Wenger on summer plans, recruitment and losing some players


Arsene Wenger says that the Arsenal squad at the moment is ‘heavy’ and has suggested that the club need to lose some players ahead of next season.

There are many issues on the playing front, with the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the top priority. However, it’s not those players who the club would envisage moving on: instead fringe players and those who rarely feature are the main candidates for departure.

Speaking to Arsenal Player in the wake of official confirmation of his new two year deal, the Arsenal manager was asked about his summer plans and admitted there would some squad turnover.

“First of all, we have a very heavy squad at the moment so maybe we might lose some players,” he said.

“We want to keep the strength we have and build on that. We will work very hard to find the additions of top, top quality.

“I believe that our squad is very strong and we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now.

“The basis is there so we need the additions who will make a real difference.”

The likes of Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell, Jack Wilshere, Lucas Perez and others could be deemed surplus to requirements, freeing up money to be used better across the wage bill.

As for where we might specifically be looking for players, Wenger was not that forthcoming.

“First of all, we look at the top, top quality available,” he said. “We have seen in the recent games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United that we are a very strong team.

“For us it’s very important that we only consider the players who can really make a difference, no matter where it is.”

It is understood that Arsenal are actively seeking a central midfield player with Schalke’s Leon Goretzka high on the list.

It’s also reported that the club are close to finalising the signing of Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru, which would suggest at least one departure from the forward line-up at the moment.

Olivier Giroud has been linked with Marseille and Lyon in recent days, while Perez’s time in England will more that likely end with a move back to Spain. Sevilla are said to be interested in the former Deportivo man.

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124 Comments on "Wenger on summer plans, recruitment and losing some players"

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Would be great to get lots of new names in but we need them to gel, like the team did in the FA Cup Final, and need some players OK to work their way up from the bench.

Too many changes is not good. Anyway, busy summer.


We need a clearance of some dead wood in my opinion, lots of players who aren’t up to it or not good enough for the club.

Seems to me that the lack of CL money has already beeen pointed out to Wenger and he’s been told to cut the wage bill, especially if we make mega offers to Ozil and Sanchez to try and keep them

Clive St Helmet

I’m pretty sure Arsenal are able to financially absorb loss of CL money for a season, particularly in the wake of the latest PL TV deal. Obviously the CL money would help but I don’t think it’s as important as it once was.

Having said that, I think it is important to actually compete for the title next year. None of this top 4 nonsense; if we truly want to attract the best players, we need to be showing ambition to win probably the biggest league competition in world football.

Third Plebeian

Indeed, the CL money is paltry compared to our sponsorship and television revenues. Qualification for the group stages gets you about £12m. That doesn’t buy much in football these days.

Faisal Narrage

Not that simple.
CL also provides greater brand value, meaning Arsenal can charge more commercial sponsorships, let alone ticket sales.

It’s gonna be a lot more than just £12mil in the end.

uncle D

Theme song for this occasion! Daddy cool ?


I’ve lost count of how many times Arsene has said that ‘we are looking for top top quality,’ then we practically immediately go and sign some random teenager from some small European club who then subsequently never even see the first team bar a few league cup appearances.

This could be another repeat of that horrific summer when everyone left – I would be so surprised if we hold onto Alexis and Ozil in this window. Nor can I see us actually have the ability to go and sign any big name players whatsoever.


Agree this does not look good. When he says one or two in, it generally means no movement. When he says we need to lighten, I shudder to think of what is in store.

Fine, sell if you must, but if there aren’t solid additions before the sales, there’ll be hell to pay. The club can afford the downsides of a slightly bloated wage bill, it cannot afford another season not challenging for the title.


Sadly, I fear your comment is spot on


‘hold on to’? What is this narrative everyone is peddling, as if it’s the player’s choice. They are under contract for another year. If they don’t sign (and I have a feeling they both will) we are within our rights to insist that they see out their contracts. We probably won’t, even though we should, but that is besides the point.



You do realize that if we keep them into their final year of their current contracts, six months into the new season they can negotiate terms of signing with any club in the world? So basically Chelsea, City, United, Spurs, Liverpool can all come in and talk to them and that’s fair game. We can’t do anything to stop it.

