A good deal for Arsenal, Bournemouth and Wilshere

Ugh, I caught a sick. It’s one of those viruses that makes you feel and sound like a six-pack-a-day smoker. Anyway, I wanted to follow up on Jack Wilshere’s loan deal with a short post.

Wilshere is set to join Bournemouth on loan. According to the BBC, Arsenal rejected a move to Roma because the Italian club played hardball with Arsenal over a potential move for their center back Manolas. According to the Guardian, Arsenal did reject the Roma move but the insinuation is that the deal fell through because Roma didn’t want to pay all of Jack’s salary. Arsenal currently pay part of Szczesny’s salary at Roma and Jack is on considerably more with his £90k a week paycheck.

Bournemouth is willing to pay Wilshere’s entire salary but that’s not the only reason why Wilshere would choose to stay in England. Jack has two young children from his estranged girlfriend and that was certainly a consideration. His fiance and her father (who is Jack’s hairdresser) also both live in London and naturally, those would be considerations also.

From a football stance, this is a great deal for all parties. As much as I would rather Jack go to Roma or Valencia and play some more tactical football he is joining the Eddie Howe run outfit and they are well respected. He won’t be playing football for Sam Allardyce or Owen Coyle. Bournemouth did manage 51% possession last year, they also took 12.3 shots per game (just 3 fewer than the mighty Arsenal), and Howe has them among the top dribbling teams in the League. They are an attack-minded side and Jack Wilshere should fit in nicely — even while I think it’s his defensive understanding that needs development.

There is another bonus to all of this as well: if Jack can stay healthy, he should be a key component to helping Bournemouth claim points in the Premier League. Any points that Bournemouth take from rivals in which Wilshere has any contribution is a net gain for the Gunners.

The only dark cloud here is that Jack needs to work on his defensive side. Not just tackling, where he has full blown Scholes disease, but simply understanding positioning and work off the ball. The danger of going to Bournemouth is that he might end up as the biggest fish in a tiny pond and feel absolved from defensive duties.

As for Wilshere, this is a fantastic opportunity to polish his game. He needs the time on the pitch and Bournemouth can oblige. Moreover, he can play in his prefered position as the creative midfielder, driving the offense forward, and setting up teammates like Benik Afobe. He could return to Arsenal and challenge Özil for a starting spot.

No matter how you feel about the loan, we can all agree that we wish Jack a happy, healthy, and successful season at Bournemouth and that they win every match against Man U, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham.

Best of luck, little guy.

Qq

61 Comments on A good deal for Arsenal, Bournemouth and Wilshere

  1. There was a comment in yesterday’s post about Jack getting a great season under his belt and then forcing a move and Arsenal getting jobbed because he will be in the last year of his contract. I really can’t see Jack doing that. That would be one of the most evil stunts ever pulled by a player who basically lived in Arsenal’s treatment room for the last 8 years.

    • I made that comment. And look, I really love Jack. I think he gets generally horrible treatment from the press, and even from a great deal of Arsenal fans online. I think in interviews he always comes across as more thoughtful than a fair few other footballers, despite having a somewhat chavy reputation. And he obviously LOVES Arsenal, truly.
      But recent times, especially the insane influence that agents have over their young charges’ choices (and let’s be honest: most football agents only have their clients best interests at heart to the degree that those interests coincide with them making a ton of money for themselves; happily for them, it tends to be the case that they can at least claim these two motives coincide), has made me more than a wee bit cynical about it all.
      I’m frustrated that we apparently didn’t put in a break clause so that we could have him back midseason if injury strikes (“if”–haha). And I’m worried that we’ll wait to offer him a new contract only at the end of the year, with City sniffing around, ready to double his wages. That, sadly, doesn’t seem too crazy a thing to worry about in this football climate.

  2. Back off on the cough syrup. 😉

    Not only did you repeat a paragraph, you said Wilshire “could return to Arsenal and challenge Özil for a starting spot.”

