by .

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:

  • Left-back
  • Centre midfielder
  • Striker
  • 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.

Become a Patron!


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. WengerEagle

    ”Tom if league and CL is not on the agenda then what are we doing? Why did we move to Emirate? What then is our ambitions. This season would it be too much to ask to win the Europa, 1 of League cup/FA Cup and finish 4th?”

    Benkind asking all of the right questions today.

  2. Pedro


    Good questions indeed.

    This Arsenal project is aiming to win the Premier League and the Champions League.

    The model we’re most closely trying to replicate is what Liverpool did over a 5 year period.

    The system and methodology we’re most closely tracking is what Manchester City are doing.

    We’re not operating a Dortmund model because 1. We are trying to win things 2. We’re trying our hardest to NOT sell our best players

    They are going all out.

    ‘Why did we move from Highbury’ is just a real basic… money. There is no world where staying at highbury was an opition. £100m a year versus, what, £30m a season. I don’t know why people flag it like there was a fairytale scenario where we made a 38,000 seater stadium work for us.

  3. Tom

    Wait, what?
    Tottenham have the most difficult start schedule wise?
    Did I read that right?

    What the hell kind if excuse are we gonna use now that the luckiest team in football is no longer on the table?

  4. TR7

    “league and CL is not on the agenda then what are we doing? Why did we move to Emirate? What then is our ambitions. This season would it be too much to ask to win the Europa, 1 of League cup/FA Cup and finish 4th?””

    While I definitely agree that Arteta must finish top 4 season ( In fact we should have got top 4 last season) it is true that unless we have a spending cap across the board one can’t expect Arsenal to win the league irrespective of who our manager is. A level playing field is prerequisite for good competition. League titles are getting decided in transfer windows.

  5. NJ Gooner

    Why Raphinha now?

    Because, as Pedro would himself argue, we are trying to build a competitive squad of 16-17 players for the next 4-5 seasons. Not just a competitive team. Sometimes great things come along in life at the wrong time. Overlooking them normally leads to retrospective regret.

    This looks like that kind of gift. We certainly do have more pressing concerns, like a CF or a utility LB. But that shouldn’t deter our interest.

    That said, like Pedro, I (sadly) think the story is just clickbait.

  6. Pedro

    TR7, Liverpool didn’t have a level playing field and won the league and the Champions League.

    It’s a disadvantage, but not insurmountable if you are disciplined and get some luck along the way.

  7. Ishola70

    “That said, like Pedro, I (sadly) think the story is just clickbait.”

    lol that’s right.

    Both of your doubts are legit.

  8. Nigel Tufnel

    That goal contributions stat from starts is very impressive. Let’s wrap him up because he also plays fast interchange, pressing Pepteta ball and doesn’t have to play straight down the middle.

    I’ve been saying for weeks. Forget about Raphina. We are not going to pay circa 50 mil for a Saka backup. Those are fanciful rumours. People putting him on their wishlist are silly, especially after Vieira.

  9. Emiratesstroller


    I agree with your analysis.

    Arsenal’s priorities should be

    The Centre Forward option should be Jesus. Whilst he is not a prolific goalscorer I think that
    his experience at Man City and the EPL makes sense and more realistic than many of the
    other so-called expensive options. Personally I don’t believe that Spurs is a realistic destination, because he would go there as an understudy for Kane.

    At Arsenal he would be Number 9 and first choice CF and playing alongside a growing number of Brazilian and Portuguese speakers. We have now got 7 Portuguese Speakers in our first team squad.

    Earlier today I thought that Arsenal would no longer pursue Tielemans now that they had
    recruited Vieira. Arsenal have currently got 4 CMF/DMF players in squad with Partey, Xhaka,
    Lokonga and Elneny. This is also an area of pitch where there is a lot of talent coming through in U23s. Arteta has spoken highly of some of these players in particular Patino.

    The LB position needs resolution. Is Martinez the option to Tierney? Frankly I don’t understand why Arsenal need him as a CB when we have Saliba and perhaps more importantly would it make sense to play a 5′ 9″ centre back in the team?

    I agree with you the Raphinha story seems very strange. Do we need to spend £50 million
    on a RW when we have got Saka on the books who played in every game in EPL and scored
    as many goals as Raphinha. It makes only sense if Saka is leaving the club which I hope is
    not the case.

  10. Pedro

    Tom, you are known as being Tottenham Tom on here, if it wasn’t clear what being an apologist for Spurs means, that nickname should give you a clue.

  11. TR7

    Rafinha needed because Saka looked knackered and leggy as the season progressed. Besides we are overly reliant on him. Rafinha needed to change things up and make us more dangerous.

