Look. I hate the summer transfer window, and I hate transfer rumors in general. My hatred for all things transfer (except for the transfers themselves) is a known fact that I've not been shy about discussing. The whole thing is largely driven by bored journalists wanting to sell papers/ads or get page views, or by agents feeding stories to said journalists in order to drive up a client's valuation, which...fine, whatever, we've all got jobs to do. But given that we've all got jobs to do, doesn't it make sense to do that job well?
Today brings us another example of why these things should be taken with, if not a whole salt lick, than at least with a small box of Morton's Kosher Salt, which by the way is delicious to cook with and always handy to have around in your pantry. Two names that don't exactly shout out SOURCED JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY, Wayne Veysey and goal.com, joined together today to bring us a BLOCKBUSTER STORY about Arsenal's January shopping list.
Which, again, fine - everyone knows Arsenal would like to have some cover for Olivier Giroud, and the media in England (where goal.com is based) love to take shots at leaders, in any line of work, so I guess ARSENAL IN TRYING TO SOLVE STRIKER CRISIS-type stories will be somewhat common in the next couple weeks. This one, though, verges on the comical.
Why? Because it posits that Arsenal have drawn up a list of strikers that the club will be "targeting" to buy in January, and the article (to which I will not link - if you want to find it, go to goal.com and it's easy to find) starts like this -
Arsenal have drawn up a five-man striker shortlist as they step up plans to make a major splash in the January market, Goal has learned.
A benign enough start, right? Articles start like that all the time. The problem then comes with the names on the shortlist, which include:
1. Robert Lewandowski - who, by goal.com's own admission in this same piece, is a "strong favorite" to sign with Bayern, and anyway Dortmund didn't sell him this summer, so why would they sell him now
2. Diego Costa - As discussed yesterday on TSF, this one wouldn't be a surprise
3. Ezequiel Lavezzi - Not, in fact, a striker - he'd just be another dude on the midfield pile, which...why?
4. Stephan al Shaarawy - again, not actually a striker
5. Fernando Llorente - actually playing well for Juventus, who are probably not inclined to sell, having seen him form a pretty solid partnership with Carlos Tevez.
So, that "ARSENAL DRAW UP FIVE MAN SHOPPING LIST" headline? It's 20% accurate, at most. It's more like "ARSENAL LINKED TO GOAL.COM IN AN ATTEMPT TO DRIVE PAGE VIEWS". The Costa thing might actually be a thing, but the other four are pretty much Veysey sitting in his office throwing darts at a list of players and Mad Libbing a story about them afterwards, before heading to the pub.
Nice try, Wayne Veysey, but there are rumors that a developmentally disabled panda could do your job better, and would work for fish. Will you work for fish, Wayne? Doubtful.