Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Transfer round-up: Partey, Alcantara, Soumare, Smith Rowe, Holding

It’s the latest edition of our transfer round-up, putting all the stories in one place so you don’t have to click ‘Yes, I accept your goddam cookies even though I already accept the goddam cookies last time I visited this site and got the pop-up’ on lots of unscrupulous websites.

Let’s start – and to remind people how the Poo-O-Meter works: the fewer poos the more likely we feel the deal is to happen.

Note: The Poo-O-Meter is not a guide to future performance. The value of your investment may go down as well as up. Terms and conditions apply. Please allow 28 days for delivery.

Thomas Partey

Reports in Spain say that Arsenal have ‘withdrawn’ their interest in the Atletico Madrid midfielder. They want the €50m release clause paid in full, they previously rejected an offer of Matteo Guendouzi + cash, and we apparently have no intention of spending that amount of money straight up.

Arseblog News also understands that the player’s personal terms have been viewed as prohibitive, and despite firm interest in the 27 year old, this looks less and less likely as time goes on.

Thiago Alcantara

The Spanish international would be a dream midfield signing, adding a serious amount of quality to that area of the pitch, but reports of our interest in him vary in reliability from not very to some bloke on Twitter.

Some have said there’s been personal contact between the player and Mikel Arteta, and that the door is open because Liverpool don’t want to pay the €30m Bayern are looking for. Reportedly though, neither do we, we’re looking for a deal which sees us pay less for the 29 year old.

With his age, it feels like a bit of a long shot, given we’ve given 32 year old Willian a three year deal and are about to secure the future of 31 year old Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It feels like we need to change the age profile, but he’d be an exciting signing all the same. Chances are though, if he’s choosing between Arsenal and Liverpool, joining the title winners with Champions League football etc seems much more plausible.


Boubakary Soumare

Having plundered Lille for Gabriel Magalhaes, would we really go back for another one of their brightest talents?

The midfielder ticks some boxes, for sure, and would probably cost quite a bit less than Partey if we’re looking for that defensive presence.

Lille are reportedly open to the deal, while Man Utd are said to be interested after Ed Woodward learned of Arsenal’s interest and said ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’.

Emile Smith Rowe

Coveted by Monaco, Mikel Arteta has blocked his departure as he sees him as part of his squad for the new season. The 20 year old impressed on loan at Huddersfield last season, and it could be time for him to make a breakthrough at Arsenal.

There’s certainly room in the midfield for someone to come in and stake a claim, and if finances preclude a complete overhaul of this area, we will have to look to internal solutions.

Rob Holding

Arsenal are currently being investigated by football authorities who suspect the club of trying to create a monopoly on central defenders by stockpiling all of them.

This might require a sale to keep the feds off our back, and Holding has been linked with a move to newly promoted Leeds.

It’d be a move back up north for Rob who still has three years left on his current Arsenal deal, and as an Englishman with homegrown status and Premier League experience could bring in a decent fee.

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Smith Rowe stays. Its gems like him that keeps us interested in our youth. So if this guy were to be sold or loaned out again, i just don’t know if i will bebso invested in our youth players in the future.


Couldn’t agree more. And I think he’s definitely ready to make the jump, really think he could be our breakthrough star for this year. Something very- dare I say it- Pires-y about his movement and purpose with the ball?!

VAR will solve the problem

Mikel needs Emile in the boat to Rowe in the same direction!


and a good Aouar


I really hope so too, but in case he’s wavering for any reason I’m sure Arteta will bear in mind your view (or should that be decision?).


If he’s willing to play in the cups and Europa League then sure. Otherwise he’s not yet good enough to play week in and week out for a side aiming for the top 4. Tell me which other top 6 midfield ESR would walk into? If we could sign someone like Thiago, there’s even less room for him. He might reach the required level, but he’s not there yet.

