Transfer Gossip: Famous Five Head For Exit?

If Celtic fans want to tell me once again that they won’t miss Kieran Tierney, I’ll be here all day. I double-checked the line-ups when I saw the result, just to make sure we didn’t push a sneaky player-exchange for Shkodran Mustafi.

Mustafi is one of those whose name continually comes up when talk of sales arises. Of course, it comes as no surprise when the head coach makes it clear the player has no future at the club, as Unai did.

“I spoke with him when we finished last season,” he said before the trip to Newcastle. “I spoke with him when we started pre-season and I spoke with him also two weeks ago saying maybe there was the possibility he can leave.”

Even in non-footballing terms, that’s a P45 in the post, right there. Mustafi doesn’t have to leave; he can sit and reject every move but there’s a consequence: he won’t play unless there’s a massive injury crisis combined with a raft of suspensions.

This is Arsenal so those circumstances cannot be ruled out.

However, three separate conversations and still here? Mustafi is either stubborn or needs a new agent; his current one may be slacking.

Although if he entices a fee of €30m for Arsenal’s benefit, I take that back and doff my cap in not so silent admiration. I’d admit then that the man could sell ice to Eskimos. Or Innuits, I’m never sure what’s the PC ending to that phrase.

The German is one of a cluster of players but a rarity; he doesn’t divide opinion: everyone thinks he should be sold.

I’ll touch on the others shortly. Don’t worry; I need caffeine to continue with the rest…

It’s Football, Only Football

Wherever I start on these three, there are those who will defend them. Vociferously, that’s for sure. And with Mesut Ozil and Saed Kolasinac, the added nuance of their domestic situations interferes with any conversation on their futures.

Let’s make this clear: the despicable situation they find themselves in has nothing to do with my line of thinking. Nobody, footballer or otherwise, should find themselves in the same nightmare.

This is all for footballing reasons.

With Kolasinac, it’s not hard to make a case for either he or Nacho Monreal to be sold following the signing of Kieran Tierney. For me, the Spaniard remains, despite being a footballing OAP. Almost.

His versatility keeps him at the club, especially if we manage to offload Mustafi. We may need a centre-back even with Sokratis, Chambers, Holding and Luiz on the books.

Kolasinac is useful when you need a battering ram on the left but his delivery – end product, if you like – is woefully inconsistent. Usually in the same match.

For Mustafi and Kolasinac, there’s no reason for them not to be sold in August. For most people, selling the former makes this a 10/10 window. Getting a fee takes it one higher.

What of Mesut Ozil? Almost everything which can be said about him on a football has been written or spoken.

He is talented, technically gifted to the point of being world-class on his day; infuriating, too easily forced to the periphery of the game too often. I don’t think he’s lazy nor do I think his appetite for the game is dulled by his salary.

I don’t why he is inconsistent or doesn’t perform away from home. Let’s be honest though, we’ve been rubbish for several seasons and rather than him inspiring players, they dragged him down to their level.

It’s Now or Nev…Sorry, January

It happens and I think this is the time for a parting of the ways, which I said earlier this summer before the current madness engulfed him and Kola.

The press tells us he’s not interested in a move to the MLS. In the next breath, his agent, we’re told, is meeting DC United, having spoken to them regularly in recent years. Of course he’s interested in a move to the USA. It’s a retirement home and that suits his laconic style.

And let’s be honest, if his agent was meeting Bayern Munich, it would happen in Europe. There are plenty of cities where meetings could be held that throw the newshounds off the scent.

Timing clouds the issue. DC United lose Wayne Rooney in January; the timing suits us. It gives us time to see how Dani Ceballos settles, is Joe Willock really ready (yes). Any doubts and we keep Ozil unti the summer.

There is no way, however, he and Kola aren’t thinking of leaving London. Mrs K reportedly returned to Germany, according to the media. It highlights that the current situation cannot be ignored.

But if you think Arsenal should cynically exploit it, have a word with yourself.

Which brings us to Granit Xhaka. The millennial Steve Williams; in equal measure snarky, miserable and technically brilliant.

There is just one difference; Willow didn’t let the pace of the game pass him by. Xhaka…?

I thought he was poor at Newcastle, but Mkhitaryan was worse. Others think he and Mkhi did well; football and opinions, eh.

However, Torreira is a better defensive option. Xhaka isn’t a defensive midfielder; he wasn’t at Monchengladbach nor for the Swiss international side, on the occasions I’ve seen him. I do think he is in the XI more for leadership than anything else.

C’mere, There’s One More…

I mentioned Mkhitaryan earlier, which reminded me he was still here. Is he a ‘one-season wonder’? It’s interesting that in both his final seasons with Shakhtar and Dortmund that he hit 20+ goals. In between, he’s struggling to scrape half those totals.

I’d be happy if he scored 15 a season. In fact, I’d be clamouring for him to be in the side but let’s be honest, his form since moving to England is little short of wretched.

His miss at Newcastle pointed to a player shorn of confidence but the pass in setting Aubameyang free of the Barcodes defence was sublime. Definitely a Jekyll and Hyde player; sadly it’s more of the hideous monster performances than anything else.

Like Mustafi, I think a move will see confidence restored and is very necessary. Both will probably need to accept a salary drop; are they prepared to do so or is money more important than playing every week? That’s modern football’s dilemma. Winston Bogarde is no longer an unusual case.

Whether the club manages to sell any of the quartet which morphed into a quintet remains to be seen. European transfer windows close at the end of the month; in footballing terms, that’s a lifetime away.

But freeing up those funds from the wage bill and receiving fees allow us to spend in January. We may need to if the fickle finger of fate points bad luck in our direction.

’til Tomorrow.

29 thoughts on “Transfer Gossip: Famous Five Head For Exit?

  1. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Good Afternoon, all.

    Or morning, as it is in Kansas.

  2. Saa says:

    make that the Europa spot…reality has kicked in….

  3. Randy Thomsett says:

    Someone should give Mustafi some bop pills. We’d have a real player on our hands then.

    Xhaka and Mkhitaryan too, if there are any left over.

  4. Randy Thomsett says:

    ‘Persons from a heat challenged environment’ is probably the correct wording now.

  5. andy1886 says:

    The natives of Canada and Greenland prefer Inuit. The Yupik people of Alaska and far eastern Russia however don’t identify as Inuit and prefer Eskimo, so I guess it depends where you are selling your snow.

    Almost as complicated as the Ozil situation but not quite. Even they have heard that Mustafi is rubbish though.

  6. C says:

    Xhaka, Mustafi and Mhkitatyan are the obvious ones especially when you consider the players brought in and the development of youth. Guendouzi is basically a more mobile, more defensive ability and still has rhe range of passing of Xhaka but younger and with more potential. I like Xhaka but I think in Italy he would be absolutely siblime or even in La Liga.

  7. Woolwich Freddie says:

    C,

    I can really see Xhaka in Italy.

  8. jonnygunner says:

    Woolwich Freddie:
    C,

    I can really see Xhaka in Italy.

    I’d love to see him in Italy…so much so I’d drive him there myself.

  9. Dukey says:

    Jonny you drive Xhaka, I’m willing to drive Mustafi. Who’s gunner drive Elneny and who wants to drive Miki??

  10. Damon says:

    Dukey,

    I’ll carry them on my back, happily, to whoever will take them

  11. YW says:

    Get him an Uber; last-minute so the fare is at its’ highest.

  12. C says:

    Chelsea are bossing this match against Liverpool.

  13. Bill says:

    Great post yogi

    I would be ecstatic to see Mustafi, mikhitaryan, kolasinac, xhaka and ozil all loved this year or next summer. The final clean out of the Wengerian leftovers.

    We have talked about this a lot in the past and the explanation for ozil’s ineffectiveness seems very straightforward to me. He still touches the ball in the attacking 1/3 as much as almost any player in the world and he has the opportunity to pass the ball to last years Golden boot winner and another forward who is also a quality finisher. However he only had 3 assists in his league games and the only logical explanation is the vision to see and the ability to execute those final passes which lead to goals has faded as he goes further into the downward side of his career arc. The same thing happens to every player in history. No matter how talented they once were no player will ever defeat Father Time. No other reasonable explanation fits the evidence.

  14. Bojangles says:

    Bill,

    Özil’s been playing this way for a couple of seasons now. He’ll turn 31 in October, not exactly old even for a footballer. He should be in his prime. For me your theory doesn’t fit. I think his head has not been in the right place for the past two years. I doubt what’s happening in his personal life is going improve things for him either.

  15. C says:

    Bill,

    You say that but its quite interesting that coaches, players and teammates alike all say that players are willing to make runa because they know Ozil has the vision and ability to pick them out….

  16. Blue Yonder says:

    andy1886,

    Can’t speak for Greenland or Alaska but the people in the Canadian Arctic are generally referred to as Inuit. That said, I have not heard that the term Eskimo is considered a pejorative. More than anything, it just seems to have fallen into disuse.

  17. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    The BBC reported on analysis by Carteret Analytics.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49319480

    Makes for interesting reading. Apparently we didn’t get the best vfm for the transfer’s we made. In fact only David Luiz was vfm according to Carteret Analytics.

    However, I’m still pleased with our transfer business. And we’ve got 10% for the Jeff Reine-Adelaide’s transfer to Lyon apparently

  18. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    C,

    Yes they might say that, but does it actually happen consistently C? The stats say not! No one doubts his ability but Bill has a point.

    Also I’m guessing recent events in his personal life are distracting him. Apparently his wife is also pregnant. He’s got a lot on his plate. Maybe a move back to Germany for both Sead and Ozil would be best all round.

  19. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    Great game last night and double bonus points for it going to extra time and penalties. Let’s hope Leicester and Southampton get a result on the weekend. Also let’s hope shitty do the business on the Spuds.

  20. andy1886 says:

    HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    IMO it soon becomes clear as you read it that the valuations give by this programme are laughable. No serious fan who actually watches football would agree with this analysis. On a wider point it adds to my scepticism around things like this and includes our own StatDNA which I believe recommended the likes of Mustafi and Xhaka. Forget computer programmes, there is no substitute for good old fashioned scouting and evaluation by qualified professionals.

  21. YW says:

    Andy

    My thoughts exactly. This is a program devised to rival StatsDNA so saying Arsenal did well this transfer window enhances their market competition…

    As for scouting, you’ll approve of Leeds!Leeds!Leeds! in today’s post.

  22. Las says:

    I think Özil situation is more comlex. He’s never ment to be a game changer. Just remember he was bought to play alongside with Santi Cazorla. And Cazorla was fighintg like a terrier. Chased back, made a tackle, went forward sliced the opposition defence with an equiste pass even scored wonderful and important goals. (I still miss him) It was much easier for Özil giving an assist, picking up the mach winner when all the opposition focus was on Cazorla. And Cazorla or rather his talent never been replaced but all the responsibility suddenly fallen onto Özil. With no one in the team to share. I feel sorry for him (sort of) but he could give his best only when he is playing from the shadow.

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