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Arsenal | Anorak - Part 2

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Arsenal football club news, Arsenal transfers

Transfer News: Alex Iwobi joins Everton from Arsenal for £34m

Everton never did Wilf Zaha, the brilliant Crystal Palace winger. Instead they’ve shopped around and hired Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi for around £40m. The Arsenal academy product and Nigeria international has agreed a five-year contract.

This looks like good deal all round. Pushed down the pecking order at Arsenal by the arrival of Nicolas Pepe and challenged by the upcoming Reiss Nelson, Iwobi will get regular first-team football at Everton. The Toffees get a skilful and improving player.

The question for Everton is: would any of the so-called top 6 clubs have signed Iwobi for that kind of money?

Posted: 8th, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


David Luiz joins Arsenal for £8m

Arsenal have signed David Luiz from Chelsea on a two-year deal for £8m. The 32-year-old Brazil centre-back will be at Emirates for medical today.

This is great move for the Gunners. But why would Chelsea, a club banned from signing players until the end of January 2020, sell one of their most consistent performers to a rival?

Chelsea’s centre-backs now include Germany’s Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Denmark’s Andreas Christensen. Feeling confident, Blues fans?

Posted: 8th, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Transfer News: Arsenal sign Kieran Tierney from Celtic for £25m

Exciting times at Arsenal who’ve singed Glasgow Celtic defender Kieran Tierney. The fee is a Sottish transfer record. Age 22, Tierney has won every honour in the Scottish game. The time is ripe for a move. One slight drawback is his current injury that will keep him out of action for around a month.

Arsenal had two bids rejected by Celtic, but the highly promising new regime headed by Raul Sanllehi and Edu waited and got their man.

Tierney joins Arsenal on a five-year deal earning him around £70,000 a week.

In other news, Arsenal look set to sign Chelsea centre-back David Luiz for £8 million.

Posted: 7th, August 2019 | In: Arsenal | Comment


Arsenal fan Carl Jenkinson joins Nottingham Forest

Carl Jenkinson has joined Nottingham forest. He wasn’t the greatest talent to play for Arsenal. But he supported the club and lived the dream, joining the Gunners in 2011. That was the transfer window when Arsenal replaced Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona, £35m), Samir Nasri (Man C, £25m), Gael Clichy (Man C, £7m) with Mikel Arteta (Everton, £10m), Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea, free) and Andre Santos (Fenerbahce, £6.2m). It was the season when Arsenal bought players like a desperate lover looking for a last minute gift on the garage forecourt. Arsenal gave up hopes of winning the title. Jenkinson (Charlton, £1m) was part of the era of limited ambition. He got lucky:

Carl Jenkinson Gooner

In a game gone mad with money and greed, Jenkinson is a hero:

Posted: 7th, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal : £60m plus Emile Smith Rowe for Upamecano; Mustafi on his way

Arsenal Upamecano deal

Having damned Arsenal as “skint”, the Sun now bills them as “DESPERATE” in reaction to the Gunners’ £65m bid of Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano. You may recall when Arsenal had a “derisory” £40m to spend this summer. That was before they lashed out around £100m on Saliba, Pepe and Martinelli. And now there’s very big money move for France’s Upamecano. And they might well get him.

Arsenal
From ‘Skint’ to ‘Desparate’ in £150m

The German side want £90m for their man. But they’re willing to take £60m plus Arsenal tyro Emile Smith Rowe, either on a permanent deal or long loan. The 19-year-old is valued at £20m. He spent part of last season at the Bundesliga side, although injury hampered his performance.

Arsenal should have the money if they can get shot of the irksome Shkodran Mustafi before the European transfer window shuts. Monaco are keen and willing to meet the Gunners’ £27m asking price. The French club can recruit Mustafi up to the September 2 deadline. Arsenal hope that having got shot of Laurent Koscielny to a retirement village in France and with Carl Jenkinson eyeing a move to Notts Forest, that dire defence will finally get the revamp in needs.

Failing that – and the smart money is on Arsenal getting their man – the Gunners will move for Juventus benchwarmer Daniele Rugani. The Italians have rejected Arsenal’s offer the loan deal, preferring to sell the not-all-that-quick Rugani. Arsenal remain keen on Celtic’s Kieran Tierney.

Posted: 7th, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal sell Koscielny to Bordeaux

Arsenal are looking for a new captain following Laurent Koscielny’s transfer to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux for £4.6m.

