Alexis, Ox and Is Kylian Mbappe This Summer’s Suarez?

The victory for Alexis Sanchez is complete. Arsenal, or more accurately, Arsène Wenger, refuses to sell him to a rival. If that’s the criteria, he’ll be joining Manchester City this summer.

The Heil reckons that he won’t be allowed to move to the north-west this summer unless we need the money to fund the purchase of Kylian Mbappe which, bizarrely, we’re being linked with doing yet again.

I wouldn’t get too excited about that prospect; it’s Steve Stammers making the claims and a more uber-positive journalist you couldn’t wish to find. Or is you wished you couldn’t find, I always get the mixed up.

Stammers claims Wenger spoke to Papa Mbappe – please let him have a sister called Nicole – in an attempt to persuade him that young Kylian might not be a first team regular at Real (possible but at £100m+ unlikely) but he would be at Arsenal (very true).

So, in Stammers’ world, we’re lodging a £125m bid for Mbappe and because we’re spending money like it’s going out of fashion in cash-strapped Monaco, offering £30m for Thomas Lemar as well.

You have to wonder if it wouldn’t be more efficient to purchase the club and rename it Arsenal ‘B’ team? There’s no danger of us meeting in the Champions League, is there?

And, of course, the name of Arsène Wenger will be revered. He is the man who can persuade the most expensive signing in the world to ignore the best club in the world (at the moment). He’s the man who persuaded the most expensive signing in the world to forgo Champions League football for Europa League football.

You wouldn’t put it past him doing it either. After all, Wenger persuaded the squad to forgo Champions League football for the Europa League.

One Suarez Does Not A Summer Make

Maybe I’m being harsh on Stammers this time but logic blows holes in the story. It sounds more like an attempt to put pressure on Lyon in the Lacazette negotiations. As if Aulas would fall for the oldest trick in the book.

There’s also a danger that this summer could collapse in on Arsenal. Don’t say it won’t happen because we’ve been here before. For Lacazette, read Higuain; for Mbappe, read Suarez. A £125m+£1 bid, anyone?

Around the money, there’s an interesting article in The Times this morning about escalating transfer fees here.

And while all the fuss surrounding Alexis creates a storm in a teacup, Mesut Özil sits pulling the petals off flowers, weeping softly, “They love me, they love me not…” Originally, I was going to create a malevolence about the German international by having him pulling the legs off spiders while weeping but he’s just too bloody nice.

Contract rebellion is the new black at Arsenal these days with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the latest to refuse the initial offering from the club. Money is not his primary motivation according to The Times; Ox is more concerned about where he fits into the team. At the tail-end of last season, on either flank was the answer.

Hector Bellerin, taken out of the firing line after Selhurst Park, saw a rejuvenated Ox emerge as genuine competition for the right wing back role yet he gained a cup winners medal with an excellent performance on the left. The latter road is closed with Sead Kolasinac signing so what now for the England international?

All I Want For Christmas Is 90 Minutes

Wenger observed Ox must learn before competing for his preferred central midfield role yet there’s no sign of him usurping Aaron Ramsey from that role, nor would I necessarily place him ahead of a fit Santi Cazorla.

While I sympathise with Ox’s desire to be a regular in the starting line-up, he faces the same problem at every club if he is determined to play centrally. His versatility is a cross to bear and while young, his pace marks him out for the flanks. A central midfield berth is the hardest to nail down, particularly at Arsenal.

According to the article, Ox is “cautious regarding promises about a starting role” at the club. I can’t say I blame him. One of Wenger’s strength is saying what people want to hear but after a while, failing to deliver is biting him on the backside.

Ox, like Jack Wilshere, contributes to his situation with past performances and fitness issues but in the past two seasons, it’s hard to argue he doesn’t deserve more match time.

It would be no surprise to see him see out his contract and judge how he’s been treated this coming season. However, if he is cautious, he’ll talk to Theo Walcott. His England colleague – or former England colleague – knows all about the contradiction between what is said in contract negotiations and the reality afterwards. Central striking role? You’re having a laugh.

