Wenger on Xhaka: We work on a list of players

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed that his scouting team are working on a list of transfer targets for the summer as media speculation continues to link Arsenal with a move for Borussia Moenchengladbach’s midfielder, Granit Xhaka.

Reports this week have claimed the Gunners have watched the 23-year-old Swiss more than 30 times over the course of the season and could be preparing a £30 million offer when the window opens.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Armenian midfielder providing the grease in Borussia Dortmund’s midfield, has also been mooted as a possible target.

Asked in his pre-Watford press conference about the link with Xhaka, Wenger said: “At the moment, we start to analyse, work and to get little lists of names. It’s not the moment to come out with names.

Asked specifically by the Evening Standard’s James Olley if Xhaka is on that list, the boss laughed before joking: “I’ll send you the list if you want.”

Whether Granny Chuka or Ricky Mickytarzan (seriously we’re not spending the next 5 years looking up how to spell those names) are on the list or not, it’s clear that with Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini all out of contract, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain often injured and Mohamed Elneny off to the African Cup of Nations in January, we’re going to need reinforcements in midfield.

That little list had better have a lot of names on it.

Check out this week’s Arsecast

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Gooniegoogoo
Gooniegoogoo

Listy McListface

remember the invincible
remember the invincible

If I were Wenger I would totes send a list of legit players that we’re not after just to mess with the media.

dominic
dominic

Christopher Wreh

assistantref
assistantref

It’s April 1, it’s the perfect opportunity. Send in a list with Emmanuel Eboue listed 13 times, interspersed with a list of ex-Sp*rs players.

Pharbo
Pharbo

And make sure that list has a couple of little known French players from ligue 2.

Woolwich Peripatetic
Woolwich Peripatetic

Too risky Pharbo, we might actually sign them in a few years (I’m thinking of two ex-Ligue 2 players in particular we did sign).

Arctic Marauder
Arctic Marauder

Actually Newcastle or Sp*dz might sign them. Great idea!

Penguin
Penguin

But you just know that if we sign anyone we’ll only sign one and leave us short, when injury and departure wise we probably need at least 2, perhaps 3.

Keith
Keith

Love the optimism!

thespursmirage
thespursmirage

Love the sarcasm!

Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago

I don’t really follow much of the Bundesliga, anyone able to enlighten me on what they’re like?

GoonerOfPuppets
GoonerOfPuppets

He did not deny it, maybe there’s something in… Aah fuck it, I’m not going to get drawn on transfers this early. Let’s finish this season first.

BillyBatts
BillyBatts

Depends also on whether AW sees potential in Toral, Zelalem and/or Crowley for the first team. If not, decisions will need to be made on their futures relatively soon.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

I’d guess the list is more likely to be one or two of A M-N, Toral and Hayden in MF plus a couple of new faces.

And Wellington, Gnabry and Akpom up front.

Simon
Simon

I’m not so sure we are signing all that many midfielders this summer: despite injury led appearances I think we are well stacked and comparitively light elsewhere.

Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky are out but we have already added Elneny and Iwobi has already stood in for Ozil furher forward. I suspect we will add just one player who can provide security with good passing ability and that is it: Kroos or Xhaka ideally.

Our pressing need for goals up front and gap filling at back means resources will be stretched too.

Xxxrob
Xxxrob

I created a new season on fifa16 and sold arteta,rosicky,flamini, Walcott and Gibbs
I bought xhaka, lukaku and jetro Willems

Going great guns!

Glenn Helder
Glenn Helder

Brilliant. Thanks for letting us know.

Xxxrob
Xxxrob

Yeah no worries Glenn. Any time. If you like I’ll keep you posted on any future transfers I make in FIFA land

steve
steve

But what did you have for breakfast?

bestie
bestie

Seems unusually close to positive affirmation by Arsene’s standards. Maybe there is something to it.

Simon
Simon

Agreed.

Simon
Simon

I just took a look at the video and Wenger’s face is hilarious: he is working over time to avoid letting on. If I am right, I’m happy!

