It is the eighteenth of August in the year of our lord 2017, and as I sit in my living room penning this call to arms to the greatest gooner ever, I can’t help but think that some divine intervention might be necessary.
We have eight days left to salvage what began as an unbelievably promising start to the 2017 transfer window, before derailing catastrophically over what I refer to as the Thomas Lemar Affair. The signing of Schalke and Bundesliga left back of the season, Sead Kolasinac on a Bosman was a shrewd bit of business from the boss, The Bosnian Bull has wowed the Gunner faithful throughout the preseason, firmly entrenching himself as the season’s early fan favorite thanks to his powerful runs from the back, steely tackling and an unexpected craft with the ball at his pins. Wenger and the board followed up the Kolasinac signing with a colossal show of intent by wisping French International and Lyon dynamo, Alexandre Lacazette for a club record 52million euros. It was as if for the first time in decades Arsenal were going to throw their hat in the ring with the Petro dollar clubs, United, and Liverfool matching them pound for pound. It was unfathomable. Arsenal making signings of intent in June, my head pondered the business to come over the next sixty days. The possibilities were absolutely mouthwatering.
The rumor mill began churning out a prolific number of world class signings to be, as is the case every summer at the Arsenal, none more intriguing then the second coming Arsenal all-time goalscorer, Thierry Henry. Kylian Mbappe is his name and the comparisons to Henry seem never ending. Was this really happening? We had already secured an excellent left back and the club record former Lyon frontman, was Le Prof really going to pursue the next big thing on the continent for over 130 million euros? It seemed a pleasant, albeit unrealistic fiction but as the window opened officially July 1st the Mbappe pursuit began to gain actual momentum. In addition to Kylian, 2015-16 PFA player of the year Riyadh Mahrez and Monaco upstart, Thomas Lemar were rumored to be keen on joining the Red side of North London despite us not qualifying for Champions League for the first time in 2 decades. One thing seemed certain, the summer belonged to Arsenal.
Fast forward six weeks and the summer’s early elation has subsided back to the annual status quo. City has added over 200 million worth of talent from across the globe. Chelski have spent over 125 million and are working tirelessly to secure more talent. United have added Everton frontman Romelu Lukaku for 75 million, Benfica’s Scandinavian center back, Victor Lindelof for 30 million, and Chelsea midfield Bulwark, Nemanja Matic for around 50 million. Arsenal have spent nothing since the 52 million spent on Lacazette.
We have spent the summer watching our rivals add steel and skill to their already well-endowed player pool while “considering” bidding on a myriad of talent ranging from 19-year-old Sunderland net minder, Jordan Pickford, to Southampton destroyer, Virgil Van Djyk, to Monaco winger, Thomas Lemar.
We have spent the summer trying to do business with a team that has already lost four ( Silva, Bakayoko, Mendy) of the core six players from last season’s UEFA Champions League Semifinalist. We have watched three bids for Lemar, none of which have been Impassioned, declined as our rivals managed to focus miraculously on multiple players at once.
While I do not feel it is necessary to sign big priced talent arbitrarily the way United and City do year in year out. It is imperative that we analyze the weak points in the side and use the ample resources and knowledge at our disposal to sign talent that will not only allow us to remain competitive, but provide us with at the very least a Davidian chance to topple the petroleum giants in our path.
And now kids, The Plea to the greatest gunner, from across the pond………………
Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are perhaps the two most talented footballers we have on their day. Cazorla, El Magico, has been gone for the better part of the last two campaigns. With him in the lineup we are capable of beating any team on the planet on the right day, without him capable of suffering a 3-0 drubbing away to Palace. The time has come to sign a talisman capable of making our attack whole again. That player is Jean Michel Seri, of Nice. The Ivorian has gifted, ambidextrous footwork, excellent change of direction, and can pick a pass with the best of them. I feared we had fallen out of the race when Barcelona turned their affection temporarily towards Jean Michel, but the fates smiled on Gooners one and all leaving our path to his signature unopposed for 36 million euros. Please stop thinking about this and get it done. If Santi comes back healthy we have squad depth in the most valuable position on the pitch. If he does not, we have secured a world class replacement for good market value. Jack Wilshere, healthy is one of the twenty most complete midfielders on the planet. Injured, He fits in quite nicely next to Harry Arter and Benik Afobe in a AFC Bournemouth kit. The time has come to see once and for all which Jack currently occupies the number 10 jersey for the Arsenal. Jack is a better player than Ramsey, Xhaka, Elneny, Coquelin or any other squad midfielder currently donning the Victoria Concordia crescit badge, so provide him with the necessary game time in the attacking third to evaluate whether or not his career with Arsenal is finished or just beginning. I just attack that you keep the both of these two away from the back lying defensive midfielder positions. They are both in the neighborhood of 5’5” tall whose abilities are in craft not in crunch.