And that’s exactly what their agents want to happen because the player and his representatives get the biggest pay day of their careers when the player moves on a free transfer or ‘Bosman.’ This is down to the fact the signing club doesn’t have to pay the transfer fee to the selling club. Subsequently meaning the player can demand a huge upfront signing on fee which goes straight into his pocket.

And when you consider the Premier League is the most affluent league in the world, that’s exactly where these guys are going to go.


It is not a problem if he continously saying that. The problem is if…
1. He has responsibility in not to be able to sing a player like that or
2. He uses this phrase for a mediocre player he eventually buys

Me personally only remember 1 time when he said it – after signing a given player and that was Ozil…

I think when Wenger says “top, top quality” he is thinking in the dimension of Ozil, and Sanchez


Exactly . wenger saying that arsenals squad is good enough and he is only looking to sign only the players that will improve the team eerily sounds similar to the season where we ended up buying only cech and no outfield players even though we had so many holes in the squad. So glad to know nothing has changes at arsenal . two more years


Its just the usual bolox that is sprouted every year. Read what gazidis said too. Same things as in previous worthless statements.
Its just going to be simply another 2 years of the same except this time we have the excuse of saying to fans that we cant attract the top quality because we dont have CL football.
Wash rinse repeat.


The irony of those who believe that only when we win EPL and CL are we a successful club while complaining about always seeking the rare players that facilitate those goals is laughable. Imagine one of the most loyal managers in history who has used that loyalty to attract great young players…” We need winners, we didn’t win, I am going to go buy winners and replace some of these flops and keep the fans happy. ” That, folks, is not going to happen. We defeated the winners of the EPL twice this year, finished second last year and yet when the manager explains we only need to buy players that are at the very top….we act as if he is speaking a foreign language. Then the same people complain we have good enough players and that it is the managers fault for being unable to adapt and be tactically astute enough to manage said good enough players…lol. It is quite simple, we do not have a Sheik or Russian mob boss as owner, we have a business person. We will not cycle through hundreds of millions every year on managers and players. We will attempt to make key investments in big players ( which every other team is also attempting/Sanchez/Ozil/Xhaka) as well as buying some young developing world class talent. We will also make some mistakes in buying talent as well as uncovering and developing some gems ( Iwobi/Holding etc.). In closing….it is almost impossible to imagine a team, any team dominating the EPL and CL year over year. Playing a more conservative 3 defender lineup increases our odds of winning. I wish we had switched to it earlier but we didn’t….COYG!

Matt @ BrewCityGunners
Matt @ BrewCityGunners

All of this hinges on the (unlikely?) re-signing of Ozil and Alexis, though, doesn’t it? Adding the “one or two” we need to the existing squad is an entirely different story when we take them out of the equation. Replacing like for like seems a nearly impossible task.


I think we’ll keep Ozil and lose Sanchez, just hope we can flog him to PSG and not Chelski

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin
Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

Swap deal for Morata + £££ with Real Madrid


i am not sure if paying for ticket to watch arsenal play entitles any one for a refund if the team loses, I think it is time for the keyboard worriers to give it a rest and stand behind the team and the managers because they were part of last season failure with their demoralizing antics and they can still drive a away what valuable assets we have (Ozil, Sanchez) if the kept on doing the same.


That is pure bullshit reasoning. Why should you invest emotions in something that doesn’t offer anything back?

Have you ever been in love m8? Have you gone through the passions and ended up in mediocrity because the communication went to hell?

Well that is basically because one of you or both wouldn’t evolve and embrace what love is, so you had to separate, to depart. This is what it’s coming to very soon. Fuck this. I’m fed up, I’ll go shag someone else.

I do love this club, but it’s breaking my heart to hear the lies, those god damn lies.

The writing is truly on the wall for everyone to see. Most of us are educated, intelligent people, and most of us adapt to change – we are humans, that is what we do, that is why we rule this planet. But Arsenal? They sprout more shit than some of my employees trying to change their business on one of my consultancy gigs. They just don’t get it.


This is pure emotional rant

Arsene\'s Nose

Theo will be sold.

Third Plebeian

You’re dreaming. Wenger loves Walcott.


