Morning friends. Football friends. Compatriots who share the same love as me: lovers of The Arsenal. It’s midweek and we still might have three days to go until football returns, but the stories keep dropping relating to The Arsenal or, in this case relating to Jeff Reine-Adelaide. He should be netting Arsenal just under €3million just a year after he was sold to Angers for £2million, as his proposed move to Lyon appears to be almost complete. A player who always looked the part but never got the chance due to injuries and perhaps it’s my naturally pessimistic outlook, but I do wonder if there’s a French Gnabry on that cards here. Perhaps if his career takes off we can get him back at some stage but right now let’s just wish him well. €3million is an ok return but in a summer in which everyone was looking at each other and shrugging our shoulders as to where the money was going to come from, we seemed to have balanced the books pretty well. That cash along with the Bennacer sell-on cash from his move to Milan, seems like a useful bit of change at a time in which Champions League football – or more importantly the lack thereof – will help the club I reckon. Every little helps, as they say.
10% does seem a little low though and given that in one year Jeff’s value shot up by nearly an extra 500%, you’d have thought we’d have gone close to 20 or 30%. Then we’d really be laughing. But that was the old regime, the tired regime, the regime run by a PR house of cards that as soon as you start to look at more closely, was a hollow and uninspiring era. Glad Milan took him off our hands with every passing day. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Anyway, we’ve moved on, we seem like we’re in a good place at the moment and we’ve recouped a bit of cash trimming the fat of the squad. The hope is that the trimming isn’t done and if Arsenal can offload Mustafi and Elneny then it’ll look like a good summer of outgoings as well as incomings.
I do find it interesting that we were so efficient this summer, a summer in which we embraced the super agents as sellers as well as buyers and I think this is an important point too, because for so long it’s been a sticking point for Wenger and Arsenal as a club. Yes it’s not too nice to know that the Jorge Mendes’ of the world are taking a chunk of cash from the club but, given that we hadn’t been able to do it ourselves (sell on these players) for a few years, surely this was the right time to make that decision and to “join ’em” rather than try to “beat ’em” with our agent relationships? Every other Premier League Club is dealing with the Kia Joorabchian’s of this world, so we might as well be on the bus too, which might have explained how we’ve been able to be so efficient.
We’ve been clever with what money we’ve had to spend – as evidenced by the Swiss Ramble three he put up yesterday – and in return we’ve clawed back some cash so that by January we aren’t hearing reports of financial crisis at Arsenal. In January we were all scratching our heads with regards to the lack of incomings and the totally ineffective signing of Denis Suarez, but whether you believe the idea that they had this in their plan all along, you can’t argue that over the two windows it hasn’t worked out. Certainly on paper.
And even the loans appear to be starting on a good foot too, as Eddie scored last night against Salford City. It looked a perfect poachers goal too and although it was just the League Cup and against a newly promoted League Two side, getting off the mark early as a striker will be important for Nketiah. It’ll hopefully give Bielsa the desire to get him involved more often and having played last night he has to be hoping that Nketiah is good to go on Saturday.
I’ll admit I’ve not really ever felt like Nketiah was going to oust any of our strikers and if we’re going to start playing with one up top and two wide forwards it only puts him further down the pecking order. Nelson and Pepe will obviously be in line ahead of him even if he was to play as a wide forward but as we know, that’s not his natural position, so we need to see what he looks like after a number of games as a striker. If he lights up the Championship then that will be a big thing, but if he then can convert that into scoring goals in the Premier League, his time might come as Lacazette and Auba’s powers start to diminish in the coming years.
There’s a lot of work on his part that needs to be done before that though, so right now we can just be pleased he got off the mark during this loan spell, because it will do him the world of good.
And that’s about that from me for this wet and grim grey day in London. Have a marvellous one, whatever you’re doing, and I’ll catch you tomorrow.