When you’ve had your dinner really early, like 5.30pm or 6pm, then you get to 9 O’Clock and you start to feel hungry again. That’s how I’d describe the Arsenal fanbase right now in relation to transfers and how we feel about the squad.
In June, before the Euro’s started, we secured what is looking like one of the most promising holding midfielders in Europe for a fairly decent £33million. It was great. Arsenal were doing business early. No more waiting around. We want the squad in place so that they can have a pre season together. It was all gravy.
But now we’ve reached the point before the season started where that early bit of business – that early dinner which was so tasty at the time – feels like a long time ago. We’re at 8.45pm and our stomachs are rumbling again. We liked our dinner, don’t get me wrong, but that was then and this is now.
Now we want something else. Something sweet. Something that will quell the insatiable appetite before bed, or before we put this summer to bed, and start the season.
Had we eaten our dinner at oh, I don’t know, 7pm or 7.30, we’d probably be ok. Perhaps we’d still be peckish – in fact we all know we would be – but I’m not sure the ‘hangry’ feeling would be as bad. Had Granit been signed two weeks ago I think people would look at the situation and say “look, they clearly can do big deals, because we’ve got Xhaka”, but because the Euro’s punctuated the summer, it’s meant it feels like there’s been two transfer windows: pre and post Euro 2016.
So to some people, it may feel like we haven’t really made any moves of note, with just Holding and Asano coming in. I kind of get that and to a point I feel that way. Which is why the noises coming out yesterday evening from a Bild article from Julian Draxler, has excited people once more, I’ll wager. It’s like we’ve suddenly had a waft of something from the kitchen. Like a nice bit of toast or something, and by Jove, we like what we smell.
My Twitter timeline was suddenly full of people getting excited around 10pm. Was this the coined phrase of ‘madness incoming’ that has been pushed around the Twittersphere? Is Draxler the target, given that he’s so publicly stated his intention to leave? Is this why Arsenal officials were in Germany a couple of weeks ago? To start to ball rolling on a deal? Is Draxler better than Mahrez? Has everyone now forgot about the Algerian?
Interestingly, the answer I got back from asking aloud ‘Mahrez or Draxler’ gave me resounding thumbs up for the Leicester player, which I was surprised. Draxler is a very good German international – who scored in the Euro’s – and has been very public about wanting to leave his club. It seems that if Arsenal can cajole Wolfsburg into selling, a deal would be there to be done, even if the player himself has also been making eyes at Juventus in the past.
Personally I’d be over-the-moon with either Draxler or Mahrez and I hope we see something happening soon. It would be nice to have them ready, fit and able for the first game of the season (although I suspect Mahrez is probably more ready having not played in a major international tournament), because with Santi down, it looks like our front three is very makeshift indeed.
Mahrez certainly has the experience of performing in the Premier League, so depending on how a player like Draxler could adapt, would define whether the move for him instead of the Algerian would make more sense.
So the rumour mill will no doubt go in to overdrive over the next 24 hours, with the various different magazines, papers and online media houses trying to outdo each other in providing new angles on a potential deal.
But all it is, if we’re honest, is just more nice smells coming from the kitchen. It won’t stop us from being hungry. The only way that happens, is if Arsenal fans get fed. Come on Arsène, Ivan and Dick, feed us…