by .

Well, it would appear that the Raphinha story might not smell of Vlahovic, it looks increasingly like Arsenal are going to go all out this window and bring in all the technical wide players.

Did anyone see Arsenal investing £60m on a player to replace Nicolas Pepe?

I did not.

But do I welcome it?

You are damn right I do.

Ornstein says this chatter is the real deal.

“Interest in him (Raphinha) is clear and firm. Mikel Arteta and a number of others at Arsenal really like him. Admiration not fresh, goes back a little way. I think that is the player they would like to bring in.”

Raphinha would be a monster show of ambition. He can play on the left, he can play on the right, I suspect he has the frame and profile to play as a false #9 if we needed him to do that job.

What do I like about him? He has power, speed, and brilliant control. There is a lot of end product and directness in his game… and we know he has the right character because he survived Bielsa.

FABIO VIEIRA IS IN THE DOOR. Mikel and Edu had this to say.

EDU: “We’re so pleased to have completed the signing of Fabio from FC Porto. Fabio is a player with special qualities who is comfortable with the ball in the final third of the pitch. We are all looking forward to working with him and enjoying his future contribution to Arsenal. We will now continue to work hard and are looking forward to finishing this transfer window as strongly possible.”

MIKEL: ”I am very excited that we have identified and signed such a special talent. Fabio is a very creative player that will bring high quality and versatility to our attacking play. We welcome Fabio and his family to our club and are looking forward to starting work with him ahead of the new season.”

This is a banger of a signing, we’re trying to get a Bernado or KDB before they are a thing. The club moved in silence on this one, they did the deal with Jorge Mendes. They jumped the queue ahead of other top clubs. I am thrilled. Who knows how we’ll use him, but he has so many characteristics I like… tight control, deadly accuracy with his passes, bravery, elite creativity, and the character to force his way into a good Porto side. He’s also the U21 Champion and a league winner. This is a baller move from the club and I AM EXCITED.

The player had this to say:

I’m an attacking player who looks to find space between the lines to be able to finish off moves either with assists or by scoring goals. I think those are the main attributes that Arsenal fans can expect from me. I’ll always give my all for the team.

… and as I’ve been saying, young players see us the hot club to ply their trade, this is who he’s looking forward to playing with.

I’m a fan of Bukayo Saka and Smith Rowe, too. I really like the way they play. Odegaard is quite similar to me.

Zach Lowy for the win on the Odegaard piece. Check out that video here.

The delicious story doing the rounds on United Twitter is that Ten Hag is a big fan of Nicolas Pepe. Now there’s a move I didn’t see coming, but really, we all know there’s a player in Nico, it’s just not going to be unearthed in this Mikel Arteta system. You have guaranteed goals with Nico, but there’s no consistency, and I don’t think he has the control in his game to really bang at Arsenal.

We haven’t spoken about it, but someone is going to have to tell Edu that yes, the rumours are true, you can sell players.

Here is the list of potential names that could go and some speculative fees:

  • Nico: £20m (if it’s United, why not?)
  • Bernd Leno: £15m
  • Bob Holding: £10m
  • Granit Xhaka: £15m
  • Ainsley: £5m
  • Hector: £5m
  • Torreira £15m
  • Ballard £5m

That’s £90m in there plus the £15m we’ve already received from Guendouzi and Mavropanos.

Now, we know the chances of getting near that numbers are very low, but there’s no reason to believe we can’t make a dent.

  • Marquinhos £3m
  • Tielemans £25m
  • Raphinha £50m
  • Jesus £45m
  • Fabio £30m
  • Martinez £35m

If all the names drop that are on the list quite firmly, we’re looking at a £188m.

My guess is that Arsenal are probably looking to get to a similar net spend as last season, which was around £130m.

Again, I go back to the January transfer window and the potency of not doing anything fucking mad because Twitter said so.

We reduced the wage bill, we’ve gone from £190m when Arteta took over, to about £85m 2.5 years later. That’s a monster reduction by any standards. These players we’re bringing in aren’t coming in on huge cash, I saw that Vieira would be earning about £46k a week to start with, I suspect Raphinha, Tielemans and Jesus will come on more cash, but we’re not looking at the dark days of £350k a week.

Part of our problem with the selling story has always been the salary. The increasingly muted misery crowd loves to throw around the story about Mustafi being offered a new deal at Arsenal, which wasn’t true, and here’s how you know why… He was on £90k a week under Arsene Wenger, no one was going to pick him up on that deal, the players knew that, but he left, was booted from Schalke, and even on a free transfer, he couldn’t get more than £38k a week. Yep, Arsenal paid Mustafi over double his market rate, that’s why we couldn’t get rid of him, and that’s why he was absolutely not offered a new deal by Arsenal.

The difficulty of rebuilding any organization is that pain is part of the process. In football though, you have 10 million critics demanding the change come with no bumps in the road. Out the backend of this rebuild, we have an average squad age of 23.5, loads of Hale-End products, a better culture, a clear idea of how to play, a recruitment team that aren’t banter, and a manager that has enough sway to drive change through every aspect of the club.

