That was a bit more fun yesterday at the Euro’s, eh?

We had goals, we had drama, we had teams going for matches and not relying on own goals, penalties, boring sufferball; it was how the Euro’s or any international tournament should be played. Not what we’re all now used to if you’re of a certain vintage i.e. cagey risk-averse football for the most part with the occasional moment of magic sprinkled in.

It’s kind of why I’m never overly-enamoured with international football, if I’m honest, because it never really lives up to the hype of club football and you never get the same quality of football match as a neutral. There never seems to be as much movement, quality players often seem to take a step down and it just isn’t as much fun. It’s only saving grace is that it happens during the summer when football is normally on a short hiatus, which is why it becomes mildly palatable.

But yesterday felt like there was some football to be had. The Romanians kept the game with a little bit of jeopardy for as long as they could before the Dutch ended up sealing it through former Arsenal lad Donyell Malen. I’ve seen him a little bit in this tournament and kept an eye on him because of The Arsenal connection, but let’s be honest here, it doesn’t feel like he’s the sort of player I’d be desperate for us to go out and buy for us next season. He’s 25, his value is rumoured to be around £35million, he’s versatile having played 24 times for Dortmund at right wing, 11 left wing and 3 as a centre forward last season, but he has seemed a little wasteful to me in this tournament. He bagged 15 goals and five assists from wide positions last year but he’s not exactly going to displace any of our players we currently have. So whilst I’m happy he’s gone on from Arsenal and made a career at some decent clubs, it doesn’t feel like the right kind of fit and I doubt he’d want to come in and get League and FA Cup minutes when Saka needs to be rotated.

In the second game I had a lot more fun watching Turkey versus the Austrians and not just because I had Turkey in my sweepstake. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to see my £2 advance to the quarter finals, but it was more fun to see both Turks and Austrians have a proper go at each other. There was some good old-fashioned set piece goals, there was some back to the walls defending, as well counter-attacking football that had you thinking that the game was on a knife-edge right until the last few seconds. Nobody likes to see games peter out when you’re a neutral, so I enjoyed seeing that go right to the end and then the response from the Turkish fans and players was lovely. You could see how much it meant to them. I also thought that lad Ferdi Kadioglu, who I think we’ve been linked with, had a pretty good game indeed. He loves to run at defnders, he’s definitely got the ability to beat a man and I also thought he did a pretty stand-up job in a defensive sense. You could see why some clubs like Dortmund, Barca and us have been linked and given there are strong noises about us getting a left back in this summer then his ability to play there, but also as a right back feels like a natural fit for the links. But could he play that inverted role? Last season he operated primarily as a left back and made nine appearances as a right back but the season before he played 25 as a right back, nine in right midfield, nine at left back, nine in left midfield and once as a left winger. This kid looks like he’s a good dribbler of the ball and his eye for a pass looked decent enough, so maybe this is something to keep an eye on.

I suspect we’ll be focusing more on outputs right now though, with Sambi Lokonga rumoured to be attracting interest from Sevilla. The noises have mainly come from the Spanish press and they’re saying Sevilla won’t go above €8million, which is pretty low given he did well for Luton last season, but Sevilla are in one of the more precarious financial positions of the Spanish clubs and so I can understand why they’d want the player for a cut down price. But we paid €17.5million for him and he’s still of an age that you’d expect a decent return, so my hope is that we hold firm on our rumoured valuation of the player at around £10million. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me; this kid has talent, he’s still young, he will go somewhere and make it work, but let’s not get shafted on the fee. Also, when he does go, let’s have a hefty sell on fee. The last thing we want is him to go to a club like Sevilla, absolutely bang then having got him for peanuts, we end up seeing them sell him on for €30million in a couple of season’s time. We need to be telling clubs that it’s 10million, but oh by the way, we’ll take 33% of any future sell on fee, thank you very much.

That’s supposedly why Bologna want €40million for Calafiori, because two season’s ago he was at Basel and made 34 appearances there before playing regularly for Bologna last season. They picked him up for €4million and Basel agreed a 40% sell on fee. So the Italians want to make sure they get north of €25million for themselves from the deal. We need to be doing the same deals for every player that leaves The Arsenal because those small values like we get for Omari Hutchinson who went to Ipswich, can quickly add up if you do those deals regularly.

It means you can speculate a little more on players. Imagine if we paid roughly £15million for Sambi, sold him for £8million, but get a 33% sell on. If he bangs for his next club and in two year’s time is sold for, let’s say, £21million (around €25million). That would be £7million in Arsenal’s coffers and would mean we have effectively made our money back on a player who was alright, wasn’t quite at the level, but we managed to do some business that works for us. That’s where Arsenal need to be smart. Less “sell your best players for £100million” and more player acquisitions that we try, if they don’t work out, we can still move on and keep refreshing the squad.

Anyway, bit of a longer one from me today with those musings, so I’ll pause for now and let you get on with the rest of your day.

Have a good one peeps. I’m doing the Same Old Arsenal summer series tonight so if you fancy joining us at 7.30pm, you can do so here.