ZINCHENKO ARRIVES + SALIBA NEW DEAL CLOSE + MYSTERY WINGER

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Sad news to kick-off this morning, legendary Arsenal supporter, Maria Petri, has passed. She was the loudest voice at every game, she was totally dedicated to The Arsenal, and loved her club more than anyone. What a character. The outpouring online is quite something. Genuinely deserved, Maria was such a lovely human.

Onto the football…

Things haven’t really moved much on the transfer front.

Fabrizio Romano said that Arsenal will sell their players for proper prices and that might be why there’s some delay. He also keeps reiterating that there’s a surprise winger on the horizon. When your game is gossip, I’m at a loss why he’s keeping it under his hat, but there we are.

Out of Italy, we’re being linked with Arthur Melo. There’s rumours that he might be part of the most depressing deal of the summer with Torreira going the other way. Some outlets are also reporting we might go back in for a loan. I cannot get excited about this one. I’d rather buy on a perm deal and I’d rather the midfielder we sign be Youri Tielemans over someone that has tanked at Barcelona and Juventus.

Freddie Paxton, new to the Arsenal goss scene, seems to think that the deal for William Saliba will end on a high note.

Wow.

If that’s the case, you have to hand it to Edu and Arteta, they’ve done some BIG work there to get that over the line. Matt Kandela thought the player would ride it out and see what his options are, which makes sense when you see PSG give Mbappe the keys to the castle. But for me, there are two sides to that game, Sammy Umtiti broke himself, he went from a top 5 center-back in world football, to failing a medical at Rennes. There’s a lot to be said for guaranteed money in the world of sport because you never know when a knee might blow out, or someone with a knife will jump you in London. Life comes at you fast, you gotta make sure you have those benjamins in the bank.

My hope is he signs a 4 year deal with us with an option for another year so we can sell him if he doesn’t want to re-sign. Overpay him a bit, make him feel rich now, show him we love him, then hope he lives up to the outrageous billing he has.

My word… our back 4 is rapidly turning into one of the most exciting in European football. This time next season, when we’ve made moves on our back-up right back position, it’ll be one of the tastiest in the league and the average age will be about 25 years old. That’s 5 seasons of players at the top of their game. Incredible stuff.

We’re still waiting on Bukayo to sign his new deal. I suspect that we’ll wait until closer to the start of the season for that announcement. Give the fans and the players a big boost. Head into a very hard Friday night game against Palace with our new KING secure for the next 5 years.

Zinchenko is confirmed. This is what Arteta said about him.

“I know the player really well, he’s an exceptional footballer and he is someone that is going to bring as well another competitive edge to that dressing room.”

“He can play in both (defence and midfield). He was a natural No. 10 early in his career and we converted him into a left-back which can do a lot of things that we want in our way of playing.

“That versatility is something that is going to be important for the team because we have players in that position who are more specific full-back so I’m really happy.”

Arsenal fans, if you campaigned that Zinchenko was going to replace Xhaka, you may be suffering galaxy brain.

Occam’s Razor wins out.

Zinchenko is coming to give us a left-back option that offers build-up play. That allows our 8s to push forward, it means we don’t need to drop a midfielder into left back. It opens up the pitch and allows us to be more explosive with our attacks.

Edu had this to say:

“I’m very pleased to see how we’re working as a team here in the club. We put a plan together early and Oleksandr Zinchenko was a main focus on our list. We’re pleased to have Alex with us now because he has the attributes which I’m sure are going to put our squad at a different level.”

Sounds like he was the primary target, which makes sense, but damn… did we just use Lisandro as a smokescreen? Ruthless.

Arsenal has a press-resistant back 4. 5 players that can pick out 60 yard balls. 2 fullbacks that can invert. Pure character in every player.

It’s a great place to be.

Right, that’s all I have today.

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176 Responses to “ZINCHENKO ARRIVES + SALIBA NEW DEAL CLOSE + MYSTERY WINGER”

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  1. Ishola70

    *yawn* A left-back option.

    We never seriously believed that Xhaka would be ousted from the team did we.

    As for the most exciting defence in the league I’d like to see the number of goals decreased this coming season to come to that conclusion.

  2. Tom

    “As for the most exciting defence in the league….”

    Has anyone actually said that?
    Did they mean exciting as in getting your heart rate up?

  3. Rich

    Guardiola spoke back in Dec/Jan, saying his biggest achievements was coming back with largely the same group of players, and delivering consistency, because usually after a while, players switch off.

    Klopp has previously spoken about how the players get bored of him after a while.

    Ferguson once said “If you don’t change your team every 5 years, then they’ll change you”

    He didn’t just used to evolve his teams, he’d evolve his coaching staff as well, in order to freshen things up, Pep has freshened up his coaching staff a few times as well.

    Sterling had been at City 7 seasons, Jesus 5, Zinchenko had been on City’s books for 6, in the team for 5, Fernandinho had been there 9 seasons I think.

    I’m not surprised Pep has decided to inject some fresh energy into the squad, and create a new team cycle.

    I don’t see that as a slight on the players, just an opportunity to churn the squad, and with Sterling in particular, a last opportunity to sell him for a decent price, before he turns 28, and his value starts decreasing

    They sell to PL clubs, because outside a handful of clubs in mainland Europe, everyone else is skint, and can’t afford to pay City’s players, let alone pay fees on top

  4. Bob N16

    Tom, ‘fragile’?

    If anything your ego seems to be have a fragility issue, appearing to need to come on here with your pseudo rationalisations trying to convince Arsenal fans that they should avoid being too optimistic and listen to your doomsaying. The zeitgeist zooms far over your head.

