There are a fair few players who are surplus to requirements at the club. And there are a few positions we could murder some reinforcements in. I think that both these things are fair to say. Incoming, we already a thoroughbred German with a trillion national caps and a very decent scoring record indeed. (Incidentally, we now have 174 German caps at the club. Beat that, Middle Eastlands!)
Outgoing, Almunia has already been released, but there are strikers who donâ€™t play, defenders past their sell-by date, goalkeepers who want to move on and loan players coming back to the club who need to go straight back round the revolving door. Seeya lads!
I also think itâ€™s fair to say that this is a normal state of affairs at a big club â€“ Arsenal is no different to any other.
For simpletons like me, it would be great to wake up tomorrow morning to read that Wenger had offloaded all of his (letâ€™s for the sake of it say eight) unwanted players and was at this very moment wiping down his Departures chalkboard and renaming it Signings. And that two days later, thereâ€™d be a triple-signing fest, van Persie and Walcott would sign on the dotted line – at which point the boss would hang a Mission Accomplished banner across the top of the entrance to London Colney. We could all go on holiday, watch a bit of Euro 2012 and come back fresh with an intact squad, no injuries, raring to go. In my world, thatâ€™s how Iâ€™d like things to be done. Thatâ€™s how Twitter wants it done too I suspect (though I think NewsNow would take the opposite stance â€“ it would probably approve of letting things rumble along interminably, with no obvious conclusion in sight).
I regret to have to dampen enthusiasm on this front, but I fear itâ€™s not going to come to pass in this fashion. Euro 2012 is coming up, and summer tournaments are notorious dampeners on transfer activity. Wenger will be commentating, and I know for a fact that Gazidis and Dick Law are going on a Yoga retreat to Croatia for a fortnight. So thatâ€™s them out the loop. Kroenke is planning to walk the Appalation trail (to find himself, I hear) and Usmanov has enrolled on a C++ introduction module. People have their lives to think about too, you know.
Anyway, just to remind you, hereâ€™s how it panned out last year:
08 June â€“ Jenkinson signs
04 July – Clichy leaves
11 July â€“ Gervinho signs
20 July â€“ Denilson leaves on loan
08 August â€“ Oxlade-Chamberlain signs
15 August â€“ Fabregas leaves
17 August â€“ Eboue leaves, Vela leaves on loan
24 August â€“ Na$ri leaves
30 August â€“ Park, Santos sign
31 August â€“ Benayoun, Arteta, Mertesacker sign
31 August â€“ Bendtner leaves on loan
I may have missed one or two here but the point stands: one in June, three in July and eleven in August.
Now look, I know we want stuff done sooner. It needs to be done sooner for reasons I need not go in to. But with the best will in the world, my guess is we’ve got a while to wait yet.
Make yourself a cup of tea, I would.