  12. Bob N16

    I think the rumours about Raphina coming can’t be right. If we were to sign Jesus we would have Saka, Jesus and Viera who could play RW, and LW would be Martinelli or ESR. If Raphina started then we’ll have disappointed players. Competition is one thing but we’re in the EL not the CL!

    Despite Pedro’s relative confidence in CM, Partey appears injury prone, Xhaka is Xhaka, Elneny is Elneny and Lokonga would need to step up to reach a level that would justifying starting. If we sign Tielemans great but unless he’s partnered with Partey, I don’t see our CM being anywhere near good enough. Keeping both Elneny and Xhaka would definitely be a mistake.

  13. Freddie Ljungberg

    Yes we have enough bodies at CM, unfortunately outside of Partey they’re all not good enough to start for us regularly.

    Again, last season with Partey 2.5 points per game, without 0.8 points per game.

    Pretty solid indicator of where our greatest need is. And it’s not at RW.

  14. Tom

    Liverpool for all their planning, discipline and back room expertise will revert to type the minute Klopp fucks off.
    It’s a near certainty.

  15. andy1886

    What I want to know is why Sp*rs haven’t taken a ten year vow of poverty following their new stadium build. Yes they have CL football but so did we, yes there’s more money in the game now but equally their stadium cost twice as much, PLUS they have the Covid impact that we never had. Something doesn’t add up.

  16. Bertie Mee

    To buy Raphinha, Tielemans, Martinez and Jesus we would need a high-profile , large sale . The finance is not there for this sort of expenditure especially with Edu arranging the outgoings

  17. Nigel Tufnel

    To yesterday’s debate about Bissouma.

    Ishola posted this:
    ” this puts to bed old fashioned talk surely….Funnily enough Csemiro as a youth was very handy as an attacking midfielder”.

    That illustrates my point. Every top team that plays with a traditional DM, makes sure that he has the skills to play anywhere in MF, which means they’re well rounded passers with vision, who play deeper.

    Not simply tacklers, or “walls” as ignorant fans describe them.

    Pierre comparing Rodri in Peps dominant team that approaches triple digit points… to Bissouma in Brighton/Spurs is laughable.

    To the Bissouma lovers, there’s a misconception among low IQ gooners that big athletic players make good footballers.

    Answer me this:

    How many of you grovers wanted Samba, Benteke, Aurier, and, best of all… Etienne Capoue ? Lol.

    Pierre will deny them all, of course.

  18. andy1886

    True enough Pedro but so did we (although we’ve settled it and Stan has financed another loan). But seriously they should be looking down the back of the sofa for pennies, not spending millions (and Kane and Son’s values are dropping all the time). Let’s hope it comes back to bite them in the arse when they fail to make top 4 this time (another fine reason to give the b*stards a good kicking if we ever needed one).

  19. Ishola70

    Bertie Mee

    “To buy Raphinha, Tielemans, Martinez and Jesus we would need a high-profile , large sale . The finance is not there for this sort of expenditure”

    Especially with the big spend last summer added in as well.

  20. Thierry Martinelli

    We can’t pay 50m+ (Brazilian tax 😒) on Raphinha. I’m sure we can get an alternative. Maybe that Vieira kid is.
    And we need to bump up the AVG age of this team to say 25 or 26 at most. We can’t keep using age as an excuse for our failures. Plus we need experienced NOW players in the mix.
    And I’m with benKid ; we have to bag at least 1 trophy next season. The investment we’ve put in merits it

  21. Ishola70


    The point is though whether Casemiro could play a bit as a youth his role now for many years has been purely as a DM and a destroyer. He is hardly noteworthy in comparison in an attacking sense on the ball.

    Same with Fabinho.

    He’s a destroyer for Liverpool. Any notions of him being an all round midfielder are very secondary to what he does best for Liverpool which is to disrupt the opposition. All off the ball.

  22. Naija+soccer


    A few years ago I met this girl and the moment I set my eyes on her, my body was on fire. My electrolytes and all the charges in my body were going bananas as though a switch had been flicked. Anyhoo, I got her number and invited her out for a movie. She obliged, and off to the movies we went.

    She had a good time, she was laughing hysterically and calling me all kinds of funny and cute. I really thought I had sealed the deal. I invited her back home with me and once again she was down. Long story short we are back in my house now and we are laying in bed at night. She’s almost naked, wearing only a thong, looking so mighty delicious. Once again, I thought this deal is sealed. We start making out again, and I m excited, getting ready to apply the finishing touch. All of a sudden she asks, “i meant to ask you this earlier but do you smoke ?”. I said yeah. She goes “sorry I hate smoking and smokers”.

