With N’Golo ~Kante heading to Chelski, I tweeted yesterday that we should go for Mahrez, just to piss Vardy off. But actually, more than that, we should go for Mahrez because he’s a good player. He’s also supposedly ignoring advances from Leicester on a new deal. So I really hope we are taking a good long look at him. Especially after one of the senior peps at Wolfsburg said that there was no way they’d let Draxler leave. I know officials at clubs say that all the time, but Klaus Allofs was quite candid about Schurrle leaving for Dortmund, so I’d imagine to placate the fans they’d want to keep one of their stars. Especially as they also lost DeBruyne last summer.
But Mahrez suddenly feels like the sort of thing Wenger would do. If he’s rejecting contracts, then Leicester know they have to cash in and although he still has three years to run on a deal, I think Ranieri is the type of bloke to let a player leave if he’s not happy, providing the club get the right amount of cash for him. It strikes me that if there’s a £20million value on Vardy, Mahrez must be just north of that, which seems eminently doable for Arsenal.
It would also make sense if the rumours are true about Campbell being told he can leave, because we’d need a replacement. Arsene has already been telling people in France we are short in attacking options, which would suggest that some players will be going, because numbers-wise we actually aren’t. Of the three attacking positions, we have Iwobi, Alexis, Campbell, Theo, The Ox, Giroud and even Ramsey has played there. That’s seven players for three positions, which you’d expect to be the right number. But by shifting out Campbell – who I think most of us realise isn’t winger’s cup of tea by the fact he has used him so infrequently – it would free up a space for a wide forward to come in. It would also push one of The Ox or Theo further down the pecking order.
There are some who would probably say Campbell has more value than Theo in the team and that’s certainly right, but I wonder if there’s an element of reducing numbers and selling a player who has more value to other teams. Everyone knows Walcott is earning a fortune at Arsenal and I foresee the same situation happening with him that happened to Bendtner. Nobody want to pay his wages so as his contract ran down, he spent a couple of year’s going out on loan to clubs, who only played a smaller percentage. He then took an age to find a club to take a punt on him, purely because of the wages he was demanding, probably wanting the same cash he got at Arsenal. Walcott will want the same and so there aren’t many clubs out there who would pay £20million plus £140k-odd per week for a guy who couldn’t make the Arsenal team and whose form dropped off a cliff towards the back end of last season. So I think Campbell will be easier to shift and that’s why he’s going.
There’s lots of other stuff knocking around this morning, but it’s all classic Saturday morning papers stuff, with things like Morata signing a new deal with Madrid, or some Australian ‘keeper saying he nearly signed for Arsenal but they went for Szczesny instead. Those stories are just about the most tedious in football. Those ‘nearly’ stories. They add nothing to any conversation whatsoever. “Oh, I nearly bought myself an Aston Martin, but I realised I couldn’t actually afford it and have only 78 quid in my account, so the payments on a £250k motor didn’t quite work for me”. Yawn.
The only other point to note, before I clock off for the day, is that of Arsene confirming via an article and video yesterday on the official site, that those players who went deep in to the Euro’s, will potentially get four weeks off before returning to training. If that’s the case, then we’ll almost certainly be without Ozil, Giroud, Koscielny and Ramsey for the opener for Liverpool, which will make the task of overcoming Clop’s men all the harder. It will give chances for others to play, but you do wonder whether all of the other clubs are going to be so liberal with players’ holiday time. I’d be interested to see how many first team Liverpool stars start at The Emirates in just over a month’s time. But given what Arsene has said, I doubt we’ll see any of the French boys until September at least, which means the search for a striker has to be stepped up. Or at least we’d hope so.
Let’s hope whoever it is, is already in pre season and training, because we’re gonna need them for the first game at this rate!
Righto, off to spend my Saturday in the sun. But most probably the cloud. Laters.