So here we are, Tuesday the 15th September, halfway through this ninth month of the year, and STILL no signing confirmation of Aubameyang. We’ve even had Wrighty speak to Pap Aubameyang to get his son to sign.
It’s all becoming a bit silly now, isn’t it? I mean the whole world seems to acknowledge that the deal is done and yet because it’s not on the official website, there is no confirmation and therefore we’re all still a little nervous. Because until the deed is done…well…it isn’t done, is it?
This must just be a case of maximising the PR exposure now but even as I type this in my head i’m thinking “Chris, don’t say these things, it’ll only jinx it!” which just serves to highlight just how jumpy we Arsenal fans can get, I suppose!
Hopefully we get some news today. I certainly think we’ll get a confirmation that Emi Martinez has joined Aston Villa as that was expected yesterday but wasn’t confirmed. The noises are that it was all done on Sunday and I suspect Arsenal are just putting the finishing touches on this because I think Villa will want Martinez to go straight in as number one, but they don’t play until next Monday so from their perspective the difference between a day probably doesn’t really make that much. In the meantime there were reports from an Icelandic outfit DV that Runar Runarsson has already had his medical at Arsenal and would sign for £1.5million and if true, it sounds like it’s a quick deal and an easy one designed so that Arsenal can take the vast bulk of the £20million Martinez fee and put it on the ‘save for a midfielder’ pile that they are building. We obviously wait for confirmation on both of those but providing the ‘keeper doesn’t chuck everything into his own net he’ll be a clear number two to Leno. And at that price I don’t think anyone is expecting him to ever really challenge. It will also mean that all he has to do is his bit in the League Cup and earlier stages of the Europa’s, whilst Bernd will take over for any of the higher profile games in all competitions. Not ideal as these days you want two top class ‘keepers, but that’s the COVID world we live in; by that I mean that so many clubs have had their revenues slashed and so compromises need to be made and this is clearly one of ours.
The other player who the noises are hotting up for is Lucas Torreira, with Torino supposedly keen to bring him in, although this ideal of a two year loan deal is baffling to me and I have no idea why Arsenal would accept that. If we’re prepared to let him go for £22million – which as I’ve said a few times already is a very low fee in my opinion – then letting him go on loan for two years won’t help that at all. At the end of this season he will have two year’s left on his deal. If he left on a two year loan deal it would mean by the time that finishes it would be just one year left on his contract. If you’re Arsenal you are not going to send a guy out on loan for a couple of year’s only to then have his value decrease because he’s in the final year of his contract when he comes back. It would be madness.
The only way I could see this as logical is if the buying club pay a couple of £8million loan fees, plus his wages, with a further £8 – £10million at the end. But there is still some risk from Arsenal’s perspective here because if it doesn’t work out the buying club can just chuck him back our way. So the only way I’d say this is attractive is if Arsenal say “look, you can have him on loan, but that means we want the final value of the player to be closer to the £25million we paid for him”. If that was the case then you could understand Arsenal sanctioning the deal. So perhaps you’d have two £8million loan fees, then a compulsory purchase of £10million at the end. If that happened then you could say that you can see the sense from Arsenal’s perspective. The buying club have to make any loan offer a very attractive one from Arsenal’s perspective though, to countenance any move.
It’s not even like Torreira is on massive money compared to some of the other players in our team. He’s on an estimated £75k-per-week. There are far more wage bill issues than that in our team and so flipping him with the argument that it’s cash off the wage bill doesn’t really wash given our total wage bill. I guess we have to see what shakes loose this week though, because, apparently there’s a €12million deal from Torino with another €12million at the end of the agreement. Personally I hope it’s not an obligation to buy because I think Torreira will have a good season and then if that’s the case and it isn’t an obligation to buy, we could probably turn that second €12million fee into double that next summer.
Like I say though, this is all just speculation and guesswork at the moment, so we just have to see what happens over the coming days. There’s going to be lots of those types of noises happening, including how West Ham want to pay us £5million in a loan fee for Holding for a year. That’s a decent fee if they’re paying all his wages too and given that we have so many centre halves it would make sense. But the source is the ol’ Current Bun so I trust that about as much as I trust Boris Johnson to keep to his word when signing an internationally binding legal document. It would make sense though. We’ll be loosing Sokratis, Mustafi and LUiz next summer. If Rob goes away to a Premier League club and does well, he can come back and fight for a place and if we offload Chambers too this transfer window – or even in January – then next summer we’ll have Saliba, Gabriel, Mari and Holding as our four centre halves. So we’d go from an army surplus supply of them to potentially needing some more understudies!
We’ll have to see though. Arteta has publicly said he wants Rob to stay so whether that’s a ploy to drive his value up or not I don’t know. But he does need to play a hefty amount of games this season to see if he can actually be a decent option for us at centre half because despite what Arteta is saying, I can’t see him getting 30 games in total this season for us, can you?
I’ll leave it there for today I think. Have a good one and I’ll catch you in the morrow.