Agreed, he’s a Wenger favorite and won’t be moved. That would be an admission of failure. I like Walcott too, he’s a proven goalscorer, but if Arsenal is going to be more reliant on three at the back he’s going to become an expensive squad player. Perez might not be as fast but is a better all rounder, is also a proven goalscorer and could probably have a role in both formations. Too bad Wenger doesn’t like him. I wonder if he was forced on Wenger by Gazidis or something.

Runcorn Gooner

He may love TW14 but I think he is coming round to the fact he can only use him in certain matches and at certain times in other matches.He is way too lightweight for the way AW now wants to get his team to play. Exactly the same as Giroud

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin
Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

We should go ahead and make Alexis the best payed player in English football; he already is the best player are all.


I don’t think that anyone has said that the quality of the squad was the problem this year. I think we have one of the strongest squads in the league (if we can keep it together, which is questionable).

The question that really needs answering is: Can the manager lead the squad to its potential?


I think that question has been answered in seasons past unfortunately.


I agree in principle, but as long as…

City has Aguero and Jesus
United – Ibrahimovic
Chelsea – Costa
Spurs – Kane

there is room for us to improve.
(but again: I agree that your question is at least as important)

Tasmanian Jesus

Arsenal – Sanchez

Godfrey Twatsloch

Stoke – Arnautovic

Sorry, forgot he’s not likely to set foot on a pitch for some time due to our boy Rob. Oops! 🙂


I think we all were worried (and still are) that we didn’t have a world class striker. I also think this squad just doesn’t have the mental toughness and street smarts to win the league (as evidenced by our annual brain fart in Jan/Feb).

There’s a lot of crap that Wenger brought in that now needs to be swept out le door, I worry that he may not be the man to do that part anymore


Busy summer ahead.

Third Plebeian

Well, that’s the hope. The reality, if history tells us anything, will be a busy few days in late August!


No indication in the announcements of a “high” budget. To even get 2 players of similar quality to Ozil and Sanchez is going to cost close to £100 million. Getting like for like replacements for those two will cost at least another £120 million. Probably get around £40 million for outgoing, more if Ox goes. Still, we’re looking at £200 million to bring the squad up to scratch.


It’s not that easy to replace them, they both already become the backbone of our squad, should build the team around them.
If we lose both, it’s like we build our squad from 0.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

£200M doesn’t go as much as it used to. If you want to go all out and improve this team with 3 super quality signings, you can easily spend that. Mbape for £100M-110M, Donnarumma for £40M, and Isco as a replacement for Santi for another £40M. That budget is gone without even factoring in the salaries and agent fees

Alexis Oxlivier-Chambellerin
Alexis Oxlivier-Chambellerin

I think it is only slightly less crucial than Alexis and Mesut that we keep Ox

David O\'lairy

I’d love to see Perez stick around and be given the games to show his value to the team, his goals to minutes ratio are fantastic. The signings of last summer have been a success for me, all coming good by the end of the season even if they wavered a bit in the middle, but Mustafi, Holding and Xhaka could well form a solid base in front of the GK for many years to come.
Trimming the Debuchy, Jenkinson, Ospina/Szezney, Sanogo, Wilshire, Campbell wages from the bill won’t hurt us in appearance terms, especially with Chambers coming back.
If we can get Ozil, Sanchez and the Ox to sign new contracts and punctuate it with one or two new bits of quality, we shouldn’t be too far off…. especially with Santi coming back in Autumn


Don.t forget Theo.s 120k/week

King Sudeiys.

K are used in kenya and some neighbouring country @Dennis. They use £ instead ?.


I genuinely hope Wenger has learned from his failings the past decade and gets the business done early this year and does enough of it. It’s time to support the team and hope that Big Sam humiliating him flipped the switch to how bad things had gotten. That said if we do not challenge for the PL the next 2 years its time to stop living off memories and move on.


While I hope for the same, I don’t think for one minute that we’ll change our dithering approach

Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour
Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour

Big ask knowing us, but please get it all wrapped up before the season starts. I wish the transfer deadline was a week before the opening weekend, I’m sick of being unprepared when it starts & this season has to have been the last time that happens. COYG!!

Niall Shannon

We should try and sign Mbappe. He looks like the real deal

Wright on the money

I would too but no chance has he only wants to play for a world class team that is in the champions league and we are neither.