Koscielny, 33, had a year left on his Arsenal deal and was looking for longer renewed contract. He’d never get it. Injuries and age prevent Arsenal from such a commitment.

The player on his day can rightly claim to be world-class. But those days are rare. And as a captain he’s been indifferent. Arenal hanker for a vocal force on the pitch. Koscielny wasn’t it.

These are exciting times at Arsenal. The club remain interested in Celtic’s Kieran Tierney and will sell Carl Jenkinson, 27, to Championship side Nottingham Forest as soon as feee can be agreed.

Arsenal are also interested in RB Leipzig’s 20-year-old French centre-back Dayot Upamecano and Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.

Posted: 6th, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Arsenal in talks to take Coutinho on loan

Arsenal are looking to recruit Barcelona’s former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho. Surplus to requirements at Barcelona should their pursuit of Neymar bear fruit, Coutinho looked destined to join the soulless fashion brand that is PSG. But here come Arsenal. Can they pull off a transfer coup?

The Gunners play Barcelona in the Nou Camp in the (checks notes) Joan Gamper Trophy tomorrow night. Arsenal transfer guru Raul Sanllehi used to do much the same job at at the Spanish club.

So how much for the £142m man? The Sun says Barcelona are “looking for around £27m from the prospective buyer”. Not as a final transfer fee, surely? A loan fee for a season. Over £2m a month for Coutinho is an absurd sum – even for Arsenal who spend that much on the combined disappointments of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Can Arsenal shift them and fund a move for the former Liverpool playmaker?

Posted: 3rd, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal get serious : Nicolas Pepe becomes a Gooner for £72m

Rejoicing at Arsenal. The Gunners, described by the Sun as “skint”, have invested a club record fee of £72m for Nicolas Pepe. The 24-year-old is on a five-year contract. And he is a terrific prospect.

“Being here is very emotional,” says Pepe. “I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward. It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice.”

Last season Arsenal were the only side in the top 6 to concede more shots on goal than they took. But they still scored the league’s third highest total. They created the most quality changes in the league. Pepe shoots on sight. Exciting times at the Emirates…

Posted: 1st, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Talking balls: Manchester United mix up and Arsenal’s Pepe not African

Daily Star fail

Tip-top reporting from the Daily Star, which manages to illustrate a story on Romelu Lukaku with a pen pic of his Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba. It also hails Arsenal’s new player the “France winger” Nicolas Pepe. He plays for the Ivory Coast, which isn’t in France. S

Oh, and Pogba hasn’t been left out of the United squad in Norway. He’s on the bench:

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal ARE selling Mustafi

New to gladden the hearts of all Arsenal fans: Shkodran Mustafi is wanted by Monaco and AC Milan. Arsenal reason the German international is worth €30m. the only downside is that Laurent Koscielny wants to leave the club. however, should the Gunners get a good fee for Mustafi plus the £10m they seek for Koscielny, they’d have the cash to buy a decent replacement. Centre-backs Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Calum Chambers, Konstantinos Mavropanos and ​Rob Holding would all remain on the books.

Of course, Arsenal are splashing out £72m on Lille winger Nicolas Pepe. So he’s used up all the money, right? No. The Pepe deal involves paying £20m up front for the 22-year-old Ivory Coast international and the other £52m in instalments within five years.

Posted: 30th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal Transfer Balls: Pepe arrives, Rugani on loan and Tierney ready to sign

Arsenal have recruited Nicolas Pépé – just the medical to pass – and are looking for more recruits. Pitched at 50-1 to win he Premier League, the Gunners are desperately in need of new faces. With Pepe, their forward line looks formidable. But that defence…

“There are different players on the table with the possibility we can achieve their signature,” says manager Unai Emery in what could be his last season at the club if Arsenal fail to achieve Champions League football. “We are only thinking about people who can really, really improve this squad. We will only look at men who can really strengthen a position. One centre-back, one full-back and one winger.

Metro says the centre-back will be is Daniele Rugani from Juventus on a season-long loan. Kieran Tierney is scheduled to arrive from Celtic. He’s greed personal terms and the two clubs are very close to a deal.

Now to get shot of Mustafi, Jenkinson and Elneny. Any takers?

Posted: 29th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Transfer News: Liverpool sign Elliott, Arsenal sell winger, Dybala doesn’t want Spurs move

Liverpool have signed Harvey Elliott from Fulham. He’s 16, wears his hair in a bun and boasts the record of becoming the youngest player to feature in the Premier League when at at the age of 16 years and 30 days old he played against Wolves.

