by .

The plan for Arsenal next season seems to be shaping up and I think we’re going to see some forceful shifts in how we play.

Two things stand out from some of our style last season:

  1. We’re very buttoned-up structurally, everything was very orderly, everyone knew where to be, there weren’t gaping holes in our setup that were easily brutalized like they were under Unai Emery.
  2. Sometimes that structure can make us a little robotic and overstructured
  3. We came back from going behind in 1 game last season, part of that will be experience, part of that will be down to having no striker, part of that will be that we didn’t have enough flair or BANG BANG in the squad

Mikel Arteta seems to be shifting the side towards a single pivot midfielder. At the moment, that looks like we’re be rolling with Big Mo, Sambi Lokonga, and Thomas Partey there. We’re going full on City here.

It looks like he’s going to counter some of the concerns about exposing our defence by creating one of the most youthful and brutal attacking forces in the Premier League.

We’ve leaned heavy into seek-and-destroy players.

Gabriel Jesus has 76 goal contributions from 99 games, he’s explosive in attack, he can make something from nothing, and he’s a league-winning difference-maker. He’s signing his deal today and having his pictures taken. He’s in, this is huge, 6 other clubs compete for his signature. Do you think we’d be signing him if Arteta didn’t spend time with him for 3 years at City? No chance. He’s coming to Arsenal because he likes the coaching and he knows he’ll fit the vision.

Fabio Vieira gives you total control of the ball, his footballing intelligence is off the scale, and he can pick a lock with something ridiculous in the same way Mesut Ozil could. Again, one of the best producers of end-product last season, with the least minutes.

All the reports seem to be indicating that Raphinha is close to Arsenal because we’re basically the only option left with Barca having no money and Spurs being the least attractive club in the world. This is a player that is direct, incredibly aggressive, as well as being loaded with flair for a final ball, PLUS, he has the guts to score goals.

We tied Eddie down to a long-term deal, he’s explosive, he’s added Lacazette connective play to his game, his movement is sharp, and he is all about end product. Eddie will always, always finish.

Then look at our defence. We’re moving hard on Lisandro Martinez. This is a lock-picker from deep, this is someone that can connect attack and defence like a regista, he will form part of our build-up play and offer us variety from deep.

You put a Tielemans into the mixer and you have our version of Thiago. Elite setpieces, accurate diagonal balls, and a better final pass than Granit Xhaka can offer. He also scores goals.

This new Arsenal team is NOT about power, it’s about control, delivery, and goals. All the players are going to be hard pressing, all are going to be comfortable moving the ball around, every single player has extreme levels of football IQ, and now we’re going to add some locomotion to the goal count.

Arteta isn’t relying on individuals like Spurs will have to. He’s building a machine in which every component piece is finely tuned to the system. You won’t be able to man-mark Arsenal out of game next season because everyone is a threat. You won’t be able to press us out of a 90 like Newcastle did because we have press-resistant players that can find agents of punishment in the forward line.

Arsenal will have a deep squad of players that have swiss army knife elements to their game. There’s balance, but also a huge variety of tactical options available for any situation.

Deepblock? We have pickpockets.

High press? We’ll destroy your players with our fast frontline players.

Thug battles? We have big characters that can ride that bullshit.

This could be a team that runs teams so hard and punishes so quickly… teams are beaten before kickoff.

If this Arsenal side delivers a good August, who knows what we can do this season, but we should be looking at dethroning Chelsea in 3rd place.

We need to use this season as a platform to make a charge at the top 2 next season.

The Europa League campaign needs to be seen as an opportunity for the fringe players to ask questions of the first team. I want to see Charlie Patino, all ripped and fit, dominating that competition. I want to see Big Mo, Omari Hutchinson, Flores, Matt Turner, and William Saliba absolutely dominating proceedings.

Next season can’t be about 14 players, it needs to be about 20 players all giving it their best and stepping up when called upon.

This transfer window is fucking wild.

It’s the one we thought Newcastle in their green and white shirts were going to have.

This is how big clubs operate when they know who they are, what the vision is, who is accountable for executing it.

… and just think, this time last year, we were debating if Aston Villa were a better prospect for Emi Buendia than Arsenal?

Emi Martinez my man, what did you do to your friend?