    That said, I too think he would benefit more from learning from a tactical side, though to be honest unless we get a ‘tactical’ manager the question is kind of moot.

    Much as I love Jack, that’s not happening unless he gets a brain transplant. His vision doesn’t begin to compare with Ozil and while he might improve that would be a huge stretch.

    I certainly hope we have an emergency January recall option written in. Just as I hope we have a Morata style buyback clause in the Gnabry sale.

    • I found the repeat. That’s my new editing plugin. It copies things when I try to delete them. Odd.

      As for taking Ozil’s spot, I agree that’s a hell of a stretch but where else is he going to play after this deal? I mean, I’m trying to stay positive but I still believe this is the end of the road for Wilshere at Arsenal.

      • Duh is spot on with the brain transplant comment. It’s not the ability that’s been the problem, it’s that Jack hasn’t learned to play football with any discipline. When things are going well and he is fit, he takes on the entire opposing team, and once or twice he’s been able to dominate games that way. But this is modern football and that type of individualism is not only no longer the norm but will end a player’s career. Nobody wants a soloist anymore, the game has advanced too far for that, even here in England. It has to be a generational talent, like Messi, for that type of thing to produce results consistently. Jack is a good player at his best but not close to that level. Although he thrives in the thick of the action, he has to temper that enthusiasm with consideration for his own body and for the spaces he leaves behind him when he gallivants forward.

        For me (and I know I said this yesterday) a fully fit Jack Wilshere is made to partner Granit Xhaka at the base of our midfield. No other Arsenal player has his combination of acceleration, dribbling, passing and combativeness (Ok, Alexis does) to break the lines with a dribble or a pass from midfield. That type of break opens defenses and creates breaks that are the bread and butter of our best forwards. His constant movement would be the ideal complement to Xhaka’s more measured style and long passing. The other incumbent for the role, Ramsey, shares many of the same traits but doesn’t have Wilshere’s quickness or ability off the dribble, though his awareness and use of space in the attacking third is far superior to Jack’s. and he has always scored more goals between the two of them. That’s why I think Ramsey is best used as an inside forward, a bit like Thomas Muller, while Jack should hang back and combine with him on counters.

        All of the above pipe dream is contingent on Jack’s fitness and ability to integrate into a team scheme, not to mention proving me right or wrong with his actual football because he hasn’t played meaningful minutes since 2014.

          • The heir to Cazorla is absolutely where his future should lie. Box-to-box/deep-lying playmaker (the “8”, but with a little “10” thrown in).
            His long passing is underrated. He hasn’t had much chance to show it off in an Arsenal shirt lately, but for England, playing at the base of the diamond, he’s had some lovely passes, e.g. I remember a perfect ball to the Ox for the goal against Scotland 18 months or so ago, and even in the first half against Iceland, he landed one or two on a sixpence to Vardy or whomever, can’t remember.

          • Eh? Taking over Cazorla’s spot seems even more difficult than Ozil’s because it requires even more versatility. Ozil is a better AM but he’s less versatile. That said Cazorla is obviously older than Ozil and is going to vacate his spot sooner presumably.

          • ‘Future replacement for Cazorla’ is certainly my hope, and the reason I’m happy for him to go on loan now. Jack needs to play 90 minutes regularly and prove his body can hold up, but those minutes shouldn’t come at the expense of (possibly) one of Cazorla’s last prime years. I can’t help comparing Wilshere and Diaby – the talent is clear to see in both cases and not something to discard lightly, but gambling on Diaby’s availability ultimately cost us points when perhaps we should have just signed someone more reliable. With Jack, we give him a season to ‘prove it’ elsewhere in a progressive team who can carry the risk that he gets injured. Granted, this probably does increase the risk that he agitates for a permanent move somewhere next season, but at least we will go into contract negotiations much clearer as to where he is. If he spent this season coming off the bench at Arsenal, how much would that show? This year should clear up some of Wilshere’s uncertainties, for good or for ill.

