Transfer deadline day and reports this morning that FIFA is considering changing to a ‘global’ transfer window, which closes the day before a league season begins. English clubs, it’s claimed, regret voting for the shorter window this summer and want to go back to the end of August close date next summer.
The turkeys, it seems, aren’t that keen on Christmas after all.
I don’t expect much from Arsenal today, certainly not in the buying department. Our main business was done long ago and maybe we’ll add Demagoj Vida, but it’s unlikely as his fee leapt from €20m to €30m overnight. I know the pound is sinking like the Titanic but that fee-inflation is ridiculous.
And I’m wary of us signing him, as well. This smacks of a ‘good World Cup’ signing, the sort who sends a Karel Poborsky – alarm ringing in my head. That’s not to say Vida didn’t play well for Croatia or that he won’t play well for us, it’s just a bit, well, panicky.
It speaks volumes about the dearth of central defensive talent with the skills we need. Such as defending; that seems to be a big problem for us these days. We’ll see if a week on the training ground and the competitive environment improves matters. I’m not holding my breath, certainly not where Shkodran Mustafi is concerned.
And I will say this. Vida looks a better player than Mustafi so it’s not all bad news in that sense.
Others who I’d expect to be involved today revolve around sales. Carl Jenkinson is unlikely to attract any overseas interest so English clubs need to get their skates on with the Football League transfer window closing today as well. I can’t see him moving to a Premier League club, to be honest.
Flash…Uh-Huh…Saviour of the Universe!
The only deal which is definitely on is Lucas Perez to West Ham. It makes sense; he’s a West Ham kind of player, mixing occasional flashes of brilliance to break the mundanity.
£5m isn’t a bad price either. A bad price is the fee we paid for him. Reportedly worth £17.5m, it was another moment of madness in the transfer market which became all too familiar under late-era Wenger. For a player we passed on earlier that summer. Sigh.
When you look at the players who are set to leave this summer – Ospina, Campbell, Perez, Welbeck, Jenkinson – in footballing terms, none of them must be sold today. They can all be sold before the end of the month if an overseas buyer can be found. Equally, we don’t need to sign anyone to replace them. They genuinely are surplus to requirements.
Which leaves the speculation surrounding Mohamed Elneny. I doubt he will leave for another English club but he could do. It’s no surprise he’s touted as one heading for the exit. Lucas Torreira’s arrival pushes him further down the pecking order and I’d venture Guendouzi’s performances this summer have the same impact.
The Egyptian ticks the box as a squad player. Experienced, useful, and one whom Emery likes for his ability to recirculate possession. It’s not enough with our defensive weaknesses. We need more protection than just using the ball well.
Elneny misses an ‘edge’. Not the leaving an elbow on someone’s face in a friendly Lichtsteiner-sh*thousery kind of edge, but cynicism. I guess the term is ‘streetwise’, a little bit of the dark arts. I read earlier in the summer that Pep’s philosophy is based on regaining possession in five seconds or commit a foul to break up play. That kind of cynicism. Which Torreira has.
When’s A Door Not A Door?
A transfer window which closes today for buying but not selling seems a typically half-arsed English compromise. It needed the selling window to close as well to be truly effective. Instead of moving that, we’re seeing the big clubs leading the charge to the way things used to be. I’d like to charge back to the way things used to be as well. Plurality of ownership, for starters.
One of us is likely to get their wish and I’m guessing it’s not going to be me in this instance.
The ‘fun’ ends at 5 pm tonight which is a very civilised and English hour, leaving plenty of time to nip to the pub once everyone leaves Premier League HQ to celebrate the end of another successful summer. Then the real football begins…