It was just 24 hours ago that we were advising people to calm down and not worry. That the transfer window was merely 3 days old so you were stressing over nothing that we had not signed anyone yet.
Barely 6 hours after that blog went live, Arsenal had made the first signing of the summer – Marquinhos.
Now the naysayers will be spinning the narrative that “a 19-year old prospect is not a real signing”. Well you were not saying that yesterday when you were talking about Liverpool having made a signing already – the only man they have signed is also a 19-year-old in Fábio Carvalho.
Marcus Vinicius Oliveira Alencar – to quote his full name for the first and only time – joins from Brazilian outfit Sao Paolo; whom he played 41 times for last season.
I would be lying if I said I had ever heard of him prior to us being linked – or even seen him play. I am sure there will be some social media experts that will claim to have been following him since he was 11 playing on the beach though.
He does come with a fairly high reputation. Do not be put off by the price tag.
Arsenal got him at a cut price due to an issue with his contract.
In 2019, at 16, he signed a 5 year deal with Sao Paolo. However FIFA rules dictate that uU18 players can only sign a 3 year deal. This meant that his contract basically expired.
Arsenal have done a deal reportedly worth €3.5 million as Edu hopes to build a long turn relationship with the Brazilian club.
Where does Marquinhos fit in at Arsenal? I really do not know.
Look back to the signing of Gabriel Martinelli.
Martinelli was signed as an 18-year-old and expected to play for our PL2 side. His performances in pre-season saw him quickly elevated to the first team squad – and then he got his opportunities in the League Cup and Europa League and never looked back.
No one would have expected Martinelli to score 10 goals in 26 games in his first season. But he is now a solid member of our senior squad. And still just 20.
I expect there to be a similar plan with Marquinhos.
He will not be expected to make an immediate first team impact. Instead he will be with the first team in pre-season and then it will be “see where he goes”.
He could be the next Maritnelli. He could be the next Wellington Silva.
Either way, his signing will stop people saying “we have not signed anyone yet”. They will probably just find something else to moan about though.
Talking about something else to moan about, Emile Smith Rowe played for England last night in the U21s. What is the point?
Smith Rowe turns 22 in a month and already has 3 senior caps. He should not be taking the step down to youth football.
If Gareth Southgate decided not to pick him for the senior squad for the pointless Nations League games, he should have been given the summer off.
U21 football should all be about developing players, and I am not really sure how playing it benefits Smith Rowe.
Last season he played nearly 2,500 senior minutes for Arsenal. He should have been on the beach resting. Not still playing football in the middle of June.
At least that “campaign” is now over and he can now get 4 weeks rest ahead of returning to pre-season training in the middle of July (first pre-season friendly for Arsenal is 8th July).
Likewise tonight is the last “Nations League” game of the season.
We have seen teams begin to put out massively changed XIs for Nations League fixtures which highlights the shine has already rubbed off the competition. It is now being treated as post-season friendlies.
Good idea, but time to cancel it.
Hopefully Bukayo Saka gets through unscathed and will be able to get in some much needed rest.
Have a good Tuesday.