I suspected there might be a little bit of noise one way or the other yesterday – with regards to the Aubameyang situation – especially as Dortmund we’re playing Freiburg. The first bit of noise came from the team selection and with Auba in from the start it caused some to go into overdrive panic mode, as many suddenly thought that the deal was dead in the water.
I can understand the concern from some sections of our fan base. We have a pretty terrible record of getting transfers done smoothly when they seem to play out in the press and it’s usually at this point in which we run a mile. But even though Auba started for Dortmund, their sporting director Michael Zorc went on TV and released a statement essentially saying that they’d rejected two Arsenal bids, were open to selling him, but only if the conditions were right and favourable for Dortmund.
Clever, very clever, I must say. People in the press and us in social media have spent last week talking about how we have the stronger hand here. The Mislintat connection, the fact the player wants out, the fact he didn’t play last week, the fact that nobody else seemed to be sniffing around him. Supposedly it was all in our favour.
But yesterday Dortmund swung it back and wrestled more control here by playing him and making that statement before the game.
The statement was a big “we’re easy, Arsenal, you guys are the ones that need to meet us not the other way around”. Why would you play a player that you wanted to sell like they did yesterday? Well, you’d do it if you weren’t sure any dale was going to happen and in those circumstances, act like it’s business as usual.
Imagine if after the FA Cup final the club would have said “Alexis is for sale and we will entertain offers on our terms” – it would have had a scramble of clubs after him and we probably could have got north of the £60million City offered. It would have also given us time to replace and integrate said new player into the team. That’s what an organised and clever club do and so I am certainly not going to chastise Dortmund for their stance.
They’ve been clever with Aubameyang too. They’ve said “look, it can happen, but they need to pay the price and if they don’t, we’ll give you any transfer in the summer ok?” and sensibly Auba has said yes. He can stay at Dortmund, bag a load of goals for the rest of the season, the fans will be irate but know that at least they have an elite player to do the business for them for another few months. Then collect a lot of cash for him.
What Arsenal need to do now – and I mean literally now because we’re three days from the end of the window, is get to the table and say “ok, let’s do this at €xx amount”. I would hope we start to hear some noises from tomorrow but this is Arsenal and despite what Arsène says about deadline day, you do feel like it’s going to go to that, which is risky and stupid but you can just see it happening.
We just have to hope not because the closer it gets to deadline day the more unlikely the deal will be. Dortmund will want a replacement brought in and if we give them no time then they will pull the plug on this deal.
If that happens then it will just be another example to the fans as to why the current set up is not fit for purpose in the modern game. It will just be another one in the long line of cock ups that the administration at Arsenal have delivered.
I hope it doesn’t come to that though. I hope the deal gets over the line because if it does we’ll have a fan base that can look at the uncomfortableness that was the Alexis situation and come out the other side of this window looking stronger than when we went in to it.
Come on Arsenal, do the deal.