So we’ve got Lacazette rolling in to town this week for personal terms and a medical, there’s a bit of a surge in Mahrez-related noise across the media waves, as well as a happy Mustafi/sad Alexis. Given how the summer might end up panning out with the Chilean, by the end of this transfer period, that might be no bad thing. Especially if for some inexplicable reason he’s allowed to join City.
The Lacazette deal seems decent enough too, if we’re all honest. Talk of it being between €60 – €70million made all of the amateur accountants in the Arsenal fan base wince a little; but Talky Talkerson, the third Earl of Talkshire, Jean-Michel Aulas, confirmed yesterday that the figures quoted by the gutter press in the UK were wide of the mark and so it seems we’re looking at a total of €50million which includes add-ons.
I do wonder whether Arsenal will even bother with their trademark ‘undisclosed fee’ approach, given that we’re negotiating with a man who probably narrates his own life as he walks down the street, but I guess we have standards to abide by and I don’t see us changing any time soon.
I mentioned the ‘amateur accountants’ but above because I do find it funny how much importance is placed on the price of a player, especially by us Arsenal fans, because the reality is that it doesn’t really mean a thing to us as fans.
It’s not going to affect how much better he’s going to be and likewise it shouldn’t make a blind bit of difference that Arsenal are getting ‘value’. But I suppose it’s a fan bragging thing. Like how we scoffed at Rebrov back in the day, or Schevchenko, or even Pogba last season. It becomes an opportunity to score points against fans if their team overpaid and so perhaps that’s why there’s a few people saying that £43.5million initial fee isn’t so bad. Me included.
And it isn’t so bad I don’t think. It’s a fee that seems about right in the current going market and what it should also mean is that there’s still plenty of cash in the kitty to go big once again.
Perhaps that is the reason behind the millions of amateur accountants in the Arsenal fanbase also though. We’ve had so many years of football austerity before the Özil deal, that we’re all now wondering how much more Arsenal will drop to land a player. Last season it was £100million and you wonder whether it’ll be a similar figure again this year, although I suspect that isn’t a net figure, because there’ll be some outgoings for sure. The number of incomings will also depend on who’s going out too, including I suspect Ox and Alexis, both of whom would 100% need to be replaced if they don’t sign extensions soon.
But this deal being done now is exactly what we wanted and if it happens before they all take the trip overseas for the pre season tour then we can all be buoyed by a new arrival.
The other talked about person is Riyad Mahrez who I think would be a good signing, but not at the expense of us potentially stopping our pursuit of Thomas Lemar, I hope. I wonder if that’s the play here from Arsenal though: Lemar first choice, then if it becomes clear that’s getting too pricy, then have a go for Mahrez. The worry is that if we’re talking about Lemar for an extra £10million, Arsène and Arsenal balk and take the slightly easier option, in the shape of a player who has already handed in a transfer request and who knows the Premier League.
That he does. But to me, it feels like Lemar has a higher ceiling, and at 21 he’s got a whole career ahead of him that he could develop. Mahrez isn’t old at 26, but he’s not going to have the same level of potential as a guy who is knocking on the door of the French national team. So whilst a move for Mahrez would still please me, I guess it would be a bit like us not getting Mbappe because we’ve gone for Lacazette, in that there’d be a little bit of ‘if only’.
I guess we’ll just have to waiting and see how it all unfolds in the coming weeks. But the positive is that movement is happening, the club are addressing the deficiencies, doing it quicker than usual and that can only be seen as a good thing.
Right, that’s me done, so peace out and have a good Monday.