Who agrees that Arsenal should stop buying our title rivals old cast-offs

Hi Gooners, I tried to make this short but it was quite difficult. So please pardon my long rant by dgr8xt

Without further ado, I’m of the opinion that we should put a stop to bringing in old players, especially from rivals within the league. Think of the players we’ve given to these our rivals and the impact they’ve had there:

Robin Van Persie (Utd)
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)
Samir Nasri (City)
Gael Clichy (City)
Emmanuel Adebayor (City)
Kolo Toure (City)

In contrast, the kind of players we’ve gotten in return in the not too distant past make for dim viewing. Not one of them was (or is) a success. Behold the list below and compare the success rates between the two sets of players:

Mikaël Silvestre (connived with Messi to destroy us at the Camp Nou. I’m sure he was on Messi’s payroll) (Utd)
William Gallas (Chelsea)
Petr Cech (Chelsea)
Lassana Diarra (Chelsea)
Danny Welbeck (what Utd got for him was about what we got for Van Persie) (Utd)
David Luiz (praise him all you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was only better than Mustafi at passing. In fact, I would say he was more calamitous) (Chelsea)
Borges Willian (please do not even mention his name in the comments cos at the mention of his name, I get angry) (Chelsea)
Jorginho (Chelsea)

To my surprise, many praised Jorginho to high heavens after two good games and there were even suggestions that he should take Partey’s place permanently in the starting lineup. It only took the next match for him to start showing his true colours. An old player who Chelsea were happy to let go to a rival without any hassle for a small fee on deadline day, without any replacement lined up is now talked up as a potential key player for us next season.

If he was as good as some make him out to be, Chelsea wouldn’t be where they are now and they certainly won’t sell him, especially to us. I know Jorginho was an emergency signing, but we shouldn’t continue on that path when there’s plenty of time to sign many younger and more capable players in the summer. 30 year old Casemiro was sold for £70m. 31 year old Jorginho was sold to a rival for £12m. There’s a big difference between them.

I remember many reports stating that Sergio Ramos had a 2 years £15m per season contract offer on the table when he was leaving Madrid. And guess who offered the contract. Our darling Arsenal. In hindsight, we all see it was a bazooka we dodged..

It’s more surprising to me to think that with all the talk of Rice, Caicedo and Simons, many are gunning for us to go after Gundogan, a 32 year old player (turning 33 in a few months) who would have won all at City (Yes. They will most likely win the Champions League). What motivation will he have to achieve at our club?

And before I get slaughtered with talk of how successful Jesus and Zinchenko have been, remember they were not 32 year olds who won everything at City and at the later stages of their careers. Jesus had a point to prove and that’s partly why he put in all to hit the ground running as soon as he got here. Same could be said of Zinchenko.

I do not blame PSG for signing Messi cos he’s a damn good footballer. But no one can argue that he’s not really motivated by the Paris project. He won’t even renew his contract even though Barcelona can’t pay him anywhere close to what PSG are offering. If you doubt me, compare him at Argentina and Barcelona and it’s clear that in his mind, he doesn’t owe the Paris club much.

Another thing of note is that of the big six clubs, Liverpool, Tottenham, and City are not known for buying old players close to ending their careers. The only other team (apart from us) that used to be a fan of this is Utd with the likes of Zlatan, Cavani Falcao, Schweinsteiger, Valdes, Matic, Alexis Sanchez, Lee Grant (forget I ever mentioned him) coming in mostly with terrible outcomes. We all know how they’ve fared since then even while spending well over £1bn on players.

One question.
If De Bruyne was available at Gundogan’s age, should we be interested?
The answer is yes.
Why so?
Because you can’t pass up the opportunity of signing the best player in the world in a particular position who is still performing at a world class level. Gundogan is doing well currently. But make no mistake, he’s no De Bruyne. Casemiro was arguably the best defensive midfielder in world football when Utd paid that money. You get the gist…

Finally, the motivation of our players (who by the way are mostly young) is one key reason for how they’ve improved from last season. The team is collectively motivated to achieve something. Also, there’s an adage that says that only an unwise person steps on faeces twice. It is not wise to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

Let’s learn transfers from Liverpool who will certainly not be looking to sign old retirees from their rivals.

End of rant


Tags Gundogan Jorginho


  1. I agree, but Liverpool bought Milner and Spurs signed Perisic. Having said that, I wouldn’t sign any 31-year-old player if I were Arteta, not even De Bruyne

    Our defense was helped tremendously by Odegaard’s/ Jesus’ high-pressing efforts and I don’t think any 31-year-old player can do it as often as they did

  2. I was skeptical about Jorghino, but I have eaten my words since then – he helped us tremendously. Obviously Willian was an absolute disaster, and we will have less selling on value in the older players, but I don’t regret Jorghino’s arrival at all, and was pleasantly surprised by him.

