01 September 2014

Falcao to United, City, or Arsenal? The clock is ticking...

It's hard at the best of times to assess a player's value. Was Bale worth the transfer-fee that Real Madrid paid for him? Will Costa prove his worth this season? So much depends on the clubs' needs and the player's desire. As concerns Monaco, they're apparently desperate to offload Falcao so as to avoid incurring FFP penalties. As such, they might seem eager to sell or loan the man. At the other end, then, it becomes a matter of how much desperation potential buyers are feeling, with an x-factor given to the player's whims. I hope and I pray that these factors tip the scales in Arsenal's favor...

Man U have been heavily linked with Falcao, but having spent something close to £145m already, can they actually afford to throw another £55m at one more player? More to the point, perhaps, would van Persie accept playing alongside a player who (a) out-earns him and (b) out-performs him? I doubt that van Gaal would invite such a headache, especially with other, more pressing needs. From Falcao's point of view, does he want to be part of an elaborate rebuilding project? I don't see it happening at any price, not without Champions League or even Europa League football to entice. Yes, without those commitments, Man U could very well contend for the Premiership. However, even that inducement seems hardly enough to lure the likes of Falcao away, not with other, prettier suitors waiting in line...

Chelsea, of course, seem to have signed Loic Remy in order to replace Fernando Torres, which at first inspires angst at this end. However, his move might just satisfy the remorseless sarlacc that is Mourinho, thus removing Chelsea from vying for the services of Falcao. The Blues' 3-6 demolition of Everton might further satiate the Specious One, convincing him that his squad is ready to contend for if not win the Prem (he might be right, but that's a story for another day). Let it be so.

As for Man City, two confident wins were followed by a shock-loss, at home, to Stoke. That's right. Stoke, of all clubs, managed to outscore Citeh at the Etihad. Will wonders never cease. Be still, my beating heart. With Negredo, Aguero, Dzeko, and Jovetic, you might think that their scoring needs are settled. You underestimate their voracity. Like unto Real Madrid or Barcelona or Bayern, certain clubs feel that they cannot dominate in extremis, regardless of the rate at which they outscore their opponents. There's a certain hoarding aspect to it, a paranoia, even, that compels them to add more and more. As such, we cannot afford (literally or figuratively) to underestimate their willingness to spend. However, they are limited. Under FFP, they are allowed a net-spend of "only" £49m and have already wasted roughly half that on new signings already, their options are limited. Would Falcao accept a limited role, for less money, at a club that might promise him silverware? That's for him and his agent to suss out.

Which brings us to Arsenal. Alone among his (apparent) suitors, we can offer him the fee, wages, and chance at glory that he might covet. At 28, he's won the Europa League but little else of note. A move from Monaco to Arsenal might make altogether too much sense. We arguably need him just as much as he needs us. What other club can offer him the same chance at silverware and the opportunity to play? It's hard to beat what we can offer at either end. At this point, I pray that Falcao and Arsène see eye-to-eye, agreeing to mutual needs, and can come to some kind of agreement.

Arsène, I beg you. Make this happen.