By Sir Hardly Anyone
Oh yes. We have a new manager so now we have a list of all the players that we are going to buy. And here, right before your very eyes, we have the opening list.
1: Dries Mertens
Yes indeed, one player is right at the very very top of the list, in that everyone is talking about him As the Express says, “Arsenal have identified Dries Mertens as a potential January signing as Mikel Arteta looks to shake things up next month. Mertens is expected to be available for around £8.5m as Napoli appear unlikely to hand him a new contract.”
Just Arsenal also run the story but add that clubs in Germany want him too.
Dries Mertens is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker or winger for Italian club Napoli and the Belgium national team. He is however not one for the future – as he’s 32 years old.
But the Daily Star say it is not that simple. Arsenal are willing to pay £10m but Man U want him as well.
And in a further report the Mail spell out that their notion that Bayern Munich and Dortmund are both in for the man who joined Napoli in 2013 and has played 219 games for them since then as well as 86 times for Belgium. However the question that remains unasked and thus unanswered is, if he is this good, why don’t Napoli want him any more? After all he has played 20 times this season and scored nine.
Maybe it is because Napoli are 9th in the league.
OK so that is the first major signing, but who else is on the list?
2: Kevin Violland.
This is the Read Arsenal at work, and it also appears on HITC, using virtually the same language as is being used for Dries Mertens. “Arsenal identify £8.5million international as top January target but face competition from CL heavyweights”
He comes from Bayer Leverkusen for whom he has played over 100 times, and Germany for whom he has played 10 times.
The Daily Star are also very excited about the possibility while HITC say, “Report: Arsenal to ask Arteta about move for German attacker as possible first signing”
3: Dominik Szoboszlai.
According to Playing for 90 however the first man out of the blocks will be neither of the above but rather Red Bull Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai. He is, allegedly an “ideal fit for the club’s midfield.” Potentially Dominik Szoboszlai could be a future replacement for Mesut Ozil we are told.
4: The Unknown Player: Robbie Burton
HITC now tells us of a “Never-seen-before Arsenal player spotted in Arteta’s 1st session”. It was Robbie Burton who was among the Arsenal players included in Mikel Arteta’s first session. Now so far we know that he is Welsh, he joined Arsenal aged six, is now 19 and is captain of the under 23s. He was also an “unused substitution in a League Cup visit of Nottingham Forest in September.”
5: Kevin Volland
Bayer Leverkusen forward who can also play off the right-hand side, and is “more desirable because he is left footed.” (I wonder if I told my missus that, it might help the old domestic bliss along a trifle).
6/7: Tolaji Bola and James Olayinka
Two young players, (both from Nigeria) were promoted to first team training on Sunday, 22 December according to allnigeriasoccer.com. They mention that this is ahead of the Bournemouth game, but I am not sure that this means they will be in the team.
8: And a new coach
Former Manchester United and Everton assistant coach Steve Round is “set to join Mikel Arteta’s backroom team at Arsenal,”
Sky Sprots also have this one reminding us that Round worked under Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce at Newcastle. Is that a recommendation?
Anyway, to round up the round up as it were FootLond tell us that “Arteta has plenty to think about” (which wins the award for the blandest headline of the century) while Piers Morgan called Ozil “work shy” apparently. Untold Arsenal called Piers Morgan all sorts of things but we would be arrested and the site closed down if we repeated any of them.
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