The volume of games might be coming thick and fast, but so too appear the rumours of who we might be after when the window opens in four days time.
Do we all have the energy for it though? In the last few months a lot of the joy was sucked out of my football watching experience, so the idea that we’ve got a month of rumour and conjecture to come on top of what still may be a difficult time is hardly filling me with excitement.
I must say though, at least some of the rumours that have emerged are a little different to what we’ve been hearing over the last few weeks. A couple of weeks ago it was a Xhaka/Erikson swap deal which hardly lights a fire of excitement, does it? The Dane has pretty much failed in Italy, is hardly the kind of athletic footballer that at 28 is going to improve, as well as the feeling of repeating our mistakes for going after older players. It doesn’t feel like a ‘going in the right direction’ move for The Arsenal and that’s probably why so many Arsenal fans have been a bit ‘meh’ about it.
Thankfully it appears as though that rumour has subsided a bit and in its place we’ve got noises that Arsenal have enquired about Julian Brandt at Dortmund. There’s a few names on this list in the Athletic and Brandt is on that list. Maybe it’s just because he has a similar name to Draxler, but it feels like a similar link there and whilst I’d love to believe we’re close, the player hasn’t really been at Dortmund too long. He signed a year and a half ago and has played 22 games this season and whilst he doesn’t seem to have lit up the place in Germany, I’d be surprised if they were willing to part with him just yet.
It feels – and sounds – like he’s similar to what we have in Pepe. Not in position, but in the fact he was signed for decent money, hasn’t really caught fire at any stage and by the sound of it is really inconsistent. Nevertheless I would still be more tempted by a move like that over the likes of Christian Erikson.
The other names in the article are Nkunku, who it very much feels like we should have been going after a little more than…ahem…Denis Suarez two January’s ago, but again he’s a player who I’d be surprised if we could afford now. He’s got eight goals and 20 assists in 60 games for Leipzig and to prize him away would take a heck of a lot of coin. He’s also a player with whom I’d be surprised if Leipzig would be happy to lose on loan too.
Buendia is seen as the other guy who everyone wants and Norwich’s promotion hopes no doubt will need him to remain with the number of assists and goals he’s got this season. He’s the type of guy who you’d think would jump at the chance of The Arsenal but he has a four year contract and that means Norwich can afford to ply hardball to inflate the price. That means even if we are interested we’d probably have to pay over the odds, especially in January, so that’s another one I’d be really surprised if it happened.
I don’t want to go all ‘Debbie Downer’ on you this morning, I’m just struggling to see where a gem can be found on a possible loan deal this January, because ideally that’s what we should be looking at. A ‘try before you buy’ is needed for where we are right now and it just feels like that option won’t apply to so many players. As well as that though, if we’re looking to haggle, how are we going to get deals done early January?
My worry is that in Edu’s first window where all eyes are on him, he’s going to make the same mistakes we always seem to make and not have done his deals and background work already. Arteta has already said the work is done and now they are just waiting for the window to open. That’s a smart move because it basically puts the spotlight on Edu and if he and his ‘team’ don’t make those moves swiftly as soon as the window open, then I’m afraid he will look like that weak link at the club who needs to pay with his job. We don’t have time to give Edu three windows. ‘Succeed now or off you go’ needs to be the mantra at Arsenal for this January.
For all of our sakes I hope he does succeed. And I hope he does it without reverting to a Kia black book or some ageing formerly good players who are just looking for another semi retirement package like Willian.
Catch you wonderful peeps tomorrow. We might have a press conference to discuss by then.