by .

MONDAY MORNING BABY… and it’s just me and you. Sitting on a train. Or a park bench. Or maybe while you drive… don’t do that. Put the phone away. This content is NOT worth it (it is).

Let’s chat about the unravelling of the Ivan Toney story, Andrew over at Arseblog recently said he didn’t think Ivan Toney would join, now we have some of the better ITK accounts on Twitter saying similar things.

Football changes fast, one minute it’s Housem Auoar, the next it’s Martin Odegaard. You can be dreaming about Mudryk in the morning, then facing up to a Leandro Trossard future by the afternoon.

Things change, new opportunities arise, playing the transfer ITK game is a rough game because there are so many variables.

But, that doesn’t stop me speculating, because there’s nothing that gets me hotter under the collar than dreaming about the next big striker signing.

Here are some things that I think Arteta will be considering:

  1. The project has been building for 4 years now, the 5th year is when it needs to start delivering trophies. Why? Because I set that timeline based on how long it took Poch to get Spurs to a Champions League final and how long it took Klopp to restore Liverpool back to primetime. Two clubs that worked off their own resources, with good managers, to achieve pretty sexy things for their respective clubs (noting that Spurs biggest achievement in the last 50 years was not a trophy).
  2. Most of our best young players are on similar timelines with their deals. We’ll be negotiating Saliba’s new deal in the summer of 2026 and Saka, Martin, White, and Martinelli a year later. If there are no major trophies to speak of, you’re losing some of them in the next round. No one wants to be part of a neverending ‘trust the process’, at some point, you need to have metal to show.
  3. This squad is dangerously close to being as good as the one they have at Manchester City. It’s already better than the one they have at Liverpool. Our players are performing well beyond their station when you consider their age. Elite athletes tend to come into their prime between the ages of 26 and 31. It doesn’t need more projects, it needs a striker who can hit the ground running and score 20+ goals a season for the next 5 years.

There are FOUR routes we could go with this striker.


This is a world class talent, at peak, ready to slot in and take us into the stratosphere. There’s only one name who fits that bill and it’s Kylian Mbappe. The greatest attacker of his generation. The problem? He’s a £100m a year player who wants his next club to at least match that deal. I doubt we’re going for that. It doesn’t feel very Stan Kroenke. The player doesn’t really fit the model of what Arteta is trying to do. Too much baggage, too much bad behaviour indulged at a young age, a king maker – or a destroyer. Haaland was also this player, he didn’t cost City a lot of money, but he set them back a kings ransome in wages.

Personally, I don’t feel we’re at that level. We’d need to have a real ‘Sol Campbell, first player on £100k a week’ moment. It’s not impossible… but £100m is quite a bit above where we’re at right now. I’m not sure doing that would be good for squad harmony. Saka would be out buying a Bentley, Kylian could be buying Leicester football club.


The Premier League is the best league in the world, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Arteta has built his side off the backs of players who have been in the league and shown they have the mettle to slug it out week in week out. Arsenal could go for a big name, from a top club, and spend massive cash. The one name that fits the bill is Isak of Newcastle. They have to sell this summer, they’ll want £100m, the player is very special. This would be a Declan Rice like signing. he has 14 goals in 25 appearances, he’s only 24, Arsenal have looked at him in the past, he is very good. Only issue is his patchy injury record.

Isak IS an Arsenal-like signing who fits the strategy in every way.

There is one more name that could live in the category: Evan Ferguson.

The Irishman is the next big thing, he’s still a baby at 19 years old, but signing him *could* be a bit like United signing Wayne Rooney from Everton back in the day. He’s tall, strong, great finisher, and he has obscene power. But… he’s maybe a £120m player and he’d still be a project. Would I hate this signing? No way, I’d be doing knee slides in the office. But just not sure if that’s where we’d go considering the brief.


