Morning Gooners, how are we doing on this Tuesday morn? It’s a cold one out there in London, but thankfully the warming glow of three points in the North London Derby is still keeping you insulated if you are facing some chilly weather out there. And if you’re reading this from a nice warm climate somewhere else on the planet, I hope Arsenal aren’t overheating you too much.

I’m still soaking it all up. This morning I woke up, went downstairs to grab my cereal, scrolling through my Twitter trying to find any new angle or viewpoint to read through that I haven’t quite seen yet. Like how Peter Drury expertly commentated on the game in comparison to Martin Tyler and Gary Neville, who sounded as if they’d just been told that their dogs had both died after we’d scored our goals. Drury however was excellent and quite why he isn’t the main man on Sky is beyond me. But hey ho.

I’m also trying to keep re-living the game itself because the other alternative is to start getting worried about the fact that we’re over halfway through the transfer window now and it feels like Arsenal’s eggs were in the Mudryk basket, meaning that we have very little idea of what to do next. This time last season is was Vlahovic or bust and whilst the gamble felt like a questionable one last January (as Lacazette was already showing signs of stinking the place out) at the time, the prize was infinitely smaller than what is at stake now. Now we have the tantalising prospect of even competing for a league title, let alone win it and as much as this current group has delivered amazing results so far this season, maintaining the current trajectory is, frankly, impossible I think. I’m not sure we’ll be able to beat United at the weekend – I have a weird feeling about the game in the pit of my stomach – but if we did then it would be 50 points at the halfway stage, which is a trajectory of a 100 point season. That’s practically flawless and although we’ve got this far this season managing it, with proper games coming up in cup competitions I’m not sure how much Arteta will want to chuck some of the current rotation options in and rely solely on them.

But I sympathise with the clubs situation; on a WhatsApp group this morning with my mates we were debating Trossard and Zaha and the likelihood of us going for them. The argument is around whether we want bodies or we want to stick to our principles and only go for players that really move the needle. I’m not sure that I’m that overly enamoured by either of the above; is Trossard really that much better than any of our options in reserve? At the moment we have a returning Emile Smith Rowe and depending on when Jesus is back, you’ve then got five players in to three positions, with the potential of Fabio Vieira also being able to deputise in that wide right position making it six. Zaha probably does improve the team in terms of being more able to impact us instead of Vieira, but at 29 and big wages wanted as he’s about to be able to go on a Bosman if he wants, it just doesn’t feel like the right kind of move that this Arsenal team would go for. Trossrad I’m just not convinced about at all.

But I’ve also seen some comments from mainland Europe this morning about Diaby from Leverkusen and the Germans wanting more than what Chelsea paid for Mudryk, which herein lies the problem with what both they and United have done with the Ukrainian and Antony deals. They have massively over-inflated the market for attacking players and that has an impact for teams like us, because teams from Europe have a benchmark and they therefore have something to try to leverage against the big English clubs. We are not a team that will succumb to extortion though and as a result it worries me because I think it’s going to make the next two weeks really hard for Arsenal and Edu to find the right type of player. We’ve seen the links coming from Spain for Raphinha and that Barcelona want €100million for the player. If they have told Arsenal that’s what they’d like then I think we should send them some kind of email with the words “HA! HA! HA!” written on it. That club trying to buy a player for £55million, then after half a season of not really impressing, trying to create a market for him at nearly double the price, is actually laughable. This is also the club that got Auba for nothing and then sold him six months later to Chelsea for £10million. Nah, the only way I’d deal with Barca is if we slapped down less than what they paid for Raphinha and say “you need the money, here’s some, but at our price” and if they say no then we instantly walk away. That club should get absolutely no favours from us and I hope we don’t even entertain doing anything that could be moderately beneficial for them.

But back to Arsenal’s current complex predicament, I suspect ideally if they could they’d have somebody they could grab on loan for five months to ‘try before you buy’ on a player, but very few clubs would be willing to lose a star player that is playing well for practically nothing without any guarantees of fees at the end. That then (an ‘obligation to buy’ clause) completely negates the point of a loan deal and so I think the situation Arsenal find themselves in as a result of the Mudryk saga is that a really tough ‘stick’ or ‘twist’ challenge presents itself. Try for a player who can slightly improve us but potentially be a problem if it doesn’t work out and they’re on a long term contract with us (like Cedric, Mustafi, et al), or keep the powder dry and go for something in the summer, knowing that if you do that it is probably going to be massively difficult to sustain a challenge to win the league.

I don’t want this blog to feel too overtly negative though, so I’m going to finish on a more positive note, which is that when you look at the way we are playing, the team we have and the position we are in the league, we are a super attractive proposition. Just look at some of the comments that came out yesterday from Saliba; we haven’t really heard him talk in such glowing terms as he did in that interview yesterday before and I think part of that has to do with the team, the position in the league and the fact that he is a massive part of that. We are looking like a really attractive proposition for a player and perhaps whoever we go for will be somebody who we’ll be able to get to force a hand of a selling club if they are playing silly b*ggers with the fee they want.

And on that note I’ll leave it there for the day. Have yourself a good one, enjoy your Tuesday, and I’ll catch you tomorrow.