Do you know what Mbappe wants personally? One season of no CL has hardly been a dealbreaker for others has it? He may have a special connection to Arsenal, or not…but if we compete financially we have as good as chance as any.


He didn’t join Arsenal last season when we were still in the Champions League and Wenger personally going to his house to try and sway him.

Do you honestly think that after this season we have somehow changed his mind? There is a point where unbridled optimism and support becomes simply delusional.

On top of that given the hype around Mbappe it would take our whole so called $100nm war chest to buy him. Do you really think that this is going to happen?

a different George

He wanted to stay where he was. That is entirely different to convincing him to move somewhere once he has decided to leave. My guess is Madrid–whose business/sporting model needs constant new stars and who have the only coach who is a greater attraction for a French player than Wenger.

If I am right, the question will be: where will Gareth Bale play next year?


Yeah and quick, before anyone else notices.


I think we WILL sign M’bappe.


Wenger said he was in Mbappe’s house last year trying to convince him to join and Mbappe turned him down. Not sure why he would want to join now when he wasn’t interested last year.


Because he wanted to be loyal to Monaco and see how well they did in their CL campaign perhaps?
Wenger wanting to work with him before anyone else and his history of persuasion could work in our favour.
If we did it would hopefully silence the fans.

Faisal Narrage

And Monaco went further than we did and didn’t embarrass themselves like we did.
Now we’re not in it and Mbappe’s profile is so high all the top teams want him.

And Wenger’s pull is imo diminishing with young players. You have to remember Mbappe is so young he barely remembers the glory years of Wenger. We’ve lost out to a lot of young talents in recent years.


Bigger guarantee he would get 1st team football with us now than last season


“we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now.” – proceeds to singing a 19 year old striker from the Belgian league. Christ this fairground ride is getting a bit boring now, I want to get off.


Come on, man. While we do hunt big talent, it doesn’t make sense to abandon potential stars of the future. How much did Kane cost Spuds? We have got to keep betting on youth while we fulfill our need of star players. Even 1 hit in 10 will be investment recouped.

Henry of Belgium isn’t yet a full international so he’s clearly a bet for the future.


I would agree if a signing like that was an ‘in addition of’ rather than a ‘instead of’. He just said that the squad is too big – you think he will sign young prospects AND proven players for the same position. Has everyone forgotten the past 10 years all of a sudden?


Well, it’s early days. It’s unwise to assume this is “an instead of” signing. Might as well wait.


And Henry might have given Arsene the heads up!


I love it, right on

I hate when someone complains about not finding Mbappe before he became “Mbappe”. Same with Greizeman, Auba, Bale, Saurez so on and so on. Why take a gamble on prospects when you can buy Mbappe now then 3 years ago. Thats what I am saying.

I’m with you on this. Only buy complete players that are finished. Stop wasting on prospects. Let the others do that.


“Top top quality”. Heard this all before. Broken record.

Wright on the money

For me Wenger needs to get Ox,Ozil and Sanchez to sign new contracts before looking who to buy.

We have already got a LB, so I feel we need a winger of quality,CDM and we should be playing Sanchez up front play Carzola and Ozil behind him for me.


You’re being very optimistic if you think Sanchez will be an Arsenal player next summer.

And Cazorla is now out to Christmas at the earliers.


The Ox must go. Pay whoever wants to take him what they want.

Mein Bergkampf

The most frustrating world to live in right now is being a labour voter and an Arsenal fan. Believe me…


Hope for nothing.

Spanish Gooner

We really need to get our wage bill down. Jack is on £110k a week, Cazorla (as much as I love him) Debuchy, Perez, Gibbs, Elneny are all on around £60k without adding much value whatsoever last season, for differing reasons. I would rather sell them for below market value than hold onto those wages, and also selling them forces Wenger to no longer see them as options on which he can rely


Totally agree with you. I would have up-voted your comment, but for some reason it’s not working on my browser. I fear that Jack won’t fulfill his potential. Cazorla is a wonderful player, but when’s the last time he had a full season? Debuchy will be done. Perez deserves/deserved more of a chance. And if we really did sign that Serbian LB, Gibbo will move on.

