Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Can you hear it? Feel it?
The time for Arsenal to start making moves has come and gone.. and come and gone and come and gone, and possible come and gone once again. I feel as though I have had a piece say something along the line of, “this week should be one Arsenal start to get traction”, and yet there has been little concrete news leaving supporters to feed on crumbs.
That’s not to say nothing has happened. Internal conversations and communications between clubs for both sales and purchases are certainly being worked on, but the hour for action is waning.
Yesterday, Arsenal were thoroughly beaten by Liverpool. That’s not to say there weren’t positives or things to take from it, there were, and I covered a few in my match review, but let’s judge the good with the bad. The gap was evident, the continued need for reinforcements was… well, reinforced, and the opportunity to address these issues is ebbing away.
One of the prime issues last night, was in the midfield. It’s not a surprise, it’s not something new. However, the 30 minutes of Dani Ceballos’ wonderful play demonstrated something to me: even against the league champions, with arguably the best press in the world, there is room to exploit, and space to play into if you have a bit of midfield quality to do it.
Im not saying a better midfield puts Arsenal into contention for the League — in fact, I think even with adding someone in these late “hours”, or Aouars, there should be some concerns over reducing the protection we give the backline until they prove otherwise. Again, not a knock on Gabriel, who I believe has shown a lot of promise and capability in 1v.1 situations that bode well for a 4-back system.
But Arsenal’s issues are compounded by the incomplete nature of their team build. They couldn’t defend, so they put two midfielders on top of the backline, then they couldn’t create chances so they morphed into a 3-4-3 to allow for a more expansive midfield role, funneling through the channels, and a third center back to to help shore up the defense. Are things simply solved by adding in a midfielder to the mix?
That still leaves a central pairing of Gabriel and Luiz? Gabriel and Holding? Gabriel and Saliba eventually? Are they enough to hold together the backline that struggled so much? I guess what I am getting at, is adding Aouar solves a major issue, but the issues within the side may be a bit more difficult that flipping the switch. It will likely take significant time, beyond the window, for the pieces to fit together cleanly – so patience will be needed.
However, there are a few updates:
According to Fabrizio Romano, Bayer Leverkusen is will be completing a £10m + add ons move for Kolasinac. This is a huge win for Arsenal who not only make a sizable fee from this, but clear Kolasinac’s wages and non-homegrown status.
Torreira has less of an update and more of a report. Atletico are still interested in bringing in Torreira, but looking to do it on a loan. While a loan seems almost entirely out of the question, and is something Arsenal are refusing, a loan that ends with Partey in London or the needed funds for Aouar, could be argued for.
Arsenal shouldn’t settle, but good to keep tabs on.
According to reports, the conversation with Lyon trudges on as Lyon look for every reason to not get the deal done. There are rumors of Juventus interest, and rumors that that “interest” is more of a negotiation tactic from Lyon to get to get more. There are links between Lyon and Lucas Paqueta of AC Milan, which is essentially an Aouar replacement. Keeping eyes on that is not a bad idea.
It is evident that Arsenal are in the chase. They, like many fans, want Aouar first, Partey second, but realize the need to get one. I have always thought that it would be an “OR” not and “AND” between the two, and at this point I would take it. I think either would be a huge boost to the Arsenal midfield and would really just alter the role that Ceballos has to play within the midfield. A topic I intent to cover a bit more when the window closes and this shapes out.
In the meantime, tick tock Arsenal. Time to make the moves. Another deadline day approaches!