On Guendouzi, Morals and Suits

For a young lad expected to be nothing more than a squad player, Mateo Guendouzi is proving an astute buy. His signing is a tick in the box for ol‘ Diamond Eyes, although our interest in him is now purported to go further back than that. Of course it is; as Arsenal fans we’ve got more agendas than a business hotel fully booked out for meetings until the 23rd century.

Guendouzi is the youngster we’ve been waiting for and the one we had better get used to. He won’t be at the club long if he continues his stellar progress because our business model demands that we sell him.

Paris St-Germain’s reported interested in him comes with a mooted fee of £50m. For a £9m signing, that’s a healthy profit. His sale at that level would double the summer’s budget or if Ornstein is to be believed, take it to a squad reorganising £150m.

FFP is a sinking ship. Galatasaray won their appeal to the CAS against UEFA and the retrospective action taken is a 21-man ‘A’ list, €15m withholding of prize money (€9m suspended) and restricted transfer budget. We’re experts in the latter and operate frequently with the former. We’d take four times that from the Champions League; a risk, in my view, worth taking.

I know about The Arsenal Way but staging a one-team sit-in on the moral high ground is getting us nowhere. Don’t forget, the top four places face their most competitive battles yet. Six teams fighting for the places. The weak will fall away and right now, that’s us.

Have a summer FFP-busting spend and do what the rest of them are doing. Take the punishment in two years’ time when we’re in the Champions League. It’s a gamble but one worth considering?

Magic Roundabout

Let’s not forget that we’re losing a hatful of players for nothing and will find that some others we overspent are worth nothing like the fees we paid. And when the transfer window closes, we’ll still have Shkodran Mustafi in the squad.

Where will our morals get us? Sixth, unless there is an influx of cash. Mesut Özil holds some influence in this. Whether he wants to go is irrelevant to this point; presume he does.

There’s a limited market for him and the reality is that his best chance of leaving comes with Jose Mourinho getting a new job. The Portugeezer admires the German, referring to him in glowing terms recently; can he be tempted to dip his toe into the market for a bargain?

Ultimately, all our problems won’t be solved by Mesut Özil leaving nor as I said before, he isn’t all of our problems. He must contribute himself; hard work, knuckle down, perform consistently and make himself indispensible.

I’m guessing that he’ll play on Thursday and probably both home games immediately after. However, beyond that I wouldn’t be so sure.

Looking at his and Alexis’ fortunes, it’s an incredible turnaround. Resolution of their futures, i.e. transfer / new contract, caused more turmoil than being in dispute. The pair of them would like nothing more than turning back the clock, I’m sure. Would we have been better served by selling Özil and keeping Alexis on a big deal?

Elsewhere, the club is set to be made to wait for Sven Mislintat’s replacement. Marc Overmars is staying with Ajax until the end of the season with Monchi’s candidacy stalling as well. That’s what the papers say, anyway. Whether it’s true is another matter. It will all come out in the wash.

’til Tomorrow.

17 thoughts on “On Guendouzi, Morals and Suits

  1. Pete the Thirst says:

    You’ve done it again YW mentioning the O word!

    The latter day Charlie Nicholas. Maybe he will score a deflected shinner in the EL final and be sold soon after to Celtic. Wishful thinking? Ozil needs to be gone. He’s a rot eating into the side.

    Guendouzi has to stay. If the suits want to cash in imagine what he’ll be worth in 2-3 years?

  2. Jonnygunner says:

    Afternoon scrotes 🙋🏼‍♂️

  3. LSG says:

    We needed diamond eye more than Raul, I think. One has a talent for uncovering and recruiting terrific young players, the other for shady deals and large agent fees. I was happy we were getting our own shark to work in those waters but this isn’t Barca. He seemed like a good complement to Sven in skill set. Unrestrained as the man in charge? I have doubts.

  4. LSG says:

    Wouldn’t AFC need very different owners to embark on the strategy outlined? I wish we would see that sort of bold aggressive move made from ambition too, YW. It is the kind of step needed. Kroenke has never shown that willingness to risk or invest. Maybe if Raul is given a free hand, but he seems to be toeing the line about our restricted resources.

  5. LSG says:

    Tbf, Alexis has been even more expensive and a bigger disappointment since going to MU than Ozil. At least with Ozil, there are mitigating factors that we know about. The real mistake was not selling Alexis that summer for 60 or in January to City for cash. The Mkhitaryan swap deal hasn’t helped us and is a very large wage as well, which gets little attention in light of the more glamorous Ozil controversy and his eye-popping wage and legions of social media followers.

    Systematic mismanagement of contracts, poor purchases, a dearth of young players developed and very poor selling of players see us in the current predicaments. Sven bought some promising young players in Guendouzi and Torreira and Nelson, ESR, and maybe a couple others plus Iwobi can contribute to our squad perhaps in coming years. That’s positive. But the real improvements have to come in the contracts, purchases and sales starting this summer. And without CL, I don’t see AFC being able to do much meaningful transformation with limited resources and competitive appeal. At the very least we need a replacement for Sven now to do the groundwork on finding young players we can afford.

