I haven’t seen reputable reports about us “cooling” our interest, and I still think we’re interested regardless of what happens to Alexis (though if we were to get Lemar, Wenger would be mighty tempted to take the City money and run). What Ornstein said is that we’re pessimistic about the chances of signing him. That rings true, and I don’t think we’ll get him unless he throws a fit and/or we put in a “silly” (70m+?) bid for him.
We’re unlikely to get Lemar, but it is probably worth using any Bet365 Promo Code on us buying him at this point. We are indeed, unlikely to see any more big incoming signings (zero reports about interest in central midfield, and with Arsene seemingly intent on keeping Ox and even Wilshere, it seems like he’s erring on the side of mostly keeping faith with the same players for the umpteenth summer in a row; just once I’d like him to err on the side of taking risks with the squad by shaking things up and having a bit more turnover in order to significantly improve us, but there you go…).
What I don’t get (or I do get it, because this is Arsenal after all) is why they seem so intent on focusing on Lemar to begin with, given that folks in the press (off the top of my head, I think Jason Burt in the Telegraph, among others) were reporting over a month ago that Monaco were highly unlikely to sell given that both Silva and Bakayoko were almost certainly leaving. This is not new news. It’s not like the Bakayoko deal to Chelsea suddenly came out of nowhere and scuppered our deal. Plus, although Monaco are resistant to selling anyone else, it looks increasingly likely that Mendy’s going to City. So City and Chelsea can both get their deals done in spite of a resistant selling club, but apparently Arsenal can’t. Why is that? Is it because we don’t offer as much money? Silva went for under 45m for crying out loud. Plus, we have the money, so let’s up our offer. Is it because we don’t have CL? Well, we have only ourselves to blame for losing out on it by one point thanks to comedy performances like losing at home to Watford 1-2. Remember who was to blame for at least one of those goals that night? Our starting CM Aaron Ramsey. Remember who was partnering him in that embarrassment? The guy who will almost certainly be partnering him again whenever something happens to Xhaka: Francis Coquelin. These are not bad players, but they need to be upgraded on (or at least supplemented with competition that doesn’t suffer their particular weaknesses).
Yet Wenger’s doing it again: walking into the season with our squad under-prepared, trusting in the same players with the same deficiencies, not working to significantly improve us despite finishing 5th last year. And yes, I know there’s lots of time left in the window, be patient, blah, blah, blah, but I’ve seen this show before, too many times, and you’ll forgive me if I’m a little cynical. Even if we somehow keep Alexis, and one or both of Ox and Giroud, if we bring in no other top quality additions we won’t have improved ourselves enough to make top four especially likely, much less challenge for the title.
We run the risk of dressing room disruption if we keep Alexis but it’s a risk well worth taking. Let’s not forget things that the off-field issues came about only after we had a run of really poor results on the pitch. Big players who are obsessed with winning have big egos. That’s for Wenger to manage. There is no way Alexis will derail the season if we are having a good season. What Can happen is Wenger might fail to improve the midfield and we will go through this downward spiral in the middle of the season all over again. That could set Alexis off but again, that will be on Wenger.
As a fan I don’t really care if we stand to lose £50M if he goes on a free. We have enough revenue coming in every year and our reserves are still high enough where, if we really wanted to, we could blow £150M on two world class players without the money from that sale. Selling Alexis, our most naturally gifted attacker and our most dependable player in big games is basically shooting ourselves in the foot. What’s even the point of buying talented players, equip them with all the skills and experience to play in the premier league and then selling them to a rival? We won’t have any chance of winning the league if we keep selling our most experienced players. You need young players to come in and learn from these guys. It’s as if some of us has never learned from the failed youth project. No point in buying Lemar if we are just preparing him to sell to one of the Manchester clubs 4 years from now. Players already look at us as a stepping stone for Barca and Madrid. I can still accept that. If we sell Alexis to City, more and more players will look at us a stepping stone to win the league with City or United. We need to nip this at the bud, and that starts will playing hardball with Alexis.