Tag Archives: thomas lemar

8 possible Sanchez / Ozil replacements

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are gone. They are not going to sign a new deal. I think we have to all come to terms with them leaving the club on a free.

And when I talk about all of us having to come to terms, I include the Arsenal management.

It often feels that Arsenal transfer windows are managed without a plan. It is disorganised. But with the clubs two best players set to leave for nothing, it will be a disaster if Arsenal are not already prepared.

The plans of action need to start in January. Even if Sanchez and Ozil are to not leave until the summer, Arsenal need to not only target, but secure at least one replacement for the pair now.

Replacing two in the summer will be hard. Getting one replacement in January will take the pressure off and also ensure that come the 2018/19 season, we already have a replacement who is settled in England having had 7 months to adjust to the weather.

So who should Arsenal be targeting in January?

Thomas Lemar

Our number one target from the summer will surely be re-targeted in January.

He wanted to join Arsenal, Arsenal wanted him, but we messed up and did not meet Monaco’s valuation until too late.

Hopefully since the summer transfer window closed, we have kept talking to both Monaco, Lemar, and his representatives, and that a deal in January could happen quickly.

Robert Pires recently claimed that he felt that a deal for Thomas Lemar to Arsenal will not happen now. A lot of people have jumped on this as to assume the deal is dead. But reading the full quotes from Pires, he is saying this due to the price tag of £90m. That he (and probably Wenger) does not think he is worth that much.

At the end of the day, if we have the money, we need to spend it. Every million that go’s unspent becomes less valuable every year as transfer fees continue to climb.

Julian Draxler

Another long term favourite of some, German international Julian Draxler could be available for a cut price fee as PSG attempt to balance the books.

Draxler is one of 4 attacking talents that are being linked with moves away from the club. Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura are the other 4.

Draxler has struggled to nail down a place since joining PSG, but if Arsenal could get him cheaply, a transfer could be on the cards.

Antoine Griezmann

With Diego Costa set to rejoin Atletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann may well be on his way out – if not in January, certainly in the summer.

It feels he has been itching for a move away for a couple of years.

Whilst Atletico have performed brilliantly in recent years, the trophies have dried up since Griezmann joined the club. He has only won the Spanish version of the Community Shield.

It is all well and good being competitive and making Champions League Finals, but if you are not winning trophies, players will become frustrated.

If he does want to move, there will be a scramble for him, with the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona also interested. Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium to compete with these sides for the likes of Griezmann.

Griezmann would be a stellar signing and the perfect replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

Thomas Muller

Things have gone a little sour for Thomas Muller at Bayern Munich in recent months. After a slow start, the 28-year-old finished with 12 assists in 25 Bundesliga starts last season. However, he found the net just five times. This season he has scored just twice in 17 appearances for club and country.

An established world star, he would fit straight in and provide goals and assists from midfield. Signing him might also see Mesut Ozil sign a new contract.

Raheem Sterling

With the development and form of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling has found himself on the fringes of the Manchester City first team in recent weeks.

Add in David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and big money summer signing Bernardo Silva, Sterling is finding the competition for places tough to get game time. He has made just 5 Premier League starts this season.

Add in Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City are the envy of world football with their attacking talent. 7 into 3 (or occasionally 4) does not go, and whilst they might win the trophies and get the money whilst sitting on the Manchester City bench, many players want to play.

Sterling is a London lad (via Jamaica) and spends a lot of time in the capital visiting family and friends.

Despite his lack of game time, he has still managed 7 goals in the league this season – just two shy of his career high 9 at Liverpool back in 2014.

There has always been a world class player in Sterling, but he just needs an arm round him and get consistent playing time.

He would get both at Arsenal, and at just 23, still has plenty of time to develop.

Dries Mertens

It has recently been linked that Napoli’s Belgian born forward has a release clause of just £25m. This is a snip in the current market.

At 30, he would not be a long term replacement for Ozil or Sanchez, but he is having an Indian summer to what had been an average career since Napoli move him down the middle last season – no player has scored more goals in Serie A since the beginning of 2016/17.

Lorenzo Insigne

The diminutive team mate of Dries Mertens, he has also been in excellent form.

Reminds me of a young Santi Cazorla, he is great with both feet, and can play anywhere behind a front man. The only question for both Napoli men is whether they would want to leave a table topping side for Arsenal in January, and lose the chance to become legends.

