Willock Loan, Watford Friendly, Chelsea and More

Willock Loan

Rumours coming out from the North East is that Joe Willock is close returning to Newcastle on loan.

With 2 years left on his contract, the deal only makes sense if there is an obligation to buy or Arsenal have an option to extend his contract by a further year to protect his transfer value.

Sending him loan without either of these in place will just see his transfer value plummet in 2022 regardless of his performances.

The worry is Newcastle are a mess of a club at the moment which further complicates any transfer business.

Watford Friendly

Due to play Watford in a behind closed doors friendly today at London Colney.

Imagine it will be similar to the Millwall friendly where the game is live, but released in full on the Arsenal App later in the day.

Will be a good run out against a Premier League side who are at a similar stage of preparations as us.

Pre-season then cranks up another gear at the weekend with the game against Chelsea on Sunday.

Chelsea

The friendly on Sunday against Chelsea is far from a sell-out. In fact there will be more empty seats than purchased seats.

A toxic mix of factors are at play:

  • £30+ tickets – Ticket prices for the game are no different to what the club charged in 2019 for the Emirates Cup tie against Lyon. The club will argue they have priced the game right, especially with £5 of each ticket going to the Mind charity. But the lack of sales  shows that it is too expensive taking into account the world is a very different place from 2019.
  • Covid19 – With ever changing Covid rules, rumours of Covid passports and people still concerned to big in big groups, sales were always going to drop
  • Sunday Kick Off – And finally the Sunday kick off has not helped

You chuck all 3 factors into the pot and you end up with the poor ticket sales.

Lack of Transfer Business

I have seen a few people moan on social media about our “lack” of transfer business so far this summer.

Some blaming Edu for spending a week on holiday rather than securing transfers.

It is all just a bit petty really.

The Ben White deal will be concluded this week making it £75million spent on 3 new players.

We would have bought in a starting centre back, back up left back and a talented central midfielder.

Another central midfielder still needs to be bought in; but this is dependant on Grant Xhaka leaving. Likewise a new right back will only come in once Hector Bellerin is close to leaving.

We still need to add some creativity behind the striker and a 2nd choice keeper.

Following the Euro’s, most top players have been away. Deals always take a little longer when there is an international tournament on. And Covid restrictions delay deals further.

Manchester United have only signed Jadon Sancho, Liverpool just Ibrahima Konate and Spurs Bryan Gil. Chelsea and Man City yet to sign anyone of note.

Aston Villa have been “praised” for their transfer business this summer but they have still only really signed Emi Buendia. Whilst Leeds have made a loan deal permanent and bought up a back up left back from Barcelona. Palace have signed a couple of youngsters.

Everton’s biggest signing is Demarai Gray whilst West Ham and Newcastle have done nothing of note.

£410million has been spent so far in this transfer window.

Manchester United are the only side to have spent over £70million. Leicester next with £45million.

If the Ben White deal is completed before any other Premier League deal is confirmed, Arsenal’s expenditure so far will make up nearly 20% of all Premier League spending this summer.

The league starts later than normal this season (August 13th) and the transfer deadline has been moved back to 31st August.

Yes, there will always be people arguing that “we should have all our transfer business done early” but the reality is almost every club, every season, leaves it late.

Do not get wound up by transfer speculation.

Keenos

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