Hey folks, here we go with another transfer round-up, sifting through the poo so you don’t have to.

Let’s get it on.

Granit Xhaka

It looks increasingly likely that the Swiss international’s time at Arsenal will come to an end sooner rather than later. There is reportedly full agreement between the player and Roma over a 5 year contract, while a fee of around €18m with bonuses built in will see the two clubs meet somewhere in the middle after a week of negotiations.

There is always the possibility of a last-minute hitch, as with every transfer, but this looks as close to a deal as we’re going to see this week.

Albert Lokonga

Links to the Belgian midfielder emerged last week, with suggestions that Thierry Henry had personally recommended the 21 year to Arsenal. We’re not quite sure exactly who he made that recommendation to, although we can imagine it’s not former friend Josh Kroenke given his recent hook-up with Twitter egg avatar, and musician’s favourite, Daniel Ek.

Those links have intensified with the Anderlecht man on the list of midfield options, as per a very thorough transfer update from James over on The Athletic (£).

He is one of a number of midfield options we’re considering during this window, along with Wolves’ Ruben Neves and others whose names haven’t emerged yet, so it’s hard to know yet quite how serious our interest might be.

Tyler Adams

The American international is on the books of Disgustingly Sweet Energy Drink Leipzig, and has a contract until 2025.

The Gunners are on the look-out for a right-back and, again according to The Athletic piece, his name has entered discussions. It looks complicated though:

With funds likely to be somewhat limited this summer, will the outlay required for this one require a rethink? Probably.

American Gooners are probably going to have to wait a little bit longer for Danny Karbassiyoon’s heir to don the red and white.

Tosin Adarabioyo

Arsenal are seeking a central defender this summer, and quite what that means for the current line-up, we’ll have to wait and see. The left-footers – Gabriel and Pablo Mari – seem relatively safe, but signing a right-side central defender may well raise questions over Rob Holding and William Saliba. With the former having signed a new contract last season, it feels like it might not augur well for the young Frenchman.

Links to Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo first emerged a few weeks ago, and have resurfaced today with a story in the Daily Mail saying that he is available for £10m due to a release clause, and that Arsenal and Newcastle are interested in activating it.

There’s an interesting connection here, as the 23 year old began his career with Man City, making his debut while Mikel Arteta worked alongside Pep Guardiola.

Adarabioyo made 34 appearances for Fulham last season, having joined from City for around £2m in the summer of 2020. After their relegation, the Cottagers could make a significant profit if he were sold during this window.

One to keep an eye on.

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loose_cannon

I’m a lot less excited by Xhaka’s departure now that we’re being linked with Neves. Moving Xhaka on is a golden opportunity to radically alter the way we’ve played over the last 4 years or so. Signing a like-for-like replacement would suggest that it is a chance we may allow to pass us by.

Daveo

Hopefully it’s for a lo konga type. A guy we identify with good mobility, excellent character, good in possession and dribbling past players and strong defensively. Much prefer we stay identifying prospects ourselves than relying on other teams and then paying way over market value. Neves is a good player, but for 40M I would much prefer a player like lokonga and that big money invested in a technical attacker like buendia… 🤔

loose_cannon

Agree Neves is a good player, probably an upgrade on Xhaka. I just not sure it’s the profile we should be targeting when reimagining our midfield. Perhaps the bigger worry is that Arteta sees no need to reimagine it.

John C

There’s a lot of projecting on these pages.

If Arteta didn’t want to play with a Xhaka type player he wouldn’t be playing him. If he wanted to be playing with a Willock or AMN style player he could have done so, because we already have them.

The fact is that’s the type of player Arteta wants in his midfield, he just wants someone better at doing it and without the costly mistakes.

Neves seems to perfectly fit that bill

loose_cannon

Personally, I think our style is as much of an issue for us as our personnel. We didn’t finish 8th because of the odd mistake here and there, we finished there because of the way we play. My worry, which may be unfounded, is that a straight replacement for Xhaka doubles down on that style when we should be pushing the needle forward.

atom

100%. Our struggles against lower block teams isn’t really down to personnel so much as it it’s down to how slowly we play, allowing teams plenty of time to reset. We need to be much more aggressive & in some ways take more risks when playing those types of teams, or we are going to continue to struggle.

Futsboller

Absolutely, and I’m sure MA agrees, but catching the other point above, I do believe we made some avoidable, costly mistakes that might well have been the difference between 8th and 4th (i.e., 6 points). And some of those VARcical calls … man.

atom

The Var calls are only really emphasized b/c we created so few chances for much of the year that we couldn’t afford to have anything go against us.