Possibly not.

James Rodriguez

The Columbian has only recently joined Bayern Munich on a 2 year long long deal, but things have quickly turned sour.

Signed by the since departed Carlo Ancelotti, Rodriguez found himself on the bench in the game after the Italians dismissal and there are reports that both he and Munich are looking for ways to end the loan deal.

With Real Madrid unlikely to want him back, the only option will be for Munich to find a club to take Rodriguez for the remainder of the loan deal. Arsenal could well step in and Rodriquez could show the creative abilities to fill the void left by Mesut Ozil.

Keenos

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Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Arsenal’s Defensive Crisis & More

So a week or so without blogging has done me well. I feel refreshed, I have learnt some new words, and I have actually got some proper work done. But I am back, and I thought a good way to start off would be a recap of stuff that I would have blogged on in the last few weeks…

Mesut Ozil & Alexis Sanchez

Speculation is increasing that both will leave on a free in the summer. I would have dumped them both last summer and got in some replacements. My opinion is the same for January. Take what we can, and get in some replacements (Thomas Lemar and Julian Draxler still getting talked about).

Harry Winks

Who? Was what I asked when he got called up for England.

It turns out he plays for Spurs, and has started 4 Premier League games in his career. Good job devaluing the shirt Gareth. Still baffles me as to how Theo Walcott fails to make the England squad whilst the links of Jesse Lingard and this Winks fella get in.

THAT Spurs Book

White Hart Lane: The Spurs Glory Years 1899-2017

  • 2 League titles
  • 8 FA Cups

Arsene Wenger: We Want You to Stay 1996-2017

  • 3 League titles
  • 7 FA Cups

Spurs really are a deluded bunch.

“Super Clubs”

A lot has been written in recent years about Super Clubs. The likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. A lot of what has been written is positive, blue prints on how they got to where they are, and how others should attain to get there.

Whilst the likes of the 4 previously mentioned sides, alongside the likes of Juventus. Inter and AC Milan are at the top of the footballing hierarchy, the life of a football club is cyclical, and just because you eat from the top table, does not mean you will not have your struggles.

Man U, for example, have not been the same since Sir Alex Ferguson left. The other British Super Club, Liverpool, are 26 years without a title.

Bayern Munich, after years of everyone saying this is how you run a club seem to be intent in ripping themselves apart through internal politics. Whilst the famed Barcelona La Masia academy seems to be no longer producing world superstars.

Real Madrid sit 7 points off top and have won just 2 league titles in 10 years.

The two Milan clubs have also struggled since Juventus returned from the match fixing scandal.

These are all great clubs. They have the history, the success, the European trophies. Yet they are like every other club, they have good periods and bad periods.

Arsenal are not at that top table. We have never been, and whilst we wish we were at the top, the fact is we are the level below.

Every clubs have their troubles, no matter if they are a super club, the one we should all dream to become, the one which we all try and copy. No one is immune from a poor period, a period of turmoil.

Sean Dyche for Arsenal

So Ian Wright said Sean Dyche could be the next Arsenal manager. Whilst I agree that Arsenal legends should not be abused for their view, they are not free from criticism. And this view point is just a little bit silly from Ian Wright.

I have seen some fans backing him. “Anyone but that c**T Wenger” I saw one Facebook post from an admin of a page with 25,000 people. This is just stupidity.

The majority of us believe that Arsene Wenger’s time is over, but it should not be anyone but Wenger. This is just stupid.

When Wenger does go, we need to get an elite manager. A proven winner. Do not let your agenda lead you down a path of anyone but Wenger.

Jack Wilshere

After two poor England performances, where the side lacked creativity, plenty are calling for Jack Wilshere to be rushed back into the first team.

We all know that Wilshere is England’s best central midfielder, and if fit, starts. But let’s not rush him.

I would not play him in any international friendly until the World Cup preparation starts at the end of the season. Concentrate on letting him get fit, and stay fit. The 2 weeks off every few weeks will do him the world of good. Then at the World Cup, he will (hopefully) be fit and ready to go.

What is the point in playing him in meaningless friendlies?

Defensive Crisis

So Shkodran Mustafi pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem for Germany against Azerbaijan. It has also been reported as a thigh strain.