Merlin’s Panini

Sure, you say that but what midfielders we have at the moment are good enough to play for a side aiming for the top 4. We finished 8th last season and had major issues in midfield.
Given Smith Rowe had a good spell at Huddersfield (a supporter friend of mine was raving about him) I think it’s worth giving him a shot and moving others out (alongside an addition or two).


Elneny would also be the best player on the pitch if he went to play at Huddersfield. We need to aim higher. If players are good enough, then they play. Look at Saka.


Saka is at the level he is now due in no small part to being given a first team opportunity. Let’s give ESR the same opportunity and we may discover we have another Saka level player (or better).


I dont think anyones suggesting he should be a starter in the league mate..


This may be true, but most attacking minds show their merit pretty young.

I think we would be a bit less desperate to see him if we had ANYONE else playing that role. We need some midfielder who can create opportunities and break down defenses.

It would be nice to see even a rumor of transfer activity in that direction. We should be picking up Buendia for the pocket change he would cost.


Somehow I feel Emile smith Rowe is already slightly being overrated a bit lately. Personally after seeing a lot of him on loan last season which he did well I still feel like he needs another loan out. Same with Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock I feel like theyre n0t quite at the level to of Saka or Martinelli to seriously make a huge immediate impact on a consistent basis for a team like arsenal. last season we relied too heavily on these young players that shouldn’t be relied on as much at this stage in their careers. and as… Read more »


I think Smith-Rowe is an upgrade on Willock. I like Willock but I feel that if Smith-Rowe gets the playing time Joe got last season, he will do much more with it for us.

Rocket sprocket

What a Partey pooper


Stan Kroenke at your service. Y’have a good day now buddy.


If we think we can find someone with a similar skill set to Partey’s with upside due to a lower age that’s not bad. Stating the obvious but we need to be much smarter how we spend than we have been the past 5-6 years (that includes wages).

God is a Gooner

Partey this, Partey that. Good player maybe but he isn’t a priority.
Has Edu not seen Arsenal’s PL goals from midfield in 19/20 was 3 (THREE).

We need a goal scoring midfielder more than anything else. What is going on.. where are the links?

Just 3 goals from midfield? I didn’t realise it was that dire?


Thiago is the leastest player you’d expect to suffer from the declining of his physicality, he’s a cheat code playing as a deep lying midfielder just like Cazorla was. He’ll be class at 35 yo.

From all the players we’ve offered a contract at this age, he would be the most no brainer one.

Cedric is 29 years old and received a 4 year contract ffs


Agreed, Thiago would be very exciting and like you said probably some longevity based on his style of play. Liverpool seems like the obvious destination, but it’s starting to feel like players are eager to join Arteta’s project. Just like Gabriel has said. He could helm our midfield for the next 3 years easily and that might appeal to him.

SB Still

I agree but its still early days, not yet like the glory days of Wenger for the French players.

Klopp possibly at his peak, as well as reigning PL and recent CL winners, probably more attractive at the start of the season, things could be different at the end of the season though, if the club supports Arteta to solve the issues in the midfield.

A Different George

I think it’s important to remember that lots of personal factors enter into it for players, especially established players, often with families, who have earned enough that financial considerations, while still important, are not crucial. Are your kids in school and you are reluctant to change not just cities but their entire educational systems and language? (This was probably a major issue for Giroud.) Does the constant rain in the English northwest outweigh the glamour of playing for the champions? Are there enough Spanish/French/Brazilians at the club so that you will feel at home?


Dont forget Thiago is a Brazilian, maybe he wants to party with all of our BR players


pretty sure he’s spanish. but sure why not


Born in Italy to Brazilian parents


Yeah agree, but can’t see it happening at all. He’s an absolute world class midfielder, he’d improve Barcelona, let alone us, it would be an insane coup to get him.


If we would be able to buy or loan Ceballos again, then I think I’d rather try to buy van de Beek. Even if he is not so gifted technically, next to Xhaka (or Willock in the future) they would form a very stable and strong midfield, while Willian or Ceballos would do the creative job ahead of them.
Moreover I think physicality played a significant role in Thiago’s loss of ground in Bayern’s starting 11 recently.

