Tag Archives: Aaron Ramsey

How does Lucas Torriera fit into Arsenal?

By now you all would have seen the Big Dave Ornstein news from a few last night.

That Arsenal are in talks to sign Uruguayan defensive midfielder Lucas Torriera.

Usually when Ornstein tweets, the deal is not too far from being done, so we can afford ourselves to consider just how the Sampdoria midfielder will fit in at Arsenal.

Signing Lucas Torriera would support my view that we will play 3 in the middle next year;

Xhaka Torreira Ramsey

Ahead of them will be a narrow two of Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up top.

The midfield 3 will give us a lot more balance and defensive stability than we had last season when we often played two.

It will give Aaron Ramsey the licence to get forward and attack the opponents box. It will also free him to press high up the field, putting pressure on the opponents deep lying midfielders.

With Ramsey getting forward alongside Ozil and Mkhitaryan, it will over load the opponents who will struggle to defend against all 3 – probably forcing them to bring a centre back out of shape create space for Aubameyang behind.

Ramsey will be free to press forward knowing that he has Granit Xhaka and Torriera sitting behind him, in front of the back 4

With both men having the ability to play from deep, it will give the defenders two options when passing the ball out.

Opponents will not as easily be able to pick off us transitioning the ball from defence to attack with both Torriera and Xhaka. Last season, if they stuck a man on Xhaka, it forced us long, or into mistakes.

Torreira will move Xhaka forward one, allowing him to press higher and be more influential on the ball.

Last year he was often caught out trying to press high, leaving too much of a gap between defence and midfield.

He will be free to do a similar job next season, but know that there is an extra player behind the him to sweep up to mistakes (instead of opponents being straight at the back 4 when he gives the ball away).

Xhaka has always been at his best for club and country when he has had another midfielder behind him. He has never really been the deepest of the midfielders.

Xhaka will also have to be the muscle in the midfield.

Torriera is tiny so Xhaka will have to ensure he does not get bullied. A similar role to what Matic used to do alongside Kante when Chelsea won the title.

I would be a liar if I pretended to know anything about Torriera, but in the little bit of research I have done, he will bring balance to a midfield.

It will also leave us with a second string trio of:

Elneny AMN Wilshere

So plenty of options, plenty of flexibility.

We now just need to get the deal over the line.



Aaron Ramsey, Sokratis, Caglar Soyuncu and Jack Wilshere

It all seems to have gone a little quiet at Arsenal – and usually this means some news will probably break today!

It is kind of the pre-World Cup lull.

Maybe fill that time by getting an early bet on for next season? If your looking to back Arsenal make sure look at a Ladbrokes review.

Anyone at the World Cup is currently under lock and key in final preparation training camps before flying out to Russia at some point this week.

It is important final preparation so unlikely that too many countries will allow their players to disappear for a day or so to compete a medical. It is at the stage where agents and hangers on will also be prohibited from contacting players to avoid their concentration being taken elsewhere.

As for players not at the World Cup, they are on a well earned break.

Whether it be relaxing in LA, returning to the country of their birth, on a beach in Barbados, a golf course in the Algarve, or just disappearing off the map, it is the time they can refresh themselves, turn their brains off, spend some time with their family.

On top of that, a lot of the club staff will also be away. A bit of time off before pre-season starts in 3 weeks.

So it will probably be a quiet week in terms of official announcements, but those not away within the club, agents and lawyers, will still be working hard to complete deals as soon as their representative is back.

Rumours are circulating that Aaron Ramsey has agreed his new deal in principle. A new 4 year deal at around £200,000 is what has been mooted.

The delay has always been surrounding his agent, David Baldwin, leaving Base Soccer to set up his own agency.

That now seems complete and last week Aaron Ramsey announced that the new agency was now up and running, with himself as its first client.

The deal to announce Ramsey will probably happen once he is back in the UK after his break.

Sokratis seems to have been plodding on for a while, struggling to get over the line.

Talk now is that it will be done on the 1st July. The reasoning for the delay is that Borussia Dortmund want the transfer to be in their 2018/19 accounts, not 2017/18.

Not sure how true it is, as the source is a writer for Goal.com, who made their name on click bait journalism.

Arsenal could easily announce him today, and the official transfer could not go through until the end of the month. A lot of deals happen like this, especially when a player is signed in April or May for the new season, even though the window is not yet open.

I very much doubt the delay is due to Dortmund holding it up.

It would not actually surprise me if Arsenal are being cheap. By not completing the transfer until June, the club will save themselves a months wages from when the medical was done – about half a million pound.

Arsenal will be in no rush, despite fans wanting to hear news, with the squad not due to report back for pre-season training until the week starting Monday, July 2.

The last name doing the round is Caglar Soyuncu.

The 22-year-old Turkish international, who plays his club football with Freiburg, is the latest name to be linked with a switch for a fee reported to be in the region of £35M.

