Has Arsenal’s dithering cost us yet another top signing?

Did anyone else worry when Coutinho scored twice in the Champions League quarter final on Friday night? Here was a player, after being told he’s not good enough for the Nou Camp, contributing to his own employers most humiliating European result in their history.

It logically led to the sacking of their manager and it’s expected in the next few days their former European Cup winner Ronald Koeman will return to the setting where he also won La Liga 4 times. Someone who’s been educated by the Dutch principles of playing the game the ‘right way’, it’s understandable that he would be a fan of how Coutinho plays. If, like most new bosses, he intends to give everyone a fresh chance to impress, our hopes of a loan deal look unlikely.

It would currently be hard to look the midfielder in the eye and say he can’t get an opportunity in the current Barca midfield, especially if the Brazilian completes a Domestic Treble.

So far this season he’s scored 11 goals and assisted 9. Someone who contributes 20 goals who didn’t cost you a transfer fee. It’s his wages, not his ability, that is the reason Bayern Munich won’t make his stay permanent.

With it uncertain when match day revenue is returning, very few are in a position to allow Barca to cash in, so the other option is to try one more time to build the midfield around him.

While he has to take responsibility for his move to Spain not working out, he’s never had an arm around his shoulder like he did at Liverpool.

Senior figures at the Nou Camp have realised that their problems are bigger than who’s in the dugout and they might be forced to rip things up and start again.

It means that Coutinho, for the first time, could play in Cataluña with far less politics going on, with even the likes of Messi and Pique losing some power.

It’s never been confirmed but it’s believed Messi had a major influence on who played and what formation. Not as in literally picking the team but making it clear to a President if he disagreed with tactics or style of play. That President would be aware the Argentine impacted elections as fans tended to agree with their best ever player.

That would mean a manager obliged to play Messi with his best friend Suarez and Coutinho on the left because there were fear to break up an old midfield. Anyone who dared go against that would have a Messi (whose effort can’t be questioned) making it apparent he’s not happy.

Koeman though has a strong personality, and if he wants to try Coutinho in a number 10 at the expense of Suarez, even Messi might fail to argue after an 8-2 thrashing.

Meanwhile over in London Raul Sanllehi has left Arsenal. Given he used to work at Barcelona, it was believed Raul was using his contacts to get a deal for Coutinho done.

Some believed the Brazilian was at our training ground last week. Yet a week is a long time in this sport. Suddenly Barca are having a clear out, opening up a place in their first XI while the man he was negotiating with at the Emirates is gone.

If Arsenal had made a 9 million offer 2 weeks ago, the answer would have been yes. Now all parties are confused. It could be another example of how our indecisiveness has cost us a chance to improve. We are not in a position where we can do what the Manchester clubs can do, so to attract top players we have to think outside the box.

Coutinho would be perfect at a time where we have zero creativity. If he flops, it’s cost you peanuts. If he’s amazing, it’s a bargain. Yet why do are fear this isn’t going to happen. I have seen it all before.

Arsenal FC …… scared to next the next step as usual…

Dan Smith


  1. I prefer Aouar, he’s a young player with and can play anywhere in the midfield, has pace, can take his man on, and his wages won’t be high, we can’t afford to pay for his high wages and he flops

    1. His is class and one to watch that Lyon guy, he is the kind of signing we want plus all the reasons you highlighted. I hope the board goes for him rather then coutinho. I hope Edu is not hell bend on putting a Brazilian B team, he is well on his way though lol!

  2. I don’t really support the rumor of loan deal for countinho, I’ll rather we buy cebalos from Madrid and push him up to play behind strikers, however, no one knows how MA want to use willian, we don’t need another loan but a true rebuilding, a Partey and cb will be a good summer with a CAM as icing on the cake.
    Moreso, we cant pay Ozil throughout next season for doing nothing, we need to play in took, probably on the fringe, since we are stucked with him. So, a big name CAM may be far too much to ask considering Ozil presence/wage in the team

  3. Coutinho cant materialise at the moment because of salary reasons. The board wants Coutinho but Arteta’s choice is Aouar that is why Aouar is always being linked. They want a player for the 10/8 role.

    As I a said weeks ago and media are now playing catch up Arsenal have agreed a deal for Gabriel Malghaes weeks ago. He already chose us ahead of Napoli and Utd but Napoli are trying hard by trying to beat our offer for him. A lot of fake prices are also making rounds too so dont pay attention as weeks ago there journalists and the like were asked to stop the leaks so that the deal isnt affected. Youi will be seeing a lot of different prices from the English journalists.

    I repeat again Thomas Partey deal was never dead. The player is 100% committed to joining Arsenal. Hope you also dont forget about Aubameyang’s new contract which has already been agreed and will be signed soon. He will stay with Arsenal.

    1. If God willing, we get Gabriel he will be the first player in a long time that we have gotten through a competitive bid. We are known for buying players with limited offers

  4. As Hydrogen has pointed out it is Aouar who Arsenal ate actually after.Edu having discussions with his team last wk with a bid forthcoming.He is seen as the better,more cost effective long term bet.We we’re looking At coutinho as plan B back up .The idea was Rauls with his Barca bandit connections.Basically him & agents trousering more wasted money from us.Hence the reason he was shown the door……

  5. The thing is,Goal’s Arsenal Correspondent Charles Watts at some point mentioned that Arsenal are not looking at Coutinho are a priority.It was Barca pushing him to Arsenal.Watts is someone who is very accurate when it comes to news out of arsenal.So i dont think MA will loose sleep over it if we fail to get Coutinho.Partey,Gabi and Ceballos and our shopping window is done

  6. You obviously think highly of Coutinho Dan, but rightly or wrongly, the hierarchy at Barca and Munich were not impressed enough to make him a first team pick.Having just signed Willian, who can play as a conventional winger or as a number ten, why would we be interested in paying a substantial loan “fee” of circa 10m for the use of a player for one season when he is arguably no better than Willian, who I may add has considerably more international caps for Brazil than his compatriot.Most rational Arsenal fans would agree that we urgently need a top quality DM with physical presence and a high energy B to B midfielder to bring some steel to our midfield. Chances are that the new Barca Manager will be obliged to give Coutinho a chance to cement a position in the team, given his huge transfer fee and salary, and I for one will not lose any sleep over our “dithering” on this occasion.

    1. I’m with you, Grandad.
      Willan, already done
      Thomas Partey as box to box DM
      One of Ceballos, Szoboszlai, Aouar or even Dacoure from Watford as CAM and
      Gabriel as CB
      would be a very good transfer window.
      A brilliant transfer window would be if Torreira and Bellerin are sold and funds used to buy a young DM like Roca (Espanyol) or Diawara (Roma) and Max Aarons (Norwich).
      With those 6 players in, Arsenal would be real threat, with a balanced squad and competition in every position.

      1. I read that Everton have already made a bid for Doucoure and that Watford want 25M for him,if true that’s a good deal,we could do with a player like him,physical and ready to go.

    2. 10M loan fee(1 season) plus wages really??i don’t understand how the board would even think about it,even if he had a good season, that money would be best spent on buying a player ,as mentioned Aouar, that’s crazy!

    3. perfectly said Grandad. Coutinho does not fit our needs! And breaks our wage structure. Huge pass. Getting somebody in the mold of Donny Van De Beek would be a great move. Szoboslzai is a high energy advanced attacker that Arsenal should be looking into for sure and he can score too. I really hope we get linked with him. Just Ceballos and Partey wont be enough I’m afraid.

  7. With the albatross of Ozil’s salary hanging round Arsenal’s neck, plus a big increase for Aubameyang, at a time when the Club’s income, so heavily dependent on match day revenue, then it is absolutely clear that Coutinho’s massive salary is a luxury we cannot afford, nor, given his age and recent form, really want. Let’s think younger, more affordable talent.

    1. Exactly that.
      No matter how exciting our attack would look with Coutinho, we already reinforced the position somewhat and never would have been able to afford both Coutinho AND Özil staying anyway.

      Since Mesut isn’t going anywhere (unless a huge late surprise), the rumour was a non-starter.

  8. If Arsenal manage to get Aubangthemin,Partey,Gabriel & Aouar over the line were 😆 what a window that would be & flogging the likes of Gwen Dozy,Torreira,Laca,sokratis,Holding,chambers,Elneny ( ozil – would have to be carried out on a stretcher,etc would be the icing on the cake…

  9. Sorry .left out willy boy🤭 & for me.keep AMN.a potential great utility player.what a window this could be….

  10. Since Coutinho would never have been able to move anywhere until the Champions League was over and Bayern’s season had ended, any woulda shoulda coulda discussion is immaterial as, unlike with Timo Werner, Munich had decided to keep him until the end of the competition and Barcelona would only have been able to agree any deal until his Bayern stay would have ended, regardless of the money offered.

    Sure, it’d have been great to have him on loan but since we already signed Willian to play in that position alongside Arteta wanting to integrate Smith-Rowe as a 10 next season, this loan is WAY down the list of priorities for Arsenal after: signing a CB, signing a DM and, crucially, to start selling the unwanted players so we can fund the Auba contract and the CB/DM reinforcements.

    Adding Coutinho only would only ever have been a luxury cherry on top AFTER these vital moves would have been secured in any case.

  11. This is bad signing for Arsenal.
    We have EIGHT defenders and a weak protective midfield.
    Foolish buying more defenders without offloading at least two first.
    We need to prioritise midfield.
    I hope Napoli get him.

  12. Coutinho is, in my opinion a high risk player. He is kind of a signing who can work or can’t. Granted he was good at Liverpool, but that Barca stint has hampered his confidence. Earlier he could influence games by himself, now we mostly see him perform in games which are already put to bed. I don’t think we need to prioritise a loan for a player who has not sufficiently impressed both Bayern and Barca hierarchies and there are better and less risky options.

    1. No Dan, but with Thomas Partey a Viera type box to box midfielder, one of Ceballos (RM) , Szoboszlai (Salzburg), Aouar (Lyon or Dacoure (Watford) as CAM, Arsenal midfield would be greatly improved.

  13. No doubt Arsenal suffer from Ditheritis, a serious mental deficiency, that causes a mid table finish and can end up causing ‘******* around’ syndrome, which in turn was the cause of our wandering in the desert of the Premier League in the past few years. Arsenal are Sloooow in coming forward. Wake up money men and do your business!!!!

  14. I’d say that if we do manage to sign a strong DM, it will mechanically allow for the 3rd midfielder to play further up the pitch (thanks to the improved defensive safety behind) and score/create more?

    1. Btw, my last reply was an reply to Dan’s post below. Don’t know why it doesn’t appear underneath right his comment…🤷‍♂️
      “Just worried about lack of goals from midfield
      Will Willian be enough?”

  15. I have strongly suspected that on Coutinho and a possible loan, that Dan was out of step with mainstream Gooner opinion. So I then read all thr above posts which have much confirmed my suspicion(taken as a whole). I concur with the mainstream and not with DAN. On the face of things , a player sold by Liverpool for such ahuge fee who was a hyge player at Anfiled would be aasteal at £9 million, BUT we are in an entirely different situation since Covid and even more so since we, NOW AND AT LONG LAST, have a realistic, pragmatic, dynamic and intensely intelligent and charismatic man in charge of team matters.

    I am extremely happy and relaxed to leave ALL decisions in his hands and am 100% resolved to continue supporting a man whom I see as a sparkling diamond as our coach/ manager.

    1. Arsenal doesn’t have the 40-50m Lyon requests as a minimum fee for Aouar and, if he comes to the Premier League this Summer, it’s bound to be Man City.

      1. There are lower priced, yet very good options to Aouar out there. I can’t see Arsenal being able to buy Partey and Aouar in the same window and still address the other needed positions. Partey is essential in my view, but he could be teamed with Ceballos, Szoboszlai, Dacoure or another midfielder Edo and Arteta have identified, rather than Aouar.

        1. I hope you won’t be overly disappointed if we don’t get Party. If he is the solution to our problems in the middle and so good at that positive for AMwhy would they sell him. I can see another stick of negativity to beat Arsenal with if the deal doesn’t materialize.

          1. Mobella, AM have sell Partey, if Arsenal comes up with the €50 million buy out clause and he wants the move.
            I will be upset, because this is a straight forward transfer for Arsenal and will show ambition. I would rather see one quality buy, than 3 bargain buys. It will be massively negative.

      2. Yup. I keep seeing us linked with him. We cannot afford the asking price Lyon want unless we are selling several important players. And personally I’m not too impressed by him and dont think he’s worth the money. As ozzie said, there are other options in Europe for less of a price.

  16. I seriously do not think it is worth pursuing Coutinho , i must agree with grandad on this,this would be a wrong move however he may arrive here.

  17. I wouldn’t blame him for his move to Barca not working,look at Dembele,Griezmann,Coutinho…it seems apart from Messi and few others there is no room for other stars in the Barca team,could be something to do with politics in the dressing room??

    1. That’s what I’ve heard too, Siamois – a lot of big egos, plus the buddy relationship between Suarez and Messi.

  18. It is sad that Arsenal have dropped to an embarrassing financial level , but why not sell the club to someone who can invest in the club. Football is not a charity event, it is about financial investment and you get what you invest in form of upgrade and performance . The way Arsenal is going they will keep dropping down till they are relegated

  19. Chris, who’s got a spare £2 billion + these day; however given the £150 million drop in Arsenal FC’s asset valuation KS&E may take less.

  20. It hard to understand what the midfield dynamics will be next season. Xhaka is neither a DM and nor a B2B, he is some where in middle. So if we buy a good DM then we need a mobile CM next to him that is not Xhaka and if we buy a B2B partey then Xhaka will play as DM. So may be MA can play a triangle in Medfield Xhaka at base then two B2B on left and right…if we can probably get Partey and play AMN in these two these roles that will be perfect. With Saka, auba and Pepe upfront. Keep bringing on Martenelli in place of Auba and even starting him in some games. This way we can develop him further for future and decrease the reliance we have on Auba slowly slowly.

  21. We aren’t able to pay top dollar for anything, especially if covid worsens and fans are still not allowed in stadiums.

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