Here’s the latest edition of our Arsenal transfer news round-ups, taking all the snippets of gossip and tittle-tattle and bringing them all together in one big cauldron of scuttlebutt.

Take it home, add some broth, a potato – you got a stew going baby!

Dan-Axel Zagadou

What a name. Not only does it make us think of Joey JoJo Jr Shabadoo, it scans perfectly with Black Lace’s Agadoo, ensuring he’d have the cheesiest chant in football history.

France Football say the Borussia Dortmund central defender is ‘on our shortlist’, but that we are aware of the difficulties of doing the deal.

We assume those difficulties are, you know, paying his transfer fee and convincing him to leave a Champions League club for the Europa League, but that’s up to Raul Sanllehi and his people to deal with.

We don’t have any strong feelings on this one, so a middling 6 on the Poo-o-Meter will suffice.

Florian Thauvin

You might remember him from such times as being quite crap at Newcastle, but the 26 year old Frenchman has enjoyed a much happier time back in France with Marseille. Last season he scored 9 goals and and provided 19 assists in all competitions, on top of a remarkable 17 goals and 26 assists the season before – and that has apparently put him on Unai Emery’s radar.

We’ve been linked with lots of wide players this summer, most of them young bar Yannick Carrasco whose problems in China mean we’ll probably steer well clear, so this is an interesting one.

With that kind of productivity he’d likely be pretty expensive, so let’s see if there’s anything to this.

On top of that, his profile picture on Transfermarkt makes him look like someone got Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marouane Chamakh and squashed them into one.

Armando Izzo

The Torino centre-half was linked with us last week, and according to Italian transfer guru Di Marzio, both we and Everton are ‘ready to make’ €25m offers to the Italian club for his services.

In a similar fashion, I am ready to make a home made special shuttle, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to do it.

Torino’s president, Urbana Cairo, insists the player is not for sale. Italians rarely move to England too, so this one seems well and truly sloppy.

Dani Ceballos

Spanish daily AS say that Arsenal would be willing to pay the minimum €50m that Real Madrid would accept for the midfielder.

Of course. We just need them to agree to an installment plan at 0% interest payable over the next hundred years.

The 22 year old is currently impressing at the European U21 championships, and wants to stay with the Spanish giants, but interestingly is open to a loan move for a season, which sounds much more like something we could do if we wanted to.

Nevertheless, for the €50m purchase option we go with the full 10 poos.

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Pedant
Pedant

Any Arsenal news out there?

C.B.
C.B.

What, something that might happen and make a difference to the club?

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

If we sell mustafi to spurs. They might get relegated. We can give them mustafi + 40 million, but he has to play every game for spurs.

C.B.
C.B.

Good plan, it’ll be Arsenal news once it happens.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We could give them Ozil as well to ensure bankruptcy on top of relegation? 🙂

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Same poop, different day.

Okester
Okester

The Olivia Newton John classic “Xanadu” also works for Zagadou. I’m a little bias as she went to the same school as me (albeit +30 years earlier). Sign him up!!

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

‘classic’?

YMARSE
YMARSE

Hells yea classic!

AussieGooner
AussieGooner

Things are looking up at least. Old Kronkshaft appears to have released 200m extra in transfer funds in a development I wasn’t expecting.

I mean I assume that is the case as simply typing “Arsenal” in the Google search bar reveals we currently have bids out there totalling 245m.

That’s not counting Eric Baily who I think we are going to be swapping Abua for.

Nor Tierney who we are going to get, but the deal includes all the out of date Pringles we still have left over from last season, plus Mustafi, plus Smith-rose on loan for a season.

It is looking really good tbh. We have players coming in to fill every position and we get to keep Ozil after all.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

Mustafi is the equivalent of an expired Pringle!

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

The Kronkscrouge coughs up – fame at last!

Devlin
Devlin

Lorain Thauvin has always been a talented player, but just like so many players out there, there are leagues, systems, playing styles and cultures that just can’t get the best out of you.

In scouting players using stats, it’s hard to pick up on personality traits and the players maturity, so I still prefer our scouting to be primarily done in person. It would be better if they worked in conjunction with statsdna.

I just fear that without a technical director during such an integral recruitment period for the club’s short to medium term future, we might mess things up and end up with a more unbalanced team that is full of players that we cant move on.