    And before I knew what was happening she’s up getting dressed. She kept saying “smoking destroyed my life and it killed my father” I tried every trick in the book to make her stay. She left. I remember sitting on my bed thinking “man I really thought I had that sealed”.

    Moral of the story General, is that maybe we should sign Tielemans first before we start assuming he will be our player. Don’t think i ll be able to handle the disappointment if we don’t sign him or any other CM.

  23. WengerEagle

    Youth football counts for little.

    Bojan Krkic was the Lionel Messi of youth footballers, smashed every record known to man at La Masia. Went on to do little in his career.

  24. MidwestGun

    Pedro we haven’t signed Tielemans yet… don’t jinx it.. sheesh. My worry is Xhaka will cock block a move.. hopefully not. I’m holding you to your assertion that this week will be exciting.

    Chilling down some sparkling alcohol.

  25. Naija+soccer

    If we have 55-60 million to spend on a winger like Raphina why don’t we go and buy a world class midfielder to secure the middle now and for the future.

    Get a guy like Tchouameni in your midfield and you are set for 10 years. But no we can’t afford one Tchouameni but we can afford 4 inferior midfielders that will all cost 30-40 million each and will never be good enough for us.

  26. Chrispy

    Arteta might be the ultimate salesman. If he can get Stan to part with £200m+, milking the superbowl high and hopefully the Stanley Cup too, then i’m all for it. Jesus, Martinez, Tielemans, Vieira and fuck it, Raphinha why not.
    That would give us a massive shot at WINNING the EL AND top 3 whilst restoring balance to the universe with a St Totts day again.

    Its not our money.

  27. Pierre

    “Chance creation from the right doesn’t need £60m right now.”

    I would happily see Saka move back to his original left side position.
    We miss the exquisite left footed john Robertson type crosses that he used to either cut back or play into the corridor of uncertainty.

    Saka has become a little predictable on the right ,so why not move him back to the left , a position he played all his life , and watch him drop his shoulder to gain half a yard and put the ball into areas that cause maximum danger.

    Maybe buying raphina means Martinelli will play up top as back up to Eddie, or alternately he hasn’t impressed Arteta enough so he may sell him.
    Personally i would keep him as I believe that he is maturing into a very good player..

    If we do buy raphina , jesus and Vieira then there will be a few young players concerned about their Arsenal future as they maybe relegated back to europa league players.

    If Raphina , jesus and Vieira prove to be better than the likes of Martinelli, smith rowe , Odegaard and eddie then fair enough.

    There is a scenario where we could lose a talented group of young Arsenal players because they have to make way for the new flavour of the day that may turn out to be next year’s dross.

    The 2 positions that for me need strengthening are keeper and midfield.
    Hopefully fabio will be the creative player that many thought that Odegaard would be.
    I’m really looking forward to watching how Fabio will link up with Eddie and Saka.

  28. Br0wnie

    I know this has been debated to a degree already but I can’t help but think we’ve messed up by committing to 5 years at $100k a week for Nketiah. He was clearly playing for a new contract at the end of the season and I’ll give him credit for taking his chance but 5 years for such a short run of games feels very optimistic. I hope it works out but 2 years would have been more realistic.

  29. Wicked Willy

    Naijja, thanks for sharing that story! I’ve had a few of those in my time…

    As for the need for a top RW (in addition to the other needs), I refer you to this excellent analysis: https://gunnerstown.com/arsenal/2022/06/19/arsenal-need-a-wing-man-part-2-the-a-list/

    Or to put it another way, everyone is absolutely shitting the bed that we don’t have cover for Partey, without realising we are equally exposed with Saka. If Saka gets a long term injury without such cover, CL becomes a pipe dream.

    As for resource allocation, firstly, I don’t believe for a second we’ll be paying £60m for him if he comes. More like £45m. At that price, I would most certainly take it!

    I also don’t think this will be at the detriment of other key purchases. Everyone knows what’s needed, and they seemed determined to address it, and with quality. Every name we’ve been linked with improves our team substantially.

    Is there an argument to spunk a shedload on De Jong, and be a bit more speculative on RW? Certainly. But I’m confident that the calculus has been done. Just remember, they are operating with full information about player’s stats, profiles, and availabilities. Us lot are groping around in the dark by comparison.

    And yes, this could be a smokescreen. For who I know not. But after the Vieira thing, I’m confident we’ll come up smelling of roses (the little boy in me says for Gnabry, that adult in me knows that’s a dream).

