Theo and the transfer market dilemma

By Walter Broeckx

Amidst the daily speculation of Arsenal will buy this player and that player maybe it is time to take a more global look on this transfer market.

In our article we counted the players we were linked to and I stopped counting around 35 but have seen at least some 10 more names left and right in papers and on the internet. But all this speculation leads to nothing. All those rumours are just rumours.

Transfers are not easy things and certainly not when you have to work in an over inflated market and have to fight against teams that can outspend you in a wink of an eye. For Arsenal to spend £25M is something that has to be done in an cautious  way. Once we have spend that money…it is gone. For Chelsea or City paying £50M is no big deal. The owner picks up his cheque book and it is done.

For Arsenal to be able to pay £25M this means that this is the money they have to work for a year. And even then it doesn’t always work to make a profit of £25M. Let alone £50M. If we had bought Torres for the money Chelsea did and his impact had been the same we would be in real trouble now. Not just on the pitch but also with the bank account.

We must keep this in mind. We are no sugar daddy team. We have to work hard to make some money. And so we have to be careful when we spend the money. There have been bad buys in the past. But this goes for each team. Even United has had their mistakes.

So how do I see the current transfer market for Arsenal and what could be a reason for us not moving things around?

The problem is the situation involving Theo Walcott. Will he sign da thing or not? In this ongoing contract negotiations is the main issue we have.

Now I don’t know anything more than you do but if we take what the media is saying as serious and correct (which is always highly unlikely) we hear numbers going round that they are offering Theo a new contract that will cost Arsenal something between £20-£25M. Depending on which source you believe.

Now look at that number: £25M. This is massive for a non-sugar daddy club like Arsenal. So if Theo signs da thing we will have to make sure we have that £25M in the next months and years. After all we are not Barcelona who don’t pay they players every now and then. That would mean that those £25M go out of whatever transfer war chest is available for the manager.

So with Arsenal not being sure about the Walcott situation (well not in a sure way of:  he has signed or said he will not sign) the board doesn’t know how much money actually can be spend now or in the near future.

Theoretically one could say if Walcott doesn’t sign da thing we would have that money available for a new player.  But again we don’t know what will happen and as long as the board doesn’t know what will happen they cannot go out and spend money as they are not sure how much there is to spend.

So the board is caught up in the dilemma on how much money they can spend. A dilemma that will stay till the Walcott situation is clear.

Another problem Arsenal might face is that in order to buy a player you need the agreement of a club and of a player to buy someone in this transfer window. I know some players have buy out clauses but most of the time they are rather unreasonably high. And then you also have to be sure that the player wants to come to your team.

Now when Arsenal know the outcome of the Walcott situation it could start the Arsenal transfer window. Only then we could become active I think.

I guess behind the scenes we are already active on some things but as long as we don’t know how much money we really will be able to spend not only now but also in the next years it is difficult to spend money.

One could say that Walcott is holding the key for the Arsenal transfer market. So it would be in the interest of all parties involved to know the final outcome of the Walcott contract negotiations as soon as possible.  Like this coming weekend.

So Theo would you mind using your key to unlock the situation and to open the door so we can really get started?

I hope Theo will be part of the Arsenal future but the longer the negotiations keep going the more difficult he makes it for the club to spend the money. Because Arsenal don’t know on whom  and how much to spend it for the moment because of that.

Theo, Theo give us the key, Theo… (etc etc)

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35 Replies to “Theo and the transfer market dilemma”

  1. Good points, Walter. I think AW hinted as much – I thought it he was saying in effect that Zaha would be bid for if Walcott didn’t sign.

  2. This business (or lack of it, actually) with Walcott is getting quite ridiculous.
    To have our great Club unable to partake in the January sales because he hasn’t yet signed a contract extension is beyond a joke. It’s not as though he is a vital cog in the Arsenal wheel, IMO.
    A deadline by the Club surely must be the answer, in time for new signings to be completed. Arsenal mustn’t be held to ransom like this.