There are some moves that just don’t excite fans. Those tend to be players that play for smaller clubs that don’t play sexy football. Ivan Toney is a low fashion striker. He’s older, his goals seem to carry less weight, and most people feel a little meh about him. Low fashion is a silly way to look at a signing, because we literally did this with Trossard; so many moaned, and now he’s showing up as one of the best final-move players in our team. Jorginho got such a rough ride with the fans, now he’s showing up against Liverpool dropping worldies. These are ready-made players that come a bit cheaper but can have immediate impact. That’s why I’m still buying into the Ivan Toney story – there’s simply no way Arteta has watched Havertz as a 9 and decided he doesn’t need an Ivan Toney like player. Brentford will sell for £50m to £60m. We’d get a player who is once again on for a 20+ goal season pace who’d be good for 5 years because of the style of his game.

Remember, money will be finite this summer – we have a lot of work to do – the difference between Isak and Toney could be 50%. That extra 50% is the difference between a new midfielder and not getting one. Is Isak going to score 50% more goals? Doubtful. One is sexy, one is not.


Fans are always more attracted to things they don’t have proximity to. There is an allure to exotic players that work in distant lands. We watch the comps, have no context of actual performance, and everyone online wants to be perceived as a purveyor of exotic strikers so they all pretend they’ve watched them extensively and yes, this player is the one.

Zirkzee? Next Van Basten. Scamacca? Have you ever seen a purer striker of the ball. Patson Daka? The new Haaland.

Well, turns out that’s been a trend Premier League clubs have taken to the pricing of said players. Chairman are behaving like Youtube comp addicted fans and they’re splashing mad money on hype and potential ceilings.

Trossard – £25m

Mudryk – £80m

We’d seen one player score 4 goals at Anfield, but we pined for the guy who managed 12 goals in his entire Shaktar career.

Chelsea spent a billion on 27 players that mostly have great youtube comps, little experience, and disgusting pricetags. How has that worked out? Badly. Hardly any of the players have hit the level, the inexperience has cost them Champions League again, and there aren’t really that many signs Poch is going to get things back on track.

The problem for them is we now live in a PSR world. They can’t shift the players for what they paid. They’ll have to take losses on players or sell the company diamonds to claw there way out of a points deduction.

United plays the same game:

Antony – £95m

Hojland – £85m

Amad Diallo – £43m

Jadon – £85m

Hojland might look good right now, but how good does he have to be to look £85m good? United are 6th, in part, because he couldn’t score goals in the first half of the season. The rest of those names were all hype buys that failed to live up to the billing. They are another team that is going to have trouble clawing their way out of the expensive hole they’ve dug. Casemiro, Antony, and about 10 other players are so average or old, they’ll never leave their deals.

Arsenal could go for high potential – Sesko attracts a lot of admiring glances, he looked problematic against Madrid, but he fluffed all his lines. Zirkzee has an incredible name, his videos look unreal, but he has half a season of doing it in Italy. Viktor Gyökeres, the Swedish beast, has scored 28 goals in 30 games and he’s landed 11 assists for Sporting. He looks perfect, he’s slummed it around Europe, played at Brighton, scored 43 goals for Coventry, but do we think this would be like pulling Cancelo out of Portugal or Fabio Vieira who also had HUGE numbers out of the same league? Both of those players took a year to settle btw… one still hasn’t.

This isn’t 2006. The Premier League is the big show. The best athletes, the most technical players, the most intense games, the best teams. You are stepping up when you come here, not down like you might have been back in the day. The risk with the high fash euro strikers is they don’t bang and you put your project back 2 years because you’re lumped with Timo Werner or Nico Jackson.

Who is playing in Europe that looks a dead cert for 25 Premier League goals a season? There aren’t many. If you’re convinced, good on yah, I remember people telling me with gusto that United’s Onana was the biggest miss of our summer a few years ago. People raged over Auoar not signing. I literally cried myself to sleep over Mudryk. The collective hallucination we have had over inexperienced Euro kids being the answer to our striker problems is beyond parody.


