by Tony Attwood
It is not surprising that the story behind this article comes from the Daily Mirror. It tells us that Arsenal could lose Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah on a free if each doesn’t sign a new deal.
Now administrative incompetence is, according to the Mirror, the Arsenal curse, and as a result we lose good players on a free all the time. As an example, they then cite Alexis Sanchez who of course did not leave on a free but went to Manchester United in exchange for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
So was this a bad deal? In fact probably not, because for some reason Alexis had lost the ability to play well and score goals. Indeed having scored 60 league goals in 122 matches (49% ratio) he went to Manchester United and scored 3 goals in 32 league games (9% ratio).
Yes he really had lost it. It happens, but we got him off the books and Man U took him. If anyone was rather dumb in this exchange it was Man U, and yet the Mirror says we let the player “slip amid stand-offs over new deals.”
They then go on to quote Nasri, van Persie, Ramsey and Ozil as players who were “embroiled in contract disputes before eventually leaving for nothing. For Arsenal, when it comes to contracts, there appears to be a Catch-22. They just can’t seem to win.”
So it is all stupid Arsenal then. Let’s blame the board and kick them out.
But in fact, it is the Mirror itself that is playing their constant game of an eternal attempt to destabilise Arsenal by getting Arsenal supporters to turn against their club.
And I say that because of this list
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain),
- Paul Pogba (Manchester United),
- Paulo Dybala (Juventus),
- Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona),
- Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea),
- Andrea Belotti (Torino),
- Franck Kessie (AC Milan),
- Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan),
- Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich),
- Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach).
- Andreas Christensen (Chelsea),
- Andre Onana (Ajax),
- Jason Denayer (Lille),
- Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax),
- Jesus Corona (Porto),
- Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich),
- Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach),
- Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).
That list published in the Athletic is of players who are in their 20s and will be out of contract next summer and available on free transfers.
So Arsenal have Lacazette and Eddie who may go on a free, and who have scored three (Laca) and two (Eddie).
The fact is that players used to go on a free transfer when they got into their 30s and indeed any club wanting an older striker can pick up Gareth Bale and Ivan Perisic (each aged 32), for nothing next summer.
Clubs are now less likely to hang onto players they may or may not need simply because their finances are looking rather unhealthy after the year of lockdown and no income from the stadium. But the players and their agents seem not to be believing this and so they are saying no to a renewal, expecting a better deal next year.
But what of Arsenal and the striker situation? Here is our current list of goal scorers in descending order…
|10||Emile Smith Rowe||Midfielder||13||2||5|
The other possibility for a goalscorer to help us out during the Africa Cup of Nations in particular and in the future in general is Folarin Balogun who has made one start and had two appearances as a sub. He has made 11 appearances for the under 23s and scored 15 goals. Of course, the under 23s is not the same as the Premier League, but even so…
However, the complaint that we desperately need a new goal scorer is only partially born out by recent games. In the last six games, we are seventh in the league measured on goals scored. Not good enough but not a disaster.
|5||West Ham United||6||4||0||2||10||6||4||12|
If we measure the last ten games instead we are sixth.
So it is a long term issue and we are not improving; in fact all we are doing is keeping up with the clubs around us. However, we should also note that one more goal every other game would put us on a par with the glorious Manchester City, of whom everything has been said.
I suspect Mr Arteta has something in mind, not just because of the lack of goals but because of Aubameyang going to the Africa Cup.
I wonder. Could it be Martinelli?
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