Futsboller

That doesn’t make them any less varcical.

goonshow

Absolutely – we left at least 9 points on the pitch last season due to player brain-farts and/or VAR shite.
It’s entirely disingenuous to suggest that this had nothing to do with 8th position – the simple fact is that things that had NOTHING to do with our formation or selections directly cost us 4th place.

Dave Cee

Xhaka is one of the reasons we play so slowly. He takes an age to get it comfortably on his left foot, then look up to find a pass by which time a good defense will have shut down opportunities. I won’t miss him
Haven’t seen a lot of Neves but hopefully he isn’t so one footed and can make the pass more quickly. He can definitely shoot however.

loose_cannon

In some ways I feel we play in our own box and half the way we should be playing in the opposition’s. We seem to much happier taking risks close to our goal than taking them closer to the other side’s. It needs to change, I’m not yet convinced that a Neves-type is part of the solution to make that change.

Atom

The players won’t matter in that regard. It’s clearly how Arteta wants them to play so he’ll need to change.

John C

I get you, but Arteta seems to me to be a guy with some very clear ideas on how he wants to play.

He’s already said he wants to play a 433 but i don’t think he’s ever played it, and it’s not for a lack of midfielders. So the only conclusion i can come up with is he doesn’t like the one’s we have.

I’m making some assumptions here, but my guess is he wants a midfield 3 similar to Man City’s or perhaps Chelsea, and with the exception of Kante, none of them are know for their athleticism

jw1

Yes, we did finish 8th because of the odd mistake.
Xhaka’s January Burnley RC and later, his March ‘assist’ to Chris Wood– tossed away 4-to-6 points. Leno’s OG v. Everton another point. Luiz’s Wolves RC 1 or 3 pts.

Three or 4 events are the difference between 61pts and 8th– or 68pts and 4th place.

Despite how horribly it’s perceived we played? Arsenal were close enough– being three or 4 moments from eking out a miracle.

btw

I hope we can Ek out a miracle and get a new owner

Jenas Wright Martin Mour

+ Meghales vs Southampton and Pepe vs Leeds unnecessary red card….

JoolzyBergkamp

We finished 8th because our strikers wasted too many chances. We should have had 15 more goals in the Prem … even Saka was quite unlucky.

Crash Fistfight

He wasn’t unlucky. He was crap in front of goal, as were our strikers.

At least with him you can argue he has time on his side to improve, and that it’s not his natural game, though.

IamaGoober

Probably an upgrade on Xhaka? I’d go as far as to say, Neves is a huge upgrade on Xhaka — who lets be honest has been noway near good enough for Arsenal. And before all the Xhaka fan base creep out the woodwork and start throwing these ball progression stats my way, think about this. If Xhaka was as good as some sections of this fan base, and some of the stat heads out there make you believe, then he wouldn’t be going to Roma for just over 15 Million Euro. He would be going somewhere else, for a lot… Read more »

Andy

He was just far too slow for the PL. Not his fault but it was just a move that didn’t work out. He produced next to nothing in terms of goals or assists and was a liability in the tackle. I struggle to see any negatives about him going. And if we get 15m quid I’ll be doubly happy.

IamaGoober

Yeah exactly — he has been a terrible signing — like terrible. I cannot believe he actually lasted as long as he did. There were so many midfielders we could have signed for so much cheaper that were and are far better than him. I think its partly due to a new generation of Arsenal fans growing up and not actually witnessing and understanding what a proper top draw central midfielder looks like — Vieira, Parlour, Gilberto, even Fabregas, but I hate using him due to his new found grotesque affiliation for Chelsea and their rancid fan base. Also I… Read more »

goonshow

The majority downvotes on this simply underline your point.
Some simple comparisons:
MIckey Thomas vs Xhaka
Gilberto vs Xhaka
Petit vs Xhaka
Vieira vs Xhaka
Cesc vs Xhaka
And, latterly, Santi vs Xhaka.

We must not allow the significantly lower base from which we now play to ‘big up’ Xhaka’s contribution – that really just adds insult to injury, as it were.
Rather, we need to remember and focus on what made our previous teams great, and be unwavering in demanding those levels of player quality and team performances.

loose_cannon

Ok but now tell us how you really feel! In all seriousness, you do raise some good points about Xhaka. My question is whether Neves is enough to fix our midfield. Hope springs eternal, but I’m not fully convinced yet.

ChickPEA

Actually we already have this player in Partey, and his pairing with Xhaka was promising last season. If Neves is the same without the costly mistakes, and a bit more of defensive quality to give Partey some freedom, I’d try it.

goonshow

Hardly – I feel that part of Thomas’ underwhelming debut season for us (settling in, injuries, etc aside) was the need to over-compensate for Xhaka’s pedestrian pace on and off the ball. It’s insightful to look at the few performances alongside Mo’Nenny – way better, due to having a more mobile, less error-prone partner.

