On Transfers Whether They Happen Or Not!

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My thoughts this morning are with the victims of the barbarism of yesterday in Nice. It, as with the other atrocities carried out around the world on a daily basis, ought to give us pause for thought and for the majority it will.

But if your plan today was to ‘troll’ someone on social media, to abuse them or their families because they hold a different point of view to you, take a step back. Read a newspaper and digest the pain and suffering of those in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas; people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to live their lives as best they can but whose lives were ended through hatred and bigotry.

If you think you are contributing to society in a positive manner with your pathetic behaviour, get a grip and do something useful with your life, instead of succumbing to hatred and bile.

This morning sees little going on around Arsenal. Joel Campbell is apparently off to Valencia, or at the very least, interesting them. He would like it there; a very nice part of Spain and a beautiful city with lots to do. Plenty going on and a good nightlife. And sun. Loads of it which is a pleasant change from the wretched weather we’ve been having.

Gonzalo Higuain, if he leaves Napoli, is going to Juventus for £58m and two players. Which is news to Napoli, I’m sure. Auerlio De Laurentiis must be drumming his fingers down to the bone waiting for the fax machine to whirr into life and produce the official Juve offer. On headed notepaper, of course; nothing less is acceptable, and with a personal note from Andrea Agnelli, hoping he and the family are well, and can they expedite this move as he’s hosting a party on his yacht this weekend.

It’s probably news to Arsenal that they are set to lose out on Higuain as well. Whilst he is the sort of forward most of us would agree we need, I seriously doubt that we are even looking to bring him in. He’s too expensive for the manager and board’s tastes, despite the way the transfer market is moving.

The Premier League’s boasts about how much money they are making from the broadcasting deal made it inevitable prices would rise. When Leicester City have a £32m bid for a distinctly average forward like Troy Deeney rejected, you know the world has gone mad.

Arsenal paying £78-80m ought not to be flung around lightly. It’s a huge sum of money but there over-riding perception is that we won’t go into those realms, not on one player. You could argue that by not doing so, the board undermine the potential for success. It depends on the player, of course, but I think in this instance, it would be a credible bid to launch.

It’s not me making the decision though. The concern is that we know there’s an issue with the forwards and goals in general from the squad so the investment is needed in footballing terms. Problematically, the board and Kroenke aren’t concerned about that; they worry about things from a business perspective and therein is a significant factor to bear in mind.

There’s a clear divergence between the ambitions of the board and supporters. We want Arsenal to challenge for trophies, the board are concerned with achieving a level of success which maintains and improves income. The shiny silver in the trophy cabinet is nice but decorative; it doesn’t guarantee a significant increase in revenues.

However, it does lay them open to accusations about a lack of footballing ambition. And, as the core reason for the club’s existence, that can’t be ignored. It’s a question of priorities and until the balance is redressed, there will always be antagonism toward those in charge. It’s not much different from any other walk of life, to be honest.

That’s modern football for you. The commercial revenues were always nice for clubs to have but back in the day, gate receipts were more important. Fans are important still and most clubs acknowledge that without those attending matches on a vast scale, the game’s appeal vanishes to broadcasters and sponsors.

But life would so much simpler if they weren’t there, are the unspoken words.

As such, our aspirations are likely to be unquenched. I don’t think a world-class striker is coming this summer; I’d be surprised if its anything more than a squad player replacing Campbell. It’s a sad state of affairs but a sign, I think, of an institutional problem that the Arsenal board are too timid to address.

The belief in the squad, I am sure, is genuine on Arsène’s part but it masks a naïvety as well. We finished second, continuing the upward curve in the Premier League but, I think, off the back of poorer performances last season than the season before. The key totals were lower: less points, fewer wins, fewer goals scored – the same number conceded.

There’s no two ways about it, compared to the year before, we were poor but we capitalised on Spurs collapse to finish second. Expecting the same good fortune this season is madness. Others are investing significantly in their squads with new managers addressing the shortcomings as they perceive them.

Arsene has done the same for Arsenal; perhaps he genuinely believes that Xhaka solved the only genuine problem we had with Walcott recovering form to pressurise Giroud. Only he can answer that question but it had better not be with “the quality wasn’t there” because it is. You just have to pay for it.

