real Madrid so it can go either way. At a push, I think I would prefer to see 2 legged ties remain.

    UEFA is always going to want more matches to generate more cash as we know. So another good reason to have a competition such as the ECL (no more though!) in the years to come there is bound to be some previously unseen and interesting match ups in an ECL final, offering the smaller clubs a chance of real
    Glory, possibly improving the coefficient of the country who’s clubs win? I think it’s a positive thing.

  15. InsideRight

    englandsbest

    I don’t think Edu and Arteta will add players to the squad of the quality we are hoping for. I would be very pleasantly surprised if there are even two genuinely good signings. We are stuck with tier 2 and tier 3 players because of finances and the lack of CL football.

    It’s more likely we will see a fudge that will be sold as a step change in our quality, with jam to follow next year. Believers will lap it up and repeat it as a given truth and convince themselves the title will soon be ours. Realists will assess based on actual observed performances.

    For me, the key thing is to find players who are consistently good, not necessarily stand out great, in their positions, with reliability and physical robustness, who will be pieces that fit into a jigsaw and make the team better. We don’t need a team full of stars, we need players that complement the rest of the team to make it better than the sum of its parts.

    Regarding your comment on tempo and pace, it was absent for the whole season. We no longer play blistering counter attacks, or set a forward towards goal from near half way with an incisive, line splitting pass. We go wide, play passes around the outside of the box and too often waste it with blind balls into the box with no one there to convert. We didn’t see tempo or pace when the tank was full, let alone empty. The way Arteta has the team play may be methodical, but it is also pedestrian and teams that have good organisation and/or a high press can close it down.

  16. Graham62

    Matt B

    Maybe, just maybe, I have experience that you don’t know of.

    Judging individual characters is an important part of life and it’s played a significant part in my own working environments for many many years.

    If you think it’s arrogance on my part, so be it.

    Cheers!

  17. Graham62

    Matt B

    Rather than point fingers at other posters for their passionate views, why not come out with your own opinions on Arsenal FC?

    It’s not a kindergarten for goodness sake!

    I don’t think Arteta is good enough, it’s that simple.

  18. NORG

    G62

    But look at Arteta’s hair – stunning – step aside Cheryl Cole – Mikkel is in town – you know he’s worth it – maybe? or ??

  19. Tom

    Chris, I don’t think it’s snobbish to consider The Europa Conference by certain clubs as unworthy, not if top four ( CL places) is your primary objective.

    Outside of extra games for fringe and youth players the value of that competition for a club like Arsenal is just not there.
    Obviously it’s a new format without historical precedent, but I’d wager a bet no PL side that enters and wins that competition will ever place top four in the league.

    Had Tottenham stayed in it till the end it would’ve been us pipping them to top four and not the other way around. Of that, I’m completely confident.

  20. Graham62

    Actually “arrogance” is when you mock or insult other posters by highlighting that they know nothing about the game or the inner workings of the club and, because they do, they are more knowledgeable and up to date on things,
    It is also when you persist in using reams of analytical data to cover your own tracks.
    Yes, arrogance can be seen on many different levels.

  21. Bertie Mee

    Ask a Millwal fan how good Danny Ballard was last season . Answer- very good indeed, far too good for the Championship. So what about him? He’s a full international

  22. Dissenter

    Graham62
    Always liked and respected, even when we disagreed. I always know where you stand on issues.
    Keep fighting the good fight.

  23. raptora

    The removal of the away goals rule was a breath of fresh air and totally a step in the right direction. It makes the 2nd games much more exciting and with a much higher chance in reaching extra time and penalties. Knockout games are the best part of football and any game that goes beyond 90 mins promises additional drama. Fans live for this stuff and the memory of an epic game stays with them forever.

    With that being said, one leg games promise the same excitement but skipping the 1st game. One leg games is a spectacle where anything can happen but also a game less for the lower team to rely on something out of the ordinary and a game less for the supposed favorite to show their superiority.

    I’m not against one leg semi finals. It’s not the worst idea. Would be pretty exciting but with no away goals rule this season, it’s been really fun and maybe they should keep things as they are for a couple of more years and see how it goes before making another drastic change to something that they fix for the better just a year ago.

  24. Crimson

    Bored of the whole Saliba thing. It’s just another stick to hit Arteta with. Hes gonna be with us next season.

    MO signing a new 1 year contract is fine.

    Ballard looks like he’s off, probably to championship side for around 4 million. Sell on fee should be included in negotiations.

    Hlozek, going to Leverkusen. Shame, as the kid has a bright future.

    Oshimen for 70 million is way too much.

    Anyone thinking that selling Gabriel or Tierney is a good idea at this stage. Get a grip.

