What I Know About Arsenal Transfers

I’ve got no idea who Arsenal will sign this summer. I suspect that at this stage Arsene doesn’t have much of an idea either. I’m sure he has ideas about who he wants and people are talking, but nothing is ever 100 per cent sure until the contract is signed, no matter how many ITKs take to Twitter to say “X to Arsenal is a done deal – FACT.” The on/off M’Vila deal last year should be proof enough to everyone of that.

I also don’t watch nearly enough foreign football to have ideas about who from other leagues Arsenal should sign. But I do know these things about transfers (he says, setting himself up for egg on face):

Cesc Fabregas is not going to Man Utd this year, as some have suggested. If he wanted to leave Barca, Arsenal have first refusal anyway, but he’s not leaving Barca this year. His lifelong dream was to play for Barca and even if he is not as central to their plans as he’d like, he isn’t going to give up that dream so quickly. He knows that other players come and go, and his role and position in the hierarchy may change. He’ll give it another year at least.

Wayne Rooney is not going to sign for Arsenal. He gets paid (I wouldn’t say ‘earns’) £250k a week, and Arsenal don’t pay that. Arsenal are also not offering any guarantee of medals. Some people say, “But he doesn’t NEED £250k a week, so he might be prepared to take a pay cut.” No, he doesn’t need that much money, but he didn’t need to visit aged prostitutes either. Rooney is weak-minded and unintelligent; if he wasn’t blessed with football talent no one would ever have heard of him, he’d be an anonymous manual worker in Liverpool. Even if he’s determined to leave and Barca, Madrid and Bayern don’t want him, he’ll think he’s worth more than Arsenal will pay him, and his advisors will tell him he is. Unless Arsenal really push the boat out, buy three or four megastars and pay them all megabucks, then forget Rooney. And with Stan and Arsene in charge this is unlikely.

Jose Mourinho will never be Man Utd manager while Fergie is sitting in the Boardroom watching him. Mourinho would love the chance, but with Fergie there his ego couldn’t take it. They might be friends now, but that wouldn’t last long. It looks a done deal (ha!) that he’s going back to Chelsea for a while anyway, but if that doesn’t work out and he can’t get on with Abramovich, and Moyes is a disaster and gets the boot after one season, then ‘Mourinho to Man Utd’ would be back on the agenda. If Fergie’s still there I’d give it six months tops. There’s no way Man U would have employed Moyes if Fergie didn’t choose him; that’s the power Fergie has over the football side at that club.

Christian Benteke has had one good season; that doesn’t make him worth £20m, or necessarily good enough for Arsenal. I thought about expanding on that, but hell, I shouldn’t have to. 

Paying big money is no guarantee of suitable signings. Even Messi played in the wrong system will look a shadow of the player he is. Torres and Carroll are now both cut price bargains (to be fair the number of people who ever thought Carroll was worth more than a third of what Liverpool paid must be tiny, but Liverpool thought £50m for Torres was too good to turn down and they needed a replacement fast.) None of us care if a cheap player turns out to be brilliant – we forget that we wanted a huge marquee signing if the £5m man turns out to be perfectly suited to his teammates and the Premier League and bangs in 30 goals a season. Is there more chance of an expensive player fitting in and doing well? Probably, but the number of expensive failures shows that it’s by no means certain. Ultimately, teams that win are ones where the manager has made a team better than the sum of its parts, not the ones who always pay the most money.

So kick back, delete the ITKs from your twitter feed give it till the end of July before starting to wonder what’s going on. Then the hard bit – give it till the end of the year before even thinking about judging whether the new signings are working out. 

Twitter: @AngryOfN5 


28 thoughts on “What I Know About Arsenal Transfers

  1. Based on past experience, what is the likelihood of Arsenal buying someone before they know they have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League?

  2. I disagree about Rooney – if he hadn’t been a footballer ‘he wouldn’t be an anonymous manual worker in Liverpool’. I think it more probable he’d be on the dole or inside.

    • Sneckyl, when you look at the made up crap on other sites, (Goal.com etc) this piece is far from pointless, common sense articles like this are needed to try and balance the shite that’s around at the moment.

  3. “Ultimately, teams that win are ones where the manager has made a team better than the sum of its parts, not the ones who always pay the most money.” hmmm, you really psg are better than the sum of its parts? 60 odd million talent from milan, 40m for pastore, 65m for lavezzi and lucas, 30m for motta verratti and gameiro. that’s already near 200m, not to mention dozens of other purchases at 5-10 range. ~250m for 80 points.

    pretty sure money is a huge factor, i’m not arguing with your main points or advocating/criticizing arsenal related issues. it just seems that the most money-ed teams seem to be near the top, however surprising. city – cups and league last year. chelsea – even their bleep last season was accompanied by the ultimate club football trophy. united – despite their ownership chaos – are the pinnacle of football revenue.

    after all, it’s perhaps not that surprising that arsenal found it tough to win the league. never mind that they came so painfully close on 3 occasions (cesc 1.0 with hleb & co, cesc 2.0 with arshavin etc in 09-10, cesc 3.0 with wilshere’s debut season and nasri’s purple patch). but then again, these seasons are code named after one player because that’s all we had, and even then cesc was available maybe 80% of the time. our next best footballer and also the biggest modern enemy was on the treatment table more often than he played.

    even barca would struggle if they had similar attendance rates from messi and xavi. while they have one central bank to deal with, we have the middle eastern oil fund and the money launderers from eastern promises.

    sorry for the essay.

