Were Arsenal really even interested in Aouar or Partey? Ask Kroenke…

Were We Really ‘Interested’ In Partey Or Aouar? by Dan Smith

If I say I’m interested in an engagement ring which I know is 900 pound but march into the shop with 200 in my pocket, am I really interested? If the shop assistant makes it clear that is the price, take it or leave it, is me throwing another 50-pound note on the counter showing I’m interested?

Are you allowed to tell your partner: ‘I tried’?

Worse, what if my girlfriend knows that in reality, I have a million pounds in the bank. That 900 to me is nothing. That if that ring was really important, if I truly cared, I would have paid the asking price. That I’m saying I’m interested to keep her sweet but in reality, I have no intention of taking that next step.

Essentially, I just explained Stan Kroenke’s business model.

Arsenal time and again this summer leaked out that Partey and Aouar are our top targets. Why whisper this to the media?

So gooners, instead of questioning our worst league finish in 25 years get excited about this ‘new Arsenal’. They talk about title bids and Champions League’s in 3 years, they even excuse how a Billionaire sacks 55 staff to save 2 million.

Most importantly (because we are customers) we rush out to buy the new kits.

When older fans like me are waving my arms saying ‘he’s conning you, they are delaying the Aubameyang announcement to distract you from the lack of ambition’ you call me negative. I was trying to protect you. It’s like you know the end of the movie because you watched this film a 100 times.

Fans are talking about winning the Prem with their new look midfield. Writers claiming they know a journalist who says………

Yet I’m old enough to see through how this club is run. If the Kroenke family had zero ambition in the last decade, why would they change when they don’t know when they will next be getting match day revenue. Meanwhile our owner sits with a huge smile on his face.

I felt sick when Auba said we were his ‘family’. That just happens to be Nike’s motto for our third kit.

In reality both Lyon and Atletico Madrid are being reasonable in their asking prices. The French club want close to 50 million Euros, having been told by PSG, Juventus and Real, they could offer that in 12 months.

Atletico have never altered their stance. They don’t want to lose their midfielder, but Spanish rules dictate that every player has a buyout clause. To activate Partey’s release, it’s 45 million up front. It’s believed we are put off by not being allowed to pay in instalments. Yet we have known this for months.

The likes of Edu is paid a lot of money to identify targets to make our squad better. That’s his job. He should have had a shortlist drawn up in January when it was clear we were not finishing in the top 4.

Off the record we know everyone talks. There’s just been a 3-month break where you could chat. It takes seconds to pick up a phone and learn the likelihood of getting your target. It takes a few days to arrange a meeting with others and ask do you agree with the valuation set? If no, you simply move on to the next name on your list.

Yet with a day of the window left open, having spoken for months, we are still about 15 million away from what Lyon are asking for. Some reports are now claiming Lyon are so fed up with our inability to listen, their owner has ordered for any correspondence from us to now be ignored. How embarrassing…

It begs the question though. If Arsenal know they have zero intention of paying an asking price, why were we so quick to whisper to the media our ‘interest’?


So on Tuesday we can say we tried…

Meanwhile Adidas are happy because they have again sold a record amount of merchandise while Stan Kroenke has somehow taken us to 8th, yet got fans not turning on him but instead saying we are contenders!

You know, like we ‘tried’ to buy Suarez, Cavani, Higuaín, etc in the past, waited for enough shirts to be sold then ‘oh well, we tried’.

You could claim to want Messi but if you want him for 10 million it doesn’t count as ‘interest’

When you buy any company, you know there will be dark moments when you might have to step in and give things a fresh injection. That moment was when we finished 43 points behind Liverpool. A representation that we are being left behind.

If he wanted to, at any moment, he could pay 45 million…. he just has to care. You don’t become rich without being cautious, but also sometimes you have to spend to get a bigger return later.

That 45 million could be the difference between the Champions League and not. Pay 45 now and think how much revenue you could be getting in 12 months? Or stand still and be left behind.

From a PR perspective, we will buy someone, as we have to not look terrible for insisting that was why staff were sacked and players took a salary cut.

As things stand …… Ceballos’ wage was factored in last season from Ramsey’s wage. Mkhitaryan’s wage was given to Willian. 55 redundancies saved 2 million which paid for Runarsson.

