Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Defensive arrival could be close + young players depart

Morning all, a quick Friday round-up for you.

There doesn’t appear to be anything particularly new in terms of incoming deals, but according to David Ornstein, Lisandro Martinez is a ‘firm target’ for Arsenal, a player that Mikel Arteta wants to sign.

I like this one, I have to say. I know we’re all very focused on what we’re going to do to bolster our attack this summer, but we shouldn’t ignore other potential upgrades/additions if we can make them – that goes for any position. There’s no doubt that left back has been an issue in recent seasons. In 2020/21, an injury to Kieran Tierney left us without a recognised full back for that position and we tried to fill the gap with Granit Xhaka. It didn’t work.

Last season Tierney was injured again at a key point of the season, again we tried the Xhaka thing but the injury to Thomas Partey meant that was something we didn’t – or couldn’t – persist with (thankfully), but the fact Arteta went with it when he had Nuno Tavares at his disposal told us something about how he views the former Benfica man.

It has to be a topic of conversation between the manager, and the technical staff at the club. I love Kieran Tierney as much as the next person, but I wouldn’t bet 20c on him being able to stay fit for the duration of a long season with, fingers crossed, a European campaign that goes right to the end on top of the Premier League and everything else.

We’ve already had a bid of around €30m rejected by Ajax, but it seems we’re going to go back for more, and I guess it’s interesting to note that we saw some rumours regarding Tavares emerge yesterday. There’s talk of Marseille looking to take him on loan with an option to buy, which suggests that perhaps there’s an awareness out there that the player is available/gettable this summer. Atalanta, whose new sporting director has a long-standing interest in the left-back, are also keen to take him, but admit it’s difficult for them to bring Premier League players in (for financial reasons).

You can see pretty easily how a loan spell would be beneficial to Nuno, there are some obvious flaws with his game that need to be ironed out. My gut feeling, and I’m happy to eat some humble pie if this isn’t the case, is that those weaknessess probably make him too flawed to truly depend on as a full back in the system we play, but at the same time he is still relatively inexperienced at this level so a full season somewhere could do him good.

The difficulty he’d face after that season is an Arsenal side with, potentially, Lisandro Martinez and Kieran Tierney in it, and that might seal his fate as much as anything he does or doesn’t do during his spell away. Of course, we still have to get that Martinez deal done, but the fact we’re contemplating Nuno’s departure probably suggests some confidence in that regard.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen some young players depart. Striker Mika Biereth has joined RKC Waalwijk on loan, and he’s a player who will be looking to use this season as one to make progress and start knocking on the first team door. Tyreece John-Jules has joined Ipswich on loan, and I suspect he’s someone who will move on permanently next summer, much like Jordi Osei-Tutu who has signed for Bundesliga side VfL Bochum on a permanent basis.

22 year old Northern Ireland international Daniel Ballard, off the back of good loan spells with Blackpool and Millwall last season, will sign a long-term deal with Burnley in the coming days, and this is one of those where I’m quite interested in the financial side of the deal.

James reports on clauses and performance based add-ons, but when I wrote about our Academy as a revenue source earlier this week, this is exactly the kind of a deal I was referring to. A young player who has done well on loan, raised his profile in the game, but not seen as quite ready for the Arsenal first team. However, if you’re attracting the attention of someone like Vincent Kompany, the new Burnley manager, and Arsenal are inserting clauses which suggest they don’t rule out a return at some point in the future if things go well, you probably have something about you, and the fee should reflect that.

We all know the kind of players we’re finding it difficult to sell and to generate revenue from, and while I’m not saying this kind of deal is necessarily easy, the foundational work we’ve put into Ballard – and what the player has done on the pitch to get a move like this – shouldn’t be undervalued.

Right, I’m gonna leave it there for this morning. I’ll leave you with a brand new Arsecast, chatting to Charles Watts about all the latest transfer stuff and more. All the links you need are below, and if there’s any breaking news, you’ll find it over on Arseblog News.

For some extra reading this morning, Tim’s column this week is on three things to keep an eye out for next season.

Have a good one.


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