So it appears the latest direction of ‘Arsenal irritation’ travel appears to be aimed towards France and, specifically, Lyon, who last night supposedly accepted a €40million bid for Bruno Guimaraes from Newcastle, with the player supposedly seeing it as an offer ‘too good to turn down’. Cue the outrage from many Arsenal fans that we aren’t in for him and that we’re now being outdone by Newcastle in the transfer market.

I have mixed feelings about this you know. I can see the battle lines being drawn between two sets of Arsenal fans and I can kind of place a foot in both camps. I’ve seen a few compilations of the player and he looks good. A very tidy addition that feels like he’d add something to a midfield that needs another player in there to complete the quartet of Xhaka, Partey and Sambi. Get those four players for the rest of the season and maybe in to next season and we’re probably good for now. So to hear that Newcastle are stealing a march just by virtue of actually paying the money feels a bit galling.

But then I remember Buendia. Villa ‘stole a march’ in the summer on us and despite the fact we made an enquiry, it was because Villa were more concrete in their approach that they got their man. We waited it out and got Odegaard and I don’t think that there is many of us that are regretting that life choice now, are there?

So that’s where I am a little more sanguine on the matter. I get it when people also say “if Arsenal aren’t going for him then that means that he isn’t first choice and we have other targets in mind” and of course that is true, but this is where I get a little sketchy, because our history is littered with players that we deemed not the right person, they went on to be quite a player, then we rue the fact we never acted. I’m sure we were very interested in Vincent Kompany before he signed for City. He was one of their first ‘big’ signing players when they got their windfall and perhaps it is because that deal is still kind of front and centre of my mind today that I’m getting irrational worry about this Bruno deal. ” What if this is their Kompany signing. The guy we should have got before all of their money started kicking in and they became the club they are now?” is my may concern. Like I say, somewhat irrational, but her, I am a football fan and specifically an Arsenal one and we are prone to bouts of that.

There are plenty of other examples, like Yaya Toure before Barca got him, Juan Mata before Chelski signed him, Higuain too went on to bag a load of goals for Napoli after we were on the verge of signing him back in the day. So my only hope is that we aren’t moving for this guy because we have somebody else in mind and that person isn’t being signed just because he’s a cheaper alternative. We have done that plenty of times and it very rarely works out well. Remember the Chamakh debacle? Yeah, we don’t want another one of them because we’re tying to do something on the cheap.

I acknowledge that value means little though and in fact, there’s nothing sweeter than unearthing a gem for a low fee. Comparatively speaking I think Odegaard was that, but it feels like as every season goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to get those players. Certainly if you’re being from leagues across Europe. If you’re getting a player from South America then maybe you’re getting a low-fee deal, but that comes as a gamble and it doesn’t appear as though we are looking in that direction for an instant hit from Brazil right now. I’d love nothing more than to get a player like Guimaraes before he joins the likes of Lyon, like they did when they bought him from Athletico Paranese in 2019 for €20million. If we go out and get a player from Brazil and are paying that kind of cash then i’d be willing to give it a go. It’d also be a little less risky than going for a guy who has played in the French League for two seasons and is now double the price. The quality of the French league is higher than the Brazilian one, of course, but you’re not paying double the outlay and if the player is young enough, you’re likely to get your fee back for him if it doesn’t work out.

So I guess overall whilst I have these nagging worries in the back of my mind about Bruno in terms of Newcastle getting him, ultimately they appear to be not bought out of reason or rational though, which leads me to believe that I probably need to just chill and see what unfolds in the next five days. But something does need to unfold. We are in a very good position to secure top four and too often in our recent history we have seen Arsenal be nearly there in achieving our goals, only to ‘keep the powder dry’ . Remember when we thought we were in a good position in January 2013, only needing a new striker to ‘kick us on’, yet instead Wenger ignored the deal that was there for David Villa and instead bought in another left back in Monreal? Ok, Monreal worked out well for us, but in the context of that season we needed goals and we ended up finishing five points behind Man City, who eventually won the title. Who knows what would have happened if we’d have just done that little bit extra, just gone for it, pushed the boat out in that January.

That’s my worry for this January if we don’t move in the next five days and get improvements. I fear that top four might start to slip away because we only need a scenario where Lacazette gets injured for a month and we are down to just Nketiah, or one of Xhaka/Partey picks up a knock and we are reliant on Sambi or Elneny for the rest of the season. We should be making moves and they need to happen now.

Let’s just hope Edu is earning his crust right now.

Catch you all tomorrow.