Tag Archives: Barcelona

Has Denis Suarez fallen out of favour at Arsenal?

What is happening with Denis Suarez?

When Arsenal were first linked with Denis Suarez in January, it was clear that Unai emery was pushing for a move for him because he no longer wished to utilise Aaron Ramsey or Mesut Ozil.

There was talk at the time that had Arsenal completed the move early enough in the month, that they might release Ramsey to Juventus earlier – making a couple of million from the deal whilst boasting the Italian’s Champions League chances.

It was a long drawn out transfer process.

Arsenal wanted the Spaniard with an option to buy at the end of the season, Barcelona wanted to either insert a compulsory purchase order in the deal, or have Suarez sign a new deal to protect them from losing him on a free in 18 months.

In the end Suarez agreed a new contract with Barcelona, and Arsenal secured their man on a loan with an option to buy.

It is now two months to the day since Suarez completed his move to Arsenal and he is still awaiting his first start.

To date Suarez only has a handful of substitute appearances to his name. Meanwhile Ramsey and Ozil have returned to Emery’s first team plans – starting 9 of the last 10 games between them.

It is odd watching Ramsey or Ozil starting pretty much every game whilst the man signed to “replace” them is on the bench, getting 10 minutes here, 12 minutes there.

So what is happening with Suarez?

The first theory is that he is still very much part of Emery’s future plans. That we moved for an early loan deal for him so that he could spend 6 months acclimatising to the Premier League whilst Arsenal have both Ramsey and Ozil still at the club.

He would not be under pressure to play, and could spend his time getting both physically and mentality prepared for the Premier League. Bulking up in the gym and physical training sessions meaning that come August, he is ready to go.

This argument is logical, and we have previously seen Arsenal do this before with Emmanuel Adebayor and Jose Reyes. Both signed in January with the view of getting prepared for the next season.

With Ramsey joining Juventus at the end of the season, Arsenal will need a replacement. Suarez will be that replacement and by the time August comes, he would be fully acclimatised to the Premier League.

Getting Suarez in now takes the pressure off the summer, meaning we can concentrate on signing a centre back, left back and winger, without having to be considered about replacing Ramsey.

A second argument is that he is not fully fit.

Prior to joining Arsenal, he had played just 10 games this season for Barcelona, with his only 2 starts coming in the Copa del Rey against Spanish 3rd tier side Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa.

To have barely played in 2018/19 is a problem.

With the added physicality of the Premier League, Suarez would have arrived nowhere near match sharp, and it is taking him a while to get up to speed.

The final theory is that having pursued Suarez, Emery no longer fancies him.

Emery has seen the man he managed at Sevilla up close at London Colney. Alongside Ramsey and Ozil and he is clearly inferior. Not up to it. Not a player for a top tier challenging team.

Having seen him train amongst his peers, Emery does not see a future for the 25-year-old at Arsenal and has already made the decision not to make the move permanent in the summer. He will pursue other options to replace Ramsey; like Christopher Nkunku, whom Arsenal were also heavily linked with in January.

Suarez has become a short term option to a problem that never really existed, and in the summer Arsenal will decide to pursue Nkunku to replace Ramsey, and return Suarez to Barcelona.

The situation of Denis Suarez at Arsenal is interesting, and he is seemingly no closer to starting a game for Arsenal then he was whilst a Barcelona player.

With the club chasing 3rd place, and Ozil and Ramsey returning to Emery’s 1st team plans, I doubt we will see Suarez start a game this season.


Brazilian “wonderkid” signing sends negative message to Arsenal Academy

Arsenal ‘launch £5m offer’ for wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli after Man Utd trial is the headline news this morning in many of the click bait media outlets.

I for one do not agree with us targeting the Brazilian teenager.

Gabriel Martinelli is a 17-year-old Brazilian forward who reportedly had a trial with Manchester United 2 years ago. In June he will gain his Italian citizenship meaning that a work permit will not be a problem.

He has reportedly been courted by a whole host of clubs in South America and Europe. The likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Crystal Palace have been monitoring him, with Arsenal leading the pack.

I do not want to see Arsenal sign the Brazilian teenager.

At the moment we have a lot of exciting young talent in the academy. It is in good health.

Eddie Nketiah deserves his chance next season to replace Danny Welbeck, backing up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Another who also deserves his chance next season is Reiss Nelson who has developed well in Germany. I expect both Nketiah and Nelson to be part of Arsenal’s first team squad next season, and regularly take a place on the bench.

Xavier Amaechi is barely 18-years-old. Some have claimed that he is the quickest player at the club and he potentially has a big future. A year younger is Bukayo Saka.

Would it be right to sign Martinelli instead of continuing these two’s development?

Martinelli can also play up top.

In Dubai, Tyreece John-Jules announced himself. Another 18-year-old, it seems a poitnless task to sign someone ahead of him before he has even had his chance.

Finally we have Folarin Balogun, who recently signed his first professional contract with he club.

Another who is just 17-years-old, there is a lot of excitement surrounding him.

With Amaechi, Saka, John-Jules & Balogun all at the club, all 18-years-old or younger, all local lads who have been at the club since children, it is illogical to sign a Brazilian who will then come in and compete with them.

And i have not even mentioned Joe Willock or Emile Smith Rowe yet…

I would rather give the young, local lads a chance.

If the club considered Martinelli as already better than Nketiah and Nelson, I would understand it more. He would be coming in to the 1st squad, able to contribute straight away.

A bit like Matteo Guendouzi last season, it did not matter that he came in ahead of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Ben Sheaf or Joe Willock, he was ready for first team action and they were not.

I very much doubt that Martinelli is ready for the 1st team. As it stands, he is a YouTube player – with most fans having never seen him play and just getting excited by the “Welcome to Arsenal” videos of him doing a few step overs.

If the local lads were not good enough, I would understand us buying someone ahead of him – like what happened a lot during the 00s. Likewise if he was a special talent – like Cesc Fabregas or Guendouzi – he would be joining up with the first team squad rather than the academy.

If Arsenal do sign him and he joins the academy, it will send out a poor message to youngsters and their families. “Do not join Arsenal as when you reach 17 they will sign someone from abroad to replace you.”

Let’s give the local lads a chance. Give Saka, Amaechi, John-Jules, Balogun tne opportunity to continue getting time in the U23’s and League Cup games next signing.

Signing Martinelli is a poor move.


Sven Mislintat promotion gives peak into Arsenal future

Last night it was announced that Arsenal had promoted Sven Mislintat from Head of Recruitment to Technical Director.

By promoting a scout whose vision of the game is about unearthing stars of the the future gives you a peak into Arsenal’s future.

The club will look to recruit young, exciting talent, and develop that talent into global superstars.

A return to Arsene Wenger’s early philosophy of making, not buying superstars

Earlier this week I had a little discussion with someone over the N’Golo Kante deal.

It was reported by Football Leaks that his agents had pocketed £10.6m from the deal, which would go some way to explaining why Arsenal did not follow up their interest.

Under Arsene Wenger, rightly or wrongly, we often pulled out of deals that saw a huge chunk of money going to agents.

Wenger was a ”purist” and detested agents taking money out of the game. He hated the likes of the Anelka’s who would unsettle their own client and move them from club to club, making millions of pounds in the process.

Sadly to compete for the best players, you have to be willing to deal with the likes of Jorge Mendes and Mino Raiola. Dealing with these individuals is a huge reason why Raul Sanllehi was bought in.

The conversation went beyond agents fees and also discussed that Arsenal are still a way behind the likes of Manchester United in terms of wages paid.

Recently it was revealed that Barcelona’s wage bill was approximately €487m, with Real Madrid paying out €395. In 3rd place was Manchester United at €337m. The traditional Big 3 of world football were joined by the Billionaire Boys Clubs of PSG (€272m), Manchester City (€296) and Chelsea(€256m). Juventus (€259m) and Bayern Munich (€265m) were also amongst the top 10.

Arsenal were 10th – paying out around €232m.

Whilst that is a huge amount, it is €100m less than United, whilst Barcelona pay out more than twice in wages than Arsenal.

Wages are often the key to success. The rule of thumb is the more you spend in wages, the more higher you finish up the table. This is obviously on average, so there will always be exceptions to the rule such as Leicester.

What is clear is that Arsenal are still not eating from the top table. We are still unable to pay the top wages to attract the best players. We are still a 2nd tier club behind the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

But we were told we moved from Highbury to enable us to compete.

And that was the plan.

The gate receipts from the emirates were meant to bring us back level with the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona – who at the time were doubling our gate receipt income.

Back in the early 00s, gate receipts were king. They were the main source of income.

But the game moved on. TV money and commercial deals are now more important than what comes through the gate.

Moving to the Emirates means that Arsenal have the 4th highest gate receipts in world football – behind the big 3 of Man U, Barcelona and Real Madrid. There is not that much in it. TV deals are also fairly neutral – although the figures above are prior to Arsenal failing to qualify for the Champions League.

What is clear is how far Arsenal fall behind when it comes to commercial revenue.

4th in gate receipts but just 10th in commercial revenue – and £162m less than Manchester United.

When we moved, we could not have predicted that the world would change to the extent it has, and that commercial profits would be king.

The thing with commercial income is it is slightly beyond our control. Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid are bigger brands than Arsenal, so will naturally command more from Nike, Adidas, Emirates, AON, etc, for deals.

We are over €100m behind Manchester United in salaries paid and €162m a year behind in commercial revenue. We are still at the 2nd tier. Not at the top table.

Well we should not have moved then you cry.


Had we not moved our gate receipts would have dropped by £40m to £60m. Without the big commercial deals that Bayern Munich get, or having a super rich owner like Manchester City (Stan Kronenke is rich, but doesn’t have £2.7bn he can pump into us) less gate receipts would have left us even further behind.

We would have a similar total revenue as Liverpool – who have won just a single trophy in 10 years. We would be even more reliant on selling players to generate income (Liverpool have sold over £400m worth of players in 5 years, Arsenal just £200m).

The move to the Emirates was supposed to close the gap between Arsenal and those on the top table. The explosion of commercial deals (and Billionaire Boys Clubs) have meant that the move has basically allowed us to maintain our place as a second tier club in European club football.

Hopefully with the new Adidas deal, the Rwanada deal, and other new commercial deals, we will see that gap close up, allowing us to be more competitive.

By promoting Mislintat, Arsenal have shown great self awareness.

We do not have an owner who will pump in £2.7bn of his own, and neither should we expect him to do so.

In European football at the moment, it is only PSG and Man City who have owners bankrolling them. Roman has turned the tap off. Every other club is (attempting at least) to run a self sufficient model. You spend what you bring in.

With a great coach like Unai Emery, and the promotion of Mislintat, Arsenal will continue buying the next global superstars. Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi rather than N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba.

Some might see this as the wrong route. That we should be spending hundreds of millions a year on transfers, but this not realistic.

We as fans have to understand that as a club we can not afford to pay the wages of Man U, Barcelona or Real Madrid. Kante is about to sign a £290,000 deal. Alexis Sanchez close to £500,000.

Arsenal are not going to suddenly magic up another £100-150m a year to fund the big transfers.

As Dortmund, Monaco, Atlético Madrid, Liverpool & Napoli have shown, you can build a competitive team through sensible recruitment rather than big money signings.

It is about how you buy, not what you spend.

Good recruitment + good coaching = success.

And Mislintat is key to the future of the club.