Well we have ourselves our first major summer of the signing confirmed, pictured in an Arsenal shirt, with the club making its comments and interviews completed. It’s a breath of relief for us Gooners because it shows that the club are prepared to move quickly this window and hopefully this is a good sign of things to come.
As with all transfers these days, by the time you get to the formal unveiling everyone has already done scouting videos, we’ve heard from former coaches, we know about the players entire history and then when he’s pictured in an Arsenal shirt it just becomes the formal announcement that doesn’t really hold that much surprise. That doesn’t mean it isn’t still satisfying and I – like you I’m sure – did the usual of looking at every picture of him in an Arsenal shirt, before absorbing all of the content that he, Arteta and Edu had to say about the player.
It was all standard stuff about being excited to be here, about looking forward to getting started, etc, etc. It was interesting that Fabio Vieira (I’m still not sure whether I’ll switch to just calling him Vieira yet! 😉 ) himself said he’s spoken to Mikel Arteta a couple of times but never met him. Gone are the days of managers flying over to seal the deal themselves like Wenger used to do. Transfers are in themselves a little cottage industry these days with so many people working on them – as Edu himself said when talking about all of the people working on these deals – that it is testimony that this one flew under the radar for as long as it did. Keeping it schtum was always going to be difficult but Arsenal have shown their hand now and that hand is one that is prepared to move quickly if all of the ducks can be aligned to get it sorted.
I wonder if it also makes other parties involved in the transfer business industry sit up and take note? I listened to the Arsecast the other day and James was talking about the machinations of a transfer. He broke down how complicated it is but also said how Arsenal are still – even years after Wenger has departed – seen as difficult to deal with. Perhaps that is just a perception thing these days but I hope that transfers like this one show that Arsenal are prepared to make the move for a player if they need to and if they have all of their ducks lined up to pull the trigger.
What was also pleasing reading yesterday, was that the way Edu was talking about this summer, suggested that they are very much not done and they are looking at moving quickly for other players soon. The worst kept secret of them all, as we know, is Gabriel Jesus and I suspect when Edu was talking about that he was talking about Jesus and our aims of concluding that deal quickly. If it can be done then you’d expect that’s our striker plans ticked off, so it’ll then be ‘on to the next one’ and the narrative that Edu was using and the language he used when speaking to the official site, suggests to me that Arsenal are prepared to be aggressive in the market this summer.
That’s what we’re all looking for as fans. We all like shiny new things, transfers are always fun and exciting when they happen, but for so many years it has felt like we all know what we need but the club has held off pulling the trigger. We knew we needed Partey a couple of seasons back, but we waited until transfer deadline day before pulling the trigger. As a result he never really got going and also suffered injury, facing a difficult first season. Last season Partey was better, but was unlucky with the two injuries he picked up. Had he had a better pre season in which he joined Arsenal earlier, would he have been more prepared than when he did arrive? Maybe.
I guess I’m just bringing this up because I want to highlight that doing your business early is important and my hope is that Arsenal have had a very clear plan in place for some time. It feels like it. The fact we gutted the squad down to the bare bones for the second half of the season told us all that the club were going to need to ‘go for it’ in the summer and that is what it sounds like right now.
Of course we have no other confirmations to suggest that’s what they’re doing, other than an Ornstein tweet yesterday evening that we’d officially submitted a bid for Raphinha, but that in itself is tacit admission that the club are already looking to make their move and that’s a good thing to hear. Ornstein also says the bid will most likely be rejected out of hand, but hopefully it’s just Arsenal’s opening gambit before going back for him. As I said yesterday – and I still stand by it – it still feels a little strange given we need a left eight, probably another left back and I’d certainly love us to bring in a right back, but hey, if they club are approaching transfers in a certain order so they can also offload players in similar positions first, then that’s fair enough I guess.
Does that mean that they’ve found a buyer for Nicolas Pepe? Maybe. I think we all admit that his time is done and the ship has sailed on his Arsenal career, but finding somebody who will pay those wages and give any kind of fee might be difficult, unless somebody from England comes in. But maybe Arsenal have the right signs that it might be feasible and that’s why they’re moving for the Brazilian? Who knows. As I said on my blog from last weekend I think this week we will sign players. I still feel like that could happen in the remaining days this week, but it will be interesting to see who that might be.
Right, that’s me done for another one, so I’ll take my leave and catch you all tomorrow.