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October 2016
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115 players linked with Arsenal this summer; who the tipsters got right who they got wrong

By Sir Hardly Anyone

  • 115 incoming transfer rumours – almost all of them wrong
  • 22 players who were about to leave Arsenal – most are still with us.
  • Total failure to spot the actual transfers ahead of activity – except in one case.

So here it is, although sometimes it seemed it would never get here.  The list of all the players who were linked to Arsenal both in the run up to the “window” and during it.

First though, the final competition of the Index era.  We asked you to make up phrases with each word starting with L I V E R P O O L in turn.

Here are the best three as judged  by Sir Hardly Anyone and Ima Counter:

  • League Is Very Elusive Remembering Past Only Option Left
  • Lackluster Indifferent Value Entirely Representing Pathetic Over-hyped Obnoxious Losers
  • Liars in vogue encompasses real passion on only losers

In the final few days of the aperture opening we had what has now become the notorious link with Daniel Sturridge (a fancy if ever there was one, although we liked the comment “Shkodran Mustafi would be a disastrous player for Valencia to sell, according to la Liga expert Graham Hunter,”) and a lot of hot air about Miguel Almiron.

James Rodriquez was mentioned in last moment dispatches, as was Alexandre Lacazette, as well as Villarreal’s Mateo Musacchio and Roma’s Kostas Manolas.  Plus such wonders as Newcastle’s Chancel Mbemba becomes the latest player linked with the Gunners after a deal for Shkodran Mustafi reportedly broke down, with Valencia not allowing the player to leave.

The Guardian was its usual self with, “Arsenal, after identifying Shkodran Mustafi as the centre-back that they wanted, refused to provide the £30m that Valencia requested; in the meantime, they seized one point from their first two league games. And now, having been told to pay his £43m release clause, they have somehow convinced themselves that the answer to their problems is “Philip Jones”.”

Then the Star got themselves completely back to front suggestion “BOURNEMOUTH have reportedly entered the race for Arsenal ace Calum Chambers.”  While the Sunday Express told us  Marcelo Brozovic was coming our way.

There were more and more but it was all rubbish.  In the end just about the only transfer that anyone got right significantly ahead of the last few days when the story broke everywhere was Holding, and he got very little coverage – but turned out to be brilliant.

What was interesting was that through the whole series people didn’t always seem to get that the point of it all was that we were trying to show what a “nicking a living” bunch the football journalists are.  I mean I though the name Sir Hardly Anyone was a bit of a clue (it’s not my real name you know!!!)   But the commentary by Jambug – hit the nail on the head in the last index 

So, it really was quite a big enterprise, but we got there and did it.  There was one guy who wrote in and said that he did this most years and normally got far higher figures than ours, but he declined to give us more details, so I am still thinking we were the first people to do this.

For this final version I’ve just stuck with the three main lists that we developed.

Part One: Players coming in.  New entries and significant changes are in bold.

Player Position From Current status Also interested
1 Aymen Abdennour centre back Valencia
2 Miguel Almiron, Attacking midfield Cerro Porteno
3 Ethan Ampadu centre back Exeter He’s 15 Tottenham tracking
4 Takuma Asano (浅野拓磨) Forward Sanfrecce Hiroshima is 21 and has played 50 times Signed, but Guardian says no work permit.
5 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Forward B. Dortmund Being urged to leave Man U
6 Carlos Bacca 49 goal striker Milan We’re hijacking the deal! Arsenal seen off WHU
7 Michy Batshuayi Striker Marseille £22m asking price Chelsea
8 Riechedly Bazoer Cen mid. Ajax Barcelona, Chelsea, Man U, Tottenham
9 Medhi Benatia Centre back Bayern 29 years old prone to injury
10 Christian Benteke Striker Liverpool? Only done one year at Liverpool?
11 Gabriel Barbosa Santos 54 goals in 148 appearances
12 Rodrigo Bentancur Midfield Boca Juniors Real Mad, Juve
13 Karim Benzema Striker Real Mad Involved in court case
14 Daley Blind Defence Man U
15 Sofiane Boufal Forward Lille £25m after one year in France Barcelona, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid
16 Marcelo Brozovic Box to box midfielder Inter Everyone wants him! Not quite sure why we need a box to box midfielder at this moment.
17 Wilfred Bony Striker Man City
18 Sam Byram RB or midfield WHU Previously of Leeds
19 William Carvalho Def mid Sporting Lisbon
20 Edinson Cavani Striker PSG He’d like to come
21 Ben Chilwell Left-back Leicester “Arsenal monitoring”
22 Troy Deeney Striker Watford WFC captain
23 Jason Denayer Defender Man C £10m
24 Julian Draxler Left wing Wolfsburg who say he’s going nowhere £43m offer made. No, £54m Liverpool sniffing but that’s what they do
25 Jonny Evans Defender Was Man U, now WBA £15m offer made
26 Frederico Fernandez Defender Swansea A double swoop from Swansea
27 Rachid Ghezzal winger Lyon Gets injured a lot
28 Matthias Ginter centre back Borussia Dortmund
29 Mario Götze Attack midfield Bayern Munich Flopped after Dortmund Liverpool.  Gone to BvB
30 Antoine Griezmann Forward Atletico Madrid
31 Goncalo Guedas Wing Benfica Next C Ronaldo Chelsea
32 Raphaël Guerreiro Left-back midfield Lorient
33 Alen Halilovic. Attack midfield Barcelona Last season loan to Sporting Gijon,
34 Marek Hamsik Attack midfield Napoli His father is demanding more money
35 Rico Henry Full back Walsall Next Ashley Cole
36 Gonzalo Higuain Striker Napoli £79m but no offer made Man U, Liverpool?  Went to Juve
37 Rob Holding Defender Bolton £1.5m already signed He signed
38 Elseid Hysaj Right back Napoli Staying at Napoli
39 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Striker PSG Self proclaimed God Went to Man U
40 Mauro Icardi Striker Inter £32m bid made deal very close Wife says they need the money.  Club says it wants €60 million.  Arsenal offering ££££££ plus Giroud
41 Odion Ighalo Striker Watford

