Arsenal need £90m: Which Five Players Should Be Sold?


It is widely being circulated that Arsenal have budgeted about £40m net spend for this summer transfer dealings (average net spend over the past 6 years is approximately £42m @ Transferleague). If it is true some fancy footwork is needed to get us to where we want to be.

It was embarrassing at Baku, but if truth be told we played at our true level. 70 pts in the premiership and 5th position, one point from Champions league qualification is so flattering of our season’s performance. We are mystified about our poor away form. The truth is that it is our excellent home form that is the aberration. What with Newcastle about to be taken over by an Abu Dhabi Prince, Leicester and Everton surging with their top 6 ambition, our situation at this moment looks dire.

First of all we are losing the services of those whose contracts are expiring this summer: Ramsey, Cech, Welbeck, Litchtsteiner and Jenkinson. There is need to replace them.

Secondly, Koscielny at 34 years this September and Monreal at 34 the coming February are both overdue to begin to serve as back-ups. They need new players ahead of them.

Thirdly, Emery has come with a philosophy that has no place in it for Ozil. At £350k/wk (or £36.4m in the two remaining years of his contract) Ozil is too fat a salary and too big an ego to be carried along as a part player. He has to go even at the cost of leaving for free or thereabout (Transfermarkt values him @ £31.5m). There would be the need to replaced him.

With respect to these eight players mentioned above, the minimum that should be expected of our summer activity is four signings who should be 1st team players: two players to take over the starter roles from Koscielny (CD) and Monreal (LB) and another two players to replace Ramsey (CM) and Ozil (AM). The four signings should be such as to add quality and balance to the team.

As a model for examining how our budgeting can hold I have selected four such players that we’ve been linked to for these four positions. The amounts against their names are the valuations of the players which are reasonable estimates to work with:

CD ~~ Kostas Manolas, 27yrs, £40.5m, AS Roma until 22, (WhoScored rating 6.89).
LB ~~ Nicolas Tagliafico, 26 yrs, £22.5m, Ajax until 22, (WhoScored rating 7.47).
CM ~~ Adrien Rabiot: 24 yrs, £31.5m, PSG until 19, (WhoScored rating 7.31).
AM ~~ Nicolas Pepe: 23 yrs, £36m, Lille until 22, (WhoScored rating 7.65).

The combined cost of these 4 players is £130.5m (an average of about £32.6m per signing which should be expected of a club of our stature). This combined cost of £130.5m would have exceeded our estimated net spend of about £40m by £90.5m. The deficit can only be accounted for by the sale of players.

Any imbalance in numbers between the outgoing players and the incoming has to be offset from an internal source (on-loan and academy players). So far we have identified 6 outgoing and likely outgoing players (Ramsey, Cech, Welbeck, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson and Ozil) to four incoming leaving a 2-player deficit. A 5-player maximum deficit looks a number that can be filled from within. This means that apart from Ozil, we have to sell not more than four players whose combined value should offset the cash deficit of £90.5m. Definitely one or two big names should be involved.

Here is the Transfermarkt valuation of our players excluding the 6 already earmarked as outgoing.
1). Leno (£22.4m).
2). Ospina (£4.5m).
3). Bellerin (£36.0m).
4). M-Niles (£6.3m).
5). Mustafi (£27.0m).
6). Sokratis (£18.0m).
7). Koscielny (£9.0m).
8). Mavropanos (£2.7m).
9). Holden (£10.8m)
10). Chambers (£12.6m).
11). Monreal (£9.0m). It is believed that his 1yr extension deal has been activated.
12). Kolasinac (£18.0m). High wage of £119.5k/wk to performance level should reduce sell value to about £10m. (All wages from Mirror UK).
13). Torreira (£49.5m).
14). Elneny (£9.0m).
15). Guendouzi (£27.0m).
16). Xhaka (£45.0m).
17). Mkhitaryan (£27.0m). High wage of £180k/wk to performance level should reduce sell value to about £12m.
18). Iwobi (£22.5m).
19). Lacazette (£58.5m).
20). Aubamayang (£67.5m).
The academy players are not listed as their market values make little difference.

Decision on who to sell does not depend only on unsatisfactory performance. Other considerations could include the balance of the team as well as attractive sell values of players.

Apart from Ozil who is already gone by this post, to meet the different requirements, the others to be sold wouldn’t be far away from: Lacazette or Aubamayang and the three of Kolasinac, Mkhitaryan, Elneny. Don’t forget that if for example Laca (£58.5m) is sold, the fund realized would fetch us, in this model used, a certain Nicolas Pepe (£36m) with 22 goals and 11 assists in Ligue1 competition alone (nothing lost offensively) plus Nicolas Tagliafico (£22.5m) an Argentine international left back who is reputed for his boundless energy.

In case you are wondering, Mustafi has not escaped my thoughts. Maitland-Niles would return to his preferred midfield role and Mustafi becomes the back-up to Bellerin. The sales or non sales of players are not necessarily according to likes and dislikes.

