No pleasantries this morning, straight in to the ‘WTF’ moment and as you and I were at home patiently scrolling through our social media feeds, news broke of the utterly horrendous deal Arsenal had done for Bernd Leno. £3million up front is a borderline insult for such a ‘keeper, with £1million if he plays a certain number of games, £2million if they stay up and another £2million if they stay up for the second season. At best the deal hits £8million which we all thought was pretty low, but this deal now looks like Arsenal – and specifically Edu – have pulled their pants down and asked to be rogered quite hard indeed. I said I wouldn’t go on about this but come on, this is worthy of discussion and I’m afraid for all of the good he is at getting players in, Edu is showing just how poor he is at exiting people. It’s an atrocious deal that should have people asking genuine questions now.
Guendouzi for £10million was low. Binning off players for free in such volume as we have has been an eyebrow raiser, Torreira to Galatasaray for under £6million is a joke when there are multiple clubs sniffing around him, we also hear that Hector Bellerin might buy out his own contract so he can join Betis on a free. No. This has to stop now. It is not sustainable.
“Yeah, but what do we care, as long as it doesn’t impact our purchases”
That’s an argument I have heard. And yes, if that were to be completely and unequivocally true then maybe there’s an argument that we should sit back and enjoy the ride. But that is 100% NOT the KSE model. They don’t bankroll teams to spend fortunes without recouping. The reason why making money back on your players is important is because we all know they’ll want their coin back and the biggest fan I – and many other Gooners have – is that they will do it by offloading one of our stars. THAT is why we should care. Imagine you could get decent money for Leno, Bellerin, Guendouzi, Maitland Niles, Mari, Torreira, Pepe – not even great money, just decent levels. Let’s say £8million for each as an average. That’d be £56million. As it stands it looks like we’ll probably get around £25million. That’s £25million spare. That’s basically a player fee that we’re losing out on. There is no way in hell Arsenal can just swallow that without repercussions. THAT is why it matters. Players on the pitch that make us better not being able to be signed because we bend over for other clubs.
“He only had one year left on his deal and only wanted Fulham, so the options were limited”
Here’s another argument that has done the rounds and as my good friend Giles has pointed out on Twitter, how about Youri Tielemans then. The only real interest in that player this summer has been Arsenal. The speculation there is because Arsenal have already done the ground work and the player only wants to come to us as a result. Yet Leicester have supposedly ‘downgraded’ their asking price to a mere £30million.
Hold on a second, £30million? But he only has one year left on his contract and the noises are that he only wants Arsenal? So where’s the massive drop in asking price then?
I’ll tell you where – nowhere – because it doesn’t exist. Leicester have their value, they might deviate a little bit because of the one year left on the contract side of the discussions, but there is no way they are going to let anyone be rolled over like we had. If you apply the same logic to the Leno deal that you do to the Tielemans deal, then we should be able to get him for about £15million. We’d never get that over the line in a million years. And THIS is why Arsenal fans are frustrated; we all feel like we are being taken advantage of from a selling perspective, yet do not reap any of the rewards from a buying perspective. Gabriel Jesus had one year left on his deal but we still had to fork out £45million. Maybe that was a little on the light side and maybe Man City sold a little cheaply, but it is nowhere near as cheap as we’ve offloaded Leno for.
“Ahh but Leno is one of the good guys, he should get his move”
Bollocks. He’s a player at Arsenal and if Fulham had looked elsewhere he’d have also looked elsewhere for options. It’s just how football works. I’m not having this nonsense that we had no other choice. It’s the same with Bellerin. We love Hector, he loves Arsenal, but that doesn’t mean that we should just let him walk off for free just because he’s a good guy and we’re good guys. No. Betis should be told in no uncertain terms that they need to cough up some cash for the player and then they can have his contract.
We have to stop legitimising the poverty plays from other clubs. So many other teams don’t allow it so why should we? It is time we started to stand firm.
Anyway, rant over now and I’ll move on, because we’re just a couple of games before the season starts and tomorrow there will be a press conference with the manager, which will be lovely. There will also be the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary released and despite the fact we know the happy ending never really came from a Champions League perspective, at least it’ll give us a little bit of insight in to the the inner workings of Arsenal last season. That’s something I’m interested to see, if not some of the slightly cringe team talks or playing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at training sessions, ahead of a game we ended up losing 4-0.
There was also another loan exit all but confirmed, as Charlie Patino will be joining Blackpool on loan next season in the Championship, which will be a good move for him I think. If he can get himself 20 – 30 games next season it might have a very good impact on his Arsenal prospects so I suspect that Arsenal will be keeping a keen eye on how the lad does. Fingers crossed it’s as successful as Jack Wilshere’s move to Bolton and Emile Smith Rowe’s move to Huddersfield.
That’s me done for today. You enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll catch you all tomorrow.