Transfers are a bit like buying a house

And that is why you shouldn’t invest in a player until the deal is actually done.

Almost out of nowhere Chelsea had a bid accepted for Raphinha.

Journalists across the land had been reporting that Arsenal were in talks, in pole position to land the Leeds United midfielder. But they tempered those reports but stating we had not met Leed’s evaluation.

Every report I read made it clear. Leeds United wanted £65million.

Raphinha was expected to join Barcelona this summer. It was apparently the players primary choice. But the deal broke down because the Spanish giants could not meet the asking price.

Then the links to Arsenal begun.

When I first read those links, it felt a little odd. That we were being used in an attempt to get Barcelona to pay the £65million. It is a common tactic used by agents and selling clubs to try and get a move elsewhere.

But speculation began to grow and clearly we were interested.

Last week it was reported that we had a £30million bid turned down – way off Leeds’ valuation. It was again reiterated in the media that they wanted £65million.

Arsenal were clearly unwilling to pay the £65million – a stance which I think is correct. So talks were scheduled this week.

We clearly had our “upper limit” for the player and it would be up to negotiating team to establish what Leeds’ “lowest limit” would be for the player and trying and come to an agreement.

But before that could take place, Chelsea swept in and paid the asking price.

Now for anyone that has bought a house, they will know this happens a lot.

You are trying to buy a house buy don’t value it at what the seller wants (or do not have the finances to get reach that far). You are in negotiations with the seller to bring that price down. Then another buyer swoops in and pays the asking.

You are frustrated you lost the house but you could never afford it at what it sold for (or don’t value it at that).

Football transfer are no different.

Edu and the team will know what the budget is this year for transfers.

If they valued Raphinha at £50million maximum, then they would not be meeting the asking price of £65m.

That extra £15m is money that could be earmarked towards another central midfield or left back. A bit like when moving you have money earmarked to redecorate or for furniture.

Spending that extra £15m would have meant we would have had to save it elsewhere. Not refurbishing the bathroom or kitchen when we move in for example.

Chelsea needed that big marquee signing of their new era – they had yet to bring anyone in.

They had already tried and failed with Ousmane Dembele. The deal for Raheem Sterling was dragging on.

I wonder if they actually wanted Raphinha long term or just saw him as a deal they could get done quickly. Pay the asking price, splash the cash, and appease the fans.

He certainly is not a £65m player and I would not have wanted Arsenal to spend that on him if it meant sacrificing a new left back or central midfielder.

We have to remember we have already spent £85m this summer on Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos.

Lisandro Martinez is still being heavily linked at around £35-£40m. That will take our spending to £120m+. Is it then unreasonable to expect us to just splash another £65m on Raphinha? We do not have a bottomless pit of money.

So we move in.

Like buying a house, you are never just looking at one.

Your favourite house is snapped up by someone else, you focus on getting on your second favourite.

It might not be quite as good as the first one. It might be a little bit further from the station. Or need a little bit more work. But you buy it and turn it into a home. And very quickly you forget about the house you missed out on.

And football transfers are just like that.

We move onto our next target. And who knows? That target could turn out to be a better choice!

Enjoy your Wednesday.


Gabriel Jesus was the best striker available this summer

Morning all.

So we announced another player yesterday – but not the main man.

Matt Turner has joined from MLS side New England Revolution. I know nothing about him but the club seem to think he will do a good job replacing Bernd Leno as number two.

I imagine his arrival will see a change of policies on the goal keeper.

In recent seasons we have played one guy in the league and the other in the cups. I would now expect Aaron Ramsdale to play in everything bar the League Cup.

Whilst we sit and wait for Gabriel Jesus, his impending arrival is  creating noise from rival fans as well as those so-called Arsenal fans that do not really support the club.

A lot of the noise from the day has come from Tottenham fans.

They are stating that Gabriel Jesus is a “poor” signing as he would not walk into their team.

Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world. So they are right in the fact that Jesus would not walk into their team. But that does not mean that he is a poor signing for Arsenal.

Jesus is a huge improvement on Alex Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.

Football is a team (and squad) game. Jesus improves our starting XI and our squad.

