Tag Archives: Henry Onyekuru

Should the top sides fear Everton’s spending?

Over £90m spent and the transfer window has not even been open a week. Everton have done some business. Some very expensive business. But should the top sides like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal fear them?

Whilst smaller sides might look at them in jealousy – they have outspent the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, WBA & Manchester City – is their big spending really anything to scare anyone?

Jordan Pickford is a very good young goal keeper. But at around £30m he is a massive signing. The second most expensive keeper of all time.

I would love Pickford at Arsenal. As 2nd choice keeper. This is a man who got relegated. Bottom of the league. 20th. He is not even one of the top 3 English goal keepers. Would he get into any top side? Probably not. Everton is his level.

Then you have Micheal Keane. A centre back. Released by Man U. Everton have also spent £30m on him. He ain’t no Rob Holding. Ain’t no Calum Chambers.

Being Burnley’s best centre back is like being Burnley’s fittest bird. It means nothing. A town full or rotters. £30m on Michael Keane? You’re having a laugh.

I have no idea if this is Keane, Klassen, Pickford or Sandro. Probably not Onyekuru though.

Davy Klassen is next up. Got a lot of goals and assists in Holland did Davy. Another £25m spent. But is he any better than James McCarthy or Gareth Barry? Probably not.

The Dutch league is unpredictable. Just ask Middlesbrough and Alfonso Alves. More recently look at Jordy Claise at Southampton. He can barely complete 90 minutes for the South-Coast club.

Henry Onyekuru is the type of bloke that sent every club in English football an Email about his uncle being worth billions and if you click this link you will get 10%.

Everton clicked the link and ended up spending £6.8m, whilst Onyekuru will be no where to be seen. Talk about a 419 scam.

Sandro Ramirez, in fairness, is a good value signing. But people are comparing him to Kylian Mbappe? Give it a rest. The last young Spanish striker to join the Premier League was Xisco. He is still trawling Geordie night clubs asking lasses to let him see their thong. He is 31.

Whilst Everton’s early moves to spend near enough £100m, it has to be remembered that Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkely are going to leave the club. And none of those joining are anywhere near as good as the outgoing duo.

And now I read they might get the over weight granny-shagger on a free transfer.

Nothing really to see at Everton except for a lot money spent on a lot of tripe.

Europa League good for Arsenal’s future?

Sometimes to take a step forward you need to take a step back. And in a weird quirk, Arsenal failing to qualify for the Champions League could be turned into a positive for the future.

With Petr Cech unlikely to leave this summer, qualifying for the Europa League could create a situation where we could now purchase a top young keeper – such as Jordan Pickford – and have enough games for both to keep them satisfied.

Someone like Pickford is clearly a talented young keeper, but there is a big difference between making 10 saves in a game and conceding 3 goals, and being man of the match for keeping the score down, and doing nothing all game, and having to make a 90th minute save to keep the team ahead.

With the Europa League, we could sign Jordan Pickford and play him as understudy to Petr Cech. He would learn off the goalkeeping legend on the training ground, and he would get plenty of game time over the next year in the cups.

You would play Pickford in all 3 cup competitions – a potential of 14 Europa League games, 6 in the FA Cup and 6 more in the League Cup. That would be 26 in total if we make every final.

Now realistically, we will not make every final, but you would still expect there to be enough games in all 3 competitions to have Pickford play a dozen or more games.

By the time the 2017/18 season is over, Pickford would have grown as a keeper, be settled at the club, and have been fully analysed by the club staff to establish he has the mental strength to play for Arsenal. Qualifying for the Europa League will give him the game time needed to develop.

Game time will also be very important next year for the likes of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding.

Chambers looked good whilst on loan at Middlesbrough, playing in his preferred position of centre back. If Arsenal continue with 3 at the back, long term Chambers would be an excellent option for the right if that 3, but he needs to keep playing games.

Last season he stagnated due to lack of game time. Europa League (and the League Cup) would give him nearly 10 up until Christmas. It will keep him sharp and continue his develop. It would also allow him to build up a relationship with Rob Holding inside him.

Rob Holding has been given a lot of praise since breaking through due at the back end of the season, and he deserves that hype. But he is still young, he is still raw, and he still has mistakes in him. He was caught twice by Diego Costa in the FA Cup Final, one of which led to Chelsea’s equaliser.

He needs to be given time to develop, and whilst he has been excellent, he is probably not ready to start week in, week out in a title chasing side. But the flip side is he needs games to continue his development.

