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July 2021

The three players most likley to sign in the coming four weeks

By Billy the Dog McGraw

Many of the players in the Euros are not more or less out of bounds in terms of transfer talk.  If the deal is nearly there then the agent can see it through – but even so, no club will sign a player in the Euros at this stage, for fear of a broken leg or worse in the tourney, unless they are really, really sure.  So we are now looking at comments made before players left for the Euros, and the non-Euro players who use the Euro period as a way of pushing their own case forwards.

Here’s three: Lucas Biglia, who has said he wants a move, Lewis Holtby who has one year of his contract left and wants to come to England, and Nick Powell who fits the Walcott, Oxland-Chamberlain mould, and we tend to sign these players.

Of course, as always, I don’t have a clue who we are going to sign, but putting together a record of everyone means that there is a chance when a signing happens I can claim that we were ahead of the game.  (Well, everyone else does). (And at least I admit it).  (And anyway it is raining again so what else is there to do). (I like brackets, don’t you.  What’s your favourite humming sound?)

Sorry.  So off we go…

“Lucas Biglia has claimed that Arsenal are in talks with his club over a possible transfer this summer.”

That is the story.  Another one is that Real Madrid are after him.  Another one is that each side is trying to scupper the other’s offer.  Another one is that we don’t actually need any more midfielders since as we pointed out here a few articles back, we’ve already changed half the midfield and attack for next season.  Another one is that Liverpool and Man U are “monitoring” him, which probably means they have men in cars outside his house watching to see if goes out partying, eats the right breakfast, and practices the piano before going to bed, as well as a phone tap, and men going through his dustbins to establish what magazines he reads.  Actually I must tell you about Wayne Rooney’s dustbin that I was contractually obliged to raid last week… [No, please don’t.  Tony]

Anyway, he is of particular interest because he wants to leave Anderlecht and is quoted in commentaries by the Daily Mail (source of at least 30% of made-up stories) as saying that the club know he is off.

He is an Argentine, which is bad news as if he is recalled to their squad he’ll have jet lag after every one of these ludicrous international breaks, and has played 155 times for Anderlecht and scored 8 goals.  He’s said to be going for around £8 million and is said to be an alternative to M’Vila.

So what else?

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Biglia started with Argentinos Juniors and then went big time with Independiente, finally moving on to Anderlecht.  With Anderlecht he has won the first division twice and the cup once.  with Argentina he played in the Fifa under 20 world Cup in 2005

Next, Lewis Holtby – age 22.

The problem with Holtby is that he hasn’t actually said that he wants to play for Arsenal, but rather that he would like to play in England.  When pressed he said Everton.  Maybe we could introduce him to Arteta and try and fool him that the sponsors had insisted Everton now play in red and white.  That seems to be the in thing these days.

He joined Borussia Mönchengladbach when he was 11 (that’s the club where the most unpopular man on the terrace is the guy who shouts, “Give us a B….” )

He didn’t make it there and went to Alemannia Aachen (which has led some Arsenal fans to confuse him with our ex-keeper, but the point is Almunia is a man’s name, not a club name.  Difficult I know, but you have to focus).  He stayed tehere for five years before going to Schalke 04, with a contract that runs out next summer.   He has also done a loan with VfL Bochum and FSV Mainz 05.   He has played for Germany from under 16 to under 21 (where he was captain) and for the first team in the Euros.

In terms of his play, he takes the centre of midfield and links to the attack, delivering passes that even Liam Brady would find interesting.  To get a flavour here is a bit of a report from October 2010: “A month ago Holtby was a teenager on loan at Mainz from Schalke. It did not register as one of the transfers of the summer but it looks one now. Indeed, the 20-year-old has become the smiling emblem of Mainz’s surge.  Man of the match on Saturday, Holtby created three goals and scored the other.”

And last this time around, Crewe’s £10m-rated, 18-year-old striker Nick Powell – another attacking midfielder.  He joined Crewe aged five, played for the first team age 16 and this last season was a regular in the team that got promotion, getting young player of the month award for last December.

He also won all five awards that Crewe give out each year: Goal of the Season, Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year, best sending off of the year, and nicest mum of the year.  (Actually I made those last two up.  There were two more but I don’t know what the other two were so can’t actually write them down in a proper and serious fashion as befits a column in Untold).

He has played at Wembley in the League Two play off final this year and has played for England at under 16, under 17, and under 18.

That’s it.  Three more.   Here’s all the other ones…  If we buy the lot we’ll have a very big squad.



37 comments to The three players most likley to sign in the coming four weeks

  • Asif

    Good write up Billy…but do you actually think that Daily Mail only have 30% of their stories made up…I mean if we are talking about transfers then…it more likely to be close to 70% fiction and 30% non-fiction!!!

    Moreover, they make it seem like Arsenal are looking out for almost every player is who is out there….

  • Asif

    Good write up Billy…but do you actually think that Daily Mail only have 30% of their stories made up…I mean if we are talking about transfers then…it more likely to be close to 70% fiction and 30% non-fiction!!!

    Moreover, they make it seem like Arsenal are looking out for almost every player who is out there….

  • Gerry Lennon

    Of the three, I would say Holtby has the best chance. But it is only a low chance, and none are not on my shortlist, more to the point. Biglia story has resurfaced from last summer I think, when we were belatedly scratching for midfielders? Solid, but not a runner in my book. Finally Nick Powelll, who I think will go to Man U. Their midfield is hardly bulging with talent at the moment, wheress we have several youngster with potential, not to mention those who may come back to their best this coming season.
    I do not name names, but I think there may be a (good) signing whilst the Euro is going on, and hopefully two others as it draws to a close.
    Just my thoughts, but I will wait until signatures are on the contract before celebrating.
    Good post though.

  • nicky

    A bit of a surprising post (to me). I expected a (tongue in the cheek) Van Persie, Walcott and Podolski and up you come with three newbies.

  • Dom

    I have forgotten about holtby, he is a brilliant player though I hear he has bigger up arsenal saying that our game is beautiful so yeh sign him he’s half English as well so he will quickly settle in.
    I’m not sure about Biglia yeh he works hard but I think he will be a bit of a risk.
    Powell will be difficult to bring in, he looks like a very good player, his goal in the play off final shows world class potential, I think his price tag is a bit iffy but that’s what you get for being English the price is always miles too high.
    Just to add someone in, I think we need to bring in a centre back I believe it’s a must, you may say oh we got kocialny, vermalean and mert but what happens if one of those gets injured again, all of them had injury problems last season so I think it’s imperitive that we bring in a centre back. My suggestions are benedickt howedes (good friend of holtbies) or James thomkins (he’s English). We have Bartley to replace djourou and with howedes you get a lot in one, he can play pretty much anywhere along the back line comfortably and he can play in defensive midfield also, he should cost around £12-£15 million and if we do a double deal with howedes and Lewis that price could go down maybe even do a swap deal with Fabianksi or djourou.

  • Billy,
    you are quite right. but, i doubt if wenger would sign them, he had not even bid for Giroud. why on earth would Arsenal not change their poor mentality and go after players like Gotze, Neymar, et. al.

  • I just want to see 3 new faces coming to arsenal this season. a striker,CM & CB. leave alone Ur rumors & speculations.

  • I think the idea of bringing the three players is not bad but they look all of midfield players,i wish arsenal could add one striker to support van persie and podolski incase of injuries not forgetting adding on one rightback since sagna suffered a broken leg,he is likely to miss the beginning of next season.(we don’t the mistake of last season to repeat its self)>’ARSENAL IN MY BLOOD'<

  • Manamongst

    We need to get Dempsey in there. He will probably be the next signing. No other team has been scratching around him aggressively. Maybe everyone is afraid what he will ask for. But I think they can get a decent deal, as he wants to come to a CL team. We need a tackle magnet like him high up the pitch. Teams just gave us the center of the pitch, knowing the genius Walcott would just drop his head and wander off wide to the flag. Which I´ve always thought was strange as he always is quoted wanting to play centrally.

  • wellingooner

    Pazlo, you’re looking outside the box for solutions that can be found within. Our backup striker to Van Persie and Podolski? He spent last season on loan at Lorient, or maybe if you don’t like Joel Campbell, why not try out Benik Afobe?
    I would mildly agree with you on the Right Back situation, but it’s a tricky one. We need somebody who’s good enough to fill in for the beginning of the season but won’t get annoyed when he’s benched for the rest of it. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be worth using a rotation of Jenkinson, Coquelin and Koscielny at Right Back? Mertesacker will be fit by the beginning of the season and we’d be in need of his stability at the back if we’re to get a solid start to the campaign.

  • Arsenal1Again

    I think that anybody being named and speculated about will not be signed. There will be unknown people being signed.

  • Scott

    Because nobody had ever heard of Podolski,had they???

  • Scott

    Because nobody had ever heard of Podolski,had they???

  • Stuart

    I heard I am being signed

  • Scott

    Stop whoring yourself around Stuart !!

  • Shard

    Hmm.. Signings we might need.