This post is premised on a £40m net spend. I’d rather that Kroenke splash-the-cash, say in the neighbourhood of £150m so we don’t begin to sell our tested and trusted.

BK needs your opinion on the five players you want sold to net us about £90m courtesy valuation. The King is dead, long live the King!

By PE.

64 thoughts on “Arsenal need £90m: Which Five Players Should Be Sold?

  • Thanks PE for a fine discussion starter. You want a lot of player-change and I am not sure I agree, but that is for a future post I need to write (house move done but still a lot of unpacking to do etc).

    The main question we have to ask is: is Unai the man for us? If so, let’s give him some money. But if not, replace him now and let’s see what another manager can do with our current squad. We have the talents of Bellerin, AMN, Smith-Rowe, Nelson, Iwobi, Holding, Eddie and one or two others to work with. We have the established, ‘young-enough’ players of Leno, Sok, Xhaka, Tor, Ozil, Laca, Auba and Mkhi to build on and we have a few old foxes in the squad such as Koz and Nacho. For me that is a good squad and a talented manager should be able to work with it. I have not seen enough ability by Unai to get the best out of these players both individually and collectively. I cannot help think that a Klopp or Guardiola, Nuno Espirito Santo, Bosz etc would have made more progress. I am not necessarily talking about results, but about clear signs of a new direction, style of play, philosophy etc. I have a strong feeling that Unai has not gelled his team, and with his team, and has relied heavily on the fire-power of AubaCazette. I am not clear about his vision and it looks clear that the players are not either, and that is not good.

    If we need to increase funds then I would sell Mkhi and if need be Auba. We need a better left back option than Kola, we need a better left winger than Iwobi (who I rate but is not ready yet to be our main man there), and we could do with a quality CB. I want Emery and his fellow Directors to find these three players for say £60m. We don’t need big names but quality squad players around the age of 24/25 who can be developed into gems. I want the system of football to be the main focus and the players to become stronger and stronger within it. That is what proper football is all about imo. Spuds bought nobody and got the CL final and play CL footie again next season. Pool won the CL with the likes of Milner, Henderson and Wijnaldum in midfield, a few youngsters and a couple of quality buys at the back (offset by the sales of just a few players). We need to be smart and win with vision and values. We lost that when Arsene was getting too knackered (he needed a break) and I don’t think we have got it under Unai.

  • We only need to replace 2 or 3 players.
    One is Rambo’s replacement, as Torreira is still learning the ropes, and the midfield seems barely there at the moment.

    The other 2 is at the defense. Maybe one of them at the DM, as all our midfielders does not seem capable of protecting the back 4 except for Elneny. I believe that he was used less than expected but seriously Emery’s lineup always looks attacking rather than defensive.

    The defensive guy replaces or backs Kos up whenever he gets injured.

    Too much changes is not good for the structure of the squad.

  • Mustafi, Eleny,Chambers, Mika and Xhaka. Total appr. 108 mill according to your overview. Personally I would also sell Auba when you still can get good money for him. Than the total would be 175 mill. Than Emery can start building a team for the future and take into the squad 4 top players who can influence all the young talents and create a winner culture. A choice like this will build a team and a squad that can compete for top results maybe not first year but from second year. Rabiot will not cost anything in transfer – free agent and you have 200 mill to spend on 3-4 top players.

  • If the values were true, elneny(9), xhaka (45), Mustafi (27), mihktaryan (12 actual), chambers(if he’s not getting his shot 12). Gets 105.

  • Who’s Holden? If we can get £10mil for a retired ex Bolton, US international I’ll take that all day. Sell sell sell lol.

    Just kidding Rob HOLDING is worth more than £10mil. Young, English and a highly rated prospect.

  • Your argument of costs is based on a “false erroneous misleading” premise. A Player who costs £50m +£100k wages p.w.(£5m p.a.) signed on a 5 year contract Only costs the current financial year-transfer budget- £15m (amortised).

    The £40m assertion for existing, available transfer budget is incorrect and media(you) mischievously promote such falsehoods to sell print/hits. Vinai Venkatesham(MD) asserted and evidenced that it was £45m (from Adidas 5 year contract of £300m, that kicks in this season and net balance after minus £15m debt).

    Then there is £31,43m Arsenal secured from having reached the “Europa League Cup Final” with her share of TV rights.

    Thus Arsenal’s “Transfer Budget” for the Summer 2019 Window is £76.43m guaranteed before any Player Sales.

    Your article is pure misinformation, totally incorrect and BS.

  • TA, your tight rope walking, caught from close range, is so appropriate.

