Happy Wednesday to thee, fellow Gooner. Today I am wearing the new yellow away jersey to work. Because I can. And I must say I love the colour, the nod to the past with the cannon (sigh, yes, I know the cannon is the wrong way, but I still love it) as well as the general look and feel of it. It’s a lovely top and I’m going to get my monies worth out of it, I can tell thee this now.
I wonder if “getting my monies worth” is what Arteta, Edu and Arsenal are thinking about this transfer window too, because given the supposed transfers that could be on the cards, it does appear as though we’re looking at a mixture of some bargain deals, as well as one or two high profile and more expensive options. Take the Ajax ‘keeper, for example, who is currently serving a ban for drugs offences and therefore will have a vastly decreased price until his one year ban is either overturned or served. Apparently we’re in for Andre Onana from Ajax and given that he could come on the cheap with that ban due to be seen by CAS, this one oddly makes sense to me.
If Leno is making noises about wanting to leave then it causes a headache for Arsenal, but it might not be a headache they want to deal with this season. There is enough work to do with a number of other positions that need to be sorted that I wonder if Arsenal are looking at this potential deal and thinking ‘look, Bernd has two year’s on his deal so we can keep him next season, get somebody else in to blood them, then sell him next season with the replacement already in place’. To me that makes a world of sense and if this guy isn’t available until January 2022, then Leno still gets to be the number one but it becomes clear that this chap Onana can replace him and we can look to do that for the following season.
I read that because Brentford have been promoted, that Raya will be a heck of a lot more expensive without a release clause and perhaps Arsenal are also looking at that as an option. Brentford could of course have a storming season and be like a Villa or Leeds this season and do well in the league, but if they are struggling like Fulham or West Brom did this season, then maybe Arsenal can also just hold on to their current ‘keeper situation and bide their time until next summer, before moving for Raya if Brentford are relegated. It also gives us the opportunity to take a proper look to see if he’s Premier League ready.
So I guess ultimately what I’m saying is that I’d be surprised if Leno moves on, but I can start to see options for his replacement being looked at and the fact that the noises are being made makes sense to me.
The other stuff currently going on in the press seems to revolve around Buendia but I’m not sharing any more links to that because it’s essentially the same bits of information that are being recycled so media outlets can get a few more clicks. There’s talk of Villa going early for him but if the player knows that Arsenal are in for him and the move becomes concrete I don’t think it would be a problem for us to move ahead. The problem comes if Arsenal don’t move and Villa looks like the only option. If you’re in Buendia’s shoes then you have to make that choice and that certainly isn’t a situation I would rule out. We know how notoriously slow we have been historically when it comes to pulling the trigger. Mustafi was available all summer but we waited until the end of the window and over paid for him. Last summer we all knew Partey’s release clause but waited until deadline day, when we could have got him in a month earlier and bedded with the team. So we know that Arsenal will drag out any larger transfer until August most likely, probably focusing on the smaller-scale ones that are easier to bring in.
Like Mat Ryan, for example, with whom there is talk about a free transfer. I’m not really sure why Brighton would want to let him going when he still has a year left on his contract and then know Arsenal would probably be interested in him as a number two. Apparently he’s rumoured to be on £35k-per-week which isn’t astronomical but unless Brighton are in such dire straights that they just do like what we did with Mkhitaryan when his contract was terminated so Roma could have him on a free and pay his wages , then I suspect Arsenal would need to pay some kind of fee of some sort. Even if it is a nominal one. But it’s another deal that seems quite simple to do so I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t go back in for him.
There’s a bit of speculation about Odegaard at Madrid too, given Ancelotti has just re-joined from Everton for next season, but it still isn’t clear how he’ll be used. I suspect Odegaard’s first choice is to be told that he will be a regular in Madrid next season and I also suspect Ancelotti will be given the brief to fit him in. If that’s the case then we must move quickly on to other targets and admit that it wasn’t mean to be. A good player, a few good games for us, I think there is talent there and I’d love to see it at The Arsenal, but we all knew this was a possibility and so my hope is that we move swiftly on to other targets.
That’s it from me today. Back tomorrow with some more nonsense for your eyes.