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October 2016
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The complete and absolute update on the ten deals Arsenal are currently juggling and why Chuba Akpom is boring

By Sir Hardly Anyone.

“If people get new information that is in contrast to what they believe then they tend to neglect this new information for as long as possible.”    

Yes my little ducklings, it is getting close to the sharp end of the sharp ended thing.  Which means we need just eight more transfer rumours to hit the 100 mark for made up stories this transfer season.  Only eight to go.

But first, what do you call a load of rumours with numbers after them when you want to suggest that you have some inside information.

Answer: An Algorithm.

No one quite knows that this means, or indeed why rumours, which are the fancies of drunken journalists in bars, should become algorithms – although the rumour has it that Alan Smythe of the Daily Insult was sitting at his favourite Dockland public house seat when a fellow journo shouted over telling the scribbler to follow an ex-player turned agent out of the door of the pub, to find out who he was going to meet. “Hey Al, go with him.”

It turned out to be a hot tip, as the agent was meeting a player who less than four years later signed for Barking.  Of such moments are legends made and the algorithm was born.   And now there is a company Football Whispers, that has built an Algorithm around transfer gossip.

Here’s what they have to offer on Arsenal aside from the expected “6 PLAYERS WHO ARSENAL WON’T SIGN BUT PROBABLY SHOULD”

Player Club Whispers rating out of 5
Alexandre Lacazette Lyon 4.5
Riyad Mahrez Leicester 4.4
Mauro Icardi Inter Milan 3.4
Skhodran Mustafi Valencia 3.4
Jonny Evans West Brom 3.2
Alvaro Morata Real Madrid 2.9
Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2.7
James Rodriguez Real Madrid 2.6
Julian Draxler Wolfsburg 2.3
Antoine Griezmann Atl. Madrid 1.8

Which is why news about Lacazette is not wanted because we’ve had all that before.  But that is where we have to start.  However we shall come back to their chart after the window has broken under its own weight, and see how accurate they were.

1:  Alexandre Lacazette is injured

Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette appears to have sustained a hip injury and was substituted in Lyon’s 4-1 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night in the Trophee des Champions.    Lyon manager Bruno Genesio said: It’s worrying. It’s a big downside of the evening in addition to the defeat.   This is our attack leader, he is needed. It’s too early to tell about the injury. There will be examinations early this week.”

2: Mauro Icardi – Arsenal to buy him at any price.

Our man in the know brings us the latest on Arsenal’s striker hunt, with latest reports claiming they are willing to trade.   The long and the short is that Arsenal are said to be offering Olivier Giroud plus £29m  for Mauro Icardi.  I suspect this is a set up so that the people running this can say, “look no one wanted Giroud that shows how bad he is”.

3:  CONFIRMED  Arsenal clear to sign Shkodran Mustafi

He’s a centre back with Valencia who started out at Everton.  He didn’t play for Everton but got 50 games for Sampdoria and then 61 for Valencia.

Long (well for rumour mongers it is long) piece in the Telegraph today saying the signing of Mustafi is absolutely what Arsenal are going to do.  It is their priority.  They have stopped doing everything else.   But it is still a rumour.

4: Ademola Lookman

Apparently Arsenal have been taking a look at 18 year old Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic – the club that didn’t recognise what they had with Francis Coquelin when he was on loan.  He’s 18, he’s played 25 league games and “couldn’t stop scoring”.  Which means he scored five goals in 25 games.  Which is one more than Chuba Akpom got in four games.

Speaking of Coquelin, he remains an option at centre back as does Monreal – although curiously none of the newspapers mention Monreal’s time as a centre back, although they sneeringly say “Coquelin has been practising” in that position.

5:   Marcelo Brozovic.

He is usually deployed as a box-to-box midfielder, so the question is, do we need another one of them.  But he can play anywhere in the midfield.  So still, do we need another one of them?

Apparently we do because he is apparently leaving Inter where he has played 47 and scored 5.  Before that he was with Dinamo Zagreb.

