How desperate have we all been for Arsenal to start behaving in a way where we won’t just get rolled over by other clubs?
I am of course talking about the supposed rejection from Arsenal yesterday of the Maitland-Niles bid from Wolves, who are said to have bid well below the £20million asking price, which some of us (me included) believe that’s the minimum we should be asking for.
For too often we have over paid and under sold on our players and whilst there are some outliers (Oxlade-Chanberlain for £40million going into the last year of his contract, or Iwobi for £35milliin last summer) over recent years, broadly speaking we have not managed to extract maximum value from our squad in terms of outgoings.
So I think most of us are delighted that Arsenal are standing firm. Most clubs know we are overstocked with players and they know we need the money more than most because of our reliance on match day income that just isn’t there for the foreseeable future, but when Ben Chilwell goes for £50million, expecting a player like Maitland-Niles for something around £15million is taking the piss in my opinion.
What holding out for more does as well for Arsenal – in terms of selling other assets this transfer window – is ensure that other clubs don’t just massively low-ball us for other players too. We know we have to sell but that doesn’t mean it’s a fire sale at the club. Sokratis, Guendouzi, probably Holding, will surely all be offloaded this summer but clubs like Napoli or Leeds are going to have to come up with market rate values for these players. If Leeds think they can get Holding for a couple of million quid, for example, I hope that Arsenal give them short shrift.
It also means clubs like Fiorentina – who supposedly want Torreira – will have to pay more than what we paid for him if they want him. I suspect Arteta’s view on the Uruguayan is that he can still use him and in terms of this Saturday’s game against Liverpool in the Community Shield, I suspect we’ll see him at some stage. With no Ceballos deal confirmed there aren’t too many midfield options so by playing Torreira we show some of the Italian clubs sniffing around him and his agent, that he is a first teamer and to prize him away there needs to be serious cash on the table. We can’t be having Italian clubs pleading poverty on us. Everyone bar City, PSG and Chelski are in the same boat. So cough up our shut up.
I do wonder if there will be more movement this week though. Especially for players from abroad. If you think about the quarantine rules alone, to get medicals done for the start of the season clubs will need to get players in this week so that they are ready and have done their isolation for two weeks.
The other option of course is finding players already in this country, which is another reason why when we receive domestic bids we should stay firm. We don’t want to be strengthen teams in our leagues with players unless we get a decent price, so for me that means we stand firm, reject low-ball bids, then see how this extended transfer window plays out.
We do need clubs to be buying rather than offering loans though. Supposedly Newcastle are interested in Holding on loan and personally I just don’t see what good that does us. According to TransferMarkt his contract expires in 2023 and he’s worth £8.5million. That seems probably about right for me but at 24-years-old a season at Newcastle and another year off his contract won’t add too much value to us if we are looking at selling. It’s also a gamble because if he doesn’t exactly have a stormer of a season then next summer we’ll probably be selling for less than that fee because we know he’s into the last two years of his contract.
That’s where we’re at with Chambers now actually. He’s got two years to go on his deal, is 26 and we would probably sell if he was fit. TransferMarkt has him at £13million which seems a little low but if Fulham are hot on him then a £15million bid is probably about right. He’s due back in training and ready for selection by October, which is then end of the window, so I wonder if we’ll see something by a team like Fulham then.
Lots of balls in the air at the moment it seems and we’re just waiting for some of them to come down before we can have a better idea of how our season is going to pan out.
Wonder if we’ll get some news of some kind today…