“Not truth at all” – Arteta dismisses links with Stones & Kessie

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Mikel Arteta was quick to quash the latest round of transfer speculation making clear that he has no news on possible January recruits.

The Spaniard has already said he’s not expecting anything big this month, but that hasn’t stopped the red tops linking the Gunners with Manchester City’s John Stones, Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Lemar and AC Milan’s Franck Kessie.

We’ve not bothered covering any of those stories because we immediately assumed them to be guff. Still, that didn’t stop Arteta being quizzed on their veracity in his weekly press conference.

“I have bad news for you guys, I have nothing to say yet,” started Arteta.

Asked about the possibility of signing City’s Stones, a player with whom he had a close relationship at the Etihad, he added: “No, no truth at all.

He added: “John is a player that I really like and I followed. We signed him when I was at Manchester City and I worked with him for many years and know him well. When I look at centre backs he has many attributes that I like from one, but we’re not interested.”

A quick question about Ivorian midfielder Kessie, he was similarly bemused, “No truth at all at the moment.”

Arteta furthered tempered expectations by outlining the constraints facing the Gunners during this month-long window.

“It has to be the right player, in the right context that financially we can compete and we can attract and all these factors, if you put them together, are not easy in this market.”

While cover for Calum Chambers, who is sidelined for up to nine months, has made a recruiting in defence a priority, it sounds as though our new coach isn’t losing sleep over strengthening the squad.

“I’m happy we have the squad that I believe we can compete for what we want,” he said.

“I’m fine. I want to keep the players and get the maximum from the players that I want, but if this scenario changes and we need somebody, I’m expecting that we will go into the market and try to solve the issue.”

The press eventually got something to hang their hats on. Asked, if he has a wishlist, Arteta admitted: “I have, yes. You need to have one always, just in case!”

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Salman
Salman

Squilaci anyone?

Oregoon

Shaken not stirred.

Richie

Johnny Evans was available for £3m a couple of years ago. Would have been a decent investment.

PeteyB
PeteyB

I always felt that we should have gone for him, seemed to fit the bill for what we needed really well. I don’t really understand why we didn’t take a punt. Same summer we picked up Sokratis, and while I don’t think he’s been a total flop he also doesn’t seem to quite have the leadership qualities we needed. Hard to believe Leicester paid only £3m, vs the 16m or so we paid for Sokratis.

HulaHoopsBaptista
HulaHoopsBaptista

I can’t remember if I posted it on here or if it was someone else, saying the same thing at the time. Was down voted into oblivion, same with thing happened when we were linked with Milner pre-liverpool move.

Not all signings have to be shiny. A dependable CB will do.

myrtle
myrtle

Stones is a poor man’s holding.

TexasGooner6
TexasGooner6

I believe he is a Rich Man’s Holding

Jfmgunner
Jfmgunner

Whoever he is, he is a very rich man’s.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty
Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Poor men holding stones is revolution.

Man Manny
Man Manny

Poor men put Stones in Holding Chambers.

Kinghenrythe14th
Kinghenrythe14th

Seems he was well coached by Wenger in the art of diplomatic answers that give out nothing on our real plans or targets

78/79/80
78/79/80

“Yet” and “At the moment” though. Careless.

BrazilianGooner
BrazilianGooner

So who are we getting then!?!?!? 🙁

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Fair play on not putting the stories forward Bloggs. I was onboard with Stones. I hate the sun. Cunts

Badaab
Badaab

Franck Kessie would be a wonderful addition to our midfield, so its a shame there is no truth to the links.

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

” at the moment ” expect something big folks!

North London is Redder
North London is Redder

I’d love to see that list just to get an idea of how he plans to develop the squad going forward.

Flash
Flash

I just saw a video with the goals of the season in 2013/14 and there were something that cought my eyes unexpectedly.
In the vast majority in our goals, the protagonists were:
Ozil, Santi, Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky – so our midfilders

Apart from Ozil: now we have Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira and Willock

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

We can’t retain the ball in the final third but that is not only on the midfielders but also on the front trio. As good as they are but If we want to dominate games then Auba, Laca and Pepe in the same team are not the solution. If we just look how we are scoring this season. All of the goals from open play come from direct attacks with 4 or 5 passes in the final third. Which is great but you also need to be able to control the tempo of the game and make them to defend deep to rest a little bit on the ball.

We are not capable of doing it atm and this is mostly on the front trio who are either not the best at holding up the ball and linking the play or are to direct and always run into the players. I really think we will look better with only one of our great strikers in the lineup. I trust Lacazette that he will bang at least a goal per game in the next 3 matches.

