Morning all. Although it might be afternoon by the time I hit publish.
I sit hear having watched an entirely predictable first 10 minutes from England as Pakistan put on a quick fire 30. That little 10 minute session makes a big difference.
But that’s enough about cricket.
The news coming out of Arsenal today is that we need to be prepared for some popular faces to leave Arsenal to fund the rebuild.
The most popular, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to stay. But who could be gone?
The young Englishman isn’t really that young anymore. He turns 25 in September.
A lot of fans rate him. But he has yet to start 1 Premier League games in a single season.
With the arrivals of Pablo Mari and William Saliba, and the new contract for David Luiz, Holding will be at best 4th choice centre back next season.
We have been heavily linked with Lille’s Gabriel this summer. If we do buy another central defender, Holding will be relegated to 5th.
Holding will never be good enough to be a first team regular for Arsenal. We’d be best cashing in for £20m and reinvesting that on someone like Gabriel who is younger, better, and still improving.
We were all excited about Lucas Torreira when he signed in a couple of years ago, but he has not quite lived up to what we wanted.
He failed to fully nail down a spot under Unai Emery and has barely had a sniff under Mikel Arteta.
Torreira is a very good player, and it is tough to work out just why it has not worked out for him at Arsenal.
Like replacing Holding with Gabriel, selling Torreira and buying Thomas Partey would still Arsenal cashing in on a squad player and signing a starter.
In years to come, Arsenal fans are going to look back and either say “we let go a world class midfielder there” or “I’m glad we cashed in when we could”.
There is no doubting Guendouzi’s talent. His attitude is the problem. And it isn’t just what happened at Brighton.
He often undermined Unai Emery by mocking his accent. He showed zero respect for Freddie a Ljungberg. He fell out with Mikel Arteta and the coaching staff in Dubai.
He is clearly immature, despite his mature performances on the pitch. It cost him an FA Cup medal.
Compare that to Dani Ceballos who has overcome a tough transition and has become a key player for Arsenal.
Cash raised from selling Guendouzi and Torreira would finance the dead for Ceballos and Partey.
Too little too late from Ainsley it feels.
6 months ago he looked like he had played his last game for the club.
Since the suspension of football was lifted, he has knuckled down and started the FA Cup final.
But he is still a man struggling for an identity.
He isn’t good enough in defence to play right back. He has shown little in the centre of the park to show he deserves a place there.
We’re Arsenal to continue with 3 at the back, he would be starting right wing back ahead of Hector Bellerin. But Arteta will return to 4 at the back next season.
Having signed Cedric for nothing, cashing in on Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be pure profit.
He is a player that would not need to be replaced in the Arsenal squad. Funds raised on him could immediately go to improving elsewhere.
With just 10 league goals this season, it has been a tough one for the Frenchman.
Once Aubameyang’s long term future at Arsenal is confirmed, Lacazette could find himself being sold.
With Bukayo Saka set to make the left wing his own, backed up by the incoming Willian, Aubameyang will play upfront next season.
That would leave Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli backing him up.
It makes little sense on having Lacazette sitting on the bench when his transfer fee and wages can be invested better elsewhere.
Aubameyang upfront backed up by Nketiah and Gabriel is not much weaker. And the funds from Lacazette could go towards buying someone like Coutinho.
So playing Football Manager, what can Arsenal expect from selling the 5? Over £100m?
Holding (£15-20m), Torreira (£20-25m), Maitland-Niles (£15-20m), Guendouzi (£30-40m) & Lacazette (£30-35m).
That could be £110-140m raised. And who would actually be missed?
And then let’s say we go and sign Gabriel, Partey, Coutinho and Willian, as well extend Ceballos’s contract further. That is then a Champions League chasing squad.
Plenty to think about whilst England do their best to give us hope before collapsing in this run chase.