  4. Wenger will probably buy one /two players which can rais expectations of fans. Then he would probably go for some promising kids. He has already got one.
    When questioned he will say I have more years of coaching and buying than any fans. Soon another season will flash by with the gunners scrapping for cl crumbs.This is the worst scenario.
    Don’t bet on it not happening.

  5. Wow! Excellent article, sums up what I have always thought, well done sir!
    We don’t neccasarily need big name marquee signings with a big head, we just need someone to fit in, get along with and compliment our style of play to then bang them in and to help win games. He has to be good defensively like Giroud is or similar too. Benteke is only 1 season into it, so risky but he could do it again next season and then we should go for him they play similar style I think, but villa would charge big right? He also might be that type that throws tanties when wants something, or not.
    I don’t know I just hope whatever business we do is good business and everyone gets behind the team!

    • £15-20 for Benteke, one of the most prolific in the league this season is a steal.

      If he does it again next season (he’s good enought to) you can guarantee he’ll go for much more and it won’t be to us.

      £20 is not a lot in modern football, look at the money spent on Caroll in the last few years.

  6. So Rooney’s weak minded and unintelligent, had he not been a footballer he’d be a manual worker in Liverpool? In regard to the first part, how do you know? He seems quite sharp to me. Perhaps not in the sense of being an accountant, as you’ve been at pains inform us, is your profession. Rather, in the way that earns him a quarter of a million pounds a week.

    As for the second part, though this may come as a shock most of those who, had they not been blessed with the skill and physicality to become professional athletes, would be doing some sort of ‘manual’ work. As the majority still stem from backgrounds where ‘manual’ work is the norm. That’s if they’re fortunate enough to have any work in the first place. Do you presume, Pele, Maradona, Best, and Bobby Moore, were secretly Middle Class accountants? I’ve heard Rooney was a very promising amateur boxer as a kid. A sport chock-a-block with ‘manual’ working types and all the better for it.

    • I’m not an accountant, I just take advice from them when needed.
      I don’t think it’s a controversial statement to say Wayne Rooney is of less than average intelligence.
      Maybe he’d have been a good boxer. Maybe he’d have been a washed up boxer by now, who knows.

  7. I agree Benteke isn’t worth £20m but is he worth £12m-£14m, and if so, could he be a prospect for us.

    I’ve watched him a few times last season and have been very impressed. He looks to me to be a class above the other villa players.

    I’d swap Bentner for Benteke. Mind you we’ll probably get nothing for Bentner.

  8. Your wrong about benteke,he’s an absolute beast of a player.hes head and shoulders above any striker we have at the club.he would be a great addition.someone will nab him,why not us?

  9. Great article once again. I tend to come here for some sensible ideas of whats going on and again you haven’t disappointed. Benteke would be a risk as one good cake doesn’t make the baker, but at say 10 m and low wages I beleive its a risk worth taking as he can play down the left and I hate to say it but Poldolski just doesn’t seem to cut it down the left for me. While I think your right that we won’t sign a superstar, I think your wrong to say we shouldn’t. We need a goal machine ( not rooney) and Falcao is going to cost crazy money if he moves at all. So for me Cavani if we can and if we miss out then Wilfried Bony has to be next on the list. Thirty one goals in thirty league games is incrediable and we have had a few decent players from the dutch league before. Roll giroud out for the west hams and stokes, while Bony will cause any defense issues. DM is a more pressing issue and as we won’t get the likes of fellani then I would go for Sven Bender from dortmand. You’ll see tonight why we should sign him as he is an absolute star and could anchor our midfield beatifully. I would hate to sign wayne rooney he is not the answer and if we are after him then surely Cavani would be a smarter purchase. For the first time ever I think Arsene really doesn’t have any excuses not to go for broke as we have serious financial muscle. But I for one will not be holding my breath as so many summers before I have come away feeling that again I have been suckered into renewing. One more season Arsene. Make the most of it.

    • I’d be happy to take a punt on Benteke for £10m, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t get better than he’s been this season. There’s a good chance he will, but an equally good chance he won’t.

    • You dispute that Wayne Rooney is unintelligent – surely the most petty and pointless argument ever, as every bit of evidence points to you being 100% wrong.

  10. I suggest you put your disdain in regard to ‘manual workers’ to men such as McLintcock, Charlie George and practically every other man that’s played for the club and see how they respond. Of course, Stewart Robson might agree with you and we all know what a treacherous individual he is.

  11. Phil, I know that this query is a little off the subject matter but I would like to ask you and indeed the rest of the gang if they could explain exactly how this “Fair Play” business works. I have heard all sorts of mutterings on the issue but nothing definitive. Thanks in advance.

  12. Noel, if you mean how will the rules be rigorously applied, the answer is that they won’t be. Uefa will crumble the moment a Big Club contests them. The Real Madrid land deal is a case in point: Uefa simply haven’t the financial muscle to fight a battle with a Club of their stature. And highly questionable in law – an unfair restriction of trade. And there ls the risk of a breakaway of the major clubs to form their own pan-Europe leagues, depriving Uefa of most of its finance, making it almost redundant. Platini’s motive is political: he wants to be Blatter’s successor.

  13. Why would Wayne Rooney’s agent want to take a pay cut? Rooney still has 2 years left on a contract worth £275k per week. If he joined Arsenal and took a pay cut then Rooney’s agent would also have to take a pay cut (unless he renogiated his terms with Rooney). His agent will be whispering in his ear “Wayne, if you join Arsenal you will lose out on £8 million. Is that what you want for Kai & Klay?”

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