Transfer Windows Are Complicated
Transfers. Transfer. Transfers. The World Cup is just over a week away and all it seems anyone can talk about is player transfers.
Transfer windows are hard enough when you are an Arsenal supporter. A few deadline day signings over the past 8 years and one year with a 3 day flurry has led many to believe we only do business on the last day but the papers haven’t picked up on that yet and continue to link us to new players (and old ones) on a daily basis.
To make matters worse we allow ourselves to be suckered into arguments and debates with other Gooners over what players we should or should not buy.
Cesc Fabregas is the topic of one such argument. Despite what you may hear on the Goonersphere Podcast I am actually a complicated person with complicated feelings when it comes to transfers. The logical and rational part of me says we should sort out other positions before even contemplating but then that logical and rational part punches itself in the face and screams “IT WOULD BE ILLOGICAL TO TURN DOWN A PLAYER OF CESC’S CALIBRE, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR RIVALS ARE INTERESTED TOO”.
Teams like City and Chelsea have stockpiled talent for years and surely it is better for us to take Cesc back even if we aren’t in dire need of him. I mean, come one, he’s Cesc F*cking Fabregas. The guy is one of the best players on the planet and you can always make room for one of the best players on the planet.
And this kind of rational-irrational-rational thinking extends beyond Cesc and into other positions. For example, at right-back, we are going to need to replace Sagna and are linked with various options such as Chambers, Aurier, Uchida and Juanfran.
Rationally speaking we need to replace Sagna with as close a talent as possible and many would have you look no further than Aurier who is considered a carbon copy. However, we already have two young right-backs in Jenkinson and Bellerin and bringing in someone of the age of Aurier or Chambers would put paid to one of those young defender’s Arsenal career.
This is where it gets complicated for me because I want to see us buy someone who is going to improve the team as it currently is (Sagna-less) but I also believe in the potential of Bellerin and Jenkinson. I believe that both of those players have what it takes to make it at Arsenal and Jenkinson already proved in 2012/13 that he can improve exponentially with a run of games and confidence of his manager.
One option is to buy Aurier and loan out one of Jenkinson or Bellerin but the problem still exists. One of those players is going to lose out. If Bellerin goes on loan, improves, and then comes back, is he going to want to play 2nd or 3rd fiddle? Does he move on and then we’ve lost a then proven top class player? Or does he take his place and force Jenkinson down the pecking order and all the time and effort put into him goes to waste?
When do we stop developing players? I don’t believe in the whole “it will kill this player” mantra but I do believe that a balance has to be struck between having the best player you possibly can and stunting your production line.
For that reason I believe it would be more beneficial to our young defenders to sign someone like Uchida, Juanfran or Piszczek. Someone who can be here for 2, max 3, years and allow our production line to naturally produce a successor. But then again I think those players would cost a similar amount to Aurier and surely we’d rather spend that money on someone who is going to be first choice for 10 years?
Or do we consider the money spent on an experienced player as an investment in the players coming up behind like Jenkinson or Bellerin. I can make arguments for both sides that make the other sound illogical. It’s incredibly frustrating.
And then we have the strike force to consider. Do we go for a proven Premier League bargain like Remy or someone with a bit more pizzazz? Mandzukic is a name mentioned and as he is a consistent and proven scorer at the top level logic dictates we should be looking but is he an extreme upgrade on Giroud or just an expensively modest upgrade?
Do we try to go all out for Cavani if he is truly unsettled in Paris and looking to move? Are we buying the name or are we buying final piece to our jigsaw?
Do we go down the risky road and take an unpredictable player like Balotelli and hope Wenger can tame his off-field antics (which have been fairly non-existent in the past year or so to be fair) and channel his mercurial spirit to become one of the most explosive forwards on the continent?
We want a something-out-of-nothing forward but we also want consistency of product. Sadly that kind of player is very rare. Remy is the sort of pacey striker with an eye for goal that would thrive with the midfield we have but we would lose all the hold-up play we have with Giroud which is often sorely underestimated.
One option would be to get an additional striker who has speed but elements of Giroud’s hold-up play, like Sanogo but a proven scorer, someone like Bony and then get a fast goal-scoring wide player like Griezmann who can offer us what Walcott offers us but on the left.
It’s all very complicated to think about because different players will make you compromise what you believe we actually need and contradict your views on what the team needs to move forward.
The best option is probably to ignore all rumours, not get into arguments on Twitter, enjoy the World Cup and let Wenger do what is best for the team because let’s be honest, rational and logical here – what we think the team needs counts for absolute sh!t. Wenger knows what he wants and will buy the players he thinks is best for Arsenal.
Alternatively you could check out the podcast I host with James ‘Raul’ Stokes and have a good laugh until this all blows over.
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