There’s no quick and easy answer for Ox. Hector Bellerin is the first-choice right wing back. If we move to a flat back four, Ox stands a better shot in right midfield. But that leaves us defensively vulnerable as the first quarter of this year proved.

I’m A Squad Player, Get Me Outta Here!

Elsewhere, the club is desperate to entice Watford back to the negotiating table. Reducing the fee for Kieran Gibbs to £8m is a step in the right direction.

French media reports of a €28m Marseille bid for Olivier Giroud create a quandary. He’s not a starter but a useful Plan C. Welbz is Plan B while Lacazette/Mbappe, A. €28m for a 30-year-old player is a good return and one the club will find hard to reject.

That’s it for today. Just a reminder that Dad’s Jukebox is taking you back to 2002 in all it’s unabashed glory.

’til Tomorrow.

98 thoughts on “Alexis, Ox and Is Kylian Mbappe This Summer’s Suarez?

  1. Wenger is so anal in a Freudian sense that he enrages other managers and CEO’s by underbidding so blatantly and being so ‘tight assed’. In the past Higuain and Suarez were clear examples. His bid for Tomas Lamar has made Monaco resolute in that they do not really want to do business with Wenger. In some respects Wenger is a danger to Arsenal in that even if he gets one good player he has to panic buy on Transfer Deadline Day to get the required amount of players. He is an odd man but not in the best sense. I hope he can change his ways and buy early and buy the best. Trouble is Leopards do not change their spots.

  2. Surely only Arsenal would use a decoy player as a bargaining tactic that is potentially twice the price of the one they’re actually trying land?

    As mad as Aulas is, I think the conversation goes something like this?

    AW: No no no! Lacazette at £55m is too much. Let’s go back to talk to Monaco about Mbappe

    Aulas: you won’t go another €10m for my Lacazette, so it’s bettter to go £70m deeper for Mbappe? What have you all been smoking at The Emirates to think I’m falling for that one?

    Now, if he just said this, I think a deal might be swiftly done:

    AW: Zis price is getting far too much for me. Let’s all go home and I’ll just stick with Giroud and Danny for next season

    Silly Arsene! 😉

  3. Damon,

    I think the guys at the Mirror have been smoking the same stuff. £125m on a player and Arsenal in the same sentence! That’s madness, before we even consider Mbappe is only 18, we dont have CL football and Real Madrid are interested. Why would we? Why would he?

    Anyway, Wenger is probably downing Prozac just to get him through spending c£50m on Lacazette.

  4. Stu,

    Ha! Downing Prozac got a chuckle out of me! Not doing it, the thought of Arsene…. oh, you know what I mean!

    Yep. It’s all a nonsense really

  5. Yogi…

    today’s a brilliant column, even by your standards…how do you keep up the ideas?

    i write baseball copy here in the States – verse and prose…

    but we have 6 games every week to talk about!

    Again, thanks.

  6. Interesting article by David Hytner in the Guardian “Mesut Özil wants superstar wages from Arsenal, but who else really wants him?” about a potential mess we could be in with Ozil.

    He’s demanding superstar wages (a bed we made and are lying in) yet none of the actual 7 ‘superstar’ teams want him. Yes, he might demand we pay him what was offered (around 280,000 a week FFS) and what do we do then? But…

    Hytner points out it might be in Ozil’s interest to refuse it, stay put and then leave on a free a year from now.

    If he has a good campaign, he puts himself in the shop window again and can potentially move back to an elite club. In the interim he loses around 7 million for this year but can demand that and more for a signing bonus (again with a good year under his belt) and if not pulling 280,000 still increase his wages over what he is getting now.

    An interesting take.

  7. DFS-,

    Isnt this exactly what I said yesterday, just swapping Sanchez for Ozil and putting the hypothetical scenario now just a year down the track?