Big clubs are chasing youth.

Xavier Amaechi has left Arsenal for £2.25m. The 18-year-old has joined Hamburg on a four-year contract. The hope is that these young players go on to command very high transfer fees. If Harry Maguire can be worth £80m to Manchester United – the fee his current club Leicester City are asking for the defender – the sky’s the limit.

Manchester United are spending big and have agreed a £65m deal for Sporting Lisbon’s Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, 24. And money is scheduled to come in: noises from Spain indicate that Real Madrid or Juventus are to offer £150m move for Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba, 26. United also fancy Lyon’s Moussa Dembélé if Romelu Lukaku joins Internazionale and view Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as replacement for Pogba.

Even Spurs have £80m for Argentina forward Paulo Dybala, 25. But he wants to stay at Juventus.

Posted: 28th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal bid £72m for Pepe; Zaha also in line; Aubameyang to Manchester United

Arsenal have offered Lille £72m for the brilliant winger Nicolas Pépé. Noises from France and the BBC say the deal is almost done.

If the France-born Ivorian arrives, talk is of the Gunners being open to offers for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Manchester United are keen on the 30-year-old striker with two years to go on his current Gunners deal.

The Arsenal policy is for any player with two years left on their deal to be offered fresh terms. If they refuse, they are put up for sale. Should Aubameyang extend his current deal and Pepe arrive, the Gunners will boast a lightning quick attack. And there’s more…

To make way for a fresh bid for Crystal Palace star Wilf Zaha, Arsenal are looking to sell Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who also has two years left on his current deal.

Others being shunted towards the exit are Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi. Ozil would be a huge miss – on his day he’s fabulous. But Mustafi might just be the worst signing Arsenal have ever made.

PS: told you Arsenal had loads more money than the £40m transfer kitty all the mainstream media said they had.

Posted: 27th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Chelsea may not outbid Everton for Arsenal fan Zaha

ZAha to Chelsea
One newspaper’s rumour is the other newspapers’ fact

Chelsea are “plotting” to invest £60m in Wilfred Zaha. Arsenal and Everton have been quoted £80m for the Crystal Palace player. But the Sun says so long as Zaha is prepared to wait a year, once their transfer ban is spent they will offer £60m for him next summer. As “plots” go that ones replete with all the cunning of Jeremy Corbyn’s prized marrow.

The Telegraph adds: “Exclusive: Everton want Wilfried Zaha and are willing to pay £60m plus Cenk Tosun but fear missing out to Chelsea.” Not a word on missing out to Arsenal, the club Zaha wants to play for now. The story is utter bunkum. Get this: “With Arsenal currently struggling to come up with the funds to match Palace’s £80m valuation, Chelsea may see an opportunity to offer a deal that could suit all parties.” Or they may not.

Posted: 26th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Zaha to Everton, Everton to Arsenal, Dyabla to Spurs

Everton fans must be thrilled. With £80m to spend on new talent, the Toffees are after Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha – the player who supports the Arsenal, loves the Arsenal and wants to play for the Arsenal. Compared to the £80m Manchester United want to spunk on Harry Maguire, Zaha for the same fee looks like good value.

One other issue for Everton is that their midfield tyro Idrissa Gueye is off to Paris Saint-Germain for around £30m.

As Arsenal faff about and hope Palace get desperate as the August 8 transfer deadline approaches and sell Zaha to them for some buttons, promises and a Carl Jenkinson – or buy Brazil’s Everton for £30m – Spurs make plans. Like Manchester United and Bayern Munich, they’re after Paulo Dybala, the Juventus striker. And like Maguire and Zaha, he too is in the draw marked ‘£80m’.

Meanwhile, back on planet earth away from hot football flesh, it’s boiling.

Posted: 25th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal Transfer News: Zaha for £65m plus one Jenkinson and a sexy car

zaha man united

Crystal Palace think Wilfried Zaha is worth £80m? Is he? Arsenal think he’s worth £55m plus £10m in add ons should they win the league (10-1) or Mustafi mishit a pass that lands on the moon (7-1). For a player who flopped the last time he left Palace, £80m could look like a huge risk – Zaha transferred to Manchester United in 2013 only to return to Palace in 2015. A player happy to be the star at one lower mid-table club might not shine at a club with loftier ambitions and a more demanding fanbase.