It’s dream stuff. We are moving like a proper club again. The whiners are being put in their place, this club is moving away from the negative voices. The fans in the stadium are falling in love with their team again. All the doubters that said we’d move nowhere under this regime are starting to double-take because Arsenal are powering at the dream of being major trophy winners in a really smart way.

Right, before I exit the building, it’s my birthday today, so sign up for my Patreon OR watch the latest podcast we put out.

One of our best and most-watched live shows of ALL TIME. Xxx

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Habesha Gooner

    😂😂😂 why are you Mad?
    Have you heard Viera speak? Or have you seen the way he carries himself? Plus he has played for France. It doesn’t make him Sengegalese because he was born there. He moved to France when he was 8. So he doesn’t count as African.

  2. Un


    Of course he’s bloody African?? Wtf. He was literally born and raised in Senegal to Senegalese parents and grandparents.

  3. Habesha Gooner

    Sure he has Senegalese ancestors but he is called the French Midfielder. And he speaks French like a native. You can say the Senegal born French midfielder but he is French.

  4. Habesha Gooner

    What a stupid argument. Bellerin and Cesc chose to play for Spain. Viera chose France. That is why he is French. Choice matters.

    Zaha is Ivorian now. And Jorginho is Italian because they chose their Nationality even though they are English and Brazil raised.

  5. Un


    He is genetically African. His family are all Senegalese. He was born there and grew up there. He could have moved anywhere in the world. Japan. Would that make him Japanese if he’d gone there at 8 years old?
    I lived in Oz. I could have citizenship. Am I an Aussie?
    Anyway, this conversation ends here or I’ll end up in trouble so I’ll stop
    Vieira qualified to play for France as he gained citizenship as an African boy. He’s not French. Anelka is French. Henry is French. Aubameyang and Pepe are actually French. Patrick Vieira is African with French citizenship

  6. andy1886

    Un “I choose to Martian…. Now I’m from Mars”

    On the plus side I’d say that you have a better than average chance of getting into their first XI !!

  7. Un

    I can chop my balls off and legally become a woman…
    Legalities don’t change who you are and where you are from. Anyway
    I say vieira is the best premier league midfielder of all time whatever passport he holds.

  8. andy1886

    Positive Pete: We’re all African if you go back far enough. Cradle of humanity and all that. Unless you’re a Garden of Eden sort of guy/girl.

  9. andy1886

    Un, I know you have strong feelings on such things but I wouldn’t go to that extreme! Personally I don’t let it bother me, there’re much bigger issues to worry about. But yes, PV4 shits all over other PL midfielders IMO.

  10. Habesha Gooner

    Is Saka English then? His parents are clearly from Nigeria. And Nigerians raised him. Do you have to come out from a Vagina in France or England to be called French or English? What age do you have to move to be French or English?

    If you know the Martian culture and you live there since you were 8 then you can choose to be Martian too.

  11. Un

    Zaha is Ivorian
    Jorginho is Brazilian with some Italian blood
    Martinelli has some Italian blood
    Vieira has no french blood.

  12. Habesha Gooner

    June 22, 2022 14:20:34
    Zaha is Ivorian
    Jorginho is Brazilian with some Italian blood
    Martinelli has some Italian blood
    Vieira has no french blood

    😂😂😂 That is enough internet today.

  13. Milo Burstyn

    Un, in his autobiography, Vieira states that he hardly has any memories of his childhood in Senegal.

    He is French.

    Stick to the football guy.

  14. GoonerDave

    I thought it was wrong to wish people would f off back to their own country? Is it okay because BoJo is white? Or maybe okay because you don’t like him? I bet you wouldn’t have the guts to say that about a box ticker.

    I don’t mind either way, but it’s hard to keep up with the hypocrisy.

  15. Dissenter

    “genetically African”
    WTF does that mean?

    …tsking..shrugging…head shale

    Un na
    Stick to the football man.

  16. Jonnygunner

    Un…I’m completely with you. He was born and raised(until 8 years of age) in Senegal. He’s 100% African.
    He just chose French citizenship..

  17. andy1886

    Dave, correct, can’t stand the bloke and I’ll happily admit it. Of course I’m being funny about it (funny difficult not funny ha ha). Am I going to put him on a plane to the US? No of course not. Which is ironic considering that he’s happy to shove people on a plane to Rwanda. What I do think is this country and the world in general would be better off if he and his ilk weren’t running the UK.

  18. andy1886

    Really Johnny? Do give examples by all means.

    No problem having a sensible debate on left/right whatever. I’m all for equality hadn’t you noticed?

  19. andy1886

    Ishola, it’s probably fair to say that if someone seeks power then they’re probably not the person that should be gaining it. The very traits that enable people to reach the top of the political pile are the same ones that make them terrible leaders and awful advocates for the average voter.

