Is Arsenal’s whole transfer strategy based on finding the cheapest option?

Do We Only Care About Finding Value? by Dan Smith

Strong reports say that both Dani Ceballos and Saliba are in London yesterday completing their medicals. Once completed our recruitment team would have achieved a unique feat of three signings while only spending 6 million, 3 if we factor in the sale of Ospina.

Now I’m sure finding value is part of the criteria, but I hope it’s not prioritised over what’s best for the team. Now don’t get me wrong, just because you sign someone on loan doesn’t mean they are not talented. The Real Madrid youngster has a high reputation and just stole the show at the Euro Under 21s, but if we had to pay a fee for him would we have been interested?

For nearly a year we knew we needed to replace Ramsey and have goal threats from midfield. Is this their number one choice after months of scouting or did our ears prick up when we realised, we could borrow him? Like Suarez in January we seem more content to bring in a body to fill in a gap in the squad as cheap as possible over any long-term plan. We again want an option to buy, not insisted upon us. Let’s see how much we rate this lad in 12 months’ time.

It’s hard to get excited about Saliba because he can’t help us in this campaign. He’s predicted to be the next big thing, but a season is a long time in Football. Yet do we really think he needs to stay in France to develop and couldn’t make us better now? He could be walking into a squad still in the Europa League with a modest budget. Again, we saw a chance to save money, St Etienne lowering the price if it meant they have him for one more year. For the sake of saving 10 million now we are gambling on finishing in the top 4, if not, then 30 is taken out of next summer’s 50 million piggy bank.

From Xmas onwards you could see our defenders were aging, injury. prone, past their best. Again, men who get paid lots of money to identify talent, that’s their job, feel we should get by with the same back 4/5 which failed last year and wait another 12 months to strengthen.

Again I ask, could they not find an alternative to help us now or was a buy now/pay later scheme the cheapest option?

I don’t mean to be negative at a time gooners might be happy to see new faces, but I also don’t want that to be used to manipulate us. The amount of money we pay doesn’t mean we should not celebrate signings for sake of them.
Think back to Baku- Think back to how many away games we were humiliated in. If I said to you after that Chelsea Final we get to 2 weeks (on Thursday) before the new season kicks off with a net spend of 3 million would you be happy? A loan, a kid and a defender we loaned back.

The best we can do? Or do we only care about finding value?

Dan Smith


  1. They said Ceballos deal had stalled due to Asensio injury.Now Ceballos is in London?.Sick and tired of our club’s name being used disrespectfully and for clickbait.
    It is a fact that we do not have a huge budget so we are trying to act smarter.We ended up paying €29m for Saliba who was claimed to be going for more than that.We couldn’t buy Ceballos so had to accept the loan and then a somewhat first refusal based on formal agreement.
    We are looking at Zaha or Everton or Fraser for the RW, Tierney and if possible a RB.We should give the new regime time to finish because we are tight as we have an owner who doesn’t care that much.We need to relax and stop accepting everything from clickbait media.

    1. Also didn’t take long for the Sun to dig up stuff from the past to slag off Ceballos with, the scumbags.

    2. kev, I’m sorry mate, but it’s you who accept everything that is in the media, as your links to players proves.

      “justarsenal” has no more idea of what’s going on as any of the media sites you use, so perhaps you should take your own advice and stop accepting everything from your “sources”?

      There is only one guaranteed way to be sure what is actually happening,,,the official websites of the clubs involved.

      How on earth do you or your contacts know what’s in the contract of a player who hasn’t even signed yet?
      What the heck is this? “a somewhat first refusal based on formal agreement”…there is no formal agreement, according to The Arsenal, so what the hell does that mean?

      Pure speculation and everything else is, as you say, clickbait.

      1. Whatever you say.Ive told you I follow ITK’s and not media.Even many reliable journalists are late to the legit ITK’s.I haven’t read “news” in a long time.Last window the only “news” was Guendouzi because the ITK’s couldn’t get that one right.This season everything has been reported first by ITK’s

        1. Kev, what does “a somewhat first refusal based on a formal agreement” mean?

          I’ve followed football for over sixty years and I have no idea whatsoever!!!

          Please explain somebody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Saint Etienne wanted saliba to stay and would not agree a deal if he was not loaned out. The player also wanted another year in France if Arsenal really think hes the cb for the future its worth putting him back on loan for a year.

