Sunday, October 2, 2022

International players returning today + Nuno Tavares linked with Marseille

Morning all, a very quick one for you this morning for reasons which I will explain shortly.

Arsenal will head for the US this week, but today will see the return of players who were away on international duty until mid-June. If the squad looked a bit light in terms of quality, the additions of Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, William Saliba, Martin Odegaard, and Bukayo Saka will go some way to strengthening things up. I’m sure the manager will be keen to get them in and up to speed as quickly as possible.

Lucas Torreira is contractually obliged to come back too, but he’s doing his best to secure a future in Italy, anywhere in Italy. After Fiorentina fell through, there was talk of Juventus and now he’s batting his eyelashes at Roma and Jose Mourinho, saying:

Roma? Yes, there is a possibility. I spoke to Mourinho a while ago. I admire him as a coach. It’s an opportunity that tempts me a lot, but it’s not easy.

It’s obvious he wants to leave, and I think Arsenal would still be happy to sell, but until such time as there’s an offer for him though, he’s part of the squad here. I’d be surprised if he was in the plans, but he’s kinda running out of options.

Next week: Lucas Torreira says it’s always been my dream to play for … *checks notes* … Virtus Verona.

From France come reports that Marseille are after Nuno Tavares, as their new coach plays with wing-backs and they see him as their ‘preferred’ option in that position. That does make some sense. I have reservations about Nuno as a full back, but if you’re playing with a back three and there’s less onus on him to defend, then you could see how that might work because he does have more about him going forward.

There’s obviously a connection between the two clubs in recent times. Saliba was loaned there last season, they also took Matteo Guendouzi on loan before signing him permanently this summer, and in January Sead Kolasinac joined on a free transfer. I guess they’re hoping lightning won’t strike twice if they bring in a defensively suspect left-back from North London, but it’s one to keep an eye on.

The fact we’ve been actively pursuing Lisandro Martinez tells you we’re looking for someone to strengthen that left-hand side (on the new Arsecast Extra James believes our primary interest in him is as a full-back, not a centre-half), and there are also reports this morning from Portugal that Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo is set to be the subject of a ‘new attack’ from Arsenal, who are ready to pay €7m for the Spaniard who is in the final year of his contract. Perhaps he’s the next option if Martinez chooses Man Utd ahead of us.

Beyond that, not a great deal going on, but it does feel like a few bits and pieces might bubble up on the transfer front this week. Time marches on, and that first game of the season isn’t too far away. I don’t have any evidence for this at all, beyond just a feeling, but I suspect the final weeks of this summer’s transfer window are going to be seriously hectic. Not just for Arsenal, I mean in general, but I don’t think we’re going to completely avoid the madness either. We do have plenty of players shuffling around the door of the departure lounge.

Maintaining as much calm and stability as possible is going to be an important aspect to the start of this season. There are FIVE games from the start of the season to the close of the window, so managing that is going to be really important for Mikel Arteta and Edu.

Right, that’s it from me for a week or so. I’m away on holidays for the first time since before the pandemic, and I’ll be quite honest and admit I can’t wait to just switch off and bob around in the sea like some kind of contented seal.

Things will be quieter on the podcast front, but the blog will continue every day: Tom, Andrew Allen and Tim Stillman are doing shifts on that, and we’ve got Arseblog News stuff continuing too – so you won’t miss out on any news with regard transfers etc.

For now, take it easy, look after yourselves, and I’ll see you next week. I’ll leave you with a brand new Arsecast Extra, recorded yesterday with James.

¡Hasta luego!

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