Kinghenrythe14th
Kinghenrythe14th

List my foot! We’ll buy 1 player, promote 1 (Iwobi) then receive 2 LANS (Wilshere and Santi). We’d then release Arteta, Rosicky and Flam, possibly Scz. A week after the window closes, we discover that the slight knock Kos got at the Euros was actually a hairline fracture which will rule him out till December 30th; just in time to be a LANS. In the meantime we are unlucky to receive news of Ozil and Welbeck being knackered. A resurgent Walcott will start scoring every match from April to deceive us into another contract extension. Gibbs finally gets tired of the bench and moves to Everton on the deadline day January and by the 2nd week of February, Nacho collides with Jon Walters and is ruled out till April ending. Still we somehow wrestle out 4th position from Liverpool and start to get linked with every top class player again. Rinse and repeat

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

Iwobi has already been ‘promoted’ to the 1st team squad.

kwamegunner
kwamegunner

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I can tell you I burst into laughter at this very “groundhog day” scenario and immediately cried afterwards(just like they do in the movies). Sigh!!!!

Gooner
Gooner

‘Sigh’ with that many exclamation marks after it gives me a somewhat amusing image.

thespursmirage
thespursmirage

Nastradamus is back to life!

Growler
Growler

April fools! We don’t really have a list.

Simon
Simon

I don’t think the list will be long at all. We’ll buy a single midfielder. Two main reasons:

1. Needs elsewhere and budget. Midfield will cost us no less than £30m. We need to address the lack of goals upfront (maybe 2 in) and back up’s in the back line (probably 2 in also).

2. We are better fixed in midfield than it appears with injuries. If we believe injuries will continue then we will sell oft injured players, not overstock. We won’t. We have a need for someone who can play central and defensive mid – Xhaka or maybe Kroos (who is playing further back for Germany and out Arteta’s Arteta with his passing). Ahead we have seen Iwobi shine in Ozil’s position and we will have Ramsey, Wilshire and Cazorla. I can make a case for selling either of the first two but I don’t think we will. I suspect all ballast will be provided from youngsters.

lonsdale
lonsdale

Henrikh Mk-hit-a-ryan. Not too hard, just remember to hit a Ryan (preferably Shawcross).

ben
ben

Watched a video of Xhaka the other day – compilation of his performance vs Schalke recently. He turned his back when closing down a shot on goal and it went in. Don’t want him anymore, sick of our little scared players. Take one in the gonads!!

Indiegooner
Indiegooner

Everyman has the right to protect his gonads. Don’t you ever be asking a man to take one on his gonads. Ever.

Glenn Helder
Glenn Helder

Oooh he ran away from a 50mph+ shot, he must be bollocks. Fuck off. You get up there and take one square in the gonads. Let us know how you get on.

iyodo
iyodo

Do we even have a list? a list is only required when the items are many right?… i hope we do have a list

Paul
Paul

Don’t tell him Pike!

Man Manny
Man Manny

“At the moment, we start to analyse, work and to get little LISTS of names…”
Really? More than one list? Arsene means business. Watch out Pep, Arsene is waiting for you.

Deano

I think the only Dortmund player that will be available is Gundogan. They’ve stuck together in the Europa league and now they are back in the champs league.

Gundogan is a fine player if available we should certainly think about an offer.

Arsenalnut
Arsenalnut

Gundogan is injured so often already that he’s honorary Arsenal. No thanks. We, of all teams, should not be purchasing players with a tendency to get injured. Plus there is is the magnifying effect. A broken leg in the Bundesliga mean an amputated leg in the cauldron of the EPL

David
David

I want wenger to purchase Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

We have enough players that only play when they feel like it (even if he would be more effective on the few days he ‘turns up’). And how many years contract would you offer a 34 year old who expects to earn a enormous salary?

Arsepedant
Arsepedant

And why would Wenger purchase Zlatan when he’s available on a free transfer?

Dominant as Zlatan has been in the second rate French league, I wouldn’t want him here even on a free. He won’t be able to duplicate his French success in the PL, not at the age of 34, not when every team’s back line is better than any in France. Plus he apparently wants 600K per week. That works out to just a shade under a pound per SECOND. Or nearly 60 quid to go take a leak. No-one is worth 60 quid to take a leak.

midgunner
midgunner

Dunno, maybe Messi?

