By Sir Hardly Anyone
Not everyone has gone bonkers over the story that Arsenal are going to sign Fellaini on a free, but there is quite a bit of that coverage around with agents in discussion, a medical happening and so forth. Maybe by the time you read this the transfer will have happened. Maybe it will have gone the way of 97% of other rumours.
Certainly if it is going to happen and is going to follow the pattern of other seasons we’ve analysed it will happen now, because that is how it goes. The long running transfer sagas are mostly ones that never finish. Most of the players we do sign only appear on the rumours a couple of days before they sign.
That’s a generalisation of course, but looking back over the last few years when we’ve done the regular table of rumours, the actual transfers that do happen just suddenly appear and are done, without a long build up in the press.
But why sign an old man?
One good reason could be as a stop gap because we have a fair number of younger players coming through, and all the manager is wanting to do is steady the ship for the next year and plug a gap at a modest price. That is perfectly reasonable but of course encourages headlines such as “I’m Done With Transfer Window Already – Fans React To Marouane Fellaini To Arsenal Talk” as
But maybe we should also note at the same time other headlines such as the Cannon’s “Arsenal plan €15m transfer for 20-year-old forward they’ve ‘closely followed’,” for in an unusually upbeat manner they say, “Arsenal join Liverpool and Tottenham in the race for 20-year-old PSV winger Steven Bergwijn, according to reports in the Netherlands.
In fact there is a pattern emerging of buying and bringing through some youngsters, while employing older players at the back. And there is a feeling among the transfer spotters that this is the moment Arsenal will act, as with TalkSport who say, “Arsenal set to make big name signing before Sunday” although I am not sure if they are not having a bit of a laugh with “big name” as that piece was about Sokratis Papastathopoulos. If we keep signing Greeks they will have to do the programme in a bigger format.
As for Fellaini, this has been called a “shock” by the Telegraph and others who are easily shocked, although I suspect there is little left in football to shock anyone these days. But if Fellaini (who is 30) and maybe Lichtsteiner (who is 34) come along with Sokratis (who is 29) that will give the team a really solid base of experience to allow Holding who is 22 and Mavropanos (who is 20) to flourish in the team.
The only hiccup I have seen is the little note that Man U “manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he wants to keep Fellaini.” Oh yes and according to the Telegraph, “Whether Arsenal are able to agree a deal with the player remains to be seen and it is likely that he will delay making a decision until after the World Cup.”
And I wonder if there is another elephant lurking (not literally) in the room. Actually I think that there is a plan, and it goes like this…
The management team at Arsenal feel that Ramsey is the key to what Arsenal can do this summer and that it is worth spending a fair amount of the money available on tying him down to a long contract. It is said that he’s on around £5.5m a year at the moment and wants a significant pay rise – to maybe £10m a year.
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias
- The real live facts that the media won’t ever touch (part 2)