Under normal circumstances, a player’s omission from the matchday squad is taken as a clear signal that a transfer is imminent. It may well be the case with Denis Suarez but Ernesto Valverde’s motives were less benevolent. Reports from Spain declare it saved Barcelona £800k in a transfer fee due to Manchester City with an ‘add-on’ left hanging, waiting for one more appearance.
It’s a trivial amount to City, of course, but left me with a slightly euphoric feeling; it was the height of pettiness, nothing else. Arsenal’s interest in the player meant the Rebellion lives on.
Read any of the morning’s transfer gossip and the one thing which is clear is that we don’t have a pot to p*ss in. Arsenal are broke and forced into signing loan deals. Hell, we can’t even afford the £3m West Ham want from Reece Oxford; we’re one not far short of the workhouse.
Got to get those clicks somehow.
By all accounts – or words from the horse’s mouth, more accurately – Suarez is a versatile addition to the squad. According to Unai Emery, he “was playing as a left or right winger for Sevilla when he was with me.” Bang go those central midfield aspirations, eh Den?
Whatever the coach wants, goes. It’s his squad he is shaping, the one by which he will be judged.
Which leaves us with one signing to be made. Emery suggested it would be a central defender of some repute. So, not Reece Oxford then. Some argue we don’t need another central defender but Laurent Koscielny’s injury at the weekend underlines he is to be a bit-part player until a summer departure.
Morality and Football: Acquaintances
Essentially, that leaves us with the unreliable Mustafi and Sokratis before we delve into the ranks of the ‘make do and mend’ brigade. Mavropanos is some way off being ready for the first XI, having missed the first half of the season. After Emery’s recent admission that Koscielny was pushed too hard on his return,
The big spending
Arsenal as a club has questions to answer internally. We’re sticklers for playing by the rules and complying with FFP. Our rivals and betters are less honourable. Is there a case for a targeted breach of FFP, knowing that a fine is the likeliest punishment?
In other words, should we frig the system?
Peter Hill-Wood made it clear that in his day as chairman, the club never borrowed money to fund transfer fees. Is that still true today? It might be but one thing is certain, Enos won’t dip into his own pockets.
A targeted breach of FFP would, no doubt, require some external funding, breaking that Golden Rule. Enos is, I’m sure, only going to agree to such a course with guaranteed results. Such as those enjoyed by Liverpool.
Fans struggle to work out how they’ve invested so much when their commercials haven’t grown by anywhere near as much as is needed to fund wage rises. The answer is player trading profits.
Imagine what we could do if fees were received for players walking or hobbling away on a free this summer.
While everyone worries about the commercial deals, Liverpool capitalised on the rule which allows transfer profits on a rolling three-year average basis to cover rising costs. In short, selling Philippe Coutinho sets them nicely for three years during which time they can build their commercial revenues to the necessary levels.
But they aren’t bringing in revenues, so do Arsenal breach the rules once and gamble next summer or do we, essentially, play nicely? I’d guess the answer depends on where we end up? The Champions League is the holy grail and finishing in the top four or winning the Europa League solves that problem.
Both are, I think, tall orders and unlikely. Chelsea stand in our way for both, with Napoli and Sevilla ahead of us as favourites in Europe.
Cheats never prosper so the old saying tells us. Football obviously hadn’t been invented at that time. Can Arsenal afford to sit back and watch others bend the rules beyond breaking point or do we fight fire with fire?