  20. Jonnygunner

    Andy…we had certain debates on ACLF years ago.
    You always stuck to left of centre even if it wasn’t correct- because of principle. There’s mo point in going over all that again as life’s too short…Stuart that ran that site should’ve taught you that. My point is that you are,and for as many years that I read ACLF,have always been pretty spikey about anything that doesn’t suit your agenda(certainly on the political front). It came as no surprise to me that you’d made that remark about Boris.
    I’m neither left or right politically- but one things for sure Andy…Socialism is great on paper…until the money runs out.

  21. andy1886

    Jonny, absolutely, everyone is entitled to their beliefs of course. And if someone is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ is usually just an opinion. But even if you take the emotion out of it Boris has been found to be legally ‘wrong’ on several occasions. There are plenty in his own party that don’t believe he’s fit to run the country as we’ve seen so it’s not just my opinion.

    Still interested to know what a ‘Box Ticker’ is though if Dave would care to enlighten me….

  22. WengerEagle

    ”Still interested to know what a ‘Box Ticker’ is though”

    I read that on first glance as a Box Licker and if that expertise is what you’re after then Sid is your man to consult.

    Free consultations at that, marvelous.

  23. Savage

    Having visited the Cradle of Humankind a few months ago … it’s still a pretty poor attempt at explaining the origin of life. Basically the secularists are pretty desperate to find something other than a theistic explanation and they’re pinning all their hopes to something with ridiculously small odds of actually happening.

    But yes, the tribalist nature of football nationalities is a bit arbitrary.

  24. Wicked Willy

    Savage, I would be very interested to understand more about the alternative origin of man hypotheses you are referring to, for any links or suggestions you can share?9

  25. andy1886

    @Savage, my biggest frustration is that we’re all going to spend our lives never knowing the answer to the very ultimate questions. Some take comfort in faith, some in logic and science, but ultimately we will never truly know. Bit of a bummer really…

  26. Dissenter

    Pogba is more of an entertainer than a footballer
    Anyone seen clips of the silly “Pogmentary” documentary on amazon prime? where he calls a 300k weekly offer ” nothing?’
    He’s every despisable character.

  27. Freddie Ljungberg

    “🚨 BREAKING: Arsenal star defender Kieran Tierney has become Manchester City’s new top priority as they prepare to launch a £65m bid for the left back.”

    Just saw this, high chance it’s bullshit but if it isn’t I can see why we’re in for Lisandro. That’s him and Vieira paid for.

    As much as I love Tierney he’s a crock and 65m would be a ridiculous price for him.

    Can’t really see Man C paying that much though.

  28. Nigel Tufnel

    Im laughing as I read people here still talking about Bissouma. He’s not available any more, and we are not looking for his player profile. Let it go. He plays for Spurs now, so it’s time to hate him like the rest of the scum.

    The mentality of pining for players that our club didn’t want is strange.

    Grovers talking about Buffouna in the same conversations as Patrick Vieira and Yaya. Don’t you realize how silly that is?

    The obsession with the guy is the same as it was here with Chris Samba, MVila, Serge Aurier, Benteke, Capoue.

    I asked the question before,, but nobody here honest enough to admit they were calling for these guys.. thousands of comments begging for them…. yet nobody here will admit it. Not a single person. All those commenters passed away?

    I admit I thought Aurier was an incredible physical talent, but hated him when he went to the lily white dark side. Bissouma will have the same career as those guys. Nothing special. Stop crying.

    Back to Arsenal players… Partey after a slow start was as influential as any midfielder in the league. Like everybody else I worry about his injuries, and upgrading Xhaka. So I agree CM should be the focus.

    Also, we should know better than to trust the wild numbers from the Sun. All reported numbers are inflated, but theirs are even more. We will double Jesus wages from 100k to about 200k + bonuses. We have to overpay. That is the cost to get a guy to come from the dominant team in the league playing in CL finals and semis every season to a project with potential.

  29. andy1886

    Meanwhile back with the football where Kompany says that Sambi is ‘the new Yaya Toure’.

    I like the kid but that’s one hell of a statement.

  30. Ishola70


    “I admit I thought Aurier was an incredible physical talent, but hated him when he went to the lily white dark side.”

    Aurier was a classic example that you need more than high physical attributes to be a truly good player.

  31. Wicked Willy


    True. He might have been an Arsenal fan, but his mentality didn’t seem that stable. He was such an awesome talent when he was younger. And yes, I wanted him too, along with that other Arsenal fan Rudiger. Hey ho.

  32. InsideRight

    If the rumours are true that City want Tierney and will cough up £60m+ to get him, the club should do all it can to get it done. That would be good business for us and Tierney’s fragility can be someone else’s problem.

  33. Wicked Willy


    Did Kompany really say that? If so, that gives me a major footballing hard-on. I rate Kompany’s opinion, and don’t believe he is prone to be Ming overly emphatic. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he started showing signs of that next season?!