          • He is unwilling to make the sacrifice (leave family and friends) in order to become a better player by going to a different league in which he would probably learn a thing or two. Thats the lack of hunger Wenger was refering to.

          • I wanted him to go to Italy too, but I think I see the logic in Bournemouth (you do too; it’s in your article). The big one here is probably playing time. At Bournemouth, he will play. Period. At Roma, he may not? I think this is a big consideration for us, and also a big part of why I think we may keep him after all.

          • I wasn’t so keen on Italy, and I’ve only just realised why. I think I’m still offended that Inter were so dismissive of Bergkamp and his playing style, and have been a bit biased against the whole league since, despite the fact that the very same tight tactical discipline in midfield could do Wilshere the world of good. Prejudice is a funny thing, huh?

      • WTF! I think you have a built in idea for a recurring Thursday thread. What intelligent question should the press ask Arsene at Friday’s news conference? Your article can cover what you think, then ask for suggestions in comments. Include a live poll that registered readers can vote in (to prevent Chelsea trolls) Close the poll at 5pm PST. Then we gang tweet a chosen journalist. They wake up with 50 to 100 tweets asking essentially the same question. How do they not ask about it?

        I say we start with Amy and “Why not include a buyback for Gnabry and or recall for Jack.”

  3. I really needed to read something positive about this as there seems to be a lot of freaking out about it, I mean he hasn’t really been a viable part of the squad for the last two seasons. My main hope is that this has been laid out to Jack as an opportunity to pave a way back into the first team at arsenal, and not as a first step on the way out the door.

  4. Definitely a win win for club and player.
    I think the club has used the loan process in the way it is meant to be used as opposed to a Chelsea who just loaned Cuadrado back to Juventus for 3 years. A 28 yo player on a 3 year loan deal. He’s a better player in a Juventus shirt just like Salah is a much better player for Roma.
    Now Chelsea goes and does a ‘Pogba’ by bringing back Luiz although for less money than they sold him for. As long as Wenger is the manger, we will never have any regrets over players we have sold and I specifically mean you Fabregas (http://www.espnfc.com/chelsea/story/2939827/chelseas-cesc-fabregas-dismisses-suggestion-antonio-conte-told-him-to-leave).

  5. Best of luck to Jack. I can’t help but feel we should have done the same with Ox and brought in a more astute player to play on the right. Meh.. guess can’t win ‘em all.

  6. Valencia bring in Mangala on loan from Man City to add defensive depth with the departure of Mustafi. Deportivo La Coruna bring in Joselu on loan from Stoke to support their offense with the departure of Perez.

  7. Now we will get a chance to see what we’ve missed in Janssen and Slimani. I think Perez will be an upgrade on those 2, especially Janssen. TBD.

  8. So the transfer window has nearly shut and we aren’t getting any surprise signings.

    I expected Gnabry to stay, but it seems like he wanted to leave, and I suppose we can’t blame him. Good luck to him, though we’re losing another winger just after loaning out Campbell.

    As for Wilshere. I think this is to get him game time, which we can ill afford to give him. He has enough quality to justify him playing at Bournemouth, but not ahead of Ozil/Cazorla/Ramsey/Xhaka.

    That’s also the thing with him. What role is he going to settle into? Another thing that playing time will help solve/assess. He could be like Xhaka. He played some similar passes from deep, but he’s got to learn the defensive side of it. He could be like Cazorla, and help keep possession and move it on, but he needs better decision making. Or, he could play a no 10 role, though not in the same manner as Ozil. This would be ideal for him since defense is not as big a requirement, but as long as we have Ozil, that spot isn’t available.

    My hope is that he becomes a worthy Cazorla successor, but it’s a tough ask. Let’s see how it goes at Bournemouth along with old pal Afobe and under Eddie Howe, who himself might be auditioning for a future Arsenal role.