6: Arsenal have added Red Bull Leipzig defender Lukas Klostermann to their list of defensive targets.

Now I’ll have to check but I think this is yet another name that is new, so another name to take the Index up towards 100 – which really is all that matters now.

7:  Arsenal watch PSV Eindhoven midfielder Gaston Pereiro.

He’s played 30 times for PSV and scored 12 in the past league season.

8:  Alvaro Morata wants to come to Arsenal.

Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata wants to leave the Real Mad club to come and play in England.  Chelsea have apparently had a bash at signing him but they won’t get him because he wants to play in red.  He’s the guy who went to Juventus but Real Mad were not quite so really mad as they inserted a buy back clause into the contract.

9:  Youth departures on loan

Julio Pleguezuelo has been the captain of the Arsenal U-21 team last season and is set to join RCD Mallorca at Spanish Segunda Division.  (You know it is a rumour when the phrase “set to” is used in a sentence).

Stefan O’Connor will join MVV Maastricht, O’Connor came on as a substitute against Galatasaray in the Champions League. He also spent the whole of last season on loan at York City.

And one that ain’t coming our way…

10:  Thomas Vermaelen Completes Roma Medical

Hey ho.  Can’t have them all back.

11:  And just a little point to remember…
Chuba Akpom scored against Chivas.
Chuba Akpom scored against MLS All Stars
Chuba Akpom scored against Viking
Chuba Akpom scored against Man City
This guy is just so boring.


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45 comments to The complete and absolute update on the ten deals Arsenal are currently juggling and why Chuba Akpom is boring

  • colario

    Thomas Vermaelen. I have read that he played all of 11 times for Barcelona

    We sold him to Barcelona for 15 million*. A cost per game of 1,363,636* give or take a few*

    *I can’t remember if the currency was Pounds or Euros.

  • colario

    When everybody on earth was dead and waiting to enter Paradise, God appeared and said, “I want the men to make two lines: one line for the men who were true heads of their household and the other line for the men who were dominated by their women. I want all the women to report to St Peter.” Soon, the women were gone and there were two lines of men. The line of the men who were dominated by their wives was 100 miles long, and in the line of men who truly were heads of their household, there was only one man.

    God said, “You men should be ashamed of yourselves. I created you to be the head of your household. You have been disobedient and not fulfilled your purpose. I told you to be the spiritual leader in your family. Of all of you only one obeyed. Learn from him. Tell them, my son, how did you manage to be the only one in this line?” The man replied, “I don’t know, my wife told me to stand here.”

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Who among Debuchy and Monreal should the Boss pair with Rob Holding at the Arsenal CHB position against Liverpool on Sunday? For me, the Gunners back 4 against the Reds should look like this:
    Bellerin Debuchy Holding Monreal. This defense-line should be well discipline against Liverpool than to have that of: Bellerin, Monreal, Holding & Gibbs that could be less disciplined in my own take.

  • Richard

    Brilliant piece always interesting nd funny to read. China has had a great pre season hopefully he can carry that form into new season.

    On a slightly different note I found some research that showed Arsenal average 7 hamstring a season. Meaning the majority of our injuries are impact which have little or nothing to do with player fatigue or training . Also that only three teams in last 11 years have won the league with more than 27 injuries in a season.

  • Richard

    Also hamstring injuries represent 40% of all premier league injuries.

  • Norman14

    Hope we had a “sell on” clause in the deal for TV 😉

  • Gunnerjoe

    This Akpom guy who is he and it’s a disgrace our manager hasn’t signed him yet.
    Or its a bloody disgrace that we are going to start the season with some young striker called Akpom playing up front.

  • Gunnerjoe

    I am a member of the 100 mile line

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Gunnerjoe, we’re all with you in that queue.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario – August 9, 2016 at 6:46 am – In jest but true ! I often ask my friends who the real boss of the house is , and they would almost always say that they were (of course !).
    And when asked if they would repeat the same in front of their spouses , they would sheepishly smile .
    But not me ! No siree ! That’s because I have a very comfortable couch and the large tv is in the hall anyway !