  34. InsideRight

    This made me laugh…

    “William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli will now become “Home-Grown” players as they were registered for 3 years before becoming 21.”

    Saliba has never played in England, never played for Arsenal, but now he’s a Home Grown player. The rules sometimes are absolute nonsense.

  35. Nigel Tufnel

    If Man City is really in for Cuccurella, shouldn’t we be trying to get Zinchenko?

    I think he fits us better than Lisandro, and there shouldn’t be a bidding war.

  36. Graham62

    Nigel Tufnel

    Bissouma would have been a massive addition.

    Never mind, we’ll make do with Xhaka instead.

  37. Graham62

    Nigel Tufnel

    What makes me laugh on here is that folk like yourself really believe that Arteta knows what he’s doing.

  38. Freddie Ljungberg


    Wouldn’t mind that, that’s the only scenario where Jesus is worth 50m, we’d still get 15m left over. Excellent deal for us.

    Again, not very likely but something like that would explain why we’re linked with so many players, would take our sales well over 100m.

    Still, if we don’t upgrade on Xhaka it’s all for nothing.

    I can’t believe the club is sitting there, watching us fall to pieces whenever Partey is out and not think we need to strengthen that area.

    At least we’re being linked to Fabian Ruiz now, would be decent I think.

  39. RP7

    Zinchenko wants to be primarily a midfielder again after 5 years of fullbacking (is that a word? should be). So he might not want to come to Arsenal. I reckon Everton are more like his level (at least initially until proven) if he’s so firm on the chief position.
    Have not heard that Lisandro is as specific about his role. Also, surely his salary demand will be lower.

  40. RP7

    This must be a joke, right? (daily mirror)

    “Arsenal have reportedly offered Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus a €16million-a-year contract – around £264,000-a-week – to move to the Emirates.
    And it’s believed Jesus’ contract will rise to €17m-a-year – around £280,000-a-week – if the Gunners qualify for the Champions League.”

    No way are we giving that salary to Jesus. How much to Saka then? 350 or 400k??

    150 offer, with 170k maximum. If he wants more, we should let City know they can keep him. Not the only 15 – 20 goal striker on the market.

  41. Jonnygunner

    If thats at me Sid- I didn’t say that.
    That may have been how you interpreted it.
    So that would make you the clueless one- and always looking for some keyboard trouble. Clown.

  42. Rich

    How many 21yr olds come over from the Belgian league, and bang in their first season?

    Sambi needs minutes, interesting that Kompany reportedly wants him on loan at Burnley for the season, 40 games in the Championship would be useful for his development, I suppose it’ll depend on how we juggle our central midfield options

    Partey’s muscle injuries are a concern, he was playing his best football at Arsenal before his injury, but we need to be able to extract 40-45 games out of him.

    He’s 29 and one of our most important players, but any type of offer around £25-£30 million, and a chance to dump his reported £200k p/wages, would need to be carefully considered

    We can’t afford to hoard injury prone players, particularly key players, Tierney + Tomiyasu could be heading that way

    The issue is that we then end up overplaying other players, and then they risk breaking down as well,

    If we can keep him fit? He makes us a much better team, but it’s a big if, and at 29 with 2 years left on his deal, this could be our last chance to dump our stock

  43. Ishola70

    That’s why Elneny extended.

    He is the cover for Partey lol.

    Teflon Xhaka of course not a problem in that regard.

  44. curse

    Andy, too bad you’re not the real Scarlett in disguise, if you were I’d let you get away with that cold take.

    few facts….

    Saka has been plying his trade in a team that has been out of the CL for 5 years…

    Jesus has been plying his trade in the best team in the UK for the last few years…

    I could go into detail in terms of numbers but I’m assuming no one here is that dim…

    fyi…politics are for those who think they are intelligent plus, we’re not supposed to know all the answers, that’s the whole point of existence…

    your welcome.

  45. Rich

    It’s not about have Elneny as cover for Partey

    It’s whether we want to gamble on Partey staying fit, or seeing if we can sell him to Juventus, and put those resources into a first choice who we believe can play 40-45 games

    We don’t want to end up in a Wilshere, Rosicky, Diaby, Ramsey situation, where the same players are perpetually injured, and that see’s our season go up in smoke

    I suspect had Partey + Tierney stayed fit, we’d have got the points to get over the line into 4th

    If we want to have a squad capable of competing on multiple fronts, and that doesn’t collapse at the business end of the season, then we can’t afford to carry players who are perpetually injured

    Even if we’ve got 2 players for each position, the second player can’t play 3 x a week for 3-4 months, if his competition is sat in the treatment room

  46. Ishola70

    It’s very much about Elneny extending.

    If he had sodded off as he should then that would have been the obvious signal that we were going to go to action on the central midfield.

    Partey is going nowhere.

  47. TheBayingMob

    “but he has so many characteristics I like… tight control, deadly accuracy with his passes, bravery, elite creativity, and the character to force his way into a good Porto side. He’s also the U21 Champion and a league winner”

    You forgot to mention the frame of a 10 year old girl; honestly how is this going to work in the PL?

  48. curse

    oh and I do think Saka will be better than Jesus sooner rather than later. I’d go as far to say he’ll be competing with Haarland for the golden boot in a few years.

  49. Rich

    If we get an offer for Partey from Juventus, we should seriously consider it.

    He’s a top player who was playing some excellent football before his injury, but his muscular injuries are a concern:

    21/22 Unknown Injury Apr 4, 2022 – 79 days
    21/22 Ankle Injury Aug 1, 2021 Aug 29, 2021 28 days
    20/21 Hamstring Injury Feb 7, 2021 Feb 22, 2021 15 days
    20/21 Knock Jan 28, 2021 Jan 29, 2021 1 days –
    20/21 Hip Injury Dec 6, 2020 Jan 11, 2021 36 days
    20/21 Muscle Injury Nov 9, 2020 Dec 5, 2020 26 days

    His fitness was good before he signed at Arsenal, that “unknown injury’ is a muscular injury

    Keeping Elneny isn’t an issue, he’s a decent squad player, a good professional who’s happy to play second fiddle

    The issue is that Partey has been injury prone since he’s been here, reoccurring muscular injuries are common, and for £200k p/w, we need our key players on the pitch, not in the treatment room.

  50. Nigel Tufnel

    Thanks RP7… I’d take Zinchenko over Xhaka if we can’t get Tielemans, Ruiz or someone we haven’t heard about yet…

    Can’t imagine Arteta doesn’t realize that even if Xhaka performed above normal last season… that there’s so much room for improvement in that position.

    Even if he has Vieira in mind for 8, it’s a risk to depend on a wirey kid with no premier league experience.

  51. Ishola70

    I wouldn’t argue against Partey even if he is our best CM leaving but if he did then we need to bring in two CMs. We would need to take big action there in such an eventuality.

    Partey is very unlikely to leave Arsenal at this time that’s all I’m saying.

    And if you still can’t see that Elneny extending wasn’t a good sign in regards other CM(s) coming in then I can’t help you.

  52. Goobergooner

    Loan out lakonga to Burnley (?) With Kompany.
    And then get in the cm we need to be pushing xhaka to the bench. Then next season Sambi comes back channeling his inner yaya and replacing xhaka or elneny

  53. Ishola70

    Even Vieira himself in that first Arsenal interview admitted that a weakness of his and which he is looking to improve is his lack of physicality.

    So it doesn’t seem a good idea to stick him central. You may get away with it if he was an advanced central attacking midfielder a bit more out of the way of the traffic.

    I can see him playing as an inverted winger flank player that is always looking to come inside and as said before I don’t even know if he is coming in to be a regular first team starter straight away and neither does anyone else if they are honest with themselves.

  54. andy1886

    Curse, it’s all about opinions of course. I could counter with the fact that Saka has achieved what he has against the background of all the turmoil at Arsenal whereas Jesus as you correctly point out had the luxury of playing in one of the top three sides in the world with all the benefits that this entails. And that Pep is happy to sell Jesus but is reportedly interested in Saka.

    Anyway we’ll see if we sign him, or indeed if Saka signs a new contract (which I expect and hope for but nothing is ever guaranteed).

    And you’re welcome too.

  55. AFC Forever


    “I suspect had Partey + Tierney stayed fit, we’d have got the points to get over the line into 4th”

    Definitely. In fact, they both missed the Spuds game too, along with White; a different game with them all playing. So we probably didn’t need three extra points if we take points in that game with 11 players. Of course, it’s auntie and bollocks, but the numbers tell a pretty damning story for them both.

    Tierney: 22 games
    Partey: 24 games

    Tierney: 27
    Partey: 24

    That’s without considering the extra games next season. Big players for other PL teams in Europe are reaching 48-50 games. Ours can’t do half that.

    So instead of having them on the pitch, we’re having to really on fringe players and we saw the comedy of errors that was poor Tavares at times. It’s not just losing them it’s how that impacts the other players and team rhythm.

    As for Partey in particular, what a great player – when he’s actually on the bloody pitch. Start looking at big midfield players for other teams and the numbers are embarrassing. Hoijbjerg played 36 games this season and 38 the season before. Declan Rice 36 games this season (48 all comps plus some for England). We’re losing key players for a third of the season and it is simply not good enough.

    I would mitigate the risk by selling them both and bring in players who can do the numbers. Harsh perhaps but it can’t cost us again ina. sport with small margins.

  56. AFC Forever

    *Hoijbjerg played 36 games this season and 38 the season before. Declan Rice 36 games this season

    *Premier League games.

  57. WengerEagle

    It’s true that the best ability is availability.

    Selling Partey would be madness though. He is a brilliant player and he is our only good experienced player. Feel the best is yet to come from him too.

  58. Rich

    Elneny is the perfect squad player, he’ll likely play 6 Europa league group games, the easier knock out games, the early rounds of the domestic cups, maybe 10-12 league starts, and he’s an experienced player to bring off the bench to shore up a game, because his passing is very neat + tidy.

    He’s an excellent professional, who’s happy to play a secondary role, and won’t kick up a fuss

    Every squad needs a few Mo Elneny’s who are happy to play second fiddle, without kicking up a stink….

    The issue is that if Partey misses half the season again, we’re then reliant upon Elneny to play more than he probably should

    Elneny on a 1yr contract with a club option of a second, is the least of our issues…

    Our issues are potentially Partey, Tierney + Tomiyasu’s fitness

    Because if they spend chunks on the sideline again, we risk overplaying their replacements, and there’s a chance they become injured as well

    Then we end up with an injury prone squad who break down at crucial stages of the season, and that’s what we need

    If we want to be competitive, we have to have durable players, particularly key players like Partey, who’s one of our most important players

    I’m just asking the question to gage opinion, do we risk it? Or if Juventus’s interest is true? Should we go in a different direction

    We’ve all seen the script before with perpetually injured players, if we can get a RVP 2011/12 type of season out of Partey? Then we’re smoking a pipe

    But looking at his 2 seasons so far, we’d really be rolling the dice

  59. AFC Forever


    Yep, he is a top player. We badly missed him and that was reflected in our results.

    Do you trust him though?

  60. Ishola70

    Oh for gods sake Rich lol.

    Forget about Elneny being a lovely squad player that is happy to sit on the bench all the time.

    The fact that he didn’t leave was not a good sign in regards getting body bodies for central midfield.

    It’s quite a simple concept.

    You clear decks to bring in new.

    We decided not to clear out Elneny.

  61. Ben D

    Rich already labelling Tomiyasu a crock? Talk of patience. If you were a coach you would dump any player who dares get injured? And expect to attract talent into your team?

    How many seasons had Tomi befn with us? How many different injuries has he had?

  62. Rich


    It’s you who brought up Elneny as a reason we won’t sign another midfielder, not me

    I was making the point that his extension has no barring on what we do with Partey

    The point I was making, and trying to gage some opinion on, was should we try to dump Partey, and maybe Tierney?

    Or do we gamble that we can get a RVP 2011/12 type of season out of the pair of them?

  63. AFC Forever


    Yep, the Toure comparison did the rounds. We probably need to add context to it though.

    Kompany: ‘I was watching football from different countries and I saw Sambi play his first two games for Anderlecht, then he got a big knee injury. But the first thing I did when I saw Sambi was I went to Mikel, and also Pep, but Mikel first and I said, “You’ve got to watch this guy, he’s the new Yaya Toure And anyway, nothing comes from it, he’s got a cruciate ligament [injury] and then I end up falling into the management job at Anderlecht so I’m working with him now. I had the same conversation about him with Mikel, I still believe the same thing now [that he could be the new Toure].

    ‘I’m not even sure I’m going to do him a favour now if I say this kind of stuff. You know what I like with Sambi and it’s rare in football – what Yaya did have – is he wants the ball no matter what. Team’s not doing well, give the ball to Sambi. Team’s doing well, give the ball to Sambi. He will never hide away from his responsibility. He has things to improve. If he remembers the conversations we’ve had, he will know exactly what he still has to work on. But at the same time, the only thing Yaya had, Yaya was also a finisher and that’s a very rare thing to have. But the point is, you need players who are not afraid to have the ball when the going gets tough.

    ‘You as a centre-back, your job stops at a certain point on the ball, you need to be able to give it to people who see the next pass, the next move, take responsibility, take people on and put that tempo when there’s no tempo in the game anymore. For me, that’s what Sambi has that makes him special.’

  64. Rich

    Ben D

    I never said dump Tomiyasu, I just made the point his injuries last season were a concern

    In fairness, Arteta is responsible for rushing his back against Liverpool, when he clearly wasn’t fit

    It’s a concern, but I wouldn’t recommend dumping him yet, he’s a top player.

    Partey has now been injured for 2 consecutive seasons, and they’re muscular injuries, which is always a big concern

    Tierney was injured when we signed him, he’s been injured in everyone of his 3 seasons at the club, he’d had injuries at Celtic

    Full back is a position where players tend to peak younger, and regress earlier

    Asking the question is perfectly fair on those 2 players

  65. WengerEagle

    AFC Forever

    It is concerning the injuries he has picked up but I just don’t believe for where we are now that selling such a crucial player is a wise move. He made 23 starts in the PL last season which was a an improvement on his first season where he only started 18 IIRC.

    We do need 30+ PL games out of him though.

    Juve are getting Pogba on a free so why would they shell out for Partey? He’s 29, don’t see us getting much for him if we sell so it’s not worth it.

