Slow Boat To China, Alexis, Free The Monaco Pair & Theo Not So Freo

The Australian leg of the tour ended with a 3 – 1 win over WSIWYG FC, more comfortable than Thursday’s victory and only the woodwork stopping it being a rout. Arsène made wholesale changes which, more or less, means the tour party has played ninety minutes each. Some haven’t but those expected to be in the XI against Leicester all have game time under their belt this week.

We move on to China, with Bayern and Chelsea as opposition. Anyone for another 5 – 1? Presumably the pattern of wholesale changes will continue through both matches to maintain progress toward the start of the season. The Emirates Cup might give us a better idea of Arsène’s starting line-up for the Community Shield and the opening match of the season.

One man who shouldn’t feature nor even need to be on the bench, is Alexis. In his native Chile and uttering his first words on the subject of his future, it’s pretty clear he is leaving. Primarily, he says, to win the Champions League. He may earn more elsewhere but at that level, it’s almost irrelevant whether he gets £25k more or whatever; the contract leaves him financially secure.

However, winning medals is what it is about once that hurdle is crossed. While he doesn’t say it outright, the biggest prizes will always elude Arsenal. There is, in his mind, no shadow of doubt over the decision:

The truth is that the decision doesn’t depend on me. My decision has been made, but now we wait for a response from Arsenal. It depends on them, on what they want.

In other words, ‘I’m leaving, it’s whether Arsenal want a fee or not?’ Arsène said recently that Alexis was staying and left the words ‘for the rest of his contract’, hanging in the air but unsaid.

Know Your Right

While there are all sorts of sums which make the £50m or so fee coverable from other sales, it’s still too much for the club to walk away from. I suspect some contingency planning is going on which means that cash will be used as a backstop in case we are entering a period where Europa League football becomes our natural habitat.

Arsène is positioning it so that the final decision is down to the board. He’s made it clear he wants the Chilean to stay but is realistic enough to know that is unlikely.

There’s not much more to say on the situation. Mismanagement of his contract by the club has, in part, put us in this situation but crucially so has last season’s catastrophic form. Had we challenged for the title and come close, persuading him to stay off the back of a strong summer in the transfer market might have been easier; Ifs, buts and maybes.

Replacing him won’t be easy and neither Kylian Mbappe or Thomas Lemar is likely to be that man. The former is in Arsène’s view likely to stay at Monaco, the latter likewise according to almost everyone. Wenger denied we’d made a £120m bid for the player as the Spanish media claimed but didn’t refer to the ‘cheeky’ £85m offer earlier in the summer.

Not that it matters beyond being another addition to the ‘nearly signed XI’, the most impressive Arsenal side ever.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Elsewhere, Olivier Giroud may think it’s an option to leave the Emirates but Arsène doesn’t. He’s reiterated his desire to keep his compatriot, praising his performances, contribution to the tour and squad as a whole. It’s a World Cup year so players want to keep in their national coach’s mind, which is mostly done by first team football.

It’s a dilemma Theo Walcott faces. Despite travelling to Germany in 2006, he’s never played for his country in the finals; this is his last chance. West Ham were linked with both Giroud and Theo but this morning sees Everton preparing a £30m bid.

To me, that money is a no-brainer. Theo will be a bit-part player this season, very good to have coming off the bench. For the player, it’s counter-productive; reinforcing the notion in Gareth Southgate’s mind that Walcott isn’t a starter for England either.

’til Tomorrow.

53 thoughts on “Slow Boat To China, Alexis, Free The Monaco Pair & Theo Not So Freo

  1. if truly everton come with a 30 million bid for Walcott, he should be sold asap…he is very useless in the 3421 formation and won’t be in the starting eleven..I will rather keep Giround as plan B

  2. between, is their a cash reward for being first to comment? maybe give me a 5 years contract at a better goal scorer than welbeck and Walcott

  3. Can’t argue with any of that YW. Sanchez left the club in reality months ago, I can’t see any circumstances where the club will for go a fee,

  4. Yogi have you been on the sauce this morning? 30mil for Walcott! That’s fucking hilarious! If Alexis is leaving Wenger better pull the Lamus ( how are we spelling it today?) deal off or find someone else sharpish. Lacazette is not a replacement he’s an addition.

    Actually I’d almost be happy with Perez on the left but I don’t think Wenger would play him.

  5. 30m for walcott and 50m for alexis, the world has gone mad but not as mad as £50m for kyle Walker 2 years ago he wasn’t as good as jenkinson or Debuchy now we can’t give em away.

  6. What all these fuss about Alexis Sanchez. Before Alexis, Arsenal was and after Alexis have long gone, Arsenal will be existing. Sell him asap. Sulking selfish Disrupter!

  7. Good afternoon folks and thank you Yogi for the post.

    Let’s be clear about the Sanchez situation, so far as we know there has not been an official approach made to the club for permission to talk to the player. This being the case there cannot have been an offer to purchase him.

    The only definite information in the public domain is Bayern Munich’s announcement that they are no longer interested in signing Sanchez.

    Regardless of what the player may or may not have told the media in Chile, the decision on where he plays next season is entirely Arsenal’s to make.

    The option to sell now is dependent upon finding a club willing to meet the posited transfer fee of £50/60 million and to be able to match the players wage demands. Unlikely outside of the cash rich Premiership.

    Wenger is confident that Sanchez will be retained, the remaining question is how long for.

  8. There is also a flipside:

    > Regardless of what the player may or may not have told the media in Chile, the decision on where he plays next season is entirely Arsenal’s to make.

    Not so. Arsenal could agree to sell him to Aberdeen for £2.50 but if he doesn’t want to go to Aberdeen, there’s no deal. Arsenal may say we’re selling you but if he wants to leave on a free, he doesn’t have to go.

  9. Afternoon,

    the frustration is that if leaves us up in the air again during a transfer window. Alexis, Giroud and Theo all offer goals being our three top goal scorers last season. Outside of those three the only genuine goal scorer we have in the squad is Lacazette. I am hoping for great things from him, but he is unproven in the PL. If Alexis’ intention is to win the CL he will be looking to go to a club with the potential to do that, so we have very little say over where he eventually goes if we intend to take the money. If he waits until next summer we have no say at all, but he is off one way or the other unless we were to win the league next season. I can only see one of the trio leaving this summer, so if Alexis is off we will be looking to both Giroud and Theo to weigh in with goals again. I’d like to see a few more goals from Ozil as well. He gets into positions to score, but then has a habit of trying to make absolutely sure which either ends up being spectacular, or a disaster. I thought he could have pulled the trigger earlier in the Cup Final, but ended up holding on to it and then hit the post. Just welly it!

  10. Pick 1 of 3 to go.
    If Arsenal get rid of 2-there better be replacements in camp before season starts.
    No way Lac and Giroud can do it alone, and no way Arsenal can win anything without Sanchez or his 20+ goals. Theo’s 19 all competitions is not the same. (10 in league, Danny can do that!)
    Need a holding mid who can dribble would help too.
    Don’t give Juve Szcz either. Better keeper than anyone Arsenal have for the next 7 years!

  11. Maybe I’m still feeling the herb this morning but what about selling Sanchez for 50-60m then immediately go to Dortmund with 50m + Giroud?

    Seriously though, for all the talk of him going to Citeh, there seems to be little talk of the attacking talent they already have in place and that includes both Pep and Aguero saying he isn’t leaving. Sane, Jesus, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero, Bernardo Silva. Yes Sane and Jesus are young but they are extremely talented and will only be that much better, plus, Pep throughout his career has never bought a player set to be 29 years old on those wages and those fees, he seems to prefer youngish players and molding them.

  12. West Ham have signed Joe Hart from Manchester City…. I pity him, he will face hell with that leaky West Ham defence

  13. C,

    I think Pep has Sanchez pencilled in for next summer on a free unless they get banned from transfers for two windows. He probably needs an experienced player in there who he knows can do the job in the PL if he can’t bring anyone else in. Anyone else is a gamble to some extent.

  14. Wavey,

    I agree he might have him penciled in next summer on a free. I think the other thing is that he might have others in his thought process to play on the flanks but also he wants to see how Sane and Jesus get on this year along with Bernardo Silva. He knows what he has in De Bruyne and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see De Bruyne back on the flanks where he was devastating when he played there. The other thing is, Bayern and Juve are still an option on a free next summer with both clubs making moves like that quite often.

  15. C,

    I didn’t quite finish my train of thought there….

    I think Pep has Sanchez pencilled in on a free for next summer unless they end up with a transfer ban. If they are banned for the next two windows I think he will move for Sanchez this summer and spend the money, as he needs to ensure he has another PL experienced player in the squad if they are to go through two transfer windows with no further additions.

  16. Wavey,

    Yea that makes sense and I knew what you were getting at. The strange thing is that Pep certainly would make that move but I also think Pep still feels his way is best and because of that if it does happen it would be really late in the window and then it would really test Arsene and Arsenal and if Citeh are banned for the next two windows, I would keep Sanchez and risk losing the money and next summer go in with a plan to replace him early in the window because that ensures that not only does he give Arsenal everything it would also see him more than likely off to another country on a free and given the likes of Madrid, Bayern, PSG and Juve would all sign him they would also offer him the best chance of winning the CL as I don’t see ANY PL clubs winning it in the next 2-3 seasons.

