Another off season Saturday rolls into town and another rumour takes centre stage with Arsenal and after a week in which people have started to get excited about Mbappe, somebody has decided that this weekend is Lacazette speculation weekend, with multiple sources including the famous ‘Sky sources’ having their say that a €50million (£44million) deal for the Frenchman can be done and Arsenal are currently in talks.
It’s just a shame that ‘Sky sources’ aren’t really the same as it used to be. Five or six years ago a ‘Sky sources’ statement on SkySports News used to mean that deals were being close to done. I think it was because they decided to make sure things were credible before they actually went out publicly with anything. Back then if you saw a ‘Sky sources’ you pretty much knew that you were getting a player. But since Sky Bet and the classic “let’s see if we can spark the betting” approach Sky have taken, the phrase ‘Sky sources’ doesn’t really hold as much weight as it used to.
We also have the fact that I’ve seen a couple of times on Twitter where a regional paper has gone out with something and then ‘Sky sources’ suddenly push out a similar notification a few moments later. So sadly whilst this message could get people a bit excited the reality is that it doesn’t mean anything. If you do any sort of online searching in the right places you’d also find out that he’s on holiday at the moment and regardless of where any potential negotiation is at, the notion that teams ‘prepare bids’ I find particularly amusing.
What do football clubs do, go down to the bank to get loads of those clear bags that you can out pound coins in, so they can drive a truck load of them to the selling team? Is that what ‘preparing a bid’ is about? Surely ‘preparing a bid’ just means getting the telephone number and double checking email addresses?
Anyway, it’s all the start of the protracted nonsense and if Lacazette is the new front runner I’d be surprised if we go after Mbappe, because we have other positions to worry about this summer. Like potentially a new ‘keeper if both Szcz and Ospina go, or a back up right back, or another attacking winger. I like Lemar. Not just because of his singing, but because Bobby Pires said he was good and as far as I’m concerned that’s a ringing endorsement that I’m happy to get behind.
But if Lacazette does arrive, there will most certainly need to be a shuffle of somebody out of the door, because we’ll have Giroud, Lucas, Walcott, Welbeck and Alexis all as attackers. We all know Perez will be gone, as well as Alexis most likely, which is why we’ll need a wide forward and I’m not sure Lacazette is that. He’s mobile and he’ll wander across the front of the field of course, but he isn’t a wide forward to my limits knowledge, so somebody needs to go and somebody needs to come in. If I was to guess i’d say a minimum of two over the above need to be sent out and if that is Perez and Alexis for Lacazette and Lemar, for example, are we really don’t anything other than keeping the quality of the squad at the mane level? Do those two players make up for the Alexis-shaped whole that seems increasingly more likely to be missing for next season?
No idea, but my suspicion is that it does not, and as much as some people want to think positive over the Alexis situation when you look at history we don’t have much by the way of successes. I can think of Thierry signing a new deal, which was really to preserve some value because he left the following season, or Walcott, and we all know that hasn’t particularly been a successful renewal. On the other side of the fence is RvP, Cesc, Nasri, you could probably also go back and put Wiltord, or Sagna too. Then if it happens, Alexis becomes another player to add to that list. The Arsenal of today quite simply doesn’t appear to have the ability to retain its stars, probably because we haven’t been one of the elite clubs in world football for more than a decade. It’s sad to admit but true.
If Lacazette does indeed sign, then it means we need to be moving swiftly to other positions and I hope we see a lot of action after next week, when the window opens. Lacazette signing will be a bit like the FA Cup win – it will give us a boost that we’re moving quickly but will soon turn to worry if the rest of the squad isn’t improved upon.
Let’s not even get started on the fact we need to tie down Ozil and the Ox.
Right, that’s yer lot from me, i’m off for a run.