Morning all, hope you’re having a good Saturday, or at least planning on having an interesting one? Me personally? I’ll be heading off in to East London to take part in a gin festival, so I’m looking forward to copious amounts of alcoholic liquid to imbibe, causing me to thoroughly embarrass myself in front of friends and The Management. With a little bit of sun thrown in there too I hope.
As for The Arsenal, well, we got the list of players being shipped out of the door and there was no real surprises, as Lacazette was confirmed and Eddie Nketiah was technically confirmed, although the club were quite clear that a contract had been offered and discussions were ongoing. It’s kind of the worst kept secret that he’ll sign a new deal and with that must be expecting a promotion to – at least – second striker in our team. I’ll probably write a little more on that and my thoughts around that when it’s announced I think. But the search for that number one choice is still ongoing and as every passing day goes past we all get a little more antsy. It’s funny though because the nervousness creeps in and is made worse by the fact that other teams appear to be moving in the window. Liverpool for Nunez, United for Frenkie De Jong, The Scum going for Spence having brought in Forster and Perisic. But what doesn’t help is that the press need an angle to peddle that will generate clicks and with noises starting to come together for other clubs, you can already see the wheels turning at some places as they see it as an opportunity to have a little prod at the Arsenal fan base. I saw one headline this morning suggesting that Arteta is already getting frustrated with the club’s hierarchy because they want to rubber stamp every signing that is made this summer. Apparently Arteta fears we could miss out.
I’m certainly no fan of KSE, I’d prefer if they weren’t in charge at the club, but come on now, don’t they rubber stamp the big deals anyway? Hasn’t that always happened? So why is this supposedly an issue now?
The answer, clearly, is that it’s not. The answer is that a journo needs to hit a target of clicks and a sensationalist headline like that which could provoke a reaction from a large fanbase such as Arsenal’s, could do the trick, which is why in the absence of anything more concrete and having probably run out of ‘angles’ on the existing deals, we’re seeing such stories. Arsenal are clearly after Tielemans and Jesus, the admin is going on at the moment and discussions are taking place. What we have to hope is that the club move sooner rather than later and we get something over the line to ease the woes of a fanbase who will very quickly start to feel a little transfer parched if something doesn’t happen whilst every other fan appears to be drinking and feasting from from transfer well.
The one deal that I’m interested in is this supposed Aaron Hickey deal from Bologna to Brentford. We’ve been linked with him and and by all accounts he looks like a very good signing. Young, versatile, British and having got Tomiyasu from Bologna last summer, playing for a team with which we have connections. It feels like a good deal we could do as he can play both left and right back and with me so desperate for us to see any kind of right back option come in ahead of Cedric, I hope we don’t miss a trick here by missing out on a good young talent. Another year of Cedric as understudy to Tomiyasu fills me with worry, because as we’ve seen with Tomi (nine games missed last season, 10 games missed for Bologna the season before, eight games missed the season before that), we need a decent player who will get game time and grow in the role. And on the other side with Tierney also injury prone, someone like Hickey coming in could conceivably bag at least 30 appearances a season alternating between right and left I’d wager.
I just hope we’re not spending all summer chasing one position before we move to the next. I hope the club know that we need more than just a Tielemans and Gabriel Jesus if we’re to compete on multiple fronts next season. But as I’ve said to you before, I think the club will bring players in, simply because they have to so that we can make up those numbers Arteta wants. As a reminder, he said he wants 22 plus three ‘keepers. Not including any loan players, we realistically have 18 players if you include Saliba. Jesus and Tielemans (or equivalent if we don’t get them) means 20. There is still space for two more and I think the club will do that.
So, there’s time, there’s space, there just has to be the right and sensible moves for the players. Let’s just hope the plan is – as Arteta said last season – in place and we can get cracking soon so we can start to get excited for the new season.
There is some talk about Raphinha from Leeds but it just sounds like one of those ‘they like him’ things. Arsenal probably ‘like’ about a thousand players at any one time, so I’m not reading too much in to that right now. Instead I’m going to get some running gear on, go for a bit of a jog, then get myself over to East London to drink some mothers ruin in the sunshine.
You have a good one.