  • If this was a squad built by Emery then the next step is new manager then an overhaul. Three points for me which save him is:
    1. its not his squad its still full of players that display no energy or desire
    2. Injuries to our back 4 and midfield has hampered any continuity, for e.g. we lost Kos Mavripanos Bellerin and Holding all for huge parts of the season
    3. The budget is small we have to look how much Klopp Guardiola and Mourinho spent over the last 3 years at the rich clubs to win titles.
    In my opinion we sell Ozil, Xhaka, Elneny, Mikhitarian, Iwobi, Kolasinac, Ospina, Mustafi for definite. If we receive offers too good to turn down for Kos, Chambers and one of PEA or Lacazette we take them and rebuild off the massive fees we would receive. Keeping the rest and building around players in their natural positions.

  • Plus our strategy should be young and hungry unless experience comes with value like Munier at reported 22m for competition at rightback. so no players over the age of 23 and from different markets like South America and Africa and the like. No top European players will be interested in in joining us at the mo unless we give incredible wages for them to play in the Europa league

  • TA, great comment. I understand why your salvos are aimed mainly at Emery. Am not convinced by him either but an leaving a little space that he might be a coach who cannot adjust to players i.e. he is a coach who can only operate with his own kind of players. If it is so, that’s a limitation on his part because there cannever be the perfect “one’s kind of players”. Maybe he is too rigid with his philosophy. In which case, either he goes or he be given the chance to build his team.

    As for the team we currently have, am of the opinion that they exist on the fringes of the top 6, which isn’t good enough for us. The mentality of even us the fans have declined to the point of our basing our recruitment hopes on the unearthing of gems. Big teams should have unearthing gems as a sub plot and not as a main plot. By the way every team, particularly the poorer teams, dream of unearthing gems (brilliant players on the cheap). There is nothing that gives us an advantage over other teams in that area. Clear advantage exists only with spending power.

    Yes, the Tots did not spend last summer but they had already assembled a good team. Maybe if they topped up last summer they might not have experienced their late season collapse in the PL which we were unable to take advantage of.

    Emery might not be good enough but even clearer to me is that our team is not good enough to assure a top 4 position. Take off Laca and Auba both for one position and it gets tough finding other players who can walk easily into the other top 6 teams. We must spend the money one way or the other.

  • I can agree with most of what you say pony eye, but us not having advantage on getting those hidden gems compared to lesser team can’t be more wrong. We are Arsenal, we have an amazing network of scouts at our disposal, one of the top training facilities in world football having a reputation of developing talents like Henry and Vieira, plus in our current state a definate channel to first team football at one of the biggest clubs in the world in the best league in the world. If that isn’t enough of a pull then i dont know what is

  • Solid post. Real food for thought.
    I’d sell
    Mustafi (£27.0m)
    Mkhitaryan (£27.0m)
    Elneny (£9.0m)
    Xhaka (£45.0m)
    Moneral (£9.0m)

    TOTAL= £117m

    Add that to the pitiful pot of £40m and we have a £157m budget.

    In regards to replacements i’d go
    Kostas Manolas £40.5m (Replace Mustafi)
    Nicolas Tagliafico £22.5m (Replace Monreal)
    Abdoulaye Doucouré £22.5m (Replace Xhaka)
    Wilfried Zaha £31.5m (Replace Mkhitaryan)
    Joe Willock academy to (Replace Elneny)
    Plus i’d sign Adrian Rabiot Free agent (Replace Ramsey)
    TOTAL= £117m

    *Obviously these are transfer market estimates and actual prices will vary.

  • S/Perdersen, I like your selection @ £105m plus Auba gives £172.5m. plus whatever net spend. We can go to town with that. Yours is 6 players plus 5 out of contract gives 11 out going. On that amount, say £212.5m we can easily bring in 7players with only a 4no. player deficit. I like your big thinking. I only wonder if 7 new players would have too disruptive an effect on a team.

  • One big problem with getting big players is Ozil. We approach said player and submit a successful bid to the club then the agent comes in to contract negotiations and says my play scored more goals created more goals and so on. So my client would demand hes paid to the level of Ozil because he statistics say my client is the better player. Where if we were title challengers or winners buying top players comes far easier

  • With the remaining £40m i’d sign William Saliba £10m (More in reality) and loan him back to St Etienne for a season ready to take over Koscielny’s squad role in a years time.

  • Amir, I loved that car Holden. It keeps popping up in my dreams even though it’s out of the market.😅

  • Omar, the post made it clear it was premised on the rumoured net spend and the valuation of players. Just as bases for analysis and speculative projections. Nowhere in the post were they canvassed as facts.

  • Simmonds, good arguement on behalf of Emery. Do we dare sell so many?

  • Simmonds …….. sorry I really should have specified advantage over the top 6. How valid is it now citing Viera and co for making a case. The football landscape has altered so much ever since.

  • Top Gun …. I agree in principle with signing the likes of 18 yr old Willian Saliba for £10m but as a sub plot. With each extra year out of the CL, the danger of sinking further increases.

  • “Big teams should have unearthing gems as a sub plot and not as a main plot. By the way every team, particularly the poorer teams, dream of unearthing gems (brilliant players on the cheap). There is nothing that gives us an advantage over other teams in that area. Clear advantage exists only with spending power.”