The player’s agent, Mustafa Dogru, has told Turkish Football that talks are ongoing between club and player.

“(Sven) Mislintat has been keen on Caglar since he was at Borussia Dortmund. He first scouted him back in Germany. Sven is interested in Caglar, there are concrete talks, all that remains if for a fee to be agreed. We will see what happens next,” he said.

This feels more like the agent fabricating a story in the hope it generates interest in his client.

With Soyuncu’s Turkey not at the World Cup, I imagine he is on a beach in Kusdasi, near his home town of Izmir, whilst any sort of talks are happening in the background.

The last bit of news is Jack Wilshere’s contract.

In the recent released list submitted by the Premier League, Wilshere’s name was missing. Instead he was on the retained list with (offer) against his name; Signifying that there was a contract offer on the table.

Wilshere is unable to officially speak to any English clubs until the end of this month (or is it the beginning, I always forget). That means he is likely to see what other offers come in before he signs a new deal.

This hinders Arsenal’s transfer spending as we will not know whether we need to sign a replacement until he either stays or go’s.

It might feel frustratingly slow at times, but rest assured there is plenty going on and the flood gates of news will open.


What Cazorla’s departure means for Ramsey and Wilshere

Morning all. Let me start by addressing yesterday’s blog where I attempted to explain the truth about transfer budgets, and how it actually works.

The short version was “Arsenal gave £50m to spend in the summer pre-sales, but this is not the transfer budget. This £50m is to be spent on increased wages and amortised transfer fees”. Do read the full version, click here.

I write a lot of rubbish, I write some stuff that I think is good. Often the stuff I think is good and well thought out gets just a few 100 hits. Whilst often the rubbish can get thousands.

Yesterday’s blog was not planned. I was in my garden, on a break from mowing my lawn, rum and lemonade in hand (yes, it was only 9.30am) and explaining for the umpteenth time about how transfer fees are spread across the length of the entire project. I decided instead of continually having to explain it, I’d write a blog.

I was not expecting the blog to take off how it did. Reading the response bought a smile to my face. It felt like a blog that enlightened those who read it. Explained to them how things worked. Added to their knowledge. So a big thanks to everyone that read it and shared it. To have the blog “liked” by Big Dave Ornstein was certainly a highlight.

Leading on from yesterday’s blog, one thing I spoke about was about how an increase in wages comes out of that pot of gold we have available to increase over all costs of the club. And that if you want to control wages, you often have to let players leave to free up further cash for new players.

And that is what has happened today as Santi Cazorla agreed to join Villarreal on a feee transfer.

It is sad to let the happy little Spaniard leave, but he is 34 in December and has had two years injury. He heart might be broken, but the head says we were right not being too aggressive offering him a new contract.

Cazorla was in £90,000 a week. That is £4.6m a year. A lot of money invested in a player who has not played.

You the have another outgoing player who has barely appeared this season. Per Mertesacker. He was on £70,000 a week. Another £3.6m a year.

Combined, the pair earned £8.2m between them last year. They played 365 minutes of Premier League football combined.

The reality is, unlike if Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey left, neither Cazorla or Mertesacker has to be replaced to maintain the status quo. That means the £8.2m in wages, or £160k a week, can be invested back in the squad wherever we feel fit.

That is the wages paid for a world class player without changing our current transfer outgoings.

Then we come to Jack Wilshere. It seems being left out of the World Cup has made him re-think his future at Arsenal. Perhaps he has decided that he wants to be assured of first team football – a guarantee he will never get at a top club. The question for Wilshere is “how far is he will to drop for first team football?”. Is he really going to be happy at Everton, Wolves or Leicester?

If he does leave, that free’s up another £80,000 a week. Now let’s be silly.

Arsenal lose both Wilshere and Cazorla for nothing. For the £170,000 a week (£8.8m a year) we save in wages for both players, we go out and buy the world class central midfielder we need. Is that not a positive?

I love Wilshere, but he is not or every will be world class. If he does leave, it gives us a lot of flexibility to use his salary and Cazorla’s money on that top replacement, and still have plenty in the lot to buy a top defensive midfielder.

And finally Aaron Ramsey.

I honestly think he is playing a game with the club.

With Cazorla gone, it leaves us with 4 senior central midfielders – Ramsey, Wilshere, Elneny, Xhaka.

If Wilshere also leaves, Ramsey will know he can pretty much name his price. The club could not afford to lose Cazorla, Wilshere & Ramsey, leaving us with just Elneny and Xhaka. We would need to go out and buy another 3 central midfielders if that happened. Ramsey is waiting to see how the cards fall before deciding to go all in.

I expect he will stay, and be made captain.

So if Wilshere and Cazorla leave, we replace them with a single top midfielder, and use our current budgeted funds to buy a defensive midfielder, our strength I. The middle of the park would have grown. If we can get someone like Max Meyer on a free, even better:

Xhaka DM Ramsey

Elneny AMN Meyer

Enjoy your Sunday.