We got 17 million for Ceballos, 3m for Greenwood and another million when Akpom went to Middlesbrough, which covers 21 of the 23 for Gabriel.

There is still a little time for Arsenal to prove me wrong.

But if not Mr Kroenke ……… give people their jobs back or at very least give that money you saved to charity…

Dan Smith


  1. With the right additions we could be a real force this season.

    But we will fall short again. This squat is better than year ago, but we won’t make it to top 4.

    1. Like i said along we was never going to get this 2 if you thought we was you must live in cloud cuckoo land we only get the left overs all the good ones av gone

    2. If Villa can rout Pool, why can’t we? Because we bought useless uninterested unskilled players for top dollar on mega wages with zero output. Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi, Laca all above 35M, Perez, Socrates, Chambers,Welbeck, around 15M, over 200M worth of money wasted on average talent. We get Saliba close to 30M, and he is not ready to play (for what so ever reasons). We let committed players like Ramsey and Sanchez go for free. Overpaid for Torrera, Guendozi and Pepe. And then we ask Stan to invest again.What for? An aging Luiz , Wiilian, Soares ? Stan needs to change the boardroom with urgency, starting with Vinay and then we can invest wisely. Getting a 28 year old Partey for 50M? Zero returns assured. Aour for similar amount, then say he needs a season to adapt and what not! The strategy needs a rethink IMO. Let us not get carried away by this Partey & Aour saga, look for the alternatives that Leicester or Wolves scout. Low cost, low risk, higher returns. Is Stan responsible for Ozil failing to live up to expectations? Talk is cheap. Dan should criticize the players who took us to this dump yard rather than every time calling out the owner. Stan is responsible for not booting out Wenger, Gazdis, and Raul earlier.

  2. Arteta is playing fearful football, see how Aston villa demolished Liverpool.. Yes Wenger lost lost of big games, but he was no coward.. Arsenal is playing boring football. This is not the arsenal we know. Can’t Arteta win without being boring?

    1. City, United, Chelsea, Spurs, Wolves, Leicester and even Liverpool remind me of their results? Did they lose away to the current champions? Or drop as many or more points against other teams.

    2. Simon be careful. You are not allowed to say anything negative about our club.. You get attacked and ridiculed. Some will even call you names.

      1. pero es la verdad el dice lo que siente y habla con el corazon de hincha harto de estafas el Sr Kroenke es cumpable de todo lo que esta pasando ese sujeto no ama el buen futbol deve imvertir para mejorar el equipo que le costo traer a Aouar solo a el y nada mas luego si querian ya traian a otro paquete porque abajo ya estamos bien con Auar nos bastaba y arriba con Nketia y Lacazette se podria decir que estamos hay . apago el televisor

        TRANSLATION: but it is the truth he says what he feels and speaks with the heart of a fan fed up with scams. Mr. Kroenke is responsible for everything that is happening that guy does not love good football. he must invest to improve the team that cost him to bring Aouar alone to him and nothing else later. if they wanted they would already bring another package. because downstairs we are already well with Auar it was enough and up front with Nketia and Lacazette you could say that we are there. i turn off the tv

    3. why care about the way we are winning, there is a correct mentality in the club and we are winning and beating the big clubs; so complaining about the way we win is like complaining about winning money

  3. Everton, Aston Villa, and Leicester have the best midfields in the league at the moment. They’ve been great to watch. Liverpool haven’t been good since the start of this year. Arsenal gave them too much respect last week to be honest.

      1. Last week’s game would’ve been really boring if Mane didn’t play. Mane is a workhorse like Sanchez was for Arsenal. However, Mane has decent players around that he doesn’t need to carry like Sanchez had to.

  4. If you watched Villa tonight, you will know we are ways behind, no creativity in our team at all and the only player that could give that if frozen out. I just hope this season ends well and I hope Leads or even Villa will not come and do what they did to Liverpool tonight to us if there’s no improvement.