    I’d take 23 games of Partey over Xhaka and Elneny combined.

  66. Ishola70

    Let’s remember Arteta himself didn’t help matters regarding these injuries with playing them into the ground and rushing them back too early.

    That’s why we should have compeition in central midfied not just for the pretender Xhaka but also Partey. Partey is not a worldie.

    And that’s why Elneny should have left this summer and we bring in new.

    And new not to sit on the bench but challenge these players for their first team places.

    As another poster said it’s not a good concept to have a player that is seen as surplus by all intents and purposes but keep him because he is ok with being surplus = Elneny.

  67. AFC Forever


    No way he’ll be off to Juve, agreed. You’re probably right. I’m a big Partey fan but it cost us last season and it’s difficult not to feel frustrated about that. We do need 30 games out of him but more importantly we need him fit for the big games, the 6-pointers if you like. I’m just nervous based on the fact he’s only managed 24 games in consecutive seasons – those are not good numbers.

  68. Ishola70

    Partey is good but he is not great.

    Fans think he is great because we have had to endure Xhaka all these years.

    When we see a central midfielder actually being mobile and doing what central midfielders should do we are like boy this man is off the charts.

    In reality we have just been starved in regards keep witnessing Xhaka in central midfield.

  69. WengerEagle

    I also don’t think that Partey is great Ishola but for his position, how many better CMs can you name? He is up there with basically anyone not already starting for an elite team.

    And how many of those are gettable?

  70. AFC Forever


    “Let’s remember Arteta himself didn’t help matters regarding these injuries with playing them into the ground”

    That’s bollocks.

    The top PL players are playing 34-plus PL games every season and with Europe numbers like 48-50. That is because they are key players who the manager knows make the team better. To be successful you need to play your big players in as many games as you can. This is top -level sport.

    Good luck telling Klopp he is overplaying VVD. Or Pep that Cancelo shouldn’t have played 50 games this season. Or Moyes that he overplayed Rice, Antonio & and Bowen. What about the Spuds who overplayed Hoijbjerg in 36 PL games after overplaying him in 38 PL games last season or Kane and Son. Those players all reached 46/50 games this season. We get 24 out of Partey in two seasons and it’s Artetas fault…..?? FFS.

  71. Ishola70

    Weagle having a good CM is good enough if we had another good one to go along with it.

    And getting a good one in or even two means we can give Partey the rest he may need during the season.

    That’s why we should have been in for Bissouma and we would still have had money to get in another of good quality. Doesn’t have to better than Partey. Just of a good consistent nature.

    Now we will no doubt roll into the season with Xhaka and Partey again and nice Elneny who will have splinters in his arse from the bench.

  72. Naija+soccer

    If Partey had been available for even one extra game, we are in the champions league.

    And Arteta would be getting celebrated as a generational coach. Instead of being questioned.

    Those small margins eh.

  73. Ishola70


    Some players are more hardy than others.

    This is basic.

    And it’s up to the manager and the fitness staff to identify that.

    Klopp will know who his hardy players are.

    Arteta probably knew that some of his players were not hardy in that respect but thought he had no option but to keep playing them or rushing them back.

    I mean this is the man who squeezes lemons as he told us.

    He rinses his players.

  74. Naija+soccer

    If its true that Raphina is being quoted at 65-75 million, please let’s just move on to another player. Its not by force.

    I’d pay that for Dembele though.

  75. curse

    Andy, I agree, a blog is all about opinions but not all opinions are equal. Some are littered with conjecture…

    Lil chilly will sign, of that I have no doubt.

  76. Ishola70

    Let’s not forget Arteta’s remark regarding the yellow sours and I won’t let you forget it because I thought it was funny and apt.

    The squeezing of the lemons.

    It’s very insightful that remark of his.

    Rinse to the fullest.

  77. Naija+soccer

    Keeping Xhaka only makes sense if we are adding a new CM. The list will look like this, Xhaka, Partey, Lokonga, New CM.

    As opposed to Xhaka, Partey, Lokonga. That midfield looks extremely vulnerable.

  78. RP7

    Dembele is great and on a free, but not sure he would come. Also, the constant injuries. I mean, that guy really is a crock.

    Un, don’t believe any rumour that says someone is offering more than 30 – 35 mil. for Tierney. No chance. Even Cucurella who’s both better and not a total crock will not be much more than 40 – 45 mil.
    Even if he were not injured all the time, he’s not been that great this last season, and I don’t think he’s suited for a top club. Zinchenko, a natural midfielder, is more suitable to be a top-club fullback, actually.

  79. andy1886

    It’s a combination of factors with Partey. Faster more competitive league to adapt to and let’s not forget that last season he had to cover for a rookie (Sambi) or a wallowing albatross in Xhaka. It’s enough to put anyone on the treatment table.

