Saturday, June 15, 2024

Premier League season eve + the market starts to heat up

Morning all.

A quick Friday blog for you, the golf course awaits. Mikel Arteta will hold his first press conference of the new Premier League season this afternoon. Another year of telling us nothing about the injury situation of players awaits. I don’t mind that though. The press conferences got a bit boring last season, but that was because we were good. I’d take the same again this time around if it means we’re fighting for the title.

We might get an update on David Raya who was at London Colney yesterday, and I think I’m right in saying that to be eligible for tomorrow’s game, he has to be registered by midday today. With Matt Turner now at Forest, it’d be good to have him on the bench tomorrow, so let’s see what happens there.

Beyond that there’s not much happening in terms of actual Arsenal stuff. There’s a story about Inter Milan pulling out of the ‘race’ to sign Folarin Balogun, but given they weren’t prepared to pay anything close to what Arsenal wanted, it’s hardly earth-shattering news. There does seem to be a bit going on elsewhere though.

First, Liverpool are set to break the British transfer record with a £110m deal to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton. Obviously he’s a player we all know, having tried hard to bring him in last January. It didn’t work because Brighton had a valuation on the player that they weren’t shifting from, and I think they’ve probably even got more for him now than what they originally had in mind. Fair play, they do excellent business – they spent £4m on Caicedo in 2021. My guess as to why Liverpool went the extra mile on this, is the fact that despite an almost complete reshaping of their midfield, Caicedo can hook up again with Alexis Mac Allister, the pair know each well from their time on the south coast. He’s a very solid signing.

I do have to say though, as much as I would have liked Caicedo, that kind of fee would have made me more uncomfortable than the £100m we paid for Declan Rice. In his case, the English tax was present and that is a real factor. I think Caicedo is excellent, but it’s a huge fee – a new record as I said – and his willingness to go pretty much anywhere would just give me a little pause for thought. He’s chosen Liverpool, it could have been us or Chelsea, but let’s see what happens.

In news impacting a much smaller Premier League outfit, it looks as if Harry Kane is going to leave Sp*rs and sign for Bayern Munich. I think he’d have been mad to stay there, and think they’d have been mad to reject that kind of offer. Close to £100m for a 30 year old seems a bit insane to me, but I’m sure Bayern would look at thinking he probably has more longevity in Germany than in England – especially as they remain the dominant club there.

On the one hand, I’m fascinated to see how they waste the money like they did with the Gareth Bale windfall, but on the other not so much looking forward to Kane blasting home a penalty against us in the Champions League (that he won with a dive, of course). Still, all of this stuff is out of our hands. The script has been written.

It is worth mentioning that we got business done early, and it’s fair to say some eyebrows were raised over how much we spent. If the two deals I have just mentioned demonstrate anything, it’s that the final few weeks of the window might make it look like excellent value. A few moving pieces can really start to shift things in the market, and there’s money sloshing around like never before. Hold onto your metaphorical hats, but at least we’re kinda on the sideline watching on, content with where we are and what we’ve done.

Right, let’s leave it there for now. As it’s the eve of a new season, we have two podcasts for you today.

1 – An Arsenal season preview with Kaya Kaynak of Football London – get it here, or in all the usual podcast places.

2 – A broader Premier League discussion with Ken Early of Second Captains – get it here, or in all the usual podcast places.

We’ll have a Nottingham Forest preview podcast for you over on Patreon a bit later this afternoon too, plus our big season preview post coming a bit later today.

For now, take it easy.

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