It’s feels good, doesn’t it? It gives a buzz to the fans, but if you believe what you read and hear, it gives a buzz to the people who work at Arsenal, as well as the players. With these two additions the squad is now looking quite stocked. We’ve just bought a German international to challenge an upcoming English star, a Brazillian and a former-German international for a spot alongside the excellent Laurent Koscielny. It’s the depth we’ve wanted for a while.
Shokdran Mustafi is a guy with pedigree. He’s a guy that’s signed at the same age as Koscielny was at Arsenal – 24 – and he’s got an opportunity to come in and establish himself as an Arsenal regular for the foreseeable future. He’s versatile too, having also played at right back, so it means that were anything to happen to Hector, we have an option there too. Hey, if you can be selected at right back for the world champions, you aren’t going to be too shabby in that position are you?
The only shame about the signing is that he’s now off on international duty for over a week, so he won’t get much chance to meet and ‘bed in’ with his new club teammates. But hey, if that’s the main disappointing factor today, then the club have done alright.
For Lucas Perez, however, this international break probably couldn’t have come at a better time. He’s now got the best part of a week and a half to meet and greet people at the training ground, get to know his new surroundings, train with those not on international duty, so when the home game comes around against Southampton he’ll be in a decent shape to maybe even make a telling contribution at some stage.
I like what he gives us; it’s something different up top and whilst I don’t think he’ll bag himself 40 goals this season, if he can compliment the attacking trio and offer something different to Giroud, then that can only be a good thing.
We have options now. I’m not just talking by physical numbers, but by playing styles too. Think about how Gabriel and Koscielny are different to Big Per and Chambers/Holding. Or how Coquelin is a good ball winner, but his distribution is nowhere near the level of Santi or Xhaka. Or how about Iwobi’s unorthodox running and dribbling style, in comparison to Theo’s pace and desire to be off the ball. Perez and Giroud too, seem like players at different ends of the spectrum. What this means is that we can see the manager flex his side based on what he thinks the opponents will do. He has options to change things and that can only be good.
Whether Arsène does change on a game-by-game basis still remains to be seen though. He’s had a lot of success historically by finding a small collective of people to rely on and make sure that they get in to a rythmn. He’s a big fan of consistency of first XI, is Arsène, but perhaps the way that this squad is shaping up is a tacit admission from the manager that a more flexible approach to the team on a week-by-week basis is the new world.
We shall have to wait and see.
Of course there will be outgoings today I think, what with it being that dastardly of things, transfer deadline day. So expert Sky Sports to over dramatise everything, expert their stupid yellow ensembles to blind your eyes, but most of all, prepare yourself for some outgoings.
Jack Wilshere. Probably the most high-profile departure potentially happening today. I’ll be sad if that happens because I know Wenger rates him massively and if he stayed fit and fought for his place, I’m sure Arsène would find a spot for him, but he wants game time and by the sounds of it he wants it now. I hope that any loan deal that could potentially be done today, is one overseas and not in the PremierLeague, because seeing Jack in another English teams shirt would just be weird.
Personally, I don’t know how much game time he’ll get in Juve, if they’re the current favourites. He’s definitely good enough, no doubt, but surely he’d be in the same position as he’s currently in with us? Surely he’d have to establish himself and that will probably take a month or six weeks before that happens. That could potentially be the same time frame as he might get at Arsenal. Particularly given our injury problems that reoccur every single season.
Serve Gnabry. This one is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. Bitter because the noises are that he didn’t want to sign a new deal, so Arsenal are forced to sell him. Werder Bremen are due to sign him permanently today and I hope, really hope, that we’ve slapped in a lovely Spanish-style buyback option in two years time, because I think Gnabry could be one of the best players in world football if he stays fit enough. If we’ve got a buyback, it would avoid the farce of having to pay a super-inflated price like United have just done. Please Arsenal, tell me there’s a buyback…
Calum Chambers. Boro’ feels like a good fit for him. He’ll get games, he’ll learn under Karanka, and hopefully when he arrives back to Arsenal next summer, he’ll be banging down the door to be considered a regular. I still believe he’s got it in him. I’d love to see him as an England squad player by this time next year, with a place in the Arsenal team too.
Mathura Debuchy. You might remember him from games such as Shefffield Wednesday away, or Stoke at home, but what he isn’t, is playing any time soon. Mustafi’s arrival hammers the final nail in his Arsenal career and if he doesn’t go today, then I’d be shocked. But not too shocked, because he’s probably on such an inflated wage, half the teams in Europe won’t go near him. That’s the problem with all of this money in the game I suppose; it effectively creates a market within itself, as Arsène has already said.
I’ve always rated him and it’s a shame how his career has nose dived. Had he stayed fit he’d probably still be a regular in the team, but then we wouldn’t have the emergence of Hector, so from an Arsenal perspective we’re OK. It’s hard not to feel just a little sorry for him though, isn’t it?
Whether we’ll see any other movement I’m not so sure. I do think the disappearance of Gnabry will leave us slightly shorter on wide options, but it’s hardly a crisis.
Let’s see how this day pans out.
Catch y’all tomorrow.