  8. Brilliant stuff Yogi.

    Sorry mates for not getting back to you yesterday, went drinking and having a good time.

    If Arsene has told Sanchez he is staying and not leaving for Citeh, then kudos to him, must have learned from Liverpool with the Suarez situation and now with Sturridge (reports say Klopp has told him he is staying as it would be too expensive to replace him). The thing is, like with Ozil, while there hasn’t been any bids, if they were available on a free there would be clubs chasing them.

    Ox is by far the biggest headscratcher for Arsenal, he isn’t good enough in the CM position because its not all about pace and power, you have to have good close control, a quick mind and the ability to make the right pass consistently; those are things that Ox hasn’t shown enough nor consistently. On the right, his pace, power and willingness to run at anybody is a positive, but defensively he leaves a lot to be desired and at RWB, Bellerin offers not only what Ox offers attacking wise, but is much much better defensively. With reports this morning of Ox rejecting a contract extension, maybe he is set to see how he gets on but there is no guaranteed spot and he must fight for his position. Honestly, I can’t think of any club in the top 6 were he would be guaranteed.

  9. 28m for Giroud, I would take that in a heartbeat for a 30 year old that has been good but no where close to what we have needed at CF and if he is set to be Plan C, mine as well keep Perez and take the money from Giroud and buy a CM.

  10. Great post yogi

    I agree that Ox is not likely to move to central midfield with Ramsey the most likely starter. However, I think the best position for Ox is RWB. I disagree about Hector being first choice at RWB. Hector lost his starting spot last season on merit. He was playing very poorly and his defense was miserable. The fact that he played better in the last 2 games does not change that. Ox was easily our second best player for most of the second half of last season. He was one of the few players that actually played reasonably well even when the rest of the team was in the crapper. I think Ox should get the first chance at being the starter. In theory Hector is a better defender but I am not sure there really is that much difference and Ox clearly is the more dynamic player with more attacking upside. All of that this one is not a no-brainer and I think it will be an interesting position battle.

    DFS

    We would be insane to give Ozil a ultra high dollar long term contract at the start of his age 29 season when his ability to positive influence the game on a consistent basis has already started to fade.

  11. YW,

    I think you are right – every time a journo thinks up an angle to give a non-story some bite — “AW talks to player’s daddy, to ask if his son can come play for Arsenal” then we should, of course, blame Wenger. Seems fair!

    Not too sure of the ‘cash strapped’ Monaco comment. The owner of Monaco is yet another Russian oligarch with a net worth of about £7.5 bn — could buy Stan as his secretary. 🙂

  12. When players worth circa £50m let their contract run out — their new salaries will factor in most of the fee the new club will not pay Arsenal – so a 5 year contract starts at £10m p.a. — then the salary Arsenal were willing to pay them (allegedly) about £300K per week = £15m per annum.

    Who would not stay for one more year at Arsenal to then walk into a £25m per year * 5 year contract worth £125m. Sign me up Scotty.

  13. Afternoon,

    Watching the Confederations Cup 3rd place play off at the moment. Portugal have nicked an equaliser in the 91st minute, so it looks like another half an hour of play is coming.

    The trialing of the VAR system at the tourament hasn’t really been a resounding success, but I hope they don’t decide to shelve it on the back of this. There have been some key incidents spotted via the system, but the implementation hasn’t been handled well as yet. Once the process is been improved I think it can work and it doesn’t appear to have slowed games down much. If they can get over this idea that they need to ensure the ref’s authority isn’t undermined, they can make the referral process more effective.

  14. C,

    The difference with Suarez is that Liverpool got him to sign a contract extension and then sold him for £65m to Barca a year later. I expect that if we’d made a less insulting offer in the first place he would have come to the Ems instead.

  15. Agreed, Andy, altho any lawyer would say that the fabled £1 was ‘in excess’ of £40m, and if the player (not Arsenal) had threatened court action, ‘Piddle’ would have folded and sold.

    Chances are that Suarez was tipped by Barça to hold and they would buy him later – who could blame him for his choices?

  16. andy1886,

    True, and I wouldn’t be against a similar situation with Sanchez. While I’m not completely sure he would have come with a better offer, I do think the initial offer played a major part as we all know.

    the question with Sanchez is that, yes Pep has said he wanted him and quite frankly, who wouldn’t, but with that, its would Pep really pay that; he generally doesn’t pay for big name stars that are that age outside of Xabi Alonso but that was in midfield. Bayern won’t pay, its not what Bayern do, hell not even to their own players; so if Citeh don’t make an offer, then Sanchez will be staying and leaving on a free.

  17. C,

    Sanchez has said that he has made his decision, but doesn’t know where he will be playing next season which would tie in with your comments. I suspect he’s decided that he is not going to sign a new contract which leaves it in Arsenal’s hands as to whether he is sold this summer, or able to go on a free next summer.

  18. Another bizarre example of a ref not going to VAR when it seemed that there was a push in the box. It didn’t look like there was enough in it for a penalty, but the ref could never have seen that in real time.

  19. C

    Ox offers a lot more attacking upside then Bellerin especially when he is running down the wing at pace with the ball at his feet. Bellerin does not offer that sort of dynamic multifaceted attacking threat. The question is the defense. Assuming we start with 3 at the back and Ozil wide right then we need someone to cover for Ozil. I understand the theory that Hector is a better defender then Ox but defense has never been Hector’s strong suit and he lost his job last year because of that. It makes no sense to drop Ox because he and Sanchez were probably the only 2 players who bucked the trend and actually deserve any credit for the way they played between Jan-April of last season.

    This is is tough one to call and it will be an interesting position battle. I think we should keep both Hector and Ox and see how it plays out over the course of a full season of using 3 at the back. We can always sell the one or the other next summer.

  20. Wavey,

    Exactly, if he has made up his mind to leave then so be it; but if it is Arsenal’s hands, then to my mind it comes down to 2 situations if Lacazette signs: sell Sanchez to Citeh (should they actually make a bid) for 50m or sell Giroud for 28m to Marseille, but I can’t see Arsenal turning down both. I actually think there is a better chance Arsene keeps Sanchez and lets him walk for free and sell Giroud.

  21. Ox also offers a unique multifaceted attacking threat if he plays in central midfield. ‘We saw that a few times this year. However, he has a propensity to lose the ball and its a lot more dangerous to lose the ball in central midfield compared with losing the ball on the RW. Its not a real problem if the passing accuracy of your RWB is not that good. In fact I don’t think you want someone who focuses on sterile ball possession on the wing. However, you can get hurt very quickly if you misplay a pass deep in central midfield

  22. Bill,

    For me, Bellerin offers more attacking wise because he makes the better decision; yes Ox is dynamic and full of athleticism but he has no end product and if both offer the same attacking wise then Bellerin gets the nod due to his defensive duties. Bellerin was dropped but it was also clear he wasn’t completely fit, his pace and quickness were clearly not the same when he is fully fit and it showed. I have no problem with Ox, I think as an explosive athlete as a sub, he can be brilliant. I think you are mixing up the change to a 343 with the second half of the season, I know it might be unfair, but Ox gave away a couple goals against Bayern due to his ball control and defensively he leaves his mates exposed on the flanks.

    the problem with Ox is that if he leaves next summer its going to be on a free but if we are guaranteeing him a starting berth instead of him fighting, then nothing has changed about the culture. The strange thing is that Bellerin had a bad patch of a couple matches, but outside of the change to wingback for Ox, the rest of the season was ‘meh’ at best. The other thing with Ox that also doesn’t bode well for him wanting guarantees is the fact that he has 194 appearances in all competitions and ONLY 20 goals in his Arsenal career.

  23. If Ox really has rejected a new contract, would any of you accept 30m from liverpool or force him to stay and let him leave on a free?