We shall see. The transfer window is not long open and with summer tournaments delaying moves all over the place, we may not be in as bad a position as it’s perceived. Which is a greater part of the problem and one which is habitual at Arsenal: poor PR with the fans. Quiet with Arsenal doesn’t mean anything: it can good, it might be bad or it could mean nothing is happening. We don’t know. A little hint here or there may be helpful.

What I would value though is Arsène making a statement of fact if he isn’t going to add to the squad. Come out and underline that, state your faith in the players. Perhaps they will appreciate that and be spurred on. At least it’s a philosophy we can follow, even if we disagree with it.

’til Tomorrow.

50 thoughts on “On Transfers Whether They Happen Or Not!

  1. Morning everyone. I’d like to add my sympathies to those affected by the actions of a sick individual in Nice too. Because no sane individual could undertake such an act against fellow human beings.

    YW, I 100% agree with your closing statement. Too many times AFC seem unable or unwilling to be honest with it’s ‘customers’. If we are not making any further significant investment in the squad this summer then they should have the balls to say so, that the manager is happy with what he has. I don’t want to hear how we can compete with Bayern and Barca (Ivan), or how we can buy any player bar Messi and Ronaldo (Sir Chips).

    As for Campbell I feel that although not a first choice for a club like ours he’s good enough to be an impact sub and to be fair he has been more effective when called upon than several more naturally talented individuals. But Arsene obviously doesn’t like him so I wish him well wherever he goes.

  2. Whatever happens vis-a-vis the transfer market and Arsenal FC this time round, I hope the old method of the Club fixing its own valuation of a needed player and firmly sticking to it, has been abandoned.
    However right in principle, the time has come when, in these obscenely inflated times, acceptance that paying over the odds for a player is unavoidable.
    Otherwise there is a danger that our great Club, in insisting on taking the moral high ground, will be left behind by our immediate rivals whose finances are more loosely assured and used.
    We fail to adopt a pragmatic approach at our peril.

  3. A very sensible Post, Yogi, and not a lot can be added, if anything to your opening paragraphs.

    Like you, and many thousands of others, I am disappointed with the lack of positive news on the CF transfer front, but I am not convinced that the Board – i.e. Krone – are restricting the money to buy new players, or even that they are responsible for Wenger not pulling out his finger and buying a replacement for Giro.

    The news today that Wolfsburg will not permit the transfer of Draxler, at any cost – which means the Board/Wenger are powerless to buy him whatever their wishes. That news comes hot on the heels of the Lyon boss saying much the same thing, albeit on two fronts, regarding Lacazette, in that he will not be moving this summer, and in any case Lyon had not had any offer from any other club.

    What that means, and it is obvious, is that a club, Arsenal in this case, cannot look through the shop window of another club, and ogle a tasty player and say “I’ll have him, with the big drum” when they do not want to let him go. All the recriminations against the buying club are somewhat pointless, and removed from reality, however much that hurts us desperate, CF deficient Gooners. 😀

  4. Morning,

    my condolences go out to those who have lost family and friends in the cowardly act of terrorism enacted last night. That someone can indiscriminately target families enjoying time out together is appalling and I hope that we can hunt down those who are behind such dreadful acts, as they are the real cowards. They order others to do their twisted bidding in the name of a people who don’t want their association.

    The Campbell rumour is a strange as it would mean that we are willing to let another forward go when we are already one man down, but it would certainly ensure that Theo’s job is safe in the short term. I suppose with the promotion of players like Iwobi and The Jeff we have an excess of talented young potentials. Campbell has never really beem the apple of Wenger’s eye, so I guess it would be no real shock if his head were on the block.

    Even though I am an old cynic, I do think we will sign at least one more player this summer. My reasoning is based on my perception of the club’s expectations, not my own wish for footballing success. After the signing of Cech last summer I believed we had enough about us to make it in the the CL places, although I was still somewhat concerned about the CDM spot. This summer I am not convinced that we are good enough for top 4.