Santori
Santori

Incredible anyone would even believe these rumours.

Some people similarly imagine the press had us alerted to the Ozil transfer some many seasons past when in fact, Wenger/Gazidis/Law kept it very close to their chest only disclosed it at very end of window. The press to safe their blushes then tried to characterised the window as a botch job and Ozil as a panic buy.

Panic but? Arsene at 42.3m? They need mental floss.

As explained that season we did not go full in for Higuain bc Napoli had appetite and pocket to drive the price higher and we had an inkling at that time (start of window) Ozil may become available.

There was also Suarez available but of course we messed that one up by offending the highly sensitive Kopp hierarchy with the derisory 1 quid above release clause valuation offer.

BUT that was also predicated on potential Ozil buy and in effect it was a punt if Liverpool were willing to parlez over the risk on Ozil falling through as any deal for the German would be dependent on Spurs moving on Bale to Madrid likely late in window.

The misconception of course is that we did not do any homework and left it late but what we have since known (From excerpts with Per) is groundwork on the player was laid very early on and quietly, player terms likely agreed upon first before trigger was pulled late late in window.

Remember, many other clubs were in the hunt for a playmaker a couple of whom were easily able to out bid us.

If anything the capture of Ozil represented a coup by wenger and company less celebrated by the press who preferred to save their blushes. Unfortunately many fans prefer to believe the false narrative.

Wenger repeated that with Alexis Sanchez the following season capturing him ahead of the attentions of teams with more propensity to spend.

Indeed perhaps one of the best coups in late Wenger revival period was the capture of Santi Carzola from Malaga. This was an opportunistic buy but ahead again of the attentions of many rivals which at that time were focusing on accruing younger players. Arsene bucked the trend and was looking at slightly older overlooked players.

Again as I mentioned before, Wenger and company generally bought well. They had their fair share of poor purchases (Andre Santos, Squillaci, Silvestre, Gervinho etc) but generally they paid way below market rate for most of their buys which kept risk down for a club adhering to the fundamentals of a self finance model.

If anything, Wenger’s fault was more a question of being subject to the faults of his greater virtue in being overly parsimonious and the culmination of which was the missed opportunity in 2015 when he elected to only bring in Cech. Leicester of course went on to win the league.

Now how we have moved on from the imperfections of the Wenger era is another thing.

Over more recent seasons first with Mslintat and then with Sanlehi we have up our spending considerably but with poorer returns on pitch not to mention we have not got any better selling on players losing BOTH Ox and Gnabry when one should have been retained but also players like Ramsey on free transfers.

Yet again, many fans prefer to believe we have been better without the much derided Dick Law and Wenger in the purchasing seat.

This has not borne out to be true with outstanding capability gaps in Cback and CM still not addressed with the club instead preferring to take short cuts attempting to extend on an over the hill Koscielny last summer whilst paying 27m for a non existent (and relatively unproven) Saliba and 72m for an erratic at best Pepe (Thus far).

Along with true panic buy David Luiz (7m), that’s 105m shelled out for players less than perfect or unable to assist in the critical current campaign.

All that money will eventually weigh on future transfer windows particularly if we should again miss out on (likely) a CL spot and we are faced with the double whammy of key departures.

Wenger and Emery of course both flattered to deceive with tactics but they were not helped by these critical issues left unanswered by the purchasing team either, PLUS fan discontent compounded the problems and scored in effect an own goal.

How the current purchasing/selling team assist Arteta now may make or break the club.

Sanlehi has been more creative than Mslintat to say the least but has consolidated power around him. As mentioned rather than bring in practical measures for the now, he went for the wow factor with Pepe. I’m not sure that’s a good thing giving a one season wonder so much money effectively dousing some of the ambition and hunger to prove in the player.

Particularly when you consider players like Fekir or Ziyech available then prob around 25-30m up front plus maybe a Soyoncu (another 30m), we could have brought in better immediate capability.

Of course it may have meant more up front but considering the as mentioned risk of missing out CL and the money being back loaded further complicating future windows, I would have preferred to spend the 50-60m up front(take a bit of a hit go in the red) then stretch out 105m over 5 seasons. We would at least have got a Cback with immediate impact.

Considering we will likely be prey to bigger clubs raiding us for top assets this summer (Auba and/or Laca), it would be wise for the club to at least fill a position this January ahead of time and not least to boost our chances finishing as high as possible.

Midfield I feel is still vulnerable. Granit-Torreira is still about the best partnership and both players are responding to Arteta’s better directions.

Ceballos of course to return but one injury to either the Swiss or Uruguayan will throw doubt into out ability to keep engine room running efficiently.

I would err on caution and get in a physical player who can help keep deep midfield (we don’t have this player still in the squad neither Granit nor Torreira are complete)

Franck Kessie sounds interesting but we know Emre Can is available. I hope the club is having a serious look into him. The German is under employed at Juve and a loan (with hopefully option to buy) could be useful for us considering he has had previous PL experience and can also cover at Cback plus is still only 25yrs.

Defense side, IMO we have Sokratis and Luiz. Holding flattered to deceive against Leeds but hopefully will get better. Chambers out Mavropanos belatedly but rightly out on loan. That leaves Mustafi as fourth choice.

I would think if we can move the German on, the right thing to do for us is to bring in Saliba early. We’ve already started paying for him so pay a bit of a penalty get him in early as an extra option for Arteta. He’s been injured so I’m not sure what the prognosis is for a return but surely an option to consider (and if we had say Emre Can too), we put ourselves in better stead with cover in at Cback but new options at very least.

These are practical moves IMO (Loan or on player already purchased) rather than bringing completely new players on long term contracts that will cost the club and may inhibit spend in forthcoming summer window.

I’m was not convinced by Mslintat who falttered to deceive. Brought in some decent players but also skimped on others – frankly should have moved for Mahrez when we had the opportunity before City came in late in window and jacked the price up. Instead Sven preferred to trade Alexis to United (had he gone to City, they would have no need for Mahrez and the Algerian’s price would have sunk further), and we got Mhkitaryan, a player on the wane in a position we already had double/triple redundancy.

I’m not too sure about Sanlehi either. As mentioned the captue of Pepe and Saliba may wow some facile fans but has ramifications both for this season but also in terms of back loading for future windows. It was predicated on the assumption we would make CL again but not doing so would run risk of complicating things in subsequent markets.

Hopefully Arteta will find a voice and push for what he needs in the squad.

Where I felt Wenger and Unai let themselves down is that they demrured and were too polite to Mslintat/Sanlehi. In effect they had their own tactical issues but they were always forced to play with one hand tied to their backs because the purchasing team did NOT resolve many outstanding issues in the squad when they had opportunity to do so.

BOTH Wenger and Emery carried considerably more clout than Arteta.

It remains to be seen if Arteta though can fight for a greater voice in transfers which I feel he should.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

I agree with the buying think. Wenger and the staff was buying extremly well if we compare to other club but the difference was that if we made a mistake we couldn’t just buy another 30+ million player next summer. City bought quite a few Mustafi’s but they were just buying new CB until they got right one with Laporte. How many failed buys Liverpool, United, Tottenham and Chelsea had in the last 10 years. The lists are quite long.

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

Santori writes a book and gets thumbs down ?sorry Santori,

Scott c
Scott c

Going for a personal record?

A tetra
A tetra

This is really meant as no offense,
but have you considered to start your own blog?
I mean, the length of this comment is worthy of an own site.
And an advice for when you start that blog is that you stop repeating your thoughts because when I started to read this post I soon realized I’ve read this all before.
Good luck!

Danno5

Read 1st para……scroll, scroll, ….scroll some more. The end. Wipes brow !

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

ArseSantori.com perhaps? Maybe that flatters to deceive though.

Rich
Rich

Numerically we’re over stocked.

We have a current squad of 25, and 5 first team squad players out on loan.

At centre half we have Sokratis, Luiz , Holding, Mustafi, then Chambers who’s injured, and Mavropanos out on loan.

We need to shift a few permanently, before we enter the market.

The problem we have is….

Clubs that can afford our dross, don’t want them

Clubs that might be interested, can’t afford to pay them

And players aren’t motivated to move for substantial pay decreases.

Rich
Rich

Forgot we have Saliba as well.

That would be 8 centre half’s on our books, if we signed one now? without letting one go permanently.

Other clubs can count, we’d have an oversupply of centre half, and an under supply of squad places

Which would put us in a terrible negotiating position, clubs would just hold off, low ball us, or go fishing for late loan deals, that they’d know we’d have no choice but to accept.

If you analyse our squad, we need to ruthlessly purge it of players who no longer have a future.

We’ll be heading back to where we were 4-5 years ago, when we had a squad of 37 players, all above the age of 21, if we’re not careful.

Any permanent offers for Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Mustafi, Mavropanos we should accept, along with any other players Arteta doesn’t quite fancy.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

“It has to be the right player, in the right context that financially we can compete and we can attract and all these factors, if you put them together, are not easy in this market.”

Glad to see we’ve gone back to our “old virtues” ?

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

And don’t forget “top quality”