Morning folks. And how are we today? Are we feeling good? Are we feeling lively and upbeat? Will today be the day that we FINALLY announce Gabriel Jesus?

Maybe. I mean we saw the leaked video shots on like Wednesday last week so all of the detail is done, but maybe the video editing team all had a staff away day or something. Either way we’re now at the stage where people will be like “yeah, we know!” when it is announced! 😉

Half of me wondered if it would be funny to see Gabriel Jesus trot out for five minutes in the behind closed doors friendly against Ipswich yesterday. That would have kind of been funny, but there’s no way the club would allow that when they’ve spent so much time with the build up to this announcement. So it was left to familiar faces to take to the pitch yesterday and we ran out resounding winners against Ipswich at London Colney. I’ve just watched the five minute highlight reel on the official site and whilst I know that you can’t really take much from these games, I did enjoy a few moments for some of the goals. The first goal we scored had some good tenacity from Sambi to win the ball, but the touch from Nketiah to bring it out of his feet and then sweep past the ‘keeper was rather impressive given they’ve only been back in pre season a few days. Because we didn’t see the whole match it’s difficult to tell if there’s much rust with the players at the moment, but the way he took that looked impressive. Will we get a player with a point to prove and goals to be scored next season? I hope so.

We probably need him to next season. Chelski scored 76 goals last season and I think Arteta has to be looking at that as a target. We scored 61 and that was nine less than the Scum. If Gabriel Jesus can add more than Lacazette did then we’re talking about sharing the burden, but Jesus has to be looking at north of 15 goals in all competitions, compared to Lacazette’s paltry four in all the Premier League, with Auba scoring four before he departed. So if Jesus adds an additional seven goals to our tally (on top of the eight Lacazette and Aubameyang provided combined, so Jesus getting 15 in total), then Eddie needs to be adding at least five to his five he scored towards the end of the season in the Premier League.

That sounds like a tall ask for a back up striker, but if you look at what the other teams delivered, you see what you have to do to finish up towards the top of the table. Jota is a rotational player and he got 15 goals. Sterling and Mahrez got 13 and 11 respectively. Kane got 17 behind Son and Fernandes got 10 behind Ronaldo. But when you look at the other scorers in those teams, they are all on fives or sixes for the season. We had Saka on 11 as our top scorer, then Smith Rowe on 10, Odegaard on seven and Martinelli on six. They’ve all got to at least play to ‘par’ in the sense that they need to match that tally. If they do, then we need the strikers to really step up. I guess what I’m trying to illustrate here is that for Jesus to get 15, Nketiah to get 10 and Saka and Smith Rowe to also get similar numbers to last season, we’d have to be one of the best teams in the league. Maybe that’s possible, but I suspect it is a stretch. But the target should still be set at double figures for Eddie, even if he will probably be limited to matches coming on as a sub for most of the season. He quite literally will need to be our ‘super sub’ I suspect.

Flo Balogun was also on the scoresheet yesterday but I’m not expecting him to get much minutes this season. And if he does it is because we’ve had an injury to one of our two main strikers. I suspect Arteta will keep him around for the summer, but my hope is that we can find him a full season loan at a top end Championship club, so he can get a full season in him and we can see how he gets on. My usual preference is to see if he can cut it in the Premier League on loan but I’m not sure how much value it would be for him playing at a lower-end Premier League side. He’d be feeding off scraps for most of the season and his chances would be limited compared to a side that should be towards the top of the league like a Watford, West Brom or Norwich. Maybe Burnley under Kompany can play a different brand of football that might suit him, but I just wonder if we need to be thinking about that loan move sooner rather than later. There’s no harm keeping him around now, but if we’re going to give Eddie the League Cup and Europa League minutes, how much value is a 10 minute cameo here and there for Balogun?

Guess we’ll have to see what shakes out from this summer pre season.

What we’re also hoping shakes out is a few more signings, but I’m losing interest in all the Lisandro Martinez stuff, if I’m completely honest with you. He’ll most likely end up at United and they’ll have him as a centre half along with Lindelof, Bailly, Jones, Maguire and Varane. I’m sure the Premier League will give United the option of fielding 15 players and four centre halves this season…

Ornstein has been saying that Arsenal haven’t given up, but I just wonder if we should just move on and try somebody else. We were linked with Aaron Hickey earlier in the window and he’s seemingly off to Brentford now. He seems like a good player that would have been a good fit for us, so I’m worried that whilst we focus in on this guy Martinez, we could lose out on Plans B, C and D. And what’s in Plan E? Hopefully not a Mustafi-shaped, expensive mistake, for example.

Perhaps I’m being hyperbolic, but I guess it’s just this time of year and the transfer fever illness that envelopes all of us. It’s like some sort of summer madness or something.

Anyway, I’ll leave it there for today. I’ve got a day sitting in the garden ahead of me, methinks.

Catch you all tomorrow.