    Arsene and Arsenal really fucked this up and his contract situation really did a number on teh club when you consider that while giving Giroud a new 2 year deal and with Ramsey’s set to expire in 2019(he signed a new 5 year deal in 2014), we currently have: Ox, Sanchez, Ozil, Sczcesny, Jack all leave on a free next summer.

  24. C,

    I’m hoping the manager isn’t daft enough to try to offer Ox guarantees over playing time to get him to stay. I’d be surprised if he did as it has never been Wenger’s style. I think we’d have to accept an offer rather than let him go on a free. It is a pretty fucked up state of affairs that we have allowed so many players to run their contracts down to only 12 months before acting. If we were talking about squad players it would be more acceptable, but these are senior members of the team.

  25. I don’t think I’ve heard of a club that plays into the hands of players and their agents more than Arsenal do. Wenger seems to have this view that everyone wants to stay and that contracts will be signed when needed. It has to have been clear to the club that a DoF needed to be put in place to handle all of this because Wenger can’t. From a business point of view this is complete mismanagement.

  26. Wavey,

    Agreed but as Yogi stated, Arsene is pretty good at telling people what they want to hear and it coming back to bite him in the ass. With Ox, there simply isn’t any sort of consistency for him to stand on and with little end product up to this point in his career, it makes you really wonder it he will ever be more than raw potential.

  27. In my opinion, Ox is a real problem. If he had been signed to a new bumper deal 12 months ago, I’m sure I personally would have been curious, as would have many other fans. The truth remains that there’s a rarity of what one could call “pious” people in football this days. Let’s face it, it’s all about the money- same with AW, same with Sanchez, same with Ozil, Ox, (placeholder). If the money is right, the deal gets signed.

  28. Lacazette travelling to London, to complete a record transfer £52m Arsenal move
    Personally, I suspect this means Alexis will be sold…we shall see.

  29. Well, if Sanchez and the Ox get sold and the money is used to buy another classy player, Jonny, I would not be against that.

    A Chilean fan was interviewed in St Petersburg prior to the Confederation Cup final, and he said he hoped Sanchez recovered his form as he had been poor in the previous matches.

    Mind on other things? 🙂

  30. I’d expect two or three players in, for the price of losing those.
    I think we have only seen glimpses of Ox’s real potential. If he goes to Liverpool I would not be surprised to see him flourish under Klippety.

  31. I would rather Oxo stayed, Jonny, but maybe he is worried about reading all the Arsenal rumours and is preparing to jump before he is pushed?

    Whereas most of us are somewhat sceptical about the claims and counterclaims.

    Spin a coin, and it will land on its edge at the moment. 🙂

  32. By far the wittiest Arsenal blog out there.
    I’m astonished your writing doesn’t attract more attention.
    Kudos and thanks for entertaining.

  33. Jonny,

    Problem with that is who does Ox get in the team over at Liverpool? I think he would face the same problems with finding match time but Klopp doesn’t play loyal, he plays those that are producing, execute his game plan and don’t lose possession. Salah and Mane are most likely wingers with Countinho and Firmino. In midfield Wjanidum is quality and is really good in that box-to-box role.

    For Ox, the thing working against him for me most is the end product on the flanks.

  34. C,

    Sanchez should have buried that rebound. Germany’s youngsters look outclassed.

    And then they are gifted a goal.

  35. Sanchez with a fantastic chance and miss hits it, he should have scored, the net was wide open and it was a HORRIBLE miss.

    Germany get a goal from pressing and forcing Chile into a mistake and bang, just like that Germany up 1-0. Werner to Stindle

  36. Wavey,

    Yup, that was a HORRIBLE miss by Sanchez, continues with his poor performances the past couple of matches.

    Timo Werner is a player I would take to add in our front line and I have already made it clear through the 2nd half of the season and thus far all summer long how much I rate Goretzka! Put Goretzka next to Xhaka and our midfield is set for the next 5+ years.

  37. Vargas is the ultimate country vs club player. For Chile, he just puts it all together and scores goals and you see how creative he is with his goal scoring ability, but for club it all just doesn’t click and its terribly inconsistent.