    1. Like I stated in the article, I understand Jorginho was an emergency signing. But we have about 3 months to the close of the window and are not in a desperate position, financially or otherwise to sign a stop gap Gundogan in midfield who will be 33 at the early stages of next season

  3. I agree, only if that player is not Gundogan. I’d even pass up DeBruyne for him, no disrespect to the later.

  4. The rationale behind the article is sound and sensible and I for one ,would focus on bringing in talented young players with huge potential like Fresneda and Veiga and established players in the mid twenties, like Rice.As to the writers suggestion that Casemeiro was arguably the best DM on the planet,I think he is overstating the calibre of the player, who has to resort to bad fouls on a regular basis as his defensive capabilities are on the wane.

    1. You do have a point on Casemiro. But his impact at United can be seen this season. I really doubt if Gundogan can have such impact at our club next season at 33 years of age

      1. I don’t think anyone would have thought he would have been instrumental to City’s great run this season at 32yrs of age but here we are.
        In as much as I agree with you 100 percent that we need more good young players and fewer old players, I don’t believe getting Gudougan would be a bad kind of business.

        1. Allen – neither do I. Gundogan is an exceptional player who is far from finished. His intelligence and influence would be advantageous to our squad. Year in year out he has helped steer City to success when called on by his manager. I think he is a one of a kind type player.
          There were times in previous seasons when City would possibly have struggled for goals if it were not for him stepping up and becoming a regular scorer for them.
          If Haaland had not been there this season Gundogan would have been scoring more regularly for them.
          Lots of ballyhoo about certain higher profile players at City, but Gundogan is a gem who just keeps given and an exceptional talent. Needless to say, I’m a bit of a fan of his and even at his age, I wish he was ours. Of course it would be short term, but imagine how much some our boys might learn from him.

  5. I don’t think that Jesus and Zinchenko are duffers so whilst I agree that duffers have been bought in the past I also believe duffers will be bought in the future- young or old and not necessarily from rivals. It’s annoying I agree

  6. The biggest question is, who sits on the board at Arsenal? Do they collectively understand football because Arsenal has been spending a lot of money on reputations rather than ability and form. We pay top dollar for what others discard. Why do we have Jorginho right now and not someone like Romeo Lavia? Wasteful expenditure and lack of foresight

    1. We have Jorghinho right now because at that time in January, he was who was available. Remember J20 was bought cos Brighton kept playing hardball regarding Caciedo. Was the Romeo Latvia guy available then?
      When we bought Odegaard, he wasn’t really playing for Madrid so it can’t be said we bought “Name”. How many on our squad were actual “Names” (asides from Jesus) when we bought them?
      Ramsdale had already been relegated twice. Also despite it seeming like we are looking at old players, we are also actively pursuing Caciedo, Rice and Fresneda amongst others. In all honesty, we don’t know who we end up with till we end up with them. One thing we should know though is that the management team knows what we need and are actively looking to get them either publicly or covertly

  7. One has to cut their cloth accordingly and that has been one of the main reasons we have seen the likes of those mentioned in the article wearing the shirt.

    Until the owner started supporting the club with the money required, we were selling our best players to help balance the “self sustaining model” and had to look for players who, while not of the same calibre, were able to do a decent job… keeping us in the top four.
    There were some awful buys that had nothing to do with our rivals cast offs and, let’s not forget we have sold players that were seen as below par to our rivals as well.

    My opinion is that, if a player improves the squad, it doesn’t matter where he comes from and how old he is, as Jorginho has proved.

    There has never been a single manager who has got every signing, in or out, correct and I’m sure there never will be.

    As for Willian, there has to be more to his departure than we know about, as he has performed more than adequately at Fulham and it’s interesting to note that one of our Hales End “failures” has just been voted Everton’s player of the season!!
    Funny old game, just ask Mudryk.

    1. “My opinion is that, if a player improves the squad, it doesn’t matter where he comes from and how old he is, as Jorginho has proved.”

      This is where I will disagree Ken. If we were desperate, I would understand. That’s why I won’t shout too much about Jorginho. But we’re not desperate now. We have time (3 months) to the end of the summer window to find a proper midfielder to suit us long term. We have the money now especially with Champions League football. We also have an increased pedigree based on our league finish to attract very good players. So why going for a soon to be 33 year old stop gap on big wages who won’t give us more than a year’s service? It doesn’t make any sense to me

      1. dgr8xt, you’re talking about a specific example now, I was answering your articles theme regarding signing cast offs.

