Five players under 20 who could cost over £50m

Arsenal are set to break the record to buy Kylian Mbappe and for good reason: he is an 18 year old who scored 26 goals in all competitions this season, including 6 goals in the Champions League – the highest level of competition in Europe – and who also provided 8 assists. Both of these stats led all players under 20 in Europe’s top five competitions.

Mbappe’s other stats are impressive as well. Looking at his Ligue Un stats only, he scored 8 goals with his right foot, 4 with his left, and 3 with his head – which shows off an impressive array of finishing skills. What helped his finishing is that he got 35/53 of his shots on target and took the majority of his shots inside the 18 yard box. This indicates a forward who isn’t just shooting from all over the place but is patient and gets into good position for his shots.

He was also a 55% dribbler, completing 32/58 dribbles in league play and 18/31 (58%) in Champions League play. And he had 31 key passes, which was third among all players under 20 in Europe’s top five leagues.

Mpabbe combines speed and power, grace and touch, with vision and an understanding of the game which belies his years. But with all the hype over Mbappe there have been several other under 20 players who have gone unnoticed this season, who have also put up great numbers and who could also fetch extraordinary sums if they were to transfer to the Premier League. They are…

Maxime Lopez – 19, Marseille. Lopez provided 7 assists for Marseille this season, making him the 2nd most productive teenager in Europe’s top five leagues. Lopez operates as a Cazorla-type midfielder and that’s not just a comparison based on his small stature. He’s a terrific dribbler in midfield who completed 63% of his 48 attempted dribbles. He led all under 20 players with 49 key passes and 8 long ball key passes. He also already takes free kicks and corners for Marseille and is an excellent dead ball striker. His only flaw is that he only uses his left foot for standing.

Amine Harit – 19, Nantes. Harit is another French prodigy in midfield and though he is 12cm taller than Lopez calls on a similar skill set. Harit led all under 20 players with 88/123 successful dribbles (72%) and led all young players in being fouled, he was fouled 82 times which was 27 more times than the 2nd most fouled young player Ismaila Sarr. He was 2nd in key passes among the youngsters and did some defensive work for his team, adding 1.1 tackles and 0.9 interceptions. His only flaw is that he falls over a lot and forces the referees to make calls. I don’t think that would fly in the Premier League where these kinds of players are shunned.

Kai Havertz – 18, Bayer Leverkusen. I bet you haven’t heard of Kai. Or if you did it was an article about how he missed the 2nd leg of a Champions League match against Atletico to finish his exams. He’s so young and almost so unheard of that he doesn’t even have one of those ubiquitous “2016/17 player skills” videos, just a few videos showing the odd performance here or there. But the German press call him “the next Michael Ballack” mostly because of his size. Four goals and five assists is a great return from a 17 year old (he literally turned 18 the day I wrote this so let’s not Arsenal Twitter this). Has shown a good all around range as a player with 1 or so key passes and dribbles per game but what marks him out a unusual is that he wins a ton of aerial duels: 89/152. He is also unusual in that he had 5 shots on counter attacks, more than any other under 20 player in Europe.

Yann Karamoh – 18, Caen. French teams aren’t afraid to use young talent and Karamoh is yet another French player on the production line. Five goals and four assists is a decent return for an 18 year old but he led all under 20 players with 60 shots last season. Don’t underestimate the fact that he just took shots, it’s huge for a forward to get shots and typically a sign of quality. Also led all under 20 players with 5 shots in the 6 yard box. Kind of a poor dribbler with 51/122. Also had the 5th most key passes with 26 and 2nd most from crosses with 12. Only got 20 of his 60 shots on target, which is awful and about what we expect from a young player but did hit the post three times. Would be a big gamble but has drawn the attention of the YouTube Video compilers!

Christian Pulisic – 18, Borussia Dortmund. Saving the best for last there is young Christian Pulisic. I understand that he has been more hyped than anyone since hype was invented but there is good reason for the hype. He’s really good, like maybe even in the £100m area good. He only got three goals and six assists in league play and added another goal and two assists in Champions League but what makes Pulisic do valuable is that he is a truly two-footed center mid. How I judge this is by shots (I know that’s not the best method but it works). He took 14 shots with his right foot and 11 with his left and every time I watch him he is clearly comfortable taking shots with either foot, often working the ball onto his (weaker) left foot for a shot. Pulisic is a great all rounder of a player. He dribbles 55/102, shoots (32, 14 on target, and 23 inside the 18 yard box), and keeps possession incredibly well – he only lost the ball 20 due to bad touch times in 1500 minutes of play. He was dispossessed 46 times and there were the 47 failed dribbles but that’s normal for a young player who is asked to take on the defense with his dribbles. I really think this youngster will be the next big ticket player to make a move to one of the top money clubs (Arsenal, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, etc.). He is going to be the next Eden Hazard.

Qq

41 Comments on Five players under 20 who could cost over £50m

  1. I expressed skepticism over whether paying £120m on Mbappe is good value, but when you argue the case like that, it causes me to waver in my argument, man. He’s a good all-round striker, and he’s doing the business already. What’s indisputable is that signing him would lift this club greatly. However, recent reports suggest that he’s staying in Monaco. Certainly going to Real would be bad for him. For all his ability, we won’t play week-in, week out.

    The potential transfer that I’m obsessing about is Sanchez’. Lots of press that Pep’s got him.

    • As far as I can tell, all the press about Sanchez to City came from one Chilean journalist’s remarks. I very much doubt it, as even Wenger knows how damaging it would be to sell him to a domestic rival, and to do so this early looks like we’re not even putting up a fight. But if City’s offer blows everyone else’s (Bayern are said to only be offering 40m) out of the water, and we are using the money to go straight to other big transfers that we are already lining up (e.g. Mbappe, plus one other), then maybe. Still don’t think so. I think we’ll hold out and let his contract run down, or (more likely) we’ll sell to Bayern or PSG or maybe Juve, and get a direct replacement like Mahrez or James. That would be sad and frustrating, but perhaps not a total disaster.
      Then again, I’ve been let down by this club and this manager before…

      • Yeah but selling sanchez and bringing in mbappe makes us substantially weaker. Thats the sad thing. There is almost noone who we could realistically aquire that would balance the squad in the event of sanchez leaving. It would be brutal.

        • I don’t disagree, though if we sold Sanchez but got Mbappe AND, say, Mahrez, would that be taking a big step backwards, in your opinion? It’s not obvious to me that it would be, though it certainly wouldn’t be going forward, unless Mbappe became a genuine superstar at 18, and the last person I can remember being like that was the Brazilian Ronaldo over 20 years ago (even Messi wasn’t really the main man at Barca at that age). If he becomes Ronaldo circa 1996 then it’d be worth it, but I’m not holding my breath (nor are we likely to sign him anyway)…

    • Yeah exactly… why are people writing as if Mbappe is still on? It’s done – we bid, they rejected, we move on. We’re not raising our offer for him because we just never do.

      We could question why anyone would bid (and brief the press regarding) an amount which is not going to be accepted, but that way conspiracy paranoia lies.

    • “Recent reports suggest that he’s staying in Monaco. Certainly going to Real would be bad for him.”
      Makes sense. Mbappe wants to play in the World Cup next year (assuming the France team qualifies). That means he needs to be a regular starter. No such guarantee at Real Madrid.

  2. In other news, Gnabry has signed for Bayern Munich and Buffon has strongly hinted that Szczesny will be at Juve next year. The level of incompetence in the recruiting and retaining of players at Arsenal is shocking.

    • The Gnabry thing is frustrating, but apart from choosing Pulis to further Gnabry’s education (a move which drove him further away from fulfilling his potential at Arsenal), Arsene appears to have tried hard to keep him. One that got away, because of all the young Arsenal players who played in a wide attacking role (the likes of Iwobi, Ox, Walcott), Gnabry was the best of the lot. Think about the progress that Ox made, and consider that Gnabry is a significantly better player.

      Thing is, with his contract where it was, we got less than 5 million for him. We were not willing, at that level, to risk a Bosman on a player we should have. Which makes me slightly skeptical that Arsene would be prepared to see Sanchez or Ozil run down their contracts, as he said.

      • Saw a few of Gnabry’s goal-scoring performances and he looked like a lighter version of the player who broke through at the end of the 2013-14 “Ramsey” season. He looked re-energised by being back in Germany and knowing he was starting every week.

        But he did get injured during the business end of the season and had complications coming back. So there’s that. I agree he was the most accomplished at that time but I think Iwobi has a higher ceiling in terms of his playmaking ability.

      • Not according to the stats, or the available visual evidence. 14 goals and 1 assist in 24 appearances last season for club and country (Gnabry) versus 4 goals and 3 assists in 29 for Iwobi. Leave the stats aside… Gnabry is a more effective, penetrative and rounded player than Iwobi. Iwobi is arguably more technically adept and a better passer, but he can sometimes be busy non-productivity, and he’s not clinical enough. As the person who played the most our left sided attacker in the attacker/playmaker role, Iwobi didn’t score or create enough, imo.

      • I think they’re both top talents. I don’t think Iwobi’s numbers suggest otherwise. There’s room for improvement in his end product, of course, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, as he was influential in our transition from defense to attack in the first part of the season when we were playing really well, even though that rarely registered in the stats.

        I wouldn’t be so critical of Arsenal concerning the Gnabry thing if it didn’t look like part of a pattern (that’s why the comparison with the Szczesny rumors is telling).

        1. Too often we let talented players run their contracts down (this isn’t always our fault of course, e.g. with Ozil and Sanchez I think we’ve done everything we reasonably could do). If the Ox refuses to sign a new contract and we sell him to Liverpool this summer, I might self-combust.

        2. We don’t play hardball with players who refuse to sign and the clubs who want to buy them, because we’re unwilling, and it’s obvious we’re unwilling, to let a player stay to the end of his contract and risk losing him for free. I think this is a mistake. It was a mistake when we let Gnabry go (what did we get for him? like 5m euros?? that’s pocket change! if we had kept him we might have convinced him to sign a new contract, and he might have gotten his chance in the side and had a breakout season, helping us pick up a few more points along the way). And it will be a massive mistake if we let Sanchez go for that reason, unless we line up a couple of “blockbuster deals” (as the tabloids like to say) in his place, which I can’t really see happening, at least not for players of his quality. If Sczcesny goes to Juve for 15m or so, as reported, that will be about half of what he’s worth in the current market. And this is a guy that if we kept, and gave him a chance to take the number 1 spot from Cech, realistically might then sign a new contract, since he genuinely loves Arsenal.

        3. For years we’ve been poor at raising funds by selling players. Certain players who probably should have been sold ages ago have been kept in the squad, while others more talented (if not more experienced) have been let go for relatively modest fees when we could have gotten more.

        4. I don’t agree with Jack that we don’t give young players a proper chance. Even if Iwobi, Coquelin, and Bellerin came into the team when others were injured (aren’t others always injured at Arsenal?), they were next in line because Wenger had held off buying new players knowing that they were potentially ready to step up (yes, Coquelin at Charlton, blah blah blah, but most other managers would have given up on him completely way before then). This is to Arsene’s credit. Still, the stubborn refusal to cut our losses with certain players in the squad (Theo!) means that certain other players like Gnabry have had their way blocked by mediocrity ahead of them, even if in theory Arsene is very open to giving them a chance (this isn’t just true with youngsters, e.g. Perez this year springs to mind as well: I think Arsene wasn’t opposed to playing him, it’s just that he was more committed to giving a game to favorites like Walcott and Giroud and Welbeck who’ve been in the squad longer).

        • I did not say we were any worse or better than the average Premier League team. I will stick to my argument that if you are a young player, looking for playing time in a first team to develop, you need to go play for teams on the continent and very specifically find teams in Holland, Belgium, Germany, France or Portugal to play for.

          Just read that Willock is gone. Prime example – how much time and effort have we wasted on him only for Man City now to cash in?

          • 1. I didn’t say you said we were worse. You might be right that players are better off on the continent. My point is that we are not “bad”, measured against other good English teams, and probably better than most of them. Certainly Arsene gives way more chances to youngster than someone like Mourinho does.

            2. I agree that’s frustrating, but not sure why this strengthens your argument (if he’s going to City, it’s not like they give more chances to their youngsters!). I think Willock looked an excellent prospect, but, other than a few more minutes in the League Cup, I don’t see how he realistically could have been given more game time this early in his career. And he’s refused to sign a new contract. I think he may be flat out at the end of his contract, as opposed to with one year left (can’t remember), in which case there’s literally nothing we can do. If he’s not, and we can keep him till the end, maybe we should, but not sure it’s obvious. It looks like a different situation to me than the Gnabry one, on account of Gnabry being farther along in his development.

        • I’m not at all critical of Arsenal over Gnabry. That won’t be fair. Wenger tried hard to persuade him to stay, but he was pretty firmly set on going somewhere there was less competition. My only quibble is that faced with a low fee for a player with enormous potential, it probably makes more sense to keep the player. That’s tough call fora club that prides itself on financial prudence. However I do think that the value that a superb emerging talent like Gnabry would have added to the squad outweighed whatever we earned on his sale. I do appreciate thought that the sounder financial management argument is taking the money.

          Note on Theo. He was Arsenal’s second highest goalscorer after you-know-who, until he lost his place in the new formation. I don’t get this Theo-skepticism. We have a 20 goal a season player on our bench, FCOL.

          • “Note on Theo. He was Arsenal’s second highest goalscorer after you-know-who, until he lost his place in the new formation. I don’t get this Theo-skepticism. We have a 20 goal a season player on our bench, FCOL.”
            The trouble with Walcott is that he’s one-dimensional. He scores goals but his work-rate and his number of assists are poor. In the new formation, he wouldn’t take Ozil’s spot and both Bellerin and the Ox are better options at wingback. It’s quite telling that Southgate did not even pick Walcott in the England squad and prefers the Ox, Sterling and Rashford.

          • 1. You say you’re not at all critical of Arsenal over Gnabry, then you perfectly articulate my primary reason for being critical of Arsenal over Gnabry (that plus the West Brom loan).

            2. The case for Theo-skepticism
            a) Apart from finishing (at which he’s good but not amazing) and making a certain kind of well-timed run behind the defense, between CB and fullback, Theo sucks at every other aspect of football.
            b) Ok, if “sucks” is too harsh, replace with “is not a CL quality footballer”.
            c) He doesn’t fit in the new formation, at all. This may not be a deal breaker, since we may not be wedded to the formation, but we probably are for the short term, at least, which brings us to…
            d) We have him on the bench, as you say, and there’s a good case, quite apart from the formation, for keeping him there. At least, I think if you polled the readers of this blog, the majority of us would not have him in our “ideal (realistic) Arsenal starting lineup for the start of the 2017-18 season.” So he’s a decent weapon to have off the bench, apparently. But there are two problems with this:
            i. He is (in my humble opinion) not very good as an impact sub (in contrast to Giroud), as he has frequently proven completely ineffective in this role when we are drawing/losing and the other team is (typically) sitting deep. (Of course one can cite exceptions that prove the rule on this one.)
            ii. He makes like 110-120k a week. This is a waste of money on a squad player.