But Zaha has improved. And of that time at Manchester, where he played under the limited David Moyes, Zaha offered:

…Moyes took issue with the way he dressed and even the car he drove. Zaha felt further let down by the club’s failure to shut down false rumours he was sleeping with Moyes’ daughter and that his absence was due to an attitude problem. He remembers being ‘belittled’ in training by one United coach after scoring. On another occasion he was shown a video of himself in tricky winger mode for Palace and was asked how he could recapture that form, having already been told by Moyes to cut out the fancy footwork. ‘You see the mind games they were playing?’ a bewildered Zaha asks. ‘But when he took me out of the Champions League squad and put in Adnan Januzaj, who had never played for the first team, I knew then that this is way bigger than I ever thought and had gone way beyond footballing reasons,’ he says. ‘When it was not about football or ability, what could I do?’

Adding:

“There were rumours that the reason I wasn’t playing [many games] for United was because I slept with [then manager] David Moyes’s daughter, and no one [at the club] attempted to clear that up.
“So I was fighting my demons by myself, these rumours that I knew weren’t true. I was dealing with this at 19; living in Manchester by myself, nowhere near anyone else, because the club had a hold over where I lived. They hadn’t given me a car, like every other player [had]. Nothing. I’m living in this hell by myself, away from my family, and I thought, ‘If this doesn’t make me stronger, what will’?”

He’s stronger now with oodles of charisma. How Arsenal need him…

Posted: 22nd, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: terrible captain Laurent Koscielny agrees to play for Rennes

So farewell, Laurent Koscielny, the most mute Arsenal captain in recent decades. A fine player – one who in his pomp who could claim to be world class. But he was a poor captain.

Having gone on strike because at 33 years old he wanted longer than the year-long contract Arsenal were offering, the ageing, non-expressive, charisma-free Frenchman has agreed personal terms with Rennes, reportedly. Arsenal now need to get shot of him. Shut the door on the way out. The post-Wenger revolution has finally begun.

Posted: 21st, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Zaha to Everton clickbait or slowly to Arsenal

The Liverpool Echo says there is an increased chance of Wilf Zaha joining Everton. There is also an increased chance of Zaha joining Wrexham or your local pub side. The Echo’s story is based on news that the player has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave the club. And if your side has anything from £80m (BBC) to £120m (Sun) lying about the place, they can buy him. So the Liverpool Echo seduces Everton fans with a headline based on a muon of truth.

Sky Sports says Arsenal, who’ve already seen a £40m bid for Zaha fail, are “expected to raise their offer in the coming days”. To what sum is unknown, but rumours are that they’re holding a car boot sale next Sunday and Carl Jenkinson, Calum Chambers, Mo Elneny and that bloke who used to walk about the North bank shouting ”Eanuts” are being pushed into the hatchback.

Posted: 19th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: The Arsenal ‘ace’ to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka might be a joker

CArl Jenkinson Crystal Palace
‘ACE’

Transfer Balls likes to spot clickbait – and the Daily Star’s news that an Arsenal “ace” is to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Crystal Palace is a cracker. Wan-Bissaka is now at Manchester United, which means Palace are in search of a replacement right-back. Step forward the “Arsenal ace”. No, not Hector Bellerin. It’s Carl Jenkinson – the same Carl Jenskinson who was hooked off at half-time when Arsenal last played Palace, having made “the sort of errors you would not expect to see in the third or fourth tier”.

Maybe the “ace” can be worth the £40 million Arenal need to take Wilfried Zaha from Palace to Arsenal? Maybe. The Sun says, “Eagles boss Roy Hodgson has always been a fan of the defender and even gave him his England debut against Sweden in 2012.” It might happen…

Posted: 18th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Arsenal sign William Saliba, Everton medical, Cabellos close and Zaha is for sale

The Sun says the deal is done: William Saliba has joined Arsenal. But he won’t kiss the badge until 2020. The Gunners have paid £27m for the 18-year-old and allowed him to spend the season at Saint-Etienne. This suits Arsenal because the fee is being paid in instalments.

“Hi @arsenal loving the away new kit,” quips one Gooner on Twitter. “I’d like a Medium Men’s. I’ll pay £5 now. £5 on delivery and £40 based on bonuses and appearances.”

In other Gunners, news, the BBC says they are “very close” to securing Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos 22, on loan. The Spanish central midfielder was voted player of the tournament at the Under-21 European Championships.

It’s also widely reported that Arsenal have signed Gremio winger Everton for £36m. Apparently he’s having his medical in Brazil. Which leaves the club’s interest in Wilf Zaha where? “I don’t think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation,” Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports. “I’m sure the player realises that if someone’s going to take him away from us, he’ll expect clubs to pay the market value. Until someone does that, there’s not much to discuss regarding Wilf.”