Mcheza

Allowing a chance to pass us by is Arsenal 101.

Futsboller

I’m not eager for Neves either, but we do want a midfielder with expertise in long passing, no? Partey is capable of it, but I think we want his game to be more kinetic.

loose_cannon

I see Partey as being in the mould of Fernandinho or Fabinho. Someone with the athleticism to be box-to-box but actually at their best covering for others as a screening midfielder. My preference would be to bring in cover for him at the base of midfield, rather than a sitting partner. And while Neves does bring passing range, I think one of our biggest issues in midfield is a lack of mobility on and off the ball, and I’m not yet sure he helps us there.

Futsboller

Perhaps, but also a very different player to Fernandinho and Fabinho (no way Partey could fill in at centre back). He wants to get forward, he wants to be a box-to-box player, from what I’ve seen. I think, as you’re suggesting, having some versatility to partner him will give us some different looks. If we go with Neves, which I doubt as that price being quoted is awfully high, I don’t think he’s the only one coming into that midfield next season – another purchase, or one of our prodigal sons (AMN, Willock, ESR, maybe even Azeez), for sure.

loose_cannon

It’s interesting you say Partey wants to be a box-to-box player. I wonder if that was a big part of his motivation to come here, because as far as I’m aware that’s not how he played at Atletico. I’d personally prefer him to be a screening midfielder, letting other midfielders attack and using his distribution from deep. I think he’s better at that than going forwards as it stands.

Futsboller

I know nothing, of course, but I do think so. I think he wants to be more involved in the attack, to take more shots himself, and to show more of that side of his game which was not on display as often for AM. That said, he is a multipurpose midfielder, and I think the screening job is also one he excels at, and that’s why I suspect that we’ll bring in or promote more than one type of partner for him, so that we can have a more flexible midfield next season. On a side note, it is… Read more »

loose_cannon

Given that we only managed 55 goals in the league last season, I’d certainly settle for 75-85! I think a 4-3-3 with Parety at the base makes a lot of sense, given the other midfielders we have. I imagine that if we do get Neves, it’ll probably be to partner Partey in a holding midfield two, rather than to compete with him for a single screening midfielder spot.

goonshow

Yep – we need an enforcer, who has Gilberto’s uncanny ability to read and break up opposition transitions as they happen. Doesn’t necessarily need a laser pass, rather that presence and power to ‘own’ the midfield on our side of the halfway line… Partey and ESR will take care of the driving forward stuff.

Reality check

The problem has been recruitment. We did not recruit better players than him to provide competition, I am affraid we’ll do the same in replacing him.

goonero

The man in charge of replacing Xhaka is also madly in love with him, this was always bound to happen.

Johnny 4 Hats

I notice there is no mention here of Karl-Heinz Lickenbächer who plays for Dynamo Büchenstäckënville of the German third division. James implied on the arsecast that this part time shoe repairer was close to joining the club.

Is he not being mentioned in this article because the deal is all but done? Or has he chosen FC Rümperknickle above us and, if so, would now be a good time to lose our collective shit?

Twatsloch

Otherwise FC Trockenbockenhocken have a host of fine academy players coming through the ranks at agreeable prices.

Lickenbächer’s friend’s neighbour.

Quality player. It’s my understanding contact has been made but no official bid has yet been placed…

Nketibag

I’ve heard he’s a shoe-in

Eddie Ritchie

The lad could really be going laces

chepetin

He can be the sole of the team…

The Beast

Our very own Bernd Shoester

Sac, Lac & Craic

I’ve heard he’s a bit of a loafer

Tommmy

Apparently he’s an incredible trainer

Arsenalnut

Well done.

YaGunnersYa

Yes, quite the stud he is

goonshow

We’ll get him for a song as the club is rather down at heel, currently.

goonshow

Although, knowing Edu, he’ll tap-dance around the terms until it’s shoe late.

goonshow

He could be the platform on which we build more effective counters and transitions

Paul

Sounds like the type of quality player one can get on a shoestring budget

Goonsquad

Sounds like cobblers to me

Qwaliteee

Is he on his uppers?

btw

Keep it quiet man, the media will be all over this and next thing we know he’s a United player.

John g

Serious question and I’m not being glib – is Saliba done with Arsenal? I have read a few things through this blog but haven’t paid enough attention to it outside of beef between him and Arteta but this is crazy. The vast amount we spent on him recently vs where we are now? Can I get some thoughts and opinions.

Twatsloch

A question rather than an opinion so sorry for not giving you an answer.