Gideon Agbebi

For me,I would like Lucas Perez to stay, Gibbs, Jack,Carzola, Elenny, Xhaka ,Ozil,Sanchez, Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ramsey,Welbeck are still top quality players. Giroud should go because he is just an opportunistic striker who is only very good on using head to score goals. Perez is more a foot player than him. With addition of five to six world class players,Arsenal will be on cloud 9 any day anytime.


Right, I really want Preze to stay at Arsenal. Has looked good every time he’s been on. Makes things happen.


Perez, obviously.


I take it you are the person who puts the wages in the players bank accounts, seeing as you know so much, but isn’t that information confidential?


if you think they are waste of money don’t you think other clubs would think the same thing? you can’t just sell a player without the player consenting to the deal. No player is going to take a cut in wages and top of the fact that they also get a cut of the transfer fee.


Hahaha wow! The scam begins in earnest again. The contract has barely been minted Arsene. At least let us have some hope for a little while.

In all honesty I will be the first and happiest to eat crow if he pulls off a major summer and actually buys what we need to be successful. That is my greatest dream for this team and for Arsene. That being said, you could have pulled those quotes from any of his interviews the last five seasons. I am preparing for the “We couldn’t find top quality in the market” speech in July and August and another rush to the Tesco checkout line come the end of the transfer window. I will maintain hope, but realistically it seems like Arsenal has become a ponzi scam. I don’t buy it anymore. It all just feels so fake and forced.

just Orange

meh… same sound bites, same mentality, same attitude, same stubbornness. I see no indications anything is going to change yet
… and I predict same torturous season ahead
Wenger apologists forget he on ~£20m pa. On that salary achieving minimal success means he is only doing his job (not to be praised), anywhere else he would be gone ages ago
I would really LIKE to be proved wrong, but sadly I doubt it

Indian Gooner

Been a strong supporter of Wenger but what he has got to understand is this his last chance. Maybe he could have avoided the risk of staying for two more.. I am pretty sure he must thought about it as well.. maybe wants to stay and prove every single one wrong.. if he does that.. it would be a glorious.. one that would be etched in history.. I am sure even the most staunch Wenger-out would go mental if that happens.. but if it doesn’t.. I really don’t know what to say.. I am just concerned for him.. trust me I would be the last person to go against him.

Red beard

I’m happy to support him, and yes transfers of top top quality are only worthwhile, if we keep alexis and mesut. We dont it’s a different story. Whats just as important is we really need to look at the medical and training regime to do our best to eliminate these injuries that happen year after year. Let’s get together and push on together


Nigerian teenager? Check.

Cliff Bastin

Boom Harry Kane. And in the press conference us says “7 semi losses in a row FFS and you guys win it in a bad season. I hope to replicate the success of the legend Sol Campbell.”


How many of our players can you say cannot realistically be improved upon? Kos, Sanchez, Ozil? 2 of which will will probably be leaving. This attitude sums up the clubs ambition. Same old.


All this talk about only signing players that will improve the squad, but pretty hard to sell that Henry Onyekuru will be an upgrade (in 2017-18) as our plan B striker over Giroud.


One for the future methinks


You forgot to add Theo and ox to the list.
What’s the latest on Cazola?


The old elusive top top quality again

Doctor Who

What have I missed about Lucas Perez? Why he is no good for Arsenal?


Not quite top top enough


Typical copy n paste sound bite…….. i actually cant be bothered to write anything else. Blogs how do you do it every day. Kudos my friend.


Same old. One step forward, two steps back. Always selling better players than we bring in.


I am proud of the club in that they have made the correct decision to keep him……

I am proud of Wenger in that he still wants to stay despite some of the shenanigans of our “supporters”……

Now I hope that the fanbase make me even prouder by sticking together no matter what and actually “supporting” OUR manager, OUR team and OUR club…..

I sense something special is coming from the Arsenal ……. COYG!!!!!!!!!


Optimism is in short supply so thanks for this. I’m with you. COYG!


what worries me is how he’s saying “we will work hard to FIND top players..”

top players are “found” during the season, you should already have your targets before the summer. Look at City, they obviously had a plan ready before the season even ended.

this is why we’re always second into negotiations witt clubs for top players.


Personally, I think it’s less about finding top players than a dogged resistance to seeing that what are construed as inflated transfer fees are actually going market-value costs.