    Trusty could be that back-up left CB, totally unproven at high level. But worth having a look at in preseason. As will be the new incoming Brazilian, Marquinhos.

    Brooke Norton-cuffy is an interesting one. Best standout performer award for the youth. I can see him getting first team game time next season. Similar to Djed Spence.

    Really good interview with Tavares online. (Counter attack podcast) worth a listen.

  25. englandsbest

    InsideRight

    Agree again on the type of player Edu/Arteta ought to sign. But if it’s evident to you and me and most Arsenal fans, then I’d guess it’s evident to them. Indeed, your description fits most of last summer signings (Ben, Tomi, Aaron), the others not intended as first team picks.

    I disagree that Arsenal does not appeal to top tier players. Even at the lowest ebb, the most sought-after players signed. And right now, the Club is on an upward trend.

    On pace – the key ingredient – there were periods when the team matched the best. The speed of thought and action was dazzling. But i agree there were games when it was absent, or in short supply. Of which I’d say – judging by his antics on the sideline – nobody is more aware than Arteta.

  26. Ishola70

    Crimson

    “MO signing a new 1 year contract is fine.”

    No it’s not “fine”

    Goings out result in players coming in.

    Elneny staying for yet another season more than likely means we have Xhaka again for yet another season as well.

    Average midfielders that have been here for years upon years now.

  27. Matt B

    Graham62: We gambled on Arteta developing into a great coach, at the moment, he’s still a rookie coach, so its hardly surprising he’s made mistakes.

    Will he learn from them? Hopefully yes, but if he doesn’t or we deteriorate, then he’ll be fired and rightly so.

    I think he made some mistakes this season, but overall, we’ve improved and in my opinion we’ll get better next season…

  28. Ishola70

    And if the belief is we are going to get central midfielders in this summer regardless of extending Elneny then that would mean even less playing time than he had before. Are we are a charity to Elneny at this stage.

    We don’t want the status quo for central midfield. We still need a shake-up in there.

  29. IAT-Robbie

    “When I see people gloating about our “5 peachy goals” against Everton, it makes me realise just how far behind we have fallen in the pecking order. It reminds me of the Wenger mark 2 era”

    Graham,

    I get similar vibes too. I really don’t see this culture revelation under Arteta that so many keep talking about. Virtually every issue we had under Wenger II still remains and some have even worsened.

    Away record – Still a problem
    Capitulation under pressure – Still a problem
    Untimely injuries – Still a problem
    Contracts – Still a problem
    Transfers – Still a problem

    I guess we could say that he’s brought a sense of discipline to the team, but even that is counteracted by the gargantuan number of red cards, so the jury is out on that. After all the players are paid for what they do on the pitch, not for flossing their teeth before bed.

  30. InsideRight

    englandsbest – “I disagree that Arsenal does not appeal to top tier players. Even at the lowest ebb, the most sought-after players signed.”

    Who were these most sought-after players that signed for us instead of other teams?

    “On pace – the key ingredient – there were periods when the team matched the best. The speed of thought and action was dazzling.”

    When were these periods?

  31. Pierre

    Raptora
    “In the last seasons the stat goes as:
    season, big chances created, total goals, position in the stat

    2017/18 – 81 BCC, 74 TG, 2nd
    2018/19 – 72 BCC, 73 TG, 5th
    2019/20 – 47 BCC, 56 TG, 12th
    2020/21 – 45 BCC, 55 TG, 12th
    2021/22 – 39 BCC, 61 TG, 17th”

    Now let’s see

    Season 2017/18 ..Ozil played 2164 minutes….81 big chance created …74 goals

    Season 2018/19….Ozil played 1742 minutes …72 big chance created …73 goals .

    Season 2019/20 …Ozil played 1449 minutes ..47 big chance created….56 goals

    2020/21 …Ozil played zero minutes ….44 big chance created …55 goals

    Season 21/22 …Ozil played zero minutes…39 big chance created ..61 goals …Odegaard played 2793 minutes..

    Conclusion ..the team misses Ozil and Odegaard is not a suitable replacement…

    How did i come to that conclusion , the stats don’t lie, the less Ozil played , the less big chances we created, the more Ozil played the more big chances we created

    The more Odegaard played we have produced the lowest chance created stats at Arsenal since records began.

    Who would have thought it…

  32. NORG

    Pierre – well done – you managed to slip in Ozil. MO will never be at the same level as Ozil in his prime. He is too predictable Patino looks as if he may come close but in two years time will Arteta (if he is still here) drop MO in favour of Patino – no chance. In two years time the crab is also likely to still be playing for AFC.

