Half-baked, Half-cocked: Arsenal’s Summer Transfer Season Begins

So, how do you like your M’bappe? Half-baked? I do hope so because the stories that Arsenal “entered the race to sign the Monaco starlet” are most certainly that.

I know everyone wants Arsène to be more decisive in the transfer market but really? Do you honestly think he sat there, a gibbering wreck whose summer plan is, “Oooh, £100m; I’d really like 10 £10m players but oooh, I don’t know, ohhhhh, €100m on M’bappe then”.

Be real, people; be vigilant. This isn’t known as the ‘silly season’ without good reason. A “little bit” boost if he wants a striker is the CAS confirmation of Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban. It gives Wenger a free run at Alexandre Lacazette since we haven’t bothered with Aubameyang. We could afford the fee; the wages? Potentially if we cast loose all the ‘deadwood’ (as they were once collectively called).

Not that he’s leaving. He and Mesut Özil speak regularly to make sure they are both offered the same mega-wage deal. £300k per week, since you ask. Except the German blinked first at £280k according to reports this morning.

You see this is why Arsène needed to sort his future out earlier. Look at the wave of levity which crashed onto our shores this morning. We haven’t had a good laugh at the transfer news in ages. Where were the M’bappe stories before, eh? Consigned to the ‘XI I nearly signed’ bin, that’s where. Let’s have a bit of excitement whipped up.

Oh, you like being depressed? OK. Santi Cazorla’s apparently out until October after his EIGHTH(!) operation. Are we to call him “Little Paco de Lucia” as his final years at Arsenal are turning into an homage to Tomas Rosicky?

Silly Thing

I know you’re thinking I am a miserable, old curmudgeon, and you want to dream, so do I. History shoves cynicism forcefully to the front of the queue; Arsenal not just breaking their transfer record but shattering it, just isn’t going to happen this summer.

Wenger is impregnable at the club; his way is not the tabloid way. His is a romantic footballing dream, of bringing a ballet to the masses with players signed for next to nothing. A north London ‘Football’s Got Talent’, if you like.

We know it isn’t a level playing field financially but that is where the Wenger of old thrived. He knew how to build a strong team, dynamic and full of players whose attributes and technique combined to make an unbreakable unit.

That’s no longer the case; our players are nothing if not breakable.

Manchester City’s activity this summer is impressive. Not in the money they are spending but in the rectification of weaknesses. Pep will have a full pre-season with his new charges to integrate them into the squad while we will probably be waiting for our final signing on 31st August. That’s the Arsenal Way.

Yes, everyone wants to see a ‘star’ arrive but quick, decisive action this summer would be more welcome. Getting the players we need signed before selling on the rest shows a forward-looking manager, one who is aware that he needs to inject some fresh enthusiasm for the club.

We don’t have to agree with Arsène’s signings; plenty will disparage even a big-money transfer but any semblance of a plan for squad improvement, of addressing our weaknesses, will carry the summer through to the start of the season. Some good performances in the friendlies adds to that ‘feelgood factor’, which Arsenal desperately need.

They’re Coming To Take Me Away!

You see, despite everything, this miserablist still wants to believe something good can come in the next two years but that requires Arsenal to ‘give’ something to hold onto. At the moment, we’re a club in flux. Alexis is the central plank of any ‘success’ next season and until his future is resolved, we’re ambling into another summer.

Quick action, with quality players, might solve that problem quicker than anything else. It shows an intent on Wenger’s part to learn from last season’s failings and solve them.

We can but hope. And for the next ten weeks or so, that’s all we have.

Finally today, there’s a trip back to 2001 on Dad’s Jukebox with the latest installment in Times of our Lives.

’til Tomorrow.

47 thoughts on “Half-baked, Half-cocked: Arsenal’s Summer Transfer Season Begins

  1. Sitting and mentally digesting the content of the Post once more, I realise that we are not too far apart in our appraisal of how the transfer market might go for us.

    Past history, in terms of player recruitment, always makes me try and turn off any excitement as to possible incomings, by adopting the ‘la la la la – can’t hear you’ method of control, but it never works as I am a sucker for a promising story.

    Disappointment always seems to be the reward for being over eager, except on occasions such as the last minute purchase of Özil, and the winning of the ‘battle’ against ‘Pool for Sanchez.