          • Agree with ForArsenalFans about him being one-dimensional, though I do think he showed a willingness to work harder this past season. His bigger problem is generally not having the ball skills to receive the ball in tight spaces, dribble, pass, etc at the speed and precision required of top-level offensive footballers. This has been true of him since he was a teenager. Frankly I think it’s remarkable that he’s still with us. He’s worked on some aspects of his game (work rate, decision making, crossing has gotten a bit better), and he’s probably also lost a little bit of his famed pace at this point, too. But he’s not really going to get markedly better with the ball at his feet at this stage in his career. He’s simply not good enough for us.

    • To be fair, the entire Premier League is not a good place for young players. There’s not exactly a plethora of young players that have been brought up through a club to the starting XI on any team, foreign or British. Gnabry was right to leave as would Maitland-Niles, Reine-Adelaide, Willock, Bielik, Akpom and any other young player -they’re not going to get a serious look-in unless there’s a catastrophic injury crises like the one that gave us Bellerin and Coquelin.

    • I think you’re being a bit harsh regarding Gnabry.

      It’s clear Arsene was a huge fan and wanted to play the guy but he got injured a lot, usually when it looked like he was just about to make the breakthrough. Arsenal probably sold Campbell to make room for him in the team.

      Maybe the choice of destination for his loan wasn’t the right choice but it’s an easy call to make in hindsight. Bolton seemed to work for Jack a few years back.

      I’d be disappointed to see Szczney sold too though. I’d maybe even prefer to sell Cech if it meant not losing Szczney for good.

  3. Amine Harit looks like a real talent with incredible footwork but looks like only Pulisic would join Mbappe as a £50m+ player. I say that because they’re both proven at Champions League level and isn’t it that factor more than outright quality that adds zeros to a young player’s price?

    So a question for 7am and anyone else: if Monaco had still won the title with Mbappe’s 16 goals and 8 assists but hadn’t played in either European competition, what do you estimate his price tag would be?

  4. I think that out of those five, only Mbappe and Pulisic who could cost over 50 millions. Even Gabriel Jesus, who supposedly could be as good as Ronaldo/Neymar/Romario, is not costing City over 50 millions pounds.

    I think the fair prices for Mbappe should be between 50-80 millions pounds. More than that, it’s better to buy finished products who could deliver us titles, which brings money and prestiges, over the length of his contract. We’re already decides to sell him when Mbappe comes good anyway, so why bother.

  5. I think Pulisic is the smartest move financially – he’s American and I can see a lot of Arsenal merchandise being sold with his name in the US in the coming years. Boro Primorac is Croatian and Pulisic is of Croatian descent.

    Here’s the rub though – a) would he go to a team that may not see Champions League football again for a long time and b) would signing an 18 year old be a signal of intent to Ozil and Sanchez? No.

    If we’re rebuilding I would buy at least 2 or 3 of the players you listed. I just think we have no idea what we want to do as a club. Are we rebuilding? Remodeling? Or redecorating for one last push with this roster?

    I’m so tired of talk about Mbappe, he’s not coming. Ever.

  6. the kid lopez from marseille is insanely good whenever i have seen him play. also dembele the kid from borussia is also really good, i know he is 20. he was amazing when he was at rennes, & now barca have made him their #1 target. here is to him not doing well at barca and us buying him for cheap 🙂

  7. The sad thing is that with the improvements in scouting and the frothiness in the market these emerging talents are huge gambles. We’re not quite big enough to snap them up when they’re ready the way Real does and we’re too big to give them a true shot when they are affordable the way Dortmund does. If I were Kroenke, I would buy a team in Ligue Une and one in Portugal to serve as feeders.

    One of the ways you can tell the market is frothy is that potential is being priced higher than actual production. Tesla is worth more than Ford despite the former losing $733 while the later made a $4.6 billion profit. Mbappe who plays in an inferior league is worth more than double what Sanchez will fetch. Part of that is due to the club’s leverage, but a big part is sugarplum faeries… We know what Sanchez is, top 3 in PL but not transcendent like Messi or Ronaldo. The hype machine makes Mbappe’s future ceiling unlimited. Who knows, he could be Diabi.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a second bite at project youth with Mbappe, Pulisic and Lopez to go along with Iwobi, Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Ox and the Jeff. But anyone with 200MM isn’t going to spend it on kids.

    If Sanchez really wants to leave then we sell him to Bayern unless City pays us enough that we can raise our bid enough to pry Mbappe free and have enough left over for Mahrez or Lacazette. If we really want to play hardball then we tell Sanchez we’re going to let him run down his contract, then come January we offer him the choice: sign an extension or get sold to some team in China for 20MM.

    • You’re wrong on what happens after January if we keep Sanchez. We can’t tell him do a thing. At that point his free agency is official, and he can talk to anyone he likes.

  8. Interestingly Football Obaervatory just published their algorithmic transfer values for players.

    Sanchez clocks in just ahead of Mbappe at 95.9 vs 92.3MM euro.

    They claim to take into account “performance of both players and employer clubs, international status, contract, age and position.” But the underlying assumption has to be that both seller and buyer have other options. Once someone refuses to sign an extension the price has to drop. What’s amazing is that for all the loyalty that Wenger has shown players he still gets ‘held up’ by players forcing moves by refusing to sign new contracts. We’d be so much better off if he re-signed and we set a release clause commesurate with his worth, say 100MM. So many other people do it for theor clubs, Suarez, Greizeman, Belloti. I guess he doesn’t feel like he owes us anything.

    The interesting thing is his agent has a built in conflict of interest. If Sanchez re-signs for us instead of forcing a sale at 45MM, the agent misses out on a 7MM comission. Even if we ‘overpay’ to convince Sanchez to stay, say 350k a week for 5 yrs instead of 300k that he’d get at City, the agent still loses out on 5MM. To the extent the agent is really pulling the strings, our biggest threat is to ket him leave on a free, then there’s no giant payout. It seems like everyone would be best off if Sanchez re-signed with a big salary increase and a large but fair release clause, say 80MM. Then the agent would net at least 12MM on the transfer. Why wouldn’t an agent do this? Corruption. It would be 20MM cheaper for the buying club to slip the agent an extra 10 to 15MM in hidden fees to force the transfer now at 45MM.

    http://www.football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/b5wp/2016/192/en/phone/index.html

    • Does the fee even need to be hidden? Didn’t Raiola demand an additional fee payment for Pogba that both Real and Barcelona balked at? The word was he wanted to go to Spain, but Man Utd were the only team willing to play dirty and fork over money straight to the agent.

      It’s disgusting. I really have a hard time understanding what agents do that justify such enormous fees.

    • Another problem with getting him to sign a new contract with a big release clause is that the number of clubs willing to pay 80m in a year’s time for a soon-to-be 30 year old might be zero.

      Honestly, if we put in a release clause of 45m that would probably still be a great deal for us: get to keep him for a year, which could be (almost literally) priceless for the longterm future of the club, and still get 45m next summer for a 29 year old who would otherwise be walking away for free. Another option is to set it up so the release clause (super cheap, say 35m) only goes into effect if we don’t make the CL next year. Or even more ambitious targets, like if we don’t make the top 3 AND win a trophy. That would be risky as hell, of course, but it would still secure his services for another year (and potentially longer besides) while getting at least a decent chunk of money at the end in the worst case scenario.

      The question is why Sanchez would agree to sign any of these contracts with these release clauses, unless he has some sense of loyalty to us and doesn’t really want to screw us over (getting 40m for an 80m+ player, or losing that player for free in a year’s time, are both ways of getting screwed over). I think our only recourse is to play absolute hardball, make it clear that he’s simply not going to be sold this summer (leaving open a small chance we’d sell him abroad if we get amazing replacements coming in). Then Sanchez can choose to throw his toys out of the pram, or he can get his head down and play to win every game, the way Suarez did in his last season with Liverpool. Then, once the transfer window closes –especially if the team is doing well–he might be persuaded to sign a new, improved contract, with a release clause or verbal promise he will be sold if the club don’t reach certain targets. But I can’t see him signing such a contract in the middle of summer, when we’ve shown ourselves to be such pushovers in situations like this (RVP, Cesc, etc) in the past.

      • Nice article by Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph today, perfectly summing up the situation with Sanchez and why it probably makes sense to keep him even if he doesn’t sign a new deal.

  9. Further thought on Sanchez. A contract says that we own a player for X years, and pays him Y salary. It has other stuff, but that’s basically it. Therefore a contract extension is like having a new signing. If we paid £30m for Sanchez, and his market worth is now £80m, then £80m is what it would cost to replace him.

    A contract extension in effect means that we getting an £80m player on (effectively) a free transfer, and have made net gain of £50m. From Sanchez’ point of view, a demand to double pay is justified, even though, at 200k a week, he’s earning a million is just over a month. If he earns £12m a year on a 3 year contract, he’ll have cost us £36m.

    If you re-sign a player who has massively increased his value on a big salary increase, you’ll still have done good business with a big increase. So Ox is getting a big bump, but it’s still great business, financial and footballing.

  10. the biggest problem arsenal have had over the past ten or so years is that wenger is not very good at closing deals. think of the deals he’s blown one way or another. he seems to lack the charisma to get deals over the line or they end up being bad deals. that’s no fault of his but it is a fault if he fails to be honest about his inadequacy in this regard and fails to pass this duty to someone else. sure, he plays a role in bringing players in but not on the business side. this is where arsenal miss david dein. while i respect that the natures of transfers has changed in the past decade, i don’t recall him ever seeming to struggle to get deals done. there’s no way he would have blown the suarez deal or paid as much as arsenal did for mustafi. crazy long contracts for the likes of denilson, bendtner, and walcott with their wages so high that it’s impossible for the club to sell them is down to arsene wenger.

    the point is that even if arsenal managed to sign mbappe, they would find some way to screw it up because this is the nature of arsene wenger spearheading transfers. good man manager? yes. however, he needs to leave these business deals to business men. we are so unfortunate because david dein was not just a very popular business man but he was a football man and, more importantly, and arsenal football man.

    • I don’t disagree that we’ve done some bad business, e.g. paying too much to Walcott and co., not upping our bid for Suarez, etc, but how do we know this is entirely down to Wenger? Surely Gazidis and Law must take some share of the blame?

      • They are all to blame. Wenger is not a negotiator. The board decided to give the job to Law who, by most accounts, isn’t very good. He is no David Dein, that’s for sure. However you feel towards Dein and his subsequent sale of Arsenal shares, we were really good at transfer deals while he was there.

  11. I have read severally on a few sites(though not here or arseblog), that Ozil has been offered 280/week while Sanchez has been offered 275/week. If that’s true, it’s reason enough for Sanchez not to sign. Even parity between them both is not fair on Sanchez.

  12. The agent’s job is to hype his client and spark bidding wars. The tools are fake stories placed with friendly sportswriters. I see why the papers and writers benefit from clicks. But the amount of money sloshing around in the agents’ pockets makes me wonder whether there are material rewards for writers who play ball.

    The interesting thing is that with the recent tax evasion charges against Ronaldo and the previous charges Messi and Ozil, I wonder what the common denominator is. If I were an aggressive prosecutor I would go after their agents and financial advisors as accomplices using whatever the Spanish version of RICO is. I would love to see all of their business correspondance brought into open court.

  13. Watched some international friendlies today. France showed that they are a much more exiting team than England even with one less player. Mbape and Dembele are a joy to watch, the latter was particularly excellent. I wouldnt mind if we brake the bank for him if Ozil wants to leave. On the other hand the Ox should reconsider if he thinks his future is in midfield, he was probably the worst player on the pitch. And as much as it pains me to admit it, Harry Kane is a proper striker.

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