Welcome to Transfer Deadline Day week folks. Strap yourselves in, because the next 40ish hours or so are going to be rather trying, as usual, I suspect.
I said I wasn’t going to get too connected to the Moises Caicedo stuff, but after flying back from Newcastle last night hand having a solid hour and a half in the lounge with little to do, inevitably I found myself scrolling through my Twitter feed and seeing ‘hot take’ and ‘hot take’ and ‘new info’ after ‘new info’ from people pertaining to know something that little different. Bah. Load of old tosh. Very few people have insight before the fact and it’s only when something concrete happens that a few select journos get wind of information before everyone else then starts spewing it on to a timeline.
So last night Fabrizio and Ornstein both reported on the rejected bid of £65million plus £5million in add ons and unless Arsenal thought Brighton would just cave by chucking in an extra £5million to their original bid, I’m not really sure that was ever going to cut the mustard. And if Brighton want to ask for £80million odd, then I think that is fair enough and their prerogative. But what I am hopeful now is that as strong a resolve as Brighton’s is, that Arsenal’s resolve is equally strong to say “fair enough, we’ll look elsewhere”. That is the next move I think would be best for all in this situation. Brighton get to stand firm, they get to keep an essential player for them, we also get to stand firm and prove that we’re not just going ‘pay the effin’ money’ and leave ourselves open to clubs in future automatically rejecting the first two bids we make so they can go in for a player.
Let’s part our ways from this deal and hopefully the club has a plan B. What that plan B is remains to be seen, but the Trossard stuff happened pretty quickly and hopefully today we can move quickly for another alternative and get them in before tomorrow night. My view is that we look to go overseas, because you’ll find better bargains overseas and you aren’t going to have your pants pulled down by Premier League clubs who know that you are desperate to buy.
Desperate, but as last January showed, not going to be taken for a ride. I’m all good with that.
One thing I thought i’d put out there though; it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Caicedo has signed a new deal after the transfer window. He’s apparently on very low terms and Brighton might want to keep him sweet until the summer. If he’s on roughly £3.5k-per-week then they could bump him up to £40k-per-week, then add an extra year to his deal, to maximise his value. We’ve seen that sort of stuff before. But if you’re Caicedo’s agent you’re probably telling Brighton that you’d only do that if there was a release clause of something like £60million in for the summer. That way Brighton get a healthy profit on the player, the player gets a few months of bigger cash in his pocket between now and the end of the season, but he doesn’t have Brighton going even sillier on the fee and wanting £100million in the summer. It also means everyone knows where they stand in the summer. That new contract by the player – one to keep an eye on I reckon.
Do we have internal solutions if Partey isn’t fit? Not really. But is there anybody outside of the club who could come in and replicate what Partey has been doing? Maybe over time, but not come in right now and make an impact straight away – I just don’t see it happening. Sambi has shown he doesn’t quite work as a six, maybe Xhaka or Zinchenko can drop in to that position if needed? I think I’d be willing to at least give that a go if the window slams shut and we don’t have an option. Zinchenko has played as a DM once for City, and as a general central midfielder a number of times for Ukraine. He can perform there if needed and whilst it takes him out of the position that he has excelled at all season (when fit) for us so far, we have a very capable player in Kieran Tierney who can play at left back to cover and not drop the level. If I think about it, would I rather have Sambi in the six and play Zinchenko in as a left back, or have Zinny at central midfield and play KT at left back? The latter option feels like the lesser drop off to me.
The good news is that don’t have to wait long to find out what out options are, because come Wednesday morning it’ll all be known and we’ll know what we have to get on with.
What is practically confirmed, although I didn’t mention yesterday because I thought it would have been announced by now, is that Gabby Martinelli has reportedly inked his deal for a four-and-a-half year contract at the club. Excellent news. He’s the first of that trio of players with whom all Arsenal fans are eagerly awaiting confirmation that they’ll be sticking around for the foreseeable and whilst he always felt like the easiest of players to get the deal done, it still comes as a welcome relief. Now we need to have good news about Saliba and Saka and then we’re really cooking. This is such a young and exciting squad that it feels like we could be at the beginning of something really special if we can keep this squad together. But the core that has established us there and some of these players who have stepped up like Saliba and Saka, need to be committed to the long term for it to feel like we’re properly going in the right direction.
Other than that there’s not a lot else cooking at the moment. I do wonder if we’re going to find an alternative to Caicedo, if the ripples and rumours start to surface today. The Trossard deal appeared on the Wednesday and was done by the Friday, such was the expediency of Arsenal’s moves. If they’re going to find somebody to come in as that number six deputy, that move needs to probably surface at some stage today with a view to getting everything signed and paperwork done by tomorrow nights 11pm deadline.
As usual, Arsenal leaving it super late to sort their business out, which is both frustrating and exhilarating in equal measure.
Right, i’m offski. Catch you all tomorrow.
Brighton are making no attempt to pay the player what he is worth. Instead they charge large sums of money most of which goes into the chairmans pocket. There wage bill is low. All this is fair enough if they want to run the club that way but there should be no complaints regarding transfers (in or out) or with players getting pi**ed off with what they are being paid and being denied a chance in this case the opportunity to win a title medal. They did win the charity shield through in 1910