What if Christmas already happened?… A transfer blog
Hands up. I’m guilty. I never learn either. My wife is partially responsible too.
Every ruddy Christmas we overspend on our children! We get too excited at the opportunity for short term happiness.
This reminds me of where Arsenal might be with the possibility of new signings.
There is no doubt that Arsenal need to sign players as we are unbalanced without modern athleticism in midfield and a reliable creative player in the final third.
If we take away the ‘Christmas mindset’ and the need to buy just to create happiness and pacify, then we see with slightly different glasses.
I had the idea to write this blog after writing down the profiles needed in the positions that I thought we need.
I realized that in some areas we potentially have what we need.
1) Arsenal need a line breaking midfielder. An athlete who can confidently stride through midfield but has the speed to recover.
Watch this clip. You’ll get to see a player on our books who has been begging to try this and never given a run of games to prove he can do it.
Maitland-Niles doesn’t have to be first choice but I’m going to be very upset if he signs for City after proving that he was an all round, modern athletic midfielder at Crystal Palace, when we didn’t ever give him a chance at centre midfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain is on his way to making us regret the same thing.
Before I move on it’s fair to say that if he was dropped for his attitude and specifically his reaction to being asked to play right back, then I understand. Many, many talented players who were the perfect long term fit never became this due to attitude. Carlos Vela should be a world beater, right?
Whether we play 4-3-3 in the future or not we need a midfielder that commits opponents. If AMN isn’t the option, shouldn’t we try one of Willock or Smith Rowe first? Both have the potential to rise to the top.
2) I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that Reiss Nelson is about to break through.
If so, does the Christmas present of signing Fraser, or Willian make sense?
I keep hearing ‘Arsenal need a left winger.’ Do they? If they do then I’d imagine that’s a 5th player for one position. Auba, Saka, Nelson and Martinelli.
The first four all seem to have LW as their first choice option whether it’s Arteta’s choice or their preference.
Maybe Willian is an Ozil option or as I mentioned in my last blog, a centre midfield option.
If Ryan Fraser signs for Arsenal and any of our 3 youngsters leave I won’t understand as all three have higher ceilings than he does.
3) Odsonne Edouard looks very interesting. If we sell Lacazette and keep Martinelli out left, I get it. If, as many suggest, Martinelli will be an elite CF then why buy a younger CF?
My suggestion is to buy Cavani. Guarantee of goals and won’t block the others long term.
4) The idea of Grealish at Arsenal is very exciting. Then I think of the reality. If he were to play AM then isn’t there an argument that Smith-Rowe could be same level in a short time? If he were to play LW then we have the same problem as above with Saka, Martinelli etc…
5) Nothing screams ‘Christmas overload’ more than our CB situation.
I’m going to get questioned here but oh well, I’ve got some logic behind my plan…
Many see a new CB as priority number one.
I think it’s priority number one possibly next summer, but not this.
If William Saliba is the present and the future then I don’t think it’s wise to put him next to someone like Upamecano and expect them to fulfill their potential without major hiccups. They are both so young and would both be brand new to England and the PL.
It will likely be Luiz and Mari to start with and Saliba brought in gradually. Then it will be Saliba plus one of the older CB’s.
Mari has had a positive start, is the perfect age and seems highly motivated and yet many want a replacement as the January present apparently already needs replacing.
If we sign Gabriel from Lille, Tah from Bayer, or Upamecano then long term we are secure. If we are being real though, are Arsenal in a position to purchase another CB when they have two new presents in Saliba and Mari?
6) Should we bin the ‘Guendouzi experiment’ and sign a new playmaker to play alongside a new athletic DM? Again, we could have the answer in Guendouzi.
Transfers are so much fun to debate and wish for. Those that read my work regularly will know that I talk about them more than most.
The final decision lays in trust.
Do we trust Nelson, Mari, Guendouzi, ESR, Willock and AMN? They could all work out. They really could.
I just feel that the need for upgrades has to be balanced with understanding that we may have what we need in some areas, if we just show some patients.
We also seem to have a coach capable of rapidly improving players.
We may also need to admit that Christmas often spoils you rather than helps you.