      1. Arsenal spend £100mil last season and what position where we? Now you blame Kronke for our poor finish on the log? Besides that, buying Partey and Aour doesn’t guarantee us anything. Afterwards, you’ll be the one telling us that those players need to adapt to the EPL. You should blame the coach and players for finishing in a bad position, not Kronke

  5. At this point I even feel envious of villa having Ross Barkley lol pray we sign a midfielder tomorrow 🙏🙏

  6. Wow! What a terrible shortsighted article. Kroenke has thrown a lot of money behind the team (Aubamayong, Lacazette, Pepe, Gabriel) and as sad as it is to have to let 55 people go none are obviously necessary, meaning Arsenal can do their job without them. Can they survive with top players? I think not. I run my own business with about 50 employees and have to make those kind of decisions, and know how cruel it can be, but a business needs to survive.

    1. the fans just want the club to be like Chelsea or City

      spend big…sign big name and big tag players

      Spend 100m here 200m there

      Thats what the fans always wanted……endless spending

    2. Gavin, I thought Dan’s article was sound overall; my only issue in which I agree with you, is that KS&E not pouring in money is not the issue.
      Kroenke and son need to take more interest in how the Board and senior executives are managing the financial and player assets of this Club.
      The appointment of Tim Lewis (a lawyer and long term Arsenal supporter) to the Board and his investigations have already led to the departure of Raul Sanheili. It will be interesting to follow further progress as investigations continue.
      I encourage everyone to acquaint themselves with KS&E’s Sohi Stadium venture in Inglewood CA for the LA Rams they own and the San Diego Chargers. It is becoming a money pit of very large proportions.

    3. Wow. U know we make atleast 100 mil from only stadium revenue. Stan Kroenke dsnt invest anything. And he charges a consultation fee on top of that. He views this as a business. We need enthusiastic owners. (Looking @ aston villa)

    4. But are you a multi bilionaire then GAVIN and if not, then why do you think Kroenke is in the same business position as you and your company?

      The principle you outline I of course accept. I am a man of the world now in my eight decade(just) in this world and have worked in corporate business at high finance level and run my own businesses.

      But your post is too vague and the important factor is HOW MUCH actual spending ability Kroenke has. In his position it is surely a given that a paltry £40-£50 million is little more than loose change and could have easily been even lent to the club- in accounting ways – and repaid later. But he chose not to do so, which to me destroys your argument.
      I would also like to ask do you truly care, in an emotional sense, about your business? If , as I suspect, the answer is yes, then that is another key difference between you and Kroenke!

      I will ask yet another question if I may. Do you think ANY business owner who does NOT emotionally care about his or her business has any moral right to even own that company?

  7. If this league stays this crazy then it’s to our benefit. We wont stand a chance if we dont get midfielders in though. I know we still have deadline day but if we dont complete our squad it could be another season we regret not making those extra signings that make all the difference.

  8. Arteta should better start playing attacking football. Arsenal is so boring to watch these days. Why can’t Arsenal sell Xhaka and buy Partey. Buy Benrahma as well. I kept saying it that Only Partey can do the job of both Xhaka and Elneny. What does Xhaka actually brings to Arsenal. Very slow, sluggish, can’t dribble, can’t even run. That guy supposed to be in Roma.

    1. Well to be honest, Arsenal, liverpool (at least without Mane), Utd, Chelsea are all slow and boring to watch with their slow af midfields. City at least has a good midfield.

    2. 3 points > attacking football. Arteta has already said he wants to be a team that scores a lot with a lot of shots on target. Hows he gonna do that with the players he has tho. Cant ask him to play attacking football with Xhaka, Elneny and Ceballos in a midfield. Villa have better attack minded midfielders than us, hot take. And yes, I’d take McGinn at Arsenal, another hot take. 😵

  9. My thoughts is we low balled both teams so they would turn us down and for the club to say look we tried to sign both players! Anyway Liverpool looking a real force again 🤪 A Liverpool fan said last week, Mane wasn’t a sending off stop looking for excuses, we’re an elite team stop crying! Looked more like a Sunday league team today 🤣

  10. So is it really true that the Aouar deal has been buried? Is there not a chance at all again even with the right amount?

    1. It’s really true Twinsy.. he played and scored a pen today.. that ship has sailed.. Partey on the other hand has a release clause, if that release clause is met we can talk with the player but it’s unlikely.

  11. Love to read letters like above: telling truth and brave to call a spade spade without malice. Telling as it is opens up ppl and remind them who we are: Arsenal and that we have things we hold dear: To play attractive football and not just kick and run.

  12. Loud mouth Liverpool destroyed and humbled today by Aston Villa 🤣😂. I’ve always known but today’s game VS Aston Villa proves that Liverpool are just average.
    Arteta set up a negative formation against them the the other day. He was too timid and gave them too much respect. This Liverpool team aren’t as good as the hype makes them look, especially when they face a team that takes it to them (not sitting back).
    Leeds game was also another proof. Without Mane, they’re toothless, such a one-man team!
    Best team in Europe my🦶, only on paper and by typical English press. Btw, their colleagues (Penchester United) didn’t get the ref on their side today, they were equally humbled!
    Honestly, I wished Arsenal took the game to them the other day, but I hope Arteta learned from his mistakes now.

    1. HAPISOL just remind me again who won the premiership and by how much last season?
      We have fans on here who are always so keen to remind everyone about our 8-2, 6-0 and 10-2 defeats, so while I am loving the villa scoreline, a little jogging of the memory wouldn’t go amiss.

      As for the article, we do know that our club bid for both players, because AM and Lyon have confirmed that fact.
      Just because they both value their respective players at a higher level than us, doesn’t mean we have to meet their valuation in order to spend even more of Stanleys money.
      Of course we should go in and place a reasonable bid, which is what we have done.
      If fans are daft enough to believe all the rumours surrounding our transfer dealings, we would have signed upwards of 120 new players!!!
      That’s why the official site is the one only one to follow 🤔👍

      1. Thank you Ken. I sit here reading all of this diatribe about why we need to throw needless money around just to get a player that most of the self proclaimed football brains would not have heard of until mentioned in the news as a transfer target. When will some realise it is an auction. If you just walk in and pay full price then the selling clubs put the price up. Up until now clubs have gone stupid with money, what happens when the $100mil player breaks a leg. Insurance doesn’t cover that. Also a football club is a business, that SK is the CEO of, do you see CEO’s of any other company throwing in personal money to aid the business. There are alsoo fifa rules to abide by. I respect the right to have an opinion, but please get a little bit informed.

        1. ken, apparently Arsenal’s representatives are the only ones who don’t believe Thomas Partey, a world class midfielder, is not worth his €50 million buy out clause. Atletico Madrid don’t want to sell and Partey believes he owes AM enough that he won’t force a move. Arsenal were one of few clubs he would join because of a boyhood following apparently. It will be interesting to see whether Partey signs an upgraded contract extension with an increased buy out clause.
          As for Aouar, teams such as PSG have apparently said they would pay Lyon what they want, but not this season due to downturn in income. Thus he was not overvalued, particularly when Lyon lowered his asking price.
          This has been a lost opportunity for Arsenal, particularly in respect to Thomas Partey.
          Ausgooner, it is not about throwing money around, but about spending money wisely. Arsenal has wasted money in the past by overpaying wages to average players, confirmed by the Club’s wage bill compared to League place. No sensible person can argue that Arsenalsumidfield has the quality it requires.
          I would have been happy to bring in Doucoure for £20 million, but that must have been too high a valuation for Arsenal as well! He would have improved the midfield and in my opinion will be the bargain of the window for Everton.

    2. Absolute junk comment. Liverpool is crap because they lost today?…lol. A team that played 2 consecutive champions league finals, got 97 and 99 points in the league in 2 consecutive seasons, nearly 3 yrs unbeaten run at Anfield. This is not about praising Liverpool on an Arsenal blog, but putting into perspective some of the comments written here.

      Aston Villa and Leeds playing gallant football. If you must lose, you gotta lose gallantly. Some of our wins are very underwhelming. If we don’t correct our playing attitude fast, then the period of reckoning will catch up with us. I remember when fans kept raving about UE 22 matches unbeaten run, but something kept telling me that the brand of football we were playing wasn’t sustainable. I hope to not be proven right this time again.

      1. Maxis
        Your last paragraph made me think back. I do think that although you have highlighted the parallels, there is a different relationship between the team and the manager.

      2. The way Villa and Leeds are playing at this present time they will beat us because they press all the time that is the only way to do it players under pressure make mistakes and you cash in

  13. So we sold Ceballos for £17 million and Nike are the suppliers of our third kit? How many other “facts” in the article are wrong🤔

    1. Also, I disagree w/ article that 50mil for Aouar is reasonable. Can somebody name what he’s done exactly to earn that pricetag?