    You are right to urge caution in giving credence to transfer rumours — but in all honesty that is impossible for those, like me, looking forward to a piece of football candy – and you never know, perhaps change is in the air, and top class players will actually arrive — altho Arsene’s annual comment ‘we have a big strong squad, and only need 1 maybe 2 players’ is usually a dampener that does have some effect. 🙂

  2. Morning all, how can we be disparaging with manager who kept BFG fresh for the FA cup final heroics, give Santi another contract its only the right thing to do, take a loss on our marque players when they walk out the door spend seventeen million on a player and not give him a fair chance, win a trophy you have disrespected for years, and then spin it as a reason for a contract extension, tell the the supporters they know nothing and they should be seen and not heard etc, etc, etc, disparaging never!!

  3. HenryB,

    Morning my friend, how are you 😉

    I am in complete agreement with everything you said there! Nothing like a good piece of football candy to try and unwrap!

  4. Good stuff Yogi!

    I will say, when I read the Mbappe story I did get a good laugh especially from people that think 1. the bid was actually going to be accepted 2. he wants CL futbol and why would he leave Monaco who advanced to the semi-finals of the CL and won Ligue 1 for Arsenal 3. We need a CF and while Mbappe has been brilliant, part of that is because Falcao has regained form and is scoring goals for fun again and Mbappe plays freely from the flanks.

    If we are going to offer 80m then can we please ship that to Dortmund or Madrid for Aubameyang or Morata!

  5. This is the payout from this year:

    Prize money determined by finishing position – data from Premier League website
    Prize money (£s) Total payment (£s)
    Chelsea (28) 38,832,180 150,811,183
    Spurs (25) 36,890,571 145,461,325
    Man City (28) 34,948,962 146,927,965
    Liverpool (29) 33,007,353 146,112,439
    Arsenal (25) 31,065,744 139,636,498
    Man Utd (28) 29,124,135 141,103,138
    Everton (18) 27,182,526 127,800,699
    Southampton (15) 25,240,917 122,450,841

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/40125394

  6. Grateful post yogi.

    I have always said that I never met a transfer rumor I didn’t like. However I thinks it’s going to be a bit tougher to get excited this season. If we start with the $140M the n TV money and sell Wojo, Ozick, Walcott, Wilshere, Gibbs, Ospina and a couple of others I can’t think of then we could easily spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $200M. The problem is that Arsene has been spending a lot of money during this decade but he hasnot been able to improve our results. 7 years is like 3 lifetimes in football and it’s certainly an adequate sample size to draw conclusions and those conclusions certainly do not flatter us.

  7. Nice have denied the reports that Lucien Favre has taken over Dortmund and have actually said they will not allow him to leave or even negotiate with Dortmund or any other club for that matter.

  8. I have heard some bloggers try to excuse our stagnation by blaming the big spending clubs for our stagnation. However that is ridiculous argument. Man City has zero control over our results against the rest of the league and they have no control over how many points we can collect in a season. Our points totals in this decade are 70 68 73 79 75 71 75. Additionally the last 3 league titles have been won by teams with a lower net spend then us and 3 teams which spent less then us finished above us this season. I don’t expect us to win the league every other year but I do expect some evidence that we are making progress. I think most would argue that despite having a very expensive squad in terms of transfer fees and wages that we have gone backwards the last 2 seasons.

  9. All smoke and mirrors. I am sure he is already preparing “we were close to getting…..”. Hopefully the purported spend is net. You don’t get much change out of a Mbappe with our budget. I would like to get Scz back to challenge and be challenged by Cech. Another no nonsense defender like Holding, a cf and a serious Cm: tall, hard, skilful: a second PV4. All a pipe ; more likely to be a second Park.
    My main fear is that AW will see a major clear out and reorganisation as an admission of failure leaving him weakened in the eyes of all and sundry. I really cannot believe that having had this guy over a barrel they didn’t play a worst of 2016-2017 and say thank you and bye bye. Essentially it was left too late to do anything. Best of all: a pay rise? For what exactly? Perhaps the guy is a genius after all

  10. Chelsea and Juventus have both completely rebuilt their squads in the last 5 years and their results show that you can improve your team without having to spend Man City amounts of money. The notion that its OK for us to underperform because Man City has spent more then us or that we have no chance to improve because we can’t outspend Man City or Man U is ridiculous. I know with certainty that Chelsea has a lower net spend then we have and I don’t know the exact number but I suspect that Juve probably has spent more then we have in the last 5 years.

