I wonder how much control Sarri has over this whole swap. I'd guess not much because, even if Dybala was poor last season, you'd imagine he'd be a much better fit stylistically for Sarri than Lukaku (his new Mertens, if you like). Be interesting to see yer famous Sarriball when everything's just bouncing off big Rom and flying all over the shop. They're lucky they have Aaron James Ramsey or they'd be as well as writing their season off completely.
That Lucas Moura tweet is fantastic. I'm someone who thinks the celebration police section of fitba fans are generally top shelf level weird, but every other fanbase descending upon his mentions for celebrating the Audi Cup was very deeply amusing. And who is more deserving of being bombarded with memes than a fascist? Exactly.
We needed a winger just as badly last season as a centre back who wasn't a complete bunnet. There were (are) other areas that needed to be addressed as well (a new CM with Ramsey going, anycunt who can play left back and actually defend), but winger and centre back were glaring. It was always going to take more than one summer window to fix this (in fact it'll take more than a couple since we can include last summer's as well), especially with the budget that could be anything at this point and the fact we're stuck in the Haribo Cup.
There are definitely risks with a signing like this, but I'm fine going balls out for a winger this summer and hoping Saliba can develop into someone with half a brain for next year, at which point we hopefully partner him with a top CB in the summer. Maybe next year we'll also not be idiotic fucking dickheads and we can secure top 4. The market for centre backs this summer is mega weird as well. Could we have gotten a really good centre back to play right now for ~half the money we paid for Pepe? Probably, at least with really good scouting. But look at how doggedly United are pursuing Harry Maguire for £80 million. I'm not sure it'd be easier to fix a centre back issue this summer than the winger issue. I mean, with REALLY good scouting you could probably do both, but given Arsenal's track record I would've bitten your hand off for Pepe and Saliba this summer, even with the caveat that the latter spends another year at St. Ettienne.
Arsenal scored the third most goals in the league but conceded the third most in the top half and only got the 12th most clean sheets overall. For me, sorting the defence was more important than signing an attacker since that was why they didn’t qualify for CL - more important to spend big on defence and just get potential for the wing than the other way around. Auba and Laca will get 35+ alone so it’s not a huge deal getting goals.
Even then, Iwobi isn’t bad and Reiss Nelson could be worth giving a chance too since he apparently played primarily on the right wing on loan last season.
I’ve no idea if it will be easier to get a CB next summer, but it might be harder. The market for British CB’s is off as £80m for Maguire (and £35m for Dunk to replace him) but there’s players abroad who’ll be fine.
The front two were completely knackered by the end of last season. You can see it in how much fresher Aubameyang looks during the pre-season. At points last season it even looked like he'd lost a yard, but I genuinely think by the home stretch he was completely done in. There were games where we had no outlet because they were on their last legs and the only other attacking gameplan was to get it to Kolasinac for the cutback, which everybody else started to realise and defended accordingly. We're also talking about games against bottom half teams where Emery set us up super conservatively that were screaming for a quick wide outlet. The only real ball-carrier in the squad was Iwobi, and tbf while he was largely effective in moving it forward he really didn't offer much end product.
If Emery's intent on being so cautious against bottom half teams then I don't think bringing in a centre back is likely to make that much difference overall, honestly. The defence showed no real signs that they'd been coached organisationally anyway and the chances of landing a Van Dijk who's so good individually that it makes up for the structural issues are slim. If we're inviting pressure from teams like bastarding Huddersfield - who hadn't scored in eleven years before playing us - and begging bottom sides to put three past us DESPITE playing three centre backs and two sitters in front of them...I mean, I'd rather we were able to bring some sort of threat on the counter that could plausibly push them back and not just invite Shane Long to torch us like a prime Batistuta.
Plus, "I'd rather win 6-4 than 1-0!!!" and all that. We needed a winger. And if we get Tierney we're winning the treble anyway so fuck it.
Yeah this window is definitely gonna end with us paying £100m for Maguire on deadline, missing out on Dybala and any CM. The Lukaku transfer will be cash + Mandzukic, who were apparently in for as well.
Too many moving parts for Ed, he’s getting played by these Italians. Dybala new 5 year contract imminent.