I hope there is a plan, in tactics and style of play, not formations. Formations can be changed at the whim of the coach but a way of playing is something that has to be worked on. So in signing, I hope we have a way of playing in mind so that players can acclimatize a bit more easily, which could help in preventing situations like what is being reported about Torreira right now and Gabriel before him.

Goontang
Goontang

To be fair, going to newcastle United and playing under steve McLaren is not going to get the best out of you in a season in which newcastle were relegated.

Pretty sure that Wjinaldum fella was there that season too. Both did well after relegation from that side. So wouldn’t say Thauvin couldnt cut it in the premier league. Just his team and coach were shithouse.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

That’s exactly how it works. No one purchases based on scouting alone.

There are just 2 models; there is the “Scout first, assess with data to confirm scouting or not” which is seemingly the model we use and an evolution from the general qualitative scouting approach of yesteryear.

However there are some, like Dortmund and Liverpool who use the “Data first, use scouts to confirm/disregard the data”, which imo I think is a better way of doing things, as it opens you to a much wider opportunity of players that one would not have gone to sit down and scout/watch prior to the dataset.

Sadly, under Sven it looked like we were moving to the latter, but now sounds like Raul has us back to the former (or using the remnants of Sven’s reports lol).

Futsboller
Futsboller

Devlin, transfers and backroom business aside, do you see us establishing a recognizable style of play this coming season (based on Emery’s first season)? I think we saw glimpses of Emery’s protagonist football at the beginning of last season, but it dissipated completely by midseason. We ran a lot more than we have in the past, but it didn’t bring us much improvement in the grand scheme of things. I worry that Emery hasn’t done enough in his first season to enable a real step forward in the second, one that would see a more coherent football team and style on the pitch that makes individual players and mistakes less costly each week, and that takes advantage of the wealth of attacking talent we have throughout the squad and incoming youth.

Mpls
Mpls

The latter might be a result of just not having the player mix needed for what Emery wants to do. I hardly think he came in wanting to play a 3-man back line.

If this Tierney thing is any indication, back 4 is the goal. We just didn’t have the mugs to fill the cabinet. Especially without Hector and Holding, Nacho in the Autumn of his career, and Kolasinac not quite fitting the bill as a complete fullback.

Futsboller
Futsboller

It could be, but I think Devlin’s point, which is a good one, is that there should be a recognizable style to the way we play, which the coach ultimately imprints on the team regardless of the personnel, and we didn’t see enough of it last year. Hopefully things improve this coming season.

Devlin
Devlin

I was wondering which way Emery would go with his first season in charge. He could have gone with one of two ways, but ended up getting his priorities mixed up because of performances, league position in the last two months of the season, Europa league commitments and contract issues.

1. He tried to create a style of play that we could build on from this season onto the next, where he would see who fits into the style, the weaknesses of that style with regards to the league and building a trust form the fans and management about his suitability for the job.

He noticed that there were two many flaws with the style that he wanted us to adopt, on both sides of play. he was able to improve a couple of players, but at the same time, he kinda ruined a lot more. What was worse for him was that Arsenal has its best players in the area of the pitch where he is weakest as a manager.

2. So he went with, putting together a cup team. a team that doesn’t specialize in anything, just temperament and ability. he found the formation that would allow his best players to be on the pitch at the same time and let them loose.

It paid off on certain occasions and got us to the final, but it also showed that it was taking away everything he had been working on t the start of the season. Between the Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester games, we lost with an even spread of possession, a large portion of possession and a really small amount of possession. That showed that we were not good at anything, we were just a cup team trying to play the conditions in the most competitive league in the world.

So style wise, I think he has one, or at least I hope he finds one that can work for us. I have heard a lot of people complain about him finding a formation and sticking to it, but I don’t mind the formation changes, thats not really tactics, its just the structure within which tactics take place, and that is where a defined style comes into play. City can play a back 3, but you will still know what they are trying to do, Wenger changed to a back 3 and we didn’t change our way of playing and when I coach my girls we change formations based on the size of the pitch. A wide pitch, I go with a back 3 and a narrow pitch we use a back 4.

Devlin
Devlin

Ceballos would be an incredible signing we pulled that one off. He would be my choice as a Santi replacement.

Santori
Santori

It may be we have to contemplate loans so we can keep sufficient money to buy quality in other areas (IMO Cback and Winger)

Santori
Santori

Kovacic also potential from RM either or IMO.

there’s also potentially highly capable Bakayoko who seems to have found some form back on loan but his character is a question mark.

If we go the veteran/stop gap route, Juve are carrying a number of geriatrics but they may e able to still afford us a season of good cover. Khedira and Matuidi the two who may have some potential function for prob a lesser price now (or loan)

Santori
Santori

That price tag…50M euros?

We don’t have much money remember?

Jarghs
Jarghs

Thauvin’s hair deserves another poo.

Santori
Santori

Thauvin we would be lucky to get.

He has matured and is consistent both in goals and assist over 2 seasons now.

Plus he is only 26yrs.

Depends on Marseille and their appetite for reconstruction.

BUT certainly a better pick than some ligue 2 unknown.

Plus before some poo poo ligue one, who is Laca?

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Sven > Raul

SuperTom7
SuperTom7

Inanimate carbon rod > Kroenke

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

Indeed.

Santori
Santori

Nah.

Sven just as bacd.

No concise effort or consideration in terms of strategic outlook.

What was the point of Mhkitaryan?

Lichsteiner loaded on for 90K, ended up restricting us and we were in Panic Loan era last January.

Wake up.

The real genius at Dortmund was Zorg. You have been sold a lie.

Joey Jojo Jr Shabadoo
Joey Jojo Jr Shabadoo

The Simpsons reference that most definitely warrants a user name change.

I hope you’ll be support me during this transitional time,

Yours, a commenter formally known as GunnAlex

btw
btw

I build special shuttles all the time, although this must be a case of autocorrect gone wrong.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

ZAAAA-GAAAAAA-DOU DOU DOU,
We don’t know who will come through,
ZAGADOU-DOU-DOU,
Could Denis or could be you.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Zaa gaa dou dou dou
Tierney would be a coup,
Zaa gaa dou dou dou
But we sign Jordan Ayew.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

HEY,
You’re not allowed to steal my joke and make it better.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Zaa gaa dou dou dou
Does this joke belong to you?
Zaa gaa dou dou dou
Suppose you could always sue.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Zagadou is a horrible player. Way worse than Mustafi.

Santori
Santori

The quality of players we tend to be linked this summer has gone down several notches from when Wenger was in charge just saying.

Ligue 2 players…etc.

There are certainly worse players than Mustafi but the problem is too many like to have a wank and imagine just about anyone is better than the German.

Reality is he hasn’t been anywhere as calamitous as say Koscielny first season and even without him, we stumbled to defeat to Wolves with the vaunted pairing of Koscielny and Sokratis (the same pairing the people who like to criticise Mustafi were telling us was the answer)

Easy to over imagine things.

Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers

I buy all my cars at police auction

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

The difficulty with the Zagadou deal is that you have to push a pineapple and shake a tree. Pineapples are spiky fuckers.

Tapps

…and trees bite.

Anders Limpar
Anders Limpar

Any thoughts on Christian Zapata who has just been released from Milan? Only 32 and plenty of experience with a couple of years left, physical enough for the epl…

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

Sure. Let’s get Obafemi Martins top whilst we’re at it.

Anders Limpar
Anders Limpar

Fact is we ain’t got much money. Well we have, but while evil stan won’t release funds we are going to have to look at cheap/free options. I’ve seen him a few times for Milan and I’d rather have him than Mustafi.
Just wondering what peoples opinions where.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Let’s focus on developing the players we do have into a coherent team, and bringing up the youth into genuine players. If we can buy a good player that fits the team’s philosophy, whatever that is or is going to be, then we should do it, but otherwise we shouldn’t be forced into an overinflated transfer market or into picking up 32 year olds who might play a few games for us and then disappear (Lichsteiner).

The Spoon
The Spoon

He’s still only 25 you know

The Spoon
The Spoon

Gary Cahill….

Mpls
Mpls

Are any of those names on the scratch notes found in Sven’s bin when he left? I’m assuming that’s our transfer strategy and the clear targets they ‘already have established’ for the window.

Big Mad Andy
Big Mad Andy

Blogs, do you think Ozil has a Carl Weathers type loophole where he gets a refund for being bumped off the coach for away games? “Guess where I’m not going”.

Devlin
Devlin

I think this Ozil not playing away games or against smaller sides is being overplayed and is now a stick to beat him with. To the point that its now in some way a “fact”.

At Real, he played the copa del rey games against minnows, at Werder he basically played every game. When he came to Arsenal, He became our most valuable player and as such he has to be protected, if not from the opposition, who had smashed Wilshere and Abou to bits, then from himself. I always got upset at Sanchez playing games that he shouldn’t have, especially since he was playing every qualifier and international tournament for his country.

