Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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

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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Squilaci anyone?


Shaken not stirred.


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


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.


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.


Stones is a poor man’s holding.


I believe he is a Rich Man’s Holding


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

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Poor men holding stones is revolution.

Man Manny

Poor men put Stones in Holding Chambers.


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


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


So who are we getting then!?!?!? 🙁

Paul Roberts

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


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


” at the moment ” expect something big folks!

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.


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

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… Read more »


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… Read more »

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

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

Scott c

Going for a personal record?

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!


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

Fireman Sam perhaps? Maybe that flatters to deceive though.


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.


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… Read more »


“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

And don’t forget “top quality”

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