    Depending on Fabiansky and Mannone..We’ll need a GK, preferably an experienced 30+ backup

    LB- no requirement

    CB- no requirement, especially with Miquel and Bartley also there

    RB- well, Sagna’s injury means we could do with someone, but I don’t see it. We do have Jenkinson who will improve no doubt. Coquelin could also play there, as could Yennaris who I thought did a very good job when needed last season.

    CM- A player of similar calibre to Song will be necessary I think. I know we have Coquelin and Frimpong, but I don’t think Frinpong is ready and Song will be going to ACN I would imagine. We do have Arteta but his role is different.

    AM- I would LIKE one, but I’m not sure there is room for one. Although, we could do with someone who can score and create some goals from there. Whether the solution is internal or external, I don’t know, but we should IDEALLY be looking for one.

    Striker- Obviously RVP’s future decides a lot, and we have Podolski. Though I think Poldi will play more wide or as a support striker than the main guy up front. So we need a backup but quality striker. Someone like Giroud could be an option, but it depends on how ready Campbell and Afobe are to contribute.

    Wide players- Poldi, Gervinho, Ox, Walcott, maybe Miyaichi.. Hmmm… tough one. Maybe we could get a striker, and Campbell/Afobe could contribute in this position?

  • Shard

    Does anyone know whether Jack, Ramsey, Coquelin and Szczesny have to be registered this year as above 21 players? Don’t feel like going over the profiles and the rules right now.

  • Millz

    Biglia is a waste if time, he’s already playing at pretty much his full potential and personally I’d rather wenger throw coquelkn or frimpong into the line-up rather than him. M’vila is the only real option out there in my opinion. Add another striker in the mould of adebayor (his style of play, minus the bad attitude and laziness) plus a centre back that is also capable of playing right back (kos djourou and jenkinson ain’t cutting the mustard in the position for me) and we’ll b challenging for honours next season.

  • Ong Bing

    Good article Billy.

    Until now, Arsenal only confirm that Almunia already out.

    The new players depends on who will goes, because our squad is already big.

    Vela had good time at La Liga, specially since January, but he don’t want to go back to EPL.

    I am not watching and follow France league, but I hear Joey Campbell doing well in there, and he desperately want to play for us.

    So, I think we don’t need to buy striker, even Chamakh, Bendy and Park go.

    We have many winger, so Theo can move to striker, position that he loved and wanted so much.

    Our playing system almost same with Barca, they only has 1 striker, and after Vila injured, they don’t use main striker. (Messi playing on the right, ah every one knowed it….)

  • Padraic

    favorite humming noise?
    probably the sound of a woman humming, i knew a woman once but she died.
    should we put the kettle on with no water in it?

  • Wooby

    @Shard, I do not think Jack has to be registered since he only turned 20 in January. Rambo and Szczesny have to be registered as they are now 21 and 22 respectively. Uncertain about Coquelin who turned 21 last month. I think he may not have to be registered as he was not 21 on Jan 1, 2012.

    I think your analysis although I am not certain we do need another AM. We have Rosicky who flourished for a spell in this role and Wenger seems keen to develop Rambo in this role. As for CM, I think it will depend on whether Wenger sees Coquelin as being able to play in this role. I can see us starting with Song + Arteta here, with Jack to rotate with Arteta and either Coquelin or another signing to rotate with Song. I have read some of Banfield’s comments re: Coquelin on and it seems he thinks Coquelin’s best position may ultimately be RB so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    Up front, I can see us buying a wide man if Theo leaves. I am not certain that Miyaichi is ready just yet – may need another season on loan to develop physically.

    @Dog, love the piece because it makes for good discussion. I think the stories about Biglia are just that – stories. When we hear about being “linked” to someone we usually do not sign that player. I wonder if Wenger is indeed serious about M’Vila and is leaking Biglia out there to drive the price down a bit. I noted one of Wenger’s comments about M’Vila back about a month ago was “we have no interest in that player … at this time” (assuming the quote was accurate). In this age of agent fees (see Hazard) I would not be surprised if M’Vila’s agent is looking for a big payoff and the leak of Biglia (or another other DM) is just a smokescreen to keep the price down (or reasonable).

    Don’t see Holtby or Powell. Would they be any better than Rambo as a young, developing AM? Besides, if the rumours are true, we are already looking to offload another young, developing AM in Ozyakup so presumably, there are other options already in the squad (Eisfeld maybe … or in a year’s time, Ox)?

  • Wooby

    Sorry everyone … typo in the 2nd paragraph. Meant to say I like your analysis … not I think.