  5. @HenryB,
    I trust that those supporters of our great club who wail at the failure of new signings, will read, learn and inwardly digest your 10.47.
    When a club with a player we covert says he will not be transferred AT ANY COST we have to accept it.
    Too often, the club (and by that I mean Arsene Wenger) is unfairly criticised at the non-signing of a much-needed player when the cause is self-evident. His employers simply will not agree to his transfer.

  6. Morning YW I can’t understand why we are so poor in the transfer market. It does seem like we have given up the hunt to find a striker with most outlets saying we are out of the Higuan and Lacazette race.
    Wenger has a serious problem if we start the game against Liverpool with Akpom as our number 9, it is 1 month away.

  7. @ wavey 10.59
    I agree that ad things stand our squad might not be good enough for top 4 but we still have a month to add the desired firepower.

  8. @Nicky – Wolfsburg said last year the same thing about DeBruyne, but City eventually got their man. Not that I’m saying that it’s true in every case, but 99% of the time any player is available for the right price.

  9. The valuation of players isn’t down to the buying club, much as Le Boss would like it to be and the fact that we now look to be desperate for a striker makes it easier for the ‘selling’ club to play hardball. And then when they look to the likes of Chelski paying 30 odd mil for a 22 year old from the French league, why would they not add a few million to the asking price…

  10. Thanks for the post Yogi

    I don’t think Stan and the board are the ones who actually make the decisions. Is there is any person besides Arsene in our upper management who has enough football knowledge to be involved in transfer decisions. Ivan’s background is as a business executive. I obviously don’t have inside knowledge but the feeling I get is their job is to rubber stamp any decisions Arsene makes.

  11. @Bill – we all know the score – if anyone has forgotten just re-read Sir Chip’s comments….

  12. Actually I think we are good enough for top four this season as well. I Just don’t think Spurs and Leicester can improve any further unless they start shopping in the World Class players section which we are currently aiming for (with little success it must be said). Liverpool and Everton, for all their talk and the pedigree of their managers, are finding it hard to recruit the players that can turn mid table sides like them into proper Champions League qualification contenders. Southampton have hit their ceiling and like Spurs, they would need a change of strategy in the transfer market to make further progress.

    In short I’d expect Man City and United, Chelsea and us to be top four. But I would not be expecting much else. A Higuain could change the whole thing though…….

  13. @Andy 1886,
    It’s not so much the “right price” but “a price” these days.
    To those who baulk at the thought of Arsenal paying over the odds for a player, I well recall in 1938 the club paid £14,000 to Wolves for Bryn Jones, a world record figure at the time. 😉

  14. I think it would be a mistake to sell Joel Campbell. We certainly don’t need the money and he adds a depth to the back end of the squad. Realistically you can’t have 25 difference making players on your squad and no manager is happy to be to forced to use his 22nd or 23rd man for more then just for cup games. However. Joel did not hurt us when we had to call on him last season. It’s not realistic to hope for much more from someone in his position. It would be nice if he could have a bit more impact in the cup games he plays but I guess you can’t have everything.

  15. IMO it was wishful thinking to hope that we would buy a difference making forward when we had already spent $40M on 2 DM in 2016. That is just not the way we think. I think the fight for the top 4 is going to be much tougher then it was in the last 2 seasons. It might come down to the last game so we had better have our Salmonella cultures ready for the Spurs pasta ready just in case. However, as always I am optimistic and fully confident that Arsene will find a way to pull another rabbit out of his hat and maintain his record of making one of the CL spots.

  16. We probably won’t need the Salmonella for Spurs, they don’t need any help to choke. However, we better save it for Leicester or Liverpool or may be there will be a surprise team. West Ham looks to be on the rise and even Everton has some talent a perhaps they have a chance to challenge for 4th place now that they have a new manager.

  17. To imagine that someone would drive a truck into a crowd for a “cause” is sickening. I am just tired of these senseless killings. My heart goes out to the families affected and the French of course. This has been a horrible 6 months for the country. Thanks, Yogi, for reminding us that there is more to life petty bickering.

  18. Hearts and minds are with those not just in Nice but really everywhere as the world seems to have really gone mad and more so than ever I want to thank Yogi for giving us ACLF.

  19. If Arsenal do not sign an additional two players (striker and defender), that has got to go down as dereliction of duty. As a supporter, do I have legal recourse should I feel the need to sue the club for such gross mismanagement?

