Could Arsenal really be about to sign this attacker?


By Tony Attwood

Go and look at the stories about Arsenal in the media and one thing comes up over and over again… Arsenal are seriously about to sign lots of new players.  And we know that because so many websites and newspapers are telling us, day by day.

Although perhaps we should note also that such tales have no thoughts about the fact that the current squad is doing rather well, and equally nothing about financial fair play, an analysis of which will tell you that Arsenal are pretty much near their limit in terms of expenditure, so purchases will have to be balanced by sales for getting on for the same amount of money.

But there is something else as well.  While it is true that Chelsea and Burnley have a lower average age of players, Arsenal have the third lowest average age for their team in the league.

Now that suggests that this team has quite a long way to go playing together – with an average age of 25.   But also it is worth noting that although Chelsea and Burnley do have a lower average age, that is because with their higher number of players used, they have each been thrown younger players into the squad in what seems (to me at least) occasionally like a desperate attempt to find from somewhere, anywhere, a winning side.

Thus Chelsea have used 30 players this season, and Burnley 31 and some of those players have in each case been rather young, thus bringing down the average age.  Arsenal have used 25 players and their average age is 25, the third lowest in the league.

Only West Ham have used fewer than 25 players (24 in their case) but their average age is 28.   Everton have also used 25 players like Arsenal but their average age is 26.4.  Manchester City have also used 25 players but with an average age of 26.3.

Now there is nothing wonderful in itself in using younger players – except that given that these young Arsenal players have taken us to the top of the league, it would seem rather odd to have wholesale changes for next season when the players will be a year older and have had a year’s experience (or in many cases two years’ experience) at challenging at the top of the league.

Nor indeed when it could cause FFP problems meaning we would have to be selling off players at whatever price we could get.  (And remember nothing reduces players’ prices more quickly than the word getting out that a club has to sell to meet FFP requirements).

So when we see headlines such as “Arsenal & Liverpool chasing signature of £43m striker with 15 goals” we have to start wondering “why?”   

Arsenal are pof course the highest scorers in the league this season, but it is not just that.  Arsenal have scored 19% more goals than Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, each of whom are challenging for fourth spot in the scoring charts being equal fourth on 59 goals.

What seems to confuse some commentators is the fact that Arsenal don’t have anyone in the top six Premier League goal scorers this season, what with Saka coming in seventh on 13th.   But Arsenal have had 15 different goal scorers in the League this season (and seven players with five or more goals).  

Manchester City have six players with four or more goals, and Arsenal have nine players with four or more – in both cases just counting Premier League goals.   Which in part accounts for why Arsenal have scored seven more goals than Manchester C.

So when we read headlines such as Arsenal confirm signing of Welsh wonderkid Brayden Clarke from Wolves, with the player reported to be starting at Arsenal in the under 18s, that makes a lot of sense.  Arsenal are top of the Premier League while Wolverhampton are ninth, 23 points behind.

There are of course other stories such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United all keen on Jonathan David and maybe there is something in that.  David is an American playing for Lille and he is 24 years old.   He’s played 137 games for the club and knocked in 66 goals, which is a good ratio, and that could mean that Arsenal are going to sell Gabriel Jesus (8 goals) and/or Eddie Nketiah (6 goals). 

But I still can’t see Arsenal going over to having a 20 goal a season player if it meant everyone else would get fewer goals. 

Anyway, the rumours meander onward, and as we so often point out, most summers we are lucky if three percent of the tales actually result in a transfer, so it’s nothing to be getting that worked up about – at least not yet.

4 Replies to “Could Arsenal really be about to sign this attacker?”

  1. Well that’s Liverpool out of the FA Cup.

    What worries me is how will that affect how Liverpool are refereed in the title race, after all it is Klippity Klopps ‘farewell tour’, and not winning a trophy surely wouldn’t do?

    I mean the way the media keep on I’m sure they expect Arsenal and Man City fans to be behind him!!!

  2. Liverpool have won a trophy. They beat Chelsea at Wembley three weeks ago. They should be happy with what they already have.

  3. seismic

    Oops. How could I forget that!! But thinking about it, is that even a trophy? I mean, apparently Arsenal haven’t won anything for 20 years, despite ‘winning’ the FA cup 5 times over that period.

    Anyway, I digress.

    The problem isn’t really Liverpool themselves, or even Klopp, it’s the media.

    It’s all about what they want, and given the the endless fawning over Klopp and his ‘fair well’ tour, and the pushing of the ‘romantic’ narrative of Klopp finishing on an enormous high with another title, referees are being left in no doubt as to where they want this years title to go.

    I just see more and more tight calls going in Liverpool’s favour. I may be wrong. Wont be the first time.

  4. Tony,
    I agree. Bringing in a player to score 20+ goals per season in this system is fine. Changing the system to accommodate one player is not. Arsenal are top of the league and first in almost every metric. If there were a major change, not only would the current attackers score fewer but the tactics would change. It’s not broken. If you want to tweak the side, get cover for Saka. COYG!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *