It was one of those days when the stars aligned and Arsenal fans got a bit giddy. The best of daysâ€¦
I suspect that Puma riding the crest of the Sanchez wave might not have been that accidental, either. Someone in the Arsenal PR department will be pouring themselves a glass of something cold this evening. Thereâ€™ll be some schnapps wheeled out at Puma.
The Sanchez deal had been building a head of steam, so signing him wasnâ€™t entirely unexpected – unlike the Ozil one, which came out the blue like a thunderbolt. The price, too, has had less mention than Ozilâ€™s, which can only be a good thing. Last year we nearly fell off our perches when we spent Â£42.5m on one player. It was so far out of our comfort zone. Now, weâ€™re back shopping in the same luxury outlet. That we can do it more often is a huge relief after years of relative parsimony and a healthy, but often untouched bank balance.
Itâ€™s just such a boost. The kind of player with power and speed and goalscoring ability that we really missed last year. 21 goals for Barcelona. Itâ€™s a signing thatâ€™s really got people going.
Heâ€™s even using his first name on the shirt, and has taken the number 17, which has pleased all those with Alex Song shirts. Just a little bit of tweaking and Bobâ€™s your uncle.
And you know, maybe there is a domino effect. Would he have come if Ozil hadnâ€™t come last season? Possibly, but who knows. From selling our best players, which we did for quite a few years, weâ€™re now buying top ones and keeping the ones we want to keep.
It doesnâ€™t feel like the last either. Claude Debussyâ€™s looked like heâ€™s on his way for a while. Weâ€™re also being linked to Khedira, the kind of rumour Iâ€™d have laughed out the room last summer and not even mentioned. Tough transfer to do? Probably. But not as impossible as it wouldâ€™ve been in the past.
And so to Puma, who finally launched their â€˜trilogyâ€™ of shirts. Thereâ€™d been more leaks than a Welsh farm, so again, we knew what was coming, but I think theyâ€™ve struck a good balance. Stick with tradition, classic designs home and away, with a cheeky third shirt which also doffs its cap to the past.
Some people are staunch defenders of various brands – Adidas fans, Nike aficianados – but all I care is that they donâ€™t balls around with the designs, and they havenâ€™t. Mind you, if youâ€™ve got a six-pack itâ€™ll help. Iâ€™m a middle-aged man with a paunch.
Of course, theyâ€™re available all over the place, including here. I know this because JD Sports have sent me a shirt, the little devils. Now I just need to get rid of my wine belly. I need to be ‘buff’, at least that’s what I think it’s called these days.
So, new shirts, new striker. A deal done in the middle of the summer. Youâ€™ve changed, Arsenal. Youâ€™ve changed.