I don’t know what it is about this Euro’s, but I’m finding myself oddly enjoying it, which is a real first for international tournaments. Don’t get me wrong, I watch them, follow England and then Germany and to a lesser extent the Dutch, but I never really bother with most of the games, usually because I’m working. But working from home and having a TV on the wall in my office has enabled me to keep abreast of more of the matches and I’m finding myself enjoying them. Like Denmark vs Belgium yesterday, in which the Danes started brilliantly and had a great first half, only for the quality of Belgium to shine through in the end as they qualified. Right now I’m looking at Italy, Belgium and France as the teams who will most likely duke it out in the latter stages, but it’ll be interesting to see who peaks too soon and who stays strong throughout.

In the evening the Dutch made light work of the Austrian’s, who looked pretty pants it has to be said, but as I have a tenuous family link to the Dutch (German family on my mum’s side lived on the border to the Netherlands and her Grandfather was Dutch), I was pleased to also see them progress. It’d be interesting to see the Dutch meet the Belgians at some stage. The Belgian’s and Dutch have a bit of a local rivalry, but it’s probably been a bit like Fulham and Chelski, so hasn’t been too much of a rivalry over the years. But with this Belgian side it really looks as if they are the better team and could give the Dutch a proper run for their money.

It’s England vs Scotland tonight and that means that we have another local rivalry game to look forward too and, again quite oddly, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. A win puts England through but the Scots will be bang up for this, so I expect there to be some spice too, which is always fun. It’d be interesting to see if Southgate mixes it up a bit and that’s certainly what I’m hoping for. Let’s have Arsenal interest on both sides, for example, with Bukayo and Kieran both playing. They’d possibly both play on the same side as each other so if the young English Gunner could get on the pitch, it’d be interesting to see how he would have a go at our marauding Scottish left back.

Three paragraphs in and not an Arsenal transfer rumour amongst my mumblings this morning. What’s up with me?

How about we start with James Maddison then? It’s a rumour that has supposedly been born out of the fact that he’s ‘apparently’ had a row with Rodgers. Pfffh. So what? Footballers fall out with teammates, managers, etc, all the time. The reality is that he’s one of their best players, a chief chance creator, plus so much of what they do flows through him. When we beat them at their gaff towards the end of last season it was he who was missing and you could tell they missed that creative spark to play in between the lines. Maddison gives them that and so the idea that they wouldn’t be able to patch up some kind of spat between manager and player is farcical. I also think it is fanciful too, because the one thing Rodgers does appear to do is to get the love and buy in from his players at Leicester and so I’d be surprised if there were any weight to those rumours.

But there’s also the fee too. Leicester got £80million for a decent but not elite centre half in Maguire. £80million. Players at the sharp end of the football pitch always go for more money and given Maddison has so many year’s left on his contract this seems a bit of a silly link to me. We aren’t spending £80million on a creative midfielder, I’m pretty sure of that, but I also don’t think we would because of the message it sends to Emile Smith Rowe. He’s a guy who we need to get tied down and if we get Maddison in and tell him he has the keys to the Arsenal car, what does Smith Rowe think?

Suffice to say I think it’s a non-starter. And I know I referenced £80million on Maddison where the rumours say £60million, but they aren’t letting him go for that low a fee. Not no way, not no how.

At least he’s an exciting player though. Do you know who isn’t an exciting player? Aaron Ramsdale. He’s a young goalkeeper we’ve been linked with from the worst team in the league last season. Granted, that wasn’t all his fault, but I saw little to suggest there was some kind of amazing future England No.1 in any of the displays I saw from him last season, or the season before that at Bournemouth, if I’m honest. In fact I remember bemoaning the fact we only got between £16 – £20million for Emi Martinez last season when Ramsdale was bought for £18.5million. The two goalkeepers are chalk and cheese and Emi is infinitely better than Ramsdale yet Sheffield United paid an English premium to get him for that amount of cash. And the rumours are that they want £20million for him?? For a guy who would be our reserve ‘keeper? I really hope someone at Arsenal is saying “no thanks, you can keep your local lad, hope he enjoys the Championship at that price”.

But this is also leading me to my final thought for the day, which I kind of have Ben White in my minds eye on this too given that two separate people have two me that his agent was at London Colney yesterday, which is that the supposed ‘COVID-19 deflation’ that many thought would happen this summer just simply isn’t happening. It seems like the only teams willing to low ball on that basis are the ones linked with our players. Like €15million for a Swiss international who is representing his country and has just had one of his best seasons at The Arsenal. I’m glad we’re holding out for more, because it appears everyone else is too.

And on that note I shall say my goodbyes for another day. Have a grand ol’ day and I’ll catch you tomorrow with some more musings.