Morning folks and welcome to the last Friday of the season. My plan for this weekend is to try not to labour myself too much in thinking about ‘what could have been’, but Mikel Arteta will take to the press room at London Colney for the last time this season and he’ll no doubt have journo’s looking to dig some of that sentiment from him. I guess it is why he’s already done the interview with the clubs media earlier in the week; it’s part prep for a certain line of questioning, but also it enables him to repeat some of those messages and re-iterate in front of the assembled football media. Makes perfect sense to me.
It will be interesting to see what the team news is and what he tells us of who is available though. Last week he said we had some issues we had to contend with and that may still remain today. We know there will be no Zinchenko, Saliba, Tomiyasu, Martinelli, but do we have any other players who will sit out the final game? All will….well, NOT really….be revealed when we get no straight answer from Arteta later today 😉
And so what else is there going on? Not a lot really. The number of names we are linked with seems to increase exponentially each day and I’ve seen some noises about Osimhen popping up in the last few days. Really? Does any Arsenal fan REALLY think that will happen. He’s absolutely lit up the Italian league, of that there is no doubt, but Napoli have just won the league, play Champions League football next season as the champions and he is their star man. He may of course fancy a go at the Premier League, but Napoli have a contract with him for another two years and there is absolutely no way they are selling unless they get a ton of money for him this summer. Arsenal have made a habit of dishing out decent money for players that we really want, but all the rumours I have seen around this are gutter trash reports, so I’m not buying it.
Napoli supposedly want €130million for his signature. That is an extraordinary amount of money and with us needing to get ourselves more reinforcements in midfield and possibly defence ahead of a striker, I just don’t see this one getting off the ground. That is the sort of stupid money you would see from Chelsea though and it wouldn’t surprise me if they did that. They already have Nkunku coming in this summer, plus they will have to offload a load of players, but it’s the sort of deal you could see them doing ahead of The Arsenal. And besides, whilst a different striking option is something I think we’d all like, let’s face it, scoring goals wasn’t exactly the problem this season, was it? So far we have 83 goals and apart from City with 94, the nearest team to have scored as many goals as us this season has been Liverpool with 71. So why do we need to spend north of £100million on a striker? I just don’t see it.
We may be able to make a bit of cash to add to the coffers from player sales, but I can’t see us making enough to bag Osimhen, Rice, Caicedo, maybe another left back (if KT goes) as well as another possible right back (we continue to be linked with Fresnada from Real Sociedad). So for me it’s a bit of gutter press that is designed to get fans excited, rather than being steeped in any real truth.
The other non-transfer news I’ve seen this morning is about Reiss Nelson supposedly being on the verge of signing a four year deal. I honestly don’t get that. I mean if the club want to sign him up to protect his value for a possible sale next season, then I get it; he could be tied down for say another two years and then we look to move on next summer. But he was hardly used until towards the end of this season and even then it was only as a cameo player. He’s shown some slight sparks of brilliance and of course we have the wonderful last-gasp goal at home to Bournemouth, but in reality I don’t think I’ve personally seen enough to suggest that he will be able to provide proper competition for the likes of Saka on the right, or Martinelli/Trossard on the left.
Plus, what does it do to our summer transfer plans in terms of getting a top class rotational option behind Saka? Does this signing mean we’re sticking with what we’ve got? Because if that’s the case then next season we’ll be in the same position as we were this season; Saka will play in 95% of games and towards the end of the season he will naturally fade away. I think we need to be upgrading on Nelson for a better player who can play in that wide right position. So for me a four year deal doesn’t make too much sense. Of course we’ll have to see if it actually happens first though and this could just be paper talk. But it’s come from Art de Roche from the Athletic and he’s usually pretty reliable.
Maybe I’m looking at it all wrong though; maybe in order for us to truly get those big name players we seem to want early – Rice and Caicedo – we need to compromise in other positions, which is why we have Nelson down as the understudy for those wide positions. But in recent months we’ve all looked at Nketiah and wondered if he is good enough to take us to the next level, but we tied him down to a long term contract last summer and some of the chats I’ve now started to have with my mates are that even if we wanted to sell him now, his wages would probably mean that any transfer fee would be offset as the buying club wouldn’t want to fork out a big transfer plus have to match his wages.
Hey, I’m just a fan who reads what is out in public domain, and of course I still have faith in Edu, Arteta and the team at The Arsenal. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be wary of some of the decision making if it turns out to be true, right?
That’ll be me done for the day I think. Back tomorrow with some post-presser, pre-Wolves, chatter. Catch you all then.