I’m not sure if Arsène Wenger’s interview with BeIn Sports is one that was taken a while ago and now being released in snippets, but he’s had some more things to say about the summer, transfer windows and such like. I think I personally am running out of steam to listen to his spin if I’m honest, but given there’s no press conference yet for me to speak of, I thought I might as well pen some thoughts on what he said.
No issues with scrapping the January transfer window
Hard to disagree with that. There is no value in it and you rarely see a decent deal being done. The window itself feels a bit like a holiday that the media and Sky Sports particularly have invented to fill the post Christmas, pre-cup runs, end of season countdown excitement. In recent years we’ve bagged Monreal, but we’ve also gone for Gabriel, Elneny and Cohen Brammall, so it’s not like the early days when we picked up a Reyes or Arshavin and everyone got excited.
When you also consider the totally mind boggling fees in summer now too, it makes you wonder who in their right mind would want to see the January window remain a ‘thing’. Except Jim Effin’ White of course.
Replacing an Alexis at £60-£70million next summer and the problems the club face
At this rate it feels like that statement should be followed with ‘and then some’, because overseas the clubs will be licking their lips when English football teams come knocking.
“How much for our player you say? Well you English paid £50million for Kyle Walker, even Bournemouth paid £20million for a defender nobody has heard of in mainland Europe. We think our player is twice as good as Kyle Walker, so you do the math…”
What his comments did say to me though, is he and therefore by association the club, hold little doubt that they could at least get Alexis to sign on to secure a fee next summer whilst paying him big cash for the remainder of the season. That was one that I was hoping the club could do because it would suit everybody to have it that way. A megabucks deal for the player, a fee for the club, and a move at the end. You could even slap a low escape clause for the player in at something like £45million to prove to him that we’d just be happy to get something.
Whether Arsenal even bother thinking about that though remains to be seen. I’d be surprised at this rate. The club feels like it’s run in such a chaotic way that you wouldn’t put any kind of transfer mitigating thought process in to their actions. Alternatively, even if they have got this in their heads, Alexis might just be thinking that he’s only got to wait another four months before he can start negotiating anyway. So I suspect it might be a long shot.
Player inflation has been brought about by clubs like Arsenal
I get that he was complaining about inflation and how Dembele did not increase value tenfold in one season, but he himself has made the problem along with other clubs. His own indecision on the Lemar situation was clear for all to see. We bid £40million, then £45million, then nothing until deadline day, in which we doubled our price.
The club should have gone back and said “fine, £55million” and done it early. The whole world could see Monaco’s fire sale wouldn’t last forever, so that’s why City and Chelski acted rapidly. But because our system is built on the bottleneck approval of one man who doesn’t always know himself in his mind – let’s not forget Chambers was being touted around as for sale before Arsène flip-flopped – we miss out on targets like this.
Arsène will never change though. It’s not like we can suddenly say “guess what Arsène? We’re changing the model of the club and you just tell us who you like in a top five list and you’ll get one. Now go away and wait for us to deliver one or two players in different positions from the list you give us”. Arsène wouldn’t have it. Which is why we need to change manager. The world has changed. Arsène and Arsenal haven’t and as a result we’re falling behind on this stuff.
The guy was a legend, but the emphasis is on “was” and we need to give him his statue and a season ticket for life and say “time to let somebody else have a go”.
There’s also some pieces in the press about how Alexis’ outburst could cause issues for Arsenal this season, with the press already painting a temper tantrum of a player, but I didn’t so much read that in to it. With Alexis it’s always felt like club and country are compartmentalised in to two distinct parts of his life. He’s getting pelters from the Chilean press and it was clear that this is who he’d taken a swipe at in his Instagram post. Sure, he’d written it in English but I suspect that’s also a bit of a dig towards his home country’s media too.
I hope that Alexis comes back and is the same player as last season. I personally have my doubts, because for Cesc, Adebayor and Henry in the season before they left there was plenty of issues (injury, form, etc). But the hope is that Alexis can do the same conpartnentalisation with this season and remain focused with Arsenal until he departs next summer. That’s what we have to hope anyway.
Laters people. Stay awesome.