It’s all hotting up in the Arsenal transfer world, with yet more revelations about a possible incoming in the shape of Raphinha from Leeds for north of £50million doing the rounds yesterday. A good player, a decent signing it would be, but forgive me if I am a little sceptical about this one. I know he’d be a good signing and I know people have got excited about it, but do we really need to spend £50million on a right winger? Yes, he can play multiple positions across the front three and of course that versatility will be very important in the coming seasons as Arteta tries to juggle multiple competitions, but that amount of cash for a position in which we already have a very top player occupying, feels like a strange move to me.
Bukayo Saka has made that wide right position his own. He’s our main man and has just got player of the season. There are some that have muttered the worry that perhaps he isn’t signing a new deal and we’re getting Raphinha in before we have to sell, but I’m not sure I buy that. There is usually a little more noise that comes out from somewhere if there is the sniff of a player not signing a deal and if Saka and his agent were intending on doing us a dirty (which I don’t think they are) then there’d probably be at least something in the press. But there’s nothing. Hopefully that’s because the club are working away in the background to extend his contract.
As for Raphinha, don’t get me wrong he’d be a great signing for us and would add more depth and quality to our team, but we all know where we need to strengthen and invest our cash and we know we don’t have a bottomless pit of cash, which is why I’m not so sure on this. KSE aren’t going to go full sugar daddy and drop £250million or some other silly figure on Arteta’s lap. We’re waiting on Fabio Silva for £35million, then there’s Gabriel Jesus which will be for circa £50million, then we’ll need another midfielder and possibly Lisandro Martinez. If Martinez is £30million that we intend on spending, then you’re looking at circa £30million for the other midfielder, that’s an outlay of around £135million this summer, without factoring in an addition £50million for the Leeds winger. It just doesn’t add up to me, which is why I’m not sure it’ll happen.
If it does, great, let’s have him and worry about how we’re going to fit all of these players in to our team and how we’ll line up next season, but I remain sceptical about it. People say we shouldn’t all be amateur accountants, that it’s not our money, etc, etc. I get it, but we are a club with finite resources and if the idea of spending that resources on an area where we’re currently stocked, at the expense of another part of the pitch in which we are light then it’s not something I hope the club are countenancing. Maybe the noises about this being Arsenal used to smoke out Barca to paying what Leeds want is something that has a bit more truth to it than people think. Heck, it’s not as if we haven’t had that happen recently before, like the Vlahovic stuff from January.
The Tielemans stuff is weird too. From basically sounding like we want Gabriel Jesus and Tielemans this summer and we weren’t looking at anything else, to ‘cooling’ our interest, is strange because it’s not like we’ve been linked to any other players who play in that position. Is there another secret deal to be done like the Fabio Vieira deal was done on the sly? Maybe. And if that happens then great. But Fabio Vieira isn’t the same type of player as Tielemans so I’d be surprised if he’s the reason the interest has supposedly ‘cooled’. I do like the way the journos who report this all use the same language. It’s essentially tacit admission that they get their intel from the same person at the club and this is clearly something that the club are briefing on. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to be held to ransom by Leicester, maybe they just want to throw journos off the scent whilst they conclude the deal, but it sounds like that is a deal that will run a bit so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
As for my prediction a few days ago that we’ll definitely sign somebody this week, I still have time and I still have faith, because the Fabio Vieira deal is supposedly just waiting for the official confirmation by the club. I suspect that’ll happen sooner or later but I also wonder if we’ll get a double whammy with Gabriel Jesus too. I don’t know about you guys though, but I’m getting a bit bored of waiting. Let’s get this stuff confirmed, on the official site, then start to worry about the other positions we’re clearly looking at filling this summer. Be proactive, get the job done, move on. The sounds and signs are positive but until it’s on the dot.com then we’ve just got to hope that there isn’t going to be one of those last minute snags.
That’s about all there is going on at the moment. I’ve got another day of sunshine in Portugal to focus on so will catch you all in the morrow.