  20. Highbury,

    Join me on my strike. I am refusing to get involved or talk anything arsenal related until Wenger buys a quality striker.

    I’m hoping Santorini will join later.

  21. @andy & Henry

    Not just last summer, but think Mhkitaryan for Dortmund. They were yelling from the highest mountain that he was staying and not being sold at any price, well a couple of bids later and he was off to Manure.

  22. Akshay

    Just wondering where you think the goals are coming from for the existing squad to get into the top 4. Teams around us are already adding goals, whilst we are actually starting the season with fewer goal scorers available to us. I know there are those who look to a progressive improvement from younger players, but in practice goal scorers don’t improve significantly once they reach their peak. Giroud appears to have reached his, whilst Alexis and Theo appear to have found a general level. Unless an exceptional youngster bursts on the scene from nowhere the goal tally is likely to be static. The other option is more clean sheets, but again where are the players in the current squad who make us defensively stronger than last season?

  23. I for one think Leicester can’t be taking lightly if they manage to keep mahrez and vardy having already added the exciting Ahmed Musa to their ranks. A very dangerous counterattacking trio that is.
    I think Leicester might be top 4 I would also include man utd, man city & Chelsea, then there’s the spuds (can they recover from their capitulation ?) & the like of Everton and West Ham who both have very competent managers at their helm.
    Top 4 is not a the guarantee that it once was. Failure to improve our goalscoring would imo be tantamount to disaster. If Wenger thinks theo will rediscover that form that brought goals and assists is a dangerous bet based on a lot of last season or does he expect Iwobi to push on leaps and bounds again a dangerous gamble imo.
    Or does AW move to a more counterattacking/pragmatic style? This goes against his philosophy towards the game.

  24. I see we’ve been linked to Milan’s Carlos Bacca for £25m. Sounds like another cheap short term fix if true, but then again it’s probably just paper talk. At 29 it’s a little late to adapt to the PL I would have thought.

  25. @ andy1886 Bacca is a decent striker that has played all over the place I shouldn’t think he would need much of an acclimatisation period. He would certainly offer something different at number 9.

  26. @silver

    Not to mention the addition of Mendy in midfield who was quality in Ligue Un last season plus they still have Drinkwater.

    I agree though with you about their counter attack. Musa, Vardy and Mahrez will be dangerous and all are players that aren’t just selfish attackers but players who work their socks off for the team. Add to that the exciting young Gray that they signed in the winter window and I think they will be okay movijg forward.

  27. Spot on Yogi,
    I can’t see the club risking millions of dollars/pounds on any one player in this crazy market. Though I often wonder if it is Wenger, Kroenke or both that is so risk averse it really doesn’t matter. For a good decade I’ve believed the club recognizes CL qualification is the sweet spot to generate maximum profits without taking on too much risk.
    We have ambition but within limits.
    But with all that cash in the bank we are set up well for a major worldwide economic breakdown.

  28. Yeah c I don’t think Leicester will drop out of the top easily they have a style of play that puts fear into defenders.
    I hope gnabry has a good Olympics because his career is stagnating….

  29. Wenger confirms French players have 4 week break which means giroud will miss the Leicester and Liverpool games. Tick tock Wenger.

  30. @Silver

    Not only a style but players that even now people question if they were just a one year wonder with a manager that has always done well in those situations.

    I hope Gnabry has a good Olympics too.

  31. Arsene has always found a way to pull us into 4th place. Our record of mental toughness and pragmatism when the CL spot is on the line is almost superhuman. I share the concern that it’s going to be a tough haul this season but I remain fully confident that we will finish in the top 4 and make into the round of 16 in the CL.

  32. So more doom and gloom?

    😀

    I never get the argument about the board lacking ambition.

    Surely the board will want Arsenal to be AS SUCCESSFUL AS POSSIBLE. IT will mean only more revenue, more shirt sales, better sponsorship deals and more money into some people’s pockets.

    We don’t lack ambition. We don’t lack spending (bar two summers in last 5 or 6 one of which we spent 42.3m on a German the other was last summer where we were fallow)

    Where we may lack is in being a bit too cautious which is a Wenger trait.