Ok, that’s all I have today. Get into the latest Patreon where Johnny gives his FINAL views on his top 25 players.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Samesong

    That’s the Martinez I wanted to see above the one who can tackle, recover. turn. Not these long ball compilations. Anyway looking world class on Youtube as always.

  2. raptora

    Raphael would be fine as it’s his actual name – Raphael Dias Belloli.

    Need more Gabriels I think.
    The next Neymar – Gabigol or that 17 yo Santos RW Angelo Gabriel.

  3. raptora

    We currently have the 3 highest valued Gabriels in football. Need to keep it up, although maybe plan is 1 new Gabriel per summer.

    Not going to surprise me if Edu and Arteta were into numismatics or philately but they seemed to have found a new passion.

  4. Habesha Gooner

    United will go hard for Martinez. They might even go in to a bidding war with us over him, now they have secured a LB. We need to move faster. It’s not a big issue to miss out on him either. But it would send the wrong message missing out on two of our top targets. That’s why we need to get him.

    The real annoying out come of this window might have been if Jesus went to our rivals considering it is a key position. The same as CM. Bissouma going to spurs was more annoying than Raphinha going to Chelsea. We need to get Tielemans now. We can get away with signing other players at LB and RW. There are plenty of those players around if we don’t dwell on not getting Raphinha. Go on to the second on the list and get that guy. We can’t stop spending because we lost a target like when we missed out on Vlahovic in January. We are literally looking for backups apart from a CM player now. And that is very doable in the market.

  5. Kegunner

    Chelsea will pay over the top for Raphinha have not learned their lesson from Lukaku. Arsenal should concentrate on Saka’s and Saliba’s new deals. Saka is already better than Raphinha.

  6. The Bard

    Would have thought you’d have watched he’d enough football Pedro to know transfer rumours are just that till they sign on the dotted line
    Raphinha is looking like he’s Chelsea bound and there’s little news about Martinez or Tielemans. So the big 5 you posted about are currently 2. That’s a very different look.

  7. Batistuta

    Yes now Milenkovic Savic, thats a playeryou drop 64million on. Add a bit of grit and prescence in that midfield plus he’s going to get you goals from set pieces and those runs from midfield

  8. Terraloon

    Far too many are making the massive mistake judging clubs in terms of how they will set up come the end of the transfer window and even then the numbers assuming that any player that signs or graduates from the academy will deliver.

    Lots of rumours, lots of dreams but none of us have any idea the transfer window will play out nor more crucially what plans clubs have in terms of their returning loanees and academy players.
    It’s easy for me to refer to a chelsea to make my point because my brother bangs on about them he talks about Broja and Gallagher who we often hear about but he thinks the next big thing is a player called Colwill closely followed by a player called Vale.
    My point isn’t so much will they make a difference because we don’t know but it’s impossible to predict at this point in time the challenges that Arsenal will be facing.

    It’s abundantly obvious that most clubs try to go about their transfer business quietly without fuss trying as far as possible to establish who else is looking at their targets and only when they are ready go in hard. Yet every player that Arsenal has on its books, on its radar or indeed signs is going to be the next big thing. And it ain’t like that we really don’t know what to expect if for no other reason than it is very very difficult for young men to uproot to a new country often without the support of family or friends .

    But do you know the thing in this thread that struck me and is perhaps the biggest worry is the fact that , and Pedro makes reference to it, that this squad won’t be about power and that to be honest is probably correct and perhaps the biggest concern .

    Finally I love the changing opinions for instance when Arsenal were odds on to sign Raphina he was WC now that signing may be in doubt he ain’t all that !

  9. Davey

    Pedro’s optimism is unbelievable a couple of signings and we are world beaters but I will say there is always room in football for power that is why skipping on Bissouma still stings for me.

  10. Terraloon


    Chelsea will pay over the top for Raphinha have not learned their lesson from Lukaku. Arsenal should concentrate on Saka’s and Saliba’s new deals. Saka is already better than Raphinha.

    Not sure you have assessed how Chelsea will play if and a big if they get Sterling and Raphina .

    Lukaku failed because he expected it lumped up to him and that didn’t happen they were devastating early season when they had Chillwell and James fit which it seems going into the new season both are already back in training them getting forward on the flanks with Raphina and Sterling playing just inside they will create havoc .

    Their issues are at the back but let’s see how they address that weakness because it will make a significant difference as to how they play going forward.

  11. Samesong


    “that this squad won’t be about power and that to be honest is probably correct and perhaps the biggest concern .”

