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August 2021

Five big signings for Arsenal – and one of them is already here

By Tony Attwood

The trouble is, all these guys in this article were being talked about yesterday or the day before, but I was a bit busy so didn’t put this together.  Which means that in the way the transfer rumour market now works this is all old news and therefore won’t happen until everyone runs out of names and these guys come around again.

So on that basis we are now ahead of the game.  Remember you read it here first.  That means you could also use this information place a bet.  And if you do then you will need the football betting odds.

But back to the transfer mills – if they run out of grist, they can recycle these names again, and then we’ll be ahead of the game for a second time!


Gonzalo Gerardo Higuaín was born in 1987 and plays for Real Madrid, and like most of the guys on this list is a striker.  He holds dual French and Argentine nationality, and is known for his speed – which as we all know is what Mr Wenger likes – think Theo Henry.

This season Higuaín started with a goal in each of the first three games and scored in the Super Cup final against Barca.  He scored his 100th La Liga goal in the defeat of Deportivo La Coruna.

Next up is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was born in 1989 is Gabonese and plays (as a striker) for Saint-Étienne

Aubameyang started with AC Milan, was loaned to Dijon, and then Lille, and then Monaco, and then  AS Saint-Étienne and in December 2011, Aubameyang signed with Saint-Étienne permanently.

But in one warm-up game against Lyon he is said to have worn a pair of crystal encrusted boots worth £2500 which really doesn’t quite fit with Arsenal.

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Adrián López Álvarez is next.  He is Spanish, a forward (of course) and plays for Atletico Madrid who he joined on a free in 2011. So he plays alongside our old pal  José Antonio Reyes – or rather he now seems to have taken over from him.  The only question is, is Atletico Madrid solvent?  I read one report saying yes, and another saying, “no way”.  If the latter is true they might be having to unload some talent.

Loïc Rémy is a French international who plays for Queen’s Park Rangers in a lead striker role, although he can also play on the wing and as a number 10 – which is perhaps why people say that Wenger wants him.

He started his career with  Olympique Lyonnais, but in 2008 was loaned to RC Lens and, then sold to OGC Nice.   In 2010 he joined Marseille but it is said there were medical concerns at the time, which may count against him.

In January this year Olympique Marseille announced that Newcastle had offered  €10 million and they had accepted but the player failed to turn up in the far frozen northern wastelands where children wander the streets barefoot and the milkmaids… [enough of that – ed]

Apparently he went the wrong way on the Underground and then kept going.    Three days later, having been located on the DLR with brown envelopes floating in the breeze, (but not in any way related to the transfer). Rémy signed a four-and-a-half year deal with QPR for about the same amount as Newcastle offered.  But the BBC said he was on £70,000 and a brown envelope per week although I might be wrong about the envelope.  He is presumably for sale when Harry takes QPR down and I make no allegations of anything underhand going on.

Gedion Zelalem is already with Arsenal and at 16 is playing for the under 21s.  He is the new Cesc, according to people who talk in terms like that.   Being just a youngster, he won’t play just yet in the first team, but he might pop up in the league cup next season.

Steve Gatting said of him on the club’s web site,  “He came out of [the Livepool away game] with a lot of credit. He’s only 16 and that was the first game he’s played for the Club at a competitive level, and what a place to make your début! He came out of it well. He shows for the ball a lot. He’s got a bit of presence on the pitch and he passed it well.”


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Steve Gatting said of him on the club’s web site,  “He came out of [the Livepool away game] with a lot of credit. He’s only 16 and that was the first game he’s played for the Club at a competitive level, and what a place to make your début! He came out of it well. He shows for the ball a lot. He’s got a bit of presence on the pitch and he passed it well.”


37 comments to Five big signings for Arsenal – and one of them is already here

  • Ed

    As we need an experienced striker with speed, strength and a keen eye for a shot at goal Negredo should be on this list.
    He really would hit the ground running at Arsenal and make an immediate difference.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    My money would be on Remy – French , fast and on the cheap !

  • silah

    both are good players and can solve the drought of trophys

  • what about Stevan Jovetic!

  • Philbet

    There is no chance of Remy coming,Wenger has known all about him for five years,presumable not fancied him and not signed him,don’t think he is going to sign him now.He is decent but not top quality enough to improve the side.

  • nicky

    I can recall the days when, if good enough, you were selected for the first team, regardless of age.
    I sometimes wonder whether the young bloods at Arsenal are held back so long that in the end they leave in frustration. We seem to have so many out on loan at times, and then they leave permanently on transfer.
    I’d like to see our second team playing in one of the lower divisions. I’m sure this would bring on our reserves more quickly.

  • Englishmik

    Not exactly the most exciting of news or even worth the gossip.

  • ARSENAL 13

    I feel, this next Cesc, next Xavi, next Ronaldo thing, a bit annoying. I know this is in appreciation of their talent, but it also outs a lot of weight(unwanted) on their shoulders.

    BUT the reviews of this young gunner, Zelalem, looks insanely promising. If all goes well, a GUNNER in 3 years I guess.

