Every transfer season brings with it a very large share of rumors that make you wonder what the person disseminating the rumor is smoking. But then, you realize that the person isn’t smoking anything, there’s a new team making decisions now, and that those decisions include things like this:
Arsenal interest in Fellaini is genuine and it sounds like he’s more likely to sign for them than he is to renew with MUFC or sign for AC Milan. Has already spoken with Emery, who wanted to sign him for PSG.— Paul Hirst (@hirstclass) June 4, 2018
Who is Paul Hirst and what does he know? Well, he’s a sportswriter for the Times, so he’s not just some ITK rando - I’m not sure who his source is here, but he’s far from the only person reporting this particular bit of news today.
I wouldn’t have been terribly opposed to this signing three or four years ago, but Fellaini’s 30 now, and may only have one or two years left at this level. Between this and the rumored Lichtsteiner and Sokratis signings, Arsenal are not doing one thing they desperately need to do, which is get younger.
What they are doing, though, is sourcing veteran guys on the cheap, which leads me to believe that Emery may be going all in on winning the Europa League next year - that’s really the only reason I can see to load up on savvy veteran defenders, £50 million summer budget constraints or otherwise. A squad that needs this much work needs to get both better AND younger, and if I’m to choose one, I will almost always choose younger.
I mean, Fellaini’s fine, for what he is (a scrappy, somewhat talented midfielder who is on the wrong side of the aging curve for the style he plays), but is he really the kind of player Arsenal should be chasing at this stage in their evolution? There’s also the matter of his wages - he’ll be free to acquire, but he’ll want more than the £80K/week he currently makes, and the point where you’re paying six figures a week for Marouane Fellaini may be the point where you need to rethink your strategy just a little bit.
I’m willing to give Emery all the patience I can - it’s his third week in the job - but if this is the level at which Mislintat/Sanllehi/Emery’s sights are set, it’s going to be an interesting summer, and an interesting season.
Well, maybe pump the brakes on this one a bit. Arsenal was only one of the clubs Fellaini met with, and it doesn’t look like he’ll end up there: