Premier League – Key Transfers

With the television deals continuing to bolster the spending of many Premier league sides it will come as no surprise that the league spending has long surpassed the £1 billion mark. Most of the top sides have been looking to invest in top talent as they not only push for Champions league football but for the Premier league title itself. It is certainly a time of transition for Arsenal as Unai Emery takes over the reins following the retirement of Wenger after 22 years in charge of the North London club.

Emery has been busy looking to improve the squad ahead of an important season and one of those players he has brought in is Uruguayan Lucas Torreira. He impressed at the World Cup over the summer and looks just the player Arsenal have been missing for some time. He is a physical defensive midfielder and a very exciting young talent looking to the future. Arsenal will be hoping this change can result in them not only returning to Champions league football but again challenging for the title. So what about some of the other key transfers from the top sides in the league? Check out the infographic below which covers this.

Many of the other sides in the league have also been busy in the transfer market as newly promoted Fulham and Cardiff for example will be pushing to stay up. The latest Premier league relegation odds make Cardiff 4/6 and Fulham 9/5 to head straight back down to the Championship. There is no doubt that excitement is continuing to build amongst fans ahead of the upcoming season.

Infographic - Premier league summer transfers

What Do Mesut Özil’s Germany Statements Mean For Arsenal?

The big news today regarding Arsenal was the lengthy statement from Arsenal’s new number 10, Mesut Özil, in regards to the Germany national team, and how he has been treated since his photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoga at an event in London back in May.

I have to say after reading Mesut Özil’s statements, I didn’t realise the scale of the issue until today. I knew from various Arsenal sources that the photograph was causing problems in Germany but not to the extend of personal threats against him and his family.

Özil’s statements in full can be found on his Facebook and Instagram pages:

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He talks about the disgraceful treatment he’s had and essentially the racist attacks he’s had to endure.

The abuse he’s been receiving is clearly unacceptable and a player who (well, I thought) was loved by Germany has had to retire at the age of 29 which is still young in todays game.

My thoughts on this? Well I don’t know enough about it all really. From the skim reading of the comments on social media the whole thing has clearly divided opinion between Germans, Turks and everyone representing in the left and right wing political parties. Politically, I have no idea if it was right or wrong because I don’t know enough about what the Turkish president is all about.

And from a footballing perspective, it’s hard to make a call. Should footballers get involved in politics? It’s certainly a new one as Özil’s case is about Germany and Turkey, so there is obviously conflict there. In England, we’ve seen the England squads line up for a photo opportunity with whoever was Prime Minister at the time and no-one batted an eye-lid, and although thats obviously in a different context it’s the only thing we can compare it to.

I don’t know. In a world where (some) footballers live for social media, the fact this photo happened doesn’t surprise me, but what does surprise me a little is that footballers have such large entourages surrounding them that someone (who certainly knows more about German politics that I do) didn’t tell Özil it might not be the best idea.

For Arsenal fans, you’re left wondering where this leaves us really. He no longer plays for the German national team and as a man who divides the Arsenal support, he will be under the limelight even more so now.

From the social media posts Arsenal send out of Mesut Özil and related topics, there is clearly a large Germany and Muslim fanbase who follow Özil and his performances at Arsenal. Will this be intensified further? Or will Arsenal fans rally round and support the young German?

The next few weeks will be interesting now as the focus was on Özil and the German national side, but now it will be firmly on Arsenal Football Club.

Do Arsenal Need Mesut Özil? Should They Sell Him?

Exciting times are ahead for Arsenal – we’ve got a new manager in Unai Emery which is a seismic change after the reign of Arsene Wenger and we’ve also made a lot of signings to boot, with the signings of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira and Mattéo Guendouzi who will all add strength and depth to the squad.

With all the new faces coming in, we’ve only really lost 3 players, and even then two of them hardly featured last season. Per Mertesacker has moved into a coaching role at Arsenal, and Santi Cazorla was victim of a horrific injury / surgery scare and has gone back to Spain. Jack Wilshere to West Ham on a free is the only real departure of note so at the moment at least, the squad is a bit heavy on numbers.

So the question is after spending around £67 million on new arrivals, who are we going to see leave? Jack Wilshere has gone for nothing (one of the many failings of the Arsene regime) but the fact is some players will need to be moved on. And a big consideration is how much we can recoup.