  11. There is no doubt that we have significantly outspent Monaco and Atletico Madrid and they have both outperformed us by a wide margin.

  12. Bill,

    Two things on the Chelsea situation. First they have actually spent loads of cash themselves especially when Mourinho first took over, the main difference is that because of the players they bought like De Bruyne, Salah, Mata, Cuadrado, Feliipe Luis, Cesc, Willian, SChurrle, David Luiz Zouma, Matic, Hazard, Oscar, and the likes; they were also able to sell quite a few of them and recoup their money. That’s the one talking point that even with Citeh people tend to forget; yes they have bought expensive established players but they have also been able to sell players because they are quality and are wanted. Honestly, out of our current squad the only players that other clubs would want would be Bellerin, Ozil, Sanchez, Xhaka and possibly Ox, Mustafi (German and Spanish clubs) and that would be about it.

    Its actually one of the strange things I have been thinking about when it comes to Kroenke and Arsene; the fact that the players that they do buy really have no resale value but should they buy better players, even if those players don’t work out the resale value would be worth it. For instance, Chelsea originally bought Schurrle for 22m €, it didn’t work out and then because he is still quite highly thought of in La Liga and the Bundesliga, he was sold to Wolfsburg for 32m€.

    Just a quick browse of Juve’s recent activities and I would say while they have spent more than us, they have sold brilliantly and I would venture to say that their net spend is probably right around what we spent. The problem with comparing Juve and really any other country to the PL is that more often than not the same player is going to cost more going to a PL side than they would to any other country or staying in their country. For instance, Dybala moved from Palermo to Juve for ONLY 40m€ but at the same time Arsenal were rumored to have been quoted a price in the 50m€ range.

  13. Bill,

    I would be careful if I were you just saying we outspent all these clubs. The common misconception is that Athletico MAdrid haven’t spent money and its actually quite a a bit of a lie. Since 11/12 they have spent 391.65 and have sold players for 391.25, again they have spent but they have also sold extremely well with them fortunate enough to have signed Jackson Martinez, Aguero, Falcao, Costa, Turan, Manzudiac and sold them for even more after said players became better players there.

    Monaco on the other hand in the same time have spent 332.92 and sold players for 266.68. During this time Arsenal have spent 366.94(naturally the largest part of that is the past couple of years with the purchases of Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi and Sanchez) and sold players for 167.41. To me, this shows that we are buying but again, our players have no resale value for various reasons and when Arsenal do sell, they are really shit at it (see Cesc and RvP sales).

  14. At 7am this morning I read were after Mbappe .
    At approximately 11.45am I took a call from a very polite chap at Arsenal to see if I would be interested in upgrading my silver membership to a season ticket.
    Now call me Mr Cynical, but what a coincidence ……
    I politely declined.

  15. Hiya, C 🙂

    I am not too bad thanks, and I know from what you said to Jon Jon that you are similar, which is good.

    Totally agree with your perfectly knowledgeable and logical summary @ 2:42.

    Don’t write know what all the excitement is with who spent what, as surely the point being made is that Citeh, Real, Barca, Manure, PSG, Bayern — I am sure I do not need to go on listing the clubs — but they all can and have outbid us for players over the years, and altho I hate to admit it, if I were a player I would want both the salary and the trophies (or a t least the chance to compete seriously for them).

    So there is the double whammy that Bill does not seem to have realised. Wenger has often said that we have to wait until the above clubs finish feeding at the trough, before we can go in for what is left. Yogi laughing at the nonsense of us allegedly bidding for Mbappe is referring to this. If Real, PSG, Citeh etc were in for him, as well as Arsenal, if that were true, who does everyone think he would NOT go to?

    Manure could afford him, even within the FFP rules as their turnover is massive when compared with ours – and still have money to buy other top class players, so too could PSG and … well you know who.

    Therefore within the Financial Fair Play rules we could never fully and legally compete against the above mentioned in the transfer market.

    But then unlike some, you would know what I am saying. 😀

  16. That’s very interesting Ian. Are you on the season ticket waiting list?

    Ian:
    At 7am this morning I read were after Mbappe .
    At approximately 11.45am I took a call from a very polite chap at Arsenal to see if I would be interested in upgrading my silver membership to a season ticket.
    Now call me Mr Cynical, but what a coincidence ……
    I politely declined.

  17. C:
    Bill,

    I would be careful if I were you just saying we outspent all these clubs. The common misconception is that Athletico MAdrid haven’t spent money and its actually quite a a bit of a lie.Since 11/12 they have spent 391.65 and have sold players for 391.25, again they have spent but they have also sold extremely well with them fortunate enough to have signed Jackson Martinez, Aguero, Falcao, Costa, Turan, Manzudiac and sold them for even more after said players became better players there.

    Monaco on the other hand in the same time have spent 332.92 and sold players for 266.68.During this time Arsenal have spent 366.94(naturally the largest part of that is the past couple of years with the purchases of Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi and Sanchez) and sold players for 167.41. To me, this shows that we are buying but again, our players have no resale value for various reasons and when Arsenal do sell, they are really shit at it (see Cesc and RvP sales).

    C

    Atletico and Monaco have outperformed us on the pitch with a very similar gross spend and a much much lower net spend. My point was that the notion that we can’t compete because we don’t have enough money is rubbish. We certainly could compete if we had better management. Chelsea and Juventus have significantly outperformed us with similar or lower net spending. I don’t think it was your intention but you probably made my point better then I did.

  18. HenryB,

    Well written my friend and I am in complete agreement with you.

    For all the talk of players, the one thing that seems to be missing is that fact that we simply don’t compete for trophies which is as big a part for some / most players as the wages. I think with those other clubs that you mention, yes they are buying players for money and then if need be selling players for equally as big money, but then you scratch your head when you think that Bayern and Manure’s best striker came on a free(Lewandowski and Ibra respectively) but also some of their more influential players are in “Arsenal’s” price range.

    You also mention the players that we get the pick from once the bigger clubs get done feeding; the problem is, we don’t even seem to be able to get or don’t really want those players. For instance, our CF position which seems to be the biggest concern the past 3 years; in 13/14 Dortmund bought Aubameyang for 13m and went on to score 13 in 32 as a winger, and the following year we spent 20m on Welbeck (who I like but go with me for a second). I think the problem isn’t so much there aren’t quality players that are left, the problem as I see it is Arsenal and Arsene simply aren’t good at picking those players out.

    I think its where most supporters annoy me at times because while we can’t compete against those sides, we can compete with the likes of Juve and Athletico Madrid for players inside the FFP rules but it seems we chose not to unless forced to.

    This summer is MASSIVE and if we are able to keep Sanchez and Ozil (its a weird feeling but I actually think we might depending on the business done before mid-July) a CF should be the only priority and once one is brought in then the rest could be sorted.

    Fun fact: Aubameyang and Giroud were bought for roughly the same amount but since 13/14 when Aubameynag made his move to Dortmund he has made 189 appearances in all comp’s and scored 120 goals while Giroud has made 179 appearances in all comp’s and scored 81 goals. in 10 matches more he has scored 40 more goals, that says all you need to know about our scouting department when it comes to strikers.

  19. Bill,

    The point I was actually trying to make was that clubs like Juve and Athletico and even Monaco have spent loads but have also sold brilliantly while Arsenal haven’t really. I am completely with you about spending better (see the Aubameyang stat I posted to Henry) the problem is, its tough comparing us to say Chelsea because of their ability to spend big but also sell wisely. We simply are shit at selling players. For instance, the reports of Sczcney being sold for 14m is absolutely madness when you consider that Begovic just went for 10m and its rumored clubs are ready to spend 30m for Pickford; Sczcney the past 2 seasons was only outdone by Buffoon in Serie A both in terms of GK status and their clubs not to mention he is only just now set to enter his peak years for a GK and we are going to sell for ONLY 14m.

    The more I think about it, I think I justified your point even more but I would also caution you with saying that other clubs don’t spend as much as us, we are just worst sellers than them.

  20. I know most don’t know who he is but if I’m being honest, I would rather us try and buy Dembele from Celtic than Mbappe. For all the talk of Mbappe and I really do think he has the potential to be absolutely brilliant, I would take Dembele over him because I think he has the potential to be a top CF for MANY years.

  21. I need this decade has Chelsea spent more for any single player then we spent for ozil? Our wage bill is very similar to Chelsea. We bought Xhaka about 1 month before Chelsea bought Kante and we spent more money.

  22. C,

    Let me say from the outset that I love to have an occasional argument with you, and sometimes pull your leg just to get a reaction from you.

    But the fact is that you and I almost always see eye to eye and that is the case here.

    There is one important matter that arises where you pointed out — “the problem as I see it is Arsenal and Arsene simply aren’t good at picking those players out”, referring to youthful and cheaper player that become available, and again I agree.

    In the past we – that is to say Arsene – had picked some very good players like Anelka, Fabregas, Bellerin just to pick 3 players at random, over a period of years – but we do seem to have missed others, perhaps because all the other clubs have intensified their scouting and beaten us to it.

    That does not explain missing out on Van Dyke who moved from Celtic to S/Hamption for £10m (?) when he had been heavily lined with us – but no, we did not want him, apparently – now he son offer for £50m + with many saying he could become one of the best in the world.

    Then there was the mysterious case of Higuain, who was on his way to us, allegedly, only for AW to switch his interest to Suarez the Biter, so the Higuain deal fell thru and we never had any chance with Suares because of the infamous £1.

    I have no idea if any of that is true, of course, or if it was AW in person who was responsible (Dick Laws, maybe?) but it might well have made the difference between being Champions and just being ‘also rans’.

    Interesting subject matter but I have to go – hope to get back later – maybe. 🙂

  23. HenryB,

    “Therefore within the Financial Fair Play rules we could never fully and legally compete against the above mentioned in the transfer market.”

    Ironic isn’t it considering that the club championed FFP exactly because they claimed it would allow us to compete.

  24. Pete the Thirst,

    Yes Pete I have been for about 10 years, they have called me for the last 3/4 years now to see if I want to upgrade.

    However I have always said no as the package they offer is always Club Level which is just too much for me to justify.

  25. HenryB,

    Well I think you have put a proper bow on that chat as you exit!

    Its quite interesting though that there are a number of player recently (Kante, Van Dijk, Lemar) who we or should I say Arsene was watching with heavy interest but didn’t think they were good enough and now those same players are the ones we are chasing.

    I’m not sure if this is fair or not but I do wonder if Arsene himself at times questions his own ability to get the best out of players because Kante was one of the best DM’s prior to his move to Leicester, in Ligue 1 and was always known for his tackling / interceptions and his work rate. Its as though he sees the player but doesn’t pull the trigger or wonders if he can get the best out of them.

    Anyways, there are plenty of quality players in Europe and if Arsene or Arsenal wanted to ever have a chat about who I think, they are more than welcome to give me a call 😉

  26. That is spot on, Andy, regarding FFP.

    Keep that thought in mind, I would like to discuss that with you when/if I get back today, or perhaps tomorrow.

    What may have contributed to that ‘mismatch’ as far as Arsenal is concerned, is the brilliant marketing of Manure, which took them from a medium sized northern club with a modest history to being the biggest ‘soccer’ club in the world, with money pouring into and out of every orifice.

    The oil sheiks who took over City and PSG, ** and the TV deal that paid Real and Barca 10 times what the other Spanish clubs received, and the Volkswagen owned and sponsored Bayern Munich who all followed the Abramovich take over of the financially struggling Chavs, seemed to blossom financially about the same time, so that Arsenal’s new stadium, which pre 2000, would have made us the big cheese in the PL was simply outgunned in the monetary stakes.

    ** Both citeh and PSG have had their wrists slapped for ‘odd’ sponsorship deals pouring in huge money, by the UEFA authorities, but the threat of legal actionably the clubs meant they got off with paltry (by their standards) fines from UEFA.

    Got to go. 🙂

  27. In 2012 Chelsea had a great squad of players who were very expensive to assemble but had won 3 PL titles and a CL title. However, they were clearly going down rapidly and none of them had any sell on value and Chelsea got basically nothing for Drogba/Lampard/Anelka etc etc. They have made some mistakes but the bottom line is they have won 2 of the last 3 titles with a squad they built from the ground up with a lower net spend then Arsenal during the same time period.

  28. Is M’bappe even that good? I think his goal ratio is 1 in 2 in note the most competitive league. I know we are all laughing about Henry Onyekuru but he has got a better goal ratio that M’bappe and is the Belgium much different to the French?

  29. The last 3 season has disproven the idea that the only way to compete for and win the PL is to spend the rest of the league into oblivion.

    The idea that we can’t compete with Chelsea for the players we want is also misguided. C will probably know the exact numbers but can’t think of any player in Chelsea’s top 15 that had a higher transfer fee then Ozil, Sanchez or even Xhaka. We compete very effectively for the players we really want. The bigger problem has been that we have wanted the wrong players. Perhaps the best example is passing on Higuain when we could have had him for mid to high $20’s and then spending $42M on Ozil at the end of the 2013 transfer window.

