So it appears the William Saliba deal from St Etienne is reaching its final conclusions and I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say “thank gawd”. It’s dragged on far too much with St Etienne insistent on that loan for an additional season. That’s an interesting one I have to say from their perspective. Sure, they get the player for another year but if he has a mammoth season and gets even better then that £26.5million could easily be increased by an additional £10million this time next year based on the current crazy figures quoted.
It’ll buy them some time to find a replacement that’s for sure and for Arsenal it will secure a very hot prospect who is rated across Europe. From that perspective it’s good news, but I wonder if there are an contingencies in place for us? For example if Saliba picks up an injury towards the end of next season that keeps him out for a year, what happens then? Arsenal still have to drop £26.5million for a player who won’t play for another year?
I know I’m being hypothetical on this but for a club with our meagre budget it seems that it’s a big chunk of change to be dropping for a player from another country league. It’s not like we have done loads to get fans flocking in their hundreds to buy Arsenal tickets. I’m not trying to dampen the excitement over this guy, I’m just pointing out a few considerations, because ultimately I think whichever way this deal is done it will be good for Arsenal in the long run. Plus there’s no way Arsenal will drop most of that £26.5million on St Etienne’s laps right now, which means their transfer budget will remain in tact relatively speaking. Which is just as well because with Mustafi supposedly out of the picture if you believe the reports about Emery having had enough of him, as well as the fact Koscielny wants to head back to France, we’re suddenly light on centre halves.
That’s why the noises about BIelik and Chambers make no sense to me. If we’re going to try to ditch Mustafi and Koscielny does head for the exit, we have Holding, Sokratis, Mavropanos has looked shaky, then Monreal is an auxiliary centre half. That’s it. We have seen how injuries can derail the season at Arsenal and Monreal is clearly on the decline, so surely one of Chambers or Bielik would be useful for the squad? Bilk has said he won’t go back to be an under-23 player but if we told him he’ll be one of four or five centre halves for the first team for the season, I reckon he’d probably fancy his chances of impressing in the upcoming season. So the links to AC Milan just seem a bit baffling to me. He’s just had an impressive under-21s world cup, so let’s give him a chance by getting him integrated in to the team for a few weeks of pre season and see how he gets on.
Chambers too is supposedly being touted around as available but the numbers are pathetic. We’d do better to get him in to the Arsenal team and see what he can do. He can fill in as a defensive midfielder, would probably be a better centre back option than Monreal, so why not give him a shot? For a manager in Emery who spoke about using some of the young squad players we already have, he’s hardly executed that particular election pledge from his manifesto when he pitched himself for the Arsenal job.
Get Chambers in, get Bielik in, give them a shot and if it doesn’t work you offload for cash next summer and bring in Saliba and one more if you have to. Seems a logical step to me.
Not really a lot else going on. The players head out to the States today or tomorrow so there won’t be much more than pictures of players waving as they step on to a plane for the States. Then we go in to PR fluff overdrive and that’s about it.
Right, i’m off so I’ll catch you all in the morrow and hopefully we have some news on that shiny new signing who we won’t see for another year in an Arsenal shirt.