I do try my very best to avoid the whole transfer madness that happens during the opening of the transfer window. For our own sanity it is far better to keep ourselves occupied in other ways, you know like living life and stuff. But I am only human, it would be wrong to tell you that I do not find myself sucked in from time to time because the idea of your football team being improved upon and strengthened with exciting additions is, well... exciting.
Some folk really like to get into it and get lost in a fantasy world. You just have to check out their wish lists on Twitter or blog comments, they often go something like this
Mertesacker - £45m
Walcott - £60m
Gibbs - £35m
Lukaku - £23m (or straight swap with Mertesacker)
Koulibaly - £12.5m (Only heard of him last week but we are linked to him by the Sun, so he must be the exact player we need)
Mahrez (swap with Walcott plus £65m)
Ricardo Rodríguez - £35m (Total coincidence that we are selling Gibbs for the same price)
You must have seen these right? Selling our players for prices way above their value but at the same time finding world class players for bargain prices. I tried to exaggerate but I am pretty sure that I have seen worse than that down the years. I mean with such detail, I am sure they would be excellent at providing us expert daily football predictions on a weekly basis.
Anyway I digress, what is the point of all this? I guess I am asking you to excuse my one bit of transfer rumour indulgence.
We have a Whatsapp group among the Arsenal Vision podcasters and one night last month I went into somewhat of a waffling rant about Henrikh Mkhitaryan. How it would make so much sense for Arsène to be interested in signing him.
Alex Iwobi's rise into the first team ahead of more established players gave us an insight into how Arsène is trying to shape his squad. Many assumed that Iwobi had replaced Theo Walcott in the team when in fact it was Alexis who had taken over the role of our number 14. Making runs from the right to join the central striker, while Alex Iwobi was tasked with adding some extra creativity and additional numbers in the middle of the pitch when required.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan's numbers for Borussia Dortmund last season were exceptional. 11 goals and 15 assists in the Bundesliga are the kind of numbers that Arsène Wenger loves. A player who is as comfortable making the unselfish pass at the right time as he is going for goal when the opportunity presents itself.
Those are the type of numbers that remind me of Robert Pires, not in style but in output.
As Tim Stillman has pointed out a few times on the podcast, and I agree completely. Arsène Wenger must be looking for a top quality wide player to help complete his squad. We have seen Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Wilshere, Iwobi, Walcott, Cazorla and Özil on the flank over a number of years, it is fair to say that we do not have a guaranteed starter in that position.
Xhaka had made a lot of sense before we bought him, Coquelin had been left out of the team towards the end of the season, Arsène wanted a passer deep in his midfield which is why Coquelin was removed in games in which our passing game was not working, so it was much harder to rubbish the links. It is the same for rumours of a creative wide player.
There have been rumours of interest in Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez, a player who also has very impressive goals and assists numbers from last season. I love watching Mahrez in full flow, I mean who wouldn't want to see Mahrez Cruyff turning an opposition full back on the touch line, leaving him on his backside and then playing a pass into Alexis bursting into the box. Yummy.
But we won't be interested in buying both players that's for sure, so if there is any truth in these rumours then I imagine we are developing a shortlist for that wide position.
I could well be imagining it but a new player in that position as well as a new striker would make a lot of sense to me.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has rejected a new contract at Dortmund and they are reportedly willing to sell rather than lose him on a free when the time comes, how true that is, I don't know but this one ticks a lot of boxes to me. He is 27 years of age and if the Vardy deal comes off it would mean two big purchases for players already at their peak. It looks as if Arsène is prioritising the short term which is very interesting indeed.
Even if we are genuinely interested and the player is within our price range, we still have the small matter of Chelsea to deal with who are also reportedly interested in bringing the player to London. Chelsea will be offering large sums of cash as they do not have Champions League football to tempt players to West London.
But the one trump card we do have is the manager. Many players are keen to work with Arsène Wenger, especially once the Frenchman has had the chance to talk to the player face to face. So I am hoping that talk has already taken place.
I for one would love this deal to happen, the prospect of a team sitting off and allowing Özil, Cazorla and Mkhitaryan the ball around their penalty box would be a risky one for any opponent. If we do complete the signing of Jamie Vardy then the reverse is also true, pushing up the pitch to force our creative players back would leave some nice space for our forwards to play into.
But I am getting carried away here, in fact the entire article is jumping the gun totally so let's just wait to see what happens.
Customary YouTube video