Reports: Arsenal have activated the €20m buyout clause for Lucas Perez

Marca is reporting (Spanish) that Arsenal have activated the €20m (£17m) buyout clause for Deportivo la Coruna’s star striker Lucas Perez. Arsenal have sent representatives to Spain to hammer out a deal with the player and are confident that the player will agree to terms before this weekend.

Lucas Perez is a versatile forward who can play wide or through the middle. He scored a career-high 17 goals for Depor last season as their main forward, or as the Spanish call it the “ariete” or battering ram. Lucas is hardly a battering ram style player, however, and instead wowed crowds in Spain with his silky quick counter attacking goals.

Lucas scored 17 goals on a mere 100 shots with just one goal from the penalty spot but, crucially, he scored four goals on the counter attack. Arsenal were one of the worst teams in England on counter attacks last season, scoring just three goals in 38 games. Lucas also added 8 assists for Depor, often playing as the lone striker up front and creating for late-running midfielders. All combined Lucas scored or created 25 of Deportivo’s 45 goals last season, carrying 56% of the scoring workload for his team.

Lucas took 100 shots and also created 72 shots for teammates, that means 38% of Deportivo’s total offense ran through Lucas. This season he has already scored and assisted both of Deportivo’s goals in their opening match against Eibar. It remains to be seen if a player who is used to being the number one option will be happy playing in the Arsenal system or if, perhaps more crucially, the Arsenal system will be happy playing him as the number one option.

Lucas’ total shots numbers are low for a star striker at 100. However, his team only took 455 shots in the whole season. In contrast, Arsenal took 574 shots last season, 119 more shots total.  Arsenal also created 467 key passes last season and Deportivo 331. The shots will be there for Lucas at Arsenal if he wants them.

Lucas is also not the type of player to just take shots from distance. In a typically Arsenal style, Lucas took 66% of his shots inside the 18 yard box. He also scored only two goals from outside the 18 yard box, one from a direct free kick.

This is a very typical Arsene Wenger signing: a player who comes to Arsenal for basically free (£17m transfer for a striker is peanuts), after being quoted crazy prices for other players, who shows a huge amount of promise, who is versatile, and who was flying under everyone’s radar.

Arsenal is a massive step up for Perez. Not only in terms of playing in the Premier League and in the Champions League but also in terms of the quality of teammates he will be playing with. Lucas is a hard working professional who has been forced to travel from Russia to Greece before finally landing a gig with Deportivo two seasons ago. He will need to continue to demonstrate that same work ethic if he is going to succeed at Arsenal.

Perez had been courted by Everton and this signing represents the first time in recorded history that Arsenal have “swooped” and “pipped” a player from another team.



    1. We are being trolled that this two payments in installments stuff must surely be trolling? Seriously , knowing how ridiculous that would sound if it came out the AFC board must have surely just said there you go, 19 million pounds = 22 million euros, give us the registration! But no they wanted two payments!? I really don’t believe it I think there are some serious games going on, AFC are not that stupid, there are some very dirty games with Everton, the agent and Deportivo here, I’m sure of it. Not with 100 mill spendable, which means operating cost and stadium payments (remember it’s not yet paid for) , are not yet done.

      But yes I can believe this one for sure, and I support your point he is different enough to help us, it’s those efl and fa cups and a smattering of big epl games we need him to do the biz, not every epl game and the UTD ones.

      Also with Valencia they can go do one! If they had indeed jacked up the pice to 50 million then they can get faaarked! My words were “just because they can’t do good tv deals for themselves does not mean they should rip arsenal for 50 million ffs!”, that’s wrong even by the immoral standards that are the transfer market.

      1. The installment payment is how every club does business. It is very rare that a full payment is proffered.

        But regardless, the bids activated the buyout clause. If the player agrees terms it will be impossible for Deportivo to say no. I mean, they can try but this will be settled quickly.

        That report is only in the Daily Mail and they are like chiggers on flesh for Arsenal supporters.

        1. I don’t think instalments is common as many believe. Maybe for the massive transfers or when selling desperate. I think the way that player costs are accounted for (over the lifetime of the first contract) has lead to a mistaken believe that the cash flows this way as well.

        1. Obviously Ramsey isn’t a youth player now. He was a youth player when he was signed.

          1. Sorry, I fail, you meant Perez. But my point was that he’s not the first player we’ve beaten another club to.

  1. We also “swooped” and “pipped” for a certain Chu Young if I remember rightly. Let’s hope this goes a bit differently.

  2. Gazumped! You forgot gazumped.

    Well this one seems like it could happen. It seems like a good signing, based on initial youtube and stats. The Sid Lowe piece that arseblog linked to also makes the case for his character. Described as being hungry, desperate, but without the nastiness this usually brings. I think overall, this must rank as a positive development. I like what I see.