  • Markyb

    Imagine if Akpom scored 4 in pre season for Maureen’s latest investment project. Mayhap the press might be reacting in a slightly more enthusiastic manner.

  • Markyb

    I notice people like Wright lauding the purchase of Pogba and it already being used as a stick to beat AFC with ie we won’t spend 90 million on one player

  • blacksheep

    To be fair as regards Coq filling in as a CB I have been practicing all week in that position and Tony is coming over to mine early on Sunday so we can have a kick about the back garden. Walter, if you are free pop over and join us (just in case we need a keeper too). Andrew is practicing free kicks he’s learned watching the U18s and Brickfields will do the team talk 🙂

  • Leon

    “Yes my little ducklings”
    Looks like you’ve been reading Le Grove again.😱
    I think we can hack it with the forwards we have, but the central defence pairings are going to be a nightmare. Even if a new one or two come in before the Liverpool game it will still be much too late. You just have to hope it comes right on the day.

  • As much as I can’t wait to take up my seat up in Club on Sunday can’t help but feel somewhat apprehensive . Be very interesting to see how he lines up the back four and will be very interested to hear people’s predictions on the outcome . Score draw !

  • colario

    Greetings Sir Alex and thank you for agreeing to appear on the ‘Untold tells it all show.’.

    Can you give us your opinion as to why you sold Pogba for £1.5 million and is he worth today’s asking price of 89 million?

    Oh no. Sir Alex has disappeared! I wonder why.

  • BarryL

    Thank you Sir Hardly
    I see there is a new way for the blogettas to beat up on AW during the transfer window

    This involves claiming players have rejected offers from Arsenal, see link

    The player in question is Oguzhan Ozyakup. Do we think Arsenal made a bid? Not really, but this guy will now be added to the Internet list of Arsenal targets.

    This all goes to prove that no-one wants to play for AW – Vardy, Mahrez, Higuaín, Benzema, Draxler, Icardi, Lacazette, etc etc.

    The only reason we have Ozil, Sanchez, Xhaka is that AW kidnapped them.

    Happy days

  • Mandy Dodd

    Surprised they didnt mention Nordviet rejecting us as well – going to West Ham

  • Andy Mack

    Transfermarkt says Tommy played 21 games for Barca.
    Accumulating 1,334 minutes of game time and scored 1 goal.

    A bit more than 11 games but still a good deal for us 😀

  • colario

    Thanks Andy. My info was from the BBC.

  • Re the issue of player number of games, there are I think two issues that need to be resolved always:

    How many of these are league games (many reserve players get outings in league cup matches or European games which are already dead and buried)

    He played 11 league games for Barcelona from the start as far as I can see.

  • Polo

    Look like Wilfred Bony is for sale, should see him linked to Arsenal soon. Another one to the that 100. What’s the chance Bony playing for Arsenal I wonder?

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Sorry I have a calf injury, definitely out of the team for Sunday. Hope to join you for pre-game drinks though.

  • Polo

    @ Andrew C,

    The media’s new headline will be ‘ Wenger must go, injury crisis hitting fanbase’.

    It must be AW fault for your calf injury.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Colario @1031

    Good post.It made me laugh.
    United paying 90 million for a player they sold for 80k.

    What a joke of a club

    Sir F should be hanged for such incompetence.

    Mourinhio will be hanged 2 years later.

  • Firey

    We should leave well away from bony.Hes not very mobile and couldn’t trip a bag of cement.We are too good for cast offs

  • Markyb

    Don’t forget Pogba and Zlatan and Henrik’s wages on top ££££££. Apparently all covered by the replica shirt fairy.

