Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Nonsense rumours + the quietest January ever

Morning all.

I woke up late today, and as expected there are rumours circulating via the Catalan press about Mikel Arteta and Barcelona. I stand by what I wrote yesterday, and I’m pretty certain that later on, when he meets the press ahead of our game against Nottingham Forest tomorrow, the manager will dismiss them out of hand. It’s a lovely bit of clickbait for those who engage in that kind of thing, and that’s about it.

We’ll get the usual amount of no team news, with the boss unwilling to show his hand in any way to the opposition, but it will be good to have football back after another extended period between games. That said, it’s about the last one we’ll have bar the March Interlull, so fingers crossed the players have used this time to fully recharge. We’ve got domestic and European games to contend with too, so let’s hope we’re nice and fresh after just one game in the last three weeks.

The injury worries off the back of the Crystal Palace game involve Declan Rice (hamstring) and Gabriel (knee), but I think we’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s line-up announcement to understand definitively how they are. With Liverpool on the horizon, I’m sure no risks will be taken, although the City Ground has not been a happy hunting ground for us of late, so we can’t take anything for granted either. More on that game tomorrow, and we’ll have press conference updates over on Arseblog News.

There’s a full schedule of Premier League games this week, and beyond the football the transfer window closes too. It ‘slams shut’ on Thursday at 6pm, but unless there’s a genuine bolt from the blue, I don’t expect Arsenal to do anything but send a couple of young players on loan. When you go through the entire month of January and the most reported-on transfer story involves Cedric Soares attracting vague interest from Turkish clubs, that tells you a lot.

Cedric, as it stands, is not in Turkey.

Rumours involving Nuno Tavares and Marseille will probably die down because they just signed another left-back, Quentin Merlin, from Nantes. Apparently he’s a bit of a magician on the ball. Whether there’s interest from elsewhere in Tavares we’ll have to wait and see, but as previously reported the situation is complicated by the fact there is no break clause in his loan to Forest, so unless we sweeten the deal for them, chances are he’ll stay put until the summer.

I have just received an update: Cedric is not in Turkey.

The market in general is very quiet this month. The cumulative spending from all clubs has barely hit £50m, that’s in comparison to over £700m this time last year. It’s possible that a deal or two could create something of a snowball effect in the last days of the window, but it looks set to be one of the quietest transfer windows ever. The transfer deadline day tickers on TV channels etc seem more or less pointless right now, but I’m sure they will find a way to hype up the smallest thing.


And speaking of breaking news, I am reliably informed that Cedric remains unquestionably not in Turkey.

Right, I will leave it there for now, but if you missed it yesterday, there’s a bumper Arsecast Extra for you, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. There’s some football chat mixed in with some classic clips and jingles etc, and our genuine appreciation to all of you for listening every week. Thanks so much, and here’s to the next 10 (and some trophies too).

We’ll have a Nottingham Forest preview podcast over on Patreon later too, for now, have a good one.


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