Rumours swirling around that Granit Xhaka could be off to Roma in a deal worth £20million + add ons.
If the deal goes through, it is a good one all around.
Roma get a very good player who would be well suited to the slower, Italian football. Xhaka gets the fresh start he perhaps needs mentally. And Arsenal get a decent chunk of cash.
A few people have questions the fee, highlighting that Arsenal paid £35million for him so selling him for £20million would be a £15million loss. This is incorrect and a narrow way of thinking.
Xhaka has been at the club for 5-years. His original fee would have been fully amortised across the accounts during the time. That means for accounting purposes, we have no more of his transfer fee to write off.
So from the accounts point of view, the £20million (if paid upfront) will be considered pure profit. We do not have to offset any of the incoming fee against what we paid for him originally.
It also needs to be taken into account that when we signed Xhaka at 23-years-old, he was considered one of the best midfielders under 25 in Europe. 5 years on and his star has waned.
Add in the fact he only has 2-years left on his contract, and wants out, Arsenal can not exactly sit their and demand a huge fee.
I am slightly concerned about Arsenal being linked with Ruben Neves.
He just seems a younger a version of Xhaka with the same strengths and weaknesses.
Neves has a good range of passing, scores the occasional screamer, but is slow across the pitch.
I guess where he is an upgrade is he does not have the “brain farts” that Xhaka does. And if you take away Xhaka’s mistakes, he is actually a decent central midfield options.
Would he be a good replacement? An upgrade? A debate for another day.
Bit of non-Arsenal news and some commentary on what is happening over the cricket.
Ollie Robinson was found to have made some racist and sexist tweets nearly 10 years ago. He made his debut for England last week. He has now been suspended.
Wisden have since “uncovered” tweets from another England player made when he was under 16.
This is going to happen more and more as players breaking through have grown up in the social media world. You will get more sports stars being “exposed” from messages they sent on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc has a child.
Now firstly I understand that Robinson was not a child when he made the messages. But he was already a professional cricketer.
So surely he should have been punished back in 2012 and 2013 when he made the tweets. Not 9 years later?
Likewise the England player who was under 16.
We have all done silly things as an adolescent. Whether it is said something we shouldn’t, stolen from a shop, smoked a bit of weed. The question is should you be “punished” for what you did at 14 or 15 when you are 23 or 24?
My feeling is that if the punishment was not handed out when the incident happened, they should not be handed out at all.
It can not be a case of “oh he is in Kent’s second XI, it does not matter what he Tweets”. And then 8 years later “Oh he is now an England international. Lets suspend him for something he said 8 years ago”.
Now I am not excusing the behaviour of Robinson as a 19 year old. But what I am saying is suspending him 8 or 9 years later just because he is now playing on a bigger stage is wrong.
The same will happen in football.
How long until you get someone who has risen up through the leagues like a Jamie Vardy, go on to make their England debut only for someone to find Tweets they made 10 years earlier as an 18-year-old?
As above, more and more players have grown up during the social media era. And as a result these sorts of stories will become more and more regular.
If what they said 10 years ago was not deemed punishable then, when they were a professional, it should not be punishable now.
Punish players for tweeting racist and sexist comments. But punish them when they said it. Not 9 years later just because they have risen to a bigger stage.
The only reason Robinson has been suspended is because he now plays for England.