One of the downfalls of England closing their window before the continent is that players from England can still move to European clubs until the end of August closes the window for the rest of the continent. For the most part, as we saw with Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny yesterday, that’s not the worst thing in the world - it gives fringe players a chance to land a job somewhere else and gives Arsenal a chance to get some payroll off the books.
And then, on the other side of the ledger, there’s stories like this. Nacho Monreal, seeing the looming positional threat that is Kieran Tierney in his rear view mirror, and having one year left on his contract, is apparently getting his head turned by Real Sociedad. This would...not be ideal, for a lot of reasons.
First and foremost, Nacho’s still a pretty good player - he’s 33, but was still a contributor at the back, kind of a calming influence. And with Laurent Koscielny gone, Nacho was set to be the elder statesman of a fairly young defensive corps, which is a valuable thing to have. There needs to be someone back there who can rally and organize the troops, after all, and if Nacho leaves, who steps into that role?
The other thing, of course, is that Kieran Tierney isn’t fit yet. So if Nacho leaves, that leaves the defense in the veteran hands of...Sead Kolasinac? That doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, especially if he has to play a bunch of games waiting for Tierney.
I don’t think losing Nacho is the end of Arsenal, but reading about the idea of it was an unexpected, unpleasant way to start off my Friday morning.