  3. If the BBC are to be believed, then this article is (fortunately) no longer relevant! No offense of course, Walter–and I do think you’re right about Arsenal waiting on Walcott’s signature before proceeding, if nothing else than for the obvious reason that if he went, we’d need another striker/winger, but if he stayed, we’d be free to reinforce another position.
    So hopefully now we can get a couple good players for cover and rotation out there.

  4. Walter,

    To some extent what you say is true. We may not know whether Walcott will sign, and for how much. We will however have some figure in mind as to what we are prepared to pay. Of course the complication is that if he doesn’t sign, we have to budget to lose him for free and buy another winger, either now or in the summer, so that will impact on who we can/should buy right now in other positions.

    However, it is something we have to live with and learn to deal with. I actually don’t believe Theo not signing is completely holding up our business, and I believe we’ll be looking at some players behind the scenes. Maybe even negotiating. The last week of the transfer window is when we will sign someone (if at all) and though Theo does impact it, I don’t think we’re being held to ransom in that regard. And if we are, then we shouldn’t be.

  5. It was definitely not holding up activity, just holding up bids, is what I took it to mean. Anywa, it would appear that he has signed. So no Zaha, I’m guessing.

  6. No problem El Gringo, I wrote this two days ago but with the other articles about the game it got delayed a bit.

    Will be glad that the saga ends no matter the final outcome.

  7. I hope Walcott will leave. He is an overrated runner, not a footballer. He hasn’t developed as a footballer.

    Technically he is still week, tacticly he is week but the thing that botters me the most is his shitty balance. Everytime he’s trying to get in second gear he trips over his own legs. Every light touch of an opponent and he can’t hit the ball propriate.

    He walks like he is the new Thierry Henry, same attitude, same air. But he is not even 1% of King Thierry. Now he’s taking all the free kicks and corner kicks, what for? His shooting and crossing is shit so why should he take those?

    Theo takes Wenger and the club as a hostage. We do everything to please him, despite he is shit. He thinks he’s a striker but he doesn’t have the fundamental attributes to succeed in the centre. But he thinks he does. He doesn’t think he is a striker because of his arrogance, he thinks that because he doesn’t understand the game well enough.

    A big club like Arsenal should never allow such an avarage player have such an impact on going business. He can take the 75k or leave. But unfortunately we will meet his demands and now we have an overpayed overrated runner to fill our wagebill.

    Im mad at this guy. I don’t want to see him in an Arsenal jersey anymore. And i hope the fans in the stadium won’t shout is name anymore (they have all the right to do what they want ofcourse).

    Have i mentioned Walcott is overrated, not a footballer and acts like he is Henry without even having 1% of his quility? Please theo, leave, go for an Olympic gold medal but try not to fall while your running and dont dislocate your shoulder after your wife pushed you.

  8. Strange, thought all the clamour was for Theo to sign and the board being blamed for not having done that sooner. And as soon as news he’s signed filters through we get people saying he should leave. i bet there will many such comments, just to show that you cant please everyone.

    It would be nice to get new signings but like the manager said, this is going to be difficult in reality, as the players who can really help us are cup tied in Europe, or in the FA cup. So I dont think it wise to sign someone just for the run up to May who will then become surplus to requirements thereafter, if we then do get the players who aren’t avalable now. But a signing or two would add a bit more steel to the side.

  9. Arsenal board do not want to spend period.

    They do not have and come and say it openly but the Walcot drama is a deliberate act.

    First of all who is Walcot ?

    An ordinary winger/striker but is just an english guy who is absolutely over rated.Yes he has shown some improvement but it took him six years to what he is now.If one want to close his eyes deliberately so be it otherwise is completely over rated guy.Immagine if Theo was an African everyone would have slaughter him ala Jervinho.

