04 July 2014

Sánchez a Gunner? Odds fall to 8/15...

As the conclusion to the World Cup draws ever-nearer, and the 10 July unveiling of Puma's Arsenal kit does the same, the rumors around players joining Arsenal will proliferate and mutiply beyond control, eventually achieving sentience and overthrowing us like...wait. That's the Terminator plot I'm summarizing. Be that as it may, the same, essential plot-line holds true as the World Cup winnows down. The back-stage shufflings are starting to draw more interest now, as France's Mathieu Debuchy has apparently been quoted saying that he has committed to Arsenal. Should this prove true, we'd once again have a French right-back with a spouse by the name of Ludivine. So be it. Casting our net further afield, the rumors around Chilean striker Alexis Sánchez gather momentum, to the point that it's starting to feel positively Higuaín-esque (Higuaín-ish?). All that's missing to this point is a quote from Sánchez's father.

In these situations, I turn to the bookies. Not for confirmations, mind, but for hints and insinuations. They, unlike the tabloids and other journos of the world, put their money where their mouths are, at least to some extent. The likelier a signing gets, the less likely they are to take bets. Simple as that. On the long shots, they're little better than The Sun, The Metro, AS, and any number of other fish-'n-chips wrappers. They're perfectly willing to take your money and offer you something that will tide you over for a bit but doesn't offer you much in the long run. However, when a transfer's all but confirmed, unlike those tabloids, the bookies close down. That's it. No more bets. There's a sliver of integrity to that. Wafer-thin, it's true, but entire religions subsist on the same.

I refer you then to betvictor's current odds on Alexis Sánchez joining Arsenal, pegged as of this writing at 8/15. For the feeble of mind or upright of character (not to equate the two), this amounts to a piss-poor bet. You bet £15 to win £8? Sure, you might walk home with £23, but where's the thrill? Where were you and your £15 a week ago when the same £15 might have won you twice or thrice the measly £8 currently on offer? At the rate things are going, no bookie worth his salt will be taking bets on Sánchez joining Arsenal, and then where will you be?

Into the fray then steps one Pedro Hernández, who tweeted "Alexis Sánchez al Arsenal FC", which translates roughly to "Alexis Sánchez to Arsenal FC." Hernández isn't merely Chilean, he's a Chilean with an á in his last name. Just. Like. Sánchez. I don't know if this if incontrovertible proof, but when you see your correspondent doing that idiotic. Period. After. Each. Word. business, you know something big is going down. Giggity.

In all seriousness, it's hard to ignore the trending odds and the various tweets and other semi-official links. There's still the hang-up involving Luis Suarez's pending move to Barcelona, which may or may not impact Sánchez's move to Anfield or to Arsenal. As I've maintained, signing Sánchez and helping Suarez leave the Prem while also strengthening our squad would amount to an unqualified win-win. England, home to the world's most-prestigious league (not to mention being the cradle of football itself), would disown one of the sport's most-disgraceful practictioners, and Arsenal would strengthen its hand at the expense of a hated rival.

Let's hope then that betvictor knows its business and grow less and less willing to take bets on Sánchez joining Arsenal. Along similar lines, only betfair is still taking bets on Suarez joining Barcelona: 1/12. I like what my informants are telling me...

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