So we’ve all been Ornsteined after he did his bit to whip up the Arsenal fan base yesterday by giving a lowdown on Arsenal’s dealings this summer and whilst it included a little on the potential ‘incomings’ it was the speculated ‘outgoings’ that had me happier after I’d read what he had to say.
Firstly on Torreira and that’s the biggest bit of news doing the rounds at the moment. I said a few days back that the Torreira rumours need to cool down a bit because frankly, they had me worried; no smoke without fire and all that jazz.
But it sounds to me as though Arsenal are playing it cool and that gives me cause for comfort. The idea that we might have spent the summer with a player agitating for a move and then getting lowballed by some bald charlatan in Milan was frustrating to say the least. But unlike the Arsenal of the past in which Arsène often accepted maybe less than market value for a player because he looked after the players interest, it seems as though at least in this instance, the club’s stance is firm. He’s under a long contract, they want to keep him, unless a mega bid comes in he’s here next season.
What this does do is underline that we need somebody to be fighting for that combative midfielder position and personally I’d be looking at Bielik or Chambers and having them as understudies so that if Torreira has a good season and adds an extra £10million to his price tag, we can get good money from him for next summer, and I say this because I think longer term Torreira will probably look to move on from Arsenal. The weather and other comments about culture, etc, all play their part and so what we need to do as a club is recognise that and make sure we get our timing right.
If we’ve got a ready-made replacement waiting in the wings next summer and then we are selling Torreira for between £60-£70million, then we’re getting into sensible football model territory, because that money can be reinvested in the team. It’s what Dortmund have been doing for years. A good player comes in, is moved on for double their worth a few years later, they get to remain competitive at the top (although the German league is so dominated by Bayern these days it’s a bit boring to be honest), whilst reinvesting the cashola back into getting good young players in that can flourish. Like Sancho. It’s what we were supposed to be doing with Sven as our transfer guru but that’s obviously all out the window now, unless Raul’s ‘contacts’ approach includes all of the names of youth team coaches across Europe, which I sincerely doubt.
It doesn’t mean we can’t still have the same ‘buy low, sell high’ mantra though. It just means there needs to be a proper model of succession planning for players and it’s why we need to see some of the younger players being given more of a shot this season. It’s why the club should be forcing Emery’s hand and ultimately why I think Freddie has been brought into the fold because he’ll be that link to the first team for these young players. We simply must be giving them a chance. When players are injured or suspended we want to see the likes of Nelson, Willock, Saka, Amechi, etc, rather than Mkhitaryan or Elneny. We want to see it because we can see a growth trajectory. Those two senior first teamers will give us little we don’t know about and what we do know about isn’t exactly inspiring.
So we need to be taking a bit more of a gamble and that’s what I’ve got my fingers crossed for in terms of pre season and next season.
But back to Torreira and the news of Arsenal’s position, coupled with the fact that Torreira will supposedly not agitate for a move this summer and doesn’t want to rock the Arsenal boat, means we’re in the driving seat and finally it feels like we have the means to control the outcome. If somebody wants to drop megabucks on him then great, otherwise we’ll keep our Uruguayan terrier, thank you very much.
And with that pleasing news I’ll leave you for another day.