Yeah I’m not saying we should pay anything for anyone. But Wenger is like that old lady who takes two minutes to look for her wallet in her big hand bag when she’s reached the cashier. While everyone else already have their card ready when it’s their turn.

It’s not a coincidence we seem to lose every season opener. We’re never ready for the new season cause we’re so damn slow in june


I expect nothing from this club any more.


This the same top, top bullshit we’ve heard from him in the last 5-8 years.
2019 seems so far away…

Zombie Gooner

I’m not on board with keeping Ozil. He’s not worth the money it would take. Our midfield can’t thrive with a one-dimensional player.

That said, make sure we keep Sanchez and build the rest of the team around collective effort and ambition.


I would have agreed with you anytine over the past 2 seasons but i have more hope for Ozil in this new formation which i feel could bring the best out of him whilst covering his defesive deficiencies better


Be ruthless in the market let’s not for once just change 2 or 3. We have a big enough squad that I can count up to probably over 10 players we could move on.
Keep. Cech, Szczęsny, Martinez, Bellerin, Ox, Holding, Kos,BFG, Mustafi,Chambers,Monreal,Xhaka,Ramsey,Santi,Ozil, Iwobi, sanchez, welbeck, Perez
Out. Ospina, Debuchy, jenko,Gibbs, Gabriel,Coq,Elneny,Wilshere,Walcott, Giroud,

I’m sure alot of people would change a couple here and there.

Uba Ngenegbo

Keep Coquelin, sell Ramsey


Goodbye Theo

Original Paul

From the Guardian:
Thanks to the spotlight available to armchair pundits on Twitter and YouTube, some supporters have become fans of themselves more than they are fans of the club. For them, a match seems to now be about hoping for attention as much as it is hoping for three points. Although these clowns are small in number, they have made such a racket that it has lowered the tone across the fanbase. People feel compelled to take extreme, noisy positions, which does little to help the confidence of the players on the field.


Same ol same ol


“Top, top quality only..” now where did I hear that before, and how many times?


There’s nobody better equip than Wenger to fix the squad at the moment…granted his failings this season in league.

Wenger is one of the best operators in the market.

He did not need a Director of Football or David Dein to identify Rob Holding.

Nacho Monreal, Koscielny, Santi, Cech, he has been spot on with Ozil, Alexis (both of whom would have been easily coveted by any top team). Mustafi has had a a fantastic season considering he had to come straight in, remember Koscielny’s first season?

Granit is a superb acquisition never mind what the banal media would obviously brand him as a “dissapointment” bc of two red cards (remember Viera?). So much goes through Granit in the team.

If we had to bring a new manager in now, it would be problematic.

He would not only have to imbue/get use to a new system but also navigate potential key departures in the squad plus navigate a difficult market without the support of CL.

Wenger is best equip to do so for us at present time.

Dick Law much derided you would do well to remember has been doing well on prices. How much for Holding again?

This summer we need to shed weight. The squad is very heavy when you look at Chelsea and consider how lean they are (granted of course the media won’t mention they did not have the distraction of CL football much like Leicester the season before)

To go IMO :

1) Ospina – Will want regular game time ahead of Wcup
2) Per – A Legend. May stay if Gabriel isn’t fit but likely he steps down in glory, may still have something left in the tank as far as career is concern bc its more about timing and experience not this rubbish people keep repeating at tedium called “pace”
3) Jenko – Not good enough. Never was. Plenty of fans laud him at tedium for sentimental reasons. Sorry.
4) Debucchy – Perhaps one of the few players Wenger will come out with a huge loss on the balance sheet. Partially injury issues but he was just unfocused and thought himself better than to compete for a spot. Out.
5) Jack – Injury prone. Pity bc we could have done with someone with his skill set (being able to run the ball up the vertical) but again, he was foolish in his insistence for regular playing time. Did not convince enough out on loan either.
6) Elneny – I personally think he is mediocre. Not even close to Flamini. His passing is often short safe passes. Brings nothing extra. The only thing he is good for is being content with coming off the bench and providing hard industry but hey I can do that too for the price. That said, I think he may just hover in the periphery bc he is one content to come off the bench but frankly a waste of space.
7) Lucas – Should have used him more. Protects the ball well, uses it well but Wenger for whatever reason kept him benched too much. Will need regular playing time ahead of WCup. If we don’t sell on prob a loan out.
8) Campbell – Another decent player but we need something extra. OK with his loans so hopefully gets snapped up. Again needs to play regular ahead of Wcup.
9) Sanogo – Time has come and gone for him. At 24yrs +, I think the jury has come in. Time to sell.
10) Asano – These Asian buys like Park are baffling. Shirt sale IMO with mild potential. Can’t help but feel this isn’t a Wenge pick but something to dow ith the club higher up and marketing the brand.