    People complain about us not getting value, and then complain about as playing poker face with Leicester over Tielemans. pick a position guys. Do you want value, or do you want haste? CL clubs can maybe expedite high quality transfers. Those of us in the cheap seats need to bide our time whilst the coals heat up on Edu’s BBQ.

    Martial Artists win by being patient, and by striking at the appropriate time. They use stealth and wisdom to guide them. Let’s wait and see how the contest plays out instead of second guessing what Edu Miyagi and Mikel san have in store for us.

  30. Ishola70

    It’s a huge decision isn’t it if Eddie N is seen as first team striker going into the coming season.

  31. WengerEagle

    Martinelli will be a ST, not a winger. His career is anything but over here and if we sell him we’re absolutely useless at identifying talent because he is a serious one.

    Could see Klopp taking him to Anfield if we are not careful.

  32. MidwestGun

    I think if we get Jesus.. also not a done deal.. despite Peds acting like the transfer window is done.. making me nervous.. hahaha

    Then Martinelli and Jesus will interchange at the number 9 position.. getting Marti valuable time and insight. and we could see Eddie at 9 and Jesus on a wing as well.. Hence, why I like Jesus. But again nothing is done. I hope all these rumors dont come back to bite us.

    Until the dudes are posing on the .com. in the kit. We haven’t sealed the deal as Naija humurously pointed out.

  33. andy1886

    We were told last summer that signing Ben White wouldn’t be to the detriment of our search for a midfielder, didn’t work out that way though did it?

    For me a striker and CM are top priority. If necessary Vieira or even Martinelli can play on the right (great goal from Martinelli from the RH side against Newcastle btw). Raphinha may prove to be a luxury signing that we can’t afford if we don’t address CM.

  34. TR7


    Saka still the first choice if Rafinha comes in. I see Rafinha as someone who can come in after an hour has passed and inject pace and directness in our attack.

    For me ideally Saka and Rafinha play at RW, ESR and Viera compete for CAM position, Martinelli and Eddie compete for a starting position on the left, Jesus starts most of the games as a centre forward and Ode drops deep in central midfield to replace Xhaka with Partey (if fit) or an out and out CDM his midfield partner. Eddie and Martinelli can obviously play as central forward as and when required and similarly Ode and Saka can play as CAM and LW if required.

  35. Samesong

    It’s a huge decision isn’t it if Eddie N is seen as first team striker going into the coming season.

    Wouldnt it be Jesus?

  36. Ishola70


    “I see Rafinha as someone who can come in after an hour has passed and inject pace and directness in our attack.”

    Very extravagant though isn’t for 60m for a player to be a possible impact player in the last quarter of the match.

    Are you one of these that think Arsenal are flowing buckets of gold to spend? If so let’s hope you are correct and there is plenty of wonga available.

  37. Naija+soccer


    “Pedro, Tottenham Tom has a nice ring to it, I welcome you addressing me as such from now on”.

    Hard to argue that you aren’t Tottenham affiliated with that statement. You wouldnt wanna be called Pedophile Miles bcuz it rhymes.

  38. Ishola70


    “Wouldnt it be Jesus?”

    Who knows. We only have links to Jesus so not seen as done by any means is it.

  39. TR7


    We do need Rafinha though. Saka when not at his best can become very predictable as Pierre said. Rafinha can start PL games too when Saka needs a break and he definitely starts most of the cup games. So plenty of matches to play even for a second choice player.

  40. Thierry Martinelli

    We’re racking up the number of Portuguese speaking players in our team. That’s a good thing, right?

  41. englandsbest

    Raphinha? Smoke and mirrors from Edu to distract attention from the players Arteta REALLY wants? Gabriel J? Does he fit the bill? Not sure. My bet is still on an ace goal-scorer – which Gabriel is not. I’d much prefer Raheem.

  42. MidwestGun

    I don’t know Thierry Martinelli.. What’s the Portuguese word for winning. ? Need more of that.

    Anyhow, That was a bit over the top Tom…

    KInd of like Bamford Who claimed he was more of a ” student of the game.”.. and supported several teams. .. just Arsenal was his ” first favorite” in the PL of 3 others or something. Then proceeded to talk like OGS was a good manager. and Brenda’s LC was the shit.

    Just my opinion.. but i think you ride or die with the first and only choice you make at all costs and damn everyone else especially the Spuds.

  43. Dissenter

    There’s a.good ole’ collective hard-on for Rafinha, same as the clamor for the likes of Yann M’Vila and Julian Draxler

    We can get two players for the price that Leeds will want for Rafinha.
    He’s no where good enough to blow up the priorities for the summer.

