So it seems the wheels are properly in motion for Granit Xhaka to be joining the club, after multiple outlets confirmed his impending arrival for a medical, with the most reliable David Ornstein going as far as to say it’s on the verge of completion. This is good moves by the club and by Arsene. They have seen how fan sentiment has started to shift slightly away from the club and the manager and do you know what the best way of creating a short term boost for fans is: transfers or new contracts for big players.
If Xhaka is confirmed next week it will appease a lot of fans who’s fears are that Arsene will keep his powder dry again this summer. It will also give belief that the club are going to be busy. I thought that they went early last season when it came to Cech, but when I looked back in the archives, I saw that the deal wasn’t done until right at the end of June. So the fact we’ve just passed mid-May and the club are wrapping up the first big deal is a positive one.
Of course, by the time he’s officially announced with pictures, it’ll be old news and the fans will be asking the question “who’s next?”. Maybe the club will look to move quickly on to other positions, or maybe we’ll have a new contract announcement. If I could write the script for the summer when it comes to rebuilding some excitement for 2016/17 (also known as ‘Arsene’s farewell tour’) it would go something like this:
- Mid May: First signing in a position we need to build on (in this instance it seems to be Xhaka)
- Early June: Mesut Ozil signs a new deal with the club
- Mid June: Second signing of the summer – a centre forward with a bit of pedigree, which probably means you’re bringing in somebody in the circa £30million+ bracket
- Late June: Alexis signs a new deal at the club
- Mid July: Third signing at the club. This could be a couple of positions like centre half or wide forward
If this dream scenario came to fruition, you’re essentially looking at some good news every two weeks throughout the summer. It keeps momentum of excitement going in to a season in which many people who are against the manager have said they already have no interest in. But I bet you if we made the above moves happen, they’d be plenty of positivity amongst the fanbase both on and offline and rather than worry about the inevitable March collapse because we haven’t rotated enough or the manager has been out-thought, we’d be thinking that maybe he’s assembled a squad this season to do it. After all, he’s done it before, so why can’t he do it again? Arsene wasn’t any different 12 years ago, he just developed a team with the best players in their position and let them go out and express themselves. I k now football has changed, but nobody can tell me if you time-machined that Invincibles team into today’s age, they wouldn’t have been able to walk this league we’ve just had.
So yeah, if the above happens and we get a summer of constant boosts, i’ll ignore all of the tripe of this season and look purely at the possibilities for the season ahead. Actually, to be fair,I’ll probably do that whatever, but the excitement will have a little bit more of an edge to it this time.
Let’s just hope David Ornstein has a few more nuggets of information drip fed to us throughout the summer.
The only other bit of news going around at the moment isn’t really news at all, because it was fairly bloody obvious, which is Mesut Ozil being given the Player of the Season award. Hector picked up third and Alexis second, but Mez was always going to be first choice. The guy plays football as if he was born kicking his mum’s placenta around before he even got out of the womb. He glides across the surface and if we could have granted him a player who had the clinical touch his displays deserve, he’d have smashed the assist record and we’d probably have seen an Arsenal player with the Golden Boot, rather then that gormless, chunky crayon eating, Kane who won it.
Remember when Fabregas signed for Chelski and he said Arsene was building a team around Mesut, which is why we didn’t exercise the buy-back clause? Well this season is proof that Arsene was right. We simply have to upgrade in areas this summer that will compliment his world class football. Not to do so would be criminal. That’s why for me, if we were only able to sign one more player in a position, it would be that world class striker we all crave. Imagine having that player on the end of Ozil balls during Southampton at home? Or Sunderland away? Or Stoke away? Or Swansea at home? If you only take those four games in isolation and add a striker who scores at a more prolific rate for you, then you could be looking at the same ten points we were short of Leicester on being made up. I know it sounds simplistic to say, but if Petr Cech gives you an extra 10 points a season, how much does a Giroud upgrade give you?
Anyway, there’ll be plenty of time for striker speculation in the coming months. For now, you enjoy you’re Saturday and i’ll catch ye tomorrow.