Three Premier League transfer deals were announced yesterday. Erling Haaland to Man City was made official, Benfica confirmed that Darwin Nunez was moving to Liverpool and Arsenal announced the signing of Marcus Vinicius Oliveira Alencar, aka, Marquinhos, a 19 year old forward from Brazilian club São Paulo. I’d much prefer Arsenal to have signed one of the first two players mentioned above but hopefully our striker signing is out there somewhere and he’ll arrive very soon.
Technical director Edu said:
We’re delighted to have completed the transfer with Sao Paulo, as Marquinhos was a player we had been watching for a while. At 19, he is still very young, so he is a player for the future. We look forward to Marquinhos now joining us for pre-season, making his new home, and continuing to grow and develop with us.
Marquinhos might be one for the future because of his age, but age means nothing if he’s talented and has a strong pre-season, I think he’ll be part of the first team squad. Whilst his name, or even his price tag, might make you raise your eyebrows, let’s see him in action before passing judgement on Edu and co for signing him up. Knowledge of Brazilian football is probably one of Edu’s strengths, just as France was Arsene Wenger’s and I don’t recall many of us complaining when he snapped up Nicolas Anelka for £500k.
Arsenal can’t compete with the rich clubs and without Champions League football on offer, I think a lot of players will resist any temptation to join us. Also, there’s the managerial pull. Guardiola, Klopp or Mikel Arteta? No offence to Mikel, but that’s a race he’s going to come third in. For now anyway but the other two won’t be in this league.
I wasn’t surprised to read the quotes from Dusan Vlahovic which made it clear he had no intention of ever joining Arsenal. He went as far to say he didn’t even know Arsenal were interested in signing him let alone any formal approach for him. He did though suggest his agent might have been made aware of our interest but he was only had eyes for Juventus. Honestly, I’ve always believed this was a media driven rumour and one which gathered so much pace, it almost plausible. If I was a cynic, I’d be tempted to suggest that Arsenal themselves wanted us to believe it. I don’t think there was ever any intention to add to the squad back in January because if the club really wanted to, they could have, even a loan deal. The decision not to, pretty much cost us Champions League football in the end.
I’ve been having a conversation about Mikel Arteta with a friend recently and we’re both on a similar page about him. If the Arsenal board/owners don’t give him the tools to do his work, why bother hanging around? Do you think Guardiola would still be at City if he hadn’t been given the freedom and finances he’s had, or Klopp at Liverpool had their owners had said no to signing Allison, VvD etc? Even Conte has thrown his toys out of the pram threatening to quit if he doesn’t have money to spend on his squad. If Stan Kroenke doesn’t back Mikel Arteta during this transfer window, then what’s the point in him keeping hold of the club?
At least invest as much as FFP allows and whatever money the club can make on player sales. A central defensive midfielder and striker would be top of my list, two of each if money was no object but it is isn’t it? Arsenal aren’t Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea or Newcastle Utd and until we’re back in the Champions League or sell one of our highly valued players, or even change of ownership, we’ll always be playing catch-up in my opinion. But, that’s not to say we can’t get 4th place this coming season, IF the board make the right kind of signings this summer.
Marquinhos is the right kind of signing I think because he’s cheap, low risk and in 3/4 years time, could be the guy to sell for big money, or he could be a superstar for Arsenal who’ll never want to leave. Mikel Arteta isn’t stupid, he’ll know that he needs experienced players as well and I expect him to get them this summer. They might not be names on our own wish list, but that’s life as an Arsenal fan.
Yep, my glass is three quarters full this morning.