    For the £50 million ++ that Leeds will want we can get Jeremy Doku from Rennes and Tiellesman from Leicester.

  44. TR7

    .@FabrizioRomano: “Arsenal had direct contact with Leeds for Raphinha – direct contact between the board of Arsenal & board of Leeds. They are negotiating, discussing, so Arsenal are working on Raphinha, with the intention to push & push in the coming days.”

  45. Chris

    I agree with the view that we should be looking to invest £60 million Raphina money in as bona fida midfield star as we can get.

    I don’t think the club will through as they have extended Elneny, at present have no plans seemingly to sell Xhaka, and we have Sambi also who has some potential. It would need to step it up from his showings last season.

    It relies on Partey staying fit which based on recent history is asking a lot. And central midfield, alongside a striker, is what we desperately need to address this summer.

    Perhaps we have the technical player in this Vieira lad, if he is confirmed, but I am of the personal view we needed another DM/CM. As I said above, don’t think it will happen though.

  46. Emiratesstroller

    andy 1886

    For the record Spurs ground and infrastructure cost 3x Arsenal’s stadium and in contrast to
    us they received some public money.

    Arsenal’s stadium was entirely self funded. Hopefully the bulk of debt will be paid off in the
    not to distant future.

  47. WengerEagle

    Just confusion PP as we are not City and surely cannot afford to spend £60m on a Pepe replacement unless Stan has struck Gold and found a few extra pennies down the side of the sofa.

  48. Positive pete

    Wenger Eagle,If the rumour is true & who knows?.Dropping £45/60;million on a Pepe replacement is either,you assume,a priority,seeing as Pepe is a bit of a waste or you think priority should be CM & Tielemans?Or as others have stated ,all a smokescreen for ANother surprise?My heads pickled🤔

  49. WengerEagle

    Vieira, Raphinha, Jesus, Martinez would be a near £200m spend.

    Sounds like Romano is talking some shit about one or two of these targets. No way we sign them all.

  50. Dissenter

    The central midfield is much bigger priority than ££55 million for Rafinha

    Jeremy Doku will cost half of what Leeds will want for Rafinha, leaving enough change to fix the middle.

    Hopefully, these are just mid June transfer rumors

  51. Rich

    If next season our forward options look like this?

    Odegaard, Vieira
    Saka, Raphinha
    Martinelli, Smith Rowe
    Jesus, Nketiah

    There’s really no excuses, we should be finishing 3rd as a “minimum”, and competing in the cups.

    We’d be favourites for the Europa, and not winning it would be a big disappointment

    We should fear nobody in the FA Cup or League Cup, and there’d be no reason to prioritise the League over the cups, or to fall short at the business end of the season.

    I doubt we’d win the PL next season, it’s too big of a jump, but we should certainly be in the conversation and much closer to the 2 top teams

    I’d expect to see a 50% uptick in the goal-scored column, alongside a much more attacking + defined style of play.

    We’d have 7 players who’d I’d expect to get into double figures, in terms of goals, which when you compare that with 2-3 seasons back, would be a much healthier place to be.

    If we get Saka + Saliba to commit, and as well sign a left back? Then we’re smoking a pipe….

    My only concerns would be goalkeeper, Turner or Hein could be brilliant? I just don’t know, but Ramsdale needs internal pressure, competition + cover, such an important position.

    Partey’s injuries are also a concern, he’s a key player.

    Ramsdale, Turner, Hein
    Tomiyasu, Cedric
    Tierney, New left back
    Saliba, White
    Gabriel, Holding
    Partey, Elneny
    Tielemans, Sambi
    Odegaard, Vieira
    Saka, Raphinha
    Martinelli, Smith Rowe
    Jesus, Nketiah

    Not the best team, but that would be the best squad we’ve had in my lifetime

    Not surprised we’ve been linked with an inverted left back, the price we’ll pay for moving to playing with 2 x No8s, will be more withdrawn full backs

  52. Dissenter

    Mr Serge
    ‘ Raphina can play both wings he would be a great Pepe replacement’

    At what cost?
    He’s not the only player that can play both wings
    Unless we are spending £250 million this summer, why drop so much money on that position.

    This has all the makings of another misallocation of priorities as the Ben White signing

    We’ll spend everywhere but the Xhaka position.

  53. TR7

    “Vieira, Raphinha, Jesus, Martinez would be a near £200m spend.”

    We sold Guendouzi and Mavro for £12M.

