Morning folks and welcome to Tuesday. Which is actually more like Wednesday, if you don’t count Good Friday as a working day. So it’s practically halfway through the week aka Wednesday. Except it’s Tuesday.
What it also is – sadly – is still international football time and that means for those of us who don’t care about the internationals, we start to get hung up on things like transfer tittle tattle, or speculating when some kind of news comes out. Yesterday we heard confirmation that at 34 years of age, Sergio Aguero will be leaving Man City when his contract expires. They are going to build a statue in his honour but he will be plying his trade elsewhere. And I have to be honest with you, I did think about whether or not having him on a short-term deal could work for us. Hear me out.
If we had somebody with his natural finishing ability to take the place of Lacazette in the summer, with whom we then cash in on given he has just a year left on his deal, we can then use that money to redistribute towards another position with which we are in need. I half-jokingly suggested a move for Aguero could help fund a move for Odegaard if we then sell Laca and Eddie and use to invest the money in the Norwegian. I was half joking, half serious, but the reality I think leans a little more into the joking side of the situation.
That’s because we have all seen what a mistake it has been to get ageing players on big contracts joining The Arsenal. The Willian situation is testimony to that and the last thing I would want is another Willian. If Arsenal started talking to Aguero then his representatives would still want the megabucks he has been on at City. That’s something we simply shouldn’t – and I don;’t think could – countenance – given the current global financial state and Arsenal’s in particular. Even if it was just a one year deal, it would probably cost a fair few millions and whilst on the face of it, it seems like something which could have an interest in it, it’s not a direction we should be looking at if we want to move away from these short-term solutions. We’ve been filling our team with short-term solutions for about four years now. We have to stop. Aguero has been an iconic player for City, but he will decline in the next few years and the last thing we need is him around for anything other than a season, And as Lichtsteiner showed us, even that doesn’t always work out, so I think ultimately we have to – and will – take a hard pass. No matter the connections Arteta might have with the player.
But the fact that this even entered my mind shows just how much I – and many Arsenal fans I think – recognise just how much work there is to do in the summer with what we think will be a pretty miserly budget that we have to play with. The levels of creativity on the balance sheet we’re going to have to go through feels like it might need to be off the charts. I’ve seen people talking about entries and exits from The Arsenal numbering almost double figures. I don’t see that. I just think it’ll be yet more upheaval and so I think many of us will be disappointed with the churn that happens at the club this summer. I’ve already seen one person suggest that a new deal might be on the table for Elneny, for example. I was like “excuse me…what?”. I don’t know a single Arsenal who hasn’t used Elneny as a classic example of Arsenal needing to upgrade, so giving him a new deal would be a terrible bit of business by the club, I think. But it wouldn’t surprise me. If he is further down the pecking order of “those players we need to shift ASAP”, then maybe Arteta does sign him up for an additional couple of years just so he can keep him around for another 12 months and not lose him on a free. Personally I’d be moving him on now and seeing if we can get anything for the Egyptian, but that’s just a personal preference.
Like I say though, he is probably a little lower on the list because he won’t fetch too great a fee, but the Hale-Enders might, which is why I wonder if we’ll have the likes of some of those guys as well as those on loan that we will want to shift for cash in the summer. There are at least three on loan we’d expect to go, plus I think Maitland-Niles, so I think they’ll be on the exit list before Big Mo gets his marching orders. We might be seeing him around longer.
It’s why I also wrote about Xhaka in the same vein yesterday and I do suspect that he’ll be around for a while longer. Whether the new contract noises come true on the Swiss international remains to be seen, but personally I don’t think we’ll hear too much about it just yet. Maybe when the 21-22 season starts.
There’s not a lot else going on in the Arsenal world really, so I think i’ll leave it there for another day. Have at it and enjoy your Tuesday folks.