        I do agree that we have an excellent opportunity to go out and buy the very best this summer, but every manager / fan can see players in a different light… as I tried to highlight within my last paragraph.

        The problem has always been, since the days of the PL anyway, that clubs like city, united, chelsea and (perhaps now) Newcastle have always been able to outbid us on every single player.

        When that has happened, the manager has to then look elsewhere and at a different level of player.
        Either that, or we stand still and, has last season proved, that is not an option.

        1. Maybe that was the problem then. But right now, we don’t really have that scare so we shouldn’t go down such lane else Edu would soon get a call saying
          “Kyle Walker is available”

  8. I’m not bothered with players’ ages or where they come from as long as they fit into the team framework at the time of purchase or if they’re intended for squad building.
    Looking at our current squad (as it stands), Jesus, Partey, White, Tierney, Zinchenko, Xhaka & Trossard were all well-established players bought at fair prices and not in my opinion cast-offs, and who’ve done well for us. Jorjinho has done well enough for his cost and Kiwior looks decent enough at again a decent cost. We hit gold with Odegaard & a very young Saliba, while Gabriel continues to prove his worth and the rest came through the ranks. So other than Vieira & possibly Turner I’d say our recruiting is very good.

    1. Jax, I consider it unwise to say the least , not to bother about players ages, as you claim you do.. I accept that most top teams have a blend of youth, some experience and lots of experience.
      But to say you care NOTHING for age is to my mind something I do not believe. I dont mean you are lying , but let me put this to you to test that unlikely statement: IF we had ALL players over thirty or ALL under twenty one, do you honestly think that would make no difference? Of course you don’t, as you are not stupid. It is unthinking to ignore ages, as all wise fans know.

      Young players generally improve, while older ones decline sooner. True or false??!!

      1. Jon, I said “I’m not bothered with players’ ages”, and didn’t use the words “care NOTHING”.
        Of course I know that oldies decline sooner, and I’m not suggesting we fill our team with them, but if a world class aged footballer or two are available free or at a knock down prices I’d say buy them. Their experience would probably be invaliable.

        1. Good points.
          A team needs balance. It’s also true that we don’t have the same kind of wealth as the likes of MC or MU so we will have to be quite canny with transfers.

        2. Jax Surely if you are not bothered then that means you care nothing? I think so anyway but I will leave it there. If you cared at all that would mean you were bothered, at least a bit.

          . But hey, its not going to matter whatever any of us thinks. We have NO influence on what may happen one way or the other. I reckon we can AGREE on that point.

  9. Hey dgr8xt,

    You make some decent points, but there is one potential flaw in your argument – Arteta and Edu’s transfer is not a one-size-fits-all.

    They are simply getting in players who can improve the squad, whether it’s for long term (Jesus, Zinch, White, Ode etc) or who need to give us that burst of experience and know-how (Trossard and Jorginho). Jorginho came in because we couldn’t get Caicedo. He was a solid Plan B and has done better than everyone thought.

    To answer the question you posed in your headline – I don’t give a toss where the players come from, as long as they are substantially improving the squad. And this is where Edu and Arteta deserve more credit than they seem to get from certain quarters of the fanbase.

    Thanks for the read and have a great one.

  10. Gundogan is a very short term solution and very short sighted IMHO.

    We need players that can produce now and be a part of this process for several years down the road.

    Rice, Caicedo, Dusan, Zubimendi, Mitoma, just examples of productive players with a future.

    We have tried the patch over in the patch and it did not yield the desired results.

    How did we get where we are currently? How did we progress from 8th to 5th to 2nd?

    We did it by adhering to a transfer policy of talented players in early and mid 20’s who show quality that can develop even further with coaching and game time.

    IMO we should continue this process as it has led to success, not suddenly paper over positions with over 30 players.
    Trust our players, coach them up as it is your job, and create opportunities to prove themselves.

  11. Still going strong, we should not have let Giroud and Lacazette go. Lacazette would have played well with Jesus up front. Both would chase down defenders both with quick feet in tight areas. Both willing to defend from the front and have the energy to attack as well. Not lazy like some players who only want to attack.

  12. Gundogan should not be bought. His performance in the FA Cup should not be factored in. I entirely agree about older players. Jorginho, dont get me started. I don’t want to see anyone older than 26 being brought in. I’d really like to see Xavi Simons be bought in this transfer window. A goal-scoring midfielder, who is physical, and aggressive, who can break up play and deliver in the final third.

