Analysing David Ornstein comments puts Arsenal transfer gossip into perspective

One of the very few and I mean very few Journalists that can be relied upon to give an insight into Arsenal’s transfer plans is the BBC’s, David Ornstein. So I thought that with so much gossip and ridiculous prices being bandied about that it would pay to analyse what Ornstein said.

This will give us a better perspective on some of the transfer rumours doing the rounds at the moment.

Now, one big caveat, Orsmtein can only predict so much and even he will be kept in the dark on some plans.

This is what he said.

“I don’t think it will be the most spectacular summer for Arsenal but I do think they have some very important business to be done.

“It all depends on their budget. If they’re playing Europa League football next season it looks like it will be around £40m. If it’s Champions League it would be significantly higher. They also have revenue streams coming on board with the new Adidas kit deal.

“If it’s Europa League you’ve got to remember it’ll be their third year in that competition. They’ve also heavily invested in the last year or so, especuially in the striking department, and they are adamant they will not break Financial Fair Play.

“Despite still waiting to appoint a Technical Director/Sporting Director/Director of Football, they still have identified targets and conversations are underway. They are looking for experience and youth in their recruitment.

“Their priorities are a central defender, Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph mentioned the Getafe and Togo centre-half, Djené, he’s under contract until 2023 with a reported value of £13.5m.

“The other priority is a box to box midfielder. Previously, in January, they came close to a deal for Christopher Nkunku from PSG – this is course is to replace Aaron Ramsey. Adrian Rabiot is a player they’ve tried to sign in the past, and they have a long-standing interest in him, however he is a complex individual and has had some issues off the pitch.

“As a sort of secondary brief they’d be looking for a wide forward and in January came close to a deal for Ivan Perisic, and had interest in Yannick Carrasco. Possibly a centre-forward with Danny Welbeck leaving, and Eddie Nketiah would go on loan if they did bring a centre-forward in.

“There is interest in bringing in a left back and possibly a right back, but again those are secondary to the centre-half and box to box midfielder.

“Not to forget they’d be looking to integrate young players too. Reiss Nelson coming back from his loan, Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka who is said to be the most highly rated prospect – he’s a wide forward, but extremely young.”

For me, these are the key points

They are looking for experience and youth in their recruitment
Their priorities are a central defender
The other priority is a box to box midfielder
As a sort of secondary brief they’d be looking for a wide forward
Possibly a centre-forward with Danny Welbeck leaving
There is interest in bringing in a left back and possibly a right back
looking to integrate young players too

So, let’s take these one at a time

They are looking for experience and youth in their recruitment

That will explain why they are being linked with the likes of Gary Cahill and so many teenagers like William Saliba. However, you have to think that is in relation to their key targets and not experience or youth in just any department.

Their priorities are a central defender

Well, that cannot be Saliba if he is being loaned back to St Etienne as the French club are insisting and again, maybe that is where Gary Cahill comes in, both a central defender and experienced, ticks both boxes, That is not to say that it is Cahill they will go for, just an understanding behind the gossip. Some will say why bring him in when we have Laurent Koscielny. It is all about money, sell Kos for £10 Million get Cahill for free, that is £10 Million banked without weakening that position.

The other priority is a box to box midfielder

This is a given but who have they really been linked with that fulfils that role? There is Jordan Veretout but it seems he is AC Milan bound, then Denis Praet but is he really box to box? but he maybe set for AC milan according to some reports. Maybe Christopher Nkunku but he could be on his way to Leipzig, so who knows and are any of them really like what Aaron Ramsey was? There is always Alex Iwobi to try in that role.

As a sort of secondary brief, they’d be looking for a wide forward

Been loads of them, Ryan Fraser, Yannick Carrasco, Wilfried Zaha and Keita Balde. Zaha seems out of reach, Carrasco too much baggage, Fraser has gone quiet and the new one is Balde. There are enough candidates and let’s not forget Reiss Nelson and Xavier Amaechi and at least they fulfil the youth criteria.

