The Arsenal players were just above average, so who will we buy now?

By Tony Attwood

“Never let a trophy get in the way of the constant knocking.”  That could well be the Daily Mail’s basic rule of thumb as Martinez, Holding, Tierney, Bellerin, Xhaka and Lacazette were each given six out of ten for their performances in the cup final.  “Just above average”.

It seems a bit daft, and indeed even the Guardian, which still takes the rampant anti-Arsenal negativity that so marked out their writing about the club for many years as a general guideline to its commentary, are softening a bit.  They give David Luiz, Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin 7 out of 10, while Kieran Tierney and Ainsley Maitland-Niles  each get 8.

Dani Ceballos gets 9 along with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, of course.  What does the poor guy have to do to get 10?

So that’s it, and before we return to the rather odd things happening in European football which finally threaten to take Fifa apart, (while leaving most of London’s finest football journalists still trying to find the exit from the Topple Bollard public house, where they have been celebrating another fine season of inaccurate reporting) here are a few dates, and a bit of an update on transfers.

We’ve now got a break of six weeks before the Premier League season begins on 12 September.  Except for Manchesters City and United, Chelsea (who apparently recently appeared in a cup final) and Wolverhampton W.  They won’t start then because they are playing in a tournament in Lisbon between 12 and 23 August to decide who wins the Europa League and the Champs League.

As for next season the proposal is for some spectators to be let in, but much depends on our all-knowing government who have a clear vision of the future.  Apparently the five subs rule will be available for leagues and competitions who want it.

The international transfer window continues until October 5, and after that there will be a special extension until October 16 in which Premier League clubs will be able to do deals with Championship clubs, but not with PL clubs, or clubs from outside England.

And of course we absolutely must squeeze in all those wonderful international games so that players have an even greater chance than ever of being injured or getting a virus by travelling around Europe.   So having just started the Premier League will stop again for the weekends of 8 October and 12 November.  And just to increase the chance of injury and infection, each country will play three games in each window not two!

I suspect a lot of the youngsters lurking on the edge of the Arsenal squad are going to get extra games as a result of the number of matches in such a short space of time.

Meanwhile no clear rules have been laid down by the government of the UK or the FA concerning future regulations for transfers in of non-UK citizens and the new format that “home grown” rules will take.  The UK has already left the European Union, but the full impact of this will not be felt until the deadline for the trade deals which may or may not be the end of January.

Arsenal will of course lose a substantial number of players (according to the media)…

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is going to Chelsea (Mail), Barcelona (Mirror) and nowhere at all (ESPN).
  • Mesut Ozil is going to Turkey (Mail) or the USA (Sun).
  • Ainsley Maitland Niles is off to Brighton for some time on the beach (Mirror).
  • Matteo Guendouzi will be told to go where ever Arsenal need a player in part exchange for a deal to bring in someone else.   Barcelona is a prime option (Mail) with Coutinho coming in the other direction.
  • Alexandre Lacazette is off to Juventus, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid (L’Equipe), or nowhere (Evening Standard).
  • Sokratis will next be seen in Stuttgart (The Sun)
  • Hector Bellerin is off to Juventus (Mirror and Bleacher)
  • Kieran Tierney will go to Leicester as he has not settled at Arsenal (Daily Express)
  • Lucas Torreira is departing these shores and going to AC Milan (Star)
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan is staying in Rome (Sun) and could be a swap deal for Justin Kluivert
  • Nicolas Pepe is going (Bleacher Report) but we are not sure where to.
  • Bukayo Saka will leave Arsenal for Liverpool (Star, Mirror)
  • Emi Martinez is leaving Arsenal because of his lack of opportunites (Squwaka, Mirror)

This set of moves out (13 all told) will mean that we will be rather short of players for next season and so will quickly need to buy lots and lots.  The current favourites are

Abdoulaye Doucoure from Watford (Express).

Ricardo van der Laan – 17-year-old goalkeeper from Belenenses (Sun).

Philippe Coutinho – midfielder from Barcelona (Mirror).

Raul Jimenez – forward from Wolverhampton (Mirror).

Douglas Luiz – Aston Villa midfielder (90 min).

Joelson Fernandes – 17 year old from Sporting Lisbon available for £40m (TSF).

Odsonne Edouard – Celtic forward.  (Star).

Malang Sarr – Defender from Nice – not a nice defender as that would be too silly.  He’s 21 and available on a free.  (Sun).

Samuel Umtiti – Barcelona defender.   Barce are bankrupt so willing for him to go on loan (Sun)

Wout Weghorst –  Forward from Wolfsburg who was going to go to Newcastle but the lack of a takeover by a repressive regime with no human rights has meant Newcastle can’t afford him, so Arsenal can have him if Auba goes.  (Bild, Star).

Danilo Pereira – Porto midfielder (ESPN).

Justin Kluivert – Super agent Mino Raiola is reportedly in talks with both Arsenal and Roma over a potential deal which would see Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Kluivert swap clubs (Daily Star, June 23); Arsenal are interested in signing Roma forward Kluivert as part of a deal that would see Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to the Italian capital permanently.

We will not be buying the heavily tipped

Dayot Upamecano – he has just signed with RB Leipzig.

Thomas Partey – the price for the Atletico Madrid midfielder is too high (Guardian).

And there we are.   Better get read quickly, the new season is about to start.




One Reply to “The Arsenal players were just above average, so who will we buy now?”

  1. Here’s another piece of news turd:

    Mikel Arteta is making moves on his overhaul at Arsenal after their FA Cup triumph. Top of the shopping list are Barcelona and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Sevilla’s Brazilian centre-back Diego Carlos.

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