All transfer-in business is done, it seems. Emery says he is happy with the additions to the squad and is now working hard to get the players fit, his ideas for the team to work in practice and to be battle-ready when the season starts in just four weeks from now.
He did say, though, that if a great opportunity comes their way to sign a special player, the club might still add further to the squad. If you ask me, this could be interpreted as anticipating a possible departure of a top player who would have to be replaced with an equally good player. Alternatively, this could mean that there is money in the bank for a one off opportunity to add a top quality player (who wants to come to Arsenal and who would really add something special to the squad). It is a good position to be in with just a month to go till the start of the season.
In terms of the squad, as per Kev’s excellent post yesterday, there are three big question that need to be answered:
- Who will leave the club before the end of the transfer window?
- Who will be the CB pairing – especially, is Mustafi a first-team player?
- The big one: Will Ramsey do a Mesut, Alexis or a Wilshere?
Over to you, fellow bloggers!
- I don’t care that much as I expect this to be fringe players. Welbeck may be sold but I don’t think it will be this summer (January, when clubs often get desperate to get a goal scorer in the team, could be a different kettle of fish). Ospina or Cech. It would not totally surprise me if Bellerin will be sold with AMN and Lichtsteiner filling the R(W)B position. I don’t want this to happen, but it could happen.
- I am assuming that Sokratis will be the sure starter in most of our games. Emery wanted to bring in experience and that is what Sokratis offers. We have been yearning for a CB who leads the defence, oozes calm to the rest of the team and is comfortable in the aerial battles (without having to leap like a salmon at full stretch each and every time). But who will be his CB partner? I reckon it will be Mustafi but it would not totally surprise me if Emery will put Holding or Chambers, who just got a new contract, next to the Greek God. Naturally, when Koz returns it will likely be Sok-Koz, but this may take many more months to materialize. My feeling is that Mustafi is a good, Keown-like, very intense defender who needs a calm leader next to him. Sokratis-Mustafi is my guess for the CB-pairing.
- Will Rambo sign a new contract now or in the next few months, like Ozil did? Or will he leave this summer or in January like Alexis did? Or will he do a Jack and see his contract out and then leave? It’s hard to say. In terms of character he is more like Ozil, who waited for the right moment and the best deal on the table and then signed the thing. But I am still not sure. I guess it does not really matter too much, as the club will have his services for at least a year if Emery feels he is crucial to the team. But for stability in the squad, it would be good to get this settled sooner rather than later. Whether that will happen depends for a large part on Ramsey.