He pisses on us every time we play Barcelona…

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Here we go again. The PL is so superior. Zlatan is a special talent who’s done it everywhere he’s been throughout his career and still has it in him. So why wouldn’t he do it in England? Because the defences here are so superior? Don’t make me laugh

Woolwich Peripatetic
Woolwich Peripatetic

To give him some credit, he’s a big guy who is a skilled ball player – if he doesn’t beat his man with skill he normally goes through them.
That won’t work in the PL at his age, he’ll spend most of the match on the floor complaining to the ref because he got flattened AGAIN.
There are some good interviews with Klopp where he reveals how shocked he was by the physicality of the PL (and the German league is much rougher than Spain & France).

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Fast forward to September 2nd 2016. Arsene’s interview.

“Look errrr, I didn’t feel the need to sign another midfielder because we still have Wilshire to come back from injury and Chamberlain too. We musn’t forget that Walcott can play wide and he is close to returning. The 3 of them will be like a new signing”.

GH

Seen some reports of Ibra wanting £600000 a week before tax at his next club. Out of interest, who’d take him if that was the case?

arseblog
Admin

Not Arsene Wenger. That’s for sure.

assistantref
assistantref

Beijing Moneymoney will have to fight it out with Huangzhou Cashfactory.

leon
leon

Mr Blogs how many players do you actually think Wenger will buy in the summer? I say one if we are lucky.

arseblog
Admin

5

midgunner
midgunner

Blimey feeling optimistic today blogs, or still on an April fools trip?

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

4 of those being kids for the future who probably won’t make it

Btw
Btw

April fools!

Arsenalnut
Arsenalnut

From your lips to Arsene’s pen.

voldermort
voldermort

Here we go again. As greenday said wake me up when September ends
Usual bolox that we heard last year.
Why do people think we are going to buy more than last year. We have eleney and Arsene will tell you that’s yet another midfielder to replace arteta then we have jack back a lans if ever their was one.
And he has full confidence in giroud , Walcott etc as he said last season.
Fuck all big will happen because the man is stubborn and answers to no one. Especially not the fans

Xxxrob
Xxxrob

My transfer speculation tolerance meter peaks and troughs. Right now it’s back to “nah we’re going to sign people, as if we won’t”
I’ll let you know how I’m feeling in mid August

Arsefull
Arsefull

Just looking at senior players alone that Wenger bought over the last three years, the list includes: Ospina, Chambers, Debuchy, Ozil, Welbeck, Sanchez, Gabriel, Cech, and Elneny. That is an average of 3 per year with one major world class player added annually (Ozil, Sanchez, Cech) over this period. We could also include youth prospects such as the Jeff, Fortune and Belik as well as others. In addition, whether by design or because his hand was forced somewhat, Wenger has also promoted Coquelin, Bellerin and Iwobi, all of which seem to have worked out, or look like they are working out, quite well. Maybe these purchases and internal solutions are neither ambitious nor plentiful enough for your liking, fair enough. Moreover, should he be active and aggressive in the next transfer window? Hell yes; but I think the rinse and repeat argument so often leveled at miserly Wenger is not entirely accurate nor completely fair.

santori
santori

As per usual 3 positions need to be looked at :

1) Striker. This depends on availability as the top strikers can be counted on one hand (mainly South American) and all engaged at present. However should Wenger decide to take a punt on an up and coming player in this position, I should think Walcott is a candidate to be moved on. He has been erratic so far and at 27, his pace will wear in a season or two. Could be sold for a decent price and free up the wage bill. What we really need is a creative striker, someone with trickery to complement Giroud’s physicality and Welbeck’s raw direct pace. That’s hard to find at present but waiting out a season, Wenger will be hoping a new generation of strikers starts to show as the established ones are getting on.

