It’s the Friday calm before the ‘storm’ ahead of another pre season tour game tomorrow against that horrible lot from West London tomorrow. Like we didn’t see enough of them last season. Now we have to deal with them in the summer too. And their fans will be extra buoyed by the Morata signing, which instantly sparked social media poll after social media poll about who had done the best attacking deal of the summer so far between Lukaku, Lacazette and Morata. Possibly the most pointless and unmeasureable poll you could ever have.
There’s no way of assessing true value whatsoever in this market because the market is completely bonkers. It’s a product of an industry that has become bloated and unrelatable at times. How can you judge a striker when their values are £55million, £70million and £75million respectively? Number of goals? Maybe. But that depends on the team their in, their ability to adapt to their new team, etc.
Lukaku may have the edge in terms of experience in playing in the Premier League, but question marks still remain with him in the bigger games, because he doesn’t always do the business we’re told. But he still has to fit a system. Henrikh Mkhitarayn is a fantastic player yet he didn’t quite fit United’s system it felt like to me last season. It’s the same with Juan Mata when he was at Chelski. Everyone assumed that Jose just didn’t fancy him but it’s clear that he just didn’t know how to set him up effectively at Chelski. Yet at United he played regularly under Mourinho.
I’m not suggesting that Lukaku won’t play – you don’t spend £75million on a sub – but I do think that it is not a forgone conclusion that he will be an instant and long-lasting success at United.
Which brings me back to what Arsène said about the style of Lacazette being a good ‘fit’ for Arsenal. I think Wenger wants to get back to quick, counter-attacking, front to back football next season and that’s why I’m wondering if Giroud will be out of the door. Think about the profile of our forwards now minus Giroud. Alexis, Lacazette, Walcott, Welbeck and Iwobi. All have enough pace to play in a counter attacking style and when you’re playing with three at the back and are coming under a bit of pressure defensively, having a front three that can all break at speed is valuable. I haven’t mentioned Özil in that attacking selection above but he has got a bit of pace about him, although I suspect he’ll be used as the ‘ace in the hole’ in a rapid counter-attack set up, i.e. floating about the pitch and releasing attacking players with the right balls in the right positions and through the lines.
It kind of also makes sense to me why we’re after Lemar too. I don’t know a lot about him but he too seems to have a bit of pace about him and also can pick a pass, as well as chipping in with goals from open play and set pieces, which feels to me like the sort of player we don’t have, or could certainly be a replacement to Alexis that then adds balance to the team.
But you do wonder about that midfield two. Xhaka and Ramsey is fine, but who’s the third to replace one of them when they inevitably go down with injury or suspension? Because it ain’t Santi and it ain’t Elneny or Coquelin. Jack spends half his life injured so I wonder if there’ll be an incoming there that will fly under the radar? A real Eduardo-style signing that nobody knows about until it’s done. One of those would be nice.
Still, the quietness right now won’t tell us anything, and we probably won’t get anything until the middle of the week due to travelling back from Asia.
Let’s just hope there’s enough irons in the fire.