Possibly a centre-forward with Danny Welbeck leaving

Eddie Nketiah has to be a consideration but a lot will depend on what they do with Aubameyang, sell him and maybe two new strikers will be brought in, this one remains very much up in the air.

There is interest in bringing in a left back and possibly a right back

Kieran Tierney, enough said. Arsenal want him, Celtic want £25 Million, seriously, why is this one not done already?

looking to integrate young players too

That will depend on who they sign, of course, I doubt they will go with youth for Central defender, box to box midfielder or any defensive role but the wings and centre forward could be the areas where they go with the youngsters.

So, in conclusion

Central defender – unlikely to be a teenager or youth player, most likely an experienced one but not necessarily in their 30’s

Box to box midfielder – So far I have been unable to identify any real prospects despite so many links.

Wide forward – lots of names in the frame and a possible position for one of the young players to be promoted.

Central forward – possibly a promotion for Eddie Nketiah but all depends on Aubameyang situation.

Left-back or right back, maybe both – I feel that if Kieran Tierney is acquired that will be that and it looks likely to happen.

Now, this is my interpretation, I am sure many of you view it absolutely differently.


  1. SURELY they cannot be considering letting Aubameyang go ????
    Why are they interested in Zaha,at such a price ???/
    Box to box midfielder,to score 10,and be able to defend ??
    Very tricky !!

    1. I suspect Arsenal are considering letting Aubameyang go because he will be 30 years old this year, he only has two years left on his contract, he rarely scored the opening/ first goal and it’d be nice to get 10 – 15 M instead of letting him go freely two years later

      Zaha is an EPL proven and lethal winger with bags of tricks that can help Arsenal transition to 4-3-3. The team would be more dangerous if we can play with two narrow wingers and two attacking fullbacks

      1. Is he letal??
        I think cp value him too high…there are many better wingers for a Lot less..if we will (and we could) spend 60mm on Zaha, then we should try dembele first…
        Ot: we should go for Erick pulgar, i have to insist

    2. @Tim Bartley

      Wenger and Gazidis let all our assets either go for free, for tiny fees, or kept them at the club on wages that far exceed their performances. We barely have ANY assets, so selling Auba isn’t too far fetched.

      I would say we need to bring in an absolute minimum of 5 new players (CB, LB, RB, CM, RW). So we have to sell.

      I love Auba, but he’s only got 2 years left on his contract. We’re never going to find a winger that will score as many as he did, but a natural winger will give us the balance we need. Overall, that help the team more. We looked better last season with only one up front.

    3. mr.Tim even if we sell aub at 56m we cant reach Zaha’s asking price of 100m yet useless players like ozil,mustaf,mick,elneny are likely to stay then what daz thatone mean we’re likely to see another needful prayer leaving just to fund one play we rather keep our few star players and leave zaha

  2. We wouldn’t know what is really going on at Arsenal transfer department

    One thing for sure, Saliba has been signed by Arsenal. @kev has confirmed it

    About Tierney deal, it looks strange because Arsenal seem to be the only club that are seriously after him. Unless this is similar to Aubameyang’s case, when we were the only one that bid on him

    1. It’s not that Saliba has been signed.Fee(€30m) and personal terms(£27,000 a week) have been agreed so he will join.Its just about giving it time.
      Turkey’s personal terms has already been agreed and as I said the player visited London Colney from Austria

  3. These are the words of Daniel Cutts, a journalist who works for the Sun:
    As of last night there was no official second bid from #Arsenal for Kieran Tierney but they are hoping to strike a deal for around £22m plus addons with Celtic. Pre-season a week away.

    As I have been saying no second bid ha been submitted for Tierney.Its just media spreading lies or being used by clubs to spread false news so as to make clubs act faster.

