Oh, what tangled webs…
The deal to sign Alexandre Lacazette is ‘done’ in newspaper parlance. According to everyone, most notably the Lyon president, it will be completed in the next 48 hours at the most. Good stuff; in for pre-season training, which is what we ask for.
At the same time, Olivier Giroud is the subject of interest from Everton. Farhad Moshiri will get the chance to invest some of his money, about £20-25m, in Arsenal after all.
In the context of strengthening the strikeforce, Lacazette is an upgrade. Younger and a more consistent goalscorer, with the potential to get better. Reminiscent in some ways of Ian Wright, certainly in the YouTube reels, with a variety of finishes.
Losing Giroud isn’t a surprise. It’s a World Cup year, he’s 31 in September and needs to be play regularly because I expect Lacazette and Mbappe to put his place in Deschamps’ plans under threat this season.
Of the clubs touted as wanting him, Everton is the better choice in England although returning to Ligue Un with Marseille might offer him a better opportunity of qualifying for the Champions League.
I don’t think Arsenal can turn down the kind of cash being talked about, if it materialises in an offer. Next summer, his worth could fall by £5m or more due to his age. Will he play a big part for us next season? Possibly; he is Plan B but with Lacazette and Welbeck, we have more mobility and that seems to suit Wenger’s ideas more.
However, there is no denying Giroud is completely different to the pair and with Alexis almost certainly off, maybe Welbeck is being earmarked for left-sided role. He may not be happy with that but needs must, etc. Maybe not, as Riyad Mahrez is supposedly signing this week.
Texts, Lies and Masking Tape
I’m not convinced the story is true, by the way. A couple of weeks ago, he was waiting for an offer from Barcelona. Shortly after, he apparently told Barcelona that he’d had enough of waiting for their offer and was joining Arsenal. Now he’s signing for us this week?
Sounds a little bit like a desperate Mr20% trying to flush out a big move for the player although it could be Arsenal making it look like we beat Barcelona to the punch. That’s a little bit too Machiavellian even for the transfer window.
Or is it?
Alexis meanwhile, heads off to Chile for his holidays. Plenty of photos of him running along sandy beaches with his dogs and a tyre tied to his waist will follow. His future? I’m not sure we’ll hear anything on that for a while, beyond the usual back page speculation.
I’m fairly laid back about the Mahrez option. He has decent enough stats in terms of goals and assists with Leicester City over the past two seasons. Given the way their tactics were more direct than ours, I would expect an improvement from him on last season and with a consistent goalscorer in the middle, he might do even better.
As an Alexis replacement, no, he isn’t in the Chilean’s class. However, the addition of Lacazette offers the prospect of another RvP scenario with two players replacing the departed one.
Whatever Alexis’ future hold, I am fairly sure that we are getting replacement(s) in before he is sold. Maybe Arsène doesn’t want more than one player in that sense. Welbz can fit in on the left, so can Alex Iwobi. There are options, just not the same as the ones Alexis gives.
Whether they are enough is another matter. On paper, it isn’t ‘inspiring’.
The Best Things In Life Are Free
This all presumes Alexis is leaving. We don’t know that and while we suspect it to be the case, until it happens, we have not a Scooby. City think they’ve got their man and it won’t be a surprise if the player is sold to them.
If you think about it, this makes sense. Bayern are pushing the price down, City are willing to pay £10m more. Arsenal are using Bayern’s interest to push to the price up further but face a dilemma.
If they refuse to sell to City this summer, what’s to stop Alexis signing an agreement to join City in January next year. That means he walks in the summer for free and takes the fee we might receive himself.
Why would Arsenal allow that to happen. The club is between the devil and the deep blue sea if Alexis wants out. Unless Bayern are persuaded to stump up more in a fee, there’s an inevitability about the Chilean moving to Manchester.
There will be a riotous assembly if he does but that’s the life of an Arsenal fan. And the price of failure.