    I am very concerned that we are lacking power in a team that will be mostly technical players. Teams like Palace, Newcastle and the Brighton’s of this world will have a field day. You need a plan B sometimes.

  12. raptora

    @FabrizioRomano Jun 20
    Raphinha situation. 🚨🇧🇷 #LUFC
    ▫️ Barcelona agreed personal terms with Raphinha, but no agreement on fee with Leeds.
    ▫️ Arsenal are in direct negotiations with Leeds, interested since March.
    ▫️ Both Chelsea & Tottenham have been in contact too.
    ▫️ Fee could be around 65/75m.

    That’s from 9 days ago. Reading it everything fits the bill. The player wanted Barca but Barca are broke and couldn’t afford him. Arsenal were trying to lowball Leeds which had very low chance of working with a player as sought after as Raphinha. Spuds were never paying the money Leeds wanted either. And it all lead to Chavs deciding if they want to pull the trigger on him or not. They did and he’s theirs.

    I’m honestly surprised and so happy that the situation didn’t repeat with Jesus as good CFs are harder to come by than wingers. Plenty of good fish in the water re wide players so I’m not that butthurt we missed out on him. It’s always about money for us so 65m is a lot of dough. Choices had to be made and we’ve decided that we shouldn’t pay it and it’s understandable.

  13. raptora

    Now all it matters is where are we investing the 50 mil we had prepared for Raphinha in.

    Just get Zinchenko + Milinkovic Savic/Matheus Nunes and call it a day.

    For all the people insisting on Lisandro, but saying how over the top was spending so much on Raphinha Imma say wtf?! Paying 40m for a 175 cm (5’9) CB in a position we already have Gabriel, Saliba, White and Holding makes more sense than bringing one of the best wingers in the whole EPL when we basically have Saka and Marti for 2 positions? Big LOL!

    Lisandro is a CB. He’s played maybe 6-7 games in his career as LB as many as White has played on RB. It doesn’t make White a RB as it doesn’t make Lisandro a LB. Yes, he could play there, but he isn’t a LB by default, not at all. Even for Argentina he’s playing as a CB. Why would he be of crucial importance to us when we’re already bringing Saliba back in?

    The only way Lisandro would make sense is if we’re bringing him in to play as a DM next to or instead of Partey – a position he’s practiced much more than LB and 2 seasons ago he was more of a DM than CB.

    Still, I’d say that winger is more important as we need to get a 3rd serious wide player. Jesus is going to be the CF, which doesn’t mean he could not play in some games on the wings, but the luxury to have good wide players, now that 5 subs are allowed, is of great importance and many people will start realizing that.

  14. raptora

    CM absolutely the most crucial position to bring a capable body in, no doubt.

    Right now I’d probably put a lot of effort in Zinchenko. He’d give us the alternative to Tierney, to CM and to Martinelli. Truth be told he’s good enough to start at LB and CM for us as things stand.

    Milinkovic Savic is a dream signing, sadly I don’t think it fits artetaball. Matheus Nunes does though.

    Interesting what we’ll do as Raphinha looked like our #2 priority after Gabi Jesus. If a winger was so high in the list, interesting to see if it was a case of a too good of a player being available or if a big money winger is coming no matter what.

  15. Bigper

    Jesus is better than what we have but the stats don’t lie he is not a very good striker, he was a decent wide player in a great city side. Jury is still out on him being the main man.
    Since richarlison signed for Everton he has scored more pl goals than Jesus…

  16. raptora

    Dream, didn’t you hear that they moved the needle. They moved the needle so much that we conceded 9 more goals than the year before with Leno and Holding in their places.

  17. Dream10


    Moving the needle is a great turn of phrase lol

    We already have a fullback in Tomiyasu that is limited in attacking prowess. Instead of Zinchenko, I would prefer if we sign a more traditional LB

    Priority in order for me are #9, a right footed wide player, a CM, a creative player and then defenders.

    The Lisandro fella is a waste of money imo

  18. Guns of Hackney

    Looks like certain people are having buyers guilt. Coming round to the fact that Jesus probably isn’t the man to get us 25 goals + a season. I think he’s decent, but he’s no line leader. He’s not intimidating, not fast and not particularly tall. Which leads me onto my next point: why the hubbub about the chap who went to Chelsea? He’s a winger and the last time we played with a genuine winger (Pires for me was not a winger) was Anders Limpar.

