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

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The Gunners parted ways with the French manager after more than 2 decades in charge, and he has since been replaced by ex-Paris St. Germain boss Unai Emery.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.

Why Arsenal Might Be In Big Trouble After Signing Aubameyang

So yesterday marked the official confirmation of one of the worst kept secrets in transfer history, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arrived at Arsenal to join ex-Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the club.

In terms of outgoings, we sadly saw Olivier Giroud move to Chelsea in a bittersweet move – he was “an Arsenal man” as Arsene put it and it’ll be strange to see him at Chelsea. I’m not convinced he’ll see more playing time their either than he did at Arsenal but we’ll wait and see.

So once the dust has settled the fact is this. We’ve got Alexandre Lacazette who cost in excess of £50 million and brought in similar player in Aubameyang, for slightly more.

So where is Arsene Wenger going to play them?

Added to the fact we have Mesut Özil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, we have an extremely lopsided team. And Arsene won’t change his philosophy and play 2 strikers will he?

If those four players are in the starting lineup then that only leaves 2 midfield spots – one which will go to Granit Xhaka who needs at least a couple of players next to him to carry the defensive burden and he won’t get that as he’ll be next to one of Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey.

Has Arsene Wenger lost the plot?

And added to this, where is our Plan B now?

By getting rid of Olivier Giroud we have no Plan B, no alternative when Plan A doesn’t work. What are we supposed to do now if we can’t break a team down or we’re losing a match?

We can’t bring on our super sub now can we?

Spending money usually excites the fans, and with good reason, but this January window reeks of desperation and I’m not convinced things are going to get better before they get worse…

Thank You For The Memories, Alexis…

So it’s official, Alexis Sanchez has joined Manchester United while Henrikh Mkhitaryan has gone the other way in a straight swap deal.

He joined in the summer of 2014 and was our second biggest “marquee signing” after Mesut Özil the season before.

A lot of Arsenal fans will have negative feelings towards the Chilean forward but for me I can’t help but love him. Over the last few seasons, he is one of the very few players (perhaps the only one) who gave 110% every single time he put on the Arsenal shirt. He was a winner, someone who thought giving everything was the bare minimum and demanded the same from his teammates. And while his winning mentality was a hit with the fans, it didn’t go down so well with his fellow players.

The problem was that Alexis Sanchez was at a team with serious deficiencies and while there were rumours of dressing room unrest, he just displayed how the fans felt. Like him, we were sick of the mediocre performances from certain other players and the fact that we would make the same defensive errors time and time again. While it’s never good to show the world your anger and distain for how things are on the football pitch, there must have been a point where Alexis Sanchez thought enough is enough and just snapped – hence the theatrics at Bayern Munich.

Arsenal are a club where harmony is encouraged and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it encourages a lack of winning mentality or seriousness because no-one wants to rock the boat. But that’s the problem with Arsenal these days and why we’re stuck in a rut.

Do you think Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Sol Campbell would settle for the lack of effort and desire from the players? The problem wasn’t Alexis Sanchez, but the Arsenal team he joined. If he arrived at Arsenal 10 years earlier he would have fit right in – and probably won a hat full of trophies.

On departing, Alexis Sanchez gave the following statement on Instagram:

“Gracias por todo Gunners ! I want to say thanks to the Technical Staff, to the medical team and all teammates with whom I shared many nice things for the club and especially those people who do not see themselves on the covers, but without them nothing would be possible, which are there to prepare food for us and take care of us day by day, those who keep our shoes clean and the grass in the best conditions. Many thanks to you for helping us to improve every day. Thank you very much ????.

“There are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of what happens inside the club and cause damage. I must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the Mister to be in the team, because I wanted to be a contribution.
I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn.

“Thanks for everything Gunners! All we achieved and the good moments that I gave to the club, I want to dedicate it to the fans, they are the most important. Thanks for every time you sing Alexis Sanchez Baby.”

And can you blame him for leaving? Forget about the fact he turned down Manchester City (or they pulled out of the race) the fact is both Manchester sides have a much better chance of winning anything compared to Arsenal, whatever the massive wages he’s on.

Robert Pires even said today that he thinks that Alexis Sanchez’s move to United wasn’t motivated by money but by the desire to win things. Jose Mourinho is a serial winner and won’t tolerate the kinds of mistakes we seem to make on a regular basis.

For me, Alexis Sanchez was sensational for us and seeing him in a Manchester United shirt hurts more than seeing Robin van Persie in one. Van Persie was a sign of the times when we struggled financially, selling off players like Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in those years, yet this one stings because we don’t have money problems. Financially, we can compete but players want more than that – players want to win trophies and sadly, it’s clear that isn’t happening at Arsenal.

I wish him all the best, even though it will be so sad to see him in the red of Manchester.