  13. It’s a small club mentality
    If you want to take a player from your rival clubs, then go for their best, not their fringe players anything below that is unacceptable

    1. And which other Midfielder this season at City is better than “Gudougan” this season (KDB is debatable).

        1. dgr8xt – I’ve never seen a man so obsessed with age. We had a dialogue yesterday about this so you don’t need me to start again. But all I want to say is generally your feelings about age and scooping players from other clubs willy-nilly is right. However, Gundogan is a special player with special talents that would be successful anywhere he went, even now. The guy is not finished yet. Look, we won’t get him anyway, but I would like you to consider that there are always exceptions to the rule – and he is one of those.
          Also there are things I do better now I’m getting on, than I did when I was young. Admittedly though, football isn’t one of those things. Experience my man, experience !
          It can definitely count.

    2. Well, it would have been feasible in the past to sign both de bruyne and salah from Chelsea – two former fringe players who will be remembered as all time greats of the EPL! Sometimes rivals make mistakes, we’ve just got to be more intelligent when deciding who we go for.

      1. It’s OK to sign talents who are not getting game time because of the quality of their squad, like zinny and Jesus but to sign their fringe players who are either too old or poor that’s how big clubs operate, take their best anything less is a no

          1. They were relatively quality players and also young players which everyone knew, and we were not a champions league club then so could hardly attract better..

      2. De bryne and sala proved their worth else where, they were acquired because of what they were doing at their present club as of when they were bought not what they did at Chelsea

        1. That’s how they got their moves, but you could say that for most fringe players at big clubs – they had to prove themselves somewhere. And if either had played to their true ability when at Chelsea, they’d never have been sold.

          1. I strongly doubt that both players would have been seriously looked at by their current clubs had they remained at Chelsea with the performance they were showing then..

      3. Great point regarding Salah and De bruyne Davi and flip the coin over to Eden Hazard and our very own Sanchez.

  14. I reject the claim that gundogan is not on de bruyne’s level – I actually believe he is, he just plays a lot of different roles for the team, but he’s been a difference maker when it really counts.

    Given that players like modric and pirlo have proven that it’s possible to keep up top level performances to the age of 37, I wouldn’t discount gundogan purely because of his age – the simple question is: do we believe he can keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years? If the answer’s yes, then it’s a no brainer for me, but if there are signs he is or soon will decline, we obviously need to stay away. I can’t answer that for sure (don’t know if anyone can), but he’s quite a physical player (unlike pirlo) with a history of injuries (unlike modric), which suggests we probably should stay away.
    Brilliant player though.

    1. DAVI, you do not compare like with like , mentioning Modric and Pirlo, neither of whom played in the fiercely fast and powerful Prem, as older players.
      Modric left when still far from being old. I suggest neither of those could have possibly played at their level at their older ages in our PREM.

      1. Giggs was still very good well into his 30s – lasted to 40, playing fewer games (and eventually moving to centre mid), but still at a high level.

        1. But was he, really? I dont personally think he was, when well over thirty, anywhere near what he was in his younger prime.

          He had a long career its true but the best years were before he hit thirty, at least IMO!

      2. Fair point though – he’s wasn’t quite as good and he’s still an outlier in the EPL

    2. Your points are well made. People are making far too many assumptions based on certain biases.
      Unfortunately, there seems to be a certain parochialism when it comes to age. Thiago Silva has been one of the best defenders in the league for the past few years. Yet he joined Chelsea when he was 35. Gundogan is a great player in his own right and if he remains fit will likely have several more years playing top level football.
      There is an unnecessary and unhelpful obsession with age in these discussions.
      The issue should be whether the player fits into the needs of the team at the time.

  15. If a person thinks he got 11 best players in the world to line up the field, he is insufferably wrong. The same reason why not all of Man City first eleven are in the team of season because they won the league.

  16. I actually why the writer himself considers his well argued and plainly put piece to be a “rant”.
    I say it is nothing of thr kind but IS infact a well argued sensible writen piece I wish certain folk would cease incorrectly referring to plain speaking as “ranting”. It is NO SUCH THING.
    What ir IS, is giving a straighfforward easy to understand OPINION. And one that I, for just one, see as being wise and astute, overall.

    The one smaller and now irrelevant point on which I disagree, was that when City took CALAMITY CLICHY OFF OUR HANDS , I JUMPED WITH JOY.
    He was awful IMO.

    1. Jon – yesterday I brought up the subject of all the players Man City took from us, and contrary to what dgr8txt said about those named as being in their prime, I had to differ. I explained to him that Clichy was ordinary and that I was glad to see the back of Toure as his Keystone Kop defending towards the end of his time with us, was a most unappealing sight. Yes that was an extremely long-winded sentence, wasn’t it. The point I made was that despite those two aforementioned players not being in their best moment, they still contributed positively to Man City winning a title.
      You see some people think it would be short siighted to have Gundogan, but I think it would be short sighted for us not to have him if he wanted to come at a reasonable expense !
      I’ve given my reasons elsewhere on this topic.

      1. EG, IMO, whatever we on JA think anout Gundogans ability is irrelevant , as I see ZERO chance of him coming to us

        That is the reality and to me is all that matters. I aLso rate him massively bu,t as he is NOT coming , I won’t waste further time pointlessly discussing it.
        I will be astonished if he leaves City for a while yet.
        On Calamity Clichy, I never thought him remotely good enough to be honestly even described as “ordinary”!

        1. Ooooo Jon – brutal !
          One of the most ridiculous exhibitions I ever saw a human man perform on the glorious Highbury turf was committed by Kolo Toure. To be quite frank, you’d have to see video footage of him in order to understand what I mean. It was a sort of pirouette without him having a clue at all as to where he was on this planet. This unfortunately led to a goal against us, and I,m even laughing at that unforgettable image in my mind. Do you know the occurence I refer to. Sorry, giggling stupidly like mad now. Anyway I think my account of all the Arsenal players Man City took from us may have partly inspired dgr8txt to name them in his article today. And I hope he doesn’t have a go at me for suggesting that. I can’t help being brilliant !
          Oh dear.

          1. EG, I suggest not a single one of those City bought from us back then would get anywhere near true consideration to play in their team of today.

            Most, just possibly only Nasri, would not even make todays City squad.

            1. Jon – yes you’re right and that’s why at the time it didn’t bother me one jot that they left. I was never mad about Adebayor or Clichy, briefly liked Kolo but was glad when he left, and although Nasri was decent I never liked what I percieved his personality to be. The list he used excluded Sagna who I mentioned to people yesterday. Sagna was OK but not brilliant either. Anyway City took from us in order to built their Empire and it worked. Most of Arsene Wenger’s players were coveted in those days.
              email perusal necessary later. keep up.

  17. Nothing is wrong if we buy quality players from rivals. What I have problem with is wasting huge transfer money on average players like Fabio Vieira, Lokonga and Tavares. Whoever bought Fabio Vieira for £34m should be arrested. Caicedo that Arsenal tried to sign for £72m in January only cost Brighton around £5m, Mitoma £2.5m, Estupinan £7.7m, Mac Allister £14m. All these added together is not up to £34m spent on Fabio Vieira.

  18. I enjoyed your article, particularly the adage bit; better get your wellies on. I have stated in my own articles we should not be looking to sign Gundogan. I honestly think he is a terrific player and still hugely influential, but he isn’t getting any better and that’s no good for us. I would prefer we take a chance on an unproven talent and maybe get let down than get in someone with nothing to prove and little motivation.

    1. Ben, but we have HAD to do that and, in some cases, was a disaster.
      Unproven talent sometimes turns out to be no talent!!

      1. It does. But proven talent doesn’t always pay out either, so I believe it’s better to invest in the future and hope for the best than spend the money on players that are only getting worse. Thomas Partey for example. This is the best he will ever be. Does that worry you? It worries me.

        1. Well, at the moment, his perceived “the best he will ever be” was good enough to be in a squad that chased cuty all the way… the only squad to do so.

          Some of our fans are so quick to write off our players and Partey is one of them in my opinion.

          Why would ANY manager spend money on a player who, in your words, that are “only getting worse?”

        2. Then suggest names that are better than Gundogan. We can’t win anything with a squad full of Lokongas,F.vieiras.

          1. Youri Tielemens. Not necessarily better but also free, much younger, more athletic, more re-sale potential, something to prove.

  19. Short term asset but will be of long-term liability once got injured with that age of him.

  20. Ok,,let me ask my dear brothers what is football all about, is it Age,Experience, Talent,Names or Entertainment. Age matters coz as we see our team is full of young talented inexperienced players including our coach so adding aged experienced players in our team is like putting manure at the farm it helps growing the crop so that is it.We lost the trophy simply because our young talented players lacked the finishing power and force of the league. I think the board understand’s whatever they are doing so bringing aged isn’t something to worry about I really trust Edu and am sure he bring us good players as we will be in CL so need for more experienced players.

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