Julian Draxler is apparently going nowhere, say Wolfsburg, and if you believe that their statement yesterday is anything other than an attempt to maximise a return on a clearly unhappy player, I’ve got some genuine Caesar salad dressing that was on the table of the last emperor himself, that I could sell you.
Wolfsburg know that they have a potential problem on their hands with Draxler going public and have reacted swiftly to ensure he maintains his value. I know nothing about football, but if I was at a club interested in a player that had just announced that he wanted to leave, I’d probably be trying to knock a minimum of ten mil off the price tag.
So I think Draxler is as up for sale as Mahrez or Lacazette. If the valuation of the club is met.
It looks like Arsenal are going to do that with players and I have to say, given Arsène spoke about having a ‘poker face’ with transfers, I’m surprised that he has left a number of deals over the recent years down to the last day. On deadline day – as we’ve all seen countless times before – there is little value. So I’ve never quite understood why a club like Arsenal, with a manager like Arsène, leave so many deals so late. I mean, at times, it seems like the manager is obsessed with value for money. There’s nothing wrong with that most of the time (unless the market is as bat-shit mental as it is now, when nobody is getting value), but if that is your mantra, surely you’d want to stay a million miles away from the transfer deadline day?
Still, if Arsenal bring in players within the next week, then I guess he has managed to avoid the deadline day rush. But our season will inevitably start a little disjointed, unfortunately, it seems. It’s a shame we haven’t got a promoted couple of teams or those that were towards the bottom last season, because you’d hope that we should have enough to beat those teams, even with the injuries and late returners. But we have to play with the cards we’ve been dealt so in a week and a half we need to have the players available and ready for a battling three points at home.
I didn’t really talk about Walcott’s “can I be a winger now please?” comments yesterday, but nothing surprises me with Theo, I’m afraid. He’s always been a fresh-faced, clean-livin’, honest-sounding bloke, but this latest admission has essentially proven that all footballers are pretty much cut from the same cloth. And that cloth is made from the finest and rarest (and most expensive) Vicuña in the world. And most of those footballers have three.
Because after all of his protestations, after all of his cajoling and attempted convincing that contractual decisions were based on footballing reasons, Theo just wanted his money. In bucket loads. The whole striker thing was as much as a smokescreen as Wolfsburg are pulling on the world right now.
Hey, you can’t begrudge him that I suppose, not if you wouldn’t try to do the same. But personally I wouldn’t have gone public with the whole ‘striker’ thing, I’d have just kept my mouth shut and did the deal. Because now he just looks a little silly.
Right now though, after all of the comments of playing right wing, he’s surely a shoe-in to start up front on the first game of the season, so his timing in his declaration is also a little weird I think. Perhaps he knows there is defeinitely something incoming up top and fancies that he’s got a better chance out wide. But let’s all be honest here, he’ll drop further down the pecking order if we sign Mahrez or Draxler, even further still if the Ox continues his storming pre-season.
Whatever happens over the next month, Theo will get a better idea of where he is in the squad and hopefully he reacts well to it, because in there somewhere is the guy that broke the 20+ goal barrier in 2011/12. We just have to hope he has the hunger to search him out.
Perhaps I’m a little soft, but I haven’t given up on him just get, although I’ll admit I’m coming close. If he starts up top against Liverpool and scores, then follows it by playing well against Leicester, then people will start to believe he can offer something again. But he has to hit the ground running.
I’m going to watch the games this weekend and see who looks up for the season. The hope is that all of them are, obviously, but I’ll have a particular eye on Theo and the Ox. It might just be their last chance to impress and nail down a regular spot in the team.
Catch y’all tomorrow.