        1. But if that’s your biggest takeaway wow
          Who cares what player it is or who owns shirt ?
          Principle is the same mate

  14. Looks like the real problem with Arsenal this transfer window has been the inability to move on unwanted players. They needed to do so to be able to create room for new players given the restrictions imposed by the home-grown-foreign player dichotomy.
    As it is right now, Arsenal have exceeded the quota for foreign players by two and will need to move on at least two foreign players over 21 years to even comply with the regulations, never mind bringing in new players

    1. yeah shame outgoings took so long. Kolasinac, torreira expected to leave as it stands still tho. And Guendouzi loan is picking up pace now, but we’ll see.

  15. I honestly can’t believe it’s come down to the last day of the window… and we don’t even have guarantees about bringing anyone in tomorrow!
    I thought money wasn’t an issue for one of our targets, so why all the haggling?! Yet again it looks like we’ll miss out, which just goes to show –
    Our negotiating team are absolute pants!

    1. You can`t negotiate if you have no money, Sue!
      The fact is ( the one which basically Mrs Fernsby banned me from HH for) Kroenke so far has invested £0 in Arsenal`s squad since he bought shares in this club well lover a decade ago!……………..and never will!, although he has made £323M in this pandemic!…………………………..more chance of me social distancing from my Parrott than Kroenke investing some of his own money!

        1. My honest guess is we will get in Soumare, woundt be surprised if we got know one though sue!!

            1. Definitely not overwhelmed but he does look a good player just not quite polished yet but could be a great signing, 21, 6ft 2, looks a good defensive midfielder, good on the ball too, all speculation though sue god knows who we will end up with lol 🤷‍♂️

              1. Sounds pretty good then, Rory..
                Surely someone will come in as I reckon there will be a few departing tomorrow! Watch this space….

      1. Le Coq Monster, if Arsenal have no money, why do Vinai and Edu make public statements that the Club does not have to sell to buy players?
        Why does Arteta publicly state that he is being supported by the owner, Board and senior executives?
        The evidence as usual with Arsenal does not support the talk.
        By the way do you or any of your associates have a spare £2 billion plus to make an offer to KS&E? Given the situation with SoFi Stadium they may want to sell Arsenal FC.

    2. Stylistically, his comparison between “55 staff” and “2 million” is annoying. He’s clear as to what the 55 is, but doesn’t specify what unit the 2 million is expressed in. It really suggests 55 staff vs 2 million staff.

      1. But the fact you know I mean 55 staff vs 2 million a year means it is clear lol
        You contradicted yourself

  16. All this moaning and groaning is to not grasp the reality. The analogy; A father sets up his child in business and hands over full control with the directive; “run this as a business; self funding; balance your books; buy stock from your turnover; run it like a proper profitable business”.

    That is precisely what Stan Kroenke has done. The failings are fully and totally the responsibility of AFC, Not the responsibility of Stan Kroenke.

    If I was Stan Kroenke, I would kick most of these bastards out and refurnish with competent individuals who can perform.

    Stan Kroenke is not being ruthless as Roman Abramovic of Chelsea fc, who conducts a different “business model”; he invests cash in the business for “Stock” (Player Transfers)but ruthlessly sacks Managers and Staff even when they perform !

  17. In negotiation, both sides play tricks. Lyon says it’s over, then may come back and agree at the last minute, having squeezed every euro out of us they can. Arsenal claim to be interested in other midfielders, to make Lyon and Atletico worried they might not get their big payday.

    The last minute is when the rubber really hits the road and both sides start saying what they really mean. Clubs that buy too early can pay too much: fine if your owner likes spending money, as Chelsea’s does, but it’s hard to blame a business owner for trying to get the best deal he can. We’ll know tomorrow whether Mr. Kroenke is willing to do business or not. Did he not supply the 70 million for Pepe last year? I retain a shred of hope.

    Getting our knickers in a knot today is just playing into the opposition’s hands, putting unnecessary pressure on management. We can criticize all we like after the deadline’s past, but screaming now is irresponsibly spending the club’s money. We have to trust the new management until they prove we can’t.