In other words, Zaha is for sale. If Arsenal can get him on the the drip, he could yet arrive at The Emirates.

Posted: 18th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Josh Kroenke knows talk is cheap

Can it be true? Arsenal manger Unai Emery says Arsenal are trying to sign some “very big, very expensive players” this summer. “Our target is to achieve three or four players who really improve our team and our squad now,” says Emery. “We have very good players and very good young players who can progress to take and get big performances with us. Other players can come here to help us. We are being very, very demanding and we are first speaking about the possibility to sign very big, very expensive players.”

Arsenal have invested in one new player this summer: 18-year-old Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli. They are being linked with Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba (18), and have bids of £25m for 22-year-old Celtic’s Kieran Tierney, plus £40m for 26-year-old Ivorian Zaha rejected.

The fans are upset about the club’s stagnation under owner Stan Kroenke. But Arsenal chief executive Josh Kroenke (qualifications for the job: absentee owner Stan’s his dad; knows the Gunners player soccerball in London), tells one and all via an open letter, in which he guffs:

“For us, the most important thing to achieve was not simply change for the sake of change, but to ensure we put the right people in the right roles to work together in a positive environment to achieve our stated goal of winning silverware both domestically and in Europe.

We know this can bring uncertainty, and perhaps everything we’ve done in the past 12-14 months has brought about additional uncertainty during a period of unease when supporters, coaches, players and management are rightfully frustrated by lack of success on the pitch.

“With all the work we’ve done on the structure of football, commercial and operational departments, we would say that the club now needs a period of stability rather than additional change.”

To translate: we drifted along collecting fat dividends whilst Arsene Wenger’s regime was winning the occasional tin pot and finishing fourth but now that’s all gone because the patriarch got too old, we’re clueless about what to do. You’re all hungry for success but I’m stinking rich and don’t really need it.

Key part:

“While we’re not going to be in the market for some of the top players in the world at the moment whilst they are the top players, we’re actively scouting the globe to find the next big thing to become great at Arsenal Football Club. And not only will we bring them to the club, we’ll be able to retain them in the fold going forward.”

Translation: We’re desperate and buying cheap. And dad won’t be putting a penny of his absurdly large fortune into the pot. (That ok, dad? Can I come home yet?)

Posted: 17th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Greed over glory: Arsenal fans send desperate letter to their disinterested owner

How can Arsenal get themselves out of the mess created by greed, laziness and a culture of failure? Chief contract negotiator Huss Fahmy is fighting firs, doing his best to correct the disaster of Ivan Gazidis and Dick Law’s work that saw Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck leave for nothing and Mesut Ozil offered the absurd sum of £350,000 a week to stay.

Unai Emery’s squad is a strange collection of journeymen, overpaid plodders, two top strikers and talented youngsters. Can Edu, the new technical director, and Freddie Ljungberg, now promoted to assistant to coach Emery, restore some swagger and purpose to a moribund team? Can they help Emery, who desperately needs it? When Arsenal needed reinforcements at the back, Emery pushed the board to recruit the dire Denis Suarez in January. Is he up to the task?

The fans are restless. Leading Arsenal fans’ groups have written a letter asking owner Stan Kroenke, to “reinvigorate” the club.

As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team’s football performances have declined over the past decade,’’ they argue. “When Stan Kroenke began buying Arsenal shares the club had just competed in a first Champions League final [in 2006]. Twelve years on, Arsenal are about to play in the Europa League for the third year running. Off the pitch, fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued. This was sadly illustrated when Stan Kroenke forcibly bought out the last remaining supporter-shareholders without even a word of appreciation for their custodianship role in the club. It feels as though Arsenal is at a crossroads. Things need to change…

“…our club feels like an investment vehicle. It is sad that an institution like Arsenal has such passive ownership. All of us want to see a clear sense of purpose and direction. KSE should start by being more open and accountable and explain how they intend to achieve the goal of winning the game’s major trophies…

“On a matchday the Emirates Stadium can be a soulless place. The atmosphere is poor and there are thousands of empty seats blighting almost every game. If Arsenal really cared they would make sure seats weren’t left empty by investing in an improved ticketing system and actively supporting initiatives like safe standing. The club uses the strapline: ‘Always ahead of the game’. It would be good to see action to demonstrate this.”

An absentee owner bodes badly for Arsenal. It is an investment for him and nothing more. Kroenke won’t take a gamble and invest in players in the hope of success. He’ll tick along and collect his dividends. Greed not glory is the Arsenal way. But at east one thing won’t change: at season ticket renewal time Arsenal will be linked with a big money buy.

Posted: 15th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Laurent Koscielny knows how bad Mustafi is

People in the know chose Bordeaux. And like a fine whine – yes, yes, a weak joke but that’s Arsenal for you – Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel on the club’s pre-season tour of the US because he thinks the team are rubbish and wants to live and work in La Belle Endormie.

Koscielny’s current deal expires at the end of the season. At 33, he wants more than the one year extension Arsenal are offering and thinks a three-year deal at Bordeaux the better option. “We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions,” say Arsenal. “We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

Koscielny will win. He’s one of Arsenal’s very few top-class players. And he knows how sub-standard the alternatives are. If he leaves, Arsenal will boast – and that’s a boast akin to the scarred squaddie returning from active duty without herpes – Sokratis and Mustafi as their first-choice central defenders. Sokratis is likeable at least because he sticks the boot in and has the soulful mien of a man troubled by something bigger than cutting down Harry Kane.

Mustafi is just as poor as the Greek at passing out from defence but is affected by an unappetising combination of arrogance and limited ability. Arsenal are desperate to get shot of the German. And in a market where Aston Villa invest £20m in recruiting the doltish Tyrone Mings from what must be a delighted Bournemouth, Mustafi should be worth around that. But he won’t go to a bigger club unless one of them has read his CV without ever having seen him play. And Mustafi cuts the figure of man who think he’s destined for better things. So he’s stuck at Arsenal and Arsenal are stuck with him until his contract dies on the vine in 2021.

Posted: 12th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Malcom to Arsenal (again), Pepe to Everton and Newcastle to Championship

A year or so ago, Arsenal, Manchester United, Spurs and Fulham were competing hard to invest £45m in Malcom, a raw Brazilian winger playing for Bordeaux. Roma were “on the verge of signing” him (BBC). And then he joined Barcelona for £36.5m. One year on and the talent is not wanted by the Spaniards and worth £31m, the sum Everton have bid.

Barcelona want to resign Neymar. They need to offload Malcom because regulations in Spain mean that each team is only allowed to register three non-EU players. Barcelona have Arturo Vidal, Arthur and Malcom. Neymar makes four.

Apparently Arsenal now want Malcom to wait and see if Louis Zaha hands in a transfer request at Crystal Palace. Or if Palace accept Arsenal’s new offer of £40m plus Calum Chambers, Mohamed Elneny and Carl Jenkinson. How flattered Malcolm must be to know that his future rests on Jenkinson’s slim shoulders.

Everton fans can just to see if an Arsenal reject will join them for a big transfer fee – and if he’s joined by former Chelsea irritant Diego Costa, now stinking the place up at Atletico Madrid. Or Everton will spend £58.5m on Lille’s Nicolas Pepe, the 24-year-old Ivory Coast forward – unless Liverpool, who also want him, get there first.

As Everton fans wonder if their revolution is based more on cash than substance and Gooners try to work out where all the money has gone, all clubs can look down on Newcastle United. The Magpies have asked Sam Allardyce to mange them. And he’s turned them down. Your club might be struggling but at least it’s not Newcastle.

Posted: 11th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: the £76m transfer kitty

How skint is skint? The Sun tells readers Arsenal are “skint” because they have “just” £40m to spend on new players this summer. The Bleacher Report and others agree: Arsenal are “skint”.

A few days on and the BBC tells its readers: “The Gunners have up to £70m available as they prepare to make a second bid for Zaha.”

Arsenal transfers
Arsenal skint

A click over the the Sky Sports scoop reveals: “Arsenal have up to £70m available to make an improved bid for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, Kaveh Solhekol told The Transfer Show.”

Kaveh…who? He’s a reporter on Sky Sports. And he “believes” Arsenal can afford to spend £70m on Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha. Add the £6m the Gunners recently forked out for Gabriel Martinelli and the Gunners transfer kitty swells to £76m.

As we try to fathom the numbers – and work out on what planet or gated community £40m quid to spend means you’re “skint” – The Bleacher Report tells us that Arsenal have “nothing”:

Arsenal have “no money” None. Not a bean. Or maybe they have £76m. It all depends which sofa you’re looking under for change.

Posted: 4th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment