A summer that had been mooted for complete planning to address our weaknesses has descended into panic. The outcry hasn’t begun just yet but it’s well and truly bubbling under the surface. The good will of Xhaka has well and truly worn off and we are now in a state where a couple of mooted transfer opportunities have also fallen by the wayside. While I maintain that Vardy would have only come into Arsene’s thinking in the last 2 months of the season it’s staggering to see such slow movement on an alternative target, even if Vardy was our plan A (I really think he wasn’t). I know I’m feeling a little ‘panic stations’ however it looked as though we wanted to get Xhaka, Vardy and Mkhitaryan over the line before the Euros, before the reality of club competition coming in and nullifying the Vardy and Mkhitaryan deals.
Let’s look at what could be plan B’s in our situation. Striker wise there have been links with Higuain, Lukaku, Lacazette, Morata & Aubameyang. For wide forwards we have been linked to Draxler and Mahrez. For centre backs we’ve been linked withMustafi, Koulibaly & Subotic. Finally for left backs we’ve been linked with Rodriguez. Now who in the world knows which of these links are carrying any real credence but what’s clear is that there is an opportunity to sign each and every one of the aforementioned players. What comes into question is the game that we are playing. I get that we are looking to extract the best value, we would be mad to not want that, as well as the fact we may have to negotiate the sale of a few players. There is a tricky balancing act that needs to be managed. However one thing seems to be prevalently clear. We have around £100m in the bank to spend still waiting. I hazard a guess as to the fact that we can still manage the wages of all who currently sit at the club alongside any incoming players but if we can offload a Walcott for £25m plus his £120k (or so!) weekly wage it would help our negotiating stance a little more. But as we know nothing is a definite in this world.
What would be our ideal situation now? I would say that if we can bring in Higuain & Mahrez, that would be sodding brilliant. I’m less excited about Higuainthan I perhaps should be, as I feel like we should be plumping out for a CF that will be with us for 4/5 of his best years at least, where the reality withHiguain is that we will have 2 great years from him at best and potentially a 3rd if we’re lucky. The plus side to it all is that even though he turned down an £800,000 a week contract from China (WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON OVER THERE!!??) he could well be sought after as a ‘name’ even when he’s 31/32 so we could well get some resell value on him. Mahrez on the other hand would be perfect, and whilst I admit that Mkhitaryan was in my eyes first choice and an excellent signing,Mahrez would be the perfect plan B. PL experience for 2 years, talent, work rate…check, check and check. IF they were to happen (LOL @ my optimism) then we would only be one signing away from a truly complete squad. Although saying that, if the balance is right of the first XI then a CB signing may be futile. I’ll tell you why…
A blueprint to why Sp*rs’ defenders were much lauded last season because they kept a lot of clean sheets and were the best defence the league had ever seen etc etc etc YAWN. The main reason behind this was not due to their defensive excellence or nous, it was due to their high press combined with mass fouling much further up the pitch and far enough away from their defence to keep them from having to make tackles, interceptions & last ditch tackles. So if we go out and buy the right personnel, pressing wise, they will be able to keep the ball further away from our defence and keep their shorts as clean as possible. It’s a hope that we can all harbor because the right balance of side means that we may not quite need to address this summer. It’s not a complete solution and one where internal solutions may yet have to be found and let’s be honest Wenger does love an internal solution.
It seems we have signed Rob Holding from Bolton. Who knows what the plans are for him but he’s a centre back by trade I believe. Wenger may yet have plans to convert him to another position however as he’s known to see things others don’t (Henry, Lauren, Petit, Toure, Ljungberg, RVP etc). This means that there’s less emphasis on signing any further options at the back and the majority of the remaining kitty can be spent on our forward facing Guns. This is a good thing. I repeat a good thing!
Although we are now at a stage where panic can be seen in the not to distant, distance there is still room for hope. What the club needs to do is to go and get the signings we need in the door and bedded into the team
Ready for game 1 not game 4/5 after the window slams shut. We need the bodies now and they in turn need to learn our way of they are to be effective from the get go. A lot to do but we’ve had more than enough time to get things moving and over the line now so here’s to hoping the behind the scenes action is at an advanced stage.
Mahrez & a striker please Arsene!!!
Have a great week folks.
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