    For Arsenal’s current season, it is a bit of a gamble on the fitness of our existing CMs, but I think we’re now truly counting Jeff as a member of the first team squad, albeit a backup. He’s moved from the wings into playing a CM role of late, and his strength seems to be ball carrying (often running like Diaby- who in turn looked an awful lot like Vieira at times), but can try to do too much at times, while his defensive and tactical awareness could do with some work. Essentially, he’s a younger, fitter, bigger, though more raw, Wilshere.

    Allied with us not sending Akpom and Sanogo out on loans, I think we can cover for Campbell and Gnabry’s absence too, with Walcott, Ox, Alexis, Lucas, Iwobi, Akpom, and Jeff capable of playing there, and Sanogo as an emergency target man (though we seem to be moving away from that to a more mobile front three)

    • I think (hope) Lucas is played primarily through the centre, except for particular games (or the ends of games) where Wenger wants both him and Giroud on the field together. Wenger and Lucas have both mentioned his best position is through the centre. Akpom doesn’t look like he could really be comfortable on the wing, at least not at the level we require. And as you say, the Jeff (and Iwobi too, for that matter) are probably more central players, in the end. Twas ever thus with Arsenal and attacking midfielders!
      But I hold out hope that between the Jeff, Iwobi, and Willock (he didn’t move out on loan, right?)–all of whom look to have very big futures ahead of them–we will be ok when the inevitable injury crisis hits us on the wings…I think Iwobi will get even better this year, and one of the other two will have a breakout year.

      • Yeah I agree, Lucas should play through the middle. But I think Alexis was getting up to speed playing up there too. I guess we’re going to see the two of them switch about during a game. Or, we could see Giroud play up top with both of them on either side, which I’m sure we will in some games.

        On the youngsters. I’m hopeful about Iwobi avoiding the second season slump too. Akpom looks to have that poaching instinct and the two of them have grown up playing together, so perhaps we might see them together in action in the cup games. I think Jeff will be like Iwobi last season. Coming into the team later in the season (or perhaps in the EFL Cup) He’s got the skills, but needs some work. Willock, and also Zelalem, are both very talented, but I think aren’t ready for the first team physically. Zelalem’s vision is excellent and he did play in the Scottish 2nd division last season, so I guess he can handle himself. Perhaps another emergency midfield option. Don’t think either was sent out on loan yesterday.

        • The beauty of Lucas is he didn’t play through the middle for most of his career, so in theory he can complement or be the focal point. I think we play a different style of football than he is used to doing, so it may be a struggle for him at first in the #9 role against teams who will try to clog space especially. He’s best suited as a center forward in games against better opposition who will press forward and leave gaps for him to roadrunner into, so I can see him getting starts through the middle in the Champions’ league, for example. But a lot of it depends on how well Alexis takes to being a CF. If that experiment works out then Lucas will remain a complementary piece.

      • PS. There’s also Maitland-Niles who by all accounts had a very successful loan spell at Ipswich last year. He played right midfield, but has played at DM for us before.

        With the reserve league now a U23, I suppose we’ll see them play regularly as a group, against slightly tougher oppositions and if need be, can call up anyone who is doing well.

  9. Arsene has sent Jack on an undercover mission, just like imothyt says to steal points from top 6 this season. I fancy Jack as Santi’s successor, but that hinges on him staying fit and gaining defensive understanding. I still remember that scrawny 16 year old making an appearance in the second half of a champions league game.

  10. One related question. Why does everyone say that Guardiola really likes Wilshere? The only thing I remember Guardiola saying about him was after THAT game in Wilshere’s career, and he was less than complimentary. His words were something like ‘we (Barca) have many players like this in our B team but Arsenal have no pressure to win and hence can play Wilshere’

  11. Here’s the quote “Wilshere is a top player. He is an excellent player, not just Arsenal, but also for the national team. [But] he is lucky because we have many players in the second team like him but he plays because there is no pressure at his club to win titles.”

