I’m currently enjoying the Arsenal vs Milan game. Two young sides pressing hard, but only one coming out on top so far.
It’s always tough to judge these games, because I have no idea where Milan is mentally, but overall… it’s a good look for Arsenal.
The passing is crisp and fast, the players are all pressing hard and getting about the pitch, and we’re scoring goals. We mostly controlled the game. We weren’t that potent in front of goal, but we basically had the game wrapped up quite early on. Eddie had a really good first half, he was in the mixer physically, and had some lovely turns that resulted in freekicks. Fabio Vieira looks dangerous in a way he didn’t earlier in the season. Martin Odegaard scored a peach of a freekick, continuing down the path of being a goal threat this season. Even Reiss Nelson was a problem, gliding past players, and scoring a bumbled goal.
Conceding late wasn’t the best, but the backline had changed quite a bit by then, so we can forgive.
Transfer wise, David Ornstein confirmed what I’ve been telling you here: Mudryk is the main target this window. Arsenal has been looking for a winger since last summer. We might have landed one had that TP injury not shifted attention to a #6. That won’t get in the way of what we need to do this window. Arteta needs to make sure there is adequate cover for Bukayo Saka and he sees the Ukrainian as the man to deliver that for us.
Shaktar wants big money, but it’ll be hard for them to convince anyone we’re going north of £50m after Brentford agreed a £25m fee in the summer. They’re also not in the best shape financially. FIFA forced them into releasing players and they are seeking £50m in damages. An injection of Arsenal cash is going to be big for them. The big thing working for Arsenal is the player wants us BADLY. No point in keeping players against their will.
So what are we getting here? Well, someone that is versatile on the left and right of attack. He’s certainly not being brought in as a left winger, he’s going to be here to cover Bukayo. So there’s certainly a tiny bit of galaxy-braining that’s going on here. Outside the generally decent output of the player, I think his physical attributes really appeal to the club. He’s extraordinarily quick and his pressing game is absolutely beastly. There’s also the benefit of him being just 21 years old… so there’s a lot of growing he can do as a player from a game intelligence perspective.
Do I like the fact he puts TikToks up of himself eating ramen alone like a total psychopath? Absolutely. If you aren’t scared your winger could be a serial killer… you have the wrong winger.
The Danilo story seems to have faded, which I suspect means Arsenal will over-invest in a quality #6 this summer. Do I think it could be Declan Rice? I do. I don’t know we’ll get him. But if Chelsea sit outside of the CL and the club is in disarray, why couldn’t we be in contention? We’ll have the better coach, the better prospects, and we’ll have a group of players the envy of the world. It makes sense for Arsenal because he’s a top-tier number 6, Arteta will get the inside track on character from Moyes and the England boys, and he has the key ingredient: He’s done it at a high level with West Ham for YEARS.
Arsenal only needs to cover two other positions then:
#8 Which will likely be Premier League-proven Youri Tielemans.
A defender: Which will most likely be Ndicka of Frankfurt. A 23 yr old left-footed center back who is 6ft4.
That is some VERY smart business. Add two or three kids into the mix next season and we have a pretty incredible squad of players that will be ready to dominate for years.
I suspect we’ll sell some players as well. Maybe KT Maybe Sambi. Who knows, maybe even Matt Turner if someone fancies the American #1.
Ok, short post. Enjoy the World Cup semi-final today!
See you in the comments.