11) Walcott – I think we should sell him IF there is a buyer that isn’t a peer rival in England. His chief asset is pace, and he hasn’t develop sufficient nous at 28yrs. That pace will start to wane in two seasons down. Should still fetch a decent price 25m + maybe and in any case he will need appearances ahead of the Wcup.

12) Of the two key players, Alexis is the more likely to be cherry picked.
BUT if we follow through on promise and show a bit of gumption (which we all fear is unlikely), we should hold him for one more season.

His stock will not fall even outside the CL which is how I would approach his retention.

Ozil is less likely to leave (no potential buyer) but somewhat easier to replace. I think Italy may be a potential destination with the Milan clubs looking to revamp themselves with new Chinese money (Walcott).

This ‘game’ could potentially get cat and mouse/complicated as Wenger may wait to thin out competition for Alexis (hoping they go instead for Mahrez or Greizzman etc) or wait to see if Ozil has suitors. So do not expect it to resolve too quickly.


As far as what we need in the squad, I think we need 3 to 4 players

You can always guess what we actually need to what Wenger believes we need by adding one or two more.

What we lack IMO is creative/technical players to regain some of the advantages now eroded by oil rich entrants over the years and the TV money redistribution which has allowed much of the league to creep up in technical standard.

As Wenger is slave to his own ideology of minimal intervention (and his timing is sometimes poor), he does himself and the team no favour if he does not cover with enough quality talent.

And he has been distracted in recent seasons (maybe less so than the Denilson period) but it is habitual with his projects. The latest Little Britain Core is over emphasised on his part.

I think much will be predicated by if we can keep one of our key players. The preference is of course for Alexis but he is also the one in greater demand.

Rback/wingback should be sewn up if we can bring in Kolasinac for free. Thank you David Dein and Director of Football.

We need someone to cover Bellerin but we now have Ox capable at Right wing back if need be and I feel Calum should deserve another chance (on account of age). Wenger again has made him a bit of a project but we do not need to try and convert the young bloke into a Cback now. We have Holding.

I personally feel Wenger will better serve the team and Calum if he reverts him back to the original role he impressed for with Soton at Rback. It doesn’t prevent him from learning the trade deeper (as we can see with Monreal) over time but there is less artifical pressure to do so.

In midfield there is a danger that Wenger may convince himself we have found optimum solution with 3-4-3. Indeed Granit/Ramsey have develop well under the system, Granit is also finding Ozil which is the biggest improvement and Coquelin when he has had to come in looks more settled in the new formation.

But we may have need as well to revert to 4-2-3-1 and injury to one of Ramsey or Granit may put us back into familiar underachievement.

…nor can we trust Santi to be fully available on account of nature of injury and his age. Anything from him next season should IMO be viewed as bonus.

So we need to add one more in deep midfield.

The short fall has always been in replicating Santi’s ability to hold the ball and/or carry through feet up the vertical plane.

Jack replicated some of this (Diaby when he was fit was the best solution) but we know Jack is neither fully committed nor injury free.

To me, we need to bring in someone like Babyoko at Monaco. A strong player with good technical skills and at 22yrs has something to learn off of Wenger (like Granit). There have been amounts as high as 60m bandied around him but I think 35m is closer to a good estimate. That said, there will be competition for him and we are working against the lure of CL.

I think it is also important to remember that with our grand statesman Per likely stepping down in the summer, we will also be a bit bereft of height in defense.

Holding is a reasonably built lad but Koscielny and Mustafi are about 6′ just. Gabriel around 6’2. Throw in a big team or say Crouch at 40yrs and we could have issues. So it will be incumbent that we have at least a bit of height in the midfield.

