Tag Archives: Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Arsenal transfer round-up

Seems to be plenty going on at Arsenal at the moment, so thought I would do a quick round up of what is being reported / rumoured.

Firstly on Alexis Sanchez. Manchester City pulled out for the race for him yesterday. Rumours doing the rounds are that Sanchez priced himself out of a deal – demanding too much in salary, signing on fee and agent fees. Reports from the summer is that a deal to join Bayern Munich fell through for similar reasons.

As Manchester City ended their pursuit, Chelsea were rumoured to be involved. I would say this no more than agents leaking news in an attempt to force Manchester United to complete a move for the Chilean.

It seems a move to Manchester United is close, with the Red Devils happy to pay wages in the region of £350-£400k for the 29 year old, as well as £10m to the agent and a bumper signing on fee for Sanchez. A lot of money for a 29 year old.

The deal is rumoured to be for £25m plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way.

Arsenal were close to signing the 29 year old Armenian in 2016, but Manchester United gazumped a deal. People have ask “why would Mkhitaryan turn down Champions League football for Europa League”.

In 2016, Manchester United were in the Europa League, Arsenal were in the Champions League, so there is precedent with Mkhyitaryan. And at the end of the day, playing in the Europa League is a better option than not playing in the Champions League.

If Arsenal do a cash plus player swap for Sanchez, it will be a good deal for the club – taking into account the contract situations of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Mkhitaryan could be joined at Arsenal by former Borussia Dortmund team mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon forward has been heavily linked with Arsenal in the past 48 hours, with some reporting that a deal could be done within the next 48 hours. A transfer fee in the region of £50m is being reported.

If both do join, it is interesting that two players that Sven Mislintat uncovered whilst at Dortmund will become two of the first players (after the Greek lad) he has singled out as quality enough for the new Arsenal.

Going out of the club is Theo Walcott, on his way to Everton. A deal reported to have been agreed for £20m rising to £25m for the Englishman, who has become surplus to requirements this season.

News about Malcom seems to have gone quiet. A deal was reportedly close last season, but with Arsenal now moving in for Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, that transfer has gone cold.

Swapping Sanchez and Walcott for Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, with an outlay of just £10m will be good business for Arsenal.



Mesut Ozil vs The World

Further to this mornings article about Mesut Ozil, I thought I would run some figures.

A lot of people moan that Ozil does not do enough, and it got me thinking. In terms of goals and assists, how does Mesut Ozil compare to other Premier League number 10’s. So I did a little comparison with Ozil and players who perform a similar role to him (ie the likes of Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez were excluded as they are very different players).

I came up with a list of 9 players, including Ozil, that you would probably see as similar players. I am sure at this point some will criticise me, both for excluding certain players and including certain players. I do not really care. If you want to add any players, do your own research, and add the players stats in the figures.

My 9 Number 10’s are:

Cesc Fabregas
Cristian Erickson
David Silva
Dele Alli
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Juan Mata
Kevin de Bruyne
Mesut Ozil

I have used Premier League statistics at their current club only.

An argument about Ozil is that he does not score enough. He is 6th on the list, so it is a justifiable argument, but I do not hear people moaning that Cesc, Mkhitaryan or David Silva do not score enough. And he is not too much behind Kevin de Bruyne. Even Cristian Erickson, a player known for being a goal scoring midfielder, scores his goals exactly one game quicker than Ozil.

To put that into perspective, based on their ratios, Erickson would score 8 goals a season (if he played 38 games), whilst Ozil would score 7. Dele Alli’s games to goals is terrific.

Bit of a surprise that Ozil did not top this one, as he is known as an assist king. I was also surprised about how far ahead Kevin de Bruyne is from the rest.

Two of the 3 above Ozil for assists are below him for goals. In fact, bar Henrikh Mkhitaryan, there is a clear correlation on the list, the more goals you score, the less assists you make, and vice versa. Someone like Coutinho scores a lot, but does not provide too much. He always takes the shot. Whilst someone like Fabregas always makes the pass rather than the shot.

It is perhaps therefore import to combine the two. Goals and assists.

Kevin de Bruyne is clearly the most effective Number 10 around at the moment. He scores goals and gets assists. He is an awesome player. He cost £59.7million.

Thinking out loud here, de Bruyne is 25% more effective than Mesut Ozil when it comes to goals and assists, and he cost 25% more. You get for what you pay for I guess.