  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    What about one of Falcao, Cavani, Yilmaz?

  • Stuart

    ARSENAL 13
    My thoughts exactly. You sound like the next me 😉

  • ARSENAL 13

    hahhahahah, @Stuart,

  • beje

    the ajax fc talent Viktor Fischer can only compares to C.Ronaldo in this comparisons. 18 year old who can score from nothing. His dribble skills are often surprise defenders to look absolute dumses. I hope Bergkamp will give him advise to go to arsenal fc one day.

  • longlegsandsize9

    the last time i checked antonio reyes was playing with jesus navas at sevilla

  • desta

    gedion zelalem is aperfect for the first team it is better than ramsey but now he improve

  • desta

    why not jovetic,song and other center backs and one right back

  • Indiano

    I like your articles Tony you talk a lot of sense, but our old pal Reyes has been playing for his home club Sevilla for over a year now, not that it makes a lot of difference for us.

  • Ong Bing

    Since January, there is two teams played well, not big teams I mean. They are St Etienne (Ligue 1) and Vitese (Eredivisie).

    But I am not sure who is the key players, because I never watch them.

  • soglorious

    At this rate Tony, we’ll buy all the players in the world. That will be a hell lot of team

  • Adam

    I’m happy with what we have, and push Akpom, Eisfeld and a few others on.

  • bob

    Anything to talk about here?
    How about who you would actually like AFC to bring here in the summer? Here’s my affordable wish list of difference makers: Falcao, Gotze and Song. What do you think?

  • Ong Bing

    I am happy enough with our players, the problem if we buy few new players and all of them for starter, then we must adapt again.

    Player that I wait is Ryo, but I think he need another loan for one full season.

  • bob

    related, but tangential too:
    If the issue is how to close a 20 point gap with player purchases in a League that protects its No. 1 (ManUre) and its petro rivals, well here’s another way to ponder. It’s how a (major) professional League that is seeking greater parity is actually taking measures to ensure a more competititive league-wide product. So, this from Major League Baseball:
    “Update: Yanks will have $1.18M-$1.88M to spend internationally in 2013 By Mike Axisa
    Thursday: Badler says all 30 teams were also assigned international “slot” values, indicating a worldwide draft may be forthcoming. There are 120 slots (four rounds) and the Yankees are allotted $1,177,900 total, including $487,200 for their first pick (28th overall).
    The New York Yankees have a $1,877,900 international spending pool this summer, the third lowest in baseball by virtue of having the third best record in the league last year. The Astros, meanwhile, will have just under $5M at their disposal. The international signing period officially begins on July 2nd.

    Every team was allocated $2.9M for international players last summer, which the Yankees spent on the first day of the signing period on three players: C Luis Torrens, OF Alex Palma, and IF Yancarlos Baez.

    The spending pools are scaled based on the previous year’s record now, though there has been plenty of talk about a worldwide draft lately. Either way, the Yankees used the international market to build their farm system for decades because of the ability to spend freely, but that ability has now been taken away. That isn’t good for anyone, especially the players.”

    Any lessons to be gleaned here, mates?

  • weedonald

    Bob……what a difference such ¨agreements¨would make in Football if the big teams were forced to follow such a regime. Imagine no player being valued higher than 1 million Euro! This would literally kill the market and the exorbitant salaries but this will never happen, since the EU would probably consider it unacceptable limitation of the right to ¨negotiate¨freely and undertake unlimited business activities. These limitations would, hand in hand with a salary cap, be certain to spell the demise of the financial imbalance that exists in the football world. It is almost impossible to believe this will happen anytime soon.

  • Andrei

    Salary cap only works in a closed system
    Parity leads to mediocrity
    Salary cap gives advantage to the bigger market teams

  • Arun

    @bob, Gotze will be my first preference from your list but it’s hard to see him leaving Dortmund. He’s like Wilshere for them, been with them since he was 8.
    Falcao: We will definitely lose a bidding war for him and I can’t see Song coming back to Arsenal.
    Realistically, I don’t think we have any chance of signing anyone of those 3 but it would be a dream come true if we manage to sign Gotze, a player whom I rate very highly.

  • Charlie G

    None of the five will improve the team nor significantly better than what we got. If we sign any of them we will be fighting for fourth place again next season.
    Players that we should target, besides one or two unknown are:
    Adler or Cesar

    Then this will create lots of excitement.

  • Khor

    My summer signing if am Wengershould be
    Ashley William

    This players can improve the team and there will be no more talking about top 4 or above Tottenham

  • dan

    Gonzalo Gerardo Higuaín – perfect for Arsenal.

  • bob

    yes, andrei. i’m saying out with the old, in with the new. never happen. of course not. but it’s so tiresome not to be able to dream out loud, here, and to have to encounter fortune cookie answers to complex dreams. of course your vast experience dictates that parity mandates mediocrity. however, far better competition in US pro football (on any given sunday…) and pro basketball and the variety of teams that go to the baseball world series each year has been greatly accelerated by different forms of salary caps – not your iron-clad promise of mediocrity. You mean like most of the EPL? But surely you know best from your experience of one slice of the world.