So if you gave me a choice between a Babyoko or a Lemar I would prefer the former even if he isn’t Viera/Diaby height, he is at least 6′ thereabouts.

Further up field depends on who we can get and which of our key players is leaving.

As mentioned I think we should attempt to sell Walcott on. Pace is not an issue in the side with Ox and Bellerin. We need more nuance to our play.

To me, regardless of Ozil, someone like Konoplyanka should be looked at. He is left sided in play but right footed. He is a playmaker with experience at 27yrs for Ukraine on the international stage, creates and scores.

But he is also on loan to Schalke from Sevilla and is perfectly gettable.

I’m guessing with moderate interest 27-35m

If we can secure him early, it is a good signal to Alexis that we are strengthening with quality but also we have already added in lieu of any decision from Ozil.

There have been rumours immediately about Mahrez. If Alexis stays, he is a perfect balance for the Chilean on the right. If he leaves, at 25yrs, the younger man may potentially replace his energy and definitely in terms of technicality.

BUT I think his head may be turned by more illustrious clubs so we have to wait and see as we do not have the carrot of the CL. Clubs like Barca and Bayern who may want to revamp their wide areas will be considering the likes of Greizzman Mbappe (and maybe Mahrez) so these players may be beyond our reach.

One player that is beyond our reach but I would love to see Wenger make a go at is Draxler.

He just signed for PSG last season but has not been used as much.

However depending on who comes in, he could be the future of the French club.

If we should sell on say Ozil at 45-55m, I would love us to throw the money at PSG and see if they can be moved with him.

He seems to me the missing piece of the jigsaw up front for us, a complete striker ala RVP style whom if we do not have CL we can at very least guarantee full starts.

Giroud and Welbeck have both differing attributes neither is plan B, neither is complete. Welbeck is more mobile but not as efficient in movement into the 6 yard box and can miss sitters (he should improve). Giroud I would keep because he is great at banging the door down. Clearly mobility is not a strong suit with him but as his game is not developed with pace, he has become more efficient with experience and he is particularly adept at playing the second line in

Eventually I see Welbeck assuming Giroud’s role but as he isn’t fully convincing as yet, it may be good to hold on to OG. That said, OG will want regular game time ahead of Wcup too, so he may leave which will further erode us.

So to sum up, I think we should be looking at two attacking players, a midfielder and a Lback.

Spending power is around 100 to 120m IMO

We should if we sell one of the key players get 55m say, 10-15m for Ospina, 20-25m for Walcott, peripheral player sales maybe another 10m to be conservative. That would mean income about 95 to 100m if we are aggressive.

Which means if we have to spend zero on Kolasinac, say 35m on a midfielder, another 30m for say Konoplyanka or equivalent (hard to find) we have a good 30-35m from income plus the 100m earmarked as rumoured.

That is a lot of spending power to test PSG on say Draxler.

Whether Wenger will be ‘pushed’ to spend and bring in the quality we really need but instead compromise for another project player is the issue.

There are as we know no guarantees laid into the new 2 year contract. I would have preferred personally a one + one with second year predicated on minimum finish of CL.

We don’t know of course what is said behind doors but if I were Gazidis and Kroenke, I would lean on the gaffer to go out in his last two seasons with less caution in market. He has already enough youth projects in the squad built in with Iwobi, Bellerin, Holding, Calum the Jeff.

We need players who are/have proven themselves on the big stage who are ready to move to the next step at 22/25yrs IMO.

Otherwise we are stuck in the same cycle that continues and will continue to frustrate the fan base.

Wenger\'s Pony

Sead, Jack Butland, Leon, One LW/CF.


Get your own blog


Out: wojo, ospina, debuchy, jenko, chambers, gibbs, walcott, wilshere, lucas, campbell,


I would actually be quite happy if we signed noone new but keep “those questionable three”. Plus I would like Gibbs and Lucas to stay too.


You can all forget about top 4 for the next 2 seasons.

Runcorn Gooner

Based on what? You have no idea what the next few months will bring. None of us have.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Trez just likes to moan. You could bring God Almighty himself to manage us with the combined budget of China, USA and the EU states and Trez would still moan because we weren’t champions of the galaxy or something.


Who gives a fuck about top 4 anymore we need to win the PL we have to !