    I also need not to repeat myself on Saliba who will be an Arsenal player.I follow very reliable Spurs ITK’s and they have confirmed to me that they were never in for him or serious about him and that they were always being used.Ndombele is a done deal for them though if anyone cares to know

  4. Frankly I think the unspeakable may well happen if united offer £60 million for Auba .
    It is a shame because he has a great understanding with Lacassette .
    I would like to see Ozil,Mykitarian,Mustaffi,kochelney and Emery sold to make funds to buy replacements.

  5. For once someone who’s saying something really true and undebatable about our youths..I see people rave about Nelson coming back, I read comments on here and I just shake my head, some of y’all know right before mid season, I was always following Nelson’s performance on loan and I used to talk about him, like I used to say, He might’ve gotten those goals, but he really has a loooooong way to go, his game his simply not what you’ll call classy or matured, now don’t get me wrong, the boy’s got potential but I’ve always said he’s still not what I’ll call ready.
    But let see what he can do, now among these kids, the real deal here is Saka, if you follow our U23 you’ll know this boy is who we should really be pushing for, like David said, he’s extremely young but has everything Mbappe had while coming up too.
    I really hope to see Saka given lots of chances in the EPL next season, now I’m not saying he’s a young Messi, but if he makes use of next season to adapt and build up himself, you’ll see he’s the brightest youngest we should promote,
    We should be trusting our academy more like Spurs did

    1. I am also all for utilising our academy players before spending fortunes on transfers considering our penny-pinching nature. For some reason, I do not think Unai rates our academy players but I stand to be corrected. I will give him this coming season to see if he is for youth or if he just wants to spend.

      I did not follow Nelson while he was on loan last season but one thing is for sure, no player improves by sitting on the bench so our guys have to get game time and preferably in the EPL, not the Championship.

  6. The FFP is a red herring. This board & owner are trying to convince us you can comeback with a weaker squad than the rest of the top 6 and make the CL? Delusion.
    Our kids need to be eased in, they aren’t ready.

  7. I like Zaha but at the price of £60 mill, ridiculous. The box to box midfield youngster, with the most potential in the country, is James Maddison.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Arsenal side with so much baggage as the present one. How did we accumulate these players? We need to sell more players than is possible.
    Monday is July 1st, traditionally the time we would begin to do early business. We will know in a week or so the level of disarray the club is in. With Vinai Venkatesham, who is not exactly a football man and should work for the FA, in the alternative version of it’s meaning and then there is Raul Sanllehi, our very own Danny DeVito tribute act, and finally Josh and Satan Kroenke. Who would truly be confident about our club?

  8. We can sell Auba, but not to fund Zaha buy.
    Instead of selling Auba simply to buy Zaha, let’s keep Auba and use the academy players; a lot of them are better than Zaha who is just an overrated player IMO.
    I don’t know why we don’t value what we have until we lose them.

    1. Serge Gnarby anyone,full German international scoring for fun we sold him for 8 Millions,even before we sold him there were rumours in the papers that Bayern would buy him a year later from the German club who bought him from us I can,t remember the club in question?

  9. Fact is, Auba was a golden boot winner last season! Why sell our most experienced players? Auba has also settled at Arsenal and has a good understanding with Laca. No matter who you bring in it will take time again. We need to hit the ground running next season and with the need for a new “box to box” midfielder hopefully coming in, it will be difficult enough to gel the squad, surely?

    With better better defence and better service, Auba could just be the player that gets us enough goals next year to get us back into the CL!?

    Change is good but too much too soon is damaging!!

  10. In fact why are people worried about loosing Aubameyang? I do agree that he is lethal striker one can wish to have in the team. Remember Liverpool had to loose Suarez, Sterling and Coutinho to be where they are today. if we could get 70 M £ and spend it wisely we would surely build our team to compete at a higher level. with 70 M + 45 M we will have 115M. Get:

    Ziechi at 30M
    Carrasco at 25M
    Tierney at 22 M
    Saliba at 25
    Praet at 22M

    You can further sell few players like Elneny, Mustafi, etc to raise the funds for a strong right back and experienced central defender

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