One last point I want to make is about the market. PSR has sent a chill through the Premier League. Clubs have been scrambling to get their houses in order. Chelsea is a prime example, it was a flash sale there in January and no one was biting. Every CEO is terrified of a points deduction.

That will spill over into the summer. I’m going to put my neck on the line… I think we’ve reached peak madness with transfers. This summer will be a buyer’s market. Fees will be lower. Clubs will seek out value over high-potential. That’s why I have high hopes for Arsenal selling. KT, Eddie, ESR and Aaron Ramsdale are all proper Premier League players that can do the job. They will be sought after because too many have been stung by next-big-thing signings like James Trafford. Even Sambi, Reiss and Nuno will attract interest… because their proof points are in the Premier League. Brentford can ask for £100m for Toney, but who has that now? Chelsea don’t. United don’t. There are deals to be had this summer, which is why we have to be smart about how we spend our money because we are one of the few clubs that actually has it (or can get to it via non-lethal sales).


Where do I think Mikel Arteta is going to put his money? The place most likely to give him guaranteed goals. I don’t see him taking a euro sexy risk. His new deal will be tied to signing the players he wants at the club, and remember, he runs Arsenal these days, and he’ll get what he wants. The manager will want 25 goals a season NOW. He doesn’t have time to wait for a seed to blossom. So if we’re moving on someone, it’ll be a Premier League player he knows can do it. Which Premier League player? I don’t know. But my gut says he won’t have the money to drop £100m on one player this summer because he’ll want to have a Pedro Neto in the forward line, a Zubi in midfield, and a Frimpong in defence.

Let’s see where this goes!

I’d say I’d love to hear from you in the comments, but I broke them last night. It’ll get fixed today. So bear with me. See you tomorrow. The On The Whistle from the weekend dropped an hour ago, go feast on it. xxx

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Nice new look! Have to comment on it taking Klopp five years to get ‘Pool but to ‘primetime’. I mean, 97pts in year three ain’t to be sniffed at and winning the CL in year four – I’d take that (still possible of course). Spurs, well if we’re talking about winning big trophies what’s the point of even comparing?

Josip Skoblar

Nice new revamp, Pedro! 👍

Just Another Customer

nice upgrade Pedro!

keep on keeping on!


Anyone know how you can change your icon?

PS name hasn’t been saved this time


Comment box definitely needs to be at the bottom of comments section, bit of a bind scrolling up and down reading comments then going back up to the top to make your own comment, Good job though ofherwise, just noticed also and used the edit button. Great addition for those of us with fat fingers. Thanks Pedro

Last edited 1 month ago by JohnG


Please add the “jump to top” button
Thank you




Ooooh, saucy new comments section, slick look Pedders, good man.

Not many seem to grasp Tom’s sarcasm I see, -18 down votes. Aging worse than Kane’s decision to move to Bayern for guaranteed silverware.

Not all doom and gloom though, I see the other -18 downvote epic was made by the most irritating windbag on here who shares a name with that unfunny wanker Cricketer who used to be on a Question of Sport.

Habesha Gooner

I really like Osihmen. But he isn’t a 100 mil player. There are barely any great strikers around.

I think we should just spend up to 60 mil on an upgrade on Nketiah. We can also upgrade on Riess. That might give us more of a push.

I wouldn’t mind Toney, Sesko, or Vlahovic. They are all better than Eddie. So we can have those marginal gains.

Like the look of the new Comment section.

Les Fogging-Geaux

Excellent revamp, what a time to be a gooner. Social pressure will chase out the last of the lurking moaners (not that we’ve seen much of them recently). We’ll certainly miss the ‘Arteta is a FRAUD and should be fired if we don’t win the league this year’ bores.


Good post btw Pedro, just thought I’d mention that.