    The context is that Wilshire was 19 at the time and starting in a CL round of 16 knockout. You could read it as a diss on Wilshire (not ready) and/or Arsenal (desperate/thin) or you could take it as a statement of fact; Barca are under too much pressure to win to risk developing young players in the first team because no matter how talented they are they will inevitably make mistakes due to inexperience.

    • Thanks.

      I saw the presser at the time and I remember having the distinct impression that it was said mean spiritedly.

      Even if I’m wrong about that, is this the only reason the idea remains that Pep really likes Wilshere and would like to sign him if possible, or is there more to it than that?

      Not really important though, Just wondering.

      • I read the statement as more a backhanded criticism of English footballers and ever more so a little dig at the English press which had gone overboard (as usual every time an english player has a breakout performance) hailing Jack as the world’s next great midfielder, FACT.

        • A criticism not of English footballers but England’s inability to produce highly technical footballers. Sheesh.

      • I think a lot of the ‘Wilshere/Chamberlain to [insert petro-rich club here]’ speculations stem from their home grown status. There really aren’t that many promising, technical British players around but every squad still needs to hit their quota (quotas which will become far more restrictive if Greg Dyke gets his way or if free movement of EU labour is lost due to ‘brexit’). So Wilshere to Man City – the team that payed good money for Fabian Delph – makes an easy press story. How much truth is in it I have no clue…

  12. Who do you guys think will have a breakthrough season this time?
    Let’s be more generic, who will finally come good on their promise.

    With Jack gone, I would say there are 3 contenders:
    – Iwobi can continue his meteoric rise (even though he broke through last season) and cement his place in the Arsenal XI.
    – Jeff seems to have the manager’s backing and can really kick on.
    – Ox can finally fulfill his promise and have a good season (mostly coming off the bench, I’d assume).

    p.s.: maybe Sanogo comes good (rofl)

  13. Tim can you do a post of tactical tweaks Arsenal may do this season? Now that we have Lucas Perez and provided, he stays fit, how does Wenger tweak this side to get the best out of Ozil and Cazorla.

  14. Does Tim (or Arsene) know our best starting XI or do we have multiple starting XIs based on other teams’ defensive setups / weaknesses? Can we figure this out until a few games have been played? Would love Tim’s thoughts.

  15. Wilshere’s reputation has always been inflated because his English. He clearly has some ability but his performances since that first season (which becomes more and more exaggerated) have deteriorated considerably. He’s extremely one-footed and has never learned when to release the ball, frequently just running with it until he loses it. For me the trademark image of Wilshere is of him laying on the ground after having lost the ball while dribbling into three people, appealing to the ref for a foul while the other team counterattacks into the space left behind him. He shows no understanding of how to manage the game, is often caught out of position and his tackling is abysmal. The only reason Man City or any of the other top clubs in England would be interested in him is because he counts a home grown player. Comparing him to Ozil or Cazorla is quite frankly ridiculous.

  16. My first reaction was ‘Bournemouth, really?’ but it makes sense. He’ll be in a team that wants to play football, he’ll be almost guaranteed to start if fit, and he’ll still be playing at the top level even if it’s for a smaller team.

    Feel a little disappointed in Gnabry. Arsene seemed willing to give him a chance but injuries and that loan meant he didn’t get to play as much as he maybe wanted. Now as soon as he’s fit and has hit a bit of form he takes advantage to get a move away. Still, I understand he’s just looking after himself which is fine. Still disappointed though.

    So Sissoko went to Spurs £30 million. Will be interesting to see how if gets on. From following True Geordie it seems like he’s well capable of being a great player but only shows it in flashes.

    Surprised Hart went to Torino. When it was first mentioned I thought ‘An English player, going abroad, never going to happen’ but he proved me wrong.

    • Hart’s destination club says a lot about how he is regarded internationally. Mediocre.

      Spurs swapped Chadli for Sissoko, which is probably an upgrade, but the knock on Sissoko is a lack of consistency and a lack of end product despite offering a lot of promise. Not too different form Chadli then, but for that amount of money I’m guessing it’s a deal they might regret later.