    1. Saliba wanted to go back on loan too.Chelsea were also forced to loan back Kurt Zouma when they signed him from Saint Etienne.Thats how they do their business

  3. I read ceballos has had his medical today and the club will announce him anytime now,if all have read about him is true then it will be a good signing because it will actually mean we have a proper midfielder who will not hide from Matches unlike one midfielder that we all know and he will also want to impress Real Madrid, next on now to zaha or the Everton guy and tierny and one Cb,please make it happen arsenal.

  4. I hope Arsenal have fired their executives that decided to purchase Xhaka, Mustafi, Sokratis, Ozil and Lucas Perez. We have wasted a lot of money for highly inconsistent players

    I’m not surprised that no club want our popular players

    If Arsenal failed to buy a 50+ M player again, I believe there would be less people coming to the stadium, due to the lack of excitement

    1. Well we know they got rid of who signed four of the players you mention but who brought Sokratis in, Sven or Emery?

  5. After all is said and done, to date there has been little talk about the CB weakness and a possible “critical” signing coming in. We may even need two CB’s if you factor Kos leaving?

    We all now it’s the essential area of weakness and yet Media or otherwise there is very little talk?

    WTF is the club doing? It’s laughable and “IF” we go into the new season having not addressed the issue we must surely be asking serious questions!!!???

  6. Club’s behaviour in the market puts premium on value; not best talent to improve squad but best “value”

    Absolutely shocking that we’ve only accomplished this much in market. Monreal finished as a defender and Kola can’t defend to save his life. Meanwhile we can’t scratch together £25 million for Tierney?

    Woeful ownership, no ambition, and trying to sell last year’s lame ass squad as prepared to make top 4 run.

    Defense is bush league, and midfield can’t handle pressue of any kind.

    Josh and Emery talked big about bringing in top players, clock is ticking.

    Are Raul and Vinai better than previous management? Is Emery failing where Wenger was failing?

    Hope the pressure stays on Josh and Stan. Hold them to their transfer promises, hold them to their trophy talk, use their own words and promises against them.

    1. ? The other issue is Arsenal are not even buying players with potential resale value. No clubs want Arsenal’s players.

  7. The problem is not bringing in any central defenders, a position we are weak at and will soon lose Kos. I understand fans wanting a wide attacking player but the main problem is still not being addressed.

  8. its a well known fact that st etienne and saliba wanted to stay one more season and all that delay was us trying to get rid of the loan option. Ceballos is the reverse as real madrid have no problem with selling him for a good price but the player wants to return to madrid. If saliba has a superb season further raising his value this deal would be a damn good one.

    everton or zaha

    these would represent a good transfer window where we are recruiting in position in need like cb,lb,cm and winger. thats the positives

    Negatives are the deals dragging out to be completed after pre-season, loan back for saliba, no option to buy for ceballos in case he has a superb season.

  9. Our midfield and defense gives me less to look forward to this coming season unless something is done.

    Might not be a popular view here but i’m still not very convinced Lucas T is suited for the EPL and if he can be consistent for a full season. Guendozi, Willock still learning, Xhaka will be Xhaka, and dont get me started on Elneny. If Ceballos comes in fine, but what can one player do? It also leaves a bitter test knowing we will be potentially developing a player for another team.

    Whether Kos stays or not we need major changes to our backline based on last season and what we have seen so far in preseason. Why do we still have some players at the club! Mustaphi, Jenkinson, and want away Kos. We should be going all out to get 2 first choice CB’s, get the Celtic kid and bring in an under study for Bellarin as Niles has no business at RB.

    We luck priority at the club. One would think our transfer team only start work in the last week of the window when all the good players have moved (even on the cheap) and we end up with panic buys we are now failing to shipout.

    We never seem to learn!

    1. Agreed. I’m happy for the young players to get their chance in midfield and attacking positions. If you look at Monaco a couple of seasons ago and Ajax last year it shows it’s possible. But you cannot expect a youth player with no experience to start in the Premier League in central defence.