  38. Bayern have bought Sebastian Rudy to replace Xabi Alonso, they make good purchases likr that to just keep them ticking.

  39. C,

    Yep, Goretzka looks to be quality. Just missed a chance there as well. Bayern were meant to be sniffing around, but now look like they have done their business elsewhere. Schalke are saying that they won’t let Goretzka go this summer, but isn’t he in the last year of his contract?

  40. Wavey,

    Not sure but I do think its either the 2nd to last or last year of his contract. He has said that he will figure it out after the Final, I would take him and not only does he have the physical presense but the work rate and he is showing that he is plenty quick with pace from that CM position. Defensively he checks all the boxes! Bayern signed Rudy and are set to move Kimmich so they have it figured. Schalke say that but they also have said thay several times over the past couple of summers.

  41. C

    The thing that was different about Ox especially in the 2nd half of last season is that he was delivering end product. He has the potential to be a difference making impact player on the attacking. Bellerin does not offer that sort of difference making ability. The question is does that attacking advantage that ox brings outweigh any defensive difference.

  42. Bill,

    What end product, yes the ball to Giroud but he was still eradict. Bellerin does offer that end product especially with a striker that attacks the ball. Does his attacking make up for his defensive qualities, I would say no if we are talking WB’s.

  43. Lyon President Aulus has spoken to French media and said:

    “The €67m figure (including €12m in bonuses) announced by English sources and then relayed constitute an impossible sum that is not realistic. The first offer made by Arsenal was €45m. The deal will happen for something between €45m and €50m. To be close to €50m is something unique, and will be without a doubt a record for Arsenal and a record for Lyon absolutely. One must also take into account that traditionally, a club like Arsenal, and it is the case for Bayern as well, do not have the habit of spending so much for one player.”

    “We will without a doubt hit a record, it is not a small transfer, €50m for a player who was produced by our club.”

  44. Sanchez missing that sitter has turned out to be a MASSIVE miss thus far especially when you consider Germany went right down the field and scored.

  45. Cech or Sczcesny
    Bellerin—-Mustafi—-Kos—-Nacho or Sead
    ————Xhaka—–?———
    —————–Ozil————–
    Welbeck——-Lacazette——Sanchez

    Or

    Cech or Sczcesny
    —–Kos—-Mustafi—-Nacho or Holding
    Bellerin——Xhaka—?——-Sead
    Ozil———Lacazette——Sanchez

  46. Chile making first sub bringing on Valencia for Diaz. Diaz has been really good all tournament but his mistake while being pressed led to Germany’s goal.

  47. Quality signing for Everton, signing Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez from Malaga as more signs point to Lukuka going to Chelsea(who are on the verge of selling Costa back to Athletico Madrid) or Manure.

  48. Kimmich and Vidal having a real go at each other, they may be friends and teammates but they are battling and not backing down at all.

  49. This is part of the VAR I don’t like that Hector waited and waited easily 20 seconds on a throw in. Its a yellow card though for the Chile player who clearly showed intent but could have easily been red as he hit Timo in the jaw with a clear elbow.

  50. Wavey,

    Yea, he did bottle that. Makes you wonder if the ref didn’t show red because its a Final and that would have been it done and dusted but he should have shown red.

  51. Sanchez dropping too deep and you see Vidal yelling at him to stay up top were he is needed.

    Sanchez’s miss is showing even larger now as there is only 20 mins left.

  52. Reports in Germany say Rudiger is off to Chelsea after the Final, that is a huge get for Conte’s side.

  53. Impressive defending. They are making sure Chile don’t have a clear sight at goal. Everything is blocked or the Chileans have to snatch at their shots.

  54. Chile upping the tempo and and get two chances, one blocked from Sanchez and the other Vargas on a half turn.

    I don’t that was a penalty. Funny that if a player makes the VAR motion its supposed to be dissent and a straight yellow and Vargas got shown a yellow but the German players for thr other review didn’t.

