Monday, April 22, 2024

Some Friday bits and pieces

Morning. A very quick one today because there’s not a lot going on, I have to be somewhere early this morning, and I’ve used up a lot of creative juice this week. Thank goodness for the Euros to provide some football talking points over the next few weeks.

Have we sold anyone?


Although it is believed Granit Xhaka’s move to Roma is set to go through imminently. That’s been the case for pretty much the entire week though and it hasn’t happened yet. There was some talk of it happening before the Euros, so there’s all day Friday but then they start.

Switzerland don’t play until … Saturday. So maybe there’s another few hours. In an interview with the Swiss press yesterday, Xhaka refused to talk about a potential transfer but did have some words on the season just gone.

He says:

“Football is a team sport and you’re only as good as your team. Of course it was a good year for me personally, I’ve always played and performed, but the place at the end of the season is of course really bitter and disappointing for us.”

I think he did play well mostly, but those Burnley games are something of a stain. It’s like a waiter saying “I waited well”, conveniently forgetting the bowl of hot soup he spilled in the lap of an important guest, leaving with him with a badly scalded mickey, and then the other time when instead of bringing a medium rare Cote De Boeuf he served up slices of his own shite.

Anyway, let’s see what happens there. Doesn’t look like there’s much happening with anyone else yet.

Have we bought anyone?



Anything stirring with any of our targets?

Well, Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana (what’s my name) had his ban reduced by four months which means he can play again in November rather than February. He can also return to training in September.

It remains a massively complicated situation though because, in itself, signing players who have been banned for doping violations is a bit uncommon. Then there’s the whole situation at Arsenal. We’re already looking for a goalkeeper to back up Bernd Leno, but what if Leno wants to go? Is there anyone to buy Leno anyway?

Do we pull the trigger on Onana now and get him for a knock-down price, then suck up the few months he’s banned? Ajax might prefer some money now rather than no money later when he can leave on a free next summer. But next summer he might have all kinds of options so he might want to wait.

He might also fancy joining us now, but if we bring him in, and get a back-up keeper, can we have three keepers in a season when we’re supposed to be trimming the squad? It doesn’t seem like that would be a particularly healthy situation, unless you didn’t get a back-up, kept someone like Alex Runarsson, then let Leno and Onana scrap it out when he was available.

A Leno injury/suspension in that period leaves you with a sub-par keeper though, and that’s too big a risk, especially for a manager who knows he doesn’t have much margin for error next season. In short, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but there’s loads of time for it to play out and I’m absolutely sure we’ll be able to find the most complicated, difficult way of doing it at the most inopportune time.

I love this football club etc etc.

Anything else?

The Euros start tonight, so that’s good, a football packed few weeks ahead, with some very interesting games. France v Germany on Tuesday looks particularly tasty.

For some extra reading this morning, Tim explores the very real possibility of us not being able to do all the things we’d ideally want to do in just one transfer window, and how some ‘internal solutions’ could be useful. Check that out here.

For now, I’ll leave you with a brand new Arsecast, in which I’m joined by Clive Palmer to talk about the transfer window, selling players at the right time, what this summer will tell us about our direction under Mikel Arteta and Edu, and lots more. All the links you need to listen/subscribe are below, or simply find us in your favourite podcast app.

Catch you later.


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