With Laurent Koscielny plagued once more by his troublesome achilles, it is being reported that Arsenal face a defensive crisis ahead of the game against Watford.

The usual moaners are complaining that we did not buy a centre back in the summer.

If the above two are out, it still leaves us with Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal as the back 3. That is the same back 3 that won us the FA Cup Final. And we still have Calum Chambers in reserve.

I would not be surprised if Koscielny is fit to start on Saturday. His withdrawal from the French squad is more of a precaution.

But if he is out, we are certainly not in a defensive crisis.

The International Break

Mixed results for Arsenal players, as Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi, Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal and Alexandre Lacazette helped their countries qualify.

Meanwhile Aaron Ramsey Wales and Sead Kolasinac’s Serbia just missed out on a play off.

I did smile when I read the moody dog shagger Alexis Sanchez will not be at the World Cup. Call me petty, but whilst he (and Mesut Ozil) want out of Arsenal, I want as little success for the pair as possible – unless it is in an Arsenal shirt.

Keenos

Arsenal have over £100m to spend

The latest narrative peddled out to the club to favoured journalists, bloggers and large twitter accounts is that Arsenal have no money to spend. It’s lies. All lies.

The claim is that the signings of Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasanic have taken up all our wage increase allocation. That there is no more in the pot. That (as one journo put it) there is no bread for our jam. It’s lies. All lies.

Let’s break it down.

Even after signing the above two players, Arsenal were in negotiation with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Both had double your money contracts on the table worth at least £125k week more than their current deals.

This equates to more than £13m.

The deals have not been signed. So where has this £13m gone?

The justification could be (and this is justified) that it has been ring fenced. Put aside. The contracts for both players is still on the table, so the club has made sure the money is still there for it. But it is still £13m.

Then you have the Thomas Lemar deal. It is widely reported that we bid £50m-ish for the Frenchman, and that us targeting him had nothing to do with the futures of Mesut Ozil and Thomas Lemar. The deal is dead, what has happened to that £50m?

You the. Have the Thomas Lemar wages. You have to assume that he would have been on at least £100k a week if he had joined. That’s another £5m.

Combine all 3, we seem to have had £65m available in the summer for transfers and salaries – on top of the £45m and £10m in wages it cost for Lacazette and Kolasinac. So where has that £65m gone?

The answer is it has not gone anywhere. We have not signed anyone else. We have not offered any big new contracts out. The money is still there.

Then you add the outgoings.

Arsenal have sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£40m), Szczesny (£10m), Gabriel (£10m), Gibbs (£7m), Toral (£3m) and Hinds (£2m). That is £65m in transfer fees that have come in.

There salaries (according to totalsportek.com) cone to around the £200k mark or £10m a year.

So where has his money gone? Again, no where.

So we have spent £45m and £200k a week in wages. We have bought in £65m and saved £200k a week in wages. The salaries of what has come in and what has gone out even themselves out.

So we have raised £20m more in players out over players in (I’m trying hard not to say the words “net spend”). Now I know a lot of this cash has only just come in, but to go full circle, we must return to the beginning of this blog.

What has happened to the money for Ozil and Sanchez? What has happened with the money and salaries for Thomas Lemar? We clearly do have money there.

Now before the window opened, it was widely reported by many that we would have around £100m in the bank for transfers and salaries. This is an approximate figure from the Arsenal Supporters Trust based on analysis of accounts.

So £55m of that has been taken up by Lacazette and Kolasinac. £13m of it set aside for Ozil and Sanchez.

The equals £68m. My simple months show we still had £32m of the original pot left. I can kind of see why we then struggled a bit with Lemar as we needed to sell a little to buy him at the continually increasing figure quoted by Lemar. But we had £32m there.

Add the £65m from player sales, and £10m in saved salaries, our pot to buy players and for salaries (excluding rises for Sanchez and Ozil) now stands at £107m.

So where has this money gone?

To repeat, it has gone?

This brings me to two logical thoughts:

  1. We do have money, Wenger is just choosing not to spend it
  2. We do have money, Kroenke is choosing not to spend it

Either way, we have the money, don’t believe the lies. The way we as fans are being treated by the clubs is muggy.

Arsenal have at least £100m to spend.

 

Ps: Ignore the rubbish about us being limited to just £7m in wage increases a year. This can be disregarded if the club can show that the increases have come from its own revenues. Which Arsenal can.

Keenos