When something bad happens in your life, like say, you fall in love with a transfer. The most positive people around you will say, ‘something better will come of it, just you wait.’

Well smack my ass and call me Dennis, that person was RIGHT.

Arsenal signed Leandro Trossard from Brighton, Mikel wants him in the mixer for United.

“It is good work from everyone at the club to complete the signing of Leandro. He is a versatile player with high technical ability, intelligence and a great deal of experience in the Premier League and at international level.

“Leandro strengthens our squad as we head into the second part of the season and we’re all looking forward to working with him. We welcome Leandro and his family to Arsenal Football Club.”

Lovely. This is an unsexy purchase, like buying paper shredders, but ultimately, a necessary one that might shock once we unbox it.

The news didn’t stop at Trossard. Italian press started talking about Jakub Kiwior, a left-sided centre-back that has been doing really well in Serie A over the last 18 months. Did you know about him? You didn’t stop telling the internet you are an expert. What we have ascertained is he basically looks like the defenders we’ve been buying. Tough in the tackle, tall, with outstanding ball-playing skills. The fee is serious, £22m, which means someone is moving on. Likely Bob Holding. The interesting part about his game is he can also play defensive midfield. Very exciting.

What does this move tell about the bigger picture? That Arsenal has stopped with the dithering. Mudryk was on the agenda last summer for £30m, then we lost out on him for £108m. Lisandro Martinez was on the docket for £30m, then we lost out on him for £65m. I think this Kiwior is a player that has the data profile we want and we’ve moved on him before he blows up.

There are risks associated with doing that, the player might not continue to improve, but the talent ID at Arsenal has been so good that you feel we’re on a streak and that won’t happen. We have a great coach, a very refined playing system, so the chances are good. Even if he fails, we’ll be able to recoup the cash because he’s young and has a fair chunk of experience. Lokonga and Tavares will put £40m in the coffers this summer. You don’t get that when you buy older. This move also speaks to a club moving on next season’s Champions League squad. Those extra 5 months will be massive for the player.

Did the news stop there? No. I mentioned a few weeks ago that we’d be looking at a right back, now stories are pointing us toward Ivan Fresneda. The 18 yr old is at Vallodolid, he’s described as a midfielder that plays right back, and it seems like we’re thinking very hard about the fitness of the players we have in the squad. Will this be a player we loan back to Spain? Or is he good enough to walk into the squad? I don’t know, but the kid looks like a Roman statue, he’s going straight to the top.

As if that wasn’t enough… there are now links of Mo Elneny to Trabzonspur.

Going the other way? Camavinga on loan.


There has been a lot of negative Spanish press about the Frenchman. Some of it quite insulting to his IQ. He’s clearly not a fave in Madrid and part of that might be because they have their eyes on Bellingham and Enzo. The only way they can secure the signatures of even one of those players is to sell the Frenchman. If Arsenal can secure a loan to perm deal for him, we really are cooking on gas that smells like succession planning.

The player himself has raved about his love for playing as a DM, though Carlo sees him more as a central midfielder… either way, we know he has the ceiling to play in both positions to a very high standard. If he’s not ready for Madrid, a club that doesn’t like to coach talent, then I’d love him at Arsenal.

… but only if we have the right to buy. No point in bringing him in, rehabbing him, only to lose him to Todd Boehly in the summer.

All of these moves feel very ambitious. Can we make this many because our winger outlay went from £88m to £21m? You’d have to imagine that was part of the reckoning. I prefer to work this way, especially when the big fee was going on someone with less first-team experience than all bar the 18 yr old right back. Big fees should be spent on guarantees.

Before I go, I’ve just caught up on the anti-Semitism incidents in and around Arsenal Football Club. What is going on here? It’s really disappointing that people can’t move on from the grim chants, and even more horrendous that people are abusing their own at the games.

Arsenal owes a huge debt of gratitude to some iconic Jewish custodians of the club throughout history. We have a huge Jewish fanbase in London and around the world. No one should ever go to a football match and fear their religion could get them abused or attacked. It doesn’t matter what Spurs fans call themselves, they don’t set the tone for us. Those songs are a relic of yesteryear, they incite the ugly in certain people, and they make our own feel unsafe. It has to stop. The only way we do that is if we all agree as a fanbase those words aren’t acceptable.

Ok, that’s me done, get on our latest BEFORE THE WHISTLE podcast. It’s Matt and Pedro chatting about the transfers and United tomorrow.

PS Spurs Technical Director banned from football for 2 years? Incredible Daniel Levy moved for a person so tarnished.

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