    PE, it is about recruiting the right people to find those gems and it is about a manager who can spot them, and then develop them. Every manager has a ‘home market’ and for Emery it is the Spanish one and possibly the French one. He brought us Guendouzi and, until now, I am not impressed with that ‘find’. But it is also about developing our promising youth players into the first team and he had some mixed success with it. Money spending plays a role but vision and smartness are also very important.

    Good post my friend. 🙂

  • Top Gun, ….nice list @ £117m. Good you picked out Rabiot as on free transfer. But the “free” is merely a technical usage of the word. There is a sign on fee, and padded wages which over the during of the player’s contract probably sums up to about the same. That is why I overlooked it. All the same, on-the-free is softer in the sense that the balance of the “fee” is spread out through the wages.

  • Thanks TA. Some of the intricacies are showing up. Was it the wise old man that told us that a transfer dealing is no trolley dash in the super market? 😅

  • Good point P.E. Rabiot would probably want around £10m just to sign. Couple that with his infaled wage demands due to him being ‘free'( i reckon around £200kpw) and suddenly ‘free’ becomes quite a fee.indeed.

    It’s a risky deal as he’s had off field issues at both club and country level and the last thing we need if we manage to get rid of Mesut “Your not a coach” Ozil is another player on high wages not pulling his weight because his porridge isn’t just right.

    However as a player his skill and elegance is undeniable, and if he messes around at Arsenal then his career at elite level would almost certainly be done. Strike one France fiasco. Strike two the PSG situation (Which wasn’t totally his fault)

    I say all that to say that i’d take a punt on him if we can get Mhkhi and Ozil off the wage books.

  • Yeah i think we can get away with selling so many as our spine Leno, Holding, Sokratis, Torriera, AMN, Lacazette and/or PEA will still be there. We need to hold onto both Laca and PEA this season unless a silly bid comes in. A new 10 is a must as Ozil is gone, a new Ramsey or 2 players of a similar style. Im liking the sound of the lads from Boca and the 1 from River Plate.

    Even though we do need a new defence i feel this is because of age more than anything and suitable backups. We lost our games in midfield and on the wings when Ramsey’s not there were a different team. I also think even though i said I’d sell Iwobi, giving him a shot at 10 keeping that continuity with the current squad is something i wouldn’t mind the boss tying and it gives Iwobi a final chance. As a winger hes not explosive or dynamic enough.

    I think we need 3 midfielders especially if Elneny is sold. Right and Left back cover lets say the signing of Balata from Basle for 4m with Monreal as backup then Saliba from St Etienne 18m and Munier 22m or cheaper

    Our Defence then would be:

    Sokratis, Holding, Saliba, Mavripanos, Balata, Monreal, Bellerin, Munier costing 44m selling Kos Ospina, Mustafi and Chambers would bring our net spend down quite a bit on that too.

    Midfield: Torriera, AMN, Willock, Iwobi, Smith-Rowe, Guendouzi, Nahitan Nández 4m , Exequile Palacios 10m, Preat 24m total 38m sales of Elneny Xhaka and Ozil would more than cover these purchases too

    Forwards: PEA, Lacazette, Nkethia, Nelson, Ismael Sarr 25m(my choice instead of Zaha based on age, price and atitude), Martinelli 6m, Tossard 15m total 41m even if we sold one of PEA or Lacazette which we wouldn’t need to wed still have a low net spend.

    We have more than 45m to spend don’t believe the media. Remember our 40m budget last summer that turned into 75m without any sales. So the squad would be very strong and of course my signings are based on players that have been linked with us but a major overhaul doesn’t mean we lose our core players.

  • You know Rabiot, Top Gun. He is elegant on the field
    The closest thing to Viera, whom our collective soul is still yawning for. But it seems he is full of issues. One thing though, issues or no issues, once on the field he is so competitive.

    He has the personality to change the character of our team. Imo, he is a gamble worth taking

  • Add Rabiot into my midfield above with ozil off the books we could more than afford 200k a week and a small sign on fee for a player of his quality our midfield would be a beast

  • JS … I hope those gems are real gems, I mean those £(4, 6, 10)m signings. If they are nothing can be better. Otherwise I’d rather go for quality at the expense of numbers. Quality over a few windows guarantees numbers but numbers might not guarantee quality.

  • Afternoon BK’s…

    PE, just got around to reading your well thought out and informative post, good work mate…
    I’ve not read any of the comments above so this is just off of the top of my head.

    My thoughts on who we need this summer are : a dominant centre back, an attacking wide midfielder – someone with pace to stretch the opposition, a reserve goalkeeper, a b2b replacement for Ramsey, a young right back as cover for Bellerin, a top quality left back, not sure we need a new number 10 as that position seems to have gone out of fashion.