  17. 30m for Theo though would be good value for money. I know people say that Theo doesn’t have a role in the 3421 or 343 but he does if you look at the way that we play it with really 2 strikers ahead of Ozil, he can still come from the flanks and make those runs or even play up top with one of Lacazette and Sanchez. If Arsene was to give Ozil a match off, he could go with Lacazette/Sanchez/Theo given Sanchezand Lacazette can both create and love to play those quick 1-2’s that Theo is actually pretty damn good at because he can still get behind defenders and finish.

    I think it will ultimately come down to either Theo or Giroud.

  18. Reports in France say we are set to buy back Wellington Silva using our buy-back clause and then sell him off to Bordeaux for a quick 1.5m profit.

  19. C,

    That originally came out last week I think. And I questioned why we had a buy back clause for Wellington, but not for Gnabry. I think I saw that Chelsea is including buyback clauses in the sale of their youngsters.

  20. Gnabry just got loaned out again.
    We will see what his future holds- do not think he will ever make it into Bayern’s 1st team.
    Wellington has not even played well in 2 years. Waste o time.
    Moving onward- lets see how the team plays in China against some real competition.

  21. You can’t replace Sanchez for less than 120 million plus 400k per week. So his salary for one more year and 50 million looks like change for chumps.

    I say keep him; buy Mbappe quality or forget it.

    Bale anyone? Must be at least 120 m by now.

  22. Wailesy,

    Yep. We might not like him but in today’s prices Theo is worth 50 million at least.

    I love the fact that we don’t want to sell to City because they are a rival but Everton is fine.

    OK, prove it. Spend some proper money and win the title.

  23. Wavey,

    It is strange that we don’t have a buy-back clause for Gnabry but I think the one with Wellington seems to be from pure frustration. Anywho, its being reported in Brasil as well so who knows, if it goes through I’m excited for Wellington coming off a good season down in Brasil.

  24. Evening,

    I reckon that given the present values of WC strikers close to a 100 million € it ticks a lot of boxes to keep Sanchez.

    Yes, sure 400k $ a week is absurd money. But if you add another 75-100 millions $ in transfer for four years it’s actually more like 800k $ a week.

    Seeing that it makes it quite reasonable to offer him 400k $ a week for the coming four years.

    I might be a silly bugger but I’d rather keep Sanchez, give him the money and take the discussion with the other players regarding salaries and value..

  25. I don’t really get the situation with Gnabry. We allowed him to walk away from the club when he was after playing time. Couldn’t we have arranged load deals for him which were designed to ensure he got to develop? Bayern have done exactly that and appear to have kept the player happy. If a player is on the verge of first team football there must be Prem new comers who would be willing to take him on and give him game time. If he’s obviously crap then I can understand him not getting minutes, but a player looking to break into a team must have something about them.

  26. Wavey,

    I don’t understand the Gnabry deal not having a buy-back clause or why we couldn’t have loaned him out. Also, for those that say he will never see thr Bayern first team because he got loaned out this season but if you read the quotes, Bayern wanted him to stay and he requested to go out on loan this season to play match in and match out with an eye on taking over for the aging Robben and Ribery the following season. I also hate the notion of people saying he couldn’t cut it on loan so it made sense to sell; if that was the case then Bellerin would have been sold.

  27. Orson Kaert,

    A contract with Bayern which ended up leading to a loan deal with Hoffenheim. So if he goes out on loan for the next three seasons would it have made much difference if he were on loan from Arsenal, or Bayern? If he were good enough would he have been more likely to get playing time in the first team with Arsenal, or Bayern? We know that Wenger likes to give the talented youngsters a good run in the first team and Gnabry was already flagged as a first team prospect before his injury.

  28. Can’t say I want any player at Arsenal that is not committed. Bye Alexi, nice knowing you!

  29. I can put my personal thoughts on ‘want away’ players aside and still make an argument there are positives in Sanchez staying then leaving for a free.

    Other arguments are beginning to feel really off.

    Sanchez has given Arsenal the middle finger for the better part of nine months and now openly declared he wants to leave, the ball is in Arsenal’s court. At least Ozil has made a half-baked attempt at diplomacy.

    Sanchez’ does not want to play for Arsenal – how can this not sink in? Apparently, I have little idea how some are processing this reality but it appears to elude too many for comfort.

    Sanchez and some fans – the football equivalent of being stuck in an abusive relationship.

  30. DFS-,

    Trust, I get and completely understand the fact that Sanchez doesn’t want to stay at Arsenal for his various reasons including wanting CL and to win (money is always apart of it as it is with anybody in most to all professions).

    I’m split in 2 minds: 1. Keeping Sanchez for futboling reasons and the fact that like most South American players from the poorer parts, they will give their all even when they don’t want to be were they are 2. I only want players committed to and wanting to play for Arsenal and all others can leave.

    What should Arsenal do, well I say it comes down to whether you want to think in futboling terms and given how Arsenal have shown they might not replace or come close to the quality for which we should keep Sanchez and either he plays (which I suspect he will and give 100% commitment no matter whats in his heart); or think of Arsenal and we don’t keep him and sell him but only do so to once a deal is in place for a player of quality.

  31. I think a few things are certain:
    1. Wenger will want Sanchez to stay, even if the club torches 50 mill. He knows he’s nearing the end. Results matter a lot more to him than finances now. So I suspect Wenger is pushing hard to make the board refuse any transfer. He’ll be telling them: don’t worry, when we have a brilliant season (really!) Sanchez will be desperate to resign;
    2 Sanchez has no incentive to sign a contract with Arsenal (except for the insurance it gives against a catastrophic injury). On the other hand, he doesn’t have a big incentive to leave, either. If I was him I’d hang around at Arsenal for another year and see what happens.
    3. And don’t forget, the 50 mill has to be discounted by a very large sum to take account of the fact that Arsenal will get brilliant Sanchez for another year on a reduced salary with the chance to resign him. So the club would probably be only forgoing, say, 30 million in present value – or less. That’s without even considering the fan reaction!
    If the club is being logical, he stays!

  32. C:
    Pep throughout his career has never bought a player set to be 29 years old on those wages and those fees, he seems to prefer youngish players and molding them.

    He’s never managed at a club as cash rich as City before though. There’s the difference

  33. Imagine torching £50m of your own money…….

    ………. and ……….

    It just wouldn’t happen. Would it?

    And there’s your answer

  34. DFS-,


    Yes, maybe he don´t want to play for Arsenal or maybe it´s part of negotiating to get a better deal?

  35. freddo,

    Wenger hanging onto him to save his own neck is a very interesting take freddo -and valid.
    Its whether Gazidis over-rules Wenger with taking the decision away from him.

  36. C,

    It’s a dilemma isn’t it?

    But it shouldn’t be – it should be in capable hands at the club who make a decision one way or another and live with the consequences. If the fans and supporters had faith, I’d like to think they in turn backed would back the decision. Were not even on the same page.

    It’s jarring to compare how Spurs (fan base and executives) are treating the Walker sale.

    No – he was not the hub of the team but a key member and an England first choice. However as soon as he indicated he seriously wanted out (mid to late season) everyone at Spurs dealt.

    The fans believe in Levy and knew he’d secure an OTT price if sold – he did, 53M.

    Pochettino is assuredly developing the team, had Keiran Trippier in the wings and rotated him in – this was Walker ‘best’ season with 5 assists, which Trippier matched in only 6 PL starts. With Walker looking like he was out, Spurs extended Trippier a 5 year deal in June…for a reported 65,000 pw.

    Staggers the imagination compared to the Arsenal nonsense.

    The Spurs team are so enamored of the current ethos, spirit and development under Levy and Pochettino, they are all prepared to take less than 100,000 pw for next season also.
    That model will inevitably change in the immediate future yet anyone of them could have left this season and received huge pay raises – they haven’t

    Spurs are doing exceptional things on and off the pitch (yes – the exception rather than the rule) but if we had a fraction of their sure-footedness and focus on the future, we’ d be in decidedly better shape.

  37. One other point – If Sanchez is compelled to stay why will he perform regardless? Sanchez was throwing attitude around on and off the pitch last season. In a situation further deteriorated why/how is it logical to assume he’ll ‘play his heart out’?

    I’d love a corporate risk assessment on this.

    All things could start swimmingly with Sanchez forming a productive partnership with Lacazette.

    Just as easily we could see Sanchez’ mood darken and Wenger (petty payback mode) decide to bolster Lacazette and bench Sanchez. We are promptly faced with an embarrassing standoff coupled with a 60 million pound shortfall.

    The notion if refused his out, Sanchez will be chilled all season is a stretch too far – I’d lay odds if this transpires there will be a humiliating fall out along the way. Either that or Sanchez will patently be phoning it in at times.

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