  • bc

    @shard this summers players moving from the under 21s are 1990 born szcesney ramsey lansbury and eastmond. coquelin is next.years batch along with the likes of watt and bartley. jack.comes in the batch after along with frimpong and jenkinson etc. it is basically easy to work out is all about their year of birth. ramsey is the youngest of those maturing this year being born 26th december.

  • bc

    I only see arrivals happening now depending on departures. as it stands our 4th and 5th choice centre bqcks for example are both full internationals. whilst the 2 underneath them bartley and miquel are pushing hard. botth bartley and miquel have.performed well as full backs which is something wenger will have.noticed which means he may deem both djourou and squillaci surplus to requirements. at full back we have sagna jenkinson for the right and gibbs santos botelho for the left. if i was wenger i would look to sell botelho and bring in a right back allowing jenkinson to go on loan for a season. DM is a position i see us strengthening with song making no progress on signing a deal and frimpong injured. CM i see as our strongest position in the team with arteta wilshire ramsey diaby lansbury as well as song and coquelin all.capable of playing there. AM is everyones favourite for a signing but i think wenger will only buy if there is some movement with lansbury eastmond diaby denilson arshavin. rosicky is the man in possession and it will need to be a.big signing to take his place. Up front the 3 likely starters are walcott rvp and podolski. much depends on whether they sign new contracts. the back ups are chamberlain chamakh ryo park bendtner vela. i think of the 9 only chamberlain podolski gervinho and ryo are certain to be at the club so much depends on the other 5. All in all we have 29 players currently on the homegrown/non-homegrown list so 4 departures are required just bring the numbers down. i anticipate 8 departures loan or permanent with 4 more new arrivals. however i have not included the goalkeeping situation as i cannot see fabianski and mannone both leaving. with fabianski set to miss the start of the season i can see wenger giving szcesney jersey and promoting mannone to no.13 and the deputy keeper which might just be enough to keep him at the club.

  • Sewa Noah

    We really need to sign some players to strengthen our team. This time round, we need any trophy, because the seven years are over. I said the seven years are over. We know what I mean.

  • Gooner94

    Holtby said he wants to play for Arsenal and he liked Everton get your facts right.

  • Damien Luu

    @Sewa Noah: It means you know how to count to seven, right?

  • William

    If Arsenal/Arsene continue to buy youth it will be a repeat of the last five years.So many youths were bought and farmed out.Walcott has been around for the last five years. He hasn’t set the fw alight. I don’t know. He could be played out of position on the wing.He shd have along run in the center to show his credentials.
    Hopefully with the noises coming from Ivan,maybe there could be a modification of the transfer policy.As well as that the right player is important and so are tactics.
    I just hope the gunners can prove less porous in defence. Then we shall see.

  • Willy young

    bc I n

  • Willy young

    bc I note your analysis but have to question some of the players you mention of being Arsenal first team squad quality. Eastmond Watt Lansbury and probably Bartley are nowhere near and Yennaris needs a loan as could not make the bench for Notts County!!

    Park Chamack , Bendtner and Vela should / want to leave so a new striker is a must. Personally replacing Gervinho for a better player would be needed but won’t happen

    I agree in number terms we don’t need to sign anyone but quality terms “super quality ” as our leader states is lacking

  • Weedz

    Lewis said: “My father was born in England and was a Everton fan since the age of five. He immediately infected me with the Everton virus! Since then I have been a Everton fan and have always followed their games.”

    Still think he`s Arsenal bound?

  • Shard


    He also reportedly said something about how Arsenal’s style of play is something he always admired etc.. however..i don’t think he’s arsenal bound..I am even more certain that he will not go to Everton. Not unless they become a sugar daddy owned club. He might have the Everton’s nothing more money and a bigger stage to perform on won’t cure.


    You guy dont know what you are talking, AW should go out there and buy quality players that can challenge for titles next season and offload those children Oik approved!

    See guys, its always very painful at the end of every season when other fans celebrate titles and they will tell us the Gunners, for seven years now arsenal cant carry tea cup not to of EPl title. The board should accept the offer of €300million and buy big name and quality players so that arsenal can lift Champions & EPL title next season. Oik of the Week approved!
  • Ukeme – really you win hands down. You are Oik of the Week.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I just wonder if it is Ukeme who has 300M to spare….

  • Stuart

    If money is what it takes, I dont think 300 Million would be enough considering what Chelsea and City have spent. You seem like another so called fan who joined the Arsenal band wagon in the glory days and now can’t get off for fear of being ridiculed as a turn coat by your mates.