And that’s why Mesut Özil’s name pops up. Is he an Unai Emery player? From my limited knowledge of his tactics and style of play with Sevilla and PSG, I had the impression he liked teams that pressed with intensity and purpose, and sadly Özil is a luxury player in that regard.

We have Lacazette and Aubameyang who look like they might start together, and the bottom line is that Mkhitaryan is a player with Özil’s vision and passing, but also runs for the team and has more pace and has a better team work ethic – so in that sense Özil is almost surplus to requirements.

He is also a player who would still command a decent price, so would make the Arsenal accountants happy.

So what are your thoughts? Should we cut Mesut Özil loose and get some money back? Or do you think he has a place in this Arsenal team and would be a key to any future success?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Arsenal Targeting Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez?

Arsenal are looking to get back into the top tier of English football following a couple of disappointing campaigns. The Gunners struggled mightily in Premier League play last season and wound up finishing sixth behind Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea. Arsenal used a late surge to stay above Burnley, who finished 9 points back of Arsene Wenger’s side.

The Gunners parted ways with the French manager after more than 2 decades in charge, and he has since been replaced by ex-Paris St. Germain boss Unai Emery. Emery is expected to take an aggressive approach this summer with the hopes of revamping the squad heading into next season. According to OKDIARIO, Emery has his sights set on a Real Madrid player in Lucas Vazquez.

Emery believes that Vazquez is underutilized at the gigantic Spanish club and that he has the potential to become a star in a new situation. The 26-year-old winger is currently enjoying his time with the Spanish national side at the World Cup in Russia, but Emery would like to bring him to North London once Spain are ousted from the tournament.

When betting on football matches and transfers, it’s crucial to remember that nothing is certain. How many transfer rumors have ultimately been scuttled before anything came to pass? A lot has to go right for Arsenal to land a player of Vazquez’ caliber. The odds strongly favor Vazquez staying where he is.  Still, Emery seems to have a way of getting what he wants.

Emery is reportedly ready to triple Vazquez’ salary in an attempt to lure him away from the Santiago Bernabeu. Emery is reportedly ready to offer Vazquez a deal worth £7 million annually, which is quite a bit more than he currently earns in Spain.

With Real Madrid, Vazquez has served as more of a squad rotation player than a regular mainstay in the starting XI. This past season, the Spaniard bagged 4 goals with 7 assists in 16 La Liga starts. Real are the only club Vazquez has ever known, as he came up through their youth academy before making his debut for the senior side in 2015. He did have a brief loan spell at Espanyol during the 2014-15 campaign.

In all, Vazquez has scored 10 goals in 91 appearances for Los Blancos.

Vazquez is just the latest name to pop up in what has already been a busy summer for Arsenal. Emery has already agreed to deals to acquire Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Juventus right back Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Gunners have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira.

Vazquez has made a pair of appearances for Spain at the World Cup as the side won Group B and advanced to the knockout round. The 2010 World Cup champions will take on Uruguay in the round of 16.

A path to luring Vazquez away from the Bernabeu may be difficult. The 3-time defending Champions League holders reportedly consider Vazquez to be untouchable and would be reluctant to sanction a sale of the player. Vazquez is currently locked into a deal to stay with Madrid until 2021, so the player may have no choice but to stay even if he wishes to leave and earn more money abroad.

These Are The 5 Players Arsenal Need To Sell This Summer!

Arsenal are under a new era with Unai Emery at the helm and despite Arsene’s fond farewell it’s clear that the current squad just doesn’t cut the mustard. We have been in a slow decline since being guaranteed Champions League football to finishing 5th in the 2016/2017 season, and then finishing 6th in the last campaign.

One of Arsene’s greatest strengths is his unwavering belief in his players, but in a time of over-inflated wages, over-inflated egos and over-inflated social media, this approach is just not in keeping with the modern times.

When you had winners like Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva, Jens Lehmann, Martin Keown, Lee Dixon and Sol Campbell just to name a few, then this method works. But today, most footballers only care about how many followers they have on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook (delete as appropriate) over winning trophies. I say most footballers because there are still those (pick anyone from the Real Madrid team) who will do whatever it takes to win. Cough cough…. Ramos.