Really like the revamp, can’t wait to see how the up and down voting develops…


Bayern scored 92 league goals last season. 61 so far this season, on their current trajectory, they’ll score 94. This season they’re on for 77 points at their current trajectory, last season they won the title with 71. The problem is… That on their current trajectory, Bayer Leverkusen are on for 89 points. The last time Bayern topped that was 2013/14 with 90, in Guardiola’s first season, losing just 2 games. Then 2012/13 with 91 points, losing just 1 game, the season they won the treble. Apparently Solksjaer is in line to take over from Tuchel until the end of… Read more »

Mr Serge

I prefer the comments to be like before when the comment box was on the bottom Pete

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Serge

All lokonga needed was a decent run of games to show his quality..
The game against united was the moment he has come of age, played with more aggression and put in the hard yards going back towards his own goal.
He’s always been a good passer of the ball and has good technique and composure under pressure, I wouldn’t quite write him off yet at Arsenal but I get the feeling that Arteta will do a willock on him and sell after a good loan spell..


Hey Rich, good post, not sure about your Leverkusen/Monaco comparison though……. that Monaco side was packed with talent top European clubs were pissing themselves to get their hands on. They got picked off to the tune of 400m over the next few seasons, and that was back when 50m could get you a near worldie. Also Bayern and Tuchel won last season mostly by default really, and on fewest points since their streak started post the Klopp Dortmund era, so the warning signs were all there and Kane wasn’t gonna fix them. Not that I believe Kane was even the… Read more »


Tom Think it’s interesting that it was conventional wisdom last season that Bayern needed a centre forward to replace Lewandowski, but so far they’re on for just 2 more goals. Spurs scored 70 last season, on their current trajectory they’re on for 79. City scored more goals without a centre forward… Granted they won the treble with cyborg freak.. But you could argue they were knocking on the door, and it was only a matter of time before they cracked it regardless. Liverpool won the PL + CL, and consistently hit 90 + points with no prolific No9, the season… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

So many of us liked the look of Lokonga and his elegant passing touch….but of course we should sell if we can get a decent offer. He’s not up for the pace and 2 way nature of this Arsenal team..

He doesn’t press, likes to stroll a bit and pick a pretty pass. The way teams set up against us… he would never be more than average for us. I’d rather see Patino, MLS, or someone brought in, even if they’re not cheap.

If Sambi doesn’t end up being a financial loss, or a small gain, I’ll be satisfied.


I was glad we signed sambi He was a big prospect with the right looking characteristics of a young player about to blow up and do big things. Such players we are historically slow moving on and they go elsewhere and end up twice or three times the price The price we paid was fine. It didn’t work out. He didn’t kick on and doesn’t cut it for us. You win some you lose some. I still think considering the potential he had and the relatively low price he was a good gamble to make. Clearly tho it didn’t work… Read more »


Always remembered Pedro.
Nice revamp, best of luck with it.


Is there a way (like sorting) to read from old to latest comments like before?

NJ Gooner

Great piece Pedro. Many thanks.

How about signing Harry Kane with the promise that he actually might win a trophy?


The striker position is ridiculously difficult to recruit. Can’t remember another time when there’s been such a lack of talent in the market.

I’ve never been excited about Toney but out of curiosity, does anyone know why the club has had a change of heart? Seemed like there was some substance behind the rumours.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we go in for Cunha.

pseudo warrior

Upgraded comment experience to match the upgraded Arsenal experience.

Cheers Pedro


Pedro the main problem now is I’m only able to give one + to the picture of tree Henry smirking. This needs to be given thousands of + votes or I can’t take this site seriously


It would be far easier to have a reply section to a post as opposed to try finding a comment/post imo


Finally seeing my comments now. Don’t know what happened there. Love the new look. Comment box on the bottom please.


Nice outlook, Pedro

Do the suggested adjustments and we’re good

Top Job

Marky Mark

Doh! Just found the comment box


Nice Upgrade Pedro. Thanks for all the work


There are very few options for centre forward upgrade in forthcoming summer transfer window.