I was surprised to see the two Tottenham players, Erickson and Alli, 2nd and third on the list. Both players also cost a lot less than every other player on the list. Have to wonder how long they will stay at Spurs for, winning nothing.

4th on the list is Mesut Ozil. He averages a goal or an assist every 2 games.

Ozil is more effective than the likes of David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Coutinho and Juan Mata. Often labelled as a waste of money, that he has been a £42.5m flop, what about these players?

Barcelona were willing to spend £100m on Coutinho, yet Ozil outperforms him. Where is the criticism for these players?

So before you get on your high horse and moan about what he delivers and his cost, understand that he performs better than a lot of players, who cost a similar amount. Everything is relative.

As a final thought, if I asked you, who would you prefer: Ozil, Cesc, Silva or Coutinho, I bet Ozil would come bottom, yet he out performs all of these. Time for a poll:


Arsenal need to make Bundesliga star their Number 1 target

There is nobody better available is a common line put out by many Arsenal fans to justify our poor dealings in the transfer market.

Occasionally it is justifiable, but in the majority of occasions, there is someone else better available.

The line is also often used when we miss out on a player. Again, sometimes you can be genuinely frustrated that we missed out on an available player that is better than what we have, other times it is just idiots trying to create a stick to beat Arsene Wenger with.

One such occasion I read recently is some plonked tweet DANI ALVES IS AVAILABLE. As if it to make the point that:

  1. He is available and;
  2. He is better than what we have

This is a perfect example of fans chatting rubbish.

Dani Alves is only available because Manchester City are offering big money in terms of wages for a 34 year old, and the chance to one more work with Pep Guardiola. Alves has mutually terminated his contract with Juventus. If it was not for the Manchester City interest, Alves would not be available and would still be contract to Juventus.

Secondly, whilst Alves has had a stellar career, he is now 34. Is he really a better option than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Hector Bellerin – men 10 years his junior? Alves would be a short term option, a very short term option.

So if we are going to bring up names of players who are available, and are better than what we have, let’s be sensible with it. Let’s not just name names for RTs and blog or vlog hits.

One player who is most certainly available, and is clearly better than what we have is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And I am baffled as to why it seems we are not in the race for him.

Of course, we could be moving up on sly like a Love Island alpha male muscling in on another man’s girl without the bloke she is currently coupled up with knowing. But at the minute, it just seems we are not interested. And it baffles me as to why not.

Here is a striker who is amongst the best in the world. A world where there are not too many top, top strikers. At 28 year old, he is at the peak of his powers. In 4 years at Borussia Dortmund he has scored 120 goals in 189 games.

Last year alone he scored 40 goals in 46 games for the German outfit.

He is big, he is strong, he is quick, and he knows where the back of the net is. And according to reports, he is available for as low as €70 million – in the current market, for a player of his ability, that is relatively cheap.

At the minute, it seems Liverpool are leading the race for him, with the offer of working alongside former manager Jurgen Klopp a key factor. But then you look at who else is in the race. Manchester United and Chelsea. But both clubs seem to have him as second choice if they are unable to sign Alvaro Morata or Romelu Lukaku respectively.

So you have two clubs interested in signing him as a second choice, and one club looking to signing him who can not really offer him the chance of winning trophies. Meanwhile Arsenal sit their with 3 FA Cups in 4 years and Danny Welbeck upront.

Aubameyang would come straight into the first team, and would surely be the type of stellar signing that makes Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil think I am staying here.

And imagine Aubameyang himself getting told Arsenal want to sign you and play you infront of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. It is the type of thing dreams are made of. He would get 30 league goals next seasons without even trying.

Arsenal do not have Champions League football, which might be a down point, but I am becoming a believer that players do not actually care about the Champions League – unless they win it – and just feign an interest in clubs needing to be in the Champions League to eek out an extra 10%.

I can imagine how the conversation went with Manhcester United and Henrikh Mkhitaryan went last summer.

Man U: Henrikh, we want to sign you
HM: OK, but Arsenal want to sign me, and they have Champions League football
Man U: How much is their contract offer?
HM: £120k a week
Man U: We will pay you £140k a week
HM: Deal

Not having Champions League football is not an issue. If will not affect Arsenal financially a great deal, it will just mean we have to pay a little more for Aubameyang’s services.

With Dortmund saying a deal must be done before their pre-season training starts on July 26th, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a player who Arsenal should not just be targeting, but should be going all out to sign.