    I still think our recruitment is a bit all over the place and this fake veira looks about 50kg soaking wet.

    Where’s the muscle? Where’s the ability to scare people?

  19. Pierre

    Nigel tufnell
    “If there is the slightest chance that Arteta would have wanted to start Raphinha on the right, it would have been a 60 million mistake/problem
    because Pierre is the only one who likes Saka playing on the left.”

    Of course Raphina would have started on the right, that is the position he plays .

    I do like saka on the right as well but i feel he has become a little predictable without a right full back who can create the overload…
    Of course , Odegaard could provide the overload but even if he does he will always check back onto his left foot as he is right is just for standing on , meaning the striker will be frustrated.

    As I’ve said before , we have 2 good full backs in Tomiyasu and Tierney but they have fitness issues, meaning they will break if asked to make continuous lung bursting runs to support the wide player..
    So to create a situation where we get behind the opposition defence , which is vital to feed the strikers, Arteta has to come up with another option other than go out and buy 2 new full backs who do have the energy of a Robertson/ Trent Arnold.

    .The other option is to play Saka on the left and link him with fabio who looks like a genuine playmaker who is not afraid to play the killer ball inside the full back for the winger to slide the ball across the face of goal, plus of course our striker will be prepared to make the runs off the shouder of the defender in the knowledge that we have a bona fide playmaker in the side.

    So the options are to carry on playing Saka on the right and Martinelli on the left who both cut inside 80% of the time condensing the play.
    Buy 2 new full backs who can help create the over load, at present Tavares is our only full back at present with the energy to overlap consistently…
    Move Saka over to the left to hopefully link with fabio as it is essential that we get behind the opposition defence to feed the strikers.

  20. raptora

    I like the 2 new full backs idea. We won’t do it but I agree that we need it. I don’t like Tomiyasu’s limited offensive play and although KT is good quality, he somehow managed to become a dimensional player that just keeps whipping the ball in and his delivery ain’t that good either. Add the injury problems of both of them and we’re talking about 2 replaceable players with limited offensive capability.

    KT in form I rate quite highly but it’s gotten to the point where we need to buy a starting quality LB because the reserve LB will probably play more games than the starter KT. Which is actually such a bummer.

  21. Positive pete

    You would think Edu & Tets would have back up targets in place,a plan B if you like.They know now ,if they didn’t already.That if you f** k about low balling one of the top six will be up your arse looking to shaft you quick.As to whether Raphina is worth £55/60 million the chavs are forking out is debatable.The money we have bid would surely get a top winger elsewhere for less.The position available is a Backup.So some perspective required.
    As others have rightly pointed out .There are other positions that should be dealt with urgently.That’s the priority.

  22. China1

    I don’t share in all the disappointment about the Raphinha fuss

    He’s good. Is he world class? Not sure about that. Is he better than Saka? No. He’s also a handful of years older. And he’s cost a big chunk of money that could be used better on CM.

    As well him being linked with Barca doesn’t really mean all that much in the grand scheme of things. They are interested in everyone and their uncle and their recruitment over the last 10 years is widely understood to be a chaotic disaster.

    Meanwhile Chelsea have been stung by overpaying for players more times than you can count. Didn’t lukaku only join last summer? Already back to inter lol

    Don’t get me wrong Raphinha would’ve obviously added quality to our squad but people are acting like he’s a world beater. The reality is he’s had two pretty good seasons on the PL. that’s it.

  23. Foxy

    Good post Pierre. having only players who want to cut back inside onto their stronger foot limits our play to much. Even City score a lot from cutbacks. In particular Saka and Odegaard on the right side of our attack are both left footed creaters and when togethercan slow and compress our play when ideally you want one who will cut inside and one who will go wide to the goal line to properly stretch defences. Overlapping fullback/wing backs need to be able to get to the goal line and cut back not just lump in crosses from deeper like Tierney does, but this is asking a lot fitness wise and can leave us exposed. Saka unlike say pepe can actually go outside and cross with his right foot but his natural tendency is to play more like Odegaard, which is why many here liked the more dynamic combination of ESR playing centrally with Saka on right.

  24. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal have currently on their books 22 players likely to be included in our squad this season. I am assuming that Saliba, Holding and Tavares stay and Pepe and Leno leave..

