Transfer balls: Arsenal get a new spine, Gibbs sold and everything is rosy
Two days after a limp Arsenal lost to a mid-table Manchester United side and the Daily Mail leads with news that the Gunners have £135m to spend. The Mail says Arsenal have “cash reserves” of £135m – but will give Arsene Wenger only half of it to strengthen his squad this summer”.
It’s not Wenger’s fault Arsenal are toothless in attack and palsied in defence, says the Arsenal marketing team whose fingers are all over this ‘news’. It’s Arsenal’s “hierarchy”. Blame them. Leave Wenger alone.
Trouble is that Pep Guardiola has £150m to spend at Manchester City, Manchester United will chuck another £100m at the brand – although the Express says the Red Devils already have found “a generation to rival the class of ’92. – and Chelsea have £150m for next season’s push.
What does £75m buy Arsenal?
“Arsene Wenger has made the central spine of his team the summer priority,” says the Daily Telegraph. That’s a central defender, a central midfielder and a centre forward, then. The Gunners will have a tad more cash because “Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are all likely to leave.”
Of those names only Flamini occupies a birth in the Arsenal ‘spine’. And he’s been on his way out the club for months. They wanted shot of him last Christmas.
Reading on in the pisspoor Telegraph, however, we learn that the paper’s exclusive is utter balls:
Wenger regards this as his best squad since the ‘Invincible’ era and, although his thinking will certainly be shaped by the next three months, he does not currently plan a major summer overhaul.
Nothing major – just replacing your team’s ‘spine’.