      1. There’s so much disrespect and under appreciation of our team. With all the high heaven praise for totheringham and Chelsea, how many points did they finish above us if not for the carelessloss to Crystal Palace and the unexplainable draw with Brighton.we could have been out of sight before our last games.
        Let’s give Emery and the players a chance together for another season. The reality is that we don’t have the kind of financial muscle needed to buy all the type of players we wish for.The transfer market has gone haywire. How could one explain 50m for Wanbisaka, 80m for McGuire and the most annoying 80m for Zaha? I’ll rather we fill certain spot in the squad with our academy graduates.

  10. In fact we will be in profit of 0.5 mil aftwr signing 3 players. As bennacer who is supposedly joining AC milan for 14 mil will get us a minimum of 3.5mil.

    1. Shekar233, you have forgotten my friend, we are still paying on the never never for a certain Torreria.

      It is so plain to see now, that this kind of kronkie nonsense has been going on since our CL defeat to barca.

      That’s when he got control and I only wish that Wenger had told the supporters what was really happening, instead of trying to turn the ship round without a rudder.
      It’s amazing what we did achieve now the facts are starting to come out and I only hope UE publically stands up to this man kronkie, as AW should have done.

      1. Exactly why i hated wenger for his last 6 years. He did a tremendous cover up for the board.

        If he loved Arsenal as he claims to be, he could have given us cryptic hints like what Jose did at UTD or Poch did at spurs. We as fans would have taken the necessary steps of protesting against the owners.

          1. ken, I wholeheartedly agree with your post. I have stated previously that my biggest issue with Arsene Wenger was his apparent compliance with the situation and his failure to use his well deserved status and credibility within the Club to make a public stand.
            In regard to Unai Emery, I believe, unless he is supported by the Board in the transfer market, he will leave at the end of the season, even if offered an extension.

          2. No, Firstly emery is not a stalwart at the club like wenger. He doesnt have complete control over decisions pertaining to football matters.

            He basically doesnt have either the command in the language that most arsenal fans understand so would not freely open up to fans.

            But yet he did something very staright forward.

            Emery has given a bit of a stick to the board in public when he announced in January that arsenal dont have enough funds to buy players permanently and hence will only loan players.

            Which made the board to push the rumours(through their PR) of huge warchest for next summer(current summer) in order to satisfy the plans.

  11. No the club are not just going for the cheapest option imo.

    Zaha is probably the ‘big’ name signing they were talking about.

    KT, Soares, Ceballos, Saliba and Martinelli all come very much under the other type of players they stated they were interested in signing…. Players who show a lot of quality and could be the next big thing…. The type of player our club was once renowned for finding.

    I get that we have all heard the same stories before, but, to me at least, the targets actually match exactly what they said they wanted, which is definitely a refreshing improvement on the previous regime.

    Obviously another CB (or two) would be nice, and from interviews with UE it does appear that they have a target in mind but we can’t afford them and the management don’t want to waste money on the second choice.

    Imo we get KT, Saliba, Ceballos and either Zaha or Soares to go along with Martinelli and that’s not bad business for this window considering we haven’t managed to shift deadwood and doesn’t look like we will as nobody is interested in them.

  12. This is what I’m thinking. We know we need a fair few players to arrive because we’re short in first team and on bench. We have a certain amount of money, so we are trying to keep hold of as much of it as we can, while we look for some quick and long-term solutions. Then we’ll get to spend a little more on some quality rather than sprinkling it around like we done last summer.

  13. Saliba,Tierney and Ceballos are really top class players who will make it big time providing they avoid serious injury.The fact that we have targeted this talented trio is encouraging and suggests our scouts are on the ball.Where we appear to be falling down is in the negotiation stage with the apparent break down in the KT discussions being particularly hard to accept given our desperate need for a top quality left back and the fact that Tierney could well become a permanent shoe n for 8/10 years.We really need to get this transfer done asap.As far as Ceballos is concerned Real Madrid are in the driving seat but we should endeavour to arrange a buy out clause if at all possible as I am sure the young Spaniard will shine in the PL.

  14. Yes and No

    I don’t consider Zaha for £70 million to be good value for money

    We have a budget and can’t go over it for every player. I wish we could.

    We need to buy a few cheaper players and spend more for better quality players.

    We Also need to prioritize who we buy. CB and wingers and Ramsey replacement should come first. Then CAM, LB, RB

    What bothers me more is that we could have yet another season with Mustafi, Sokratis, Xhaka, Ozil, Mkhitaryan in our starting line-up

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