Morning all.

Gabriel Jesus’ move to Arsenal seems to have gone up a notch. Personal terms have been agreed according to many newspapers with The Mirror suggesting the club are going to pay him £260,000 a week. If true, it’s bonkers because City were paying him £90,000 a week. I know London is a bit more expensive than Manchester but… It’s not my money I know but where would such a vast salary leave Arsenal when they try and tie the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli etc down to new contracts?

Thomas Partey earns £200,000 a week, Nicolas Pepe, £140,000 a week and our third highest paid player is  Ben White on £120,000 a week. Bukayo Saka is on £30,000 a week, £10,000 less than Alex Runasson earns! The figures are from Spotrac.com.

Food for thought eh?

Mikel Arteta and Edu were criticised during their first year at Arsenal after a few dodgy signings were made and Aubameyang signed a new contract but things seem to have improved enormously as far as transfers go. There’s a plan that’s for sure as Edu confirmed when asked about the club investing in younger players:

One hundred per cent. That has to be Arsenal. We have to go into the market for exciting players with the right age, right attitude and right mentality. We want to see a club like Arsenal with a young squad, an exciting squad with a big, big future because as I said last summer, the idea is to have a young squad. We want to give them the opportunity to play together for two, three, four, five or six seasons.

I totally understand why the club has gone down this route. Footballers don’t come cheap unless they’re in their final year of contract or the selling club wants them gone. Even though Gabriel Jesus might cost £50m odd, if he arrives at Arsenal and scores 20 odd goals next season, his value will only increase. Same applies to Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos. There’s no guarantee they’ll hit the ground running but that’s the risk with every transfer any club makes. Look at what happened with Lukaku. £100m for what? 2/3 more goals than Eddie Nketiah scored in far less games.

We still have a lot to do but we are really excited to start the season with the players we target and the players we want to sign.

I don’t get the impression Edu is making empty promises. Why make such bold statements if there isn’t a chance the club will deliver? No sane person would do that unless he/she wasn’t 100% confident actions wouldn’t prove to be bigger than words. Edu added that the business the club are doing this summer follows months of planning.

This summer is just the consequence of what we’ve been working on a lot, to try to find the best players, the best targets. We identify really what we need in the squad, so when we started this summer, we are prepared.

We’ve gone from being a club which appeared to be leave things until the last minute in a transfer window, waiting for a player’s agent to offer his client to Arsenal, to being proactive, having a plan and the ability to execute that plan. Last summer was the turning point I think when Mikel Arteta and Edu addressed the gaps in the squad. Not all in my opinion but the club doesn’t have a bottomless money jar to dip into. A year on and the club are in the same frame of mind with three additions already through the door and a massive hint of more to come.

Transfers aren’t the only solution to any clubs problems though and last season, I thought we had a few of those. The team’s mindset was one, rotation another, or rather lack of it, a lack of goals and a midfield to gel our attack and defence together. More depth and strength could/should solve the rotation problem, a midfielder stronger, quicker and better than anyone we currently have on the books would certainly offer more protection to our defence which in turn will help our attacking players and if we can have a stronger start to the season than last, confidence will hopefully grow and grow. Only confidence and inner belief will help change a teams mindset in my opinion.

One man who isn’t short of self confidence is Eddie Nketiah. The Telegraph quote him as saying:

When you get a run of eight games in the first team, you get that database and platform to show everything you can do. I have worked a lot with the manager on playing with my back to goal, on the spaces to drop into and link play. Of course it has been developed, but at the same time you don’t get here by just standing in the penalty box and scoring a goal.

 

People are always going to say things, but I know what I can do. The people that have played with me, played against me, the coaches that have worked with me, I know how they feel about me.

 

Every team needs a squad to compete. The club is always looking for ways to strengthen. They have extended my deal and they have done so for a reason. Whoever comes in, you relish the challenge. You make them feel welcome, and then you fight and compete.

Fight and compete. Isn’t that exactly what we want from every Arsenal player, the passion to fight for a place in the team and not just accept a spot on the bench? At the moment, Nketiah is our only out and out senior striker but he needs competition. Healthy competition. Every player needs that and not only for the benefit of the team but for themselves too. Without it, it’s easy to become complacent. No player should believe that his place in the team is a certainty. Having a strong and deep squad is the only way to ensure they don’t….

Catch up in the comments.