Friday, March 1, 2024

It’s Transfer Deadline Day …

Morning.

If, like me, you were holding out slim some hope that Liverpool might drop points in their midweek game against Chelsea, you will have been a bit dismayed by last night’s game. It’s not just that Liverpool looked really, really good and now come into Sunday’s game full of confidence after a 4-1 win, it’s that Chelsea were very, very, very bad.

And look, let’s not ignore that’s a good thing generally speaking. I think everyone enjoys when they get battered, but the depths of their craposity were kinda remarkable. With just the two £100m+ central midfielders who looked like a pair of knock-off Flaminis, and the near £100m substitute – perhaps the biggest bullet Arsenal have ever dodged – they were torn apart by a Liverpool side who made chances at will.

Darwin Nunez hit the woodwork four times from his 11 shots. He’s like an indoor tornado or something, the chaos he causes. But let’s not dwell on how good they were, we have a few more days to contemplate/worry about that before Sunday, and let’s instead find solace in how terrible Chelsea are. They’ve spent the biggest fortune football has ever seen to be worse off in the Premier League right now than a Brighton side who have won just 3 of their last 16 games, and Manchester United. Let that sink in.

Todd Boehly in. Forever.

Meanwhile, today is Transfer Deadline Day, and ordinarily we’d be doing a live blog over on Arseblog News to document the comings (hopefully) and goings of the day. Not today though. I think it would just be an extraordinary waste of everyone’s time. Unless the world tilts on its axis in a big way, I think everyone understands that there won’t be any kind of addition to the squad before the 6pm cut-off point.

Mikel Arteta spoke about potential January arrivals before the Forest game, saying:

It wasn’t possible . Now we didn’t have the capacity to improve the team in the way that we think we want to improve it. So we decided not to do something yet.

I saw some comments about him referring to a ‘thin squad’, but it seemed clear to me he was referring to injury absentees rather than any lack of investment of spending. We don’t have Jurrien Timber or Takehiro Tomiyasu (he’ll continue in the Asian Cup after Japan’s 3-1 win over Bahrain btw); Thomas Partey has been out all season mostly; and Fabio Vieira remains sidelined after his knee operation.

So, if there’s any action it will be outgoings, most likely of young players. 19 year old left-back Lino Sousa is set for a permanent move to Aston Villa, who will then loan him immediately to Plymouth Argyle who are scrapping in mid-table in the Championship. It’s quite funny to read some of the reaction to a player like this departing. On the one hand, people are frustrated at times by Oleksandr Zinchenko and want an upgrade, but then go mad because a kid who has never played a first team game and is – perhaps – just about ready for a lower league is allowed leave.

There’s also loan set up for Charles Sagoe Jr, who played in our EFL Cup win over Brentford earlier in the season. He’s reportedly set to join Swansea until the end of the season, where he can hook up with fellow young Gunner Charlie Patino. Hopefully it goes well for him, but the gulf between Championship and Premier League remains enormous, especially for young players.

Beyond that, there’s not a lot to report. It will come of little surprise to any of you to discover than Cedric is not in Turkey, although the window there closes on February 9th so there’s another week and a bit of him not being in Turkey ahead of us.

If anything does break, we’ll cover it for you over on Arseblog News. For now, have a good one.

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