The Champions League final this evening almost brought forth a “…and we’re not in it” post. Almost but not quite. I think I’ll save that one for next season’s Europa League.
Arsène gave a contractual obligation interview to beIN sport in which he talked transfers. Yes, the man who never talks about them, chatted evasively about Riyad Mahrez.
“Have we made a bid for him?. No. Not yet”, he let slip. Quickly recovering his poise, Wenger continued, “Not yet means it could happen, it could not happen”. Oh, you tease.
My belief is we will only bid for the Leicester player if Alexis leaves. That, according to the ITK’s, is nailed on. Bayern believe he’s their man, with Arturo Vidal working a number on his compatriot at the Confederations Cup shindig.
Not so, others claim. He is going to force a move to Chelsea or Manchester City, much to Arsenal’s disgust. We’ve got our Arsenal back; all the star players want to leave and go somewhere else to win medals. Apparently.
Arsène did his usual contract spiel, forgetting that contracts mean one thing to him and something quite different to the rest of football. He declared that the pair would remain at Arsenal this summer with the aim to renew their deals.
They are not going to leave?
AW: No. You know, you cannot weaken the club and weaken the team. We want to strengthen the team…unless you find a player of the same calibre and they absolutely want to leave. I believe that at the moment we are not on that front. We are just focused on keeping the team together and see how to strengthen the team.
It’s not exactly how Arsenal operate though.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
The key phrase is “absolutely want to leave”. Agents and players know how to end deals and Mahrez certainly isn’t a like-for-like replacement. We would need to invest heavily in a striker as well as the Algerian.
While Mahrez may pick up the slack in terms of assists, Olivier Giroud, currently the underdog’s poster boy, and Danny Welbeck won’t get their share of goals while picking up the slack left by Sanchez’s departure.
Rumour control has a £22m bid winging its way to the Emirates from Tyneside for the French international. I’d accept that bid but only if Sanchez isn’t going. Two new strikers is too much to ask Arsène to recruit; I can’t shake the feeling that one might be, as well.
Meanwhile, Wojciech Szczesny is being hawked around Italy like a truckle of Parmesan cheese close to the expiry of its use-by date. The Pole, previously linked with a stay at Roma or a move to Napoli, is now on the verge of a move to Juventus, according to reports.
Torino are not taking their interest in Joe Hart. To paraphrase the club president, “No wonder England don’t win anything if he makes that many cock-ups”.
The Pole isn’t good enough for Arsenal is the theme here. Or more likely, his attitude isn’t liked by Arsène; fair enough but two seasons at Roma saw him blossom as a goalkeeper and with Ospina leaving, we lack experience on the bench.
Emi Martinez was previously called “the future of the club” but the definition of “future” is not right now. He may be highly rated but one injury to Cech and we are left with him and Matt Macey; it doesn’t inspire confidence, on paper at least.
Thank god football isn’t played on paper.
This Indecision’s Bugging Me
Arsène, in terms of Özil and Sanchez, reverted to Canute mode. He is swimming against the tide of everything known about the modern game. If one or both want to leave, they are gone.
This summer has an edge to it; Arsène needs a very good transfer window, which means bringing players in for the start of pre-season training to be ready for the new season.
Having asserted his authority at the club with a new contract, Wenger needs to reinvigorate the crowd so that people can believe anything is possible. There is no virtue in waiting until 31st August to sign a player; we’ve seen for the past two seasons the damage bad pre-season preparations have on the opening day.
If he can’t get the summer right, is there any reason to believe the season will be better than anything in the past decade? We shall see but having been out of the transfer loop while Wenger’s contract situation was resolved, we’re now front and centre of every transfer rumour going.
Business as usual, it is.