  • Andy Mack

    It looks like $iteh have spent £47.5m in an effort to get a few more ‘Home Grown’ players…
    He’s a talented lad but really £47.5m…..
    I suppose it can’t be a worse deal than 42m for Mangala or 30m for Otamendi though…

  • Blacksheep, Andrew

    Why don’t we ditch the practice and go straight to the pub?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    With all the money that is pouring in to the Premier League this year I can’t but draw an try to draw an analogy with Spain and the Incan gold (keep in mind that I am neither a historian nor an economist just someone who can ask questions online). Where did that gold go? Well, apparently 10-15% of the gold was stolen – by the English amongst others (player agents anybody). This influx coincided with an inflationary period where there was a fixed amount of goods to be purchased (players?) so the price of goods rose. And because gold was flowing in they could purchase foreign products instead of producing it themselves (English players?…no World Cup?)….Just some thoughts….

  • blacksheep

    @Tony, Andrew

    I’m just back in from Majestic in East Barnet where I ran into George Graham. So I’m sorted on the offiside rule and hands in the air formation!

  • Minstrel

    Be honest, if Ozil was your brother and Sanchez was your cousin, will you advise them to renew when they can get more pay elsewhere plus better chances of winning stuffs? Be honest.

  • Andy Mack

    Did GG give you any tips on how to keep bribes secret (surely he learnt from his mistakes)?

  • Minstrel

    I think it would be interesting if untold were to compile a comparative study of how many times Wenger has contended that “the market is very difficult”, or “it’s hard to find players who can improve the squad” during a given transfer window compared with other PL managers, especially of top clubs.

  • Belemo

    I just read from that arsenal make Bony bid

    its becoming pathetic how they keep making up these unfounded rumours.

    They’re really trying hard to tear the team apart by creating an air of contempt between tge fans and the team’s managent and players but thanx to following up articles on here and doing my own little researches, my eyes are open. I was so close to being an aaa. Thank you UA.

  • Polo

    Add another name to that list, it didn’t take long for the media to link Arsenal to Bony.

  • Jerry

    Lol looks like you’re a fortune teller! The Star wasted no time with your suggestion to link Bony with Arsenal. You should claim creative rights!

  • Polo

    @ Jerry, it’s so predictable, any striker or CB who is available will be linked to Arsenal, and wonder why it’s £30 million? Cos that’s the price Arsenal bid for Lacazzette so the media used that for their fairy tale. These guys are a joke.

  • Polo

    I wouldn’t be suprise if the next headline will be ‘ Arsenal to derail Everton’s bid for Ashley Williams’.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Loïc Rémy ? Could come cheap .

  • Minstrel, why don’t you do it. These surveys take quite a bit of time and effort.

  • Minstrel: with our fans, no I wouldn’t.

  • Firey

    I know the transfer window hasn’t been great for us so far but if we ar3 after bony it smacks of sheer desperation. We can do better than a man city cast off

  • Polo

    @ Firey, why sheer desperation? Ozil and Alexis was a cast off too look how they turn out. When Bony played for Swansea he was pretty lethal, he might be disappointing at Manchester city but it doesn’t mean he is a bad striker. If Bony can hit form he is one deadly striker, he could do well at Arsenal because Swansea’s game play under Monk was similar to Arsenal’s.

  • Cech, Bellerin, Mustarfi, Holding, Monreal, Xaka, Couquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carzorla, Iwobi, Akpom.

    Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Elneny, Alexis, Ramsey, Campbell.

    Just my opinion; if you are going to play a team who will want to win their opener as much as you do, have tonnes of energy and youthful exuberance and not just a little bit of class, pace or power.

    Mingnolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Moreno (weak link), Grujic, Henderson, Coutinho, Wynaldum, Firminho, Origi.

    The differences are not so apparent in terms of quality, but one transfer listed madman can be al you need, but you’ll take a shaky kepper over a world class one with a point to prove.

    Xkaka; determination 18(20), this is a player determined not to often let players past him. When coupled with Couquelin, you play a base pair and Santi becomes a roaming play-maker, this is how you open them up, play them at their own game.

    The Centre back pairing need to be compact and Bellerin needs to curb his instinct, by showing a greater level of discipline as with Monreal.

