This is the one transfer deal that every Arsenal fan is hoping will happen this summer. If Arsene Wenger does get his man and last season’s PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez comes to north London then I reckon all the transfer window woes of the past will be forgotten, for a while at least.
The only thing I would like to see more than Arsenal lifting the Premier League trophy at the end of the up and coming season (well maybe not the only thing but let’s stick to football) would be for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United to flop like a souffle taken out of the oven too soon.
In the few days before the game yesterday, the sports papers and websites had been full of Arsenal transfer rumours linking us with the Leicester City and Algeria international star Riyad Mahrez, with talk about a bid of around £40 million being readied and with the player said to have decided to make the move away from the King Power stadium and the Premier League champions.
Most Arsenal fans will have had an underwhelming sort of ‘meh’ reaction to the news that our latest signing would be the relatively unheard of 20-year old defender from a Bolton team that finished rock bottom of the Championship last season. No offence to Rob Holding but I think most of us were not really expecting to see much of the lad this year, in terms of the Arsenal first team at least, but two things have made me reconsider this idea.
There is more bad news for Arsenal fans on the transfer front today with the news that the Italian champions Juventus have beaten us to the punch and are set to complete the transfer of Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli, reports Metro, keeping the Argentina international in Serie A despite the Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis saying this week that he would much prefer to see Higuain leave Italy altogether if they were to lose him.
It seems a little odd that Arsenal Football Club would choose to drop a rather large hint about there being a lot more to come from the Gunners in the current transfer window on the same day that our chief executive Ivan Gazidis had issued one of those statements of his that sends chills down the spine of Gooners the world over.
The first game of the pre-season preparations for Arsenal in France this evening comes too soon for us fans to get a first look at our summer signing Granit Xhaka after his involvement with the Switzerland national side at Euro 2016. We saw enough at the tournament, however, to suggest that Arsene Wenger has got the Gunners a great player and the boss has been speaking to Arsenal Player this week about what he thinks the new man will bring to Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger has already had his fingers burned once as he targets new Arsenal signings this summer, and for all we know the Leicester City and England star Jamie Vardy is not the only player to snub a move from the Frenchman, so maybe our manager is being a bit more circumspect in his hunt for a new striker.