    Not saying it should be a requirement to be happy and positive all the time but it reveals more about your character than your footballing wisdom. to be able to predict your take on Zinchenko’s arrival. His purchase seems universally welcome but you can’t help yourself and put dampeners on it.

    Every transfer is a gamble of sorts, this one seems heavily odds on to benefit our squad.

    Smell the roses or don’t, your choice obviously.

    I better eat I’m getting hangry!

  5. G

    I don’t get this … how poor Ramsdale was 2nd half of season bla bla bla..
    firstly he was brilliant in first half is season and was never going to consistently keep that level.. when people go on about goal’s conceded by a keeper there are other contributing factors..
    more then happy with buying him.. already forced himself into England squad and probably no where near his prime

  6. Ishola70

    Until players show consistency for several seasons then a patch of form can be just that.

    This could apply to Ramsdale as well as Eddie N.

  7. Positive pete

    With regards to Melo.His old club Gremio apparently are also looking to have him back.Which hopefully is the more likely of the rumours.

  8. Ishola70

    I like Zinchenko.

    Was one of the first to say get him in when first linked and yes over Tielemans.

    But just as a left back option not as exciting as Xhaka replacement is it.

    I’m hoping against hope that Zinchenko will parade in midfield when Tierney gets back.

  9. Northbanker

    G -unfortunately people tend to hang on to bad performances rather than good ones. Turner is. now apparently a shit goalkeeper because his debut game was dodgy, despite barely having time to breathe on arrival and being rusty from not playing for a while and with a huge number of years racking up top performances in the US

    But that’s how it rolls with the dementors on Le Grove

  10. Rich

    Ish

    Even players who provide consistency for several seasons, can regress. …

    Form + success are both malleable, not consistent, players who’ve been consistent can become inconsistent, and vice versa….

    It’s the reason casinos + betting companies rarely lose, because when gamblers are winning, they think they’ll keep winning in perpetuity, and logic + common sense goes out the window high on adrenaline.

    Peak Wenger used to be the master of knowing when to dump a player, and recognising when a young players career was about to take off, unfortunately those powers deserted him in his latter years, and the people at the club have largely sucked at it since Wenger left.

    That’s how we end up giving a 3yr mega contract to a 31yr old Aubameyang, based off the pure emotion of an FA Cup win, and not making a rational decision based on reason + logic.

    A 3yr mega contract to a 32yr old Willian, and a 4yr mega contract to a declining + disinterested Ozil.

    It’s what Barca are thinking with Lewandowski for €45-€50 million, when he’s 34 next month, and agreeing to take 32yr old Aubameyang on an 18 month contract in January

    The odds of either player getting any better at this stage of their careers is beyond minimal, the only likely direction is downwards.

  11. Ishola70

    Rich

    A player that shows consistency of performance at the highest level for several seasons has earnt some real recognition over a player that shows a batch of form for a period.

    Of course both cases can regress or improve or stand still but it’s just a case of prolonged evidence that some feel more comfortable with before making concrete judgements on players.

    There are so many instances of players having a batch of form but not carrying that on over a longer period. Loads and loads. Unlimited amount.

  12. Ishola70

    We hope Ramsdale was having a blip second part of the season and Eddie N can carry on where he left off at the end of last season.

    Ramsdale is of course the bigger worry because we now have Jesus if Eddie falls back somewhat.

  13. Le Sauce

    It’s still surprising to see some writing that Mikel doesn’t improve players when Eddie Nketiah is literally in front of you. It’s clear that he’s been a better player since last season and not just the Auba type poacher we all used to see. Also Martinelli has been better recently and it’s surprising people are making it seem like a make or break seasons.
    I tell you, if he was playing for Everton and had 12 goal contributions in about 21 PL starts some here would be saying the club should pay £40M for him same way Gakpo is the new flavor of the month. I guess us fans just love shiny new toys in the transfer window

  14. Le Sauce

    From inception we all knew Ramsdale was above Avery in shot stopping although he commanded his area better then Leno when it comes to crosses and corners. What caught majority of us by surprise is his very good distribution and passion for those that care about stuff like that. Mid season his distribution became a little erratic and put the defense under lots of pressure, if he can go back to his early season form and we keep the ball a lot better as a team I believe Ramsdale would be fine

  15. Rich

    Ish

    It doesn’t matter what players are doing now, or what they’ve done in the past, because past performance, is no guarantee of future results.

    What matters when looking to sign players, or extend contracts, Is how they do in future, and that’s why we need exceptionally astute bureaucrats, who can recognise when a players career is on a downward spiral, or an upward trajectory

    We need to learn when to dump or stock, and when to get in at the beginning of a bull market.

  16. Zacharse

    Ramsdales form should not be a major worry for us. Form
    nd mentality in pro sport are the difference between championship/league 1 and prem. A lot of players are physically and technically able to compete at high levels but it throws off things like confidence and morale. Some cope better w these issues than others. For instance theo walcott was never going to change who he was as a person to attain luis suarez levels of cold bloodedness. Form isnt a deterministic thing linked to talent- its about intangibles so its no suprise when ramsdales form dips during the period where tomi and kt were gome from the side and things looked different than at the beginning of the season. You could even argue that having good fans and a lively stadium contributes more to form than raw talent

  17. Graham62

    I’ll make a bet now that Eddie will bag a minimum of 25 goals this season.

    Providing he’s picked of course!

  18. izzo

    Man Utd are a disgrace chasing a player in De Jong that has publicly said he doesn’t want them. Barca owe him money and he doesn’t want to leave so pretty sure I wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon.

  19. Bob N16

    Graham, I’m confident about Eddie too. Has to stay fit of course but a goal every other game could happen.

  20. Chris

    I would find it terribly amusing to see Barca crash and burn this season. Laporte has gambled the clubs whole future on the now. I hope it blows up in their faces.