    You would expect Leno and Pepe to be sold for a combined total of at least $35M. I can see us selling one of Holding and Saliba too. So all in all we can recoup at least £60M in sale.

  54. Dissenter

    Naijagooner just made a very colorful point about Tielemans

    Stop assuming we are signing him. We just bypassed an opportunity to sign him and went for Fabio Vierra instead.

    For all intents and purposes, that may be the midfield signing of the summer already done

    After we splurged on Ben White, everyone assumed that surely we were not going to leave the midfield untouched but alas another signing never happened

  55. TR7


    You tell me how do we recoup anything less than £60M from selling the following players

    Guen and Mavro have already fetched us £12M.

    Now tell me your conservative number for Leno, Pepe and Holding/Saliba and let’s see whether we get to £60M or not.

  56. Ishola70

    Pepe is on too big a wage to be sold.

    He’ll stick around or go on loan. He’s got two years left yet on his contract.

  57. Dissenter

    I can’t imagine any forward player we are interested in will consider Spurs ahead of us.

    Spurs starting forward line is pretty much set in stone
    Anyone going there is going to the bench, why switch to go to be a substitute player for a club that never wins anything.

  58. Dissenter

    Pepe is going to leave outright
    Arsenal have to reduce their losses this summer- two years left in his deal
    Pepe has to leave to play football again

    He’s going to take a haircut on his wages,

  59. Ishola70


    “He’s going to take a haircut on his wages,”

    lol is he? This is where loans can come in.

    Have you heard any links regarding Pepe being sold outright this summer? A club mentioned? No. Me neither.

  60. WengerEagle


    Pepe and Leno you’d be looking at £20m for the pair. I think people underestimate just how much we have tanked Pepe’s value. Who is going to even pay £20m for him? Name the club.

    And woah, bit of a difference between selling Holiding or Saliba. The former is only going to get you £5-10m while Saliba would go for much more but do we really want to sell him? Would be a mistake given how good he looked for Marseille.

  61. WengerEagle

    Exactly Ishola.

    Worse again, we’ll probably loan him out to a Ligue 1 or Serie A club for 2 seasons only for him to slip out the backdoor for nothing.

    Some return on investment that!

  62. Dissenter

    ‘ Have you heard any links regarding Pepe being sold outright this summer? A club mentioned? No. Me neither’

    99.9% of what we hear or read in the tabloids is crapola tbh
    We won’t have any problems moving Pepe on for £15-£20 million. It will be a loss but better than doing the lazy loans we specialized in.

  63. TR7

    Leno still a very decent keeper. GK coaches of most clubs will recognise his ability. £10M a realistic number for Leno

    I have never rated Pepe myself but he is still an attacking player who can score goals even if his overall game is not up to the mark. In case we sell him we get £20M for him, players worse than him fetch more. I am not even counting the likes of AMN and Torrera here.

    Saliba could still be sold in my opinion and he will fetch good money. Holding too £10M or more, he is a solid defender. We have Mari too who will be sold.

  64. Ishola70


    “We won’t have any problems moving Pepe on for £15-£20 million”

    His wages of over 100,000 a week can suggest there could be a little problem there.

    But I hope you are right that we can move him on with ease this summer and with a fee paid for him.

    You can be the first to let me know.

  65. MidwestGun

    To be honest.. people keep saying we are gonna sell this .. sell that.. for about 10 different players .. and I havent heard of anyone interested in any of our players.. that are surplus to requirements. A brief interest in Leno at a low price from Germany.
    Usually the articles I see are Clubs not interested at all in buying our players.. aka Torrierra and Bellerin. Only Guendouzi and Mavro and they had a clause.. built in. If we are gonna sell half a dozen players or more .. we need to get crackin. especially if we have to sell to buy.

  66. WengerEagle


    We got £12m combined for two extremely promising young players in Guen and Mavro that will go on to be sold for 4-5 times what we sold them for combined.

    Do you really see us recouping £10m for a Leno that has been sitting on the shelf for 1.5 years and is on £100k a week?

  67. andy1886

    Leno linked with Fulham for £8m (think that’s GBP not Euros).
    We’ll be lucky to see £10m for Torreira.
    If we get anything for Bellerin it’s probably going to be around £5m.
    AMN similar unless Forest are prepared to stump up a bit more.
    Mari say £3m.
    The think with Pepe is that we still owe the best part of £30m for him, so if we sell for half that we’re taking a £15m LOSS on the books which is how the money men view these things, not a gain of £15m to re-invest.