  17. I think everyone has rose-coloured glasses here. Wilshere is just not that great. He’s not Champions League quality. Who of Arsenal’s midfield, based solely on this magical potential that he’s only flirted with a couple times in his career, is he better than? He can’t push Ozil, please be serious. Ozil is a legitimate world XI player. Ozil, Xhaka, Cazorla, Coquelin, Elneny, Ramsey and even Maitland-Niles are all better than Wilshere, all for different reasons.

    He’s not going to have a “barnstormer” of a season at Bournemouth – I predict a pretty mediocre season for him, I predict another injury spell, I predict Bournemouth will again be in a relegation battle. This is Wenger essentially doing a halfsie – he wants to give up on Jack the way he gave up on Sczeszny but there is that lingering ego and sentimentality about the Great Project between 2006-2013 where Arsenal were going to build a young team a la Man Utd’s Class of ’92 or Barca’s La Masia. That project was a success in that we managed to stay top 4 despite being on a budget, but it wasn’t the success that was envisioned in the manager’s wildest fantasies. At the end of the day only Fabregas and Bellerin will be Wenger’s academy gemstones and both of those are arguably Barcelona products first and foremost, not Arsenal.

    Sorry for the rant. But the sentimentalizing over Jack Wilshere who has been an absolute non-factor on this team for the past 3 years is getting to be a bit much for me. Over and out.

    • Hi,
      I pretty much disagree with 90% of your opinions on here, so not sure why I should take the bait, but your claim that Maitland-Niles is better than Wilshere is so absurd, I couldn’t resist:
      Assuming he stays injury free (plays at least 3/4 of Bournemouth’s games, say), I will bet you anything (legal, and within reason over the internet) he has a great season. What’ll it be?

      • “Great” season is totally subjective. 5-6 goals, 8-10 assists, 15-20 chances created as a benchmark for a great attacking midfielder season? Or Top 5 in tackles/interceptions for a great defensive midfielder? Pass % completion? Top 5 in the league for # of passes completed. C’mon. Be serious. Jack Wilshere will not be statistically top 10 in any category that we typically measure midfielders by. So your argument that he had a “great” season would be totally subjective and I could never counter it.
        If I actually knew you I would take the bet. This is the internet though and anonymity rules. Good luck not bumping into things with those blinders on though, ruins your peripheral vision.

        You did get me though on one thing – I meant Jeff Reine-Adelaide… I had my hyphenated named U21s mixed up. Reine-Adelaide has 7 inches height and a lot more power and skill than Wilshere. If we’re talking potential that Wilshere’s never reached, the Jeff’s potential is higher still.

        • Hey, I like the Jeff, so I agree with you (there’s the 10%!). Jack will have a great season, measured by the majority of knowledgeable fans’ subjective standards (not just me). Like, I don’t know what Dele Alli’s numbers were last season, but most people (even blinkered Arsenal fans) would admit he had a “great” season, as in he showed himself to have a lot of ability and consistently helped his team win/draw matches. That’s all I mean by ‘great’. I don’t mean “great” in the same sense that we’d say Andres Iniesta is a “great” footballer. Being at Bournemouth may mean his numbers won’t really stand out, since they’ll struggle to some degree. But if healthy Jack will be good this year, prove he’s easily Arsenal starting lineup calibre. Or…I’ll bow to your superior footballing wisdom, live on the internets, on this very comment section at this fair blog. How’s that.

      • And another thing – everyone assumes a straight line progression in form IF he stays healthy. Let’s even suppose that he’s able to do that and play a majority of Bournemouth’s games… on what planet do players simply improve game over game indefinitely? Even if he gets a run of 15-20 games, he will experience a dip in form. Look at Vardy and Mahrez last year for Leicester – each of them took turns having dips in form. Ranieri played them through it, he had no other options. Will Howe decide to play Wilshere regardless when he’s a loan player? No.

