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February 2021

Danny’s early return, youngsters leaving, and tales from the Scientology wing of transfer rumours

By Sir Hardly Anyone

The problem with the central defender isn’t money of course, it is the reality of game time.  Arsenal’s regular centre backs will return in due course, and there are four of them – so whoever comes along is likely to be battling it out with them for game time after his initial spell covering is over.  Not what most players want.  Unless of course Arsenal give up on three of the four players they have and put the new man in and demote 75% of the current back four list.  It seems an unlikely move.

The trouble is that this notion takes more than four words to explain, so the media don’t like it, and we are back with the normal stuff – except there is one new, nice story this morning…

1: Danny Welbeck

Now here is something you don’t read every day: a spot of good news.  Danny Welbeck apparently could be back by Christmas.    Mr Wenger explained it thus:

“He has an inflammation of his knee and they had to go in again to see if it is healing well,” said Wenger. “If the healing was not good, he would have been out until April. The news was excellent and he will be back around Christmas.”

And before we get going on the rest here is a story that just popped up, and I won’t even give it a number as it is so odd…

Marcel Tisserand is a 23-year-old centre-back from Monaco. Last season, he made 31 Ligue 1 appearances, even scoring a goal, and is decent in the air and at general defensive work but his ability to hold onto the ball and pass it is lacking. Not good for an Arsenal player.

That is under the headline “Report: Arsenal target yet another defender – Marcel Tisserand”  and is in the eccentric Daily Canon.    Oh yes, and if you want the history of the Scientology comment, it is at the end of the previous post on this site.

2. Chris Willock

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The suggestion is that Chris Willock is being offered a new deal to sign a new deal before then go on loan probably to Brentford.

3.  Talks with centre back Gimenez

It is either £40m or £56m, but it all depends on who you talk to

Stories down the pub focus on the price for the man from Atletico Madrid, but whichever one is offered we have the standard phrases.  “We are told his valuation could be a stumbling block,” is the sort of vagueness that sums it all up, along with “a desperate attempt to fix the club’s defensive problems,” is the standard filler.

The Mail says he wants to come but Arsenal are stalling – obviously the rumour mill has run out of new phrases and is back to the old ones.

4.  Shkodran Mustafi will undergo his Arsenal medical on Monday

Trouble is that was last monday.  I wonder if La Gazzetta dello Sport have sacked journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, although I suspect he would say Arsenal were stalling on the price.   Boosting their tale but confusing their time line they say he missed training because of a muscle strain, but Arsenal are ready to launch a formal bid if the injury proves a minor concern.  Lots of English papers ran this, and then dropped it again.  But it will be back next week I’m sure.

And yes, oh look, he pops up again at number six.

5.   Tafari Moore to go on season-long loan move

Tafari Moore sluit zich definitief aan bij Jong FC Utrecht.

See, I told you.

He played in 15 under 21 games last season in total. Utrecht technical manager Erik ten Hag said: “We know the plans of Arsenal and see this as a win-win situation for all parties.”

6.  Arsenal given glimmer of hope in Mustafi deal (told you so)

Valencia’s director of football, Jesús García Pitarch’s, said, “We’re above the FFP guidelines, that’s the reality, and as of today, the four players we’ve signed cannot be registered, meaning we need to reduce the cost in a significant manner to register the players and sign a centre-back, which is a priority in case one of the ones at our club leaves.

“Obviously, if they don’t leave, we can’t sign a new one not only because of financial restrictions, but also because it wouldn’t be logical to have five or six centre-backs. We need to continue with a reduced budget, but if there’s an exit, we need a new centre-back.”

But I am sure there must be more to this…

7.  Juventus want £20 for Lemina

After Arsenal had a £16m bid for midfielder Mario Lemina rejected, Juventus they will not accept any offers below £20m.   Lemina is also wanted by Watford.

8.  Gnabry to join Hertha Berlin on loan

Hertha Berlin having read in the Guardian that Gnabry was able to play in the Olympics and be on the bench for Arsenal at the same time have offered a loan spell to the wonderkid with dual reality skills.  “Serge exactly meets our search parameters,” Hertha’s manager of quatum mechanics Pal Dardai told Bild.  “Let’s see what will happen in the next couple of days.”  Well yes indeed.

9.  Arsenal want Jose Fonte too

Arsenal have made an approach to sign Southampton defender Jose Fonte, and as a result, will battle with Manchester United to sign him, according to ESPN.  The fee is £8m.  32-year-old Fonte is said to be “keen” on a move to Old Trafford, but Jose Mourinho would have to sell before he can buy.   (They don’t say why, but I suspect it is another of those silly “25” rule things.