  18. At this moment I hope Partey still within reach. Aouar one is sad, but at the same time no matter how you look at it, he was looking to be an expensive risk. And Ceballos does have the creativity that everyone say we lack, he just has to be released of that extra defensive duty in games.
    If not Partey, I hope Arsenal are looking at Players like Zakaria, Soumare, Gravenberch etc and also Benrahma, Szoboszlai, Sansone.

    1. Just had a thought! Cant we raid Wolves for Neves? I think he would be great for Arsenal, though his price wouldn’t be, lol.

      1. Great choice. I would welcome that signing anytime any day . What’s not to like. He is a sure thing and I always prefer signing EPL players because they are low risk.

  19. All the talk of Arsenal requiring midfield reinforcements and about buying Partey and Aouar, to solve the entire problem of playing an attacking game, has been overstated and looks like the press have been contracted to advertisement for these players by their agents. First the present midfield players, Elneny, Lucas, Matteo, Xhaka before they were signed by Arsenal had the same good reviews and for the first season produced good results. The old ones like Gnabry, Coquelin were then shipped out Thereafter when this failed to provide the needed solution they are now seen as inferior and the supporters with the press now wants replacement for the ones they have supported then.

    A critical analysis of our present midfielders and the one being touted presently shows no significant improvements in player quality. There is no much different between the present holding (box to box) midfielders – Elneny, Xhaka and Partey. The only thing the two are not doing is holding onto the ball they win for the team to regroup which sometimes lead to losing the ball at dangerous areas in defense. Hence you see them making passes backward to the defense instead of finding and attacking midfielder or attacker. This is due to the coach instructions of minimaxing the risk and as Arteta regains confidence in the defense, then can he instruct them to venture forward with the ball and take risks. On Aouar we have presently Cebellos capable of all that is required in feeding the attackers and engineering an attack. The reason why the attacking midfield has not clique is that they are yet to play together for a complete season to jell together. It takes a good coach a complete season to get the players to understand each other and anticipate where and when the passes are likely to be made. We have talented attacking midfielders coming on stream – Saka, Nelson Ainsley etc who can be as good as Aouar. Lucas is one of the best defensive midfielders around and will fit into any top club, however the coach prefers playing 3 central defenders in the 343 formation instead of the usual 2 central midfielders in the 433 formation, hence is unable to use him.
    There is nothing wrong with our midfield, except that they need to be together for a period of time to jell. We must have patience and wait for next season as they improve from game to game.
    The midfield requires more teamwork than individual abilities. The recent results in the league where the big teams playing with their regulars wins massively and when they make just two or three changes they are humbled by an average team reinforces this truth.
    Let us stop looking for outside reinforcement and look inwardly for the solution.

  20. I am good with making a profit of Iwobi , heck i am even alright with loaning Torreira and Saliba but what i am not ok with is keeping the dross in and not getting quality replacement .
    Look at Everton ,Leeds , West ham ,Aston villa and Tottenham . Can we say we are better team than any of the teams mentioned above . Imagine the Difference Soumare and Behrama can do in this team .We gave deals to players like Soares and Mari .

  21. It’s not the owner at fault here because MA has come out in open and has stated clearly he is backed up completely by the club and the owner. He also said he is not hiding anything or covering anything bec people know he does not hide anything.

      1. The yes man who put a smile on every true gunner fan’s face, not once but twice. And the same yes man who wiped the smirk off Ozil’s face. Only a man can do that, not a yes man!
        Cheer up, we got 9 points off 4 games, see the Mancs where they stand! Support your manager.

  22. Someone should remind Arsenal that football is not tennis, where you’ve to stay in your own half and not cross the line. That style of playing from the back is just a recipe for another 7-2 demolition should we play enterprising teams like Villa, that’s the day most will realise that the current style of play is not only boring, but risky as well.

  23. Agree with you totally. Kroenke is Trump mark 2. Bullshitter, fake news, hoaxer. He is ‘Sole Owner’. The board are just a bunch of ‘yes men’ who do as they are told, and have no financial choices. Kroenke is sole owner. Abramavich is sole owner of Chelsea and Kroenke is Sole owner of Arsenal. Have you puked yet. Are Yanks goodies and Russians baddies? Who got the short straw?

  24. Do you really think that you can part ways with your billions to a business without ambition? Kronke is a businessman, he can’t just spend money recklessly

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