They finally unveiled the Arsene Wenger statue yesterday. It’s a three-and-a-half metre tall bronzed statue with Arsene lifting the Premier League trophy and, I have to say, enough time has passed for me to be appreciating and thanking the man who brought so much joy to our lives. Three Premier League titles and countless FA Cups, some community shield’s thrown in there too. He is deserving of it and I’m pleased that in a couple of week’s time I’ll be able to wander over to the ground and take a look at the big man himself and take a moment to appreciate what he did for the club.
I did think it was a little weird that there wasn’t a picture of him there and with it being a midweek there probably wouldn’t have been too many people around, so it could have been a relatively nice and low-key affair, but I guess he has other commitments with FIFA that kept him away. Still, would have been nice to get a quote from him and see a couple of pics of him smiling.
He’s done the whole ‘back to watch a game at the Emirates as a fan’ thing and I would have thought now that particular ‘thing’ was moved out of the way, he’d be open to the idea of returning a bit more, but I’m not sure whether we’ll see too much of him in the next few years if I’m honest. We’ve all seen the Wenger documentary and in it he does talk in a way in which you can tell he was hurt by the way it all ended, but as much as we all loved him, surely deep down he knew it had to end at some time and as many of us have mentioned countless times, he probably stuck around a little too long. But let’s not pick at old wounds; his statue is up, he deserves it, we can go back to loving the man who achieved so much and this is a token from the club that shows it.
Back to the most pressing matters at the club, which is for outgoings, as Arteta himself has already said we have too many players and some need to exit. We have 30 on the first team books I think and now that the team are back in Blighty and prepping for the Monaco friendly on Wednesday, we really do need to see Edu getting a wriggle on with the outbound movement now. We all know the names – Runarsson, Cedric, Holding, Tavares, Trusty, Lokonga (shame – I liked him), Pepe and probably Balogun (again – another shame) make up eight players that Edu must be asking around if there are any takers. Maybe you could chuck KT in on that as well if the right money comes in. I’m sure the club will need to recoup some money for these players but unless there is something that happens soon, we might end up seeing a bit of a fire sale.
And I wonder if that was part of the plan from the American owners perspective? I doubt it very much. I suspect the administration team at The Arsenal approached KSE and told them that they need to buy to get themselves set up for the season first, before they start to offload players and recoup some of the outlay that has already been made. That is what I imagine the pitch would have been anyway, because Arsenal can’t keep spending the sort of cash we have spent without bringing some dollar in. We’ve got circa £20million from the Xhaka sale, but if I was a guessing man I would have thought that Edu might have earmarked around £100million in player sales to make the ol “net spend” numbers appeal a little less excessive. If my speculation is correct, then you’re talking about £80million needed across the nine players I’ve mentioned above. That’s an average of £8.9million incoming from each player and when you put it like that then it doesn’t seem too unrealistic. But again, as I’ve just said:
Edu needs to get a wriggle on.
And he probably needs to do it with some of the easier sales first, which probably means KT or Balogun. If we get their respective market values then you’re probably taking two thirds of the required cash in amount right there. But the problem we have is that it all feels a little too quiet. The KT sale is a weird one, because it seems like everyone has already just earmarked him for either Newcastle or Celtic, but it doesn’t feel as though we’ve had any proper concrete links other than a bit of paper talk, which would suggest that there is no real immediate solution looking to happen. People have ut two and two together and just assumed Newcastle would stump up £35million, but there isn’t enough ‘smoke’ around this fire to suggest that’ll happen.
The Balogun stuff feels like it has gone quiet too. There were those Inter links, but apparently they are only thinking of something around the £30million mark and as we’ve already heard, Arsenal aren’t even going to countenance that for a guy who blitzed the French league last season.
So we are waiting for some movement right now. Perhaps now all the US touring is done we’ll see Edu making a few European trips to sort out some deals, but it does feel like it needs to happen asap.
Edu mate – get a wriggle on.
Arteta will want his squad all in place, he will want his core of 25 all sorted and that means a minimum of five need to make moves. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later.
Right, that’s me sorted for today. I’m off to pray to the weather gods that the sun stays out this afternoon so I can get the BBQ lit.
Catch you all tomorrow.