10.  Everyone wants Moussa Sissoko

Well five clubs want him according to L’Equipe who also suggest it is all a waste of time because he is going to Real Mad.  But Arsenal, Liverpool, Dortmund, Crystal Palace, Everton and Inter Milan just won’t give up.

11.  Mustafi trains alone.  

Yep he’s back yet again.  You can’t keep this man out of the stories.   According to Sqwawka he is training away from the rest of his Valencia teammates – as he waits for Arsenal to make an increased bid for him.  Or he has an adductor injury.  Or it is not believed to be serious.

12,  Two Names thrown around

Omer Toprak of Bayer Leverkusen and Simon Kjaer of Fenerbahce, according to Sky Sports, “German-born Turkish international Toprak, 27, has been with Leverkusen for six years and would be considerable gamble to thrust into a Premier League title race.

“Kjaer… has plied his trade in Seria A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga before arriving in Turkey. Still just 27, he could be an ideal alternative should the Mustafi deal run aground before the deadline.”

13.  Jeremy Mathieu

Meanwhile Don Balon reported 32-year-old Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu is available for as little as around £10m and Arsenal are interested.

13.  Draxler

Futn soccer blames Transfer Market Web for the story that 22 year old Wolfsburg winger Julian Draxler is close to joining Arsenal for €50/£43m for the German winger.

If you want to comment and you missed the previous story, it might be worth your while having a quick read.

Recent Posts

Two anniversaries from the full list on the home page.

  • 19 August 1989: In the first league match after winning the title in the last seconds at Anfield, Arsenal lost 4-1 away to Man U, but were undefeated in the next seven.
  • 19 August 1995: Dennis Bergkamp’s first match for Arsenal.  Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 1.  He played 33 league games in this first season with the club, scoring 11 goals

39 comments to Danny’s early return, youngsters leaving, and tales from the Scientology wing of transfer rumours

  • Nice article bro…keep it up!!! Let’s pray wenger signs a player b4 deadline day

  • Stanton

    This comment has been removed. Please refer to the article “I doubt if anyone has ever had their mind changed by arguments on this site” for details of why.

  • Leon

    I love the way the club spins bad news as “good news”. Welbeck will still be out for at least three months.
    Truth of it is that it’s not as bad news as it originally was, but still bad news.

  • colario

    Did they mean what they said?
    Private school:

    Hotel bedroom, Japan:


    Doctor’s surgery, Rome:

    Cocktail lounge, Norway:

    Hotel, Acapulco:

    Hotel airconditioner instructions, Japan:

    Zoo, Hungary:

  • Leon

    Out for four months (not three), how is that good news?

  • firey

    This comment deleted – please see the article “I doubt if anyone has ever…” for the reason

  • Ron L Hubbards Dianetics is one of the best Fiction books I have ever read for a man who wrote stories for comics to convince so many people to join his religious movement and become what it is today is truly amazing if not very worrying . So maybe Untold can eventually convert the non believers

  • nicky

    In the light of so much false information fed to the supporters of our great Club by all and sundry during the present Transfer Window, I would like to suggest that Arsenal consider introducing a first….. a factual press release next month about the various transfer negotiations which have gone on
    during the Window.
    It would not only tell the full story of what went on but would improve the Club’s public relations section which so far is much too secretive.

  • ARSENAL 13

    What is a bad news?? Welbeck returning??

    BTW, About Pochetinos claim about players not getting enough rest. Mr Wenger has said this lots of times, only to be laughed at. Apparently all such things only matter when its not ARSENAL,

  • Leon

    Arsenal 13

    He’s not returning though is he? He’s out until Xmas (four months).You call that good news?

  • colario

    Never again will I follow a link to the daily star. What a waste time!

  • ARSENAL 13

    A player who was supposed to be out for 8 months is ahead of schedule, possibly by half. Thats good news by any standards.

  • Robert

    You may not be aware of this, but there’s a very useful site that’s quite reliable on Arsenal transfers. It’s called

    Tafari Moore’s loan to Utrecht is there on the front page.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think the Boss should continue to take his time as regards to do the 2 signings he wants to do for Arsenal before the transfer window closes. In the not too serious centre- backs depressing situation at Arsenal, the Boss should in his worries not panic buy any centre-back but bid his time to buy any affordable CB who ticks all the 4 boxes.

    Arsenal already has 4 specialist CBs whom 2 out them being sidelined has necessitated the urgency for the Boss to consider signing another CB for cover and option which is correct. But the urgency to do that could eased off soon with the return of Laurent Koscielny who should at least be on the bench for Leicester. While the Boss still keep his faith in the partnership of Holding and Chambers at centre back job for Arsenal at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

    I think the Boss should not underestimate the defensive capabilities of Holding and Chambers at the heart of Arsenal defense-line but appraise them. For Chambers now been 2 years at Arsenal can’t be said he lacks the back four defensive experience but already has it. While the young Holding is fast gaining the necessary experience he will need to become a prolific CB for Arsenal as he has shown in the Liverpool game last Sunday. I don’t think it’ll be wise to start the not yet fully match fit Koscielny for Leicester because to start him could cause another problem which may have him sidelined for a spell. But he could be on the bench for that match to come on should any in case does occurred. But preferably, he can come on with 15 minutes to go to relieve any of the tiring Holding and Chambers if they are tiring.

    The defensive base duo of Coquelin and Elneny didn’t jell last Sunday as they couldn’t give proper defensive cover to Holding an Chambers. Hence Arsenal conceded 4 goals to Liverpool. But the Boss later replaced Elneny with Xhaka. And from then, Arsenal defensive base became stable and stopped conceding to Liverpool as the new defensive duo of Coquelin and Xhaka jelled and offered better protection to Holding and Chambers. I think the mistake of not starting Xhaka in that Liverpool match had cost us a win in the match.

  • Yellow Canary

    The fact is that we won’t have Welbeck back for at least three months. We’ve had these timetables before for players returning and they haven’t always been accurate. Let’s hope this one is.

  • Fishpie

    Nicky,I like the idea of Arsenal releasing a factual press release each month about various transfer negotiations in order to put “all and sundry” in their rumour-mill place. I’d like the Club to go further. I’d like to understand the following. Who did we enquire about? Were we quoted a price? How much did we offer? For a player we judged to be an improvement on what we have available in the squad, did we attempt a compromise price? Why did we not not pursue or conclude the deal for such a player? I’d like to know these things in order to find out how serious we are in trying to get players? Ultimately, is the Club/Mr Wenger more interested in not having to pay over the odds, even for a player we need/want, than winning/competing for the title? Would Mr Wenger, if he were a season-ticket holder rather than a Manager, judge the price Arsenal demand for my seat as good value or over the top for what’s on offer? Would he, if he could, offer a lower amount to buy the season ticket? Would he walk away from the deal? Arsenal are perfectly happy to play the game of supply and demand with me, asking very high prices for season tickets because they know they can, and yet not prepared to do so when the boot is on the other foot. Part of the reason I pay “over the odds” is because I recognise the club has to do the same to get good enough players. I understand the club has to balance its books and ensure it doesn’t get into financial difficulty and therefore try and strike the best transfer deals it can, but I will feel cheated (again) if the club chooses not to participate in the market in a serious team building way.

  • nicky

    I think you go perhaps a bit too far. Every month during a Window when scouting and delicate negotiations are proceeding is too much to expect.
    But at the closure of a Window, some info from PR would do a lot to allay the disappointment of supporters when anticipated signings have failed to take place. 😉

  • Des

    We were trying to sign a CB BEFORE the injuries to Per and Gabriel. To improve the team. That’s what clubs do each season. Even ones that are successful.

    The antipathy to this notion displayed by people is baffling. Its one of the key tenets of a managers job. So far we ain’t doin so well evidenced by the players forced to play last weekend.

    I am all for unflinching support, but it gets raven to extremes and can be as boring as those who constantly slate the club players and manager. In my opinion obvs.

  • charlie

    This comment deleted on the grounds that it was sarcastic.

  • Zzzz

    It’s quality not numbers. Koscieny is the only quality centre back and needs a quality partner to win the league. Mustafi or Gimenez fit the bill. Chambers is shaky since the Montero incident and should go out on loan. Per is over the hill and Gabriel’s confidence was knocked by the bizarre comments about his English.
    Welbeck-will-be-back-soon won’t score goals, we need another striker preferably an upgrade to Giroud, but it’s more likely we will lose Sanchez than sign a quality striker.

  • Leon

    I don’t know why Jonny Evans is taking so much flac around the boards. He would be a definite upgrade on all of our central defenders (fit or unfit) other than Kos, is Premier League ready and not priced ridiculously.

  • Chris


    I agree with you. I don’t believe that any new signing will be top of the class from game 1, and will need some adjustment time, which we have seen for all new signings. So getting Chambers and Holding, more time together, encouraging them instead of criticising is what is important.

    They probably are the future hearth of the AFC Defense in years to come. So they need experience not only in the U23 league but in the big games as well. assume they’ve taken a crash course last week-end and will be better prepared tomorrow. They need support !!!

  • Polo

    Off topic: this article reminds me of some of the posters here, it’s like the writer came here and took some notes, the argument he put forward it’s so similar to the WOBs who are on here.