    So there are technically three places still available in squad.

    Clearly as discussed ad infinitum one priority should be recruiting a central midfielder who
    is able to rotate with Partey and Xhaka. Ideally that player should be an upgrade on both and
    to be honest I would rather spend my £50 million+ on that position than on a winger.

    We do need a winger and left back. The question which needs to be asked is do we need an
    upgrade on Saka and Martinelli/Smith-Rowe or someone to rotate with them?

  25. Terraloon


    Meanwhile Chelsea have been stung by overpaying for players more times than you can count. Didn’t lukaku only join last summer? Already back to inter lol

    See here’s the thing that yes they overpay but Arsenal likewise are no strangers to doing the same but where they differ is Chelsea take decisive action and by moving players on ministered loss whereas Arsenal keep convincing themselves it will work out ( Pepe) or get to the point that in effect players have to be paid to move on ( Ozil, PEA etc)

  26. RP7

    Bellerin to Atletico de Madrid rumours going about.
    Hope it’s true, though doubt we get more than a few peanuts for him.

    What’s happening to Tielemans???
    We need a specialized CM not Zinchenko, who would likely end up playing left back, the situation he’s specifically trying to avoid at this point of his career.

    Lisandro is a weird one, too.
    So much money for a guy whose main position is CB. I mean, Arteta didn’t trust Luiz nor White as DMs who are suitable for that, so he would do the same with Lisandro.
    Are we overpaying for a CB to then play as LB?

    Anyway, United might grab him.

  27. Emiratesstroller

    Mr Serge

    I was not including AMN and Torreira in my squad calculation. They are on the market alongside Mari and Bellerin who are not expected to return after their current loans.

    If I was to recruit a new winger at a considerably lower fee than Raphina it would be Gapko.
    the Dutch Winger. He has an impressive record of goals and assists.

  28. Mr Serge

    SamesongJune 29, 2022 11:22:15
    I don’t get why we don’t go after more EPL player’s always looking abroad for cheapness.

    Because the whole of european footie is broke, the value is abroad as you see over here Raphina 65m is a joke

  29. Mr Serge

    stroller i like Gapko too not sure we would go for him he is one of those players that a middle sized club would go for then the next club pays 50m plus, like Raphina leeds got him for 17m

  30. Dream10

    Frenkie De Jong seems to be digging his heels in and does not want to leave Barcelona for Man Utd. It is likely that Ten Hag will turn to Tielemans as a second option

  31. China1

    Gnabry has done 10x more than Raphinha. He’s established as one of the top wingers in the world.

    Most people had never heard of raphinha until 18 months ago

    He’s had 2 good (not earth shattering) seasons in the PL. that’s it.

    I’m not a stats guy and I’m always vocal about that, but just on face value for goals since 2016 Gnabry has scored 66 goals in 162 games. Over the same period Raphinha who is only a year younger has scored 52 goals in 183 games. He’s also played for a handful of clubs in weaker leagues so it’s not like he’s been suffering away against elite Pl defenses all this time

    Again those numbers are by no means conclusive, just that I think the Raphinha love in is being way overblown

  32. Positive pete

    Will Arsenal match The chavs bid or walk away?word on the street is plan B is Marco Asensio from Real?Hmmmm

  33. China1

    Raphinha also benefits from the invariable bump given to any Brazilian player who looks cool and has a cool name lol

  34. Pierre

    Lisandro Martinez looks like he has all the attributes to play as a centre mid…….in Xhaka’s position.

    Tenacious in the tackle
    Quick feet to get out of tight spaces
    Confident on the ball
    Has pace
    A wand of a left foot

    Plus he is versatile in that he can drop back into defence or play the left back position with ease, 3 players for the price of one, plus the bonus of relegating xhaka to the bench..

    Of course, players like martinez and fabio may struggle in the prem but sometimes technique and speed of thought are more important than strength and a big physique..

  35. Samesong

    Oh China please! Raphinha a decent player and only going to get better. And is EPL ready. We haven’t got him and the rest is history.

    Does Gnabry want to drop down and not play CL?

  36. Karsa

    Lisandro Martinez looks like he has all the attributes to play as a centre mid…….in Xhaka’s position.

    This is how I see this signing too.

    Lots of talk about height overshadowing his midfield qualities. Xhaka replacement all day long.