        We should have sold him, taken the money and invested it elsewhere. My opinion.

        • Why wouldn’t Howe play him through a dip of form, just because he’s on loan? He won’t have any other options either, in the same sense as Ranieri last year: the options he has will obviously be a level or two in class below Jack, so it’s worth playing him even if he’s struggling, in the hopes he’ll play through his dip and find form again.

  18. Holding. Not really a break-through when he’s new to the team, but from what I’ve seen thus far his positioning is first-rate, his passing is excellent and he has good recovery speed for a CB. I would not be surprised if he gets a good 10-15 games for us this year, especially if Bellerin gets injured and Mustafi has to fill in at right back (I doubt if we ever play Debuchey again).

  19. I Am So Excited That Wilshere chose to play at Bournemouth this season. I am originally from that area and want them to stay up. To have a player like Jack is amazing. I’m a bit nervous he will not come back to Arsenal. I think Wenger did the right thing though. Last two seasons Wilshere has taken a squad place, and played how much? Really hope he stays fit this season and comes back. I feel he will. He’s Arsenal through and through. Also it might be Wenger last season. A lot of Gooners think Eddie Howe might be his replacement.

  20. Two thoughts occur to me from the past couple of posts.

    On Wilshere, I wonder whether the tactical issues in his game are in part down to lack of playing time. I don’t recall these issues in his only full season and the team make-up is very different now. Also that season was the last where we really had a huge attacking threat in terms of creativity, variety and finishing power. Trying to pair him with Ramsey subsequently never really worked and only with the emergence of Coq did we once again have some kind of DM… since when Wilshere has hardly played.

    My other thought is that getting hot and bothered about Wilshere and Gnabry leaving shows how far the team has developed in the last couple of years. Then we were worried about dead wood – Bendtner, Santos, Denilson et al; now we are seeing and loaning decent squad players, if not better.

  21. I’ve been having this horrible thought and I’ve decided to share it with you.

    Wenger isn’t sending Wilshire out on loan to get rid of him. He’s sending him out so that he can develop as a No 10, not to challenge Ozil, but to replace him.

    Ozil is the best 10 in the world, he played for RM, he’s used to winning, not just the domestic league but the CL. He’s used to plating caviar chances and watching Ronaldo gobble them up. We are not that level and neither is our primary striker. More to the point RM basically told him that they could do it without him. That while he was good, he wasn’t special. I would bet you there’s nothing he’d like more than to stick it to Real in the CL. We are not the team that’s going to do that.

    If I were him, I would look for a team that would give me the opportunity to make Perez eat crow. I’d be looking at Guardiola at City, a proven manager who Ozil knows and respects, who knows what Ozil csn do, hoe to use him and has the resources to match their mutual ambition.

    Wenger knows this, knows he needs a top top striker to keep Ozil. At the same time our resources are limited we are tier 1.5. There are several who fit the bill, Lewandowski or Benzema, but who is actually available? Vardy and Higuain. Vardy fits the counter attacking style that European play demands. But he rejects us. Higuain was great last year, but not dramatically better than Giroud the year before that. More importantly he may be a bit too old for Wenger to push all his chips into the middle and say, let’s go. I imagine he thought it would be too big a risk for the club.

    So Wenger tries tapping up Greizeman who literally ticks all the boxes. Even better, Atletico is a selling club. We probably could have come to an agreement, but Greizeman wanted to stay in Spain. So on to plan C, Perez. Now Wenger knows that unless we pull a Leicester and dramtically over achieve, we are not winning the CL, Ozil is not signing an extension and we are not letting him go on a Bosman. So this is Ozil’s last year aat the Arsenal. Wenger realizes he needs a succesion plan and Jack goes out for development.

    Nauseating as that is, there’s an even worse possibility. What if Ozil chooses the devil he knows and signs with Mou United.

