Edu ruins the entire Arsenal masterplan… according to reports

By Tony Attwood
So just as the journalists and their hangers’-on have a new game


This story comes from the Sun and claims that Edu has “complicated their plans to complete numerous transfer sales in the final month of the transfer window.”

In this piece of meandering codswallop the Sun, says that Edu confirmed that the club saw paying off certain players (Ozil and Aubameyang come to mind) as a saving because it led to a reduction in costs for the club, and made places available in the “25”.

This has of course really only happened to those two players, and obviously, everyone knows all about it since it was widely publicised.   Aubameyang was reported to be on a salary of around £1m a month and Ozil about £1.4m a month.  The saving to AFC was £28.8 million a year.  Enough to buy a new player.

So that has happened with two players, but this has then been translated into a general policy by HITC in its article, as it says, “Whilst most clubs would sanction transfer sales for actual fees, Arsenal’s highest-paid players have, since the arrival of Mikel Arteta, been paid off by the club to leave for free, with Mesut Ozil, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang just a few examples of this method.”

“Just a few examples”????  Who else is there?   And to the best of my knowledge Sokratis and Mustafi went on a free transfer.   That is hardly unusual.   There is absolutely no evidence of the club paying the player to leave.

While I was unhappy about the Ozil arrangement (not that my view matters in the slightest, but I mention it in case a reader wants to suggest I am hiding a past opinion) it was on the basis that Ozil was far too great a talent to be frozen out as he was.  But of course, we didn’t really know the whole story of what he was saying or doing.

Now the article goes on to say that the transfer market is difficult and “finding an actual buyer is proving challenging.”   Yes that is so, for all clubs, because of the huge uncertainty in all financial markets, interest rates rising, and the continuing lack of clarity about Super League, with the three remaining clubs now proceeding against Uefa in the courts.

But why in all this is Edu being blamed?  Leno is probably going to Fulham and Torreira to Galatasary for a fee.  And besides, was the departure of Ozil and Aubameyang really the doing of Edu?  Surely it was Arteta working with the club owners – how could Edu have had the power to start swinging deals like that?

They also add, and this is the most bizarre bit of all, “Edu’s latest transfer comments could throw a spanner into the works for the Gunners, with interested clubs now more likely to approach certain players at the end of the window in an attempt to sign them for free.”

The fact is every club knows what the market is like.  Leicester haven’t bought anyone because they can’t sell anyone whereas Arsenal have been buying without selling.  The rule is clubs and players can talk during the last six months of a player’s contract.  Nothing has changed.

And what makes the whole piece rally bonkers is the notion the writer then adds that “after the departures of Leno and Torreira, Arsenal still have as many as nine players they wish to offload this summer.”

Nine players?  (And remember we are not including the youngsters here).   Someone may have slipped my mind but I can’t find nine that we are seriously trying to “offload”.  I probably have forgotten someone completely but for the moment I only have eight… and one of these is almost out the door (Leno).

  1. Leno
  2. Bellerin
  3. Pablo Mari
  4. Reiss Nelson
  5. Maitland Niles
  6. Nicolas Pepe
  7. Torreira
  8. Runarrson

But here’s another thing.  The club can have a squad of 25 aged over 21, and without thinking about who is over 21 and who might be going out on loan, I still only have a list of 21 players.  Now we know Marquinhos isn’t of age (and will probably go on loan) so he doesn’t count, and it appears that Ballogun is about to go to Reimes, so that takes us down to a 25 of actually 19.  Meaning we have tons of room spare either to accommodate some of those seven, or to buy others.

  1. Turner
  2. Ramsdale
  3. Tierney
  4. White
  5. Gabriel
  6. Saliba
  7. Holding
  8. Takehiro
  9. Zinchenko
  10. Thomas
  11. Saka
  12. Odegaard
  13. Smith Rowe
  14. Lokonga
  15. Elneny
  16. Xhaka
  17. Jesus
  18. Martinelli
  19. Nketiah
  20. Ballogun (loan)
  21. Marquinhos (loan)

So now we have a squad with six places spare and seven left over players.  One can be sold or loaned, and the rest join the squad to play in the Europa and League cup games, with a chance to do another deal in January.

But it won’t be like that of course – have these writers never heard of the transfer window “slamming shut”.  There are always hundreds of deals on those days, and several of those players and their agents will be working on getting themselves out of Arsenal and its endles negative press coverage, to play a few games.

So overall, Arsenal are working as normal, moving on players not wanted either with loans or on frees.  The radical approach was the way Ozil and Auba were treated, but it did show the rest of the squad that if players would not do what he wanted he would make life difficult.

As they say in the old police movies, “Move along, nothing to see”.


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