3 months ago I would have written a blog about how Rob Holding could do with going on loan next season. Like Chambers, he desperately needed games and with Arsenal playing 2 at the back, there were too many ahead of him. A move to 3 at the back, coupled with his own performances, means he has now had some more game time, and is too valuable to the squad to send on loan for 38 games.

The happy medium will be for him to start in the middle of a back 3 in the Europa League and League Cup, whilst being the first change if Laurent Koscileny or Shkodran Mustafi pick up an injury in the Premier League.

There will some now criticising this blog saying that Rob Holding should start every game next season. Let’s lay off him and give him the chance to develop. Mustafi Koscileny Monreal is our strongest defence, but Holding is knocking on the door. And the Europa League could help him knock that door down.

Other youngsters will also benefit from being in the Europa League.

Alex Iwobi has dropped out of contention in the Arsenal starting XI this season. In my opinion, he was played too much when clearly out of form in the first half of the season. He is barely 21 and should be handed a staring role behind the striker in the Europa League.

The extra games, and confidence, he would get from playing in the lesser competition will keep him sharp and ready if the top boys are out injured. He could be the star of the Europa League.

Alongside Iwobi, the Europa League will give a big chance to the likes of Reine-Adelaide, Chris Willock and forgotten man Gedion Zelalem to show they are good enough for the long term at Arsenal. It would also be good to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles got more of a run out.

Finally, the early rounds of the Europa League at least would be good for any potential young striker in the squad. Whether it be a chance for Chuba Akpom finally, or if Arsenal make a move for Henry Onyekuru, 10-or so games in the Europa League and League Cup will do wonders. Remember it is the competition Harry Kane used as his break through a few years ago.

Arsenal should take the Europa League seriously. But especially in the first half of the season, and potentially up until the quarter-finals, Arsenal could play a seriously rotated squad, meaning the regular starting XI get mid weeks off, and some of our most talented youngsters get game time.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and if the Europa League means we end up with Jordan Pickford, and see Chambers and Holding turn into the England internationals they are destined to be, than taking a step back into the competition could be great for Arsenal’s future.


Arsene Wenger Stays…Henry Onyekuru Signs

Well yesterday was a fun day wasn’t it?

It started off with bickering between fans – is there any a day where Arsenal fans are not arguing on social media? Yesterday it was between those delighted that we won the FA Cup, and those who were unhappy that we had won it.

At around 2pm, the bickering stopped and turned into vile abuse as it was announced that Arsene Wenger was set to sign a new 2 year contract at Arsenal.

Before I go on, why do fans need to get abusive to other fans, just because they have a different opinion. Yesterday I have seen people call 60 year old women c**ts and mock fans dead families members. On top of this the usual wishing cancer on people, wishing death on people. Just because you might be hundreds of even thousands of miles apart, does not mean you should not have to treat people with respect.

The majority throwing abuse would not say the same things to peoples face. They would not turn up to a pub in Holloway to continue the argument. Big brave men (and it is usually middle aged men throwing the abuse) hiding behind a keyboard. And it is both sides of the argument. Wenger In’s are just as abusive as Wenger Out’s. No one covers themselves with glory.

Rant over, back to yesterday’s news.

Wenger signing for another 2 years was predictable. Even without the FA Cup win, he was always going to stay. The FA Cup did not save him – and that is why we should celebrate winning the FA Cup. Had we lost against Chelsea, yesterdays news still would have been announced.

The deal was reportedly agreed back in January. Rumours circulate that we had spoken to a few other managers. Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus was sounded out, but has decided to remain at Juventus. Thomas Tuchel indicated he was not yet ready to leave Borussia Dortmund – ironic that he was then sacked yesterday.

Diego Simeone plans to see out his contract at Atletico Madrid. Doors were getting shut. Did Arsenal do enough to keep those doors open? Probably not. Deep down they were happy with Wenger staying.

Even if Alisher Usmanov had his bid accepted earlier this year and was now majority share holder, Wenger would have been given a new contract. Usmanov has spoken before about being a big fan of Wenger and, with David Dein likely to return as Chairman if Usmanov ever returned, Wenger would have two strong allies on the board.

Wenger staying is the wrong decision. He should have been announcing he is leaving Arsenal, not announcing his new two year deal.

People seem to forget you can want Arsenal to win trophies, but still want Wenger to leave. The weekend was perfect. Arsenal won the FA Cup. But then Wenger should have walked. On his own terms. With his dignity in tact. No one would have criticised him had he done a Kevin Keegan and resigned in a toilet in Wembley.