What I’ve wondered since last season started is if he was bought at a massively overinflated price to satisfy some of Don Raul’s dodgy friends before the Kroenke’s sent him packing. Once here it then transpires Saliba is nowhere at the required level hence the loans and general secrecy.

Daveo

How can he not be at the level, considering how well his less fancied partner has done at Leicester and how well he did (again) on loan in the French league this past season? Everything about this transfer and the way he’s been handled at arsenal is completely amateur hour player management.

Twatsloch

I’m asking a question. Basically, what’s going on with Saliba? 27 million for an 18 year old defender who has spent his first 2 seasons on loan.

Why???

And how well his friend has or had not done is of no relevance whatsoever.

Daveo

I don’t see how it isn’t relevant. The common defense from Arteta and his sympathisers is that he wasn’t ready, need that season out on loan (despite already having one). His defensive partner was less heralded and did brilliantly in the EPL. Yet, at Arsenal (a poorer team than Leicester – based on last season alone) the more fancied player isn’t good enough despite having only the chance to show himself in training and a single pre-season friendly (that he excelled in). I agree with you, why is the question indeed because all evidence (his performances in Ligue 1 over… Read more »

Twatsloch

What’s relevant is why Saliba hasn’t played for us. His former team mate doing well elsewhere may be nice for his former team mate but no, it has no relevance to the Saliba situation in the slightest.

Andy

Arteta just doesn’t rate the guy. Maybe as prosaic as that.

Futsboller

Not sure it is that simple: Fofana adjusted well, but the Foxes leaked 50 goals in the PL.

Arteta has stated quite clearly that Saliba is coming back to earn his place this summer. Twitterings suggest Saliba is eager to come back and prove himself. Perhaps it is that simple.

Andy

I guess time will tell. I only hope we take a decision this summer. No more loans. Either he is in the squad or sell him.

Daveo

I hope so, but these RCB rumours don’t really line up with that simplicity.

SarcasmB0t

What has Arteta done to earn his place?

If there was someone who wasn’t at the required level at the start last season, it was Arteta.

Dave

Win the FA Cup beating City and Chelsea on the way.

That gets you at least a season’s good will in my book.

atom

It’s completely relevant as if negates most of the arguments about how a young defender coming the French League simply isn’t ready for the PL and needs at least a year to bed in. Saliba outperformed Fofana in the French League & has performed extremely well since his return there. It leads to genuine questions why Fofana was so ready to step into a much better side whereas we thought Saliba wasn’t even ready to play in the EL.

Warthog

It is more nuanced than that. Fofana was not slated to start but to be an understudy. Ugly injuries led to him being thrown right in.

As for Saliba, MA was using Gabriel who was on fire early in the season. I never thought pairing a 22 and 20 yo at CB would make us top 4 last year. If MA would have tried to incorporate them both at the same time, fans would have been screaming incompetence when they made youthful mistakes.

Defense wasn’t our problem last year anyway, it was our strikers not being clinical.

Djouroureallylikeit

Heralded isn’t a word you get to use very often.

loose_cannon

By all accounts (outside of Arsenal), he’s the real deal. Not sure what’s happening behind the scenes but given Saliba’s on comments on the issue, I wouldn’t be surprised if the real problems were personal between player and manager, rather than technical.

Teta's cult of personality ●█▀█▄

From watching Saliba a little, he has pretty good ball-playing abilities. Whether it’s dribbling through a press, retaining the ball or playing the right passes out the back.

His weakness is a bit like Holding. He seems to struggle with crosses in open-play. Watch the highlights of the Lille v Nice game to see what I mean. It’s not a height issue either because he’s 6’4″. Hopefully its something Andreas Georgson can work with him on.

Like you, I don’t think the problems are technical. Might just be a clash of personalities. It happens all the time in football.

Daveo

It’s shocking we’re linked with so many RCBs considering Saliba is coming back from ANOTHER successful loan in which he impressed. Did he piss in mikel’s coffee one day while he was rotting away on the bench last year? Given the investment and obvious talent level, if we fuck this one up, it will have to go near the top of our all time transfer cock ups. And tbh, I’d give it a 40% d working out with these latest developments.

atom

Yes. We have Saliba & Gabriel who we just spent almost 60m on. We have Holding & Mari who we just spent something like 10-15m on. So lets go blow a huge chunk of our transfer budget on another CB.

