Transfer Rumours and Besties on a Budget

Having a net spend of £45m available this summer is somewhat restricting. Yes, we’re back to net spend. We dallied with amortisation-driven spend but that never really took hold. Too bookish, too accounting for the masses. And frankly, £45m isn’t a transfer budget, it’s a week’s pocket money for the serious players. Not that the serious players have any money to spend this summer; they are all banned for one reason or another.

Or not all of them, just one at the moment. But let’s not forget, four other Premier League clubs are being investigated for the same offences as Chelsea. Things are going from bad to worse for Manchester City. AC Milan lost a similar appeal to the CAS over being referred to UEFA’s adjudaction chamber. Oil money isn’t going to change that, the received wisdom has it.

City talk the talk but walking it is proving tricky. Threats of legal action outside the CAS process are now ‘outlawed’ by an agreement between the ECA and UEFA. City, it seems, stymied themselves. Mind you, the ECA is supposed to monitor member clubs and make sure they adhere to FFP. That’s a bit like giving a convicted fraudster access to your bank accounts and expecting nothing to go wrong.

The upshot is that Unai Emery’s second season in charge may yet see us play Champions League football. Knowing Arsenal’s luck, City will be found guilty and be banned for 2020/21. We’ll finish sixth in 2019/20…

It’s My Sixth Sense

Such cynicism should be no surprise. Our £45m budget means not only are we struggling to buy ‘world-class’ players, but we also can’t even buy an “Aston Villa flop”. The headlines tell you we can but if you read the article, we can’t. And I read the article so you don’t have to.

It seems even Jordan Veretout wants “Champions League football”. That’s “Champions League football” not “Champions League football but only on the off-chance of another club’s corruption being found out”.

Jordan, it seems, prefers Napoli or Atalanta. Or Arsenal, if you believe the French press. Someone ought to tell them Arsène isn’t in charge. We’re not doing all our shopping in Ligue Un. Or Deux, for that matter. Not that we’re doing much shopping. It’s Poundland for us while we look enviously into Waitrose on the way home.

Or the seconds shop which is where Yannick Carrasco finds himself. He was unaffordable in January but now finds himself priced juuuusst right. If the Belgium international signs, it’s a clear signal that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is on his way out. That process received a helping hand when Mino Raiola mysteriously found his ban suspended. Miraculously, that meant he could chivvy Real Madrid and Chelsea along to complete Eden Hazard’s transfer. Raiola collects £30m for his part in the deal; nice work if you can get it.

Elsewhere, Mesut Özil’s questionable friendship with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to fuel arguments. It is a friendship as well; a best man isn’t an acquaintance you run into at a charity do. Each to his own.

I’m sure I’ve got friends. No, wait, that’s not right; I’m sure I’ve got friends Mesut wouldn’t approve of.

To the Left, to the Right

Plenty of footballers espouse dubious politics; it all depends on which side of the divide you find yourself. Some find Brian Clough’s socialism – he was a founding signatory on the Anti-Nazi League’s charter – reprehensible while as many disagree with Fat Frank’s conservatism. The nearest to Mesut’s situation I can think of is Pavlyuchenko standing for Putin’s party at an, ahem, election. I can’t remember if he won.

Few are as overt as Di Canio though. Roman salute my arsenal.

Finally, condolences to the family of Justin Edinburgh, the Leyton Orient manager who died yesterday, aged 49.

’til Tomorrow.

86 thoughts on “Transfer Rumours and Besties on a Budget

  1. Continuing from the earlier thread I think rationalisation of the wage structure is needed going forward. The wage bill should never be a impediment to new signings and should be in line with players ability and importance to the team and not a socialist structure.

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  2. I recall reading that ManU players were put out because there were clauses in their contracts regards CL qualification. You would think that MO would have a similar performance related clause in his contract too, that sort of thing has been standard for decades. Then again this is Arsenal where doing the basics seems to be beyond the so called professionals that run the place. Based on performances our wage bill is around £50-£100m too high. Ozil, Mhiki and Xhaka would be a start, Ramset has gone (sadly) but even then there should be scope to cull a few more overpaid under performing ‘stars’.

    The Dennis Praet rumours persist, can’t say I’m excited really, very Arsenal to replace our best goal scoring midfielder with one who appears to struggle to hit a cow’s arse with a banjo. I’m not a huge AMN fan either but if we do manage to move on Xhaka then I’d be okay with him getting a few games in his true position and see if he takes his chance.

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  3. andy1886,

    I know people will look at Praet’s goal scoring based on what he has done at club level but their is more to that. At Sampdoria, he plays basically at the base of their midfield dictating play. He doesn’t get forward that much because he clearly is instructed to play rhat way more than being unable to score.

    I would be interested to see how, if he comes which is looking more and more likely, he plays under Emery. Maybe Emery plays him higher up the pitch and he shows much more but it also looks as though Emery and Arsenal are looking for a winger, like Carrasco, who offers more goal threat to play along with Aubameyang and Lacazette.

    I get the reservation that you have but part of our problems last season where that, outside of Torriera, Xhaka was hit or miss in defensive work so Praet would certainly help us defensively in midfield but also in controlling the midfield. We score goals, but we also need to stop being exposed on the counter and that for me starts with having a strong base in midfield.

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  4. Lovely Jubbly transfer speculation and rumours cannot get enough of them. Super.

    Think I’ll get excited when they happen.

    TBH there are a number of players that I’d just like to see go – and if we can shift them, well, a less technically gifted but works his socks off type player would do me fine…

    at the risk of giving away my age again – clone Perry Groves, Nigel Winterburne, Martin Hayes and Glen Helder.

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  5. Morning all,

    No blog for a couple of days as I’m in hospital having a cancerous kidney removed. Should (hopefully) be up and running again Wednesday (so I’m told).

    Gates to the comments section will remain unlocked.


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  6. We’re not many seasons removed from a squad that was perpetually thin in numbers. That’s not the case now except that many of the acquisitions brought either little spirit or little talent. Or both.
    Frankly, I don’t see a lot of money coming in through sales this summer and we hear, unconfirmed, that Arsenal have about £45M to spend this summer. Contrast that with a few seasons back when Ivan said Arsene had £70M to spend that summer (and that was when 70M was considered a lot of money) but Arsene only spent part of it. And not to great effect.
    It isn’t how much you spend but whether you get value for your money. Whether you don’t spend enough or you spend too much AND it’s not spent wisely, the result is predictable. Let’s hope the new brains-trust have a better approach.

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  7. Yogi,
    Hope all has gone well. Like Liverpool and it’s two cathedrals “You’ve got one to spare”. If we lived closer I’d visit and eat your grapes. 😎

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  8. Wishing you a speedy recovery YW and a return to good health.

    I’m not convinced with who we’ve been linked with is exactly what we need. Jordan Veretout, Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet! Seriously!!!

    It’s going to be another underwhelming season.

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  9. Congratulations on your successful surgery YW.

    There’s a few bugger’s we’d like to get out of our football club too. I hope that we can be as successful.

    All the best.

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  10. Not really wanting to be an Ozil apologist, but he could be a British intelligence agent.

    The next time he sees Erdogan who knows what he could have in his pocket.

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  11. Good news on the successful op yogi. Now don’t forget to milk it for all its worth with the wife. I suggest one of those little bells to ring every time you need a pillow moved!

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  12. C

    Isn’t that a good thing? I would assume it means Barca is less likely to chase PEA or Lacazette. We can sell almost anyone on the squad other then those 2. If we lose either of the strikers we are going to struggle to hold on to one the Europa league spots

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  13. C we’ve been linked with William Saliba of Saint-Étienne according to Le10Sport, don’t you think Benoît Badiashile of Monaco would be a better option and cheaper!

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  14. Get well soon. The way Kroeke is driving Arsenal, it will take at least another decade for the Club to be counted as something worth appreciating. Hence, no point to be concerned about this mid-table Club. No glorious days of Highbury either.
    Relax after the Operation, and forget about this Kroeke’s asset. That is what we think here at Highbury.

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  15. andy1886:
    So, August looks like this: Away at Newcastle, home to Burnley, away to Liverpool and home to Spurs.Interesting start.

    End of the season, Home to Liverpool, Away to Aston Villa and Home to Watford!

    Looks like we’ll be fighting for a Europa league spot again!

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  16. Bill,

    Its a great thing, absolutely I was thinking about what Barca are doing and Griezmann is the icing on the cake….for now. Absolutely keeping Aubameyang and Lacazette is massive.

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  17. Hello Big Man,
    Hope all is well after the op. You better not let us down. I can’t be bothered to read the rest of the blogs, they are way too rabid these days. Sort your self out man, pull yourself together ànd get well soon. Shouldn’t happen to a gooner.

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  18. With the absence of “Flaming June” and continuing gloomy forecasts, I suspect Yogi has his head firmly under the bedcovers. “It’s warmer under here”, he told the nurses. “Discharge me when Summer arrives”. 😎

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  19. If we get Martinelli, that will be a really good get for a young attacking Brazilian talent. Would be interesting to see who would leave though or how it would work out.

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  20. C

    I don’t anything about Martinelli but I certainly hope he is a lot better then Wellington Silva who is the last high profile next great thing Brazilian attacking player that I can remember. Your record for predicting who will be “good gets” has been underwhelming over the years.

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  21. I think buying a player like Martinelli and stashing him somewhere and hoping he can turn into a good player in 3-4 years is a good idea. You never know what might happen. However we can’t expect or count on a 17 year old straight from Brazil to come into the PL and make a positive impact.

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  22. I can’t hold back for any longer. Watching Malinga bowl for Sri Lanka, his action is legit but by the cringe he sure looks like a “chucker”. 😎

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  23. Too bad we didn’t have a winger who was impactful and was wanted by then bought by Bayern only to then become their Player of Season and has made himself undroppable for both club and country…..o wait, he Serge Gnabry was at our club, shame people like Bill think he won’t be much of anything🤣

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  24. Bill,

    Nobody said he was coming in and becoming an automatic starter. The talent is there BUTTTTTTT as I and plenty of others have said, talent isn’t everything as a youth. Things like a chance, confidence, injury, etc all have impacts on whether or not a player fulfills his talent or just becomes a good quality player or becomes decent.

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  25. C

    I wish we had Gnabry back but its hard to claim you knew all along how good he was when we have hyped several hundred of players just as much who did not make it. Serge is the only 1 our of literally hundreds of players like him that we have thought were going to develop into important players. Arsene and many fans rated Iwobe higher and Gnabry might have stayed if he had been given the minutes we gave Iwobe. The problem is that a Serge Gnabry has come along 1 time in the last 15 years and for every Serge Gnabry there are literally dozens and dozens and dozens of players who were rated just as high or higher who did not make it.

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  26. Jonnygunner,

    I know, have never said I was. I am of the belief though that we constantly talk about quality and none of the bigger clubs want our players yet we have seen both Sczcesny, Gnabry and Bennacer recently sold by Arsene to either bigger clubs(Gnabry and Sczcesny) or wanted by bigger clubs and opted for a step below then flourish and now chased by(Bennacer). I am a massive admirer of Leno but say we keep Sczcesny and spend that 25-30m on a CB then we keep Gnabry (remember he was sold based on his season at West Brom which was his 1st after a full season out iniured) as a goal scoring creative winger. We then have money to spend elsewhere.

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  27. Bill,

    Am I wrong that things like that happen at EVERY single club in the world, some make and some don’t. The thing is though, you generally want to keep the talent that is chased by the bigger clubs so that you can spend money elsewhere or am I wrong in thinking that? You talked last season about Bayern and how they would replace Gnabry, then he goes and wins Player of the Season and Bayern have not hid the fact that their wingers heading into next season are Koman and Gnabry. Ofcourse you will miss on more than get right but that is just futbol especially when you consider that their are full U18 and U23 squads that also include some of the most talented youth players playing up in age group.

    Seperating talent from making isn’t nearly as simply as they aren’t good enough because some of the most talented youngsters don’t make it for a variety of reasons. I mean loom at Wilshire, he had it all and injuries and poor management has seen his career ajd body not hold up to the point that he isn’t even a regular for West Ham universally he was thought to be Barca bound at some point his career.

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  28. I very recently discovered your blog and enjoyed your posts immensely but they have stopped for reasons only known to you. When is the next one due… Are you I’ll, on a break or bored?

    I posted the last comment before reading the comments. Glad to hear the cancer was removed and hope for a speedy recovery and back to blogging… Yeah, I’m a selfish bastard 🤗

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  29. I have not been here for a while and am sorry to hear of your health problems.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and a return to good health.

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  30. C

    Gnabry and Wojo are both examples of why its a mistake to throw u 21 players into the first team before they are ready. It took Wojo about 7 years to come good and no team whose ambition is to compete for the top of the table can afford to wait that long. Gnabry took about 5 years to develop and there is not much room in the squad for developmental projects. The problem with believing every U21 is uber talented and they all need to be given a chance is none of us has any idea when the 1 out of hundreds who actually might be a difference making player like Gnabry comes along. If we had listened to the fans we would still be hanging on to Afobe, Akpom, eisfeld myachi Sanogo Jeff etc etc etc etc etc and we probably would have been relegated long ago.

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