  • bob

    i know that the letter of the law can’t work in the EPL as currently constituted; but it’s the spirit of that law that we need, is what i’m trying to get at.

  • bob

    when the premium is placed on bringing a more competitive performance on the pitch across an increasing number of teams, the the EPL’s product (which is trying to prevent this competition) is dwarfed by those professional leagues that give far more of their fans something to cheer for by adopting a variety of forms of salary caps and/or luxury taxes. can all of those leagues (football, basketball, baseball, hockey) be that wrong, and the EPL be right? Of course not. Imo, the EPL worships and has institutionalized monopoly (or at best a 2 team competition) for top honors. They feel that the fans will never stop eating what they’re served up and will only ask for more.
    I don’t think it can go on forever, especially in harder economic times. Why spend good money on a foreordained outcome?

  • Andrei

    @Bob I don’t think it is apples to apples comparison between EPL and major US leagues. Unlike EPL US professional leagues are closed systems and they employ the best players in the world in their respective sports. Mover, the US economy is significantly bigger than UK economy so there is no surprise that EPL is dwarfed by the US professional leagues. The closest adequate comparison is UEFA Champions League. So if we measure level of competitiveness by the number of different teams that won the league from 91/92 to 2011/2012 we have:

    UCL – 13
    NFL – 13
    NHL – 12
    MLB – 11
    NBA – 9
    Bundesliga – 7
    EPL – 5
    La Liga – 5
    Seria A – 5

    So what is the most competitive league?

  • bob

    The most competitive league is clearly NOT the EPL, which is the point of the exercise. The EPL is not a piss-poor English-economy bound league; as any analysis of the actual ownership will tell you. It is a transnational league and you clearly know it (but conveniently forget it for purposes of winning this absurd argument). And to call the UEFA CL a “league” in the same way as the others are leagues is absurd: it is a short-term marketing dream constructed on the backs of other proper full-season leagues. But pardon my ignorance: what exactly do you mean by your “closed system” mantra, so that I can offer a proper response to that dismissal?
    By your own table, 5 of the top 6 positions are held by leagues that are being run with a structural and policy-driven effort to foster competition. And there are sharing schemes by which all-league money finds its way down to lift lesser teams. Not the tokenism of EPL standards. And these are leagues where there are player DRAFTS in which the teams that finish low to worst get to pick high to first. None of that in your “open” football universe, Andrei. In NBA basketball, the combination of a DRAFT and SALARY cap and DIRECT player trading has mostly made for a highly-competitive sport with new contending team emerging every season. Hockey is very competitive, every season. Nothing approaching that in the EPL. Nothing. Why? Because it is rigged at the top and behind the scenes to prevent that level of actual competition. Perhaps one of the functions of the current ref-contracting operation.
    And where in by comparison do you find anything in US sports compared to the 2 teams “races” at La Liga and EPL? Where, in MLB, for example, the team that has ALWAYS spent the most (ManUre’s former strategic partner), has had a very difficult time returning to the world series championship competition? Competition is favored by combinations of salary caps, luxury taxes, and the like. Only in your schema could you find a way to diminish the non-competitiveness of the EPL top tier, which was the basic point of the debate.

  • Andrei

    Closed system means there is no outflow of players to other leagues. NFL and MLB do not have other leagues to compete with. No basketball league in the world can realistically compete with NBA. NHL has seen some competition for players from KHL recently but it didn’t affect them that much. In closed system if salary cap or some other restrictions are introduced players do not have any other place to go to find greener pastures. So they have no option but to accept the restrictions or try to bargain for a better deal. Which leads to frequent labor disputes. Do you think that the recent spike in lockouts in all professional leagues in the US is an indication of a healthy system and does good to the product they sell to the fans?

  • Andrei

    @bob “it is a short-term marketing dream constructed on the backs of other proper full-season leagues”

    Tell me why you cannot say the same about EPL?

  • bob

    yeah, I could re. EPL. I’d agree there. So what? the point we’re debating, or so I thought, is which models result in the least competition. For you, competitive parity means mediocrity, so it’s not good. Well prove it. Prove it in US sports. Prove it in sports anywhere. You mean La Liga and the EPL couldn’t do with a massive dose of parity? Or do only fans in the top 5 of the EPL table matter, and the rest are just there as grist for the mill?

  • bob

    Yes, you’re right that it’s tougher in international football with so many leagues. But, in the end, my point is that there need to be FIFIA/UEFA imposed structural reforms to bring certain parity-seeking standards across all leagues; for their own and most fans well being. Which of course means achieve a set of international benchmarks for increased competitiveness throughout the sport. Which include one standard for all referees, making them actually held to the rules, or face demotion or suspension; and adopting a tough FFP protocol with real teeth and enforcement powers. I do understand your skepticism on this and probably concur after all. But I do not for a moment buy your idea that parity produces mediocrity. But I think our differences on this have more to do with ideology and personal experience than our discussions here could sort out.