Djouroureallylikeit

Is it possible that we are looking for a new RCB because going into another season with Chambers, Holding, Mari, Saliba, Gabriel isn’t going to cut it. Holding is really pretty mid-table, as are Mari and Chambers. We hope Gabriel has a higher ceiling but yet to prove so. I personally think Adarabioyo at 10M would be astute business, he is talented.

rhal

But we are a mid table team these days. Weren’t Arteta the one saying that these seasons were also about developing players? Why keep throwing money to fix a problem that, in the medium term, can be fixed internally? Just seems like poor man management to me.

And honestly, I think Chambers, Holding and Mari are preety solid. Not world-class, but solid enough to get you champions league… under the right guidance, that is.

Djouroureallylikeit

Yeah, we are midtable because we have midtable players. We need to buy some better ones.

Respectfully, I doubt that those players can help us get in the top four.

It’s perhaps about miss management in the case of Saliba, the optimist in me thinks it could turn out to be great management.

But the rest of the squad and how poor we are overall has nothing to do with Arteta. This decline has been going on for years and years with awful player recruitment and contact management.

Really we need a new CB, RB, LB, CMX2, AM, S

rhal

I agree that this is beyond Arteta*, but at the same time, I’ve been skeptical of the way he has handled the players available. It’s a tough season in general so it’s hard to assess if the contributions he made led the team to underperforming or overperforming. Maybe it has been a mixed bag, all things considered. But I feel the Saliba stuff was poor from him and Edu and many others, like the treating of Pepe, the ongoing Willian stuff, Xhaka at LB, etc. What I’m thinking is: we have decent players that can be used to develop those… Read more »

Dave

CB really is the least of our worries.

Djouroureallylikeit

Still a worry though

BillyKrystal

We’ve also had some horrendous CB’s through the years. Too many to count. Even if he ends up as a midtable /championship level player (doubtful he’s that mediocre) what’s the harm in giving him half a season as one of our 4 CB options? Having Mari, Gabriel, Holding, Chambers, and Tierney in a pinch is plenty. It’s such a small risk to take especially considering we’ll be battling for Europa, not the title. Could it be that talk of a new CB is actually a replacement for Holding or Mari?

Djouroureallylikeit

Let’s hope so.

Giuseppe Hovno

it seems mad that Saliba could be done with Arsenal without having kicked a ball for us

Twatsloch

Bonkers!

WellArsed

I am beginning to see a pattern of stubborn inflexibility in Arteta’s player management. If he falls out with or forms a poor opinion of a player there seems to be no going back. He’s not capable or willing to change his mind or admit he made a mistake. Saliba is perhaps the most puzzling b/c of the amount we paid for him and the fact that he’s been given zero chance to prove himself – but he’s hardly the first player Arteta has frozen out.

Man Manny

So you don’t believe Arteta when he said Saliba will be coming back for the pre season.
You’d rather keep pushing a narrative rather than the manager’s actual words.

ATLgunner

In some instances, I think the inflexibility has been more like clarity, and it’s been good. I think freezing out Guendouzi was probably the right call, considering how he subsequently handled himself on loan. It removed what would have been a distraction.

But in other cases I agree with you, we give up quality and points due to his inflexibility, especially if we end up not using Saliba.

Basil mcfawlty

So many people making decisions without any facts. no one actually knows what has happened, or will happen, with saliba. let’s wait and see instead of jumping to conclusions, casting aspersions and blaming things have not happened. don’t believe all the click bait you read, and let’s see what actually happens. one thing is garaunteed, your hyperbole will achieve nothing productive.

AmericanGooner

As an American fan (see: username), Tyler Adams may be my favorite player for the USMNT. He is intelligent, a good leader for his age, and a really good all around CDM that has ptollotential to grow. He occupies the deep space well and draws defenders out which opens up passing lanes for the attackers. My only fear is that he is better suited as a CDM than a RB for me. He’s certainly played as a RWB in the past, but he is just so good as a CDM. I can see how he would work in Arteta’s system,… Read more »

Daveo

A RB that wants to play midfield… He’ll be right at home at arsenal.

AmericanGooner

Hahaha. I can see where he would give off AMN vibes. But he is truly a CDM that is versatile enough to play RWB.

matt keeler

As an American, what do you think of Brenden Aaronson? He will be the player most likely to replace Adams at Leipzig, that is Red Bull’s model it seems.
Why not buy the player they consider to be a better replacement before the price goes sky high?

AmericanGooner

He and Adams were our best players during the USMNT win vs. Costa Rica yesterday. (And, yes, Joel Campbell still plays football for those wondering). It was a young lineup for the U.S., but Aaronson really shone bright and has some real potentiential.

I don’t think he’s quite there yet, but you can see him developing into a really good No. 10. He’s got quick feet and he holds the ball well for his size. He’s also a quick and agile player in general. One to keep an eye on for sure.