  33. Pierre

    Norg
    Thank you , but of course it doesn’t mean i want Ozil back at Arsenal , what i would like is an adequate replacement…Eriksen fits the bill for me ,bring him in and watch us go from 17th for big chances created to top 3.

  34. NORG

    Pierre

    Absolutely – Ozil checked out a few years ago. Eriksen knows how to find space and how to use it. A good teacher for Patino.

  35. Leedsgunner

    I actually think Elneny staying on a further one year contract most likely means Xhaka is going… perhaps to Roma. If we can get £12m for Xhaka, I think that’s good business especially if we put that money directly into a new contract for Saka or Saliba… or that elusive striker.

  36. Leedsgunner

    Ornstein has just reported hat Nketiah is expected to sign a new deal.

    This is good news.Literally saving us millions.

    Surely this means we can go monster on our two or three signings…? Personally I would love us to go and get some one really really big like an De Jong or a Gravenberch.

    If we do, it would be transformative for our team and convince the likes of Saka that we mean business… when we say we are ambitious.

  37. Dissenter

    “Ornstein has just reported hat Nketiah is expected to sign a new deal.This is good news.Literally saving us millions”

    It was absolutely crucial for us to keep Eddie
    He scored 5 goals in 7 starts once he got his chance after Laca caught COVID.

    It frees us money for one
    Secondly, it’s unthinkable to start a season with two new strikers

  38. G

    i read Ode is right up there with chances created but low on assists cause chances obviously werent taken.. but so much more to come from him. Anyone who thinks he just makes sideway passes need to watch him again

  39. Samir

    Bissouma 1 year left on his contract, we have to get him.
    Tielemans also has 1 year left.

    Could get them both for 60M. They would transform our midfield.

  40. LoveSausage

    Great news about Eddie. That should free up some money for other positions.

    If a bid comes in for Tierney and we decide to cash in, I wouldn’t mind going for Gvardiol as replacement. Young, dynamic and physically strong. Similar to Tomi in that he can play CB too.

  41. LoveSausage

    Samir,

    I had no idea that Bissouma only had one year left. I’m also reading he’s on 25k/week – absolute peanuts. Shouldn’t take to much to turn his head.

    Him and Tielemans would be an amazing piece of business. We’d go from a below average midfield to one of the strongest in the league.

  42. Samir

    Pierre

    Nice video, I didn’t know Bissouma was that good offensively too. What a player. Will be extremely angry if he goes to Spurs, Villa or Newcastle.

  43. Dissenter

    I read that Conte wants Bissouma and Spurs have already gone formal

    I fear the powers that ne at Arsenal don’t want competition for certain players. It’s back-up that they want.

  44. Nigel Tufnel

    Midfield is where we need to make a difference. Look what Gundogan has done for City. A real upgrade on Xhaka would get me excited for next season.

    Also need to figure out who would be playing when Partey is rested or injured.
    Just Elneny? I don’t think Arteta trust Lokinga in holding MF role, and neither do I, if we are saying top 4 or bust next season. He’s got real eye for passes, but not decisive or direct enough. Gets caught in possession where Partey doesn’t.

    I’d like Sambi maybe as an 8, but could he add any goals? He and Partey were shooting wildly, then Thomas began to get his shots much closer to the target.
    They obviously worked with him on that. Can they do the same with Lokonga?

  45. Samir

    Lokonga needs a loan to a PL team. Like the Gallagher one. There’s no way we can give him enough minutes to develop properly.

  46. Leedsgunner

    Newcastle sniffing around Tierney for £50m? Yes please. They are also looking for proven EPL goalkeepers… surely Leno should be offered to go there for £20m?

    Think they won’t pay? They paid £12m for Weghorst and £20m for Chris Wood.

    Ahh Newcastle United Football Club… EPL’s own equivalent of an £184m Euromillions winner. 😂😂😂

  47. Nigel Tufnel

    Samir,
    I think I agree Sambi needs a loan. Interesting talent, high ceiling, but never got up to premier league speed all season.

    Depending on him to be the main backup for Partey left us incomplete for a top 4 contender, even if we had kept Ainsley, who I thought showed potential in MF.

    Next year, we need a true upgrade in MF. 2 new players whether Xhaka goes or not… if we are serious about going up that level to champions league.

    The one nice surprise has been the improvement in Elnenys game. He was never more than a sideways, backpasser. I know its blasphemy here, but that has to be all because of Arteta influence.

    6 years or so with us, with good managers in Wenger and Emery, you don’t just improve that noticeably at this age.

  48. Why I Gunna

    Valentin I think you big Mo a disservice. I’m happy he’s resigned. He’s a great pro, knows and accepts his role as a squad player and god knows we will need them for next year. While not in James’ league, he’s the Milner of our squad