February 24, 2024

Arsenal looked primed to prise prime midfielder away from Everton

Ordinarily, we’d be sizing up our next FA Cup opponent, but…yeah. For what it’s worth, Liverpool will be drawn against Norwich City or Bristol Rovers pending the outcome of a replay after the two drew 1-1. In the absence of such news, then, our attention returns to the transfer market with news that we’re kicking tyres on Everton’s Amadou Onana. I don’t see much sense in this as we don’t have any history of signing youthful Belgian defensive midfielders, but this is the silly season after all. Let’s kick some tyres.

 

For those who can’t see my tongue planted firmly in cheek and who have problems with forming short term memories, we did just sign a youthful Belgian defensive midfielder: one Albert Sambi Lokonga. It didn’t quite pan out, at least not yet. He failed to convince in almost 40 performances for us before going out on loan, first to Crystal Palace and then to Luton Town, but there’s still a chance he’ll grow into the kind of player we can count on. Maybe. With Partey and Elneny looking increasingly likely to leave in the summer, we’d be wise to shop around for a Prem-proven DM. Whether Onana has that kind of CV is another question.

On to Scylla and Charybdis. Both clubs have some FFP considerations to, well, consider. Arteta has been coy about our ability to spend in this window. Unless we sell players, we probably have less than £20m of wiggle room in our budget before we violate FFP rules, which, as we all know, are merciless, even ruthless, in their application. Ask none other than Everton, who were docked ten points for their financial profligacy. Hell, ask Man City, who…hmm. I’ll get back to you on that. Maybe it takes longer to investigate a longer list of potential violations? Yes, yes, that should stick.

Back to the Scylla and Charybis bit. We can only spend so much in this window. Everton face pressure to sell in this window and again in the summer. Twixt the two, could a deal be struck? It feels unlikely. Everton would probably expect upwards of £50m for Onana, and that’s just not money we can afford to spend. We don’t even know that Onana would be worth the fee. On one hand, playing DM for a side struggling to stave off relegation when two of the three spots are already inked in (Clarets and Blades, I’m looking at you…) might suggest that Onana is getting plenty of action shielding the back line. On the other hand, it suggests that he’s not getting enough of the technical ability to link defense to attack as Rice (and Partey…remember him?) do. What’s more, whaever defensive stats he registers are inflated by Everton’s inability to control possession.

At this point, our problem doesn’t line in our ability to control the midfield. We’re doing quite well there, and we do have Partey coming back, eventually, from surgery. Even if he leaves in the summer, his return will bolster our midfield far more than the signing of Onana. Hell, if we want a backup DM who is an improvement on Elneny, we’d be far better off trying to recall Lokonga from his Luton loan.

Ordinarily, we’d be sizing up our next FA Cup opponent, but…yeah. For what it’s worth, Liverpool will be drawn against Norwich City or Bristol Rovers pending the outcome of

Ordinarily, we’d be sizing up our next FA Cup opponent, but…yeah. For what it’s worth, Liverpool will be drawn against Norwich City or Bristol Rovers pending the outcome of a replay after the two drew 1-1. In the absence of such news, then, our attention returns to the transfer market with news that we’re kicking tyres on Everton’s Amadou Onana. I don’t see much sense in this as we don’t have any history of signing youthful Belgian defensive midfielders, but this is the silly season after all. Let’s kick some tyres.

For those who can’t see my tongue planted firmly in cheek and who have problems with forming short term memories, we did just sign a youthful Belgian defensive midfielder: one Albert Sambi Lokonga. It didn’t quite pan out, at least not yet. He failed to convince in almost 40 performances for us before going out on loan, first to Crystal Palace and then to Luton Town, but there’s still a chance he’ll grow into the kind of player we can count on. Maybe. With Partey and Elneny looking increasingly likely to leave in the summer, we’d be wise to shop around for a Prem-proven DM. Whether Onana has that kind of CV is another question.

On to Scylla and Charybdis. Both clubs have some FFP considerations to, well, consider. Arteta has been coy about our ability to spend in this window. Unless we sell players, we probably have less than £20m of wiggle room in our budget before we violate FFP rules, which, as we all know, are merciless, even ruthless, in their application. Ask none other than Everton, who were docked ten points for their financial profligacy. Hell, ask Man City, who…hmm. I’ll get back to you on that. Maybe it takes longer to investigate a longer list of potential violations? Yes, yes, that should stick.

Back to the Scylla and Charybis bit. We can only spend so much in this window. Everton face pressure to sell in this window and again in the summer. Twixt the two, could a deal be struck? It feels unlikely. Everton would probably expect upwards of £50m for Onana, and that’s just not money we can afford to spend. We don’t even know that Onana would be worth the fee. On one hand, playing DM for a side struggling to stave off relegation when two of the three spots are already inked in (Clarets and Blades, I’m looking at you…) might suggest that Onana is getting plenty of action shielding the back line. On the other hand, it suggests that he’s not getting enough of the technical ability to link defense to attack as Rice (and Partey…remember him?) do. What’s more, whaever defensive stats he registers are inflated by Everton’s inability to control possession.