    Despite what’s been said earlier this isn’t ‘free’ money we’re spending. Stan isn’t stupid, the debt will be on the club, not Stan. Ultimately it only makes sense to mortgage the club up to the hilt if that investment drives up revenues subsequently which means CL football and actually winning things to increase the value of our sponsorship deals and TV monies.

  68. Ishola70

    Put yourself in Pepe’s boots.

    It has been said that he definitely wants out this summer.

    This doesn’t mean that is good news for Arsenal though.

    It can mean that Pepe demands a loan move as he is that desperate to go this summer and of course he keeps his nice wage as well intact with both parties the loaning club and Arsenal putting into that nice wage he is currently on at Arsenal.

    I bet you would love to start afresh somewhere with a loan and still get your big wage coming in at the same time rather than seeing it decimated.

  69. MidwestGun

    Andy yep pretty much we arent making any money off transfers.. That’s why I dont think we are selling to buy only making room on the roster with sales really not so much generating a bankroll.

  70. Wicked Willy

    People seem to be discounting how low our wages are going to be in the next couple of seasons relative to income. By my calculations the first team squad wage bill will be in the £105-108m ballpark.

    I don’t know what our expected revenues are likely to be with Europa, but I’d imagine it leaves a lot of room to absorb a fair chunk of transfer fees. Between that and receipts from the 10 players we’re hoping to sell this summer, I think we’re ok.

    This is the model KSE have executed elsewhere. Phase 1 is clear out and get the wage bill down to a minimum, then build smartly, and then add some big stars to complete the picture (next summer probably).

  71. Dissenter

    “People seem to be discounting how low our wages are going to be in the next couple of seasons relative to income. By my calculations the first team squad wage bill will be in the £105-108m ballpark”

    Those wages won’t be long for too long
    We are replacing high earners with high earners
    Then we have to pay up for the likes of Saka who will be stupid to accept anything less than we are paying Jesus.

  72. Ishola70

    Sounds nice Willy but I think Kroenke is quite aware it’s more difficult to produce a truly successful football team in England compared to producing successful sporting franchises in the US.

    You have to earn the right in the first place to get truly good players in for football clubs in europe. No first round draft picks for losers in european football.

  73. Wicked Willy

    Yes there will be wage inflation, particularly two years from now. All i’m attempting to convey is the fact that the differential between our wage billl and our revenue will be sufficient enough over the next two seasons (barring force majeuse) to absorb the vast majority of this years seemingly high spend. Lets check what our wages are with a respected online soource come Sep 2nd. It will likely be on a par with our 2011 wage bill.

    Therefore I’m not sweating.

  74. Carts

    We aren’t pulling of a Raphinha coup with Pepe still on the books. Sell him first and it might mean we’d have to add a couple more mill onto Raphina’s head.

    But as Weagle said: his value is in the fucking mud. He’ll probably end up at Napoli on loan with an option to buy which they won’t activate; because Italian teams are complete misers lol

  75. TitsMcGee

    Not sold on Veira, seems very clunky to me. The kinda guy that gets closed down quickly in the Orem and can’t get a shot off.

  76. Carts

    I think we missed a trick with Boubacar Kamara, considering he was on a free. Hope Gerard gets the best out of him.

    I’d be looking at Pape Gueye from Marseille. He’s what we need. Not that slow fuck Tielemans

  77. DigitalBob

    I love Raphinha as a player and his output will be better than Pepe’s but surely for that price Raphinha isn’t going to accept being first option off the bench? It’s a weird one for me, doesn’t really make sense in terms of priority positions this summer.

    I mean it would be superb depth but can a player that wants to start and star for Brazil really be satisfied being Saka’s understudy? Maybe we’re shifting Saka to the left, but then that relegates Martinelli to a seat next to Emile on the bench.

    I’m also feeling rather upset that the Tielemens move seems to be losing momentum. Did we make our CM signing already, is the intention to play Fabio Vieira in the middle?

    In terms of the outgoings, it feels like another summer of compromises and mutual terminations for Edu and the negotiators. I have seen 0 interest in Pepe, 0 interest in Reiss Nelson and 0 interest in AMN. Torreira and Bellerin are pushing for free transfers, what’s the over under on our transfer income being slightly under £30 million in total?

    I think I’ll be pacified with Gabriel Jesus signing, at least that ticks one certain box on the summer checklist.

  78. Matt

    Looks like Stan’s going to be wining the Superbowl and the Stanley Cup in the same year. Hopefully it incentivises him to push for the same sort of success with Arsenal.

  79. Un

    Are there no positive or measured posters here any more outside of bobn16 tr7 habesha and weagle?
    Why is everyone else so bloody miserable?

