Well good evening fellow transfer fiends. How are we today? Excellent. Let’s talk strikers.
Victor Oshimen dealt his Gooner fan club a blow by declaring he’s going nowhere soon.
“I am happy with the president. I have an excellent relationship with him, I am sincere. I have a really good relationship with him, he has always been close to me since I arrived at Napoli in 2020 and I also have an excellent relationship with his family,” he said.
“For me it is important to have a good relationship with the owner of the team. There have never been any problems between us, what happened has nothing to do with my relationship with him or his family.
“The president told me he always supported, even off the pitch, and I gave my all to win the scudetto for them too. It’s always important to have this type of relationship with the owner of the club.
“Of course I would like to play there one day, for now I have other plans for my career. But when the time comes you will know everything.”
So what could those plans be? Well, he signed a new long-term deal with Napoli at the end of last year. It’s not rocket science. He’ll be with Napoli until the summer, then I’d imagine a conversation will be had dependent on Champions League qualification. The Serie A Champions are a whopping 20 points off top this season, so it’s a big ask.
My view on this deal is the same as it’s been for a while: No chance he’s coming to Arsenal. High risk at £100m+.
It would be remiss not to talk about the Premier League hearing with the government. Richard Masters (Prem big dog) and Rick Parry (EFL big dog) were questioned about some of the moves that have been happening with clubs breaching the rules.
It was kind of mad watching MPs dropping a performative dance over unfairness, despite the reality being the opposite.
Premier League clubs agreed to rules around financial prudence after Portsmouth went under. The basic premise of the rules was that clubs needed to control how they spend relative to how much they earn. The overall idea was to stop small clubs from over-extending themselves whilst stopping big clubs with nation-state wealth from blowing everyone out of the water with spending untethered from basic business principles.
Everyone agreed to how it would work. Everyone knew the losses that could be sustained over a 3-year period. Now the auditors are sharpening their pencils and clubs that have breached the rules are getting letters in the post with expedited hearing dates (something people wanted so cases didn’t drag over multiple seasons).
Everton and Nottingham Forest have owned their errors – so the only question is punishment.
Other clubs are pleading their case – or their issues are more complicated because the infractions have been inherited.
One set of circumstances has quick resolutions. The other set, not so much.
But rest assured, if the big clubs are found guilty, the punishment will be swift and just as aggressive as the one Everton are dealing with right now. If the Premier League goes soft, they’ll incentivise bad behavior, much in the same way the American government does with its slow decisions on bad business practices, coupled with fines that make the bad behavior worth it.
Are the rules going to shift next year? Yes. But the idea that means the rules already in place shouldn’t be enforced is ludicrous. You can’t judge the latest set of accounts based on a future rule change. I’m also not a fan of fans throwing their hands up and saying ‘we should just get rid of the rules.’
Premier League clubs have to live within set of rules. No one wants the league to go to an NFL-like system, but I don’t think they want an approach where the defining feature to look for in a successful club is how rich their owner is. You also don’t want a situation where an owner comes in, blows all the cash on the books, then exits after decimating the club. We also can’t overlook how unfair it is when clubs that play by the rules miss out on trophies/survival to those who breach.
The rules are imperfect, no doubt. They’ll get better. But the key takeaway from all of this is there are now actual consequences for poor behavior and it’s had a chilling effect on massive clubs with very aggressive ownership groups.
That’s why you will most certainly see some big sales from Arsenal in the summer. We need to sell to buy because we’ve been spending money like nobody’s business, and our intake has been dreadful.
Ok, back to transfers. Cedric Soares may finally be out of the club. He’s been linked with all the farewell tour clubs in Turkey, but this time, we’re assured, he’s actually going to leave.
The only way he’s going is if we don’t get a fee and that’s put into ensuring he gets his full 90k a week until June. Still think it’s unlikely, the man loves being at Arsenal.
There continues to be chatter around Mo Elneny leaving the club. Again, I’d love to believe it, but there’s a guy doing his coaching badges, just loving life at Arsenal like you or I would. Our longest-serving player is more likely to leave on a free this summer. He’s the backup for a backup. Hopefully we’re safe now Thomas is likely to be back in mixer for the Forest game.
Whisper it… but there’s a hot young centre back called Jarrad Branthwaite doing the business at Everton this season and guess who is interested? Our defender fiend of a manager. He’d gobble him up like a piece of steak on a knife if he were given the chance. The player is a left-footed centre back, and he’s huge at 6ft5. Jarrad glides across the park like William Saliba, he has Everton levels of strength, but he does not have the thuggish anti-finesse of a Sean Dyche defender. He looks like a northern Bill Saliba if I’m honest. I’d pass this off as nonsense, but Arteta loves collecting defenders and we don’t have a rotation option for Bill right now. Feels more like a United player, though there are serious noises coming from Madrid.
The lad LOVES a slide tackle.
There are some rumblings in the evening newspapers that Zinchenko might not be ready for the Palace game at the weekend. One would assume this is a new injury issue or it’s just part of the mind games the manager plays with returns. The larger gripe is it could be true, because he’s just not very reliable as a player. Still, one thing that impressed me about Kiwior in the Liverpool game is I didn’t really notice him until the own goal… and I mean that as a positive. He’s adapting to the rigors of the league and I certainly think he has a chance to make it at Arsenal.
As Matt Kandela said on the last AOP. The next three games have to be 9 points. Deliver that and we’re at most 2 points off Liverpool and three from Manchester City. Lose any of them, you’d have to question if we’ve got the minerals this season to handle a sustained challenge.
This is an exciting few weeks.
Ok, that’s me done. See you in the comments. xxx