Elneny and Coquelin are premier league caliber talent, just not Arsenal caliber talent. We have spent the past four summer windows salivating over the possibility of adding Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho, who would represent a significant upgrade over Coquelin or Elneny and provide Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, and hopefully Seri Licence to bomb forward in support of the Arsenal Air Corps. It appears we have waited too long once again allowing him to slip through our fingers westward signing a deal with the Hammers of West Hammonton. There are however, several options at our disposal, none more enticing then PSG stalwart Adrien Rabiot, who’s procurement I will bring to light in the final installment of this most desperate plea to ARSENE WENGER.
I believe the Conte inspired transition of the Premier league from a back 4 league to a back 3 league serves Arsenal well due both to our style of play and the player personnel currently on the payroll at the emirates. We have quality depth at left back with Kolasinac, last year’s starter, Nacho Monreal leaving England International Kieran Gibbs surplus to requirements. Hector Bellerin will be manning the right back position backed by academy graduate Ainsley Maitlin Niles and pre-season show stopper, Reiss Nelson leaving Carl Jenkinson and French International Mathieu Debuchy free to seek starting football elsewhere. Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi and former Bolton Wanderers POY Rob Holding will be rotating the three CB position with Gabriel moving Back to La Liga. IMO Callum Chambers will prove invaluable this season providing depth at both wingback postions, at center back and even as a defensive midfielder. Chambers was impressive with Middlesborough last season and deserves the opportunity to prove his worth in an Arsenal shirt.
Last but not least it is high time we address the elephant in the room who incidentally doubles as the instrument of our resurrection, Senor Alexis Sanchez.
Sanchez was the best player in the premier league last season, bar none. He has raised his game to a level not seen from a Gunner since the days of King Henry, but a poison pill although preternaturally gifted is still poison.
Arsenal are not Tottenham Hotspur, not Everton, we are not a selling club. We are a top 10 club on this Planet. If a player thinks he is too big for this club of legends at 30 years old and we are offered 80 million euros for him, sell him and let’s move headlong into the future, united.
PSG informed 23 year old German winger/ attacking midfielder Julian Draxler that he is surplus to requirements and may find fame and fortune elsewhere. Wenger enjoys a good working relationship with the PSG hierarchy and could pull off a coup in the form of a Rabiot/ Draxler for Sanchez swap deal. Draxler is available for 32 million, Rabiot for 25 making a swap deal more than possible. This deal would remove a negative influence on our locker room. It would allow us to sign a world class attacker seven years Sanchez’s junior and a 23 year old French International defensive midfielder who is just scratching the surface of the player he will undoubtedly become. Rabiot would be welcomed by compatriots Koscielny, Giroud, Lacazette and monsieur Wenger. Draxler’s transition would be made seamless by the presence of German playmaker Mesut Ozil, and Teutonic defenders Mertesacker and Mustafi. Losing Sanchez will be difficult but the blow will be softened by the additions of Rabiot and Draxler, imagine if we hold on to him to lose him next summer to City for zero compensation.
In closing, the hourglass is growing more bottom heavy than Eden Hazard. Sign Seri. Ship the poisoned Chilean pill to the city of lights for the promise of this season and many to come, and learn to sacrifice a few bucks here and there to benefit both the club and faithful servants who are no longer needed at the Emirates. Jenkinson, Gibbs, Debuchy, Campbell , Perez(I hate losing this one) and a few others, Thank You for your service to the crest.
The season can be salvaged and the future secured if these moves are executed. Come on Arsene, channel your inner Jersey Boy and make it happen
G- Petr Cech Sub Ospina
CB- Mustafi Holding Koscielny Sub- Mertesacker Chambers
LWB Kolasinac Sub Oxlade Chambo
RWB Bellerin Sub Monreal Nelson
DM Xhaka Sub Elneny Coquelin
HM Rabiot Sub Ramsey
AM Ozil Sub Wilshere
AM Seri Sub Cazorla
LW Iwobi Sub Welbeck
RW Draxler Sub Walcott
S Lacazette Sub Giroud