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October 2020
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The seven players Arsenal are reportedly buying this summer

By Sir Hardly Anyone

“Reportedly” is now the football journalists’ go-to word of choice.  The on-line dictionary provided by Google (which tends to be quite helpful on words that have achieved recent popularity) defines it as “according to what some say (used to express the speaker’s belief that the information given is not necessarily true)”

My two-volume 5000 page Oxford English Dictionary on historical principles, which gives the earlier uses of words (the sort of thing only nerds and writers on historical matters have) doesn’t have the word listed at all.    The Merriam Webster online dictionary simply has the definition as “according to report”.

In short, it is a modern word that basically appears to mean “someone said or wrote this and made it public and it may not be true”.  In fact, looking at the way bloggers and journalists use it I would say it is a word that conveys that what follows probably has nothing to do with the truth.  It is was related to the truth, a source and a quote would be given.  It is a blame-game word – someone said it so I am going to say it.  Its use shows how low football journalism has sunk – it is a word that admits the source is so unreliable the tale is unlikely to be true.

Virtually every report of Ozil’s salary used the word either to describe how much his salary is, or to describe the notion that he was refusing a pay cut.

And of course it is used in virtually every transfer tale.  Very few journalists or bloggers are willing to take responsibility for any of the tales, rather they report what others are saying.  Go back to that source and you find they in turn are reporting what others are saying.  Sometimes the “others” are the very people who are quoting them.

It is gibberish, with, as we often say, a 3% success rate at best.

Here are some of the latest wild ravings…

Sardar Azmoun – plays for Zenit St Petersburg, and is the fifth-highest Iranian goal scorer of all time – and of course, he is still knocking the goals in – 32 goals in 50 games for his country already.  442, HITC and TBR are all suggesting Arsenal are actively after the player.  But in the Russian league, he has got 19 in 33 since last year, which is not quite as good, but still not at all bad.

César Gelabert is a 19-year-old who is with Real Madrid reserves. The Star, Football London, the Mole and 90 mins all say that we are after him and some say that Real Madrid want to keep him.   One of his benefits it seems is that he can play attacking midfield, right-wing, left-wing and centre-forward position.   Lyon are reportedly said to have had an offer rejected already.

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Franck Kessie is a player being mentioned in Italian media as coming to Arsenal – the next Yaya Toure we are told.  He’s with AC Milan whom he joined in 2019 and has played for 23 times. after playing over 70 times while on loan from Atalanta.

Wilfred Ndidi has turned up in reports from Bleacher, the Mail, Teamtalk and the Sun as moving from Leicester (for whom he has played 111 times) to Arsenal.  He is a Nigerian midfielder.  Since 2015 he has played 36 times for Nigeria.

Kays Ruiz-Atil we are told is the next Lionel Messi – a 17-year-old playing with PSG, and if he is that good the question that arises is why on earth they would let him go?  But L’Équipe says they might and he could come our way.

The reason is that he came to PSG from Barcelona, but in six years at the club has not yet had a game, and he is itching to get a start.

Adama Traore plays for Wolverhampton, and is a 24-year-old wing back who can also play midfield or on the wing.  The Daily Star says we are interested.  He is 24 and has played 57 times for Wolverhampton since he joined them in 2018 from Middlesbrough.   As we have noted Wolverhampton have loans that they have to repay at the start of next season, guaranteed by next season’s TV money – which means they are in trouble since they are possibly going to have to pay back this season’s TV money – or maybe some of it.

Gabriel Veron is a 17-year-old Brazilian who plays for Palmeiras, and is described as the Brazilian wonderkid by Football London.  He currently plays for Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras in Brazil.

So there we are.  Another bunch of possibles (reportedly).   We’ll be adding them to the total chart in a short while – and that will take us to well over 60 tips, with no football and no transfer window (it opens on 10 June and will close at 5pm on 1 September.  Don’t hold your breath.)

3 comments to The seven players Arsenal are reportedly buying this summer

  • Gabriel Veron looks classy!

  • Ray

    Yes I agree with what you saying, every player mensioned in the transfer market Arsenal are involved with.
    The real truth is Arsenal will not pay big for players in general so you can wipe at least 40% of those off you list and at least another 50% is only reporters looking to fill space in there papers
    Whats real is that Arsenal need one more quality centre half. One midfield creative player and one quality defensive midfielder .
    We don’t need forwards so why is everyone talking about us buying forwards

  • Mikey

    @ Ray

    With all due respect, the media make up a considerably higher percentage than you suggest. As Sir Hardly suggests, they actually get about 97% wrong based on previous UA research.

    As regards your statement, “We don’t need forwards so why is everyone talking about us buying forwards”. Again it’s only them making up stories about forwards……it’s what they do. What I would say, however, is that they don’t know, I don’t know and you don’t know what we do or don’t need. I would suggest that only those people who are at the heart of the club know for sure. For example, I don’t know if all the players we have are happy; I don’t know if they want to stay; I don’t know if they are willing to sign a new contract; I don’t know if they are a disruptive influence in the dressing room; I don’t know whether they are insubordinate to trainers, coaches, the manager etc; I also don’t know if they fit into the manager’s tactical and strategic plans; and I don’t know whether the powers that be within the club wish to (or indeed feel they need to) cash-in on a player or believe they can get somebody better for the same price or a cheaper wage and who may be a better investment. That’s the trouble. None of us has the level of knowledge, skills or experience to know what is or isn’t happening or whether or not it should or shouldn’t happen. The problem is, the hacks in the media, AFTV and the blogs all think they know. In fact, when they don’t have the slightest chance of knowing anything that is almost certainly a guarded secret even within the club.

    The bigger problem is that some so-called fans believe these people and then spread negativity about the club which harms us rather than helps us.

    Supporters, support. The clue is in the name!