Good morning, and welcome to the hump (see blogs previous). I hope you got all your work done yesterday, as it’s all downhill to the weekend from here. Or from lunchtime, at least.
We’ll start, once again, with Alexandre Lacazette, who according to various sources was in London yesterday to complete his medical ahead of joining the club in a £52.7m deal. As I said in yesterday’s blog, it’s a lot of money – you don’t spend that kind of money on a player you’re not going to play – but as someone on the arses pointed out yesterday, transfer fees are almost an irrelevance these days (or at least an indicator of little more than the clubs have lots and lots of cash).
He did apparently pass his medical yesterday, was introduced to the other players at the club, and he’ll presumably slot in immediately at centre forward, displacing Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud in the process. From what I understand, he had an excellent relationship with Lyon’s playmaker, Nabil Fekir, so hopefully he’ll be able to strike up a similar combination with Mesut Ozil being his main supply line.
He can also play on the wing, so he could even play in a front three of himself, with one of Alexis, Welbeck or Walcott on the other side, and Giroud in the centre (if he stays). It’s nice to have options.
Nigel Winterburn, perhaps optimistically, thinks Lacazette’s signing might convince Alexis to stay too. I’m more circumspect on that, with the Chilean reportedly having made up his mind on what he’s going to do, but refusing to tell anyone else (remind you of anyone…?). I’m not sure what the signing says about the future of Alexis himself. He played at centre forward for us a fair bit last season, but having him as part of a front three alongside Lacazette would be preferable to the alternative.
Anyway, it’s still not officially official, but it seems it’s as done as done can be (it makes writing a blog very difficult, the inconsiderate buggers). Maybe the club will make a statement during the day, or maybe we’ll be talking about it again tomorrow to officially say hello. Officially.
In other transfer news, Monaco have changed their minds about Thomas Lemar, moving their position from “he’s not for sale, move along please”, to “okay, you can have him – for £80m”. Presumably they also want the moon on a stick. I’m in no position to judge whether he’s worth that much money, but then I don’t see how anyone is worth that much money. I think the most I’d pay for anyone is £100m and that’d be for Messi (or a slightly younger Messi). He’s quite good, I hear, and can do things like win games on his own. That seems like it ought to be worth a lot of money. I bet were he to leave Barca, the fee would be significantly more than £100m though. Anyway, we’re not signing Messi, so I’ll shut up about it.
Bayern Munich’s president Uli Hoeness has said the type of wages Alexis Sanchez would like aren’t feasible:
A €20 million salary is probably not feasible.
He sounds like my boss, the tight bugger.
In a way, I think it’s to be commended. I know footballers have a relatively short career, they generate massive income for their clubs through sponsorship, star attraction, and you know, winning games, but there has to come a point when someone comes out and says how ridiculous it all is. Bayern are in the enviable position of already being really quite good, and while I’m sure they’d like Alexis, I’m not sure they need Alexis, especially not at the price both we and he would want.
However, it does mean if he’s going to leave this summer, the clubs he might go to become more and more unappealing. I’m sure various cunts that play in different shades of cunty blue would quite merrily pay him what he wants (as well as pay us handsomely for the privilege of doing so), but as we’ve discussed before, selling him to a domestic rival is simply unacceptable.
Another deal that’s almost gone through is for the released Yaya Sanogo to go to Toulouse. I wonder if we could give Toulouse the shock of their lives and give them Alexis, and apologise to City and just tell them we have Sanogo if they’re interested.
In the last piece of transfer news for today, it seems Espanyol are interested in Lucas Perez. He was always an odd signing for me. A good player that just didn’t seem to tickle Arsene’s fancy, and so never got the playing time (I think) he deserved to show what he could do. It’s not like we were over-stocked at centre forward, so it’s strange that he never got much of an opportunity. Anyway, we’ll see what happens with that one. With the futures of Olivier Giroud and Alexis in some doubt, whether we’re keen to let Perez go remains to be seen.
Finally, in rather sadder news, it seems Santi Cazorla’s injury woes are continuing, with the Daily Express reporting that he’s likely out until April, something the club deny, but also aren’t being too forward with their own timeframe. For me, Cazorla is right up there with our most important players. He’s genuinely two footed, a joy to watch, and creative as they come. It’s a real shame what’s happened with him. He’s had eight (!) operations on his Achilles since he injured it in September last year, and while he does provide a real threat, it’s hard to see how after that many operations, combined with his age (32), he’s going to make a stable and sustained retun. More likely we’ll see him now and again a la Rosicky, and we were always going to have to learn to live without him permanently at some point.
That’s your lot for today. I have a small person to attend to. This daddy day care thing – or parenting, as I’ve heard it called – is hard work.