23 July 2014

Thursday Transfer-Talk: Ospina? Khedira? Balotelli?

Okay, so "Thursday Transfer Talk" doesn't quite roll off the tongue as smoothly as it should, lacking the actual alliteration all of us aspire to, but there's something in it nonetheless. The signings of Alexis Sánchez and Mathieu Debuchy were announced at the club website on Thursdays (17 July and 10 July, for those counting). Heck, Mathieu Flamini's signing was also announced on a Thursday (29 August 2013, for those curious and lazy enough to enquire). There are a few outliers, to be sure—Sanogo was announced on a Monday, as was Özil, but they are shall serve for now as the exceptions that prove the rule. I'll be going to bed shortly, but, given the six-hour time-difference between here and London, anything could happen, ranging from the announced signings of Khedira, Ospina, and Balotelli, to the signing of no one at all.

Eisfeld's off to Fulham. Should Gnabry go out on loan?

With a midfield about as crowded as a sardine-tin, Thomas Eisfeld has seen that his chances of breaking into the first team are slimmer than a—well, slimmer than a sardine, come to think of it. He's signed a contract with Fulham, where he'll have a greater chance at regular football. Fair play to him, too. I respect a man who wants to play and compete, and he's not getting that at Arsenal. I might have preferred a loan-deal for him, preserving the right to recall him should the need arise, but so be it. He only made two appearances, both of them in the League Cup, although he did score an important goal against West Brom to help us advance. His departure may not make any ripples, but it does raise the question of how to handle another German midfielder: Serge Gnabry. He's sparkled here and there in his appearances, enough that I hope we hold onto him. However, a loan might be in order for him...

22 July 2014

Building a team around Giroud? Really?

I thought it would be worth taking a break around transfer-speculation to assess something that offers a little more substance, at least at a level that allows us to examine what we currently have and what it's good for. Already, we've done a nice bit of business in the transfer-window, with Alexis and Debuchy in the squad and with Ospina apparently close to confirmed. By Arsenal standards, that's an orgy of spending, even if the total amount comes to something less under £50m—even if that's less than what Chelsea or Real Madrid or the other remorseless, soulless spenders might splurge on one player. With Man City apparently satiated by Sagna and Liverpool repeating Spurs' saga from a season ago, we and Chelsea look to be the most-ambitious thus far. However, it's in how our current squad coalesces than I'm currently most intrigued by, rather than how future additions might contribute.

21 July 2014

What am I bid for Carvalho? £24m? Mourinho, what say you?

As Arsenal's trip to New York City draws nearer, your correspondent has to suffer the indignity of seeing none other than Tottenham come to Chicago to play the Fire. I may have to show up just to tweak noses. We'll see. In the meantime, we at least have the return of Arsenal football to enjoy and to distract us from the silly season—which will persist for more than another month (closing 31 August). Having already done a nice bit of business with Debuchy and Alexis, we seem to have turned to the defensive midfield with interest in Khedira seeming to cool. In his place comes William Carvalho, he of Sporting Lisbon, for whom we've made a £24m bid, far short of his £35m release clause but perhaps enough to open negotiations.