Gooner McGoonFace

Aaronson is an attacking player. He’s not a Tyler Adams replacement candidate. He’s Pulisic’s backup (basically).

AmericanGooner

Right, he’s a No. 10. I’d say if Red Bull stuck with their model, they’d be going for either Bernede or Mwepu from Salzburg to fill their CDM spot at Leipzig if Adams were to leave. But, I really don’t see Adams leaving just yet. Maybe next summer.

Daveo

Because that would be visionary and this is Arsenal…

AmericanGooner

They are in pole position to sign a top class GK for pennies on the dollar. I’d count that as visionary.

Roma will surely win the league next season with Xhaka in their team. Arsenal the gift that keeps on giving; Chelsea win the Champions League after letting us take Willian last summer and Luiz the summer before. Man City win the Premier League the full season after giving us Arteta. Villareal win the Europa League after Emery leaves us and join them. Atletico Madrid win La Liga after selling us Partey. Lille win Ligue 1 after selling us Gabriel last summer and Pepe the summer before. Besiktas win the Turkish league after Elneny returns back to us. Olympiakos win the… Read more »

Twatsloch

The people responsible for giving Willian a 3 year deal should be sacked.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Edu believe it was an expensive gamble that didn’t pay off. On a side note, Edu’s Arsenal/Brazilian fwiend Sylvinho is the new manager of Corinthains Paulista – where Edu used to be director. Expect shenanigans – you just never know if you’re gonna get a Martinelli or a Runarsson with our transfer policy.

Don Simon

In fairness, Arsene Wenger made a fair few dubious signings in his time… I guess the difference is you can afford more mistakes when the team qualifies for the CL…
Having said that I hope there is/has been some level of accountability for our most recent blunders.

TeeCee

I, for one, do not give a flying fuck what Maureen and Roma win, with or without Xhaka.

Sac, Lac & Craic

Quite like Roma. Capital city team plays in Red has generally progressive fans. Rivals are scum (admittedly even worse than ours, a sort of Millwall, Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham hybrid). Always thought of them as a bit of an Italian Arsenal.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Yikes. The actions of a group of idiots (ultras) do not reflect the majority I am pretty sure. And let’s not associate a group of fans with a political ideology. Football is an escape from that nonsense.

Julian pan

Football is definitely not an escape from politics in Italy. There it is very common to have football teams that represent specific political sides. Even if it’s only the ultras who make certain displays, the other fans still choose to sit with them.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

I lived in Italy for a few years and have Italian family members. They want and have zero association with any “ultras” and condemn their actions regularly. I’m not painting tens of thousands of people with one brush despite how commonplace that is becoming.

SarcasmB0t

If football is an escape from “political ideology”, why support a team where you will be regularly treated to displays and chants in support of a particularly repugnant one? If you go to a football game every week where a portion of your fanbase chants racist and antisemitic shit, displays racist and antisemitic banners and regularly throws the Hitl “Roman” salute and you keep going, it’s probably because you’re okay with that. And BTW, it’s only possible to “escape” racism and antisemitism if you’re not the target of the scumbags’ hatred. This is not a particularly complex thought, but methinks… Read more »

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Why support your local team you grew up watching and attended games if some scumbags support them? An emotional connection? A connection with your culture (outside of links to anything nefarious)? I reiterate a fan base of a club is usually a very diverse thing as it encompasses tens or even hundreds of thousands of people. Like any group of people, there are going to be idiots, to dismiss a club based on that seems ridiculous.

SarcasmB0t

If club didn’t want those “idiots” at the stadium, it could easily ban them. It is only a couple of people, right? Lazio hasn’t become a fascist team in the recent past. I would question why somebody would grow up supporting a fascist club. Where I’m from, the largest and best supported club in my city has a pretty fucking racist Ultras group which is supported by the owner. This should be my team, but I fucking hate them, because racists are scum. As long as Nazi scum remains the most visible aspect of a club’s support, it’s because 1.… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Well said.

I just want the bang average primadonna gone.

Baz

So what you’re saying is, we should do the exact opposite of what we think we should do. George Constanza style. Then we will win the league. I like the way you think good sir.

Mootilated

who the hell are these players? lol

SarcasmB0t

It’s explained in the words under their names.

Jack

Damn, I thought it was going to be Charlie Adam who used to play for Stoke

Fatgooner

Fifteen million is far too low a fee for Xhaka.

An experienced 28-year-old international who held down a regular place at a top-six PL club is worth about twice that amount. Maureen has snapped up a bargain. That fee just show how useless we are at negotiating transfers: Levy at Spuds would have probably got 50 million for Xhaka.

BTW: I’m totally underwhelmed at the targets we’re chasing. We’re acting like a mid-table club. Or I forgot: we are!

