Morning, morning, morning people and welcome to ‘The Countdown’ – it all kicks off this Friday with The Arsenal and I personally cannot wait.

But before I go back to talking about The Arsenal men’s team, it would be remiss of me not to tip my hat to the England Women’s football team, who went one better than the men last summer and picked up the coveted Women’s Euro 2022, breaking a 60 year wait for our national team in England to finally win a trophy. Huge congratulations must go to the Lionesses and what the impact they have done as a result of this historic victory will only become clear in the coming months and years, but my hope is that it starts to spur a generation of young girls to taking up playing football.

I’ve never really been massively in to women’s football and it is time for a confession; I watched some of the games for the Women’s World Cup in 2019 and I must admit, I wasn’t really that impressed. I think it was some of the earlier games that I watched and the quality was rather quite shoddy. It got better as some of the teams were eliminated and the better teams remained, but even in 2019 it felt like there were more strides to make. Just my opinion guys and gals. But this Euro’s I have caught a bit more and I have to say I think the quality has been much better. I watched the game last night and you can see definite moves being made in the technical quality of the football and that is really good to see, because it will only drive more girls to wanting to emulate the people they see on TV. Seeing Arsenal’s Leah Williamson lift that trophy will have been amazing to so many young female Gooners out there and I’m all for it.

Back to the men’s side and I see that we’re looking at finally closing the door on Leno as his move to Fulham is expected to happen any day now. Personally I’m disappointed at the low fee and it feels like we’re being shafted once again, but I’ve kind of said my piece on this so I’ll leave any further comment. It’ll be a little bit of cash in, a big wage off the bill again and hopefully is one of just a few players currently in the departure lounge waiting to be exited that we’ll be able to cash in on. The other one sounds like Pablo Mari and there appear to be a number of clubs in Italy who are interested in taking him, including Monza. I hope it isn’t a loan deal though, because I’m fed up of us loaning out players so their contracts run down, only for clubs to then low ball us when a player gets to having just one year left on his contract. I’m sure that’s where we’re at with Torreira, you know. I mean, here’s a guy who won a number of ‘player of the month’ awards for Fiorentina last season, is well regarded in Italy, has a good pedigree, is only 26 years of age and by all accounts we’re struggling to be able to sell him. I hear all of these stories about how the Italian Serie A has no money in it, but I’ve just had a quick check of midfielders who have joined Italian clubs this summer and here are just a selection of players and fees that I have found:

  • Kristian Thorstvedt to Sassuolo for €10million
  • Andre Anguissa to Napoli for €15million
  • Ederson from Salernitana to Atalanta for €21million
  • Marcos Atonio from Shaktar to Lazio for €7.5million.

Fiorentina have spent £20million this summer. Sampdoria are apparently interested but it will be ‘tough’ for them to sign him, so say the rumours. They’ve spent £11million this summer so I suspect they’d have to offer around that at least to get him. I doubt Arsenal would get too keen on selling Torreira to anyone for the £7million odd that Fiorentina tried to low ball us earlier in the summer, so it is probably at least £10million we’d want. But there is money in Italy. Juve have spent around £80m million, Atalanta around £56million, Napoli £53million and Inter £34million. It isn’t a lot give the size of the clubs we’re talking about, but there is money to be spent. So I just hope we don’t fall in to the loan trap like we have in the last couple of years.

I get what Edu has said about the difficulty in selling players who have a big wage, a cushy London life and therefore don’t just want to move easily, but I get the feeling that some of the players we have left now just want to go and play football. Pablo Mari to Monza? Fine, just give us £5million odd and he’s yours. Torreira to Lazio or Sampdoria? No worries, just hand over £10million and we’ll call it quits. Hector to Spain? Sure thing, give us £10million and we’ll be on our way. Simples, right?

Maybe not, but I just don’t believe these clubs pleading poverty are really going to expect us to just give players away for free. These clubs who, the second they hear of an Arsenal interest in one of their players, suddenly double their value overnight. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

Anyway, I should probably focus less on outgoings and more on what’s going to be happening over the next few days, because the excitement is really starting to build for me personally. We have a team who looks cohesive, a squad that looks pretty complete in terms of being ready for the season, a manager with whom the plan looks to have come to fruition and a collective of players who look really bought in. WE have looked solid defensively and in attack we look fluid and mobile.

What is there not to like?

Catch you lovely people tomorrow for another round up of daily Arsenal ramblings. Have a good one.