Morning folks. How we all doing in the sizzling heat? Feeling cool? Or melting a little bit?
The players took off for the US yesterday and the club announced their 33 man squad which, weirdly, included five goalkeepers. So unless there have been some new rules that have flown under the radar that will allow us to field more than one in matches, I must admit to being a little confused as to why we’ve bothered to bring so many, if I’m honest.
Ramsdale is an obvious one. Turner is the new signing. I get taking Leno because leaving him at home shows he’s out the door and could scupper any potential transfer negotiation and perhaps that’s also why Runarsson is on the plane too. But with the Icelandic ‘keeper surely not going to fetch very much cash at all if we get a fee from another club, it feels a bit redundant taking him along.
That’s especially the case when you’re leaving the likes of Charlie Patino at home, who apparently impressed when he got some minutes against Nurnberg. I doubt all of the ‘keepers will play but I suspect Ramsdale, Turner and maybe Leno will all get minutes, as Arteta shows prospective buyers that a) players are keeping their fighting weight ready for a move, and b) we’ll use players if we don’t get sufficient bids in.
It’s an interesting one because there are plenty on that plane for whom that thought process certainly applies. Hector Bellerin is on the plane because until Betis – or Atletico/Roma – stump up some cash, he’ll be seen to be a player we’ll use. And I think we should. I hope the conversations between player and Arteta are that we will let him go if a reasonable price is offered. But he needs to prepare himself mentally for that not to happen and to be ready to play for The Arsenal in the new season.
And hey, as far as I’m concerned, if it takes Cedric another place away from the first team I’d certainly take it in place of any proper bids come in.
We do need to see proper bids though. Man City have just sold a ‘keeper (Bazunu) for £12million who has never played a game for City, yet we have Fulham haggling over a £10million deal for a German international in Leno, as well as Betis pleading poverty and hoping we’ll just give Bellerin away out of the goodness of our hearts.
Pull the other one lads, it’s got bells on.
What the market is showing us is that there is money out there and we need to not blink when we get given the eyes from these clubs come to us with the begging bowl.
So what we’re doing in bringing out Bellerin, Leno, Torreira, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, all makes sense even though they are probably – and hopefully – going to be making their exits in the coming weeks.
But that exception for me is Runarsson. Where there’s clearly no cash to be gained from his transfer, does it really matter whether he comes on tour? And if Arteta wants to bring as big a squad as possible, why not just take a 35 or 36 man squad and include a few more of those youngsters? The experience alone of travelling with the team, being around the first team, etc, would certainly give them a lot of added benefit and heck, I’m sure the fans out there in the States would love to see a bit of fresh blood.
But anyway, in reality I’m kind of knit-picking on small things here, mainly because there’s little else to talk about. There is still no news on the transfer front and all of the top tier transfer journos have gone very quiet from an Arsenal perspective. Yesterday I did my bit on Paqueta and Tielemans and until some new and interesting pops up I think I’ll leave any further comment on those particular players.
The weekend will bring the first friendly of the US tour and we’ll finally see the squad coming together in its entirety as all of the first team players are back, so that’s kind of exciting to see. It will be intriguing to see how Arteta lines up the team over the coming days and I’m looking forward to seeing how some of those new signings work with their new teammates.
How will William Saliba fare and in what way will Arteta deploy him?
Where will Fabio Vieira play?
How ready is Marquinhos for the first team and will we see some of the glimmers of the talent that he’s already shown in Brazil?
All questions I’m sure you – as much as me – are interested to have answered, even if it is just a bunch of friendlies and not the real thing.
Right, that’s it from me today, a relatively short one to match the dearth of proper news circulating on The Arsenal at the moment.
Catch you all in the morrow.