Hear me out.
Arsenal and manager Mike Arteta are in a tough spot, but it doesn’t just end there. Vinai Venkatesham and Edu are in just as much of a pickle, if not more, due to their ties to the old guard and their own doubling down of belief in Arteta.
So I pose the question, what would a positive January window look like for Arsenal? We’ve seen in recent years the highlights of Leicester City and Liverpool selling one popular player each summer that not only raises funds, but doesn’t make the first XI suffer at the same time. I’m not sure Arsenal are this adequate in the front office decision making, but a man can hope! This tweet is accurate to how I currently feel about the Arsenal squad, but I also understand January is not the busiest window and unlikely to have high(er) turnover than Summer 2021 for Arsenal Football Club.
I present to you, my Untouchables.
I’ll take a crack at it below and I’m interested in hearing your thoughts too. I will do my best to keep it realistic and plausible. Here’s to Edu and Vinai being the busiest of busy bees in January.
Move on from Granit Xhaka and Alexandre Lacazette. Unfortunately, their rehab tour where they may have improved their value to other clubs has probably massively dipped since June/July. At that point, Xhaka looked a capable midfielder and Lacazette had verified suitors. I’m not sure either will have any admirers come January, but their time at the Emirates has to end. Neither man is up to par of what is required (or was) for playing in the red and white. Lacazette has never been up for it since his arrival and I could make the argument he is the worst signing pound for pound that Arsenal has ever made. Roma wanted his services this summer, but didn’t register to Arsenal monetary evaluation (that’s a whole different issue.) Eddie Nketiah has shown he is more than able to meet the current offerings of what Lacazette and has the legs to press the way Arteta demands, unlike the Frenchman who has never been a 90 minute player.
Xhaka has not benefitted from the carousel of managers or the declining roster since his arrival, but has helped Arsenal lift two FA Cups. There is no doubt, most of his demise is of his own doing and lack thereof playing ability. Xhaka should have suitors in Italy and Germany. Last January, all was agreed with Hertha Berlin before he was convinced to stay. Inter rumblings have been around for almost 18 months now, I doubt Arsenal are interested in many more swap deals following Alexis/Mkhitaryan, but could you blame anyone for at least throwing out the idea of Xhaka/Eriksen? Arsenal don’t need more aging midfielders on huge wages, but if Eriksen is just a loan, I can get on board for the next 6 months.
If Arsenal’s Front Office can pull it off without a swap, I would be ok with the new rehab of Matteo Guendouzi. Canceling his loan can’t be much on the monetary front, rehabbing him into a suitable player can be good for the squad and definitely good for the transfer market of 2021. I’m no Guendouzi fanboy, but if we can save money on midfield depth and Xhaka goes out, bring him Matteo home at little to no cost.
Additionally, a loan for William Saliba should already be sorted at this point, if it isn’t we’ll continue being a banter club.
Can and/or will the Kroenke’s open the checkbook for the right player or two? And who is that right player(s)? We all know this team is crumbling without creativity, but it also crying out for goals from somewhere other than Aubameyang (who can’t score at the moment). Can we get them from the wide area or from a central creative position? Vinai, Edu, and Arteta will surely have target(s) in mind, no more strikers from Ligue 1 unless his name is Mbappe please, is the solution Dominik Szoboszlai or Houssem Aouar? I don’t know, but I do know if it isn’t solved quickly, jobs are on the line.
What Edu can do to make me believe in him:
We know the Willian project is a bust, the contract is bad. Can Edu have a Chinese Super League squad or anyone willing to take him off our hands? If so, that’ll do.
However, that is about unlikely as Arsenal winning a Premier League match at the present moment, so I’ll leave it at this, move the deadweight ahead of Summer 2021, improve the squad without an aging player on big wages.
Arsenal 0 - Burnley 1 pic.twitter.com/VDYBoQxNl2— Poorly Drawn Arsenal (@cantdrawarsenal) December 13, 2020
In the meanwhile, drop a line below, what is your realistic January improvement?