    He didn’t even mention how the protests at the Ems went last season, talk about trying to create more havoc.

  • Zzzz

    It’s just the truth. Just as you will get the same answer from the 6 billion on this planet if you asked if one plus one is equal to two.

  • colario

    August 19, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I think I read about half the DT link you provided. The more I read the more I asked myself if the DT’s purpose with these fan’s quotes is to show how ignorant some Arsenal fans are or to show ignorance on football matters of the DT reporters or just another case of the DT biased reporting.

    I think is is a case of ‘clout and spout’ You clout anyone who disagrees with you with verbal abuse and you spout your opinions as universal facts.

    Polo we know what the English media is capable of by way of intelligence that is why we don’t read it and if on an occasion we do we don’t trust it,

    There no need to provide us with examples of it. Thanks all the same.

  • ZZZ I would be grateful if you would acknowledge the ethos of this site and give evidence. You say that we need a striker; but that in a relation to a time that scored just three fewer than the champions and which was one of only five teams to have two players in double figures in terms of goals. Likewise it would be good to know how you know that Gabriel’s confidence was knocked by a specific incident. If you have tracked his performance before and after the event and have the stats that would be a good start.

  • Chris


    Here is a stat about Giroud compared to Vardy.
    As far as I am concerned, £ 20 millions or more just on the transfer and we’d get no better.
    Sure we’d get an alternative, yet in his thirties.
    Would I have liked to see him in the team ? Sure.
    Yet the numbers just prove that reality is different then what many on the internet publish.
    Positive side : LFC has had to fork out a lot more money, same for Mahrez, which adds to their financial pressure.

  • Mick

    An equally pathetic effort by Williams in the Guardian….

    In an age of ‘knee jerk’ reactions the stupidity of the current ‘knee jerking’ after just one game seems to be hitting new and ever more ridiculous heights.

  • Gideone

    @Zzzz 3.04pm

    Obviously, you’ve never taught 2 – 4 year olds addition. 1 + 1 may be equal to anything. There are even people of age who will give you different answers for different reasons – ask Brickfields, he understands such things.

    What I am saying is: don’t always fall into the trap of fallacy of hasty generalizations.

  • TJ

    With Arsene in the last year of his contract, Arsenal would be better off keeping the money in the bank, keep the powder keg dry as Mr Gazidis once put it, and give the new manager the resources to rebuild next season. Would rather see players like Holding, Akplom and Adelaide get their chance this season rather than any more cash being wasted

  • Zzzz

    On the striker situation, no team has ever won the premier league without a quality striker. I like Giroud, but he is not the striker that will take us to the promised land. How do I know? He has been with Arsenal for over three years now and I have watched every single game he has played. I was disappointed that Wenger, instead of building up Gabriel’s confidence, publicly complained about his grasp of English which was real odd for me. That shot his confidence big time and was a mistake by an experienced manager.

  • ZZZZ – yes I was actually asking for evidence not your opinion.

  • Mick

    Do you actually know and understand what evidence is?

  • Polo

    @ ZZZ, Leicester won the League last year without a quality striker if you take Vardy’s form from prior seasons. Did you even heard of Vardy a few seasons ago? Had AW signed Vardy a few seasons ago would you have been happy with the signing or you be complaining about not signing a ‘quality striker’?

    If you look, from the start of the PL to last season not many seasons where a club won the league with a player scoring more than 20 goals. Most of the clubs that had the season top goal scorer didn’t win the league. IMO this suggest that the best way to win the league is to have players sharing the goal load. Having said that, signing another good striker wouldn’t hurt and if we don’t our frontline is strong enough to do the job. Let hope this season we have lower number of serious long term injuries to key players, I know it’s not starting well, but hopeful that the bad luck is gone.

  • Polo

    @ Colario and Mick, it’s infuriating and insulting that the media portraying Arsenal as a club in crisis, the staff don’t know what they are doing, and the club has gone backwards when the facts show we are progressing, if coming 4th, 3rd, and then 2nd is not progressing I guess the opposite must be. The relentless daily attack on our club is f’ing disgraceful and what’s worse is some of the clubs fanbase help fuel the assault without realizing that the media is degrading all us Arsenal supporters and are portraying us as loonies.

  • Chris

    Here is an interesting piece.

    Why is only AW getting flak for his transfer philosophy ?!?!

  • Polo

    @ Chris, thank you for the links, very interesting. If Conte and Klopp is similar to AW, then there is no point of replacing AW unless he decides to leave. If between Klopp or Conte who would fit at Arsenal I think Klopp would be the better choice, Conte suits Chelsea’s style of play, defensive and counter-attacking.