What I’d love to be able to talk about this morning, is some kind of exciting, new, shiny and completely left of field type of player that Arsenal announced yesterday. Do you remember when that used to happen?
Like the time we got Eduardo. I was at work in the office, then a work colleague came to me and told me that there was something I needed to see, Arsenal-related at his desk. I was on a different floor to him so I sauntered downstairs to find him and a few other Arsenal fans crowded around his stand-up desk. It was delightful seeing the happy faces and being told we’d just signed the Crozillian from Dynamo Zagreb. I hardly knew anything about him, but the more and more I googled, the more I liked what I saw.
I’d love a player like that right now. But sadly, it appears we’ll never get those types of days back any more because as Arsène has already said, everybody knows about everybody these days.
So it stands to reason that one of the many rumours out there will come true, if we do end up signing anybody, that is. The sad thing though, is that the media publish so much tripe, that by the time player x makes his way to London Colney, people have already lost any excitement level there might still be.
That is, unless the signing is bigger than we expected, which is why I think Arsenal are not opting to pay the Lacazette fee that Lyon are quite clearly touting as their “everybody has his price” fee.
There was yet more from Lyon manager Bruno Genesio yesterday as he reiterated the same sort of quotes I saw last week, saying that he’s been told Lacazette will stay, but you never know in football, blah, blah, blah. It’s becoming quite obvious that Lyon are trying to trigger a move from Arsenal closer to the fee they want, but clearly if Arsenal haven’t gone back in, then they’re exploring other options. I think that’s fair enough. People who watch French football that I’ve read about seem to be split on whether or not he’d be a good signing, average signing, etc. If that’s the case, then why not have a fish around for a better option? There’s been lots of talk about how Arsène called Pogba’s transfer fee crazy, but he always chooses his words carefully and when he also mentions ‘if you can afford to pay it’, I do wonder if there’s some scope for hope as an Arsenal fan. Imagine if we’re looking at Griezmann, or Aubameyang, or Lewandowski, or Benzema, with the view to getting one of those guys in? That’s probably worth waiting another week for, I’d say, because any of those guys would vastly improve our forward line.
And Arsenal can afford any of those guys.
I know you’ll tell me I’m dreaming. I know you’ll tell me to temper myself, but hey, we got Özil didn’t we? So maybe this is just the price we have to pay, i.e. A couple more weeks of uncertainty, for the glittering, sparkly, wonderful new ‘über-striker’ we’ve all been waiting for?
The only downside to all this waiting is that it doesn’t help our current predicament for the Liverpool game, does it? I mean, as it stands right now, we’re missing the following for the first game of the season: Koscielny, Mertesacker, Wilshere, maybe Santi, Özil, Alexis and Giroud. That means our forward line, for example, looks like it will consist of Campbell, Walcott, the Ox and Iwobi sitting in the number ten role. The Ox is having a decent pre-season, which is reassuring, as is the fact Iwobi broke through with such gusto at the end of last season. But I’ve been quite open about my own lack of faith in Campbell and Theo has looked shot to bits confidence-wise since the turn of this year. So whilst waiting for a mega signing might be what Arsenal are doing, you can’t help but wonder what the challenges could be by the time Liverpool rock up at the Emirates. We could have more injuries. We could have players not quite in form. We could have a repeat of the opening day defeat to Liverpool a few seasons ago. And this isn’t a great Liverpool team, is it?
I must say it feels very similar to back then. We had lost Cesc, Nasri played despite the fact he had one foot out the door, and we lost Frimpong early on because of his own stupidity. We could really do without any kind of similar story playing out. Especially if there’s nobody on the verge of signing.
Still, there’s time to go, as they say. There could be moves this week that mean new player x is in place for the start of the season. Plus we’ve got a decent squad already who can cope with the niggles we have, providing they all stay as short term issues, Per Mertesacker aside.
Back tomorrow with some more thoughts and who knows, perhaps somebody will have said something vaguely interesting.
Oh and p.s. I’m not buying a single word about what the Toulouse owner said about Wissim Ben Yeddar turning down Arsenal for Sevilla. Arsenal might have sniffed, but if we wanted him, he’d have been doing exactly what Lacazette is doing: waiting for it to happen.