  80. Ishola70

    I’d love to see Xhaka off but let’s replace him properly and actually see in a midfielder what we have lacked with Xhaka all these years.

    And Tielemans wasn’t the right replacement. Yes he would score some goals, yes he would give some assists but what has been horribly apparent about Xhaka is his off the ball deficiencies and I’m afraid Tielemans wouldn’t have truly rectified that problem.

  81. Naija+soccer

    Elneny will play well in most games but he won’t help you in games where you need leaders. We have four midfielders but in reality we only have one. The rest are not good enough, at best a back up player and the last one is young and inexperienced.

    We need a new CM. And not just a body either, we need a leader.

  82. Br0wnie

    We should xonsider keeping LT as a backup defensive MF. He had a great year last year and we can get some value out of him in Europas. It would allow Lakonga, Patino, Azeez another year to mature. Build his value this year and then sell him next year.
    Same with AMN to back up Tomy

  83. Ishola70


    “Elneny will play well in most games but he won’t help you in games where you need leaders”

    He was very disappointing in that crunch game at Newcastle.

    Looked off the pace defensively in that match.

  84. Naija+soccer

    We ve been underestimating the importance of the midfield at Arsenal since 2005. And we ve been paying the price for 17 years straight now. When will we understand that the middle is the engine, control room and the foundation.

    The defence is only as good as the midfield, while the offense is about as consistent as the midfield. You can stack up in all areas of the team all you want, but if you don’t have a midfield general/s imposing his will on things, you will be also-rans.

  85. Ishola70

    “We ve been underestimating the importance of the midfield at Arsenal since 2005.”

    Well if you remember correctly we had a period in Arteta’s first stint where the midfield was basically being bypassed. Hitting up to the attackers as quickly as possible and we hardly saw the ball being played in central midfield. That obviously wasn’t sustainable to play like that for any real long period of time but it again highlights Arsenal’s disregard for this area down the years.

  86. Naija+soccer


    That’s my point though. We needed leaders against Newcastle, and Elneny is not that guy. The bloke who was playing for them( Bruno) should have been playing for us.

  87. Naija+soccer


    “Come on now
    The midfields of 2008 and 2011 were the most creative we’ve ever had”

    Yeah but a midfield has two sides creativity and defending. We got the creative part right, but defensively ? Nah. Funny you mentioned 08 and 11 because we would have won the league in those seasons if we had a proper DM or 2.

  88. DUIFG

    No tielmans would be catastrophic. I can’t do xacka again. No cl while he’s been here.

    Very poor resource allocation if we don’t upgrade there.

  89. Un

    08 was down to gallas killing the dressing room. And almunia.
    2011 we had song but no real leader in the team. If anything we needed more firepower and a centre half in 2011 as rvp was carrying too much of the goal burden in my opinion

  90. MidwestGun


    Why you have to categorize…. peopel. I just say what Im feeling.. I dont take inverntory of whether it’s postive or negative and think it’s weird that people do. Do you go around life thinking im only going to be postive today or everything is going to make me mad today.. no. You become a fan and you feel the way you do. Sometimes I feel ecstatic and soemtimes I don’t but if you have been around for along time.. you know how things normally play out. and that surely effects how you feel. I dont go around life saying Im going to make sure everything i say today is balanced. Fuck that.

  91. Pedro

    Left, you hope so, that’d keep you nice and miserable.

    Two days in a row and all you want to do is bring everyone down.

  92. Ishola70

    For where Arsenal are atm Jesus would be an excellent signing profile wise.

    Can’t say for sure whether he will be a massive success but profile wise can’t knock it for me if you factor in where we are and are trying to get to.

    It’s Jesus over Eddie N any day every day really isn’t it and that’s not knocking Eddie N and his contribution to the team in the later part of season just gone but Jesus is simply just a higher calibre player.

    That would make the spending up to around 80m this summer and and up to 200m net spend over two summers.

    Arteta is being backed big.

  93. Samesong

    Why is everyone else so bloody miserable?

    I don’t mind the miserable people as they don’t throw out racial slurs and don’t change monikers every 5 minutes like some posters we know cough* cough* You never forget those type of posters regardless of the changes and persona.

    Mid great post.

  94. MidwestGun

    Serge just that His agent is in London, the obligatory he is getting hi-jacked articles are out of the way.. Jesus has team mates on the national team pushing for him to join. Edu is practically a Brailian national team insider. I feel like it’s close. We will probably slightly over pay .. but it is what it is.. I would be a bit crushed now if it didnt happen.

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