By Sir Hardly Anyone
The key message in the media is invariably that when it comes to transfers Arsenal are invariably too slow, and make ludicrously low bids because Arsenal want everything on the cheap.
So it is a bit of a surprise to find an exclusive in 90min to the effect that “Arsenal are prepared to spend nearly £250m on at least five new signings this summer, giving manager Mikel Arteta the chance to rebuild the squad following an eighth place finish in the Premier League in 2020/21 and turn the club’s on-field fortunes around.”
It’s a positively positive article.
Now immediately suspicions are aroused because no one but no one but no one in the club is talking about rebuilding the squad, or turning the club’s on-field fortunes around. Rather if there is talk of such matters it is of frustration and annoyance that the media keep harping on about coming 8th (as 90min does) rather than recognise the radical transformation that led the club to play out a set of results in the final two thirds of the season that saw them better every other team in terms of points, other than Manchester City.
The view is we have a great squad, which performed brilliantly across the last two thirds, and any purchases will just be to make it that bit stronger. I can’t imagine any of the senior people in the club saying anything else, especially to a journalist.
The club will of course also be mindful that although it has space in the 25 for Home Grown players there is only one space for a Foreign Grown player, so beyond that anyone coming in must be matched by someone leaving. And that assumes our foreign grown loanees all leave.
So we look with interest on the comment that the players targeted will primarily be “younger players that have the potential to improve and their value increase.” Jolly good.
It is interesting however that it comes just a few days after Caught Offside told us that “Arsenal confident of completing two signings after making offers for four players this week”. They too don’t tell us who.
Football.London, never ones to be left out of a party, tell us that they have “learned that Arsenal have made offers for four players this week, and are confident of finalising at least two deals over the next few weeks.” But again there is still no sign of anyone in the media contemplating how more foreign grown players can be fitted into the squad.
Technically we have two vacancies because as things stand Martin Odegaard is going back to his parent club and maybe just maybe Granit Xhaka is leaving, but I can’t see why unless it is because he is fed up with the way journalists and some fans treat him. If he did that would be three.
Our loanees also will be back and need to be found new homes or accommodated in the team. And as we come to calculate the list a couple of those youngsters of ours are getting ready to step up to the over 21 part of the equation.
It is indeed this lack of consideration of the real world, while instead living in a fantasy universe, that makes the ramblings of the media not just bonkers, but also annoying.
Tierney has apparently signed a new deal, and there is a general feeling that Smith Rowe will sign as well. The Saturday afternoon “news” (I use the word lightly) is that
- Football London: Ben White from Brighton is signing
- Just Arsenal says Albert Sambi Lokonga is signing,
- Emiliano Buendia is not signing because Arsenal have been indecisive and is going to Villa (Birmingham Live)
And despite the assertion from just about every website that has ever heard of Arsenal that Xhaka is off to Roma, the Metro is suddenly announcing that Xhaka is now begging Arsenal to accept the offer Roma has made and let him go. Maybe the Arsenal people actually do read the statistics and actually realise just how much they would be losing if they let him go.
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