  30. I think part of the problem for Arsene is he does to much to be effective at any of the things he does. To be a good player scout and hopefully find players who are good value and diamonds in the rough I assume you would want to watch literally hundreds of hours of film on hundreds of players. That’s the job of a director of football who should be the one to make the final decisions. How can Arsene do a good job of player evaluation and acquisition when he is also managing the first team running training session and managing games and negotiating his own contract and the contracts of the players in his squad and picking out the uniform colors etc etc. Even Arsene only has 24 hours in every day and he has to sleep for at least 6 of those hours.

  31. Bill,

    The way you can manage some of this is by routine. If you have to change or decide to explore other ways, that takes lots of time and energy and can be risky. This is part of the reason we have consistency and stasis, perhaps.

    We need some fresh ideas and some bright people to work in several capacities immediately if there is to be improvement. Since AW is here for at least two years, these should be characterized as support for him, but he needs to be open to getting this assistance and delegating some more in these other areas. He seems to like working and deciding alone in these areas while giving his players the freedom to develop their potential and make decisions for themselves on the pitch. Get some good people and empower them to do some of these jobs, please! But if we just keep on, I don’t know how interesting following Arsenal will be.

  32. I’m certainly not Laughing at Henry, I’ve seen his youtube, the back lift is immense !
    I know I likened him to Alexis in jest but I was also deadly serious, of what I’ve seen so far of him his game is eerily similar to Sanchez.
    Gangster dribbling skills, eye for goal, plays on the left, speed, not tall but strong, creates and a bit selfish…
    20 years old, wears Henry on his back, Will grow with iwobe. Yes please!

    Shame the stories appear to be bogus.

  33. I assume Arsene has scouts who help him to identify players but he is the one who wants to be in charge of the final decisions. Obviously he can’t scout any player in person and if he does not have enough time available to spend looking at film then he has no choice but to resort to U-tube video type highlights to make his judgements. An energy player like Kante would be underrated because he does the things that are not really eye catching would not look as good on u- tube video highlights whereas a player like Xhaka would be over rated especially for someone like Arsene who loves technical skill.

  34. C, we should talk some CL football. How do you see things? I am rooting for Juve–such a genuine team. But Real have players that could do damage to this incredible Juve defensive outfit. If Marcelo outplays Alves–what a battle that will be!- I can see Real creating chances for Ronaldo to finish on that side.

    What I would love to see is Dybala have a great game and create or score. He is some player. We were calling for AFC to get him when he was still at Palermo on these pages a few years ago. He is such a classy, elegant creator.

    Juve 2-1 in extra time!

  35. Limestone

    Agreed regarding routine and how it can lead to stasis.

    Evaluating players as potential transfer targets should be a full time job, (especially when you are looking for players who are flying a bit under the radar). The person who is in charge of talent evaluation should have the most important input into the final decisions. How in the world could Arsene devote any mental energy to evaluating potential transfer targets when all of his mental energy is being used up trying to fix a team that he is watching crash and burn during the season?

  36. Bill,

    Agreed. The agenda is so long and substantive for this summer that it would test the abilities of a team of people.

  37. Limestonegunner,

    I am actually thinking Juve 2 or 3-1. Dybala is classy creator but he is such a brilliant goal scorer too not to mention Higuain is equally as dangerous as Ronaldo. The one player I think could actually win it for Juve is Manzudiac not just with his tireless work on the flanks but Alves whipping in those balls to the back post for him to attack from the opposite flanks.

    The midfield battle is going to be a joy with Modric/Kroos/Casermo vs Pjanic/Marchisio/Sandro or will Allegri go with Lemina who is a more defensive player but what a talent and physical specimen blessed with such a touch and so much athletcism.

    The other question is does Allegri go with a back 3 or back 4 as Juve have used both formations throughout the season, hell they have even used both formations during a half.

  38. C,

    Will be thoroughly interesting! I hadn’t even really thought about that midfield battle. Delicious. I hope someday to see Arsenal teams with the qualities I’ve been so enjoying in this Juve team.

  39. Sky saying Sczcney is off to Juve. Speaks volumes of his quality especially since we ALL know Gk’s mature slower than outfield players and start to enter their prime at 27-28 years old. Good for him though to learn from a legend like Buffon.

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