  37. Samesong

    Plus he is versatile in that he can drop back into defence or play the left back position with ease

    That’s my only issue why we buying utility players? Should he not excel in one position instead of jack of all trades master of none?

  38. raptora

    You compared Raphinha to Gnabry and came out with the conclusion that Gnabry is better. Next thing you’re gonna share with us is that after thorough research you can safely say that the Earth is round.

  39. raptora

    “Bayern Munich threatens to send Serge Gnabry to the stands if he doesn’t extend or leave. Gnabry, who already has an offer on the table from Bayern, has been stalling on his decision for the future for several months now. His current deal expires in the summer of 2023.”

    “If the numbers are correct, Bayern are offering Gnabry a significant raise to extend his contract — possibly putting him in the same salary bracket as Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman. Regular watchers of the club will know that the player himself has done little in the last two seasons to deserve such a huge bump in pay, but it at least shows that the bosses are willing to keep him on. Does Gnabry feel the same way?”

  40. raptora

    Lisandro has played way more games in DM than in LB and way more games in CB than in both DM and LB. I’ve no problems with versatile players but if we are paying top dollar might as well get someone who is a settled positionally player who we know how to use and what to expect of.

  41. Tom

    “Quite a lot to think about reading that post“

    raptora, not from Arsenal perspective.
    Wages alone would put him out of the conversation

  42. raptora

    The Argentina international Lisandro Martinez has played 139 games at centre-back, 22 matches as a defensive midfielder and 12 as a left-back.

  43. Positive pete

    There we go.Didn’t take long did it.Manure on the Lisandro case .Are to meet Ajax asking price.Too f*** ng slow guys.

  44. Positive pete

    The lesson here is if another top 5 club is interested in same player as us they’ll force the offers up to the asking price which to outbid us they’ll readily overpay.The likes of Citeh,chavs & Manure have allways done this as money means f** K all to them.Therefore our only chance is to sneak in,fast & pay the release fee.Why haven’t we learnt this?

  45. InsideRight

    Time is starting to run out for the urgent need for an additional centre mid. For a club that apparently had its list of targets and a defined plan for the summer, it does feel a bit scattergun and unfocused.

  46. Karsa

    Pete, the selling club will often wait for other bids to drive the price up still further. They’d be daft to accept the first offer no matter how high it is.

  47. Kegunner

    Raphinha, Chelsea and Leeds are the losing parties from any deal. Raphinha is not probably better than Pepe and potentially may stagnate at Chelsea. Chelsea may have another bad transfer. Leeds may lose out on Gakpo to Arsenal, by being greedy for an extra 15 million they may end up relegated.

  48. raptora

    Gnabry is after £300k pw currently on £130k. It’s why Raphinha currently on £65k to the £115k offered by Chavs made sense.

    £115k pw Raphinha to £300k pw Gnabry is an incredible difference, although it’s unquestionable that Gnabry is the better player.

  49. Samesong

    “may stagnate at Chelsea.”

    What with Reece James on the right. Raphinha will have it much easier at Chelsea.

  50. Terraloon


    Raphinha, Chelsea and Leeds are the losing parties from any deal. Raphinha is not probably better than Pepe and potentially may stagnate at Chelsea. Chelsea may have another bad transfer. Leeds may lose out on Gakpo to Arsenal, by being greedy for an extra 15 million they may end up relegated.

    Not sure to laugh or cry when I read this sort of comment.

    So if he does sign for Arsenal can we substitute every Chelsea in your comment with Arsenal.

    But it’s the being greedy by £15 million that takes the biscuit what on earth must Leeds be thinking by trying to get as much as they can from a player who is entering the last 2 years of his contract and won’t sign another one and Leeds needing funds to bring in players .

  51. Mr Serge

    we are not interested in Tielemens if we were we would have bid he is one of thr easier deals to be had

  52. Leftside

    We really need to ensure we close out deals for our preferred players. We cannot afford a start like last year. None of us want us showing up at Palace (which is minutes away from me, so I’d have to suffer their annoying fans) unprepared.

    The club are quick to get us ST holders to renew and pay even during the lull, so at the minimum we expect them to best prepare the side for the season ahead in good time.

    That being said, I have hope.

  53. andy1886

    “we are not interested in Tielemens if we were we would have bid he is one of thr easier deals to be had”

    Lol, half way to that old favourite “he’s crap and we never wanted him anyway”. Let’s hope we have other options or it’s another season with the Xhaka black hole of mediocrity.

