Welcome to Tuesday, which in my head, is actually a Monday because of the bank holiday. Don’t worry, it’s definitely Tuesday. I checked. Twice.
And it seems as though the end of the transfer window will be greeted with confirmation on the two deals that Arsène pretty much confirmed on Saturday, so I’d expect to see something on the official website at some stage today. Pictures, interviews, hashtags and welcome video montages, are all that’s left in the confirmation of our new recruits. So there’ll be a bit of that this morning and then something for us transfer-hungry fans to swipe through in the afternoon, no doubt.
It’s all rather exciting, seeing a player arrive at an airport, isn’t it? That’s what we were treated to with Lucas Perez touching down in Heathrow, but even if it does wipe away a bit of the surprise and delight when the deal is officially announced on Arsenal.com, it’s still good to see the validation that the club has done what is needed to get the squad in a position where numbers aren’t an issue, but the playing style and tactics are.
That’s where Arsène will have to earn his crust now. We’ve got the players in, he now has to deliver a team that can compete for the title and on multiple cup fronts. Good luck to him I say, because I want to see Arsenal lift something big come May, and I know you do too.
So the squad is taking shape, but it appears there are some trimmings that need to happen, which I can understand. Yesterday the story broke that Middlesbrough were on the verge of signing him on a year’s long loan deal. To me, this seems like a good thing for all parties, Calum included. He needs game time. If you’re a regular reviewer of my ramblings, then you’ll know that I’m a big fan, and I still remain so. I think he has the potential to be a future England centre half. But he needs Premier League experience and if he can get 30 to 40 starts for Boro under his belt, then that will only help him, potentially us too. I hope Arsène finds some faith in him. He seemed reluctant to use him last season but when he did in the second half of the season, Chambers played well I thought. What he needs is the feel of regular football. Rob Holding has been impressive and he’s the man of the moment right now, but with Mustafi arriving, Holding will drop to fourth choice centre half when Gabriel comes back and when Big Per returns I suspect we’ll see a loan deal for the youngster too, so Chambers needs to be getting that experience now. I’ve heard many people say that it’s probably curtains for Chambers at Arsenal, but I’m not so sure you know, because I wonder what a successful season at another Premier League club will do for him. If Gabriel comes back from injury and has both Mustafi and Holding in front of him due to their form, for example, how do we not know that next summer it will be the end for the Brazilian’s career rather than Chambers’.
Football moves quickly and players positions at a club change as rapidly as the weather in this country. So I guess a lot will depend on whether Chambers can establish himself and play well, with the same going for Gabriel, who must surely be wondering what his options will be when he returns.
Of course Calum is not the only player with a loan-shaped question mark over his head. This morning I’ve woken up to stories that Jack Wilshere might be heading out on loan to get more game time. This is a strange one to me. Jack has spent the best part of two years out of the Arsenal team through injury. He’s had a decent summer pre-season getting ready for the new season and was never going to walk back in to the first team. I get that he’s probably quite eager to play football as quickly as possible, but Arsène has always shown how much he loves him by trying to give him as much game time as possible, so I’m not sure where the value comes from a loan personally.
To me, Jack needs to show that he can battle his way into an Arsenal team, then retain his place, rather than head out on loan. Big Fat Sam might have binned him from his international squad, but most of the journos I read admit he’s our most talented midfielder, so it’s clearly just a case of regaining that fitness. Then I think Arsène would find a spot in his team for him. His pathway may be blocked by a heavily congested midfield at Arsenal, but if Jack can stay fit for a couple of months, I’m sure we’d start seeing him more regularly.
Most of the papers have been carrying this story this morning, so there is clearly something in it, but I’d love to know if it’s being driven by the Wilshere camp or the Arsenal camp, given that somebody has clearly briefed the press. Are both working in tandem to find him a loan deal – hopefully abroad – before tomorrow evening? I don’t know. All I do know is that his circumstances (injuries, etc) make him a more complex case than most loan deals. Clubs won’t want to fork out a fortune on a loan fee on a player who could break down halfway through the season. And Wilshere will be on a decent enough wedge to ensure that Arsenal would probably have to pay some of his salary if he goes abroad. So whilst going out on loan might be an option, I can’t see how it happens within the next 24 hours. We’ll just have to see how this one pans out.
And on that note, I’ll duck out for the day, ahead of another day in the Big Smoke. Laters peeps.