  80. AFC Forever


    Sometimes it comes across as desperation when you have to blame Arteta for everything. Sure, you’re playing to a home crowd but it’s still bollocks. It’s a okay to not like him or feel we need change but have the confidence in your argument to make valid points without the need to invent stuff. It’s not very honest.

  81. Ishola70


    “As opposed to Xhaka, Partey, Lokonga. That midfield looks extremely vulnerable”

    Er Elneny signed an extension. He will be available to play if needed even if he is so nice in wanting to sit on the bench all the time.

    I want these central midfielders as much as you but the denial here is funny in not even mentioning Elneny.

    He signed the extension. He is still an Arsenal player.

  82. Ishola70


    “or a wallowing albatross in Xhaka”

    lol he’s a fecking curse that man.

    He even affects the other players.

    Of course he has an affect on the other players alongside him.

  83. AFC Forever


    “Er Elneny signed an extension. He will be available to play if needed even if he is so nice in wanting to sit on the bench all the time”

    Interesting stat. In season 20/21 Elneny played 23 PL games, just one less than Partey. Every team needs a pro like him to be fair.

  84. Ishola70

    Arteta should have turned to this pro when Partey was not ready to come straight back in the side.

    But he didn’t. He rushed Partey back in.

    Telling I would have thought.

  85. Rich

    We’ve got Norton Cuffy + Patino who are expected to both make the breakthrough

    It’s why I don’t think we’ll replace Cedric, he’s a decent enough squad player, loan out Norton Cuffy for a season, let him pick up 40 games, then we can reevaluate next summer about a smooth transition, with an internal replacement

    Same with Patino, maybe he’s been lined up as an Elneny replacement?

    If we sign a player on a 4-5 year deal, we maybe end up blocking his path.

    Our squad planning has largely sucked for many a year, hopefully internally we’ve now got a hold on it, and we have sensible succession planning in place

  86. Ishola70

    England 2-0 up on Serbia now.

    Nice I was on an accm including England over 2.5 goals in their match.

    One more hopefully to come.

  87. Habesha Gooner

    Fabrizio Romano
    Leeds United have been pretty clear with all clubs interested in Raphinha: he can leave but they want at least £65m fee. #LUFC

    Arsenal after first bid rejected, Spurs after new direct talks, Chelsea after contact through Boehly… and Barça via Deco, got the same message.

    I like Raphinha but Leeds are insane. We shouldn’t pay that. There are wingers that are more or less the same quity that will go for half that or a quarter of the price cheaper.

    I hope Arsenal are sensible and pull out of this deal. Diaby will be hard to get. But Pedro Neto won’t go for that. Neither will Gnabry. Ajax are reportedly asking €50 mil for Antony too. There are also options like Terrier who scored 20 + goals from the wing. Doku is also a good option.

    Heck I wouldn’t even mind Berardi or Asensio as options. There isnt much value in signing players for 55 mil+.

  88. Rich

    Is it fair if Arsenal have Jesus playing upfront?

    Or would it be discriminatory to ban him, just because of who his Dad is?…

    If he can walk on water, and feed 5,000 people with 5 loads of bread?…

    Then surely 35 goals this season can’t be too much to ask?

  89. Un


    Is DB10 his dad?
    Never saw the resemblance

    Gutted I am
    Just had to turn down a project in Chicago
    Haven’t worked abroad in 15 years

  90. Mulerise14

    Somebody here on mentioned Austin Trusty…. I first thought he was the newly signed keeper, now remember the red angst about the winter transfer as he was the only signing,I didn’t even bother to watch his video reel….. watch the video,tall,a good recovery speed,long legs (he sure knows how to use those legs)
    The plan is to loan him to Europe this season….then we will be able to measure him wella

  91. Habesha Gooner

    I like him but this is insane. Title winning Mahrez went for £60 mil and he was a way more consistent and proven player than Raphinha. £55 mil tops and that is stretching it too. It seems the interest from others has inflated the price. I understand why they are doing it. If anyone doesn’t pay it then they will have more a chance to survive relegation again with him in their team.

    But Arsenal shouldn’t be stupid. We already have Saka. It isn’t like we are desperate. We could find someone better than Pepe to rotate with Saka for half the price.

  92. Habesha Gooner

    Eventhough I am against it too, Signing a 27 year old Savic for 60 mil would make more sense than signing Raphinha who is 55 mil at best. At least with Savic we would solve a problem area.

    I was on board when Raphinha was being priced at €55 mil ( around £47 mil). But £65 mil is a joke.

  93. Emiratesstroller

    Habesha Gooner

    I rate Xhaka as a similar type of player to Henderson at Liverpool. Neither is brilliant but they
    are both hard working and seldom injured.

    Okay Henderson does not have brain fahrt moments like Xhaka, but I don’t think that he is more talented.

    Arsenal need a third option DM/CM to compete with Partey and Xhaka. Ideally he should be
    an upgrade. However, even if we recruit such a player I would expect Xhaka to be starting in 25 -30 games a season.