You know the rumour I can really get behind on a Tuesday morning in terms of outgoings at the club?
Rob Holding to Newcastle for £20million. Ooh dawg now THAT would be a good deal that would make us all raise eyebrows and nod impressively at our back office team trying to secure some exits this summer.
I mean, it’s not exactly binning off some of the very obvious deadwood that we need to and Holding is by far not the biggest problem we have in terms of quality in our squad, but getting £20million for a player who probably shouldn’t be getting too much game time this season with the arrival of White, would be smart.
I am not his biggest fan, but I can acknowledge that Rob Holding has been a decent player for us. The problem we have is that if we’re going to play with a higher line this season, he is definitely not the man who can fill that position, because the one thing Holding ain’t gifted with is bags of pace.
He’s a ‘back to the wall’, low-block defender who when we’ve had to sit deeper and tuck in as a defence, being difficult to break down, he was pretty decent. But the problem you have if you’re built that way as an Arsenal player is that those games should really only happen two or three times a season. In a 38-game domestic league season where for the majority of games – certainly home games – you come up against teams who sit in a low block and try to tightly defend their own penalty area, players like Holding don’t add as much value because those types of teams hit you on the counter.
That’s why I’d be more than happy to see him go and certainly for £20million to Newcastle, as is rumoured, although I don’t think it will happen. Not unless Newcastle agree a loan with an obligation to buy next summer for £20million. Even that deal I’d be ok with because it would give Arsenal some assurances on getting cash for a decent player.
It wouldn’t leave us short either. We have Chambers, White, Mari and Gabriel for this season. Tierney has even filled in as a centre half at times and so my gut feel is that if there is any semblance of reality to this move, then Arsenal have to jump at it. Like I say, however, I can’t see it happening. Newcastle have been briefing all summer that they have no cash. Their fans were pretty shocked that the club is looking to stump £20million+ on Willock. So the idea they’d come back to Arsenal for Holding for around £20million also feels a bit weird.
Unless of course these rumours of the Premier League upping the home grown quota are true. There’s been a few murmurings of it over the last month or two and it would kind of explain why teams are spending more on British players, especially if they fear that increase being thrust on them. It would also skyrocket the price of homegrown players and would go a long way to explaining why Sheffield United think a statistically averagely ranked goalkeeper is worth £30million. We all know Ramsdale isn’t but if the home grown quota rule is increased then getting an English goalkeeper suddenly becomes a heck of a lot more palatable. It’s not that goalkeepers are ten-a-penny or anything, but if you have to choose between a Portuguese stopper and a creative Portuguese winger or attacker, for example, what are you going to try to do? Most likely you’ll be choosing the winger, which means you want one of your home grown positions to be ‘keeper.
This isn’t me justifying the Ramsdale rumour and potential signing, by the way, because it still smells like a bad deal unless it’s for something like £10million. But that simply ain’t happening and so I hope we just move on quickly from this one because it’s been hanging around for long enough like a bad smell this summer.
The other rumours kicking around yesterday evening were that Roma were looking to get Tammy Abraham for £40million from Chelski. The same Roma who tried to plead poverty to us with Granit Xhaka and thought they’d low ball us with a €15million Xhaka bid. Given that they’re on the verge of getting the Chelski player for that I’m even more glad we decided to tell them to ‘do one’ on Xhaka. The absolute state of those Italian chancers. Fork out the correct fee or piss off Jose.
That deal also has implications for Arsenal too, as we were supposedly very keen on Abraham, who has apparently asked for a few days to think about it. If all of this is true – and we are not exactly in a position to believe either way to be honest – then it does make it interesting from an Arsenal perspective. Do we blink and try to get a deal done, despite the fact we can’t seem to shift Eddie and Laca? Do we accept that we need the player and he’s first choice? Because if we do that and get him in then we will almost certainly have clubs knowing we have to sell and offering us less for those two players we need to offload to create some space in the squad. It’s delicately balanced, that’s for sure.
Personally I’m still not 100% on Abraham. He’s a good player, but he’s not moving the needle enough compared to Lacazette in terms of his output, in my opinion. They do very different roles and Abraham is of a different physical profile so would bring something different, but I’m minded to say that unless we can get both Eddie and Laca out the door asap, we might as well keep Laca and spend the season on the hunt for a real elitye striker to replace the Frenchman next summer.
That’s about all I got’s for ya today. Have at a good one and I’ll catch thee in the morrow.