Hey hey party people, hope you’re doing fine, on this Tuesday morn? The Management and I decided to decamp to the Algarve for a week and so having already eaten what feels like a metric ton of prawns, as well as glug down a fair ol’ bit of Sagres beer, I’m in a fine mood. Even if they might end up quarantining my ass when I get home. I’ll deal with that when I get back.
I have found myself constantly checking my Twitter feed already though, to see if there’s any news of any signings and with the latest noises now coming back to the potential arrival of Dani Ceballos back to the club next season, I think we can all agree how great a move that would be if we can get it over the line.
If we can get it done now then we’ll also have a player ready for the home game against West Ham after quarantine, so that’ll also be positive news for our team. As admirably as Elneny has performed in these two games we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, there is a clear gulf in class between Ceballos and the Egyptian, so I’m hoping we can be announcing it soon so we know the details around quarantine, etc.
It does make me wonder why we haven’t given games to Lacazette, Pepe, Torreira, etc, though. All of those players – Lacazette aside – head off for international duty this coming weekend, so that’s something, but I’d have expected them to all play some kind of part in the Community Shield. Kolasinac got on the pitch but none of the above players even made the bench so I’m wondering how on Earth we’re going to cobble together a side for that first away game against Fulham.
The up side is that Arteta is pumped enough belief into those that are playing, that we have some players who we’d be pulling our hair out with them getting on the pitch nine months ago, but now we seem to have such a belief in the system that Arteta is building, that we believe that some of these players have a redemption arc in their game that makes us a side capable of competing even with some of the names that got on the pitch on Saturday.
Like Reiss Nelson. I think he has plenty of technical ability and a good touch, but he looked to be wilting under Emery, his Arsenal career also looking like it was heading south too. Arteta has placed more faith in him but he did tail off a bit after lockdown so it’ll be interesting to see just what the managers plans are for the player. But he’s featured in both of the games so far this pre season and to me that suggests Arteta is prepared to use him. There are plenty of links away either on Lon or a transfer, but I’d be surprised if anything happened just yet, purely and simply because he’ll be fitter than many of the other senior players who have yet to play a minute.
Hopefully for those that aren’t going away on international duty this week the club will be arranging some behind closed doors friendlies. Watford are only next door so all we have to do there is walk round and knock for them to see if they’re coming out to play!
The other confirmation we got yesterday was Mkhitaryan to Roma on a permanent deal, confirmed by Arsenal, the player and Roma themselves. It will go down as one of the worst swap deals in the history of the English game I think and with Alexis also pocketing a small fortune and delivering little at United before having to be paid off to go to Inter, Mkhi heads to Italy too having shown only the finest of flickers of a spark of the player that I wanted all those years ago from Dortmund. As I said after a few months of him as an Arsenal player, Jose Mourinho broke him, Wenger tried to revive him, but we never really got the player we hoped for and rather than get any money for a guy still under contract at the club, we’re releasing from his contract because of the exorbitant wages that we agreed to under the Gazidis regime. Crazy really.
What it does show though, also with the fact we’re offloading Sokratis for peanuts, is that we really don’t have much cash at all and are desperately trying to find ways to reduce the costs of players. That would be so much easier if we were in a market that was buying and selling but most clubs just aren’t doing it any more. You can tell that by the frankly ridiculous offer Valencia are supposed to have made for Guendouzi. I’m sure I’ve read that they have put a £16million bid to Arsenal. Valencia who have no money, putting embarrassing figures together like that for a player who is a French international? Do me a favour. I hope any bids like that don’t even get a response from the Arsenal hierarchy.
But it shows why we haven’t moved so far; we have to sell before we buy and our assets just aren’t really that marketable in a summer in which clubs who would be buying them would be willing to stump up. If we had a young asset that most of Europe’s top clubs would be interested in then it would be different. If Guendouzi has lit up the Premier League last season and clubs were now sniffing like PSG, we’d probably get some proper cash. But the big clubs aren’t biting and so it’s the smaller ones that we have to look at. None of them have the finances in place to take a punt on a Guendouzi which is why Arteta is making noises about re-integrating him back into the team. Because he doesn’t really have much more of a choice.
So I think unless we start to see some news hotting up on the outgoings, we’ll likely not see any incomings for a while, which means a quiet one today I predict. Unless we finally get the Aubameyang extension we’ve all been waiting for.
Catch you guys tomorrow.