We finished just 2 points behind Spurs last season. We have improved our starting XI with his recruitment.

If you also include Fabio Vieira, we have improved two areas of our team.

So whilst Jesus would not have improved Spurs, he has improved us.

Their fans should focus on the lack of improvements in their squad, rather than try and mock us for our very positive transfer business so far.

I stand by my prediction that Spurs will finish 8th next season.

There are some Arsenal fans predicting he will score no more than 15 league goals for us next season.

I think if he scores 15 league goals he will be considered a good signing.

Do not believe me? Let’s look at the stats:

Last season, only 4 players scored more than 15 goals in the Premier League. The year before it was 5.

15 goals would have made Gabriel Jesus the 7th (or highest) Premier League goal scorer 6 out of the last 10 seasons (and top 10 in 9 of the last 10).

Last season was only the 4th time in Premier League history that we have not had someone in the top 10 Premier League goal scorers.

I think some people over estimate how many goals are scored by a single man in the Premier League.

I see some saying “we need a 30 league goal a season striker” as if they grow on trees.

Thierry Henry only scored 30+ league goals once in his Arsenal career – and only 6 players have breached that landmark since the league went down to 20 teams.

Alexander Lacazette was our top league goal scorer last season with just 7.

A man that (potentially) scores another 8 goals would have been more than enough to take us into the top 4.

There is a real lack of top strikers in world football right now – this is not the early 00’s when we had Henry, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Samuel Eto’o, Andriy Shevchenko, Raul, Ronaldo, Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Del Piero, Ronaldinho and Gabriel Batistuta battling it out to be the best on the planet.

These days there is pretty much Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane. 4 of which are the wrong side of 34.

Bar Erling Haaland, there really isn’t any other top young striker in world football right now.

Is Jesus the perfect answer? No. But that player really does not exist right now.

He is an improvement on what we had last season and will score enough for us to be top 4.

Onto the next one…


Busy week of new signings and new contracts for Arsenal

Bit of fun for me this morning as I try to predict what movements will happen in the transfer market for The Arsenal this week.

My first prediction is that Gabriel Jesus will join from Manchester City.

Now I know this is not exactly a bold prediction – a bit like your Nap of the Day being a 1/10 favourite. The deal is basically done. We all know it. Expect a late Monday or early Tuesday announcement.

The week will then be mainly focused around speculation about Raphinha.

I do not expect a deal for the Brazilian winger to come off this week. Arsenal and Leeds United seem to be someway off valuations. I also expect a deal will only happen once Leeds have already secured his replacement (Cody Gakpo the latest name linked with them).

Expect “in negotiations” and “close to an agreement” to be the buzzwords of the week for this deal.

Whilst there is lots of talk about Raphinha, I expect little if anything to be mentioned about Youri Tielemans.

Speculation surrounding the Belgium moving to Arsenal seems to be getting getting more and more quiet since the arrival of Fabio Vieira. I expect the deal is now colder than a bottle of Madri in the fridge of my garden bar.

We might get some contract news this week.

William Saliba is set to return from his holiday and the online speculation is that he is set to agree a new contract with Arsenal. Could it happen this week? I would say yes.

One man whose contract will not be renewed this week is Bukayo Saka.

My gut feeling is the deal is done. Agreed. Signed. But Arsenal are waiting to announce it in a bit manner. That will not happen until he is back from holiday.

Arsenal will not be worried. There is no rush as it is probably agreed (I think Arteta’s new deal was a big part of his agreement). Just wait for the PR to drop when he is back.

End of the week Matt Turner will be announced.

MLS rules means players can not officially leave until 1st July. It is a bit odd as I thought he had agreed to sign for us in January and was loaned back. Expect him to finally hold the shirt up on Friday.

What else? Probably not much.

We will not see the predicted loan deals yet materilise – clubs will not take a player on loan whilst they are on holiday; Paying wages for a player who will not even be training.

Only other deal to keep an eye on is Lisandro Martinez. I think this could be a deal that rumbles on this summer as Ajax attempt to push his price up.

So should be a busy week. Two incomings and some new contracts/

Have a good one.