So here are the 5 players Arsenal must sell this summer if they want to make any progress:

Petr Cech

He once was a phenomenal goalkeeper. Once.

I saw a compilation of his best saves from the 2004/2005 season when he won the Premier League with Chelsea and honestly, some of the saves he made in that campaign were out of this world. You think David De Get is good now, Cech was better than him in his prime.

From 2005-2012 no-one could touch him and in those years at Chelsea we won 3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and a Champions League. He still won titles after 2012 but for me that year was the start of his decline.

He’s 36 now and last season he made a number of big errors which cost us important goals. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a popular man in the dressing room, and by all accounts a very intelligent man from what I’ve heard, but he’s well past his best. We’ve been accused of being too sentimental but now’s the time to let him go. There are various options available to us, including ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski who looks like a more mature, convincing goalkeeper these days.

Perhaps he isn’t the answer but I’m sure our new Dream Team of Ivan, Sven and Raul have the expertise to find a good goalkeeper on the market.

Mesut Özil

This is a man who flatters to deceive, only plays well against the lesser teams and doesn’t put in a shift. That’s okay when you’re Real Madrid and you’re playing inferior teams week in week out (the exception being when you have to face Barcelona) but he’s at Arsenal. Strolling around the pitch isn’t good enough for a Premier League side looking to challenge for the league and can you imagine other players in his position walking in games like he does? Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Christian Eriksen and Riyad Mahrez are all creative players but they also all run their socks off for the team – and they don’t have a strop or moan to their teammates.

And the thing is we already have a much better replacement for him at the club – Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He tracks back, dribbles and has that final pass.

Mesut Özil has tripled his wages after holding the club over a barrel and yet he still doesn’t work hard. It’s one thing having talent but strolling isn’t an option in the Premier League. It’s fine when you’re playing international football where the game is a low slower (and that’s why he’s so revered by Joachim Low) but he’s not for us. Tell me how many Top Six teams he would get into? Exactly.

See what we can get for him and offload him as soon as possible.

Alex Iwobi

This is player who has been on the fringes but time and time again doesn’t perform to a high enough standard. He has some nice touches but hasn’t improved and doesn’t look like doing so – I was going to compare him to Theo Walcott but that would be unfair on Theo. Theo scored a lot of goals and for 2/3 seasons contributed a lot to Arsenal from the wing and up front. Alex Iwobi however hasn’t put in a series of consistently good games for Arsenal.

I’m not sure what he is, is he a winger, is he a forward? He doesn’t score goals and doesn’t make any assists so I’m not sure what he actually does?

Perhaps it was Arsene Wenger not being able to find his best position but from what I’ve seen it’s time to cut him loose while we can still get a half decent transfer fee for him (especially if he does well with Nigeria at the World Cup).

Shkodran Mustafi

But far and away the worse defender at the club. He constantly makes mistakes, has no idea where to position himself on the pitch, doesn’t know how to defend against offsides and worst of all blames everyone else for his errors.

He was close to leaving for Inter Milan a couple of summers ago but that fell through and we’ve been stuck with him ever since. He is just a terrible defender who shouldn’t be at the club. It’s like a football fan won a competition to be a professional footballer for the day but then people forgot and he’s just ended up staying around pretending to be a professional footballer.

Arsenal look much more solid with Koscielny, Holding, Chambers, Monreal and even the inexperienced Mavropanos at the back which says a lot.

And if we sell him this summer we could still get a few million quid.

Alexandre Lacazette

Make no mistake, this guy has been a flop this season.

The first half of the season was good but then after that he was awful. He still scored some goals but if you actually watched him he let us down when we needed him most.

He missed about 5 sitters against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final at The Emirates and is a limited player. Why do you think Didier Deschamps left him out of the France squad? Don’t forget this is a French squad who are light upfront with the absence of Karim Benzema.

He is a one-dimensional player who can only finish. Aubameyang is the far superior forward who is far more intelligent with his movement but is also good at linking play and involving others, whereas Lacazette can’t do any of that.

He is a selfish player which doesn’t fit with the Arsenal away and I get the sense he’s over-confident even though he doesn’t score important goals. He had a decent first season but if he stays, trust me, he will be a flop.

Still young enough to command a decent transfer fee, so we should sell to the highest bidder.