I would still keep Jesus despite his frailities and offload Nketiah. He can
play/rotate along forward line.

The two obvious candidates to buy are

Personally I would prefer Watkins of these two. He is an Arsenal supporter and does not carry bacgage.



Arsenal scored 88 goals in EPL last season. We have scored sofar 58
goals this season despite absence of prolific striker.

So it is realistic to expect us to match or better our goal scoring record
this season. We are currently in better form now than we were at the
same stage last season.

Josip Skoblar

Fantastic upgrade, Pedro! Thanks for the good work.
The comment box at the bottom would be more handy. Cheers.

Bob N16

Every top team needs players who offer those extra moments of quality that make the difference between winning and drawing a game; we’re lucky enough to have a few at Arsenal. The fact that Jesus has been unavailable for too many games has meant our principal CF has not contributed enough of these moments. We are thankfully now at a stage where our squad is strong and we only need to make a few upgrades in personnel and although we are overall scoring goals at a healthy rate, CF is one of those that need upgrading. The idea that it’s… Read more »



You mentioned that there was an edit button? Were you posting with a PC?

I have the impression that features like editing or writing in bold are not available when using a mobile phone, as I can’t see these features.


Ok, the edit button only appears in the first instance of the post we submit.

Once we refresh, the edit button dissappears.

Great feature, I have to say.

The number of times I have bit my lip after noticing a typo after having posted too fast.


Very nice upgrade Pedro, well done! In terms of striker options, Mbappe would be a dream, but its not happening he’ll be in Madrid this time next year. I do love what Arteta said in his and I hope we have at the very least enquired with Kylian’s representatives. Isak is a player I hoped we were in for before he headed to Newcastle so yes please, I think he makes more of an impact than Toney, although I am a little cautious about his injury record, seems to get a fair few knocks. Toney I’m ok with as long… Read more »


Just testing for the edit button – and edited. Great stuff

Last edited 1 month ago by Northbanker

I’m loving this already. Kudos Pedro


There’s a button at the top nr comments box to delete all your comments! Presumably just the same thread?
Nigel – you can redeem yourself and start all over again lol

Luteo Guenreira

Comments are back, nice. Technical difficulties are to be expected, most code guys have the touch of a rapist with their work.

I suppose it was time for the surgery, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the old school, pre-BBL Le Grove.


Pedro, top notch comments reconstruction.

Comments box at foot as many indicated is preferred. Jump to top / bottom buttons would be desirable. Great work.


Bob N16 I forecast that Arsenal will recruit perhaps two outfield players in the summer transfer window. These will be a midfielder and centre forward. The most likely recruit in midfield seems to be Zubimendi from Real Sociedad. His transfer fee is already fixed. The striker as you have posted is likely to cost silly money. For example Toney and Watkins will be 28 at the start of next season. So they will have virtually no resale at end of their contracts. Personally I would like Arsenal to promote at least two players from our Under 21 squad. Nanweri appears… Read more »



Same thing across everything in life we might stop having any sort of conversation.

Point taken,

but let savour the victories


Comments are back and I’m getting lingerie ads on the side.
What a wonderful time to be alive!


Does zubimendi play DM? Hope he can be Partey’s long term successor if so I also don’t particularly want us to buy loads of players this summer We could: 1 quality attacker (either a CF or a winger, don’t need both) 1 quality DM Extend contract of Jorginho for one more year as a stop gap Backup keeper presumably needed when we sell ramsdale unless okwonko is good enough? Rest replace outgoing players with youth We shouldn’t be scared of leaning into our academy now to fill in the gaps a bit Let nwaneri come into the squad. Let one… Read more »


Great format Pedro…

psuedo warrior

“There’s a button at the top nr comments box to delete all your comments! Presumably just the same thread? Nigel – you can redeem yourself and start all over again lol”

Ladies and gents, we have a winner for comment of the day 🙂


Comment section looks great, Good job Pedro


China 1

Zubimendi is a highly rated DMF.

