Well, don’t we have a lot of things to chew over on this Thursday morn, eh?
For starters there was a game yesterday. Bit last minute, but Arsenal arranged another friendly at London Colney in which Watford came to visit from over the fence. Almost literally, given their training ground is next to ours and so I suspect this was one of the shortest trips for a friendly their players ever had to do, as well as one of the easiest for the Arsenal admin team to organise.
“Hey Mr Elton John! Can your lads come out to play?”
“They’re having their dinner! So they have to be back at six!”
And so the game was played at 3pm and we ran out comfortable winners. I’d love to tell you what players impressed me, but the challenge I have is that it was a midweek kick off during working hours, so I only caught the goals after the event, which is a shame. But there were a few peaches in there though. Eddie Nketiah scored a very impressive curling opener and I hope this is all helping towards clubs thinking “yeah, he could be a good buy for us” because we need the cash and he has one year left on his deal with no dign of Lacazette moving on. If that continues to remain to be the case, then he’s third choice and given the reduction in minutes available this season it is probably better that we shift him on now. But for good cash, so him scoring in pre season may at least make some clubs take notice.
Watford are back up in the Premier League now and in May they were linked with a move. Yesterday they got a front row seat of his ability so perhaps they could be tempted? And it’s not as if we are asking for Tammy Abraham levels of cash, is it? We’re thought to be interested in offloading him for £15million. That would work for us, work for the player and Watford get a natural finisher for a steal, because I suspect with regular game time and decent servcie he’s at least good for 15 goals in a Premier League season. That’s the sort of stuff that keeps a team up, so hopefully Watford have got their beady little eyes on him.
The other peach of a finish was from Azeez, who we all think is going to be a star and certainly that would help given that we perpetually have no money compared to the financially doped clubs and Man United. But at 18 I suspect we need to send him out for a year and see if he smashes it. If he goes out to a Championship club and absolute kills – Wilshere to Bolton style – then perhaps next season we can look to see if he could be integrated in to the first team? We’ve just signed Lokonga and the general consensus is that he’ll not start the season and need to be slowly bedded in, so why shouldn’t that be the same for Azeez? A loan deal for a year, maybe even a second year in the Prem to see if he can cut it, then by the time he’s ready for Arsenal Thomas Partey is reaching the autumn of his career and we’re looking for a partner in Lokonga anyway.
Look at me – classic Arsenal fan – I’ve already projected and plotted a pathway for Azeez to be the new lynchpin of our team!
Patience, Daniel-Son, Patience.
The noises that I first saw on Arseblog News was that Fenerbahce were taking a look at Cedric. I’d be more than happy with that. If we can get some money for a player who has been ‘koayish’ but not set the world alight, then I’d be fine with it. It would also ensure Chambers is one of the right backs and if Bellerin does go then we’d 100% be getting a new one. Again, I’m on board with that. I like Bellerin, have always liked him as a man and a footballer, but last season it felt like he was a man who probably had come to the end of his journey at The Arsenal and needed a fresh challenge. So let’s do that, move him on for cash, then look at who replaces him from outside of London Colney. Bid him a fond farewell and thank him for being a great ambassador at the club.
Finally for today, talk of Joe Willock again, this time for Monaco. It’s always more palatable when a player moves abroad. I know invariably they come back in to the Premier League – just look at Jadon Sancho, or even the rumours about Ramsey coming back (not to us though) – but I’d still rather that than he goes to Newcastle next season and scores the only goal in a 1-0 win for them against us at St James’ Park. Because that’s what happens with ex-Arsenal players. They either score the winning goal(s), or as is the case in point last season with Martinez, they have absolute blinders and play a massive part in us dropping points.
It’s bloody annoying that, isn’t it? Not least because it doesn’t seem to happen in Reverse. Did Willian play well against Chelski? Do you remember any blinders from Luiz against them? Or Cech? Luiz got himself sent off in one game! Danny Welbeck is perhaps the only exception to the rule I can think of, as he played well in that FA Cup game against United when we went on to win the league. But when you look over that same period you have the following players who have all gone on to play well and/or score against us EVERY TIME:
- Danny Welbeck – scored for Watford when we got them relegated on the last game of the season
- Olivier Giroud scored against us in the Europa League final
- Theo Walcott scored last season for Southampton
Heck, even Alexis, who was a total flop for United, STILL scored a goal against us in his first season. The curse is real people. Very real. So if Joe Willock heads overseas and joins Monaco and we get cash for him, that is a-ok for me!
And that’s it for another day from yours truly. I’ll see you tomorrow with some more thoughts and possibly a bit on Ben White, given that he supposedly had his medical yesterday…