Andy

Top 6?

Futsboller

I have a feeling that Xhaka’s less-than-loving relationship with our fanbase had something to do with the reduced fee here. Considering the abuse he’s received, considering the abuse he’s dished out (to an Arsenal fan’s fragile psyche), I’m surprised we might be getting close to 20m euros for him.

He is the midfield general Mourinho adores; Xhaka will love Italy.

Daveo

He suits the league and he’ll be solid in a counter attacking system that defends deep (similar to swiss). But 18-20M euro is pretty light weight fee as fats states. You’d hope for 25M,but I guess that’s the market and its pretty much a wrap on his time at arsenal which seems best for both parties (and the buyers who seem to be getting a bargain for a guy that will be suited to the league).

Bleeding gums murphy

The fact he is going for about 18 million says it all. He’s 28 and in prime and no top club are interested and mediocre club are willing to pay any more than Roma. A poor buy from the off. Wish him well and very happy we are finally getting shot of him. I think he was actually slower than Denilson 😂🤓

Andy

No. Noone was slower than Denilson. Even the ref chased back faster than him

Qwaliteee

I make you right. That Wayne Rooney goal at the Emirates in 2009.

Denilson was still out on the pitch chasing back the following morning…..

EmileSmithWhoa

Well well said, Arsenal devalued Xhaka but he retained his integrity in the most admirable manners.

Futsboller

Yeah, seeing that “Mic’d up” video of him this year was an ear-opener for me. Absolute leader, and an assistant coach on the pitch – no wonder every manager loves him.

Tierney is very vocal and demanding, too, and with age he is going to ripen into an incredible captain for this team.

Qwaliteee

Xhaka has devalued himself.

Crystal Palace at home? Burnley away? Ring any bells?

SarcasmB0t

Brighton at home in 2019? Remember how he threw away the Chapions League?

Wow, what a leader. Leading us to consecutive midtable finishes.

He was never good enough.

Good fucking riddance.

Qwaliteee

‘Arsenal Fans Fragile Psyche’….?

There were impressionable children in that crowd being royally told to ‘fuck off.

And at the time of writing we still, as a fan base, haven’t received an apology from him.

Club Captain? Don’t make me laugh. Aside from generally being an incompetent disaster on the pitch waiting to happen, the man’s behaviour that particular day was shameful for a professional footballer of any club, never mind The Arsenal. He was/is a disgrace and anyone trying to cover up for him is a disgrace too.

Cannot wait to see the back of him.

aDiddleDog

What’s disgraceful is all the supposed Arsenal fans trolling Xhaka and his family on (anti)social media.

SarcasmB0t

Obviously, nobody is condoning abuse on social media.

But the outburst happened in the stadium, because the fans there made it clear they thought he hadn’t had a good game.

This wasn’t about his wife, this was about him not being able to handle the fact the fanbase was calling out his shit performance.

What a fucking baby.

SarcasmB0t

If he can’t handle the “abuse” of Arsenal fans ironically cheering his substitution (the monsters, how could they?!), he will find it very difficult in Italy.

I think we have plenty of evidence that the “fragile psyche” is his.

I expect the meltdowns to return as soon as fans do.

By the way, he still hasn’t apologized for his childish outburst.

To quote the man himself: “Fuck off.”

Daveo

Disagree on the names. Finding bargains fro. Wider scouting of lesser known leagues and teams is exactly how the building teams of Dortmunds, lilles, Sevillas, Leicesters, wolves, etc. have built sustained success on budgets way below the euro giants. Like it or not that’s where we’re at and that is the model we need to focus on during this rebuild, not signing the scraps from the euro giants at massive wages or raiding these building teams and over paying for the talent that identify that sustains their system and their finances. We need to be able to identify that talent…… Read more »

EmileSmithWhoa

How does corporate/sports/social/political propaganda work?? 1) identify prone weaknesses like fans/citizens which deem themselves entitled 2) inject complaints and criticism on groups or individuals to create negative focal points 3) seize any opportunities to magnify the mistakes and questions about those “questionable” individuals or focal points 4) watch as the very same parties who were manipulated by or were part of the propaganda that whined and complained so as to devalue and malign others….watch as they now complain about the devalued assets. I bet the Spurs “fans” and other organizations propagandizing who facilitate this toast themselves routinely at the expense… Read more »

SarcasmB0t

“Held down a regular place at a top-six PL club?”

More like held down a top-six PL club.

Qwaliteee

Mate, I don’t care if we only get a bag of Magic Beans for him.

The important thing is we’re getting rid of him – a thoroughly bang average self pitying primadonna. Mourinho and him were made for each other

Teryima Adi

And the saga continues….

Man Manny

I almost read it like: “And the Sagna continues!”

Ronald Kimaiyo

We are getting relegated

Qwaliteee

What? Because we’re selling Xhaka……..?!!

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Teta's cult of personality ●█▀█▄

You need to give the Daily Mail article a higher poo rating. That newspaper is not even worthy enough to be used as toilet-roll.

Xhaka seems like the perfect middle player for Jose. Always fit and obeys tactics. At least he’ll get to play in the Conference League with Roma. Imagine if Jose knocks Bottleham out of the ECL with Mkhitaryan and Xhaka in the squad, that would be hilarious.

SarcasmB0t

You think Xhaka’s desire to play in the Europe Conference League is what drives this move?

Teta's cult of personality ●█▀█▄

Haha, no way. I’m sure he’ll make some mention of the competition in a Roma interview, but it’s more likely he’s tired of the tug of war with our fan base.

This is a good move for his and our mental wellbeing😅. Well… For now anyway as long as he’s on “good terms” with the AS Roma Ultras.

Qwaliteee

Guardian reader, are we? 😂

Teta's cult of personality

I haven’t been a regular of the Guardian since 2018😅. I have a childhood friend who is Italian and also a Roma supporter.

Byo

“Kicking the can down the road”, very insightful and sensible column. I like the thoughts.

JKB

Please continue doing this transfer round up daily / as frequently as possible.
I pathologically frequent Twitter to see what’s happening with arsenal transfer news.. so much so it hurts my brain.
At least if I know I can rely on arsenal oh transfer round up every day. I can avoid doing that.

Sac, Lac & Craic

I for one hope we sign every single player in existence. Even people who have even imagined spanking a sphere into a large rectangular net. Even Ed Balls and Michael Foot in case their names are related. IF WE DON’T SIGN EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WE ARE FINISHED. IN THE MUD. I’M GONNA LEAVE AND SUPPORT CHELSEA. BUY EVERY PLAYER KRONKY OR I’LL GET YOU KRONKY. – the Arsenal tweeter

Teta's cult of personality ●█▀█▄

Ed Balls and Michael Foot are an inspiration to young kids with funny names. You can still achieve something special even your adolescence will be cursed with playground jokes.

I wonder what it must have been like growing up for Yaya Banana, Mark de Man, Nortei Nortey, Fabian Assmann and David Goodwillie.

Qwaliteee

Tony Woodcock.

(Sorry Woody, if you’re looking in…)

Qwaliteee

Instead of taking the piss out of those in this fan base sane enough to see this current crock of shit that our beloved club has been allowed to become for what it truly is – and who subsequently have every reason to express their anger – how about extracting an alternative source of urine out of those still burying their soundbite bitten brainwashed heads in the sand and blindly pledging their allegiance to an ownership, a management and a system that is clearly dysfunctional and fucked beyond all its pathetic annual attempts of self-repair……..?

A gorilla

Considering we played our best football with ESR at number 10, why are we so keen to find another player there. Is this a willian/pepe 2.0 situation?

Qwaliteee

Leave Pepe out of this.

If we get ANY sort of improvement on last season, then Pepe is going to be one of the good guys, mark my words.

Arsenalfanthem

Shame about Saliba, it’s as if he isn’t in the plans whatsoever.

Santori

Good luck.

I don’t think I’ll be watching much Arsenal from now on. We are being ruined by people out of their depth.

Some here delusional will still think we are getting the best exciting players to match an exciting manager but they need to pull their heads out of their arse.

We will sell our better assets for a snip and then buy mediocre for higher prices.

Enjoy the slide.

Teta's cult of personality ●█▀█▄

Mate, are you alright?

In my time on this site, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you leave a positive comment.

As far as I’m concerned, Arteta is a carbon-copy of Roy Hodgson. Essentially a charismatic polyglot with rigid tactics and a habit of favouritism.

However, I don’t see why we shouldn’t at least be excited by the thought of new recruits or academy graduates joining the team next season. We have been used to the same faces for a while now. The worst case scenario for the newbies is that they will probably outlast Edu & Arteta at AFC.

Qwaliteee

You mean best case scenario.

Worst case scenario is that we’ll be stuck with those two and the Kroenkes until such a time that they have finally relegated the club.

Teta's cult of personality

I meant that from the perspective of a new recruit. If our slide down the table continues as Santori predicts. It’s a lot easier for Arteta/Edu to jump ship or resign than it is for a player to leave their contract.

Bielsa once resigned two days into one of his previous jobs. Ancelotti fled to Madrid without even telling some of his players. You catch my drift?