Wenger has been a brilliant manager for Arsenal. He has continued to build the club after the successful George Graham era. Those that say he ruined it are deluded. 3 FA Cups in 4 years cements his greatness. But it was time for him to go.

Whilst some managers might have turned us down, with £10m a year salary on the table, there would have been plenty of options through Europe. Instead, Wenger will be heard for another 2 years. Another 2 years of infighting. Another two years of arguments. The only hope is we have a couple more years of success in that time.

So Wenger is staying, time to deal with it, we can be unhappy but can still back the team. Let’s win the Europa League, the League Cup, the FA Cup and the Premier League next season.

The second piece of news to break was that Nigerian youngster Henry Onyekuru was set to sign for £6.8m. And as predicted, all hell broke loose.

I had a discussion a few weeks ago with a few in the She Wore Whatasapp Group. The discussion surrounded Arsenal’s recent inability to uncover gems. Specifically from South America. I blogged about this a bit last week.

Ultimately, South American youngsters are hugely over priced. You pay extra because they are Brazilian or Argentinian. A lot of money spent on the next Pele or Maradona. Whilst there have been some successes, a lot of them end up flopping. And expensively flopping. Just look at Gabriel Barbosa over at Inter Milan.

€29.5m spent on ‘the next big thing’, 9 games, 1 goal for Inter Milan and he already looks like he is heading back to Brazil.

In the discussion I mentioned that your value is in the African market. If you can pick up one of the many young Africans plying their trade in Belgium, secure them before they make that move to France and become an established star, you can still find value.

Think Kolo Toure, think Michael Essien, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Didier Drogba. All of these players went for pennies when they first made a move to a bigger side in Europe. Yes, there are still risks, but the risks are a lot cheaper than a South American import.

To those moaning about Onyekuru joining the club, have you been cheering Rob Holding’s name over the weekend? Think back to last summer.

Arsenal announced the signing of 21 year old Rob Holding for £2m from Bolton, who were relegated from the Championship.

Fans: “Wenger doing it again, going for a cheap youngster rather than an established star. I wish he would stop these projects. Booo. La Fraud. #WengerOut”

AW: “I am sorry he didn’t cost £55 million, so he can’t be good.”

Arsenal win the FA Cup with Rob Holding staring

Fans: “Rob Holding, you know, his better than Canvarro”

What I will always say is it is not the cost of a players that is important, but their talent.

In 2015/16, we all moaned that we had not signed Riyad Mahrez on N’Golo Kante when Leicester did. Wenger admitted he knew about them but decided not to move for them. They cost Leicester buttons, and go on to be win Premier League titles and back to back PFA Player of the Year Awards.

But could you imagine the outcry if we signed Mahrez from Ligue 2 Le Harve – he had scored 6 goals in 3 years in the French 2nd tier. Imagine if we went for N’Golo Kante. 1 year in the French top division. No caps. At 5ft 6in he is not exactly the physical specimen we have needed in the middle of the park. Typical Wenger going for an unknown Frenchman.

Recently we have had people moaning that we did not buy Kylian Mbappe last summer. Wenger was close to a deal, he even visited Mbappe at his parents house. Imagine if Arsenal went and signed a 17 year old French striker with just a single Ligue 1 goal to his name, rather than Lucas Perez. We would be up in arms.

12 months forward, Mbappe is being pimped round Europe for £80m and those same fans who would have moaned if we signed him 12 months previous are now moaning that we did not sign him 12 months previous.

Maybe we just love to moan? We could sign Gareth Bale and people would complain we had just signed an injury prone full back with the best days behind him.

Henry Onyekuru is a 19 year old striker who was top scorer in Belgium last season. He had a release clause of £6.8m and Arsenal have offered £6.8m +£1 to secure him.

I am sorry his name is not Gabriel Henry, the next Santos ‘wonderkid’ and has just cost us £20m. Imagine how excited we would have been if we had signed Henry from Brazil ,he had just finished top scorer – the Brazilian league is no better than the Belgium.

Don’t believe the hype over South American youngsters, and lets back young Arsenal players when they join. Give them the chance. Not get on their back and have a go at them before they have even held up the shirt.

Onyekuru could be the next Drogba, but he could be the next Kalou. Gabriel Jesus might become the next Neymar. But might also end up the next Alfonso Alves.

Support the team, back the players, even if you do not support the regime.

Up the Arsenal