Still drinking it in folks, still drinking it in…
The sun is shining a little more brightly, we’ve had a good four days since the cup win, yet there is still so much delicious content to feast on everywhere. Other bloggers, podcasters, the mainstream media. Heck, I even watched a video of some gobby Spurs fan who made noises about Arteta never winning a trophy and how Mourinho was going to do it, because that’s what he does. Apparently. Then I see a video this morning that has apparently gone on YouTube of this oik shouting outside of a church about how it’s unfair and they don’t win things but we do.
Well, yeah, of course.
We’ve had a fair bit of stick from them lot in recent years as the decline at our club set in, but we have got some silverware to show it so we can’t complain too much. They will win something eventually I suspect, just by the law of probability, but until that time we have to continue to do what every good rival fan does: bleat about their failure and our success. It is the only way in football.
But enough about them what leave a bad taste in my mouth, let’s talk about Arsenal and as you’d probably expect, we have a situation in which now that we know our fate and European football has been confirmed, we have a plethora of rumours circulating the internets that we have to navigate. The Willian one seems the hottest right now, but given that I spoke about it yesterday and given that nothing will most likely happen until after Chelski have played on Saturday in their Champions League game against Bayern, I suspect it will just bubble along now until we know that their season is over. I suspect Willian won’t even be a part of the team because of ‘injury’ but with what happened to Pulisic Lampard might have a similar situation to Wenger when he played the Ox knowing he was out the door, feeling that he doesn’t really have a choice. Chelski are three down at home and need to pull something special out of the hat and if they don’t do that then the player will most likely make his move. Whether that’s to The Arsenal that remains to be seen but until we know that their season is truly over then we won’t know what the players’ movements are.
The other noises bubbling under the surface are of this Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes. Apparently Lille are ready to cash in for a defender who cost €3million Euros three years ago and having developed at the club we nabbed Pepe from, you can see why the link might be there, because Lille have done business with us before. The only challenge we might face is how close United are to getting him because apparently they’ve joined us in the queue and with Champions League football they might be a more attractive option. It is a little frustrating that so many of these European clubs are able to pick up these players but we seem to then have to she out a fortune just a few years later and you do wonder about scouting networks in England and how good they actually are. But I guess it is just where the money is and so these mainland European clubs have a chat with English teams and instantly know they can add an extra zero on the end because we will pay it.
But if he’s as good as they say – and at €30million with Napoli having already sniffed around him as a possible replacement for Koulibaly if he moves on, then you can see why Arsenal and possibly even United have been interested. I know nothing of the guy because French football is terribly dull to me, but it is clear that we do need a centre half. The only problem is that we have an army surplus supply of them right now. So unless Arsenal manage to offload Sokratis, Holding, then one of the injured lads (Mustafi, Chambers and Mari all out at the moment), I can’t see why we’d be shelling out such a big chunk on a player in which we are already overstocked in positions. I know that the ability of so many of those players is questionable at the back, but Mustafi and Chambers aren’t passing a medical anywhere any time soon so I’m just struggling to see how it happens.
Of course the one area that I haven’t seen any more rumours of in terms of outgoings is midfield. We’ve seen that Emery wants Guendouzi at Villareal and that Trabzonspor are interested in Elneny, but these clubs are traditionally big spenders and so I can’t really see us generating mega bucks for them. The most TRabzonspor have spent on a player in their history is $14.4million according to Transfermarkt. Elneny won’t fetch anywhere near that. We won’t even get the money we paid for him. But to get him off the books and get a couple of million banked would probably be about the best we can hope for I think.
As for Guendouzi, well, that’s a more interesting one. Their club record signing is $26.95million for a player – again according to TransferMarkt – so the idea that they will shell out anything close to the circa £40million that Arsenal fans seem to be universally accepting, seems fanciful. The noises are about a loan at the moment but for the club to do that they weaken their hand massively come next summer when he has just two year’s left on his contract. So unless Villarreal come in and offer something like £10million for a loan fee, then an additional £20 – £30million at the end, plus paying all of his £40k-per-week salary, I don’t really know why Arsenal would sanction any deal. It is clear the guy has no future at the club so we might as well just be opting for a sale above any loan. Unless the loan has a compulsory purchase at the end of it, with the view that the COVID situation means clubs don’t have the cash and so are just deferring paying transfer fees for a season. In that instance it makes sense and I’d probably do it. We don’t need spoilt brats in the Colney creche any more. It’s time we started acting like a proper club and our moves to oust trouble makers like Guendouzi are fine by me.
Like I said yesterday the good news is that most clubs have to act fast now so we’ll likely see movement a little quicker than usual summers (we hope!).
Catch you all tomorrow.