    If you do this you don’t get beat, but you need to consider the impact of negative press on morale and performance, therefore a win is of paramount importance. With Alex available you have the option to get left or right with pace and direct running. If you adjudge yur oponent and his favour style of play your best chance of winning is to score in the first half as late as possible and wait to seal the win as the opposition tires, lacking options of real quality off the bench, where you do, especially if later you invite set pieces and the threat of a recuperating Sanchez and Ramsey. You can format the game to rest them.

    It may be worth the risk of playing a accomplished Holding who was caught out by a single resplendid ball from a wonderful talent in Raheem Sterling, who has gotten to grips with the change of current and club not unlike Alex OC. A few lapses in concentration aside as he looked to play out from the back, Holding will prove his £3m price tag a snip compare to the development under pressure Stones will experience.

    Wynaldum is a decent prospect in a position Liverpool have struggled with for many a year, but his end product is lacking and Lallana and Coutinh will still be feeling the effects of summer expeditions. Origin and Fimino are two players who will be particularly difficult to track within Klopps 4-1-4-1 system as he begins to shift Liverpool through the gears and intensifies transition. The man is naturally talented, and as he himself describes, the opportunity to coach football was gifted to him and he will remain eternally grateful to his personality construct.

    All that said, Arsenal surely have the better quality and more galvanised and experienced squad, and should not underestimate their need or capacity to win this match with a little left in the tank. Now is the time to rise to the occasion.

    In terms of transfers, Draxler would be a good adjustment, but there is no better option than Mahrez, we need a first choice rght winger so that Gnabry, Iwobi, Chamberlain can all be considered first class subs and rotation players, even before you delve into the U19’s. This also allows Walcott to be moved to his best position, centre forward.

    Morata has not looked comfortable since his return and the shadow of Eden Hazard and Aubameyang may loom large in regards to the the security of certain squad players position, with Kovacic and Asensio being give priority time to impress as Ramos and Verane emerge as the likely pairing at CB with first choice and second choice full back positions certified along with the roles of Bale, Ronaldo and Kroos, if CR7 wants better players he gets them. Hazard and Pierre would indeed represent the two premier players in their respective positions both of which are available within the first team also they are in the business for a right winger, problematic for anyone aiming to secure the services of a player of this ilk at a un-inflated price.

    The simple fact is their actually aren’t that many tried and tested quality players, so player power, climate, league and fees all play a pivotal role in any transfer, unless you find a cold weather player at a tier 2 team, or a undervalued rotation player in tier 1, unless you find a Kante last year. Only so many players of this calibre exist. If you can hijack a deal, you risk signing a player who’s loyalty is questionable. I doubt Wenger didn’t hear of this option, but he had already investigated Xaka and Carvalho for some time, the latter taken A serious knock to his knee last summer.

    Mahrez may well end up being cup tied by Leicester, but that is some time away and I can see no other place for him then England and Arsenal, the cultur, style and equally the opportunity to nationalise are all favourable. Draxler has also expressed his desire to move, legitimising the statement by explaining the dishonesty of his current board.

    The simple fact is that the transfer window is in some respects a merry go around, a number of clubs are looking to increase their ambitions, maintain their international club competition status or gain it. Others are looking to balance the books and anounce as much, others wish to do likewise but do not as they want a premium for a high value asset or want to offload several lesser assets.

    Hazard and Pierre would make Real favourites for not only La Liga but retaining the Champions League. Ancelotti also will be looking to make the final with Bayern. However Dortmund will not be looking to lose Reus and Pierre, however the pair may look to move in the same direction along with Hazard as I cannot see past a line up consisting of:

    Carvaljal, Ramos, Verane, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Hazard, Bale, Ronaldo, Aubameyang. However without the departure of Benzema and Morata, none of this is possible. Benzema could be a favourable acquisition for PSG and Morata would suit the Gunners ideally.

    In terms of full backs, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Barcelona are two tier 1 teams in need of players key to those positions. Which means that the competition in this area is lower and these are not key target positions, with each team having players sufficient in those positions. No need to rush here.

    I think it is funny Pogba would be most suited to Manchester Airport, but opted for a team who need a holding playmaker and a creative influence, he played neither at Juventus. Maybe his rental car was a indication of what is to be expected, Matic would be an ideal solution and Chelsea could do with cashing in on Hazard, Matic, Pedro and Costa as Conte looks to bring energy to a starved team. Souness is correct the price is not right and he has yet to produce, and Mourinho is yet to develop, I have no doubt he can, but it will be interesting to see how much discipline he can get from the World Record signing. He has failed all too often in this arena, however Manchester United’s ambitions, being coupled with the economic climate are vastly different to any other clubs, including the Galacticos, they if any team represent the shift in emphasis from football to money.

    City have clearly opted for transition over silverware, which is an ideal attitude given last years forey into the Champions League latter stages. Pep has gone for tried and tested in a a league which differs from his two previous stints. Deception is the first art of war and here he is flagging.

    City crumbled under the press last season as did Stones, but some things are best forged so I will forgive the long term investment in the young man, he has quality there can be no doubt.

    Again it would seem that the head to heads will be less costly than the risk of mid table teams and the fixture list will be as defining as injuries. Eveton, Southampton, Stoke, Leicester and Palace all representing serious stumbling blocks. Whilst West Ham, Liverpool and Manchester United will all be looking to make the top four.

    Spurs will be spurred by their CL qualification, but are still yet to reinforce their squad with wingers although they have brought in a Harry Kane supplement. If they do not address their ability to flank and open teams up they may find the extra exertions of the CL seriously hampering having staggered over the line last term. United will replace Leicester in the top four with the quality they have brought in and Leicester would be wise to cash in on their star man now, with Fuchs also a possible saleable asset. I would cash in, making £80 from two sales and qualifying for CL football following a League win, is the pinnacle for this team and is unlikely to be emulated again.

    I cannot see past Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United for the top four, Spurs may be able to secure it again if they prioritise the League over other competitions, whilst Chelsea will test their new managers man management to the limit and are well in need of reinforcemtns, to a slight squad, whilst they struggle to also balance their books having only recently recorded a very small profit. CL qualification will be high on the agenda and with no european competiton they could be set to make early inroads in terms of league position, at the expense of United, Liverpool and West Ham who play on Thursday and will likely qualify from whichever gropup they are placed in.

    This League campaign is set to be one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult (AW agrees) and it may be more about the will to win and ethics of the team than sheer quality. IN that case you may wish to deter any player sales or arrivals if your sole intention is to ensure league victory.

    Equally your star men may well realise the likes and defer any contract renewal until you have made clear that you share their ambitions.

    The question maybe whether your current number 12 has the mental attributes to last the race and if the here and now has finally arrived. If a clear weakness in your armour is favourable to inexperience or longevity.

    The forcing of the hand may create wisdom, which is hindsight+experience+understanding which = Wisdom. If you lose your first team midfield all season and make 2nd, it is a miracle. if your only right back stays fit and plays nearly every game and emerges the most valuable player in his position Worldwide, that is Magician. If you create more chances than anyone and do not dispatch them, that is profligacy. If your Defence is hampered by a single player and that players has three names, replace them, but remain aware that each has exceeded his limits and his desire is without question, he is simply deficient at a level at present.

    If you want to know your strength, judge the number of your enemy, if you want to see your limitations, take it there, if you want to develop players, then give them chances, they will learn best from the battles lost, not those won. If you want to win titles, make sure your first 11 is impregnable, if you want to win matches you need swagger and if you want that swagger; you need fear, Mustarfi is a fundamental, Mahrez is a round peg for a round hole. And Morata is the only player that who fits the mould and we would be unwise to rely on Monreal and Debouchey as their pace wanes.

    Now you crunch the numbers and ask, you can start without these players, but you want to do something before the second game. Patience is a virtue, few recall in tempestuous times. An old head is often a wise head.

    In my own opinion, Wengers opinion and Henry’s opinion. CB is first. Width and ability to expose is third. conversion is second. and cover allowing the sales of, maybe ideal, but not essential for a season, but introducing these players now may serve you well.

    Much easier than intergrating midfielders, which is a task for all of the top four candidates competing with Arsenal.