20 June 2013

Time to bet the farm on Higuain. Anyone have 130k?

If you were looking to retire a few years early by betting on Higuain joining Arsenal, you may have just missed your window. In a move that means almost nothing, Skybet and others have suspended betting on it. Now, unless Gazidis, Wenger, or Higuain have liquidated all of their assets and bet on Higuain becoming a Gunner, there's not much in it. All that it means is that the legitimate businessmen's community have taken so many bets that the odds have shifted to the point that it no longer makes sense to accept new bets.

The same business happened with Julio Cesar almost three weeks ago. We certainly haven't signed him, despite my plea. In other words, then, keep calm. Basing our emotional health and mental stability on these portents is like seeing clouds and announcing that it's definitely going to rain. You'll end up being right once in a while--but not nearly often enough to seem sane. As tantalizing as it may be to see headlines that include the words "Higuain", "agrees", "to", "personal", "terms", "with", and "Arsenal", please do yourself and your loved ones a favor by ignoring those headlines until the club's site announces it.

While favors are on offer, I do hope Arsene does us and the club one before too long: announce a signing. A real one. I'm sure Yaya Sanogo will go out of his way to help us forget Chamakh and Bendtner, but the announcement of a high-profile signing is an important moment. Since the close of the transfer-window in January, we've heard report after report on the glowing condition of our revenues and our growing ambitions in the summer transfer-window. Maybe we've painted ourselves into a bit of a corner with all of that talk. I'm not saying we should sign someone just to prove that we're not all talk, but this is not a time for business as usual, by which I mean that we announce a few decent signings at the end of August. The longer that time drags on, the less momentum we'll have, and the more we risk losing out on players. Other clubs start to circle, players and agents bask in the attention, and the whole situation gets flimsy.

If we can announce a key signing--it doesn't have to be Higuain, to cite one example--it could set off a nifty domino-effect. Other players to whom we'd been only casually linked might perk up a bit  and say, "Hey, Arsenal just signed _________. They seem really ambitious. I should have my agent ring them up..." To that end, would signing the likes of Cesar grease the wheels just a bit more for someone like Fellaini? Would signing Fellaini entice Lewandowski to give us a closer look? It's no guarantee, nor is it far-fetched either.

The alternative is far more certain and worse for us. The longer we wait to announce such a signing, the fewer players there are who are available, interested, or talented enough to help us get to the next level. Arsene has made some good, late signings in the last few transfer-windows--Arteta (8/31/11), Monreal (1/31/13), Cazorla (8/7/12), Mertesacker (8/31/11)--but if we're to be aggressive, we have to seize the initiative more forcefully.

It does seem that we've managed to stave off Juventus in our pursuit of Higuain, so that would be progress of a sort. No offense to The Old Lady, but that's not quite dramatic enough. I don't see anything happening before the end of the day Friday, but I'd love to be wrong. It seems a bit silly to sound so demanding a full ten days before the transfer-window officially opens. However, with a fixture-list that should have us off and running, I really do hope that we have a new new players chomping at the bit in their new Arsenal kits by July 1st. Who will it be? Who should it be?