    Of course our sales may mean that other positions need attention, like if we sold Aubameyang or Lacazette or both? I’m not attached to any of our players, so if we need to sell, then sell at a good price – a la Coutinho – and replace with younger quality on lesser salaries.

  • I see what your saying, but the South American market is far less inflated and at 18 20 and 21 years of age they are worth the gamble. Their resale value once in europe will increase quite a lot. Palacios has full international caps for Uruguay so have already be marked as having the quality to play international football, as well as being courted by other big European clubs alla Martinelli. With Rabiot added in we would be in a very strong place. With Rabiot, Palacios, Preat, Sarr and Tossard wed be adding 5 full internationals to the squad

    I think midfield is vital too and they need to be brought up with a club culture. We lost to chelsea in the Midfield not defence as the media keep pointing out Hazard found pockets of space the Xhaka did not close down and Ozil didn’t stop his supply from Jorginho. When Ramsey played at the Emirates Jorginho was having the ball taken off him before he knew he had it Ramsey embarrassed him. We need that fight and these south Americans have it where Xhaka and Ozil.

    Who with world class quality can we sign without champions league football. We need to build our own dont forget Kos cost us 7m when City and utd were paing 40m+ for defenders Holding Cost us 2.5m Mavripanos 3m Monreal 7m so the players are out there for those prices

  • Not having Champions League could have a negative effect on how attractive Arsenal are, but Arsenal are still a huge club and we only just missed out this season.
    Everton despite the investment are still not gaining on us, Wolves are dangerous but if they lose their manager their development will stall, Leicester and Newcastle are a long way off, but we mustn’t be complacent and I take you point PE…

    Tagliafico would be a great signing and Ziyech is a top player, but competition for them and Pepe is going to be huge, so we may need to look to players with a lower profile but big potential?

    Edu will have a big knowledge of the South American market and it’s an area where Arsenal have been poor in exploiting, so maybe it’s a market we should be looking at?

  • Allezkev i agree there, i would love us to sign Pepe id probable urge arsenal to sell PEA to the highest bidder to get him too. As you said Edu coming on board gives us a massive clue as to the transfer strategy look at Coutinho bout for 12m sold for over 100m

  • Hi guys, i’m a regular reader of your blog and i’m quite astonished by the comment about Özil’s ego. What proof do you have about this? The supposed insult he had against UE? Read on his lips? In English or Turk or nobody truly knows? I remember the Hazard’s action during the first half that Cech could pushed away. Who was there in our penalty area? Özil. Who was far behind him? Torreira. Oh, yes, but Torreira was crying when leaving and Özil was a walking shame.
    The main point of all this is that this is real life and not FIFA. The point is: what do the players wish for themselves? This is no dictatorship: contracts are signed and some will surely wish to respect them. Ciao.

  • Hi James, a lot of big CL teams will be after Pepe and as much as I’d love to see him at Arsenal I’m not sure we can get him – hope I’m wrong.

    Gotta remember the balance of our 25 man squad, 17 foreigners + 8 home made, many of our youngsters are still U21 so don’t need to qualify, Mavropanos is over 21 this season so will need to be one of our 17.

  • 1. the lay of the land:
    our first choice XI should have been (we could never play with that line-up, actually – which may partly account for our disappointment, by the way …):
    (in 3-4-1-2, which is the conclusion unai came up with)
    the “cup” team should have looked like the one below (in 3-4-2-1):
    (almost) never used were:
    on (“meaningful”) loan we had:
    2 where do we go from here?
    ramsey’s on his way to juve
    kos and nacho are beyond the pale
    chambers has starred (as much as he could) at fulham, why bother buying a bailly/otamendi/lindelof/sanchez (the spuds’ one) to eventually bench him and his fat transfer fee/salary? let’s trust our lad, he’s gifted, intelligent, versatile (he can deputize as right-back – DM), a work in real, dramatic progress
    joe willock’s time has come; his cameo appearance at baku should have opened the eyes of those who had so far chosen to be blind: aaron has an heir
    left-back position is the problem; i try never to be harsh on anyone who wears the red shirt, but kola is a catastrophe waiting to happen. since with aaron/jenko/danny gone we have a “homegrown” problem, so we have to lure chilwell out of leicester, into the home of real football
    which would leave us with:
    3 what about the money?
    saving some on wages: cech, lichtsteiner, ramsey, welbeck, ..
    selling (even at bargain price) the lads who will never reach above their current level: mustafi, xhaka, mkhitaryan, elneny
    4 next year missing out on champions league is a blessing in disguise
    as immediate back up (and in cup games) we’ll have a wonderful squad of hungry lads:
    martinez, bielick, ballard, amaechi, saka, nketiah, nelson, iwobi, medley
    that’s at least twelve full games under their belts (8 europa league, 2 carabao, 2 fac)
    just what they/we need
    5 unai’s the problem, not the solution
    to get the best out of such a squad, we need a man who trusts his players, their creativity, not someone who treats them like pawns: we should spend big on ten hag, the ajax man, the one who has proved you can play spectacular, attacking, winning, exciting football with a bunch of youngsters and a few reborn lads (what he did to tadic, could be done to mesut)

