So we’re edging closer towards the Pepe signing as – if rumours are to be believed – he’s due for a medical at some stage either today or tomorrow and despite the fact that nothing is secret any more and so we all know chapter and verse about this deal, I’m still excited, and I think I’ll continue to be excited even if/when we see the player parading in an Arsenal shirt.
It’s like I said yesterday on the radio show; this is a statement of intent from The Arsenal and that is pleasing for any fan to see. Yes we have Europa League, yes we are hampered by our financial model, but this is a way in which we can maintain it via the instalments method which hopefully won’t destroy or cripple us for future years.
And like I said yesterday I find it fascinating that Palace’s seemingly hard stance on getting money up front for a player in Zaha, has meant we look elsewhere to a player with potentially a higher ceiling, younger, who has excited fans even more than Zaha. Lille’s willingness to be more open to a deal may suit them, us, as well as the player and the hope now is that he can hit the same heights in an Arsenal shirt if/when he signs.
It’s still a gamble though. If Pepe had just dropped 22 goals in the Premier League for a mid-table club then you wouldn’t call it as much of a gamble, but he may not click and if that happens then we’re paying for a player for a number of seasons that hasn’t worked out.
Now, I don’t think that will happen, so I’m not going to dwell on it, but a big transfer fee sometimes doesn’t always mean you’re getting a megastar.
Take Shkodran Mustafi, the £35million signing who yesterday was supposedly linked with a €30million move to Monaco. In this market it’s difficult to see a player’s value decrease but in Mustafi we clearly have one that the club want to ship on. Supposedly Roma are also interested and with all of the fan ire towards the player you can see why it might be better for us to part ways. The booing before he’s even got on to the pitch is over the top but it appears this particular unsavoury part of football is just something we have to accept.
I will admit to having booed the team at the end of performances when they’ve played appallingly, because it is the only way in which I can show my annoyance, but nobody gets that from me before they’ve even set foot on the pitch. It’s just completely counter-productive and, to be honest, I just find it a bit weird. Just before kick off should be when any fans emotions are at their most heightened and if anybody is like me, then my brain is focused more on what might unfold during the subsequent 90, as well as the impending fear if we lose. The last thing on my mind is booing.
Even if a player comes on as a sub. I might not agree, I might not like it, but I am not going to boo that decision.
Anyway, Mustafi might be moved on, it will boost our coffers and hopefully help to find some investment in either a right back or another centre back. That’s where we should be looking and that should now be priority number one because as it stands we’re a Sokratis and/or Chambers injury away from Monreal and Mustafi as our central defensive pairing. Neither would be ideal let’s be honest.
But let’s not finish on a negative because at the moment there feels like there’s a lot to be positive about and Lacazette has been pictured training without a protective boot. I guess that’s as to be expected because I doubt that the football authorities would allow him on the pitch with said boot. But that he is up and about proves Emery was right in not being concerned and thankfully – hopefully – that means that in a week and a half’s time he’ll be ready to go against Newcastle. Given that we could possibly going ‘ALL THE FORWARDS’ this season that’s probably just as well!
We’re going to need as many of our big offensive players as possible because as it stands this season is going to be one in which we ship a fair few goals but, hopefully, we’ll also be scoring a fair few too.
And on that somewhat positive note – and it is because goals are why we watch football – I shall bid you adieu.
Catch you all tomorrow.