  54. Freddie Ljungberg

    Palace apparently agreed a deal with Lens for Cheick Doucoure, another of our reported midfield targets, and West Ham interested in Tielemans.

    Palaces midfield was already better than ours and they’re doubling down on more pace and power.

    Hope we know what we’re doing dragging our feet. If we don’t upgrade CM next season is just going to be more of the same, regardless of how many wingers we stock up on.

  55. Mr Serge

    andy would tielemans deal not been straightforward? we have no interest in him we have not made a move at all not even a tentative bid

  56. Tom

    Terraloon, that’s the problem with some people , they let emotions get in the way of logical thinking.

    Raphinha to Chelsea has only one positive for Arsenal and Legrove in particular…….,.once the dust settles on his transfer hopefully we won’t have to read much about him anymore from posters who couldn’t be arsed to look up the right spelling of his name.

  57. WengerEagle

    If we don’t fix the CM then Tets will have proven beyond all doubt he has a bit of post Invincibles Wengeritis about him when it comes to constructing teams and having blind spots.

  58. englandsbest

    It seems Arsenal will miss out on Raphinha. Should we feel sad? No, we should be glad. A chance for Edu/Arteta to focus on more vital areas. Accusing the pair of dawdling with their bids is ridiculous, they were the first. Their hope, evidently, was to steal a march and get him at a bargain price. I doubt that he was ever a prime target.

    Lisandro Martinez appears to be a prime target, as is a super central midfielder, cover for Tierney, a replacement for Pepe and IMO a heavyweight central striker. Five players to find with two full months before the transfer window closes.

  59. Freddie Ljungberg


    I’m fine with 1 CM as long as it’s a top class one.
    Still have hope that Sambi turns out good.

    Preferably someone that can handle both sides of the game, Nunes probably first choice from what’s gettable this window.

    Wouldn’t mind buying Carney from Villa either, maybe to loan out for a year so we have a ready made replacement for Elneny the season after.

  60. salparadisenyc

    Drag about Raphina but if we’re being honest it isn’t a mortal blow in this window more an ego blow.

    Not that these are happening but i’d prefer Gnabry or Sterling to him with a host of others that could do the job. As stated above, wages playing big role in this hence Raphiina pursuit imo.

  61. Samesong

    – ASM
    – Dembele
    – Pedro Neto
    – Podence
    – Berardi
    – Zaha (Contract ends in 2023)
    – Sterling
    – Musiala
    – Sane

  62. Freddie Ljungberg

    Nunes + Bowen/Gakpo over Tielemans +Raphinha any day for about the same money or cheaper.

    Would actually fix our midfield properly for the first time since Vieiras days.

    Yes, I know our midfield has been really good in spurts after that but it has never lasted, too dependent on injury prone players or someone having a one off purple patch.

  63. salparadisenyc

    Moussa Diaby, Oyarzabal, Cunha, Gouri all should be investigated, that said i’d love to see Arteta use some of that supposed relationship w/ Sterling and cock block Chelsea’s hopeful move. Front three of Sterling/Jesus/Saka would be gorgeous with Martinelli subbing in.

  64. Marko

    Raphinha seems off but that’s okay Moussa Diaby is still available and he’s better imo. Something like 12 goals and 13 assists last season. Big fan

  65. raptora

    you nailed it calling it “supposed relationship”. It’s probably exactly what it is.

    On if the front 3 would be good for us? Surely there’s a Sterling, Jesus, Saka front 3 playing for City in another place of the multiverse. It’d be a title winning front 3 but sadly it’s just as important what is behind the front 3. If the likes of Xhaka, Elneny, Cedric and co manage more than 5 starts in the league then it’s doomed.

  66. TR7

    Patrick Viera once again goes for a physically strong midfielder who has pace and power whereas Arteta goes for or persists with physically weak and slow midfielders such as Xhaka, Lokonga etc. By and large not impressed with our transfer signings under Arteta and Edu. If we ignore CM position yet again we will fail to make top 4 again. Martinez if signed has to play DM if he is signed and even then we will need one more CM in my opinion.

  67. Zacharse

    good read TR7, i can totally picture arteta and edu discussing how to sign the weakest slowest CM available, i think you’ve figured out their strategy yet again

  68. Nigel Tufnel

    With you almost completely on the transfers… Zinchenko I think fits our style of play and adds versatility.. he must be available now, and looking to get more playing time.