At this point, our problem doesn’t line in our ability to control the midfield. We’re doing quite well there, and we do have Partey coming back, eventually, from surgery. Even if he leaves in the summer, his return will bolster our midfield far more than the signing of Onana. Hell, if we want a backup DM who is an improvement on Elneny, we’d be far better off trying to recall Lokonga from his Luton loan.

Even if it looks increasingly likely that we won’t sign anyone significant in this window, we’d do well to remember the words of that infamous misogynist Ernest Hemingway: never mistake motion for action. In other words, we shouldn’t confuse the signing of a player with progress towards a goal. Hell, for the money involved, I’d much rather see a larger role for Mohamed “best Egyptian to play in the Prem” Elneny, the better to inflate his summer transfer fee to the Saud Pro League.

Sorry, Everton, even if the enemy of my enemy should be my friend, I don’t see us plumping for Onana to help you avoid FFP sanctions even if LIverpool did just dump us out of the FA Cup. You made your bed; now, you’ll have to lie in it. One more idiom: lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. You’ll have try to palm Onana off on some other, less-suspecting suitor. I hear that Chelsea are eager. All you have to do is let slip that Arsenal are interested. Todd Boehly will take it from there…

a replay after the two drew 1-1. In the absence of such news, then, our attention returns to the transfer market with news that we’re kicking tyres on Everton’s Amadou Onana. I don’t see much sense in this as we don’t have any history of signing youthful Belgian defensive midfielders, but this is the silly season after all. Let’s kick some tyres.

For those who can’t see my tongue planted firmly in cheek and who have problems with forming short term memories, we did just sign a youthful Belgian defensive midfielder: one Albert Sambi Lokonga. It didn’t quite pan out, at least not yet. He failed to convince in almost 40 performances for us before going out on loan, first to Crystal Palace and then to Luton Town, but there’s still a chance he’ll grow into the kind of player we can count on. Maybe. With Partey and Elneny looking increasingly likely to leave in the summer, we’d be wise to shop around for a Prem-proven DM. Whether Onana has that kind of CV is another question.

On to Scylla and Charybdis. Both clubs have some FFP considerations to, well, consider. Arteta has been coy about our ability to spend in this window. Unless we sell players, we probably have less than £20m of wiggle room in our budget before we violate FFP rules, which, as we all know, are merciless, even ruthless, in their application. Ask none other than Everton, who were docked ten points for their financial profligacy. Hell, ask Man City, who…hmm. I’ll get back to you on that. Maybe it takes longer to investigate a longer list of potential violations? Yes, yes, that should stick.

Back to the Scylla and Charybis bit. We can only spend so much in this window. Everton face pressure to sell in this window and again in the summer. Twixt the two, could a deal be struck? It feels unlikely. Everton would probably expect upwards of £50m for Onana, and that’s just not money we can afford to spend. We don’t even know that Onana would be worth the fee. On one hand, playing for a side struggling to stave of

relegation when two of the three spots are already inked in (Clarets and Blades, I’m looking at you…) might suggest that Onana is getting plenty of action shielding the back line. On the other hand, it suggests that he’s not getting enough of the technical ability to link defense to attack as Rice (and Partey…remember him?) do. What’s more, whaever defensive stats he registers are inflated by Everton’s inability to control possession.

At this point, our problem doesn’t line in our ability to control the midfield. We’re doing quite well there, and we do have Partey coming back, eventually, from surgery. Even if he leaves in the summer, his return will bolster our midfield far more than the signing of Onana. Hell, if we want a backup DM who is an improvement on Elneny, we’d be far better off trying to recall Lokonga from his Luton loan.

Even if it looks increasingly likely that we won’t sign anyone significant in this window, we’d do well to remember the words of that infamous misogynist Ernest Hemingway: never mistake motion for action. In other words, we shouldn’t confuse the signing of a player with progress towards a goal. Hell, for the money involved, I’d much rather see a larger role for Mohamed “best Egyptian to play in the Prem” Elneny, the better to inflate his summer transfer fee to the Saud Pro League.

Sorry, Everton, even if the enemy of my enemy should be my friend, I don’t see us plumping for Onana to help you avoid FFP sanctions even if LIverpool did just dump us out of the FA Cup. You made your bed; now, you’ll have to lie in it. One more idiom: lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. You’ll have try to palm Onana off on some other, less-suspecting suitor. I hear that Chelsea are eager. All you have to do is let slip that Arsenal are interested. Todd Boehly will take it from there…

Even if it looks increasingly likely that we won’t sign anyone significant in this window, we’d do well to remember the words of that infamous misogynist Ernest Hemingway: never mistake motion for action. In other words, we shouldn’t confuse the signing of a player with progress towards a goal. Hell, for the money involved, I’d much rather see a larger role for Mohamed “best Egyptian to play in the Prem” Elneny, the better to inflate his summer transfer fee to the Saud Pro League.

Sorry, Everton, even if the enemy of my enemy should be my friend, I don’t see us plumping for Onana to help you avoid FFP sanctions even if LIverpool did just dump us out of the FA Cup. You made your bed; now, you’ll have to lie in it. One more idiom: lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. You’ll have try to palm Onana off on some other, less-suspecting suitor. I hear that Chelsea are eager. All you have to do is let slip that Arsenal are interested. Todd Boehly will take it from there…

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