Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Friday bits: Partey’s return, Tavares wanted, Garlick’s promotion

Morning all.

A quick Friday round-up for you, beginning with the news that Thomas Partey is back in training after his long absence. He has been out of action since a late cameo against Man City in October, although he did play a couple of friendly games for Ghana after that. He sustained an injury in training which required surgery, and has now returned to give the squad a boost for the second half of the season – assuming he can stay fit, of course. Which isn’t really a foregone conclusion, to be fair.

Whether it’s coincidence or just one of those quirks of timing that his return has come two days after Ghana’s AFCON exit, I guess we’ll never know. It’s probably going to take him some time to get properly match fit, but between now and the end of the season, we have away trips to big clubs like Man City and Man Utd, as well as a trip to White Hart Lane too – and that much talked about, but never seen, midfield of Partey, Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard felt very much like the plan for fixtures like that.

At a push, despite the fact I don’t really believe his deployment there at the start of the season was a tactical innovation and much more closely linked with Saudi Arabian clubs sniffing around Gabriel’s agent, he would also provide some cover at right-back. With Jurrien Timber likely to be eased back into action a little less quickly than some people might hope, it’s not impossible he could be used there from time to time. Although, the demands of full-back in this team may well be a bit taxing for a player who has just spent four months on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, there’s a bit of a transfer saga developing with Marseille reportedly keen on doing a permanent deal for Nuno Tavares, with the player keen on making that happen too (and I imagine Arsenal are too). The slight hitch is that he’s on loan with Nottingham Forest for the season, with no break clause, and they aren’t overly enchanted with the idea of letting him go. He hasn’t played much for them this season, just 184 Premier League minutes – with 90 them coming last week, and the remainder back in September.

However, Forest have a clutch of players away at AFCON, the new coach Nuno Espirito Santo is Portuguese and may have designs for his countryman, and this is obviously a complicating factor. Ideally, we’d take the opportunity to sell a player who has no future at this club, so maybe we just have to sweeten the deal a bit for Forest, who are well within their rights to hold onto him if they want to. That was the deal both clubs did in good faith, so let’s see what happens.

Perhaps it will be a little challenge for Richard Garlick, the current Director of Football Operations, who will become Arsenal’s Managing Director in the summer after Vinai Venkatesham departs. He’s across most of that stuff as it is, so this one will be something a bit different. His upcoming appointment to that new role makes sense, but it will be interesting to see if someone else is promoted/brought in to carry on some of the work he’s been doing while he has a little more on his plate to deal with.

For those interested, the latest Deloitte Money League stuff is out, and while it’s clear Arsenal are improving in some aspects after some seasons in the doldrums, there’s still a way to go – especially when it comes to commercial revenue. Perhaps Adidas can go even further with a kit a week to help drive that up. Something to ponder.

Right, let’s leave it there. There’s a brand new Arsecast below, delving into Arsenal’s spending under Mikel Arteta in the context of the ongoing clamour for signing a striker, and lots more besides. All the links you need to listen/subscribe are below.

Happy listening.

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