    Of course a good Xhaka replacement is paramount.

    One other thought.. if we do want Lisandro, could we possibly have a deal to sell Holding ? That could help with the numbers and Martinez could then be 4th CB choice, mostly playing in dm to rest Partey, but he really has to be good enough at LB to step in for a long period of time for Tierney. Arteta and the club need to be sure he’s enough of a LB.

    Zinchenko would be simpler and less expensive.

    From the sourced pods I hear, seems like Ajax is delaying to get united into a bidding war. Would be Raphinha all over again. They would have the edge of Ten Hag in the players mind, plus they pay more. If we don’t get a response quickly I hope me move on to another option.

  69. WengerEagle

    Utd signing Feyenoord LB Malacia, supposedly a very good player and already a full Dutch international.

    Ten Hag definitely attempting to construct a Dutch/Eredivisie revolution. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them go for Sangare and Antony next.

  70. WengerEagle

    I’d definitely prefer Martinez to Zinchenko.

    The former is more versatile and is proven at both LCB and at CDM. Also has played at LB about as much as Zinchenko has played CM.

  71. Valentin

    Personally instead of Lisandro, I would go for Evan Ndicka.
    He is ableft footed CB, but can also play left fullback or left wingback.
    He would be cheaper than Lisandro and versatile enough to cover 3 positions at a reasonable level.

  72. Valentin

    Mr Serge,

    if KT is injured for 2/3 of the season then whoever is our substitute left back he would play a lot of game. Evan NDicka would be a much better option than Tavares.

    I think that Tavares looked like a left winger who is learning the job of fullback. Currently He does not have the defensive awareness required at this level and it is clear that Arteta does not see him progressing to an acceptable level if he stay at the club.

    So Evan NDicka would definitely move the needle in term of defensive stability.

  73. raptora

    several factors to think about:

    Most importantly, are we on the market for a LB, yet another CB, CM or a CDM?

    LB – if we’re buying a LB then fk me, Lisandro has a total of 8 starts on LB in his career and he’s 24 and a half yo. Zinchenko clearly much more of a specialist LB with around 120 games there.

    CB – we’re surely not buying another CB unless we are selling someone, and 175 cm (5’9) CB in the EPL spells trouble but this is where Lisandro has specialized in – around 140 games there. CB is also where he plays for Argentina and CB is where he’s played entirely in his last 2 seasons. Clearly, he has other strengths but surely not another expensive CB?! Surely?!

    CDM – Lisandro has 22 games there and none in the last 2 seasons. Zinchenko has around 2.

    CM – WE, you say that Zinchenko has as much experience in CM as Lisandro in LB – nope. Around 20 games in his club career and all of his 52 games for Ukraine are there. A total of over 70 games in CM. Lisandro has 12 LB games, 8 starts mind you. Lisandro also has 0 games in CM. Zinchenko clearly more experienced there.

    Martinez probably going for £40m, Zinchenko probably around £25-30m.

    I’m not talking about skills but as expereince in the position. If we’re going for a LB and CM Zinchenko clearly the more experienced one, if we want another specialist CB that could do some job at LB and CDM then Lisandro.

  74. Positive pete

    Think a lot of the frustration lies in losing out to the likes of the Chavs & Manure in targets.Hate those f** kers with a vengeance.If we do lose Raphinha would love to screw Leeds over by nabbing Gakpo .looking more & more if they are genuine targets & we want them ,it’s going to have to be Top Dollar.Nothing else.

  75. WengerEagle


    According to Transfermarkt, Zinchenko has played a whopping 4 games at CM since 2015/16 in CM.

    He has played in CM for Ukraine largely because they are a very weak team and it makes little sense to have arguably along with Malinovskiy their best player at LB. It is the same reason that David Alaba has always played in midfield for Austria but never Bayern/Real Madrid.

    Club level is all that is relevant imo and he simply hasn’t played there. At least Martinez played there for a season at Ajax and has proven he is capable. And what makes you think that City will sell him on the cheap to us? They managed to get £45m for Jesus who is 1 year away from being a free agent and this after signing Haaland and Alvarez.

    I’m not wedded to Martinez mind, would take a host of option at CM. Don’t particularly care who we bring in so long as they make our midfield competitive.