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Gunner Thoughts

Transfer Rumors? Now? I don’t think so

Dayot, Partey, Edouard, Kokcu – I’ll discuss the rumors, but I won’t believe them

I have to admit – I am a huge sucker for transfer rumors. I try to reduce the amount of times I write about them; I try to wait until they start surfacing from credible sources and I try to find better things to occupy my writing time with because Football LOVES a good transfer rumor. I get it. Sometimes they are too good not to write about. You start imagining what they could do to your lineup, how things would shift, how the rest of the league would have to cope with it – addicting stuff.

However, during this lull, I refuse to put much into anything that surfaces. It’s not that I don’t believe there are links or that some of them don’t align with what Arsenal needs – they do. No, I won’t put much thought into them because of the complete lack of content and news that drives outlets to scrape for anything they can get their hands on to keep audiences and the immense amount if mystery around the end of this season which means no one knows what Arsenal are going to even be capable of going after.

I have no doubt that Arsenal are having these conversations. They would be fools not to be. But to put stock into these rumors before the season is complete, before the window is open, before we know where Arsenal are finished, before we know what kind of spending we have, or before we get any shred of evidence into some of the “in’s and out’s” of Arsenal’s squad – would make me the bigger fool.

We will talk about the common ones that are being discussed right now, briefly, for those that are interested in the rumors and I’ll include my thoughts on it happily, but I won’t trust any at this point.

Dayot Upamecano

Recently, news broke that the young Center Back told RB Leipzig that he wants to move on during the summer window causing the Arsenal world to erupt. To add to the chaos football.london wrote a piece about Gunners across the world noticing Upamecano’s brother viewing a Lacazette fan account’s post on twitter. Nothing wrong with the article linked, but desperate times for fans to give weight to something like that.

Here’s the deal. Upamecano has requested to leave and at the summer the price tag on his release drops to £50million and like many clubs, Arsenal have been tracking the progress of this prospect very closely. He would be an excellent addition for Arsenal. Same as he would be an excellent addition for most clubs.

In the end, I won’t count this out entirely. Arsenal are in desperate need of a star center back to pair alongside William Saliba. The idea of having a 19 and 21-year-old at the heart of our backline is scary but having two prospects like that would be great. However, having reported a large financial loss, being unable to get back into Champions League, and the likelihood of losing an unknown amount of money during this suspension leads me to wonder how Arsenal would have get the money to afford  him without making major sales including one, if not both, Lacazette and Aubameyang. I do believe Arsenal will be in the hunt for the young Frenchman, but this deal is far from being completed and seemingly further from being in the current realm of possibilities given our financial struggles. Afterall, we could hardly afford Nicolas Pepe last summer without structuring an unorthodox deal.

Thomas Partey or Eduardo Camavinga

Let me start by saying that I don’t expect either of these players to be in an Arsenal kit next year. Sorry for those that had high hopes. Both come with very large price tags – £60-100M for Camavinga and £50+M for Partey – that seem extremely steep for Arsenal to pay, similar to Upamecano. Could we see Arsenal splurge for one of the three? Sure. Possibly. Is there much beyond hopes and rumors at this point? Nope.

I am pretty outspoken about the fact that Camavinga is not a good option for Arsenal. He is an outstanding player, one that will likely be great, but one that has come at a time that isn’t realistic for us. At 17, Arsenal would have to pay him at least twice before he hits his peak and pay through the nose to obtain him to begin with. If Arsenal are looking to move on from their dependency on Xhaka, we would have an extremely young midfield with an average age of 20. Camavinga also operates often in a duo, something Arteta has discussed wishing he could move away from in the future.

This brings us to Partey, who is 26, can operate as a lone CDM and offers many abilities in carrying the ball and distributing. We know he can defend, after all he plays for Atletico and all they do is defend, and he is less expensive. In the race for financial security, Arsenal likely need a player for now, not one for down the road making Partey the better fit.

Again, both seem steep, both will be hunted by a lot of other clubs who are in better situations, but Arsenal can still put their best foot forward. I just wouldn’t hold your breath, Gunners.

Odsonne Edouard

For those that are hearing this name for the first time, Edouard is a striker at Glasgow Celtic, a club Arsenal did business with last summer to obtain Kieran Tierney. If rumors are believed, the Gunners are set to raid them once more. Edouard has put together an impressive campaign with 27 goals and 19 assists – something Arsenal need to add to their side.

The rumor gained extra legs with reports that Arsenal legend Thierry Henry rated the striker as a top talent. All of that was through a secondary source, so take it with a grain of salt.

Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea are also linked with the Celtic star which presents some steep competition to complete a summer move, but the most worrying takeaway is what this rumor could mean for Arsenal’s two forward – Aubameyang and Lacazette. Many fans have been openly willing to see Lacazette be sold for funds, but fret at the idea of Aubameyang leaving as well. The signing of a striker like this could be writing on the wall…if it weren’t drastically early to make any real judgement on the matter.

For me, it sounds like a link with a good striking option, at a decent price, as Arsenal prep for the chance at losing both. More to come no doubt.

Orkun Kokcu

Recently, a rumored link between Arsenal and Feyenoord’s midfielder Kokcu has cropped up with a £23million price tag. Kokcu is a 19-year-old that has caught the eye of spectators across the world and a fair few clubs. He is not only sought after for his age as a prospect, but for his ability to slot himself into any role within a midfield.

It seems some of the talk surrounds him as a replacement for Mesut Ozil who is as a pivotal point in his own contract. With Ozil’s agent saying that Ozil isn’t going anywhere this summer, Arsenal could be looking at a situation where they hold onto Ozil for the final year of his contract giving them time to find or grow his replacement. Willock has been alright at moments but overall inconsistent and seems to lack the incisive ball to great goals and opportunities frequently enough to be the sure replacement.

Kokcu’s price tag seems to align more with Arsenal’s spending capabilities and there is little doubt they are in need of a revamped midfield. His age may be a little young given Arsenal’s need to reach financial security as quick as possible, but Arsenal have had success with their young stars like Saka, Martinelli, and even Guendouzi. More will come from this, but other priorities seem to carry more weight.

All of these rumors are built out of half-truths, social media, desperation for content, and fans desire to believe their club is going to spend 200 million without blinking an eye. Maybe they will. After all, I don’t have direct lines into the minds of the Kroenkes, but after a decent amount of investment last summer yielding one of Arsenal’s most catastrophic seasons in the last 25 years, they would have reason to worry. For fans, this season will be all the proof they need that more spending is needed, but then again, it’s never their money being spent.

The rumors will continue, the half-links will be connected, and fans will get their hopes up – it’s what we do – but until there we know how the season is ending, where Arsenal sit, and the window opens, I won’t be holding my breath. It is a lot for Areta and company to be thinking about and we desperately hope they are, but until we get closer to it all, don’t get too invested.

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