    We can raise money by selling Guendouzi, Torreira, Iwobi. These are practically the only players with the age and contract profiles to bring in reasonable profits. Maybe there are others but it isn’t a long list right now. Bellerin and Holding are injured, Nelson’s value might go up with a strong second half of the season.

    That’s why I think CL qualification is the only reasonable goal this season. The only way we can more quickly progress as a club.

  6. Bill says:

    Great post Yogi

    Guendouzi has been a pleasant surprise, however, if someone is really willing to offer us $50M then we should grab the cash and use it to help rebuild the squad. I think he is a good player with a some potential and C compared him to the next Patrick Vierra which I think is a reasonable comparison. However, we have been looking for the next Patrick Vierra or the next Cesc since 2004 and we have had dozens of candidates and none have worked out. The reality is that the chances of Guendouzi being the next Le Coq, Diaby, Iwobe or Bendtner are much much higher then him turning out the next Cesc or Vierra. We had the sell for big money or keep discussion about Wilshere and Ramsey a few years ago and look how that worked out. No one likes the idea that we are a selling club but at this point in time it seems like that has to be our reality and like it or not we have to follow the Liverpool model of club rebuilding. For a club like ours that desperately needs money to rebuild, $50M in the hand is far more valuable then the 5-10% possibility that he turns out to be the next Cesc or Vierra.

  7. LSG says:

    Bill,

    If I thought we had the exec and recruitment team in place to maximize the resources, I would have to reluctantly agree. I love Guendouzi’s game and attitude. He’s a top prospect and I’m convinced he’ll be a good or even great player. But a profit of 40m in one year based on the promising but still uneven performances this year? We would have to consider that seriously. But I’d give that money to Sven/technical director. I am not sure Raul’s record is convincing for a club like Arsenal. I’m waiting to see whom he hires and when for technical director.

  8. Bill says:

    Limestone

    People will say I am anti-youth but I am not. I am pragmatic and form my opinions based on what I have seen happen over the last 15 years of closely following Arsenal football. Selling a player like Guendouzi for a big profit does not feel good but realistically its clearly the right option based on huge volume of historical data.

    I agree with your concern about our the ability of our front office to use that $50M wisely but we have to give them the benefit of the doubt at least for a few years because they are our only real hope for a much brighter future.

    Btw. Reiss Nelson had a fantastic adrenaline induced start to his loan spell but he has not scored since early November and has not started a game since late October and in the last game he was an unused sub. That pattern is very well documented and I suspect he is several years from being ready to help the club.

  9. Bill says:

    We are a club that can’t afford to make a lot of mistakes. Ozil’s contract and trading Mkhitaryan are probably going to hamstring us for a few years. Its not as obvious but not selling a player for big money when we have a chance can be just as big a mistake. We have to play the odds and makes moves where the historical odds are in our favor. Betting on jack Wilshere ever becoming the player we hoped he could be and not selling was betting against the odds and inevitably it turned out to be a big mistake.

  10. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Bill

    I would agree to sell Guendouzi. £150m would be my price though.

    £50m is a joke. Bournemouth wanted that for Calum Wilson.

    I wouldn’t sell – he is not Cesc or Vieira but far better than the likes of Jack or Rambo. If we sold him would you trust the club the reinvest wisely. Our record in that regard is miserable to say the least. We need to keep players like him.

    This kid has everything. Don’t compare him to lesser lights like Theo, Jack , Rambo or any of the others.

  11. C says:

    Bill,

    I did not compare him to Vieira, please mate, don’t put words in my mouth. I said we have lacked somebody in that role who is comfortable both carrying the ball and can play a pass since Vieira in that position and Guendouzi clearly is a talented boy who only has room to grow. If he can continue developing and growing, he can play that ROLE. Their is only 1 Vieira but, like Torriera is doing in a role we have lacked in since Gilberto Silva, Guendouzi has the potential to fill that role.

  12. C says:

    Bill,

    On Nelson, please don’t ignore the fact he was out injured for almost a month, then their winter break for a couple weeks and then Nagglesman stating Nelson is just now returning to full fitness. Just going by appearances doesn’t tell the whole story.

  13. Bill says:

    AIC

    I don’t think there are any players in our squad other then Pea and Lacazette who are $50M players. If we can buy Torriera for $23M then should be able to replace Guendouzi with a player at least that good for less then $25M

    C

    I was giving you credit for coming up with Vierra as a comparison for Guenduozi that made a lot of sense.

  14. Bill says:

    C

    Nelson had an really strong adrenaline fueiled start and scored 5 goals in his first 9 games but he has only scored 1 in his last 13 and none in his last 11. He has clearly followed the unsustainable hot start followed by return to reality that we have seen for several dozen players like him

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