Ahh man I am hanging this morning. Even the sound of the clicking keyboard feels like a drum beat on my skull.
I went out for a leaving drinks for someone in my team and so didn’t really check Twitter or my phone for most of the evening, until I got on the tube and had time to kill, although when I saw where we’re supposedly at with our transfer business I quickly realised that there wasn’t really much I missed. Alvaro Morata linked? Really? A guy who showed promise at Madrid but never showed it at Juve, Chelski, Atletico Madrid and then back at Juve? A man who at 29 years of age has never really settled anywhere, averages just under a goal every three games and has five goals in 22 games in the league? Really? Is that what we want?
I guess it depends on what the situation is, because the crazier noises coming out of yesterday’s transfer news was that Newcastle are progressing with their talks to sign Eddie Nketiah from us, which did make me chuckle I have to say. We are already down to the bare bones of a squad and now we’re offloading another one? What are we smoking?
The deal in isolation would be a good one. I don’t think Eddie is good enough to make it at Arsenal, I don’t think that we should have kept him around as long as we have and I think we should have given Eddie’s minutes earlier in the season to Balogun. Fetching any sort of fee right now would make sense. But having already offloaded a chunk of players this January, surely we are now at the point where we put a halt on any more exits until we can find a replacement? It doesn’t look like we’re re-integrating Auba back in to the team and the noises coming out of Italy and Spain are that Barca and Juve both want the Gabon international, so that would officially make us weaker, as opposed to the self-imposed weakening we have by having him training alone. So surely now we must bring somebody in before anything else happens?
That’s what we all want I think. Getting somebody in and offloading Eddie and Auba makes us stronger I think, providing it’s the right type of upgrade. Does Morata move the needle even a little bit if Eddie goes and he comes in? Probably, but I’m not so sure. When he was at Chelski he got 24 goals in 72 games – that’s one in three – whereas Eddie has 18 goals in 75 games for Arsenal’s first team, which is more like one in four. So when you think about it like that then yes, he no doubt does improve us if he can replicate that same form and statistical ranking. But I remember seeing him at Chelski; he was lightweight, missed some real sitters, would represent a real climb down from the likes of Aubameyang and compared to Lacazette, who has scored 70 goals in 192 appearances for Arsenal (one goal every 2.74 games), he was not even as clinical as our existing misfiring Frenchman. So I’m not sure Morata does anything other than provide a body in the squad. If you’re a side with aspirations of a top four finish – which we absolutely should be right now – then you should be looking at solutions that make a big difference, whereas Morata feels like it would be a ‘let’s just tide ourselves over until the summer’ move for six months.
I guess the flip side is saying ‘what can you do though?’ because if the clubs who we are talking to about their strikers are wanting mega cash because it’s January, you don’t want to get fleeced. We all like Isak but perhaps Arsenal don’t want to spend the £60million release clause. Perhaps they think they can get it for £15million less in the summer, hence why we haven’t seen any movement, because the club know they can just do what they did with the Partey deal and pay the release clause whenever they want. But now the focus is on trying to negotiate. Transfermarkt currently has his value at £36million so you can see why Arsenal might want to hold off from pulling the release clause trigger. But unless another one of the options becomes available, it does feel like we will need to seriously consider it. It is an expensive ‘safety’ option because you know that Sociedad cannot reject it if the offer comes in, but it does feel like it’s there as a ‘in case of emergency’ approach. I guess like we did with Partey. Dominic Calver-Lewin is another name that has been mentioned but I think the chances of prizing him from Everton are probably remote. He doesn’t have a release clause and Everton are scrapping for their lives so the only way they let him go is if somebody came along and offered a bazillion pounds or something similar. If Arsenal want to move and it isn’t a temporary loan deal solution, it does feel to me that it’ll be a deadline day release clause. If that’s the case then it’ll happen on Monday, but until then we have to sit tight and probably get even more wound up before then.
catch you guys tomorrow. Maybe. I’m meeting with friends to celebrate a birthday so I might not be compos menti so you might only hear from me on Monday. Either way, you have yourselves a good Saturday.
I think there are plenty of options around the Prem tbh, Watkins Bamford Ivan Toney even Alexander Mitrovic at Fulham a very much underated and under used player by Fulham when they were last in the prem