Morning folks and welcome to another week. It’s a busy one for the Arsenal this week, as we face off against both Leicester and Liverpool away from home in both League Cup and Premier League, so there’ll be plenty to chew over in the coming days.
But not only that, it also feels like the transfer market is hotting up a bit. There were plenty of noises from multiple sources yesterday talking about how Lucas Torreira is now wanted by Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone. That makes sense. If they’re going to potentially lose somebody like Partey, then getting in a replacement becomes a priority. Torreira is a fellow South American, a guy who loves a little bit of sh*thousery and also is the terrier-like player you’d expect Simeone to love. It feels like that one fits quite well.
So now all that needs to happen is the two clubs need to meet each other in the middle. If Atletico Madrid are so steadfast in their “we’re not selling Partey unless we get €50million”, then surely Arsenal can also come to the table with “well we’ve been batting away Italian teams for €24million deals. We want €30million for Lucas” in their negotiations. And if we’re then talking about a ‘player-plus-cash’ approach, then the value is just wooden dollars anyway, right? If we therefore set up a quick Zoom call with Madrid and tell them a €30million footballer plus €20million in cash hits their €50million requirements, then we can surely come to some kind of agreement that means they are happy (they get money plus what I think would be a very good player for them at a decent age profile), plus we are happy because we finally get the Partey deal over the line.
There’s talk that Atletico want a one year loan deal and if they’re doing that because they think Torreira might be a risk and not work out, then fine, but I just hope that if that is true then Arsenal are asking for a chunky loan fee. In addition to that, Arsenal should be telling Atletico that we’ll consider that, but they’ll need to drop their fee demands for Partey. Imagine if we agreed that Torreira could go on loan but they had to sell us Partey for €40million and pay all of his wages That would represent a good approach for both teams. We get a player for a reduced fee, they get a replacement, plus we aren’t paying a chunk of a players wages. The benefit of that too from our perspective is that if Torreira has a stormer of a season, Atletico are going to want him back and then we’re holding all the cards and can command a decent fee for the player. Or even let the football world know that he’s up for sale.
So there are many ways in which this could work out well for us but the most important element is that we negotiate properly and don’t get shafted. Such has been our poor negotiation approach that I hear stories of swap deals or teams holding firm with us on their players whilst lowballing us with ours, and I think that we’re bound to get shafted somehow. That’s quite pessimistic I know, but we’ve had plenty of examples over the years of us not negotiating properly, so that’s why I am thinking that we might find ourselves not doing any good deals.
If I was to look at this with the glass half full approach you could argue that because we haven’t just accepted a load of low bids for players, instead preferring to hold our ground as the transfer window ticks on, it shows that we’re not prepared to be given the run around by other clubs. The noises over Italian teams and Torreira have boarded on embarrassing really; talks of two year loan deals and then €16million fees at the end belies the talent of the player as well as how high he is regarded in Italy too. So I’m pleased we’ve stayed strong but it does feel like there needs to be a tipping point at some stage. We just don’t have the cash to do the deals we want to do and as we saw at the weekend our creative midfield options need to be improved on. I suspect it is like the old dominoes metaphor in that we need a couple to fall before ‘we move’. So we’re talking the likes of Sokratis, possibly Chambers, maybe even smaller deals like Balogun to Sheffield United, added to the pile that saw Chuba Akpom net us some cash for signing for Middlesbrough over the weekend. If the rumours are true then Arsenal get £1.1million of the £2.75million that Boro paid PAOK for his signature. That’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things but if you get four or five of those deals done then you could be looking gathering up £10 – £20million and then you’ve got enough to approach a team like Lyon and test their resolve for someone like Aouar.
Anyway, dominoes n’that, so hopefully we start to get some kind of news at some stage today. Hopefully we also get some kind of press conference today too because Arteta and his team take the trip up to face Leicester tomorrow so we should be given an indication on who is travelling and how much rotation he’s going to provide. My gut feel is that it’ll be a lot. We have a big squad and there are plenty of first team squad players not making the bench, so it’ll be interesting to see how much info he gives us today. Ozil to be in the squad? Guendouzi? Cedric? Will we get confirmation of Runarsson or is he still self isolating? What about the likes of Willock, Nelson or even Eddie? You’d expect this to be quite a decent team that is given the nod tomorrow and so in some ways it’ll be exciting to see what they can offer.
But that’s for deliberation later on the socials and tomorrow in the match preview. Until then I’ll leave you to enjoy the rest of your Monday.