    PS. I don’t think there’s been any mention of the Joel Campbell loan from you Tim. I was personally surprised by it, but I reckon it’s to open up space for Gnabry in the first team squad. Is that an assessment you’d agree with, or do you still believe Gnabry’s going out on loan?

    1. More likely to make space for Perez. I don’t see Gnabry in the Premier League first team unless something goes awry.

  3. So much for “we are lookinz for playerz who are only tzop tzop qualitzy”.
    Meh. I mean, some of the goals are ok but meh. It tells you a lot that he was destined for Everton, and the media somehow portrait this “snatch” and “swoop” as if we managed to persuade Ibrahimovic to reject United.

    A failed transfer mirror for me, again, and one that even the eventual purchase of Mustafi won’t fix. I’m starting to passively dislike more and more things regarding this Club by the day.

    1. We aren’t buying Mustafi. Wenger doesn’t bend to outrageous demands. I think Perez is a little better than Meh. He looks a clinical finisher from counters. That is one of Arsenal’s most pressing needs, especially since that is one of Özil’s greatest talents. I think he will link up well with Walcott, Alexis, and Özil. Possibly even play wide with Giroud.

      He looks like the Spanish Jamie Vardy.

      1. The Meh wasn’t attributed directly to Perez, it was more of a sentiment about the ending days of yet another clusterf*ck of a transfer window. I can’t lie and say that I’m thrilled about him joining Arsenal, he looks like a solid player, but nothing more.
        When we bought Ozil and Sanchez, I couldn’t wait for the game to start so I can watch them play.
        I haven’t felt like that in two years.

        1. I hear you, Team. I think if this deal for Perez goes through, I’ll be happy that we’ve added some much needed back-up or depth to the squad, but ultimately it’s a move that gives us yet another wake-up call to the reality of Arsenal’s position in the hierarchy of European football clubs. We compete and ‘pip’ clubs like Everton, not clubs like Chelsea, City, or United. Maybe we have more resources than them, but we’re not on their level when it comes to using these resources or attracting the very best players in the world. And we’re certainly not, as Gazidis so unfortunately promised three years ago, competing with the likes of Bayern Munich, either on the pitch or off of it.

          So while news of a possible transfer is good because it addresses a problem area, I think we can also look at the kind of player this is and appreciate what it tells us about the club’s ambition and strategy. Clearly, if we are ambitious, we’re gambling on the Leicester story happening again…even going so far as to draw on their former scouts for teambuilding. If we can’t do it on the cheap, we’re not going to do it at all. That, I think, is the Arsenal reality.

          1. And by the way, I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with this strategy. There are those who will find it refreshing, counter-culture, and praiseworthy, and still others who see in it the very reason we will never win a title (because, let’s face it, clubs winning leagues on comparatively cheap transfer budgets–like Montpellier or Leicester–happen almost never).

        2. 1) Arsenal went for Vardy right off the bat this summer. I wrote about how strange this was because it looked like he wouldn’t fit the Arsenal system. We speculated that Wenger was just buying him because he was (nearly) the Golden Boot winner and Wenger was trying to appease the fans.
          2) Arsenal now identify another Vardy type player, one which I have used stats to show is very Varyd like and one which a Deportivo fan has said is very Vardy like, and they buy that player.
          3) Whether you agree with the plan or not, it’s exceptionally clear that Wenger hatched a plan to get a player in who is quick, hard working, and would score goals on the counter. And it’s also clear that Arsenal need counter attacking goals because we only scored 3 all year.
          4) As much as I have been depressed about Arsenal’s summer transfer business I can’t help but step back from that, now that we are presented with facts, and recognize that Wenger and Arsenal had a plan and it looks like they executed that plan. How well did they execute it? We don’t know until we see this kid play. Was it the right plan to execute? We won’t know until the end of the season.
          5) So, frankly, this gives us all a little bit more than just “meh” to talk about.
          6) The Campbell loan presaged this transfer. I would be willing to bet that if Chambers goes on loan we will get wind that Arsenal bid on a center back that no one previously thought we were in for, perhaps the American kid playing in Germany, John Brooks? Someone like that.

          1. Yup, it looks like a plan. I’m happy to give Wenger the benefit of the doubt on that one. But neither can you escape the fact that this is a tier 2 player. Again, I think this suggests a broader team-building strategy more in line with clubs below us than above us (traditionally). I think when we told how much cash we had, expectations for a tier 1 or 1.5 player were raised.

            So I think it’s ok to have excitement tempered somewhat, but I would say we all, everyone of us, share in the hope that this guy (if it happens) hits the road running, as they say, and makes a significant contribution to our season, a la Vardy at Leicester last season.

          2. I’ve been banging this reality that we are a second tier team now for how many years???

            I’m glad to see that I now get to make a smug remark.