    • I called Ozil to Mourinho 2 weeks ago. For many of the same reasons you spell out here. I am seeing ominous similarities to Van Persie, publicly saying 2 years out that there’s plenty of time. There isn’t. I wish he would sign the frickin thing already. I don’t like raising this possibility, but I am a realist. Mourinho does not have a No. 10 in Mesut’s class, and he has personally flattered him. And the diffference with a theoretical possibility like Pep is that Mourinho WAS Ozil’s manager at Real. And they havea good relationship still. Let’s hope my hunch is wrong. Ozil does not like being a second class citizen in the Champions League and it shows. At times he can barely conceal his disdain.

      Having said all that, I don’t think that Jack’s loan was part of a succession masterplan. Jack is in it for Jack, because Allardyce read him the riot act about his England place. Jack will be back, hopefully WITH Mesut putting pen to paper. Then we’ll see where he fits, because the problem does not go away even if he kills it at Bournenmouth.

      • I can’t see Arsenal selling Ozil in England. RVP was different in that it was before we had our new sponsorship deals. I reckon we’d be willing to lose Ozil on a free than sell him in England. Juventus, Bayern or PSG would be more acceptable.

        Of course hopefully, Ozil and Alexis both sign contracts in the next couple of months, and this whole scenario remains a hypothetical.

      • “I can’t see Arsenal selling Ozil in England. RVP was different in that it was before we had our new sponsorship deals.I reckon we’d be willing to lose Ozil on a free than sell him in England.”

        New around here? Clearly 🙂 Arsenal Football Club doesn’t do Bosmans on high-value assets.

        • Because the past is always an accurate predictor of the future.

          I did say we’d sell him to PSG, Bayern or Juve. I genuinely don’t think we’re going to sell him to Mourinho, or any other big club in England because we are conscious of what it says about our ‘brand’, and that has value too. Perhaps if they offered us CRAZY money, then maybe.

          We were probably willing to lose RVP on a free if it came to it, is why he released that statement. And that was before we were rich. We were definitely willing to sell him abroad at a lower price, but he would only go to ManU. I don’t think we’ll give in to Ozil’s demands to move there. Not now that we’ve come through that particular phase of paying for the stadium.

        • Half right about Van Persie. His statement did render his position untenable. There is no proof whatsoever that Arsenal was going to let its highest value asset at the time run down his contract, create zero value for the club, and discord in the dressing room. That would never happen. Similarly, if Mesut decided with a year left that he wanted to join Pep and Pep alone, we couldn’t force him to go abroad, and I can assure you, given his market value, that we would sell.

          You’re right that this is speculative. But as long as he doesn’t sign his contract, some of us have this nagging fear that he’s looking to take off. Let’s hope it’s unfounded.

        • And by the way, you changed your argument on RVP. You first cited sponsorship deals not yet there (suggesting that we couldn’t afford to NOT sell him), and then you said we’d have let him run down his contract but for his statement. Which is it?

          • Why does it have to be an either/or situation?

            I believe our preference was to keep him. If this meant losing him on a free, so be it.(Why else would he release such a statement were he already being granted his wish to move?)

            We were also willing to accept a lower fee from Juventus than ManU gave. Again, money doesn’t seem to be our priority in such a situation.

            Why I did mention the sponsorship deals is that it gave us a weaker hand, which both RVP and ManU knew. Having less money cut down our option of benching him for half a season (or at least till the window shut) and buying someone else in the meanwhile, and it also removed the better, earlier, option of being able to offer him a competitive contract.

            Our hand is nowhere near as weak now. Yes, if Ozil really wants to kick up a fuss, then we can’t do much about it. But we have a strong enough hand to either resist selling him to a domestic rival, or make them pay really big for it.

            It’s all speculation anyway. Him wanting to leave, to leave only to Pep, and be willing to kick up a fuss for it. Why would he only go to Pep or Mou? PSG have an easy ride in their league and throw big bucks to win the CL. Bayern are always up there. Juventus are now back at the big boys table. If he really wanted to leave and we put our foot down, then he’s got equally good options elsewhere too.

Comments are closed.