  • True, our home made should be fine Iwobi Nelson, AMN, Nketia, Smith-Rowe, Bellerin, Holding, Willock, Martinez if he stays as our 2nd keeper. If you think if we can sell Ozil, Mikhitarian, Elneny, Mustafi, Xhaka i dont think we registered a full 25 last season either if my memory serves so we still have room i believe plus sales

  • Well Lichtsteiner and Cech have definitely gone, that frees up two spots, Suarez frees up another, Welbeck and Ramsey, possibly Jenkinson are home made, Ospina would free up another foreign spot. It’s going to have to be a consideration on who stays, who goes and who arrives…

  • South America is a very rich market but the snag with getting them young there is the work permit rule here which requires that any such player would have played a certain ratio of Fifa recognized matches for his national team within a specified period. There are some countries like Portugal that don’t have it. That is why most South American players come to the PL through Europe. By that time their market values have skyrocketed. Any such purchase by a premiership team can only be sent on loan to another country until that player gains an EU status or satisfies the national team appearance conditions.

  • I think there is a provision that gives waiver to “special” talents.

  • With so much out-going players most of whom are on big wages, our wage bill will drop appreciably. Money saved is money earned and with time sums up to amounts for further purchases.

  • PE, the heritage of a South American player is another way, many have Spanish, Italian and Portuguese ancestry so can qualify that way, that’s how we signed Edu and Silvinho direct from Brazil and why we missed out on Edmilson.
    Martinelli the young Brazilian forward we’re expected to complete on once he turns 18 this month has got himself an Italian passport and due to his age he doesn’t need to be one of our 17 foreigners in the 25.

    It’s all about building relationships with scouts and agents in South America and they do breed them tough in that part of the world.

  • Hi guys… Gotta run so I’m gonna keep it quick…

    There are a couple of quick comments from our regulars here that seem weird. Directly above: “…we have let our top scorer go,” and in the post itself, “Ozil who is already gone by this post.” Sorry, JK and PE, but I don’t understand. Are you guys taking headlines (on NewsNow, maybe) as the truth?… If so, there’s a thing called “click-bait” and folks (like you guys) who’ve been through a summer or two ought to know better than to swallow it…

    In my opinion… (though perhaps I’ve misunderstood, or something got lost in translation…)

    On the other hand, this post, which I think must be fun (for some) but borders on the absurd ( for me, see below if you wanna keep reading…) is what (modern?) “supporters” seem to crave. I guess we all prefer scenarios that engender a sense of hope over the actual experience of watching the football. Hell, looking in the mirror I have to admit that I didn’t go the extra mile to actually watch several of our final (league) matches and certainly didn’t want to comment here (on a site that maintains a “positive” outlook) ahead of what (I was certain) would be disappointing results. Now that it’s summer, I feel freer to (at least) chime in…

    But, this focus on transfer fees IS absurd, (in my opinion). In US (or North American) sports we have NO SUCH THING, even if (on occasion) we have player exchanges that involve cash. Without looking at our wage bill it’s (far) less than half the story. I appreciate it’s “just for discussion” and that these other elements are (sorta, kinda) embedded in the names people throw out. Still, I’d be FAR more interested in ideas (or descriptions, videos, anything, really…) about your favored players (Manolas, Tagliofico, Rabiot, Pepe, others?…) and their playing styles, how they’d fit into Emery’s (not at all to my liking…) “system” and who they’d replace…AND what they would cost, both in terms of transfer fees AND salaries. As it is, I really cannot follow the discussion (quite so far into fantasy-land). There must be some ‘puter games that I’m missing where this kind of analysis holds sway (FootballManager, maybe?). If so, please reference them…

    For me, to be excited about this summer at Arsenal, I’m not even gonna look at NewsNow. If Emery goes I WILL get TRULY excited and I’m sure I will get back into following the transfer tittle or even doing some back of the envelope calculations, myself. THAT’S the news I’m hoping for….and surely I will stumble across it by checking in 2 or 3 times per week on the 2 or 3 blogs I scan these days… (Or by watching the crawl–the narrative script sometimes shown during other sporting events–as I watch some the rest of the basketball or maybe some tennis or golf.) Otherwise, this version of Arsenal ain’t going nowhere but down… And the only up-side (for me) is on the human side. Now I know how other (so-called) supporters felt as they waited for Wenger Out… 😦

    Sorry… and that’s only my opinion, and, as such, I can hardly call myself a supporter… (Therefore… Moderator: please delete this comment as you see necessary… 😉 …)

  • Yes HT, you must have misunderstood …. “Ozil who ia already gone by (the arguement of) this post” … obviously not by the stories of NewsNow.

