Transfer windows are fraught with false promises.
We hear and see so many spurious rumours that our first defence is to ignore them entirely and wait until we see an official announcement.
But for most of us – that isn’t how it happens. Is it?
We see names linked to our club and muse on whether they would fit into our current system, who would make way for them, what they would bring to our team. We daydream a lot about certain players holding our shirt and taking to The Emirates pitch.
Some players, we think about a LOT more than others.
And for the majority of these stars, their destination won’t include our club.
But for a few, there is a likelihood they could entertain an offer from us, should we be interested.
And there has been one player I’ve fixated on for some time. Looked at his growth at his current club and become further convinced, through positive bias most likely, that they are the key that will make Mikel Arteta’s team shift up a gear.
Youri Tielemans, the Belgian midfielder, is that player.
We know that the star has refused to sign an extension to his current deal. We know that he won’t be enamoured with no European participation next season, after Leicester failed to secure a high enough PL placing
And with just a year on his deal, his price tag would definitely suit our budget.
But the real reason Tielemans, I think so anyway, would be the perfect fit for our team, is what we lack.
We lack a natural pivot for Thomas Partey.
This blog isn’t an attack on Granit Xhaka. The Swiss star has contributed to our growth under Arteta – and has shown discipline in his positioning and defensive work. He has been pivotal.
But his limitations are holding us back.
With Xhaka next to him, Partey can’t let go of the handbrake. Partey is a beast that can contribute at both ends of the pitch. His driving forward with the ball combined with his strength is an asset that is underutilised.
Tielemans offers that too. His carrying forward in possession is effortless. His passing, both short and long, are Arsenal-worthy. His athleticism allows him to track back if Partey is caught forward – and the Ghanaian can do the same when Tielemans is in full flight.
They are a perfect match.
And to sweeten the deal, Tielemans is only going to get better in the right circumstances.
For as little as £25-30m, we could be adding the glue that finally meshes our team together. Just imagine – Partey and Tielemans in the engine room, helping out in both an attacking and defensive sense. Our defence has already shown rapid improvement and bringing in Saliba only makes us better. In attack, ESR, Saka, Martinelli represent the brightest of presents and futures.
With Tielemans in place, we would only need a prolific striker and we would have an eleven that would be on an even keel with any in the League,
Big words, given the brilliance of Liverpool and City, but just imagine that 11?
Tielemans can be purchased for a bargain price. It would be an acquisition on the scale of Odegaard. An amazingly skilled player, snapped up for a bargain price and on the right growth curve.
In our colours and with the players surrounding him, Tielemans would be one of the best in the competition.
I’ve been proven wrong before and Edu and Arteta know infinitely more about what we need – but can you tell me that Tielemans would be a flop?
I can see this summer being infuriating…