      2. Ornstein seems to think we’ve got Lucas, and that we’re also getting close to a Mustafi deal at around 35m.

    2. If he was worth bringing in (and I do think he could add quality to the team) why wasn’t he pursued as soon as Vardy turned us down? The story is we scouted him last year already? Why not pursue him AND Vardy at the same time to put pressure on Vardy? I’m going to assume that his price tag carries a premium because Deportivo now have to rush out and buy replacements to cover for 17 goals and 8 assists… I’m with you, this was been a bullshit transfer window. We are literally making it up as we go.

      1. He had a release clause. No premium attached to this ‘delay’.

        What does making it up mean? That we scoured the market looking for options? This narrative really bugs me. Just because you go out and look at options in the market doesn’t mean that the stuff you saw in the first store was rubbish. (Have you never been out shopping with a woman? 😛 ) It just means you were gauging the market.

        The complaints about Arsenal’s transfers have moved from losing our best players and only buying kids, to not buying enough players in positions of need, to not buying early enough, and now this last is used to indicate the player isn’t good enough.

        1. Before the end of last season we knew what we needed; a striker. All of our strikers were inconsistent finishers, Walcott was shite, Giroud and Sanchez had summer commitments that would bear on them early on and Welbeck was set to miss most of the season.
          Instead our first bit of business was a deep lying midfielder – a very good one, I’m not disputing that, but that was not close to the most pressing need on our squad.
          We went after Vardy because his release was a bargain and he offered something we needed more of – directness and pace to use in the counter attack. He rejected us in early July… so why the dicking around until now, five days before the window closes, five points already gone out the window? We’re not a serious club, those 5 points are no joke. As Guardiola has said, the title is lost in the first 8 games and won in the final 8 games. We’ve already lost the league. Wenger and co. have sent the subliminal message to all the players that top 4 again is the goal, not the title. And here’s the rub; when you shoot for the top you might miss, but your chances of landing top 4 are better. Aim for just top 4, eventually you’ll miss and end up outside of the champions league. Once this club misses the Champions League prepare for the End; we will not overpay players to stay or come to us like Man Utd; Ozil, Sanchez and others will leave, we’ll be competing with Everton for top 6 in actuality, not just jawing about it.

  4. Is it a coincidence that both Everton and Arsenal have acquired a scout each from Leicester in the past months?

  5. The fact that Steve Walsh found the player for Everton is significant. So many fans moaning about our failure to identify players like Mahrez, Kante, Okazaki and Vardy, then we move to sign a player identified by the same scout…

    Also, I’m annoyed by this argument: he doesn’t play the Arsenal way, the same argument used against Vardy. For me, Wenger is trying to change the Arsenal way, to be quicker and more direct in attack, which is why he tried to sign Vardy. He’s trying to change the sum by changing the parts.

    1. BINGO!! You, my friend , have hit the proverbial nail on the head. The same fans who are tripping up themselves drooling over Mahrez, a virtual nobody two years ago, are the same crew complaining about this relative unknown, prized by none other than the man who gave them Mahrez, Kante, and Vardy. I think a read somewhere that Barca were looking at Lucas before they cast their eyes at the Valencia kid. May be that development might make this potential signing more palatable for the caviar crowd.

  6. Perez > Sanogo or Akpom. Therefore, squad is better.

    I would have loved to bump them off the depth chart by adding at the top. But this is better than nothing. Or, again, Sanogo. So I’ll take it.

  7. The guy seems a solid player and a late bloomer, similar to Giroud. If his movement and link up play allow us to maximize the talents of Ozil and Sanchez, I’m ok with it. I did mention that my expectations have been lowered to the point that I’d be happy with a forward that’s better Walcott so judging by reports, I’m happy.

  8. Hold your horses, lads! I just saw a report claiming that Arsenal’s bid was rejected as it didn’t match the release clause, and Deportivo will only accept the release clause as they’re determined to keep the player.

    This one will run and run. As usual.

  9. I like that you highlight the counter-attacking stat, Tim. Theo was supposed to do this for us, and we know how that has been working out. But I think a big issue is on the other side with Alexis – he often tries to dribble players and/or carries the ball too far instead of a penetrating pass on the break (is there a stat on dribbles post-transition?). That and the fact he’s been figured out in the League – everyone knows he’s going to cut inside on his right foot when playing on the left. Think this is his last year with us.

    Would have liked to see us lay down a big bid for Aubameyang or Lewandowski. Or Dybala, who I think you highlighted last year – he ended up being more effective than Morata for Juve last year.

  10. Seems a decent buy but, not the top striker arsenal were expected to pursue. A Griezmann was the need of the hour, what we are getting is maybe another 10 goal a season player.

    Still does not justify getting rid of Campbell if you ask me. He helped Arsenal weather a pretty nasty storm when Santi, Alexis and Coq were all out injured.

    Campbell was perhaps moved to ensure Wilshere, Ramsey and Ox get more game time. The british core is a failed project in its last chance saloon. If it doesn’t work this season then it may as well end along with Wenger’s contract.

  11. Based only on the Sid Lowe piece, this would seem to be the type of player we should embrace at the club; he will not take this opportunity for granted, he will desperately work his socks off and yes, it sounds like the Spanish version of Jamie Vardy. We have other players like this that have risen to Arsenal the “hard” way by doing time with smaller clubs most notably Koscielny.

    That said, why the fuck did we not go after Perez immediately after being rejected by Vardy? Why the fucking around for two months? That’s where the disappointment comes for me.

    They got rid of the wrong player to make way for Perez; it should have been Walcott, a pampered endulged overpaid and underproductive player instead of Campbell with whom Perez might have a lot more in common besides language.

  12. Well done if we do it. Needed to do it a month ago, but better late than never.

    Like Shard, I like what I see.

    It’s not so much a question of whether he’s a superstar signing as whether he can work with this team. From his goals in the highlights reel — speed, clinical on the counter — he will. Look like a slightly older Mahrez — a winger with good goalscoring and assist productivity.

    Contrary to Wenger’s own unconvincing assertions, you don’t need to sign “top, top quality.” You need to sign players who improve and strengthen the squad. who’s to say he won’t have an Eduardo effect? Eduardo was not, never became, a superstar. But he was some finisher of our moves.

    Pep Guardiola is making City work with the likes of signings like Nolito, and inheritances like Fabian Delph.

    By the way, look how City navigated the Champions League qualification without the drama that Arsenal brings — early season injuries and handwringing over the depth of the squad. Plan well, get the bulk of your squad in early, integrate early, before the season starts. Works like a charm.

    1. Don’t get me wrong. I’d be chuffed if we got an elite forward like a Benzema, who’ll give you everything — wing play, classic centre-forward play, speed on the counter, taps-ins, headers, shots from distance, sly movement. And who played well with Ozil. But hey, I’m glad that we appear to be signing a forward of any description.

  13. Quite surprised by this move. I watched him closely during his season in Greece. At the same period Joel Cambell was on loan to my Greek favorite team Olympiacos. Cambell looked significantly more accomplished player, with lots of creativity and tactical awareness and working hard. Lucas was more of a second striker drifting from wide positions. As Tim suggests he could be deployed in a Vardy type role. He surely is more gifted technically (like almost all Spanish players are) but I can not imagine he would show the same relentlessness in his style of play.

    1. Yup, my point precisely. I think the problem is we are stuck with Walcott knowing others cannot afford his wages. Everyone wanted him to sign a new contract two seasons back but, his form dipped faster than air out of a deflated balloon.

      Imagine if it would be a choice between Theo & Joel, Arsene would choose Joel.

      1. In fairness he was in great form before rupturing his ACL in the win at Tottenham. For a player who relies on his physical advantage (speed) to the extent Theo does, that’s a devastating injury. Most players, especially the ones reliant on a physical advantage, are not back to their best in the season after such an injury. I know he stunk the place out at Leicester, I know he still doesn’t have a left foot and I know he’s still a one trick pony. But that one trick has still been good for 50 premier league and 14 european competition goals for Arsenal. Last season was a huge disappointment for the whole club but also for Theo as an individual. I believe he is down to his last chance, just as his boss is. They sink or swim together this season, and I think they both know it.

  14. “This is a very typical Arsene Wenger signing.”


    Indeed. Did you notice from the video that when he shoots he has a short backlift? Wenger can’t resist a short backlift.

  15. I assume Wenger’s original plan was like this: Vardy, Mkhitaryan, Central Defender and Xhaka. So he must be with a budget closer to 110 – 130 m£.(20 + 40 + 15 + 35).
    so when the original plan flopped, he had close to 60 m£ to spend on forward options. May be he had dreams to get Greizmann but once he signed the contract extension, that is a gone case.
    I think he wants two key pieces at top level, this summer. It is interesting to observe the last few transfer windows. He added Ozil, Alexis, Cech and now Xhaka (plus somebody). He is sealing places for at least few years – CAM, L/R W, GK and DM.
    This latest development about Lucas Perez is completely logical. So having spent on Xhaka, Holding, Asano and Perez, he is left with 60 m£+. If he spends 25 m£ on a defender, then we can forget about the forward signing. Otherwise there is still a possibility.
    But one thing for sure is, he is not going to ask a single penny more from board than what is planned.
    So I still feel someone in 50+ range or a 30+ defender is possible. Either he is going to get a very good winger (someone from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern or some top top player) or a good defender.
    If Wenger was given chance to buy Ozil, Alexis, Cech and Xhaka in a single window, and still if he had failed, then there is a point worth talking. Because that is how the reconstruction of Manchester United has begun or the foundation for Manchester city began after all.
    My Question is, whether Arsenal is at the level to say, this year we will go all in. We will spend 250 m£ on targets and then let us see.
    Or a club which will say, we will try to spend efficiently.
    When the transfer window is closed, the point to discuss would be how much each club allocated for transfers.
    That would go to some extent to understand how ambitious the club is. I do not care about how they have spent or how much they have spent.
    I would like to believe that Arsenal as a club allocates considerable percentage of it earns on the transfers.
    Would you feel the 130 m£, Arsenal has chosen to spend this year is right with respect to what arsenal claim they earn or with what swiss ramble has to say.
    I am getting a feeling that 130m£ is the right number which Arsenal could afford to spend this year. May be year after year, from now on. Who knows.
    Because otherwise, we would have to doubt a lot of things.

  16. The Sid Lowe piece also kind of says this player is perfectly happy at depor? Can’t see him moving tbh

    1. He’s a long-time Deportivo supporter. He took a huge pay cut to play for them two years ago. He was also given the central striker’s role this season.

      This is still happening.

  17. Ludogorets, yay. That’s like a three hour drive for me. Even with all this pessimism, I’m looking forward to watching them.

  18. Easiest possible draw in Champions League. Famous last words, right? Because we were here last year. Still, PSG and Arsenal should get through.

  19. All these stats about players carrying small teams, we’ve seen them all before. It doesn’t translate to an elite performance at the top level. Players like Bony, Benteke, Ba, Remy, etc. all carried their teams prior to their big moves, and subsequently flopped.

    This might be different, who knows. All I’m saying (and I say this as a stats guy) is that shot numbers as a percentage of team shots and stats like that don’t paint a particularly useful picture. Team styles, individual skills, pass rates and finishing, those are probably better indicators.

    Not convinced by this, but as others have said it’s better than nothing. He was probably third choice for us this summer. Vardy top, then probably a hugely expensive star. Wenger dithered and nothing came through, and this is the ‘better than nothing’ signing.

    1. Yeah, but they had a team built around them which wasn’t replicated at their big clubs. Lucas will be used in a similar manner to Deportivo don’t you think? And he’ll have Ozil & Sanchez providing 🙂

    2. 100 shots a season is good.
      100 shots a season when your team is awful is better.

      Benteke was garbage, he was a one-trick pony.
      Bony may have been better but only at a club like Arsenal where he would get more chances.
      Ba’s knees were dust.
      Remy, I have always said was overrated.

      1. playing d poker game..signing a kinda ‘choker’ in lucas…time will tell,we’ll see

    3. If you say there was a target between Vardy and Perez, then how can you say Wenger dithered? What’s the basis for this when even your theory suggests that there was work being done on another deal? Is it now accepted fact that anytime a deal doesn’t happen it’s because Wenger dithered?

  20. Hmmm, I am maintaining my positive mindset and pretty much agree with Edenem above.
    Wenger wanted Vardy and Mkhitaryan – Vardy chose to stay small time, Mkhitaryan was offered a ridiculous amount of cash by a manager who’ll do anything to get one over on Wenger (and to be fair that was needed with no CL for manure). So, c£50million planned but not spent.

    Maybe Wenger dithered but my take is that he decided to go for a big name, probably Griezman which required several stars to align. They haven’t so plan B is being enacted. Whether this means we’ll get an alternative wide attacker I don’t know, probably not sadly with Mahrez being out of the loop. If Leicester crash and burn we can pick him up next summer 🙂

    If we’re going to play a proper pressing game, then IMHO that’s a good thing. LEt’s wait and see how Lucas does before jumping on him.

  21. Appears we could be in for a double swoop, with the mostly reliable Ornstein reporting Mustafi is also on his way.

  22. First team materials: Xhaka, Mustafi, Holding (from what we’ve seen),and Perez. Prospects: Asano and Nwakali.All things considered, it hasn’t been a bad summer. However, Arsenal could’ve been more proactive and more media-savvy instead of driving the fanbase up the wall with mixed messages.

    1. It wouldn’t have mattered. The atmos against Wenger is so toxic people can’t see straight. Myself included.

  23. To make it a proper transfer story some club must have been “snubbed” in order for a player to move.
    Snubbing, swooping and pipping – the joys of transfer porn.

  24. I don’t think anything other than a stellar signing would have alleviated the disappointment I read online. I don’t buy that Perez was anything other than Plan E. The reports about Mustafi surfaced a month ago. We blew most of our transfer wad on Xhaka, a fine player but not in a position we had a pressing need, we had Coquelin, Elneny and a returning Cazorla (arguably Wilshere and Ramsey also) that could play one of the double pivots.

    This summer was a bust. Wenger’s last season in charge and we’re out of the top 4.

    1. Xhaka was absolutely a pressing need. I know memories are short this time of year but I thought it would be hard to forget how awful Ramsey and Flamini were in combination (or really Flamini in any combination), how we used Calum Chambers as an emergency holding midfielder, and how Mohamed El-Neny, having never played for Arsenal, walked straight into the team after January. Even the first choice duo of Coquelin and Cazorla were deeply flawed in their own way, and their union was one of happy coincidence rather than a result of careful planning. It was also not one built to last. We have needed a coherent, high functioning midfield since Arteta’s legs started to give out and Xhaka is the all important cog that can hold it together with and without the ball. I wish we could clone him and bring on the clone when the other one gets tired, or start them both together for away matches. Maybe Taulant Xhaka is available at the transfer deadline?? (I kid, I kid)

  25. I know they say don’t stare a goft horse in the mouth and all that. But… this guy seems deeply underwhelming. Only 2 double digit seasons by 27? Learnt his trade in the very low standard Greek and Russian leagues. Was hoping for better. Hopefully he can step up and this level isn’t a level beyond him. Because the pressure and standards the fans are hoping for.. they won’t be kind to him if he starts fluffing left, right and centre.

  26. What’s not to like about a new striker? Although it’s not like we just bought a household name like Zlatan, that doesn’t mean he’s not up to the job. Tim’s review of the player and a brief run through the statistics was enjoyable. It certainly sounds like he fits the profile not only of the type of players Arsenal likes to sign but also of the type of striker we have been after this summer. What impresses me is his creativity. Wenger always loved forwards who could create and score.

    What I find most interesting about this deal though is the timing. If the rumors of a transfer clause are correct, the club must have known about that before yesterday. They must have had Perez in their back pocket for some time, so what were they waiting for? Had they been in love with the player I’m sure we could have signed him much earlier. Perez must have been third or fourth choice behind Vardy and then someone else… but who? And what caused them to suddenly decide to go in on Perez? Maybe they were afraid of Everton getting in ahead of us. Does that mean the alternate, preferable target is still out there?

    Or, was it simply a case of: enough is enough, fan sentiment has gotten to such a point that we have to do something! In isolation, the Perez deal in isolation doesn’t make a strong case for this pattern of thought, but coupling it with genuine movement on the Mustafi deal on the same day feels like it’s a real statement from the club and from the negotiating team designed not only to reinforce the squad but to put money where the mouth is so to speak, to prove the doubters wrong and get some positive momentum off the pitch. It had to be done, everyone could see it, and now it’s happening. Maybe the club doesn’t listen to its fans, but it sure does act when it feels things slipping too fast. Previous examples included the trolley dash following the infamous 8-2, the Coup of Ozil, and the Arshavin deal, snow hazard and all.

    And now, to paraphrase some great philosopher somewhere, let’s get these deals through and let’s get on with the football.

    1. Watched the highlight reel. There are definitely some moments of fortune about some of his goals and assists, but what stands out is that he has a nose for getting onto long clearances and capitalizing on uncertainty among defenders with his quickness, especially from a change of possession… he also uses the offside rule cleverly to avoid the flag until the crucial moment while lulling defenders into a false sense of security over his position.

      Arsenal have seemed to concentrate on using their own version of counterpressing in recent seasons and many of their best games have come when they could score early goals after forcing changes of possession at the opponent’s back line. Looks like this strategy is set to continue with the consistent selection of Coquelin and the additions to midfield of Xhaka and El-Neny, both energetic and eager to close down. The first goal of this season, scored by Theo Walcott, is a prime example of theory put into practice; Coquelin wins possession high up the pitch, Iwobi picks up the loose ball, finds Walcott who scores low and hard across the keeper. Perez, like Xhaka, was bought to suit this style that Wenger wishes to play. The true counter attack goal, much harder to achieve and execute, was more rare on the Deportivo highlight reel, but with the addition of Perez, Arsenal have another weapon for Ozil’s or Xhaka’s laser beams to pick out.

      Where it will be different for Perez is that when we do have possession, he will not enjoy the same amount of room behind defenses that he regularly saw at Deportivo, when teams would seem to come onto them too much at times. Some of the space he had to run into was staggering on the highlights. Will he be able to get into games when we are passing it around in front of a massed block of defenders? Can he provide the angles for the midfield to find him when the counter is not on? Can he hang on to the ball despite the physicality of PL defenders who will anticipate him receiving it? This is the challenge for Arsenal’s quickest forwards in the coming season. Let’s hope Perez’s arrival stokes Theo’s fire a bit too. If we can get 10+ goals out of both of them, the title becomes a possibility.

      1. Essentially the same questions surrounding Vardy. Not about physicality, but about how he’ll do with massed defenses. Perez looks like he’s got better technique, and better passing vision, though even his highlights show him messing up what ought to be straightforward passes. It is definitely a step up for him, but considering that he’s been stated to play with a real hunger, and that he’s willing to leave his childhood club who have reportedly offered him a 7 year contract to stay, suggests that he’s up for the challenge.

        As to the why not buy him before stuff. The prevalent theory is that we were waiting for Griezmann to become available as Lukaku to Chelsea and Costa to Atleti happened, freeing him up for us. But whatever. I’ve always been ok with us buying players we need before the window ended. It’s not ideal but that’s usually the case in the real world, which is where we live.

        Also, it seems like as soon as we got the striker sorted, we agreed to pay Mustafi’s asking price as well. Seems like Ornstein was given the right message, and that the big striker signing just didn’t pan out.

        There are people still hoping for a deadline day big name, but we’re done in the market. Xhaka was our big name signing this summer.

  27. I heard in twitter that KSE had finally earned their money by arranging a massive American NBA style four-way trade in which we pay for Lucas, pass him to Everton who sell Lukaku to Chelsea for 40MM who sell Costa to Atleti for 50MM who sell us Greizeman for 85MM. Everyone wins, Everton makes out like a bandit, with cash and a replacement player, Conte gets a younger, stronger, less penalized striker who fits his system, like Pelle +1, and gets to subtlely stick it to Mou by giving Wenger the tools to beat ManU, Atleti get an effective hard working striker and additional $35MM which they can spend on Gabigoal. Particulalry important after the crackdown on slush funds in La Liga.

    Did I mention this was a dream? Or was it an SNL skit like the one where Reagan was only pretending to be senile but was really running everything? At the end Wenger was smiling that cheshire cat grin of his.

    1. This doesn’t work in football. From what I understand there are rules prohibiting transferring a player twice in the same window? I am eager to be corrected, because I’m wondering if Morata is an exception because he was technically bought back?

  28. I am more worried by the fact neither Ozil nor Alexis have yet to sign an extension to their contracts which are in their penultimate years.

    1. What? You pick today to worry about Sanchez and Ozil’s contract?

      They will sign it when perez scores twenty of their passes and we win the trophy next summer.

    2. Sangbaran, I don’t mean to make an example out of you, just to highlight your post as symptomatic of a wider malaise. Online Arsenal has been reeling from unprecedented shock of Wenger improving the Arsenal squad again after he already did once this summer. In a way it’s quietly reassuring to see the types of responses I have to us spending 55 million in the past couple of days (and ~92 million for the summer). If everyone was suddenly relieved and happy (a fantasy, I know) then it would’ve justified the previous angst in a way; it would have made the ill feelings seem more rational at least. Instead, with the money spent, quite a few Gooners seem now bent on finding new things to worry about in the same way, or at least the same things in a different way. It’s as if, once the burning effigy is doused, we go in search of a new one with the same pitchforks in hand.

      Maybe Arsenal serves a different purpose in the millennial internet age than it used to do. Instead of providing diversion in a white collar London neighborhood, a place for public meetings, the occasional public intoxication and screaming/singing from the stands (before returning home to spouse and kids), it is now more of a global online church where true believers, reformers and neonates come to eulogize, proselytize, deliver sermons on the mount, or just to sit and listen to the din while marveling at the size and diversity of the congregation. And just like in a global religion, we have a schism between people of differing interpretations of available texts and information.

      Or maybe Arsenal now simply provides folks a safe haven and a direction in which to be angry and hateful in an age where anger is not permitted and hate is grounds for excommunication (being hunted down by thousands of righteously pure twitterati you’ve never met who will try to get you fired from your job if possible). Maybe it gives us a cause to fight for when such causes are too infrequent in our daily lives.

  29. So Valencia RAISED Mustafi’s price from what THEY had been asking. And we deal.

    Down-to-the-wire deals for your essential buys is poor negotiating. Do this a month ago or before the Euros and you have a good chance of a better outcome.

    Arsenal Football Club isn’t as smart as it likes to think on husbanding its finances. We keep paying over the odds by going in late. It makes sense up to a certain point — that’s when the shakeout is most vigorous. But not for need-now buys that everyone knows we need.

    1. Ummm.. Even if we believe what is reported, one deal does not make a trend. Who do we KEEP overpaying for? And Mustafi was not a need-now buy before Gabriel’s injury. Valencia also had a need to sell, so it can go both ways.

      Can’t we just be happy that Arsenal were willing to pay slightly over the odds rather than making out like they don’t know how to work in the market and actually waste money because of it?

      Where does this idea that buying early ensures a better price come from anyway? I’ve genuinely never heard it before this summer.

    2. Uhm, why shouldn’t we believe the price quoted? Because of Shard’s blind defence of all things Wenger? 🙂 If you have evidence to the contrary by all means offer it.

      Buy decisively early, or you pay over the odds for injury-prone Man U rejects on deadline day.

      I said I was perfectly happy with the Perez buy. Why, I even took the rare step of publicly agreeing with you that I like what I see. Yes, I’m happy we got those deals over the line. Sorry you don’t like what I said about leaving it late.

      My main point about Mustafi though is that we lose leverage when we buy late, we pay more, we integrate the player after the season has started and most importantly of all, we drop points when the squad is unready and unsettled.

      They had us over a barrel and they knew it. Chances are that a determined process of bidding earlier would have seen us land him for less. A seat on the last chopper out of Saigon is always going to cost more.

      1. I wasn’t disagreeing with the price. Just that Valencia raised the price because we waited. Last the media was reporting was that the deal was off because Valencia wanted 50m euros. Now they claim we could have had him for 21m (or something) but paid 35m. It’s nothing to do with defending Wenger. It’s wondering why we must look for a narrative that paints him and Arsenal as bumbling idiots when they clearly aren’t.

        I do like to question a narrative I see held without explanation or logic. I can’t help it that most of it is just a default against Wenger and Arsenal.

        So, this idea that we understand how the transfer market works enough to pass judgment not just over who we signed in which positions, but also the minutiae of the process of each deal. How are we supposed to know? Even journalists only rely on info from vested interests for their articles. At best we get second hand info, and none of it is very clear usually.

        Look, no one’s preference is to buy late in the window. No one says that is the ideal thing to do. Can we just not portray this as some sort of negligent or silly action on Arsenal’s part.

        I mean, buy decisively early. Great. But what if the selling club doesn’t want to sell the player and tries to convince him to stay, or find other clubs to sell to to create an auction, or wants to first identify a replacement and negotiate a price (or conclude a deal) so that they can then agree to sell at a certain price. What do you do then?

        Like I said. Can’t we just be happy that Arsenal were willing to pay what it took to get the deal done, rather than find something to complain about without even knowing what was happening behind the scenes? It’s this need to paint Arsenal in a poor light, no matter how dim, that I don’t understand.

        1. I wasn’t talking about what Valencia claim. I’m talking about what is manifestly clear to anyone who has been following this. I did not see anything from Valencia before saying what I did. I’m surprised at the price, that’s all.

          I’m tickled by your “cant we just be happy” schtick. Being happy with the deal and expressing surprise at the price are not mutually exclusive positions.

      2. And even as a principle. The idea that leaving it late causes desperation. Creating an artificial deadline up to a month before the actual deadline can also be desperation that the other party senses.

        If Arsenal’s budget was really really high like City’s or PSG’s, then I would agree with you. It may be worth it to pay the extra costs that might be required to just finish it off a month early ,and perhaps you may even have squad space and money left over for a surprise option that comes up in the window later.

        But we live in the real world where we must balance all of those possibilities and dealings. As such, I don’t see how we can critcise using the length of the window to get players in, as mishandling or poor negotiating without being privy to the process.

  30. Very happy if Arsenal get these deals over the line.
    Most likely the boo crowd will find a way to complain. A quote from my military days, soldiers come back from field duty and someone comes into the barracks and puts down a free sixer knowing that “someone will bitch about the brand!”
    Look forward to the Watford game.

  31. ormy

    You said, ‘Arsenal Football Club isn’t as smart as it likes to think on husbanding its finances. We keep paying over the odds by going in late.’

    That doesn’t read like a message just expressing surprise at the price. If that’s all you were doing, then ok.

    But, I have seen this ‘wasting money by going in late, haha silly arsenal’ theory expressed by a lot of people lately. I was simply questioning the basis for this to exist, as well as the idea that buying late in the window is synonymous with having to pay a higher price. Something I have never seen before, and I strongly suspect it has originated simply to keep the heat on Arsenal.

  32. well, i step away for a couple of days and look at what done happened.

    if this kid is a legit center forward than i’m happy with this deal. i never felt the need for a big name or someone better than giroud, just someone who can provide arsenal with competent center forward play if giroud is unavailable or playing poorly.

    to call this kid vardy-like seems disrespectful. his awareness, close control, and ability to find his team mates seems to supersede vardy’s, implying he’s actually better than vardy. i don’t think he’s as fast as vardy but he seems a more technically sound player. we’ll see.

    i don’t think valencia actually raised their asking price to €50 million. i was always under the impression that 50 million was the buyout clause in mustafi’s contract. to me, it sounds like valencia gave arsenal a number significantly less than 50 million but arsenal dicked around so long that they disregarded arsenal’s interest as legitimate. valencia had their season opener on sunday where they gave up four goals. they have a top defender rostered who could have helped but was left to train on his own due to his impending transfer to arsenal. problem is valencia don’t have a replacement because they haven’t received arsenal’s transfer fee. valencia can’t afford to drop more points waiting for arsenal so they’ve, essentially, told arsenal if you want this kid, pay his buy out (€50 million) or piss off, and ordered mustafi back to training. makes sense. if any of us were in valencia’s shoes, we would have done the same thing.

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