    Am happy you appreciate that it’s “just for discussion” which not only serves as entertainment for many but also can help give some insight that may help people outside the system appreciate a little bit more what those inside are doing. Wouldn’t it be such a boring world if we only have to deal with mathematical facts and no speculations at all.

  • Great article. A lot of thought went into it. I’m so disappointed at the budbet that’s being talked about for Arsenal. I hope it’s not true, and that they just are trying to make sure they dont overpay. I had a lot of hope for Emery with Sven helping, and for him to leave so abruptly, I’m afraid something is very wrong at the club.

  • Hmm

    Bang for buck, imo, someone who’s worth lots but not worth lots here because we under use them, or they just don’t fit even tho they contribute:

    A. Sell Xhaka

    That’s it… though see the following.

    We have the right attack generally, we lack a bullying defense and high line emery seems to like. Thus, our needs are:

    B. A midfield engine, and tough system playing outside backs.

    Because Kola isn’t quite it, and Bellerin is very offensive but not prone to staying home. It squeezes in attackers we now have, and leaves us open. We do have Holding… Thus,

    C. I’d “trade” Mkhitaryan or Ozil for a first class engine,

    D. I’d sell also El Neny and/or Kola and/or one of Koz or Nacho or Chambers if it won’t be him — all IF NECESSARY — to get *very* solid pressing outside backs

    Why? Our defense let other teams escape our press. Not Ozil, not forwards… we had no team coordination as a defensive system . That needs fixing first, middle and last, and leads also to the “is it Emery’s fault?” Question..

    We were 2-3 goals not let in from third. Easy ones! Imagine if our bloody high goals in was a realistic 5-8 lower? Or more. Look at city and Pool, they’re top not because of the more scored, but really, the way less let in…

    Cheers — jgc

  • Hello.

    Five players I would sell:

    1.Mustafi – he was imported in the worst transfer window Arsenal had in the Wenger era (2016, when we wasted 70 million pounds on Mustafi and Xhaka plus 17 on Perez).
    2.Xhaka – he will never be a dominating force in Premier League, too many mistakes, not enough of the final product.
    3.Iwobi – young, HG-player, capable of pulling an odd goal or assist but not enough for his position on the pitch; not intelligent enough, just like the previous two players on the list.
    4.Mkhitaryan – too old, too inconsistent, too expensive in terms of wage…having both him and Özil on the books is plain crazy.
    5.Guendouzi – yes, it’s an odd choice but here is my view: he doesn’t look like a player that has any special quality but his bravery. Denilson looked like a better player at his age and we all know how it panned out. If it’s true anyone is willing to pay over the odds for him, sell him. PSG were reported for making a bid of around 60 millions for him. I don’t know if they are still interested but I’d sell.

    Rabiot is available on a free transfer so…

  • Wow comments from from Jnyc, the Chase and Admir! Xhaka is first on team sheet for me but he needs to be play deep, supported by Torreira to make up for the occasional Granit mistake. Key in our system is to get more attacking support from the two mid-wingers, so Xha-Tor can stay a bit deeper and give more protection to our defence, as Emery wants them to contribute to the attack build-up which does not suit them. So I would spend my money on a quality mid-winger!

  • Ok TA

    Keep Xhaka, but CHANGE the system. Keep him deep. We still need system players for defense. Koz and Nacho are, or were, but 34… :/ When they and BFG ran a system it worked. Very well. We were 2nd or 3rd in goals allowed, making up for it by not scoring much after RvP left. Now, the opposite.

    System, system, and mongrel are the needs. We may not need an engine then, and Ozil would do… I’d still offload Mkhitaryan and some others but that’s more tidying.

    NB: I thought Xhaka was effective, just not as effective as what we’d get.

    PS: TA, where’re you moving now?

    Cheers — jgc

  • Admir,

    Good comment about Douzi.
    He is like Iwobi. If you do not train him properly he will not be a good all-rounder.
    And Emery relies on him more than anyone else this season, makes a huge point on his squad. Either he does not believe in his more senior players, or that he has no better option to turn to.
    Or simply, he did not see the squad fully and went with his heart. That’s a very dangerous thing to do.

  • Admir ……. that is a brave one on Guendouzi. I can understand where you’re coming from. He is great for his age, brave of heart but lacks body strength and athleticism (physicality) needed for the defensive phase of the game and which is very crucial in the PL. I doubt if he’d grow there. I hope he proves me wrong. Again he’s not switched on defensively but here he could get better with time.

    I made a post in Holding’s 1st season that he’d make a great DM. I still think so. He is a good ball player and very intelligent with his passing. Chambers was voted the best player at Fulham where he played as a DM. He is also a good ball player but his passing is not as creative as Holding’s. Am of the opinion that why we ship in goals so easily is not only because of our defenders but also because we have a midfield of players who can’t defend and of course also Emery’s attitude on goals is lopsidedly on the “for” side.

  • Geoff.

