Happy Thursday folks! Hope you are doing well? Bit weird with no football on for two consecutive days, isn’t it? I had to make do with Wimbledon last night and Andy Murray scraping through against a guy who had basically never played tournament tennis, or something like that. He was decent though and made Murray sing for his supper. Why am I telling you all this? Well, at least Murray is a Gooner, so there is some kind of tenuous connection there. I didn’t like him that much when he foolishly burst on to the scene and declared he wasn’t British, he was Scottish, but he quickly realised the error of his ways in terms of the benefits of the good PR and fan support it would get him at Wimbledon, leaning in to it a lot over the last 15 years or so, so time is a healer and all that. Plus as soon as I found out he was a Gooner I was like “well, he’s alright then, obviously”.
As for The Arsenal themselves, it looks like the Tavares deal is one of those ‘any second now’ jobs. I have to say I’m a little surprised at how there are a decent number of people who are against this deal, or at least unimpressed by it. The consensus for those ‘agin’ the deal is that he’s had two season’s as a rotational left back option for Benfica, who are in a pretty inferior league, so why should we be after him? I’ve also seen a suggestion or two that Benfica normally sell pretty big – just look at when Luiz left them all those year’s ago, or when Ederson left for Man City – they always seem to get decent fees for their players and so the logic for some is that if they are happy for us to have him for the reported circa £7million, then he’s probably not very good.
I have a few thoughts on this actually. Firstly, we’re in a market in which not many deals have been done because teams are holding out for cash. Just look at some of the noises of players we are linked to like Ben White. Or the fact that all the talk of Sancho to United was north of £100million, yet he’s going there for just north of £80million I believe. So it does seem that the market is compressed in terms of the value of players somewhat. The second consideration here is the last 18 months have seen football teams’ finances become obliterated across the globe. Teams know they need to get money in and for clubs like Benfica to sell a player like this for £7million probably represents an okay deal, not as much as they want, but £7million in the coffers and they don’t replace probably adds a lot to their operating profits, which can help pay some bills. So I can understand this value and the price.
From Arsenal’s point of view I’m not really sure what there is to complain about. We Aren’t in Europe, we aren’t as much of a big draw, we’ve all just hailed the contract extension of KT and we are all talking about how it might benefit him to not have as much game time. All being well the Arsenal back up left back this season gets five to seven games depending on fitness and how deep we go in the Micky Mouse competitions like the League Cup. So spending £7million on somebody who will play five or six games this season, with a promise to him that it we’re in Europe he’s probably getting 15 to 20 next season, makes sense for us and probably for him too.
And it’s a low wage jobbie too, which means if he’s a bit pants we just move him on, probably for similar amounts that we paid for. Especially at 21-years-old. There aren’t many low-risk transfers in football but this feels like one to me.
Of course it wasn’t just the Tavares noises that were being made yesterday, was it? Nope, we also had the Sassuolo CEO saying that Arsenal had made a bid for Locatelli too, who is currently in form and playing well for Italy at the Euro’s. That would – based on what many of us have seen so far – be an exciting move for Arsenal and show a fair amount of ambition. But I’ve been thinking about this: Arsenal don’t like – at all in fact – when teams go public. We have a history of deals in the darkest of darks until the last minute. Perhaps we have no control over a blabbermouth Italian, but the fact the CEO admitted the bid, then in the same breath said they have a good relationship with Juventus and were also speaking to Juve, tells me this won’t get very far from our perspective. It feels like we’re being used as a reference point for Juve to up their bid and this very public admission is just a way for a CEO to grab a few extra mil on the deal. It reeks of it, in fact, doesn’t it?
All the noises are that the player wants to join Juve. Plus he’s Italian and it’d be a bit like an English player from Burnley being linked to AC Milan and Man United. That player isn’t signing for AC Milan, is he? The player would probably love it, the agent would love it, Burnley would love it, but the end game would always be Man United. So I don’t see this going anywhere unfortunately.
It shows there is money to spend though. I have been adamant all summer that we won’t spend big and we still haven’t, so I have to stand my ground in that regard, but it shows that Arsenal are putting down decent cash for decent players and that can only be positive. I just hope we have another option to go for because this one feels like it might have cold water poured on it as quickly as it emerged as a story.
We’ll have to wait and see though. He’s at the Euro’s now so nothing major will happen. But it’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds.
That’s yer lot for today. Have a good one, enjoy what the day brings, then I’ll see you tomorrow.