Morning all and welcome to what many ‘experts’ are calling the hottest day EVER in the UK.

That it may be, but I bet it still doesn’t top the time when I was in Seville in summer with my parents when I was 16 and the centigrade sign in the city centre read 45 degrees. That, my friends, was a douzie of a day in which we had to essentially walk from shaded area to shaded area. So hopefully today it’s not as bad as that in Blighty. We as people here in England aren’t designed for that kind of weather and our houses certainly aren’t, with their mega insulation to keep the heat in, rather than let it breathe.

But here I go rambling about the weather, when I should be rambling about the football, Arsenal specifically. Do you know what’s weird? The lack of the away kit coming out yet. I find it strange that we are now 19 days away from the start of the season and the club still haven’t officially launched the Arsenal away kit. What are they going to do, wait until the first time we play with a team that plays in red and then do some kind of ‘surprise!’ announcement, like we haven’t already seen all of the leaked pictures? Heck, I’ve seen people wearing the black jersey already, in what must be some kind of friends and family secret password that you have to declare to get early access.

Why am I so bothered about the away kit? Well, probably because it looks frigging awesome, that’s why. A cool black finish with a gold cannon on the shirt? I’ve never been one to buy that many kits as an adult. In fact, I didn’t purchase a single one of the Puma kits. I just didn’t get that excited about them. But since Adidas have been on the scene they’ve tapped in to my nostalgia with little nods to the Arsenal of the past and I’ve loved it. I loved last season’s away kit. The first year of the Adidas deal I bought both home and away kits – I have NEVER done that before in my life. Yes they are expensive, yes they probably are over priced, but gosh-darn it, I loved them so I made sure I had the cash to fund it. A grown man going goo-goo over football kits. Honestly…

Will I buy the away kit and then the pink third kit when it comes out? If I speak, I am in trouble…

On the actual football front, there’s nothing really major that came out of yesterday’s news. I guess the team are in training, we already knew of the Zinchenko links from Saturday and I suspect that means that terms were all being agreed by the two clubs so that this deal could move swiftly along this week. If it progresses as much as we all hope, the player will be able to join up with his new teammates by the end of the week, one would hope. The good news is that Man City are already in the US, albeit in Houston, Texas, so when the i’s get dotted and the t’s get crossed, Arsenal can fly him from Texas to Florida. I’ve had a look (I am an Arsenal fan, after all, it’s kind of what we do) and it’s a two and a half hour flight between the cities – he could be with his new teammates within hours if the deal can be done!

Of course, I kid, because even if it is done hastily today and tomorrow, then the club will want to make a bit of a fanfare out of it and they won’t try to shoe horn the deal in to the day of a friendly game. If I was to hazard a guess I’d suggest they’d aim for the Sevilla Emirates Cup game as the one in which they can try to get him signed, sealed and delivered to Arteta ready to play before the season starts.

The question once it’s done is ‘who next?’ that is the debate amongst most of us online. Lots of us are speculating that we need a winger and a midfielder, with the journos tentatively suggesting that the club will go after the winger first. My personal preference – as I’m sure you are aware and probably getting bored of reading by now – is that we go for a central midfielder and that player is Tielemans. As it stands right now we might have Zinchenko coming in, but the fact Tierney already has a ‘knock’ and most of us are expecting him to miss at least a third of next season anyway, makes me think that Zinchenko might want to play in midfield and Arteta might see him as a midfielder, but he’s going to play more time as a left back at this rate!

Which means we still need a central midfielder. I’m fine with us keeping Xhaka if that is the case, but Partey has also picked up injuries and if last season we thought we placed too much burden on Sambi Lokonga to do what Partey does, how much has changed in the last three months since last season finished? In my mind not a lot. It is a tricky one because I rate Sambi and I think we should give him minutes (and therefore not ‘kill’ his career), but perhaps that should be in a double pivot. Is that best served with Xhaka? Or should we go back in for Tielemans, recognising that the Swiss captain is soon to turn 30 in September and is therefore perhaps not the future?

Don’t know. But I do know that it feels like there is just a little piece of the squad building puzzle that might be missing, even after Zinchenko is (hopefully) signed. We of course need to see how the next few weeks shape out and of course we are way better prepared for the season than we were at this stage last year, but my hopes are that a deal or two more above Zinchenko can be done between now and when the season starts. It’s probably slim hopes, but it is hopes nonetheless.

Catch you guys tomorrow.