Tag Archives: dani ceballos

Thiago Alcantara: NO; Dani Ceballos: YES

Whilst we all await the announcement of Gabriel to Arsenal, let’s discuss another player who we were linked with over the weekend….

Thiago Alcantara

It looked like the Spanish central midfielder was on his way to Liverpool. But that deal seems to have gone cold whilst speculation over a move to Arsenal has father momentum.

But should Arsenal be targeting the 29-year-old?

Why is Thiago leaving Bayern Munich?

The Germans are dominating the Bundesliga won the Champions League. They are the team at the top of the tree right now. So why would Thiago be looking for a move away?

A player always moves for 2 reasons; he wants to join a different club (no challenge, take a step up, more money, etc) or the club no longer wants him.

With Thiago it is probably a mixture of both.

He has been at Bayern for 7 years, having signed from Barcelona in 2013. A move to the Premier League would mean he would have then played in 3 of the top 4 leagues across Europe (England, Spain, Germany, Italy).

If he wins the league in England, he will join a small list to have won the league in the 3 nations. And with Italy being a slower pace, there would be a chance he could complete the quadruple in 3 or 4 years.

From Bayern’s point of view, Thiago is now 29 and has 1 year left on his contract.

His time in German has been injury hit; averaging just 21 League games a season.

Bayern play 2 in midfield and with the progress of Joshua Kimmich as a defensive midfielder, they clearly like the all German partnership of him and Leon Goretzka. Both men are 4 years younger than Thiago.

So Bayern have a choice.

Offer Thiago a huge new contract, despite his injury record and not being part of the long term plans, or cash in this summer and reinvest in a younger version to play back up to Goretzka.

I think it is obvious what direction Munich have decided to go in.

What’s happening with Liverpool?

The move to Liverpool has gone cold.

A £23m transfer fee is certainly not too expensive, so it feels like personal terms is the issue.

When you look at what Arsenal invested (or wasted) in a 29-year-old Mesut Ozil, you can see why clubs are wary.

This would be Thiago’s last “big contract”.

It would not be a surprise if he was demanding a 4-5 year contract, with wages well in excess of £200k a week.

That is a huge investment to make in someone with such a questionable injury record.

By the time you add in the physicality of the Premier League, you could be investing over £75m in a player who misses nearly as much football as he plays.

It might be a cheap deal in terms of transfer fee, but personal terms make it very expensive.

Should Arsenal sign Thiago?

The answer is no.

But taking into account his age, his salary demands and his injury record, we would be best off investing that money elsewhere.

Yes, we need creativity and on his day Thiago is a fantastic player. But he is not hugely creative with just 2 assists in the Bundesliga this season. He is more the man behind the creator then the main creative outlet.

In Dani Ceballos, Arsenal have a younger version of Thiago.

Ceballos is 24 and has already spent a year in England acclimatising. He has very similar attributes to Thiago and the transfer fee to Real Madrid would be similar. Ceballos would also command a lot less in wages than Thiago – maybe even 2/3s less (Thiago: £250k, Ceballos £90k).

We would be buying Ceballos with the next 6-8 years in mind, not the next 3-4.

Given the choice between Ceballos and Thiago, I know who I would choose…

Keenos

Gabriel, Adidas, Ceballos, Bellerin and More

Still nothing happening over The Arsenal.

The Gabriel deal seems to be dragging on with reports now that Man U interested.

It does feel like the player (or his representatives) are playing the game to maximise his salary. But it might just be the deal with Arsenal is done but not announced, and the press are just trying to fill column inches.

Gabriel would be the final piece in the jigsaw as Arsenal continue to reshape the defence over the last 12 months.

We had the official swat kit release yesterday. It is awful.

I wouldn’t have bought it anyway, but I feel insulted that Adidas have tried to say the design is inspired by Highbury’s marble halls. It isn’t.

Fact is, Adidas missed an open goal by not having a 50th anniversary 1971 double celebration kit. A simple Yellow with blue trim would have flown off the shelves.

Just show these graphic designers do not really have a clue about the history of what they are designing.

Hector Bellerin was pictured smoking. Who cares?

Then we have Dani Ceballos who wished Joe Willock a “Happy Birthday” and added “see your soon”. Was that a hint?

Finally, Community Shield is a little over a week away. Crazy really!

Keenos

Do Arsenal risk squad disharmony with 8 potential “new signings”

“8 new signings” would be crazy turnover for a single summer. Nearly 1 third of the squad. But having been sensible in January, this is the situation Arsenal could be in this summer.

If all goes well, Arsenal could add Gabriel, Thomas Partey, Dani Ceballos & Amadou Diawara to the confirmed summer signings of Willian, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.

Add in William Saliba and that will be 7 new signings this summer, and an 8th player signed last season but was left parked at his old club for a season.

Usually this amount of turnover would take 6 months for players to settle and gel. But Arsenal’s forward planning means it is a doable transfer window.

Cedric Soares

Joining in January on loan, Arsenal quickly snapped Portuguese right back on a free transfer once his contract at Southampton had expired.

He has already been at the club for nearly 7 months, training with team mates. With 5 appearances in the bag for Arsenal and 120 Premier League appearances under his belt for Southampton, he will not take any settling down what so ever.

Pablo Mari

Like Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari joined Arsenal on loan in January before a deal was completed in June.

Due to injury, he has played just 3 games for Arsenal in the 7 months he has been at the club.

But that 7 months takes out the usual half year a player takes to settle.

When he returns to full training, he will not require any integrating into the squad.

Willian

339 games for Chelsea, 234 in the Premier League. The only thing Willian will need is how much further London Colney is round the M25 from Cobham. About 45 miles.

He might not have played for Arsenal previously, but there will not be too many players who have played more Premier League games than him next season.

Dani Ceballos

Hopefully we get a deal over the line for Dani Ceballos – whether it is a permanent deal or another loan deal.

Having now played 36 games for Arsenal, the axis of Ceballos and Granit Xhaka was a key reason Arsenal won the FA Cup.

He might be a “new signing” this summer, but he will not be a new face at the training ground.

William Saliba

Opposite to Dani Ceballos is William Saliba.

He signed permanently last summer, but then spent the season on loan at St Etienne

Saliba will take some time to settle, which is why it is important that club kept David Luiz.

Gabriel

Not yet done but Arsenal are hopefully of getting the deal over the line.

Gabriel will be in the same boat as William Saliba. A new face in the training ground.

David Luiz will be key helping Gabriel and Saliba settle.

Thomas Partey

Atletico Madrid midfielder would be a big coup for Arsenal. He will be another new face.

Amadou Diaware

Likewise Diawara will be a new face.


So Arsenal could make 7 new signings this summer, with William Saliba being an 8th new player. Yet of the 8, only 5 would have not yet played for Arsenal and be a new face in the training ground, and of those 5, 4 come with no Premier League experience.

I would usually worry about so many new signings. But with half of them now being new faces, Arsenal would have improved the squad without too much disruption.

We just then need to lose half dozen players (Sokratis, Rob Holding, Ainsley Maitland Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torerria, Alex Lacazette) to make space for them.

Onwards and upwards.

Keenos