Ozil was the same, he was just able to listen to Arsene when he was told to take a break. Thats a smart player in my books. He has played the third most games in all competitions of any Arsenal player since he joined, so if he is told or asks to take a break once in a while, I would applaud him. Just like Sanchez, they both hated and seem to still hate missing games, or even being subbed off. Leaving them out was not indulging them, it was to protect them.

his injury record has been very good for an Arsenal player, so there must be something to how we have used him right?

Big Mad Andy
Big Mad Andy

Mate, it was just a joke that relates to a reference in the article

Santori
Santori

We most likely won’t find takers for his salary.

If so we should just try and squeeze the best out of him.

I think he tries and puts in effort but his problem is :

1) He is a glass half full sort of person. You can’t change that. He won;t be the type to drag the team out of a rut. He will likely be the first to drop his shoulder.

2) He is just not a defensive minded player. In the midfield Emery wants (high press), that means when one player starts to drop in effort, we suffer as gaps start to appear with less coherent pressing.

Thereby if next season say Unai wants to play a rotating 3 in midfield (taking turns to fill in the box or drop to cover), Ozil is not ideal. He is better in a structured 4-2-3-1.

Which means we may have to use him only when 4-2-3-1 is needed (which is a colossal waste of 350K a week)

If we go rotating 3 in midfield with 3 up top, then we need someone-else to come in to provide that and rotate through what we already have (quality-wise) in Guendouzi, Granit and Torreira.

Santori
Santori

Thauvin would be a great addition. He’s been consistent in both assist and goals. Those who belittle him bc its Ligue one the same who were prepared to see a ligue two player. For that matter both Lacazette and Auba from Ligue one (Auba via Dortmund)

BUT price may be an issue. He’s a good age at 26yrs entering his prime. I’m not sure what the premium is on him. A lot depends on Marseille, where they see themselves in ‘reconstruction’.

Regardless, there are plenty of options out there for us to sweat prices off.

Ziyech and Carrasco are rumoured at 30m but if apex predators have fed themselves, we are in pole and prices will come down. Risk of course being some of these players may be snapped up before but as mention options play in our favour (should we be serious about paying for creativity)

Pepe, Martial and Fekir probably priced out of our range. Is suspect Brazilinas like Neres and Everton may also be priced high, with preferred destination to a certain Catalan club in Spain (even if they are in for Greizzman)

Another player we should have a serious look at is the Romanian youngster Florinel Coman. Plays wide but also has propensity for the striker role.

Thauvin should be considered in the mix. He has been consistent and matured since early (and frankly misguided) days at the bar codes.

Santori
Santori

Some discussion on our style of play.

I thought Unai (perhaps bc of squad composition left behind) managed to adhere close to Wenger stylistically. Certainly we managed to score a number of ‘team goals’ like old times but we also at our worse went back to sterile possession with little productivity in terms of efforts at goal.

Of course the major(glaring) change was to play out from the back (at any risk) which I felt the players may have been too literal with interpretation.

Part of the style/system that Emery has is of course hampered by the composition of the squad.

He was forced to go back 3 with fullbacks like Bellerin injured and Kolasinac less convincing defensively (Monreal neither these days)

When he went back to back 4 (for a period around Xmas) and later last 5 matches of season, we slumped to defeats (many WITHOUT Mustafi involved)

To think winning one of those matches would have placed us above Chelsea and shed a whole different complexion to the summer (and the transfer kitty)…

BUT it wasn’t just a defensive issue. Midfield also had issues persistently tracking players from deep. This is even WITH Torreira who was culpable for at least 4 or 5 goals from giveaways or poor distribution in critical areas.

Our attack/transition from deep was at times ponderous and slow at times wasteful.

Primarily even with Ramsey, we do not have players who can prosecute on one on ones without recourse for reinforcements to join thereby slowing the process.

Ramsey, Ozil, Mhkitaryan are all pass and play types who if restricted find it hard to take on players one on one. The only player able to do so is Iwobi and of course Lacazette further forward.

BUT also Auba was extremely poor protecting the ball when receiving out balls from defense plus he was non competitive for high balls which meant our counters tended to break down more often than not and the defense was straight away on the back foot again.

Nor were we able to hold our energy level (pressing) through a match. Perhaps in some ways this is also due to the lack of quality from the bench to rotate players better.

