By Sir Hardly Anyone
I’ve taken that headline not, as you might believe, from a little blogetta that makes things up, but from the Independent, a supposedly reputable newspaper in the UK. Now maybe they are right, but if so it is a bit interesting that there is no mention on Arsenal.com or in other papers that there is a deal done. Or that this is a DONE DEAL.
The latest generally is “Arsene Wenger is confident of pushing through deals for Nigeria teenagers Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze before the transfer window closes on Monday.” So we seem to have put behind us the two day shock horror tale of being reported to Fifa for child trafficking and now its going to happen. Or has happened.
The bloggettas however do agree, as they run the headline, Striker Confirms He’s On His Way To Arsenal, Shirt Number Decided Too. Kelechi Nwakali wants Nwankwo Kanu’s famous No.25 jersey.
The Daily Mirror goes on with direct quotes from the boss…
““Yes of course there are work permit issues. There are medical issues, because they have to make medicals. It’s progressing well.”
And the player himself has confirmed the transfer: “I am going to Arsenal to work and try to be the best I can,” he told the Nigerian Tribune.
But what is particularly interesting is that some of the heavyweight papers have actually, unbelievably, started to recognise that transfers don’t always result in success.
If you have been reading Untold for a while you’ll know that we’ve been stressing that the amount a PL club spend on players has very little to do with their subsequent success, (if it did Man U and Chelsea would be way out in front with Man C), with only 25% of transfers having much of an impact in their first year – while many have no impact at all.
So in a total reversal of attitude the Telegraph has printed a list of transfer window flops. They actually do a top 20 but I’ll keep it short and just give you the top ten…
- 10. Fabio Borini (Liverpool to Sunderland, £8m)
- 9. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Anderlecht to Newcastle)
- 8. Gokhan Inler (Napoli to Leicester)
- 7. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern to Manchester United, £6m)
- 6. Adama Traore (Barcelona to Aston Villa, £7m)
- 5. Baba Rahman (Augsburg to Chelsea, £21m)
- 4. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa to Liverpool, £32.5m)
- 3. Florian Thauvin (Marseille to Newcastle, £12m)
- 2. Memphis Depay (PSV to Manchester United, £19m)
- 1. Radamel Falcao (Monaco to Chelsea, loan)
Back at Arsenal we hear that “Gibbs considering his Arsenal future”, given that he is “One of Arsenal’s few remaining homegrown English talents left at the club” which is a bit of a narrow definition of “home grown” talent, and not one that the League recognises for its “25” definition. Still it is only in the Star.
The funny thing is that the story focuses on whether Gibbs will lose out on an England place because he isn’t playing enough. So where will he go? Those centres of pickings for the England XI, Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Swansea.
I think the story possibly comes because there is talk of Arsenal singing Chilwell from Leicester who is seen as an eventual successor to Nacho Monreal.
Meanwhile Corriere dello Sport, says (according also to the Telegraph, whose Italian is better than mine) are reporting that Inter Milan are desperate to cash-in on their Croatian midfielder, Marcelo Brozovic.
Now this isn’t actually a transfer. It is a “Arsene Wenger could be tempted to part with £15 million required to secure the signing of the 23-year-old as he looks to bolster his injury-hit squad for the start of the title run-in.”
Injury hit? Oh that would be Santi and Jack then, I guess.
Serge Gnabry has left West Brom but may go out on loan again. Mr W is quoted as saying, “I am tempted to let him go somewhere, to do with him what I did with Francis Coquelin, to go somewhere for a month or two and then come back.” And interesting turn of phrase. That suggests the boss things Gnabry is just on ready for Arsenal.
Generally speaking however it looks like being a quiet day on the transfer front for Arsenal. Mr Wenger made the highly relevant point that “We have 23 players in training – and plus two [the injured two] is 25 – so unless people go out we are not on the verge of bringing anybody in.” Which actually makes the point that Danny Welbeck is back in training.
But even despite the lack of numerical space there is still the story that Real Madrid midfielder Isco is available for £25m if Arsenal want him – although the talk is of a summer deal according to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial. (Ah, another day, another Spanish newspaper I’d never previously heard of.)
But of course there is more. “Arsenal are also believed to be leading the race to sign Celta Vigo striker Nolito after Barcelona pulled the plug on their pursuit of the 29-year-old, according to reports in Spain. “Nolito has been linked with a move to the Gunners, but they saw Barcelona steam in with an attempt to bring the Spain international back to the Nou Camp to provide cover for Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
It is also said that Arsenal have made a £23m bid for Dynamo Kiev wing Andriy Yarmolenko, but then, if you read the papers seriously, so have Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham. But still, Ukrainian newspaper Sport (a fairly obvious title, but watch out it could be made up) claim that a deal has been done. He’s apparently a player like Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell.
And Debucy is on his way to Sunderland. Or Aston Villa.