  55. Wavey,

    Yup and the fact that Goretzka not only joins in the attack but is so solid defensively in his workrate makes me want him even more.

    Can in for Werner.

    As I say that, who is the player that wins the ball then makes a box to box run to release the Chile pressure, Goretzka. Please please please Arsene sign that boy now.

  56. Germany are going to be a force and hard to beat for as many major tournaments going forward as you want. They are a factory and are set to win the Confederation Cup and U21 Final.

  57. Mustafi has looked much more the player from the first half and not the middle part of the season.

    Sanchez with a free kick outside the box….ter stegen geta down to make the save

  58. Germany wins! Mustafi played really well and lifts the Confederation Cup. Germany deserved it, they were the best team all tournament long.

    Sanchez played better in the 2nd half but his sitter was a HORRIBLE miss.

    The Chile players are absolutely crushed.

  59. Wavey,

    I think we will hear something this week as he will probably want to start pre-season after a short rest and his future sorted.

  60. C,

    So Aulas has basically leaked the story. Probably shouldn’t be surprised as he likes to get himself in the press. Am assuming they haven’t tied down the exact terms yet.

  61. Wavey,

    Is it his decision? I’m also wondering would it be better fo the team if we sold him and got lacazette and that winger from Monaco. Dave or something?

  62. Well, yeah?

    We’ve offered him a new contract. Then he decides if he’s going to sign it or not. If not, we sell him now or let him run out the last year and leave as a free agent for nothing

    Or did I miss something?

    Adam Singh:
    Wavey,

    Is it his decision?I’m also wondering would it be better fo the team if we sold him and got lacazette and that winger from Monaco. Dave or something?

  63. Wavey,

    It feels like its more finalizing the paperwork more than anything. The fee is settled, apparently terms agreed with Lacazette, so not much else to do but all the “lawyer” stuff and I would imagine he will have his medical this week and be an Arsenal player officially by end of week. Aulas doesn’t speak unless deals are done or are not done and he has made it clear its complete.

  64. Damon,

    Giroud is gone, Sanchez, I think he may end up wanting to leave but not sure what is going to happen. Citeh haven’t made a bid and I wonder if they will, Pep normally doesn’t spend big on players of Sanchez’s age. Bayern aren’t going to spend on him unless he comes on a free.

    To answer your question, Giroud and Sanchez out and Lacazette and Mahrez in; I’m not a fan of Mahrez so I would say no but say Lacazette and Dembele of Celtic in, that’s good business.

  65. C,

    I think it’s okay. Not a huge Mahrez fan but I’d rather our “star” was at CF than in the wing

  66. Sky reporting Lacazette is set to fly into London and have a medical Tuesday or Wednesday.

    I have banged on about Lacazette since I first saw him as a winger for Lyon and up to this point he has developed into a lethal striker. To get him to Arsenal is a massive get and I for one am thrilled! He will come good.

  67. Damon,

    True, I think Lacazette’s get is massive and if we are able to keep Sanchez (I think he is set to stay especially if the new contract offer is as substantial as they reported), having a front line of Sanchez/Lacazette/Ozil if we keep on with the 343 or a front 4 of Sanchez/Lacaezette/Welbeck/Ozil with Theo is a really good prospect.

    I do wonder, if we get the Mahrez from Leicester’s title winning season, then I think it would be a good get and then it makes me wonder if Ox is not off to LIverpool and Theo being the “backup”.

  68. So who are we in for, the hottest young starlet in Europe for £128 million, or a mediocre winger from Leicester for about twopence halfpenny

    With Wenger’s record on spending it will be Mahrez.

  69. People are very down about Mahrez – I am sanguine about the move – if he is a replacement for Ox and we keep Sanchez I’d say that is tidy enough business.
    Based on Oxpot’s contributions, Mahrez is certainly no worse an option to have.
    People forget that, in spite of the woefully overlooked Kante, he was the player of the season when Leicester won the title.
    He still managed to net 10 goals and picked up seven assists in 48 apps last season – nay bad considering the team all but fell to pieces under Ranieri.
    The 18 goals & 10 assists of the season before was remarkable and with Lacazette to aim at it is not unthinkable he could regain such heights. He has been largely free from injury and at 26 is in his prime.
    Hardly something to be down in the mouth about though I can see why some would prefer Lamar or A.N.other.

  70. Jonny,

    I’m not saying that I’m down on Mahrez, because if we are getting the Mahrez from the title winning season, then he would surely be a welcomed addition to the squad, but if its in place of Sanchez and Giroud, then its not for me and I would actually prefer Dembele of Celtic because for me, a front 3 of Ozil/Lacazette/Dembele is more fearsome than that of Ozil/Lacazette/Mahrez. The thing with both Lacazette and Dembele is that they were both wingers who because CF’s but still poses that winger ability in them. With that you also don’t lose anything as far as in the box given Lacazette makes his money in their and Dembele is both able to be very good in the air as well as on the ground. It will be further interesting to see how MAhrez gets on not being first choice, will he sulk and do what he did at Leicester last season prior to the managerial change, or will he fight and we get the best of him?

  71. I hear Man Utd are possibly in for Dembele – if true, I can’t see us going head to head with them…

  72. BTW I do think he would be one hell of a signing – little doubt there.
    I’m surprised there has not been noise about him really.
    There can’t be many hotter prospects in world football.

  73. Mind you I am not convinced the one at Dortmund is potentially even better…

    Too many Dembeles knocking about at the moment – eh?

  74. A Manchester club needs to buy Kane

    It helps us on two fronts. Keeps them away from our targets and completely fucks Spurs over

    I don’t understand how he isn’t CF number one on their wish lists. Young, English and bangs goals in for fun. Won the Gooden Boot and missed, what, a quarter of the season, to injury? Shown it wasn’t a one season wonder now too

    Bugging me now that there isn’t even a whiff of him moving. He’s not on huge waves either so you’d fancy his head could be turned?

  75. I’m also going to throw my chips into the DFS plan of total overhaul

    I don’t think it’ll happen, probably for the reason that I’m going to add to the argument, amongst others.

    I could see a scenario in which we have 8 – 10 squad members out and four to six in. Many of which would be previously key squad members. Not just fringe players. Being replaced with like for likes. Not Sanogo esque punts but proven players.

    I’m not going to call it a dressing room revolt but it COULD flush out this ability to mentally crumble as soon as big games approach. It COULD also bring back more players that are prepared to take matters into their own hands to sculpt a win, game by game. I think that was there when Adams and Keown and Viera where there. I think Sanchez has it, but he hasn’t got enough others in there for it to gain any traction. Too many nice boys that are prepared to listen to Papa Arsene

    Almost like build in a Wenger override function into the squad, if you will

    See, there’s hope in this old doomer yet. Every fucking new season I contrive a way to see us winning the league. It’s a long shit I know, but it might just work 😉

  76. Damon,

    Obviously the first key action to take place (following the Lacazette confirmation) will be Sanchez’ declaring his intention.

    The flip side to what I poses is it ocurs if no one makes a bid for Sanchez (is this why he has played his cards close to his chest – the lack od a serious bid?), and he and Ozil stay etc. activity in this window could dry up instantaneously.

    One scenario being we have a very strong side for one year before everything turns utterly chaotic as everyone exits on the freedom bus.

    I think it is not difficult to see what could be done with the squad if the ambition was there, but I just got a little queasy that within a few days we might be in an even more confused state than we are at the moment.

    I really hope my spidey sense is way off on this one.

  77. It seems that the Lacazette deal is about to signed, an initial fee of £46 million plus a possible £6 million in add ons.

    Personally I’m delighted that we are about to sign a very good player, my fear is that Wenger will try to recoup some of the cost by allowing Hector Bellerin to move to Barcelona.

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