Elneny is not requisite quality beyond some diligence. He brought nothing to the midfield and was understandably used sporadically. Not someone we need to be in the squad even for a low salary (may as well use Willock)

Jenkinson was so useful Unai resorted to Mustafi at Rback.

I think as the season wore on, style went out the window as Unai struggled for more practical means to keep the engine stoked.

These critical areas need to address before we bother about fullbacks :-

1) Engine room needs to keep firing

Which is why we still need a CM to come in to add some added capability, particularly to hold on to the ball when defense is under duress but perhaps with an ability to DRIVE up the field independently.

One player we should consider IMO is Kovacic. He was the golden boy not too long ago but somehow between Inter and RM lost his way.

I didn’t think he had a poor season on loan at Chelsea and indeed he helped them to do us in twice at very least.

He’s a versatile player who can play in a more forward role but also role in as a deep lying playmaker. Still only 25yrs, good feet plenty of energy perhaps even an upgrade to Ramsey.

Should not IMO cost more than 10m if RM consider him surplus to use (contract I believe wearing down). OK he isn’t the shiniest new toy like Milinko-Savic or Bruno Fernandes but he is functional and won’t cost as much either and we need options better than Elneny (not setting the bar too high)

More importantly we need players with good engine (Ramsey’s asset) to keep that midfield purring.

I think all things being equal next season, should we reinforce correctly and not piecemeal, we may see Unai prosecute in a 4-3-3 with wide players (hopefully) more involved and a flexible rotating 3 in the midfield either with two bias high one covering or the reverse with two deep and one further forward (your 4-2-3-1)

Which means an advance 4-3-3 (4-2-3-1) may see some involvement in Ozil (presuming we have difficult finding a buyer for his salary)or the emerging maverick potential Smith-Rowe.

But may also see say a Kovacic type player in the advance role (presuming we can say off load Mhkitaryan for some money) or a say for argument sake Torreira or Guendouzi plus Kovacic advance pair in the middle with granit deep (or the midfielders taking turns to rotate and cover the deeper role whilst also having the freedom to push into the box (a spinning wheel of 3 mids). In this case Ozil may have a less significant role as he is not quite as contributive defensively.

2) Platform to build creativity on

I think before we can turn on the style, we need to get back to basics (again)

We started off OK defensively (albeit the clean sheet never really that frequent enough and not due to Mustafi or any defender alone)

BUT the relationship between midfield and the defense is part issue. If we should want to get back to flat 4, we need the defender to come in and be more discipline as well, but also one who can close space (bc we cede acres going forward)

Neither Koscielny nor Sokratis contrary to some people lauding them, were anywhere convincing. We slipped to equally lob sided defeats against Wolves even without Mustafi and that cannot conveniently then be shifted in blame to midfield alone.

Thereby how we buy this summer will be key to what we can do next campaign and how we can solidify our game defensively will build the platform towards us being more stylish up front.

3) Wide area creativity

The final area would of course be on the creative end. As mentioned we lack players currently who can take on one on one and it encumbers us with a more overly complicated counter allowing defenses to clam shut passing lines and restricting the players we have.

Which is why we need wingers (and have needed them for some time now since shedding Ox, Gnabry, Walcott). Mslintat has fundamentally neglected this to detriment of Wenger now Unai.

Nelson if we can bring back into squad can complement Iwobi on other flank but even so, you feel we need one (or two) more to rotate and bring in some creativity on the flanks, plus not be as reliant on the full/wingbacks bombing forward with consequence to our exposed flanks left behind.

Therefore…

Unless we have concise effort (Bearing in mind limits of our transfer budget) to rebuild this squad appropriate to the current needs, we will not be arming Emery with sufficient weapons for the next season and will likely again continue to struggle for identity as we try to plug gaps in capabilities.

q8arse
q8arse

“his profile picture on Transfermarkt makes him look like someone got Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marouane Chamakh and squashed them into one.”

honestly, lol

The Spoon
The Spoon

Expecting big things Monday when the new kit comes out….. Signings galore already sealed just waiting for the publicity release. We can dream anyway.

Zuhair Ul Haq
Zuhair Ul Haq

*sigh*

Another day of dumb transfer rumours, UAE’s hot weather, and Santori having a conversation with himself in the comments section.

Cricket World Cup, anyone?

UGooner
UGooner

Stew?? That’s a shit stew. No one wants a shit stew.

Loving these articles through the summer though. Arseblog always getting better.