You have omitted Havertz from your list. He will not be leaving this summer.

Raya will stay and will cost us additional transfer fee of £27M. The
second and third string options are unclear.

I doubt that Hein will stay unless he is promoted to second string gk. The
same will apply to Okonkwo. So there could be complete overhaul in that

Positive Pete

China 1-like the look of that squad.Tasty.👌


8 O’clock kick off Saturday the atmosphere should be electric especially after about 5 hours in the faltering fullback although will be rather busy in there with 2 rugby matches the first being the Irish.


Best young target men Haaland, Hodjberg, Zirkzee, Sesko


ES ah I knew I was missing someone. Actually when you add in Havertz as the 23rd player I think that’s a great squad A key point to note is aside from quality and numbers it also have versatility Basically 90% of that squad can play in 2 or more positions For example LB could be any one of Kiwior zin Tomi Timber But CB can be any of Kiwior Sal Gab White Tomi Timber Same applies throughout every position. This results in us being able to have a massive amount of squad depth without a massive number of bodies.… Read more »


Zubimendi is a baller. If we sell Partey (and release Elneny), we should absolutely be in for a CDM in the Zubi mould.

I haven’t seem much of Sambi this season, but apparently he had a decent game vs Utd. It’ll be interesting to see how he finishes out the season. Worst case he gets binned off for £10-15m in the summer if he hasn’t progressed.


There’s only one striker out there I’d like for the Arsenal and that’s Watkins.
Knows where the goal is and has got plenty of improvement in him too.
Could make a 15 mil bid for Kane for a laugh.

Nice layout.


Oh good. The comment section has a new interface. The rest of the season is looking spicy. We go on a lucky run, and who knows?


Incomings will likely be based on outgoings, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some churn this summer if we can clear the deck a bit. There’s a fine line between stability + cohesion, and stagnation + malaise, and we’ll need to inject some fresh energy into the group. I like Eddie, Nelson, Smith Rowe, but they’re at the stage of their careers where they need to be playing consistently. Smith Rowe has started just 2 PL games since May 2022.. I can’t remember the last time Nelson started a PL game, and I think there’ll be interest in Eddie.… Read more »


OptaJoe analysis of Porto v Arsenal

“The last time Arsenal progressed past to the Champions League quarter-finals came with a 6-2 aggregate victory over Porto in the 2009-10 campaign. Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick at the Emirates for the Gunners in that tie.”


Very good upgrade Pedro.

Agree with many that I prefer to have the empty comment box and the bottom.

Regarding your article – why did you leave out the best option for us from the Premier league? That is Ollie Watkins at Villa, personally I would prefer him to Toney.

Will be interesting to see how the ratings of posts will develop



To add to those Porto stats, they have lost 7/8 Champs Lge ties with English clubs. The odd one out? Mourinho’s touchline showboating in 2004 at Old Trafford

However Porto are unbeaten in 10.


Would like to see Eddie sold to Brentford to offset the Raya deal.

Habesha Gooner

Partey back in training apparently. Tomi, Zinchenko and Jesus haven’t been seen in training. Viera is also back.

If all of these players can come back, we will have a better chance at going far in both competitions we are in.


China – I’d agree all of that squad of yours +Kai of course. Walters would be the only viable candidate for additional defender – he can play RB and RCB. Okonkwo would be great as a no 2 as mentioned in my previous comments. Can we though rely on just 2 goalkeepers assuming we sell Ram and Hein? Midfield – if we have the budget to buy Zubimendi (I doubt it if we don’t sell ESR and Vieira) then great. I would agree with Nwaneri but wonder if we should also add Patino and sell at least Vieira. Also whether… Read more »


New post


Wow.just testing