ARSENAL SERIOUSLY OVERPAYING FOR MYKHAILO MUDRYK By: Ibiniyi Victor
For the first since the winter transfer window during which Wenger tried to pay 92 million euros for Thomas Lemar, there seems to be some level of seriousness in the recruitment of players in the January window which is almost upon us. This is good news to the ears, as is shows that lessons are being learnt, and corrective as well as preventive measures are being taken, to not only prevent a repeat of last season’s failure, but to also remain competitive enough to improve our chances of winning the Premier League trophy.
The injury to Gabriel Jesus definitely provoked the need to bring in a forward and with reports of Arsenal’s interest followed by a formal offer for Mykhailo Mudryk, it is clear what the club’s intentions are. To the surprise of many, the player’s club, Shakhtar Donetsk, have reportedly rejected a bid of around 55 million pounds for the 21-year-old, while demanding around 100 million euros for him.
This is as sickening as is annoying. How on Earth is he worth 100 million? To make matters worse, the news of the rejection came at almost the same time with the announcement of Liverpool’s deal with PSV for Cody Gakpo, a player of the same age bracket but with more experience, appearances and goals, who most recently has performed very well at the grandest football stage for his country at the World cup. Amazingly, his signature was secured for less than Arsenal’s initial bid for their own target. Does it mean that despite tremendous progress on almost all fronts by the club – we still lack individuals with excellent negotiation skills at the administrative level?
Thank goodness Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White came good for the Gunners, but initially the general thought was that Arsenal over-paid for both players. One had just one season of premier league experience under his belt while the other was in the championship after suffering back-to-back relegation with two different clubs. Here again, is another case of the club attempting to pay a premium price for a player who has never played outside of the Ukrainian league.
I am honestly being tempted to ask why Arsenal didn’t go all out and on-time for Gakpo as we faced his club twice this season. He performed quite well against us, and more impressively, he is very capable of playing multiple positions across the frontline. Meanwhile, bringing in the Shakhtar star would probably mean the repositioning of Gabriel Martinelli to a more central role, a process that could take the player a while to get used to. All being said in essence, is that Gakpo would have been a more natural replacement for Jesus had we gone in for him. We would have signed a quality and proven goal scorer in the Dutch man.
It remains to be seen how this next few days or weeks of negotiation will pan out. But with Shakhtar already asking for more money, it is clear that Shakhtar will be overpaid. One can only hope that this will not be another case of Nicolas Pepe or ‘Martinez to Man. United’. The decision to push harder for the player or move on to other targets has to be made very quickly if Arsenal is to avoid a familiar end-of-the-season as that of the previous season.
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