2) Midfield. I don’t see Elneny (at present anyway) as the sort of back up we need to Coquelin. Flamini can take a senior role and add triple redundancy plus his utility means he can also cover as Chambers assumes a Rback role, just in case the young lad has difficulties. But we are still missing the sort of Viera/Diaby presence with quick feet. I think Wenger here is somewhat guilty of trying to find the perfect solution in this position. He may have to compromise with somethingelse considering Rosicky and Arteta should have been released last summer and Santi is not getting younger. Maybe IF Elneny develops more physically, we can add a more creative player like Granit (or maybe Wenger thinks one of Bielik or Zelalem is ready to step up to cover DM). Regardless, Elneny to me is more an engine with plenty of fuel to burn (work rate) and a supplement to Jack or Ramsey who are both as we know injury prone. Dificciult to decipher which was the cards will fall as of course it also does depend on who comes avail on market plus development within the squad from now till end of season.

3) Cback. I still think we should be looking here bc Per as good as he has been should be taking a retiring role next season. Plus Koscielny isn’t getting younger. I think there are signs of improvement last game with Gabriel-Koscielny partnership which is very encouraging. However we could either add a younger player t come in to compete with Chambers for a future central role (Chambers to also cover Rback) say a Hayden or bring in (my preference because this position IMO requires experience) a more ready made player like a Hummels close to or in his prime.

There has to be a list of players because there are so many variables.

a)The players have to be motivated to come to Arsenal.

b)We have to be willing to buy on price quoted if not haggle to a comfort price. Plus wage is also still an issue regardless

c)And the selling club must be agreeable to sell to us. There are other clubs (surprise surprise) that have deeper resources and can pay higher premiums for players.

So it has always been a tad simplistic when fans think there is just one target and we have ‘failed’ just because things did not go our way.

The situation with Ozil and Higuain illustrates the problem.

Wenger knew there could be a possibility of Ozil being available late on because of Bale’s protracted negotiations. He elected not to follow Napoli into a price war for Higuain because he had less idea how much Ozil may eventually ask later in the window and preferred to pick the playmaker over the striker should the playmaker’s price go higher.

As is, a bit of ground work was done by our German contingent then and Wenger’s silky language skills to convince Ozil to come to us plus the 42.3m. Hardly a ‘panic buy’ but the media and some more simplistic people would think otherwise I suppose.

Wait and see. But there are always several permutations. Nothing is that linear with the market lest you believe the pundits none of whom have had experience managing a big club let alone bought players (Unless you consider Gary Neville);)

MT
MT

retiring role for Mertesacker? He is only 31. He has still at least 5 years at top level as he doesn’t rely on speed. Koscielny is only a year younger but I never see comments about him being to old.

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

I buy Granit Xhaka simply for the name alone.

Much awesome than Kylo Ren or whatever.

Matt
Matt

The truth of things is that this season, again, is over for Arsenal with this guy in charge. I’d love to see a list of MANAGERS instead, Wenger Out.

Arsenalnut
Arsenalnut

You’ll likely be institutionalized when the first four post-Wenger years are 6th, 5th, 8th, and 5th places, respectively. Hey, you’ll be able to travel to exotic away matches in the Europa League. I bet you’ve always wanted to see Eastern Russia. The good news is that we will be able to grow organically with the reduced pressure to achieve. Lots of kids coming through the ranks. Even Brits.

Now that I think about it nobody has mentioned The Jeff for next year. How soon we forget.

Stewart Robson's therapist
Stewart Robson's therapist

My proposed squad for next season (new signings in capitals):

GK: Čech/Ospina
RB: Bellerín/CARVAJAL
CB: Chambers/Mertesacker
CB: LAPORTE/Koscielny
LB: Monreal/Gibbs
CM: XHAKA/Coquelin
CM: Elneny/Wilshere/Ramsey
CAM: Özil/Cazorla
LW: Welbeck/Campbell
RW: Alexis/Iwobi
ST: LUKAKU/Giroud

A left winger would be great too – Griezmann comes to mind, in which case we’d probably have to sell Campbell (with regret). Depends on the funds we have, though we could raise a bit of money from selling Szczesny, Walcott and the Ox (all with homegrown premiums).

Neil
Neil

how much would that cost, 200mil at least. Nice thought, but not going to happen, I’m afraid. (Though I too would be happy with 3-4 quality signings.)

JArghS
JArghS

Who can make Arsene’s list?

Xhaka, Khan.

sorry.

Jim
Jim

I’d love Kante tbh. He’s looked so good all year. Oh yeah and he’s French Wenger!