    I have moved just 0.5 km away to a larger and nicer apartment (in Edinburgh). Aim is to settle here for a while. All agreed re your comment. Unfortunately, it looks like Xhaka may be on his way to Italy. Yesterday, Holland played England and Frenkie de Jong was quietly the star in midfield. He sat back a lot – in between/in front of the CBs – and controlled the game there. De Jong is a better defender and more agile than Xhaka, but the Swiss also played in that sort of role for Switzerland very effectively the night before. Many Brits don’t seem to value him for what he has to offer – his overview, quality passing, leadership, giving shape to the team, etc – and just focus on his occasional bad pass or tackle instead, and I fear this lack of appreciation will make him leave to the continent (where they still get football a lot more than over here, it is sad to say).

    Agreed re Mkhi. He has some good games but we need somebody who is like Iwobi but then more effective. I have every confidence that Alex will get there as he is still young, but we need the finished article if we want to move forward.

  • Agreed TA, Xhaka might have some telling weaknesses but he is by far the biggest personality in the midfield if not in the team. What our team lacks is character and it might not be smart doing away at this point with our biggest personality.

  • Hi Retsub …. there is a unique hue you give to this blog that is being missed. Just a hi ftom you so we know all is well.

  • Thanks TA

    Sounds like Xhaka was perhaps misplayed? If they sell him a middle back three of Sokratis, Holding and Chambers? One of the latter with Sokratis and one with Torreira? We need spine!

    I have more faith Iwobi will come right, and Guendouzi too…

    How long you been in Edinburgh? I thought you were elsewhere, and in a house, but maybe missed a few steps. Very hectic last year or so here… Hope the weather is better at the new place! 😉

    Cheers — jgc

  • Geoff, yes that would be a good way of looking at it. There is life after Xhaka, of course, but I believe that modern football has a playmaker deeper as well as close to the opponent’s ‘D’, and Xhaka has some rare skills imo.

    Been in Edinburgh for over two years, after a two year stay in Moffat which is about forty miles north of the English border. Small town life was not for us in the end. Are you still based in NZ? Belgium in June should be great.

  • Hey TA

    I’d like to keep Xhaka but if he’s less valuable to us — the way he’s played — than he is to others… So, one thing has to change. Like you I would play him deeper with Torreira and then maybe Holding. In front id have Ozil, Auba and Laca which is a 4-3-1-2 … In this dream like state I’d keep Bellerin and attack minded Kola outside, or even, gasp, put Iwobi at outside back… I did say dream like… 🙂 …

    Numbers back in front of the ball, stiff defense and strong attack that is free to do that… We would likely sit and counter more…. but hey, it’s my dream.. 🙂

    Ah, so village life wasn’t for you. Yes, I’m still in NZ, still not sure what next or if there should be a next, and still “Sciencing Hard!” … I am told you will love Edinburgh ! Have a wee dram for me….

    PS: Yes, Belgium is almost always nice in my opinion, at least Liege / Luik / Luttich, but I’ve been told I am unusual! 😀

    Cheers — jgc

  • PS: Maybe I should have said, I agree because the deep playmaker springs the team forward, before organised system defending teams have time to get back and reset. Thus, like lots of teams there is increasing counter attack football (vs break down the other side football?), which needs this player who can defend and has vision and ball holding skills to quickly find the mid to long passs to Ozil or similar up front breaking the other team down in transition.

    Xhaka is that player and plays that way for the Swiss, where international football is more cautious/safe, but Arsenal still don’t do this as much by design I think (ghost of Wenger?)

    Cheers — jgc

  • Good to hear you are sciencing hard, Geoff, and that you are reasonably settled in NZ. I reckon your kids are also at an age in which a bit of stability re future – schools, friends, clubs, etc – would be helpful. Edinburgh is a fine small city that has almost everything to offer, including its own hills to climb and good cycle tracks to bike on. It is also just two hours away from the gateway to the Highlands and the Cairngorms, so all good.

    Agreed re Xhaka. I think Unai likes him and he may stop a departure to Italy, but Granit may want to leave to be able to play his game with appreciation.

    I like your line-up but was thinking more like this:
    —– Leno ——-
    Bels – Sok – Hold – Buy/Nacho
    ———– Xhaka — Tor———–
    Buy——— Ozil ———–Iwobi/Auba
    ———— Laca ——————-

    I think we need a Hazard type on the right and ideally left. Iwobi is that type of payer but he is not contributing enough bread and butter stuff right now – this may come next season. Auba is not ideal on the left but will contribute goals and assists. But the one buy we need to make is that Hazard type, either on the left or right, but ideally on the right. That would give Ozil a lot more options and will make him less prone to be marked out of the game. Torreira can support both Xhaka and Ozil, but sits back most of the time to keep us defensively solid. The midwingers need to be able to also help their FBs, so must be athletic and energetic. Xhaka would thrive in such a set up, I reckon.

    I love it that you like Luik btw, an area I know reasonably well.

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