    It Is Janwary and the fans are calling for reinforcement.The board do not want to spend is the bottom line.Otherwise why they allowed to be dragged upto january matters that suppose to be concluded long time ago.One will say it is two ways as Theo representative have their say as well.True in essence but after 10 games it was very much evident that we definitely clear the squad needs reinforcment.If so why let Theo case live it up to late to the point that we cannot figure out how much is left to spend ?

    It is evident that the board they want to sign him but they want to buy time.Time that suppose to be used sorting other reinforcement.Other reinforcement means spending more money which it does not bode well with our magnanimous Stan.
    My opinion is Walcot should have been given a warning of take it or leave it offer.Quickly sale it if there was interested party and move on.Sorry i dont rate him and specially not the point that a sort of player that he can take the club by its balls.
    The whole drama is a deliberate tactic for not spending.

  10. Theo scores a goal : give him what he want.
    Sign him!

    Theo misses a chance: he is rubbish. What paying that much for him?

    Oh well…

  11. @Alex
    It is not that easy
    Because after recent departures of players, letting him go away would bring us criticism from every where!
    And much more pressure on the team and manager
    I’m glad we kept him, he is too young to be compared with legends, but he can progress to something good

  12. Thank you Walter!
    I always wanted to see this on first, rather than other reporters!
    And the fact that “you” shared the link brought even more joy!
    This link of you is one of my favorite memories of being an Arsenal fan 🙂
    Thank you!

  13. Great news, sends out a signal we can actually keep our better players. Team mates, and the captain have gone on record in their desire for the club to keep theo. he is part of a group of home grown players who will get better and better. As he gets older and more experienced, he will add greater consistency to his game.

  14. On what is I guess a less happy …and off topic note, surprised to hear Southampton have sacked their manager. Without knowing the full facts, this just seems plain bizarre to me, thought Adkins was doing ok, especially recently. Now they have bought in a guy who knows nothing of this league, a risky move as they are not too far off the relegation zone. Southampton are a well run club, with a great academy, one of its products has given us some good news today .

  15. Persian gunner

    I congratulate to every one that finally this transfer saga has ended.FINALLY
    I am not against signing him .
    What i dont like is the way that its handled and dealt with specially knowing that the january transfer is active since two weeks and its obvious that the squad needs reinforcement and nothing done so far.

    Still IMHO Theo has a long way to go and now unsubstantiated rumours will fly about his salary and surely will give more ammunition to moan and groan.I hope Theo will prove me wrong but i still remain pessimistic.

    To consider him at the level of Cesc V.persie is wrong .Simply is not at their level.
    Far better players left us and still we are competing at the top four and Theo staying or leaving would not make any difference.
    Good news that finally has ended this transfer saga but not overwhelmed for my like.

  16. Here’s to hoping the club has turned a corner and will resist further pillaging. And now to shopping!

  17. I don’t think the press has a clue about what Walcott signed. Most articles suggest, $100k. I seen one at $90k. Another article, said the image rights were important. Some say a long term contract of 3.5 years. I don’t know if I would describe 3.5 years as long term, because the last year of a contract is different, and 2.5 years isn’t long term. And as is typical, the web site provides very few details. Which is probably as it should be.


    I too was dismayed to see Adkins get sacked. Maybe Adkins will end up replacing Benitez next year? Benitez was only supposed to be interim.

  18. I think this is good for the club on a number of fronts.
    1 he is a good player – OK not ‘world class’ but definitely an asset.
    2 It sends out a message to other clubs that we can keep players when we need to,
    3 It gives us the opportunity to realise a good fee for him in a year if he doesn’t progress as expected.
    4 It ends the ‘saga’ and gives the club certainty over where the squad needs further strengthening.

  19. Two has signed ta thing. I love him as a player. Play in the central role, he will do well.

  20. now that this saga has ended we have six british players who love arsenal and want to remain at arsenal. this will provide us with the stability. the gelling wouldn’t be a problem as these guys know each other very well. but this will only bear fruition in the future. right now its a great news for the team and arsenal fans as a whole.
    theo must be extra motivated and must improve vastly on his control and crosses to have more than satisfactory impact on the pitch. he has a good partnership with giroud, only second to poldi-santi partnership. so instead of drifting inside I’m hoping he crosses more with some accuracy and power.

  21. A three-and-a-half year deal for Theo means that we’ll get to have this conversation / protracted saga all over again in a couple seasons…

  22. @rusty, problem with signing a very long deal is that if he misfires say after 1 year and didn’t deliver things as expected, we might not be able to get rid of him or sell him because we are paying him close 100k and have to keep him for another 4 years. I think there is a fair-balance in this deal where it is not too short or too long.

    As you said we have to do this all over again in a couple of seasons provided walcott is delivering really well.

  23. @Walter, couldn’t agree more.
    If Walcott scores, Wenger is an idiot to have not solved Walcott contract situation.

    If Walcott misses, Wenger is an idiot to have any negotiation with Walcott.

    I have seen a leading newspaper doing that in the past couple of weeks.

  24. @ rusty & Stuart: Exactly my concern. Teo will see the next year and if we don’t win anything, he will look at leaving or Arsenal will sell him to re-cupe the cost. this is not a negative comment or having a go just for the sake of it. looks like it’s a short term fix. hope he bangs in some goals.

  25. One of the other things with AW is that he’s very big on team morale. The Invincibles had lots of it and all winning teams need it if they want to win consistantly. Buying a player for 25m-30m and paying him 200k per week could easily cause team problems. If it was Messi then they’d probably be OK but for half the names mentioned in the press I think Santi and Jack would get pretty p155ed = not good for the team. AW takes his time and it will come good again one day (hopefully soon).

  26. Walter,
    We’re a non-sugar daddy club. Ok. But is this pleading poverty whilst being at the top of the second tier with massive international valuation. I ask you: Is the TV deal coming this June or not? It’s purported to be massive and at historic highs that defy the overall economy, and the entire industry knows it. AFC knows it. UA never mentions it. Another 4th place finish is another massive jolt. If we finish 4th, the sliding-scale Emirates deal goes to the high end, rather than the low end. Spending for proven quality that will produce a difference will generate more buzz, merchandise, more strategic partnership deals, etc. To make money you spend money. They say the money is on tap. What is the hand-wringing worry about? It’s an excuse in advance to cushion the blow against not spending. And, if someone at AFC says straightfaced that it’s like a whole new signing, well, something rotten will have triumphed. For right now, I exult in Theo’s signing, his upside is enormous, and he needs quality around him to maximize what he’s got. Wonderful that he’s signed and yes, as you say, that there’s a presumably more loyal English dimension. Jack was strongly and publicly calling for Theo’s signing (as opposed to UA, mind you). And the fact that Theo has now signed will be good news to Jack and, hence, good news to us all.

  27. Nannu,
    Well, so what — if he’s worth it, then to keep him, AFC should keep him happy. If he’s great or near great, we keep him here by paying him. Indeed, if we win because we have better or top quality because of quality players like him, there will be money there to pay with. (Is it your piggy bank that you are protecting? Are the board/ownership not rich enough to begin with?) Sure his agent will be knocking. In fact, Theo and agent could do that, like anyone else these days, right now — at any time. Nowadays, as we have seen, a football contract means nothing. Loyalty is more complex than that, situation by situation. By going British in the signings, perhaps the Fabregas “homesickness” factor will have been pre-empted amongst our best emerging stars. That’s half the battle. The other half of the battle is saying no to wantaways to Manure, Shitty and Chelski — like we should have done, no matter what, to RVP. The problem is with the agents like Darren Damien Dein, yes. But it is also with a club that is too money-driven to say no – even from its own position of strength, because 25M NOW means so much more to AFC asset-strippers than the 30-50 million that saying no would have reaped for AFC LATER.

  28. Florian Thauvin?
    Newcastle want him and so Arsenal also to sign the 20 year old Frenchman? Or just another rumour?

    a bit funny in a way Pardew signing all those French players.

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