By Tony Attwood
So with all that boring old business about there being a limit on Arsenal’s transfers safely revealed to be a load of old tosh, and Kroenke Jnr confirming what Untold has been saying all summer, that there is no £45m limit on Arsenal’s spending this transfer window it seems we can get on with business.
As we know, the media haven’t got much of a clue about anything Arsenal these days, especially given their desire only to publish the negative – along with having nominated well over 80 players that they are sure we are going to sign (we’ll be publishing a new update of that list of rumours shortly).
And it seems that one of the deals is now done: William Saliba who has made just 16 first team appearances in defence for St Etienne. And so cue the insane articles… as for example with the Metro running “Why William Saliba chose to sign for Arsenal instead of Tottenham” which then totally failing to tell us why throughout the whole piece. What scamps these journalist fellows are!
Here is the lad’s playing record…
And here’s a jolly piece of news: he was initially coached by the father of Kylian Mbappe.
Of course not everyone agrees it is done – the Hard Tackle website this morning is still pumping out the line that “Tottenham [is] looking to hijack £25 million Arsenal move for European defender”. And that of course is just par for the course. Also this morning Gunnersphere is running “£350k a week flop’s resurrection” while Fox has “Arsenal staring into $78m abyss”.
But to look on the bright side, it really does seem that the St-Étienne centre-back William Saliba has agreed to join. And a lot of “outlets” have agreed Tottenham attempted to persuade the lad to go to New White Hart Lane (Newhal) but he took one look at their trophy record (and the state of the local streets which Tottenham are refusing to pay for cleaning) and said “no way”.
The deal it seems was done last night, and he will cost €30m (£27m) plus a bit for add-ons (whatever they are) and will be loaned back to St Etienne for the 2019-20 season. Mr Emery added, “We are talking with patience and with calm because we really want to sign players who can help us with a big performance, and also because we think in the team we have very good players, and we also need to take the best player in some positions.”
So what are the scribblers who all summer have been pushing the £45m price limit now saying, given that it seems they were completely wrong in every regard?
Well, many of them have of course been hedging their bets by still saying on the one hand, we only have £45m and it is an absolute disgrace, while also running stories about Arsenal signing the likes of Zaha for prices which under their bonkers view of reality would be impossible.
Some of course don’t accept reality, and so carry on their own sweet way. The wild and whacky Express is running it like this…
“Arsenal boss Unai Emery identifies Wilfried Zaha alternative due to budget issues”, while at the same time also giving us the headline…
Arsenal set to complete second signing before the weekend… Tottenham to miss out.
And the man in question according to the Excess is Dani Ceballos at Real Mad.
Meanwhile the Daily Mirror is not letting go of the position that has kept its “outlet” Football.London in gibberish all summer. For them the transfers are unlikely, as their piece soon after the Emery and Kroenke interviews put a damper on everything saying, “Gunners boss Emery is making big demands as he looks to shake up his squad despite Arsenal director Josh Kroenke warning the club will struggle to bring in top signings.”
Mind you, it must be very hard for a media drainpipe like the Mirror to keep up with all the news, what with having all its reporters down the Toppled Bollard all day long. (Or at least that is what Sir Hardly Anyone suggested in his last report. I can’t possibly comment).
And indeed maybe some of the bloggettas have had a change of mood as Gunersphere says, “Who cares what he thinks?’ – Some Arsenal fans slam ex-player as he wades in to Koscielny rift.” The player in question (the “he” in “what he thinks”) is Olivier Giroud, who was, it seems, foolish enough to be trapped into talking to a journalist.
Even the Star is in on the act, telling us of the “three deals Arsenal can expect to get done this summer”. Mind you they haven’t quite caught up with the change in direction of some of their fellow scribblers as they are still running the line that “ARSENAL may have a feeble transfer kitty but they could still see three new players arrive at The Emirates this summer.”
Here’s their explanation…
“Reports suggest he (the manager) will only be given £40m to spend without taking into account any potential sales, which is becoming an increasingly low sum for a top-six Premier League outfit in this ever-inflating market.
“However, it is not all doom and gloom for Emery, as it looks like he will still welcome three new signings to the Emirates before the English window shuts on August 8.
“The first of those potential arrivals is Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, 22, who is available on loan this summer.
“It is believed Zinedine Zidane is not prepared to let the Spain Under-21 starlet depart the Bernabeu for good, but the Los Blancos boss does not have a place for him in his squad this season.
“Yet Starsport understand Arsenal are confident of beating their north-London nemesis to the player, and a deal could even be completed before the weekend.”
So now we know. Except they got the wrong player.