Dear Edu, Sign Onana and Damn the Consequences by AI
Arsenal have been linked to a new goalkeeper since January. As a previous article stated, Bernd Leno is now an outdated fit for the football we want to play.
Andre Onana is one of the most talented goalkeepers in the game. He has proven to be exceptional at Champions League level. In fact, using post-shot xG data, only Allison Becker of Liverpool has outperformed him over the last few seasons in Europe’s most premier competition.
Not only is Onana a talented shotstopper, he is also one of the most exciting ball-playing goalkeepers in the game. His confidence and calmness with the ball are quite notable. He has been heavily linked to Chelsea for a while. For Ajax to let him go, it would have been close to 40 million pounds.
However, an almost expired contract and a UEFA ban has left him available for cheap. He won’t sign a new contract at Ajax (current one expires in January) and he can’t play until November. Ajax simply want to get whatever they can get for him and move on. As a result, his value has plummeted to the single digits. We are talking about less than 10 million pounds for one of the best upcoming goalkeepers in the game.
When a player is almost out of contract like this, clubs ask themselves why they should spend now when they can get him for free later? If a club is confident of striking an agreement with the player, it only increases their reluctance to pay any money for a potentially free signing in a short time. And Arsenal Football Club are one of those exclusive clubs who can be sure that they can strike an agreement with a young Ajax goalkeeper.
The dilemma is this: Onana can’t play till November. His contract expires in January. One month. Do you want to pay 6 million pounds for one month of availability? Also, you also need to be paying his wages for all those months he can’t pay. From a financial perspective, it makes no sense to, even if he can play 2 months early, especially to a top club like Arsenal who can just get him whenever they want.
This explains why despite Inter Milan and Arsenal interest, nobody is moving. The only club active for Onana is one that knows that they can never get him once he can play, that’s Lyon. Why would he go to Lyon when he has bigger and attractive offers? This is why Lyon want him now.
Reports have broken recently that Onana has refused Lyon’s approach. He knows he can do better. Arsenal knows, too, hence the quiet.
However, I am of the opinion that provided Ajax reduces their nominal fee (and maybe even not), Edu Gaspar should try to secure Onana’s signing right now. Whatever we ‘waste’ on Onana now won’t matter to the bottom line of the club. While it makes financial sense to wait, it is also stupid penny pinching when the talent is so good and could possibly still go to another top club.
Of course, all of the top clubs already have established goalkeepers and those that are potentially looking for reinforcements (Dortmund, Inter) cannot offer a more attractive opportunity to Onana, especially financially. We are frontrunners for his signing and can chose to wait.
However, it ultimately does not matter if reports that we are looking to make Ramsdale a 30 million signing are to be believed. Granted, he is young, experienced and English. But the talent gap between him and Onana is still sufficiently sizable enough to make the potential fee for Ramsdale ridiculous, when Onana is available for so cheap.
Edu Gaspar must forget about any financial considerations and simply sign Onana up. Football is fluid and who knows if Alisson will get injured again and Liverpool will be looking for a cheap replacement come January?
Just get him now, please.