Ozil ‘Auf Wiedersehen’, Maitland Niles so long, Mkhitaryan ‘shat yerkar’ and Mohamed Elneny ‘ma’is salāma.’ That’s the current position that Arsenal should be adopting for a group of players that just don’t fit the Arteta brief going forward.
Drive them to the airport, wave them goodbye and count the money is my advice to wonky Stan Kroenke before reinvesting it wisely on someone capable of re-energising the Arsenal midfield. We are unsurprisingly informed that Dani Ceballos, another dreadful loan deal, is returning to Real Madrid. Adios!
If Arsenal were a lifeboat at the time of the sinking of the Titanic, it would surely have capsized with the number of superfluous bodies onboard. Arteta should be on the telephone with Raul Sanllehi to push bodies out the door like security staff at a theatre fire.
Let’s just speculate that only three from the list are sold and that Ozil either breaks his contract due to the ongoing wage reduction saga or that he leaves when his contract is up in 2021. That leaves Maitland Niles, easily worth £11m, Mkhitaryan worth at least £8m, and Elneny another £8/9m, that sum would be enough to bring Feyenoord’s highly regarded Orkun Kokcu to the Emirates.
The young Dutch-born Turkish midfielder has had a breakthrough season in the Eredivisie and as a result, he has alerted many top clubs. Poise, balance, flair, desire, determination, vision, and an exquisite touch are just some of the reasons for snapping him up but his work rate is also exceptional, something that Arteta likes and needs.
The nimble-footed 19-year-old is an upgrade on Arsenal’s current young academy pretenders and although some of you will say he’s too young, I’m afraid we all need to realise that because of Covid-19, Arsenal are not really in a position to pay or compete with the top clubs for the big names, if they ever were.
Pepe was probably the last major signing of his kind for the North London club, especially in these desperately uncertain times. We still don’t know how the transfer market will be impacted as a result, but Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward voiced his concerns when he said at an Arsenal fans forum:
“Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer,”
“As ever our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.”
If moneybags Manchester United are worried, the notoriously short-changed fans of Arsenal should also be. Having said that, a price tag of around £23m for Orkun Kokcu would be seen as a bargain, especially if some of Arsenal’s driftwood was sold off to offset the expense.