David C

I’d rather sell Chambers and keep Holding, but I guess that’s harder to do because of Chamber’s injury…

Obviously midfield is the biggest issue especially if we can’t keep Dani.

Dave cee

Why out of interest? Chambers has looked as good as Rob at CB and has the bonus of being usable at RB and DM. I quite like them both but also wouldn’t shed many tears if either left. Feels like they have been around for a while without ever really kicking on

Xhaka Kaka

More like, every time one of them looked to nail down a starting spot, they got banjaxed pretty bad and thus the vicious cycle continues.

Cygans Parting

Both have had terrible luck with injuries. I like Robs defending but not his lack of pace in a 2 he’s better in a 3. Chambers for me is more of an Arteta player due to his excellent ability on the ball and passing range. Be sorry to see either or both go to be honest.


I wonder if we can afford to take a long term view with Holding. 3 years remain on his contract. A year on loan at Leeds could be ideal. Doubt his value will go down and by next year whatever happens Mustafi, Luiz and Socratis will be off the books… but I guess we need cash in the bank now.


Spot on, selling all your chips in a depressed market is idiotic.
We are much better off using the loan system to boost players’ value for next year than ‘cashing in’ for quite frankly disgraceful fees for young homegrown players we’ve nurtured through thick and thin.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Completely agree. Holding has been a bit shakey now and again but overall he has shown he can be an excellent defender


Some say diego costa is still in his pocket

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Didn’t Diego Costa retire to an old folks home after meeting Holding?


Holding isn’t comfortable in possession. Chambers is.


totally agree. Though Chambers may be quicker and can dribble better Holding is by far the better defender and reads the game much better. Have much more confidence with Holding against a trickster like Mane than with Chambers.Holding just need a run of games so if he s leaving i hope is on loan.


Two fine players not world beaters maybe they could be viewed as better players if they had a run of game but knees at them young ages is a severe injury for a CB.

I like them both obviously as ye have said chambo is better passer but I think Holding is mentally stronger and a better leader whilst been more determined.

It’s something chambers needs to work on

van der Sell

Is the 7 for Partey news about the fact that we’ve withdrawn our interest or him coming to the Arsenal?

Kiran T

Poo meter always only rates chances of player joining or leaving

The Kolkata Gooner

The ambiguity of the poo-o-meter makes it all the more fascinating.


Yes yes, Partey – a player noone talked about or cared about a year ago – is surely, no doubt, without question the answer. There can be no debate. Its black and white. Simple really. f you don’t get want you want, then damnit all, Kroenke is a so and so.


Couldn’t agree less

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Couldn’t agree at all. Didn’t understand a word of it. Very Homeric but not in a Greek way, Doh!

Scott P

As stated at the top of the article, more poos mean less likely the deal will get done.

So by this standard, it sounds like the Partey deal might have been at something like 5 poos, but this development adds some too-old shrimp to the mix and we’re up to 7 poos.


He will come

Teryima Adi

And that’s the question.


Willian on a free is fine, but I don’t think we should be spending the likes of 50m EUR + high wages on players as old as Partey.

The likes of Aouar, Van de Beek, Soumare, and Dani Ceballos should be our midfield targets in my opinion.


Or we could use all the fine data analytics everyone has been banging on about and bring in players nobody is talking about yet, like Guendouzi was.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Not Guendouzi though.

Me from Here

There’s nothing her to see except that Terms and conditions apply. Please allow 28 days for delivery. Never change your ways blog. Your fans are enjoying the sarcasm in this season when you know we support the best team in the world in everything including “interesting” transfers.


What about M’Vila?

Denilson's Back Pass

Something something Christopher Samba


NoteThe Poo-O-Meter is not a guide to future performance. The value of your investment may go down as well as up. Terms and conditions apply. Please allow 28 days for delivery.

This energy drink may cause anal discharge.