    The board has the money for him to spent and by and large he has used it in recent seasons being more adventurous with the likes of Ozil, Alexis and now Granit.

    I think the issue is wenger tends to be over cautious because he is holong out for a better option a season down when he finds no suitable value.

    Case in point two seasons ago when we failed to add the Cback. Instead wenger was enamoured by Chamber’s pre-season performances and tried to convert him to Cback to disastrous affect.There was no world cup hangover for the BFG just a number of uncertain partnerships with out of position players.

    And Wenger then had to resort to bringing in Gabriel in January.

    This last season Wenger did not bring in a DM and had to resort to a stop gap with Elneny who frankly was covering more the link role with Jack and Ramsey out at that point.

    There is no lack of ambition on Wenger’s part as seen by his willingness most recently to bring Granit in for 30m

    Where there is danger is he is parsimonious if he does not find value. This is tricky because he has to stick to principals but sometimes it may come back to bite. Point in case should we wait too long for the top named strikers to cool on prices, we may run risk of second tier items getting snapped (By China and lesser PL tteams to say the least)

    Its a difficult game to bring players in at the prices Wenger does.

    I think that’s why he tried to go for Vardy early but he has to balance out as mentioned whether going over and above the price makes sense against the quality of player that may come in for not much more later on.

    This is a tricky game in the market and not one for the faint hearted. For most parts Wenger buys very well. Where he failes is he tends to always be one player short of full competitive for the season.

    Lets hope he buys the striker (at right price not too high) so it oes not affect him also reinforcing at the back (Cback) which may become an issue. too.

  33. Santori.

    It depends completely on hope you define ambition.

    Any decent striker is going to be over priced. That is a given. If we are going to wait for someone who comes at the right price then it’s almost inevitable that we will miss out or end up going for someone who is left over and not really a difference maker. To me if you accept that their is a high probability that you will be left with the status quo or if getting someone for the “right price” is more important then improving your chances of winning then by definition you lack ambition

  34. Xhaka certainly was over priced at $35M but we did not wait on that one. There are lots of good DM and that was the position that we shouid have played chicken with the market and waited to see how it shook out.

  35. You can argue about subtle differences in the definition but the bottom line in today’s football market place.

    Over cautious = under ambitious

  36. C

    Sounds like the right move for Wellington. He lacked some key physical or mental ingredient that waa needed to make it in European football. You often said he was “talented” but I guess it depends on how you define “talent”.

  37. @Bill

    I think it is a right move at this point especially when you consider that Arsene is thinking about selling Campbell. The problem with Wellington is that he is really really slight of frame and struggled with teh physicality. Make no mistake, he is a talented boy but he just happens to be one of those ones that isn’t wiry strong and would naturally get no protection from refs.

  38. I’ve just been listening totalks about Xaka. He was suppose to be @ Arsenal last season buh Bcos his club had no replacement then that was why he had to wait for him. The Market is very crowded n Noisy now I believe Wenger will bring in a Decent Striker before the season starts. For how long are we goona. Continue crying n Whinin. Sometimes you wish you where@ other clubs while those Club supporters wish they where in your shoe I think most arsenal Fans should learn to make do with what they have. Ciao

  39. Plenty of players have technical skill and/or pace. We seem to place a very high value on technical skill because it fits with arsene’s vision of how he wants us to play. I guess the hope is that the metal and physical strength will take care of itself. May be that’s why we are always so impressed with so many players in our youth academy but so few ever make it to the PL level with any club. I guess it depends on how you want to define the world talent. Having enough strength should to be successful should be part of the equation.

  40. I can accept that there are plenty of discussions that go on in the background which the fans will never be privy to. I generally assume that we are talking to clubs about potential targets. When clubs state that they have had no approach at all, I really start to wonder what we are actually doing. We are linked with so many players but actually we are not even asking the question. It’s not hard Arsene, the question is how much?

  41. Look on the bright side. Maybe we are saving up so we can spend 400 million in 5 years time on one big blow out charge for the title.
    Is it too Little Britain of me to ask how the country can keep haemorrhaging cash to all parts of the world for mediocre players and the creation of poor European teams. Players in the EPL are overpriced, overpaid and underperforming and this just seems to be increeasing.

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