Lorenzo Insigne’s



43 Chiori Johnson Defender Aged 18, Signed pro forms
44 Jorginho “Strongest midfielder” Napoli Neil Banfield likes him
45 Stevan Jovetic 2nd striker Inter 1st mooted two years ago
46 N’Golo Kante Midfield Leicester Won the most tackles  Done Deal but not with AFC
47 Naby Keita Central mid Red Bull Salzburg
48 Simon Kjær Centre back Fenerbache
49 Lukas Klostermann Defender Red Bull Leipzig
50 Toni Kroos No 10 Real Madrid £45m
51 Grzegorz Krychowiak Midfield destroyer Sevilla Another done deal elsewhere
52 Kalidou Koulibaly centre back Napoli Signed and Sealed but… Dependent on Chambers going.  Arsenal at the front of the queue
53 Alexandre Lacazette Forward Lyon – now injured French League top scorer 2014.15 Said he wanted to leave and come to AFC and then immediately got injured
54 Mario Lemina Juventus  £16m bid rejected Watford interested
55 Robert Lewandowski Striker Bayern About to break the bank
56 Ademola Lookman Striker Charlton “Cant stop scoring” 18 years old
57 Jordon Lukaku Left back Oostende Told Mr Wenger how to manage!
58 Romelu Lukaku Striker Everton Broke Everton’s PL scoring record Offer of £38m made
59 Mario Mandzukic Forward Juventus He has emerged as an option
60 Sadio Mane Winger Southampton BBC say he’s gone to Liverpool
61 Kostas Manolas Centre back Roma for £38m deal agreed? Maybe to Chelsea
62 Jeremy Mathieu Defender Barcelona for 12m euros He’s 32.
63 Maycon Midfield Corinthians new Ronaldo or Neymar or both.  Or neither.
64 Marquinhos Defender PSG His brother says AFC want him Man U Man C  Chelsea and Bayern Munich
65 Riyad Mahrez Wing Leicester £25m Considered him while at Le Havre Has now agreed to join Arsenal according to reports from Algeria
66 Kostas Mitroglou Striker Benfica “Happy in Portugal”
67 Arkadiusz Milik Striker Ajax  Gone to Napoli
68 Henrikh Mkhitaryan Midfield B Dortmund Went to Man U Liverpool! Chelsea, Tottenham
69 Chancel Mbemba Defender Newcastle
70 Alvaro Morata Striker Juventus (loan) Real Mad “About to happen” Snubbing Chelsea for Arsenal.  Really, really wants Arsenal.
71 Jeison Murillo Central defender Inter Columbian Talks have started Bayern Munich and Zenit
72 Shkodran Mustafi . Defender Valencia Anything between £20m and £33m  Arsenal have made an offer.  Now the firm favourite to be signed.  “Deal done”
73 Mateo Musacchio Central defender Villareal
74 Ruben Neves Defend midfield Porto
75 Nolito Striker Celta Vigo £13.8m buy out clause.  Done deal elsewhere
76 Kelechi Nwakali Midfield Diamond  Academy Already joined for £3m WHU, Bayern, Chelsea, Man U Liverpool?
77 Gaston Pereiro Midfield PSV Played 30 scored 12 this last season

Lucas Perez



Passed medical
79 Philipp Ochs Midfield Hoffenheim 19 year old
80 Oguzhan Ozyakup Midfield Besiktas In the 2009 AFC Youth Cup side Won the Turkish league in 2016; will cost £16.8m
81 Bruno Peres Full back Torino £16.9m
82 Quincy Promes Winger Spartak Moscow
83 Domingos Quina Midfield Chelsea
84 Adrien Rabiot Midfield PSG Asked for a move, not liked by fans Chelsea, Man U
85 Rafinha RB Bayern Munich Metro utterly certain
86 Jese Rodriguez Forward Real Mad Surplus to requirements Now at PSG
87 Ricardo Rodriguez Left back Wolfsburg £20m
88 Maxi Romero Forward All Boys, Argentina The new Messi We were going to sign him last year but he got injured
89 Daniele Rugani Centre back Juventus Can’t get a game. Man U, Everton, Napoli
90 Erik Tobias Sandberg Defender Norwegian schoolboy Under 17 Man U
91 Douglas Santos Left back Atlético Mineiro
92 Riccardo Saponara Attack midfield Empoli Liverpool?
93 Fabian Schar Defender Hoffenheim
94 Ryan Sessegnon Winger Fulham Liverpool?
95 Djibril Sidibé Full back & midfield Lille Cover at full back “Now gone to Monaco, Arsenal too slow”
96 Moussa Sissoko midfield Newcastle £35m  Sun now says “very likely”
97 Islam Slimani Striker £23.25m Sporting Lisbon £23.25m Tottenham, Leicester
98 Dominic Solanke striker Chelsea Chelsea want to keep him Arsenal preparing to steal him
99 John Stones CB Everton  Now Man City
100 Daniel Sturridge Striker Liverpool? “Will reportedly…” “Tried last year”
101 Neven Subotic Defender Borussia Dortmund Has left training to talk to Arsenal
102 Omer Toprak Centre back Bayer Leverkusen
103 Yaya Toure C Mid Man City
104 Arda Turan Attack midfield Barcelona 29, and wants to stay Struggled at Barca.  Telegraph celebrated fake coverage of transfer
105 Robin van Persie Forward Fenerbache “We’re waiting for buyers”
106 Jamie Vardy Forward Leicester £20m Signed but kept it a secret or he’s off to Liverpool.
107 Thomas Vermaelen Centre defence Barcelona He’s fit again.  Barcelona seriously considering Arsenal’s offer.  Oh, Gone to Roma
108 Victor Wanyama Def. midf. Southampton  Done deal elsewhere.
109 Julian Weigl Midf. Borussia Dortmund £20 million
110 Ashley Williams Defender Swansea But heading for Everton To replace the voice left by Per.
111 Granit Xhaka Defend/ midfield Monchengladbac “Deal done”  He signed. Chelsea were rivals but failed.
112 Andriy Yarmolenko Winger Dynamo Kiev Tottenham Liverpool
113 Wissam Ben Yedder Striker Sevilla  “Could have joined Arsenal”: manager  WHAM, Totts, Leicester
114 Simone Zaza Forward Juventus
115 Karl Zouma Keeper Chelsea
Part Two Departures
1 Alexis Forward Juventus bids made Asking for transfer Agent trying to get move
2 Arteta End of  career
3 Bellerin Full back Barcelona Now mulling over Man C deal But also denied
4 Joel Campbell West Ham But he wants to stay and fight for his place Was loaned to Sporting.
5 Chambers Centre back Southampton or Watford?  Bournemouth? 1 year loan?
6 Debuchy Been on loan
7 Mat Flamini midfield End of contract The last Highbury player to leave AFC
8 Kieran Gibbs Defend Unhappy  WHU offer rejected
9 Olivier Giroud Forward Napoli Part exchange “We’ve never talked to Napoli”
10 Isaac Hayden Centre back Newcastle
11 Laurent Koscielny Defend Bayern Contract talks stalled? End of contract? Not end of contract
12 Per Mertesacker Defend Considering his future But got injured in pre-season
13 David Ospina Goal Besiktas
 14 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaine Attack midf. Manchester City Currently in the best form of his life
15 Rosicky End of contract
16 Santi Cazorla Mid/For Back to Villareal
17 Mesut Ozil Midfield Delayed talks
18 Jon Toral Midfield To Granada
19 W. Szczesny Goal Roma Happy in Rome Returning to AFC.  No, staying as part of Manolas deal.  No staying on loan
20 Theo Walcott Wing State Aid Utd or Liverpool? £20m On the verge; or maybe not going
21 Wellington Silva Fluminense on four-year deal
22 Jack Wilshere Midfield Man U They will build the team around him Went to Bournemouth
  Part Three: Coaching
1 Adam Birchall Lead Development Phase coach  Works with under 16s
2 Thierry Henry Under 18 Left over TV issue  Became assistant manager for Belgium.
3 Tony Adams Under 18 5 week trial  He left after a couple of weeks.
4 Arsene Wenger Manager In one year… Will be replaced by …
5 Eddie Howe Manager In one year… Replacing AW
  • 115 players we are looking to sign
  • 22 players leaving
  • 5 coaching changes

And with that we leave you.

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19 comments to 115 players linked with Arsenal this summer; who the tipsters got right who they got wrong

  • Leon

    C’mon! Lets leave all this “linked to” stuff behind. It’s become soooh boring. The window is shut and it’s around 120 days to the next one. So please lets take a break and talk about more non repetitive Arsenal related matter.

  • engram

    The last splutterings lol!

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    I’m sure that before the end of September we will be seeing the opening salvoes in the January transfer window players linked. Make the most of the brief period of relative tranquility.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Does put the media reports into perspective.
    Some very good players have arrived in 2016, onwards and upwards …until the media madness starts again.

  • Arvind

    Yeah. 115 players linked is stupid, even if you assume that they got everyone of our transfers right, which they did not. Its flat out lying and making things up, and I find it very weird why people enjoy it.

    If I’m honest, at one time I enjoyed it too – but once you know it is all fake, why would you *still* enjoy it? It doesn’t make sense IMO. Anyway, life goes on.

  • Gunnerjoe

    120 days till the next transfer window I saw arsenal liked to a new player yesterday.
    The pain never stops gg

  • omgarsenal

    The transfer folly that the media encourages assuredly allows them to do numerous things they really enjoy and excel at(journalism not being one of them):

    1)Pretend they know what is going on behind closed doors at the EPL Clubs,

    2)Ridicule Wenger and Arsenal at will,

    3)Quote each other as totally credible sources on transfers,

    4)Exercise their imaginations in a fantasyland of Football folly,

    5)Pump up their aaa fanboys by running this linear critique: X is coming to AFC, opps, Wenger is too cheap to pay the asking price for him, Once again all is lost because of the same old,same old, and We were the first to say we told you so!!!

    Basically it is the REDTOP disease, using hyperbole and pure speculation to create a scenario and then deflating the idiotic reader who swallowed the bait hook,line and sinker! It is a way to mock the readers without overly risking anything.

  • Markyb

    Don’t forget the Twitter meltdown, another easy story to cut and paste for them.

  • Menace

    Sir Hardly – you do cast some pearls before swine. There are so many words of wisdom beneath your posts yet some still ignore them like they have been trained by PGMO in selective vision.

    Looking forward to the season & our squad of beautiful footballers.

  • Gord

    I’m very glad that you decided to leave things with turning LIVERPOOL into an acronym. Could you imagine trying to do so with?

    Borussia Mönchengladbach

    I then went looking for long names. The longest I found is from Bangkok, Thailand.

    Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit Bravo Association Football Club

    ………. Also known as Bangkok Bravo FC

    I think you could probably curse the entire world with that name.

  • colario

    September 3, 2016 at 3:47 am
    In my opinon my idea was turned into a 2nd rate idea once it was moved away from Spurs.

    So how about something for


















    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Mick


  • Menace

    Gord – you are hilarious sometimes. That Bangkok club would be ideal for a talkshite presenter. It would keep him off air for a long time.

    Mick – great descriptional attributes for tots.

  • Mick

    Talking of talkshite, yesterday they had Tony Cascarino on as a co-presenter. I have never heard such a load of nonsense from a pundit, it was truly a masterful example of an ignorant ex footballer trying his hardest to sound intelligent but failing miserably. He can talk for five minutes without actually saying anything of any value. He frequently starts a new sentence before completing the one he is currently on. He is even worse than another Talkshite presenter Micky Quinn, and that is really saying something. Remarkably he writes for the Times newspaper.

  • Gord

    Jammy J, I can’t see why a Neville is upset with this. They were part of the problem.

  • Andy Mack

    The worst part of the transfer window is that we (and most other clubs) have so many truly gullible fans that lap up pretty much every single word of these hack journalists.
    At least they’re just trying to earn a living.

    The fans that think 2 guys from the same country must be great mates, so our player must want him to join us, so its just a ‘done deal’ except for our tight dithering manager.
    The fans that want us to deal with the dodgiest of agents just because another team has low morals and will do business with them.
    And so much more.
    Really embarrassing.

  • Gord

    In particular, Halsey referenced being told by PGMO to say that he did not see an incident, so that the FA could discipline someone. It seems reasonable the converse also happened, a referee being told to say that they seen an incident, so that further discipline by the FA could not happen.

  • Andy Mack

    I see the slime-bag Mino Raiola has called Klopp a ‘piece of shit’.
    Hopefully in future other managers will appreciate that Raiola is a person they don’t want to deal with.

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