Laughed out loud at that one. Reminds me a bit of the urban myth disclaimer “do not stop chainsaw with hands or genitals”

God is a Gooner

ohh NOW you tell me


Yes, more labels just because motor driven lawnmowers were being used for hedge trimmers.


Apart from the actual news, this article is pure gold. Not brown gold at that too.

The God factor

Regarding our transfer, I think we should go for dat soumare fella he’s far better than partey, a lot of fans might not understand, but looking at what we have at the moment and what we need, think partey isn’t it… Let me high light their ups and downs Partey (Ups): good tackler, good presence, good engine., (Downs) poor ball progressor, poor press resistance, poor dribler, lacks speed, too slow. No resale value Soumare (Ups): press resistant, (Cazorla like) good dribbler, very fast, good presence, good engine, ball progressor, line breaker, good passer, high resale value. (DOWNS): Average tackler Soumare… Read more »

Tanned arse

Not sure I agree with your assessment of partey but certainly agree with your preference. Available at a lower fee and wages too as well as far better age profile. They could have similar impacts. Soumare has all the natural attributes you’d want in that engine room and to be coached by arteta I think he’d turn into a real star.


Contrary to what you have written Partey is a superior dribbler than Soumare and maintains control of the ball rather than dribbling it down a blind alley. He is also exceptionally ‘press resistant’. In addition, despite the fact both of them are tall Soumare has a low ariel duel success rate compared to a pretty good one for Partey. However Soumare is 6 years younger than Partey and therefore has greater room to improve. The downside is his inexperience in what appears to be a team throwing money at peak players for the here and now to get them back… Read more »

Dy Gunner

If we are going to clear house, to be honest Xhaka, Guendouzi, Sokratis, Luiz, Mustafi, Bellerin, Kolasinac, is all fair game

Me from Here

You have a decent list but Xhaka will not be sold. He will always be one of the first names on the teamsheet. He has his limitations but 4 managers can’t be wrong. He brings balance and leadership to the team. Auba leads by example in work rate, Xhaka is vocal and organizes. I know many have grudges against him but this guy gives 100% every time plus Arteta likes him. I am not sure on selling Bellerin either. We have a few new faces in the defense. You don’t want to have all new faces in the same defense… Read more »

Public Elneny

Xhaka and Bellerin are not fair game! I think realistically those 2 (unless they step up a level) plus Lacazette may be sold next year, but are needed as regular starters this coming year. If they leave they would each need a starting XI replacement which would create too much work for this summer alone, and wouldn’t necessarily result in an upgrade or any money saved I’d add Torreira, Holding and 1 of our 2 GKs to your list as players who could be sold without impacting the starting XI We badly need a midfielder or 2 though, and no… Read more »


Bellerin. On his day, one of the best RB/RWB’s in the world. Getting back to that standard after a serious injury (he was excellent in the cup final). A natural leader. A great spokesman for the club – on both football and non-football matters. An absolute, died-in-the-wool Arsenal man, who bleeds Arsenal. His place at the club should be set in stone.


Soumare would be a very interesting signing. He’s certainly not the quality of Partey yet, but he’s a tidy, athletic player. Would be a good one to have.


I wonder what happened to the Torreira and Diawara swap deal. I really like Amadou and he has a lot of potential.


What we do know is that the club need to offload up to (reportedly) a dozen players from the squad at the best fees we can get (if we can get a fee for some of them) in order to fund Arteta’s rebuilding plans. As nobody has left yet and only Willian has come in there’s a huge amount of work to do yet. The bottom line is, well, just that – the bottom line, money in and money out. There is no pot of gold to fall back on, either from the club’s own resources or the owners (ho,… Read more »


Personally, I would be happy with just 3 signings i.e Willian, Gabriel and another top midfielder along with extending Ceballos loan.

