We’re really in the thick of things right now, there’s cash in the water and MEGA agents, clubs, and players can taste it.
The latest move that seems to have caught fire with the big rumour monsters is Raphinha to Arsenal. The story follows a familiar one with Barcelona, they tap a player for months, then when it comes to payment, they plead poverty and hope no one else goes in for the name… no one goes in for player because they are fixated on moving to one place, Barca get a fat discount, the end.
Well, Leeds aren’t about that dynamic, Barcelona aren’t what they once were, and now Arsenal are at the trough with a very serious cheque and look on their face.
It all feels like stepping up to the table for Dusan Vlahovic. Commendable, but unrealistic.
I have absolutely no idea though, my gut says that it seems like quite a mad thing to do considering where we are as a club. This is the sort of move City or Chelsea make. Unless there’s a really big plan, I’m not sure that putting £60m on a right-winger is exactly what we need. We’ve just signed Vieira, Bukayo Saka is the Starboy, and Odegaard can also do bits out there.
If you are spending that much as a Europa League side, you are going to play that person every week. Do we see a world where that happens with Raphinha?
I have no idea. This has the hallmarks of Wenger needing to address a really important defensive issue, then dropping £25m on his 9th #10. Standards merchants will say you need two top-quality players in every position, and sure, I can vibe with that, but you need to address the things that broke you the season prior first. Chance creation from the right doesn’t need £60m right now.
I’ve lived in the transfer desert for 10 years before, so I’ll never look away from a top-quality 25-year-old Brazilian… but it would be a little bit at odds with the mission this summer. It would also make us a Champions League squad a year early, no doubt about that, because he really is top, top talent.
This rumour works for Leeds, it works for the player, and it might work for Arsenal who will no doubt be desperate to make sure we have as many of our targets in the building by June 28th when preseason starts. Leicester is dragging their feet, City seems to be doing the same on Jesus… the fear of seeing our cash go somewhere else might see more people pick up the phone, because there’s not a huge amount of cash going around this summer.
The Lisandro Martinez story is trying to find the next level now and United has entered the picture. Again, in moments like these, you have to ask where the story is coming from. It reads like it’s mostly a Dutch rumour right now and that could mean Ajax is a little pissed at the low fee and now they want to invite bigger clubs into the mixer. It could also be that United have a terrible mix of players in their squad and Ten Haag is a big fan of a very good player.
This is why Arsenal need to move in the shadows when they can, we’re not the biggest pig at the feeding trough, so we have to wait our turn for players.
The one thing you can be confident of is that Mikel Arteta is a very good salesman. He’ll have an extremely structured plan of how he wants the player to operate, he’ll probably have some sort of presentation ready for the agent, and he is selling a vision of competing for the league next season. United has the finances to deliver something big far quicker, they have more money than us, but really… would you trust that club with your career? It’s ruined so many names.
For me, the Arsenal brief is still very clear:
- Centre midfielder
- Wide player
If we land those four players, plus the already done upgrades to our back-up keeper, and centre back… we’re cooking next season.
People keep pointing to midfield being an issue, but as it stands, I think Sambi, Xhaka, Partey, Elneny, and Tielemans gives us more than enough depth. It’s clear that there’s a new role for Odegaard coming at some point as well. I am actually very excited about Lokonga, fans wrote him off so quickly, but that kid has Vincent Kompany rummaging around in his phone book trying to contact Pep and Arteta because he loves the player so much. He has pedigree, he’s barely 22 years old, and I think he will step up when he’s given more minutes in the same way Eddie did.
There’s a video doing the rounds of Brazil expert Tim Vickery saying that Gabriel Jesus has been in an identity crisis for four years, basically, since he went to a World Cup as a striker and didn’t score any goals. I’m not too worried about this, the angle of the content was basically, ‘Arsenal should check they know what they are buying’, and I think it’s pretty clear that no club in the world is better positioned to know about Jesus than Arsenal.
This stats card kind of Men In Black’d my memory of slagging off small strikers.
When starting, he has 76 goal contributions in 99 games.
That is top tier.
We’re not trying to win the league next season, we’re trying to make top 4, those sort of numbers in our forward line are literally going to be the 10 points we need on their own.
Do I still believe in tall boys? I do. Arsenal might need to adjust that when we move to the next level, but right now, we just need more goals from the person paid to score them. I think Eddie and Jesus give far more end product than the old boys Lacazette and Auba.
Finally, before I go, I just want to leave the below graphic in place. I had some friends that said hiring a PHD level statistics person to go through Arsenal’s fixtures was a mad move. They said you can’t influence fixtures. They told me to get back in my box. One even said you can’t call out a 3% chance roll of the dice.
Well, I present the below with no comment other than: ‘I am 100% responsible for the good fixture list we have’ and you know what, you’re all going to have to eat the W with me.
Tastes good right?
But remember who put that tasty W on the table.
I did it for the community and the most beautiful thing about that tweet thread I posted had over 180,000 engagements and it was mostly carried around the world by… Spurs fans.
What is that?
You want to contribute to our Patreon because of the good work I did with the stats PHD person?
Why thank you. Below is the link to our exclusive work AND we’ve put out a transfer window special podcast. It was the most-watched show we’ve had live, which was pretty cool.
Just be warned, I’m calling in Ws on that show, so brace for impact.