As far as outgoings are concerned I’d sell Chambers, Torreira and Sokratis.


really dont see the logic in throwing 50mil at a 27 year old for the base of midfield when we have Xhaka there, who whether people like it or not, has to start. If he’s 22, and eventually Xhaka’s replacement, fine, but he isn’t. If we get Dani back, the base of the midfield is okay. An Aouar or Van de Beek is needed for the top of midfield, and both look either similar or less money than Partey, at better ages. The more I look at Van de Beek, the smarter it looks, especially when you consider he can… Read more »

SB Still

Lille are reportedly open to the deal, while Man Utd are said to be interested after Ed Woodward learned of Arsenal’s interest and said ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’.

Sums up Woodward and Arseblog perfectly 🙂

Here for the laughs as much as the news and views.

Guendouzi Oueddei

For our midfield we only need one of Partey and Thiago. Ceballos return should be prioritized and keeping Smith-Rowe will shake up our midfield options. Maybe another midfielder to replace Torreira if he’s leaving if not he need to step up this season. The defense is looking good as long as we offload one of Holding and Chambers, Mustafi, Sokratis and Kolasianac.


I think Doucoure from Watford can do a good job in Arsenal defensive midfield

Teryima Adi

The Partey deal is the juiciest of the lot.


I’m really liking Soumare; younger than Partey with (what looks like) huge! Potential and of course a much cheaper option.


Maybe I am naive about the way these things work, but how can this go on for so long and then we find that, in essence, we cannot afford the fee? You wouldn’t see a house for sale for 500K and get ready to exchange contracts on the basis of having 350K in the bank and expecting them to take your old flat as the balance. Surely the basic due diligence these guys are paid a boatload of cash for, is to ensure that we can actually meet the price.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Many player prices in football are o.n.o. in reality.


Is Messi a creative midfielder?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He creates work for goalies. All that picking the ball out of the net…


No big deal if we sell Holding, Chamber, Sokratis, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Torriera, Lacazette.

Would be perfect to gather funds to buy three players: DM, CM and ST, younger, better and more consistent players 

Please keep our young promising players Balogun, Greenwood, AMN, Smith-Rowe

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I’m not sure we would get enough money to buy 3 players from those sales. As Bloggs said, everybody knows we must shift defenders, Nobody will bid high for any of them. Even Bellerin has not yet truly proved himself to be the same player he was before getting injured so may not bring much in. Far better we keep him for next season and hope that he still has all his old speed and skill. If we let him go in this bollixed up transfer window we may be looking at another Gabry situation where we miss the best… Read more »


Poos over Cookies all day long.


Get rid of Holding he’s never kicked on and since coming back from his injury he’s not managed to get any real form.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Get rid of Holding if Arteta doesn’t see him as necessary. I’d rather trust to his judgement than fan judgement. Arteta Knows.


As mentioned, they just rubbished reports on sale of Kolasinac and Bellerin. Would be completely daft unless it was ridiculous money. More likely AMN sold. Considering Arteta played Bellerin ahead of Cedric…tells you everything. Still waiting on Manghales but has to be said, we have Holding (prurportedly wanted by Newcastle) then even he signs, Manghales needs to adapt and with two other newbies …Saliba and Mari, will be risky too. Holding and Chambers injured will make them harder to flog off. Ceballos still not confirmed. Thereafter we seem to pissing in the wind, Coutinho but also recently Thiago Alcantara (more… Read more »


I think Alcantara is exactly what we need. I think in recent history we were never as good as when Cazorla played in a deep-lying playmaker role alongside Coquelin and we haven’t found that quality since then. As crazy as it sounds, our main problem is not the defense, it’s losing the ball in bad positions, it’s being unable to create something when the opposition is pressing. I think that’s what worked about the Xhaka – Ceballos duo. But I think Thiago is the best in the world at his position right now. Apart from the fact that we may… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Thiago is the best in the world at his position right now.


We are poor right now.

If anybody else wants him they’ll probably get him.


Whats the deal with Auba?


Can we get this every 2-3 days until crazy season is over?, I keep accepting cookies and getting nothing in return: no concrete news, no cookies no cakes, nothing.. Thanks blogs

Ant Lester

Not much Gerbil-droppings here.


Announce Messi

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