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Everything posted by jones

  1. From sources close to Musonda there has been a few quotes indicating he is staying. His squad number indicates that too. Obviously not a guarantee, but I think it is fair to assume he is one of the 16. Having worked under Conte for six months, he also has the upper hand on the likes of Boga and Baker. And at least theoretically, he has the skill set to succeed as an AM in 3-4-3. Hopefully he recovers from his injury soon and can take his chance in pre-season. With three strikers in the squad I definitely see him staying as AM4.
  2. That's exactly like I understand him too. Players like Remy, Boga, Pasalic, Kenedy and Baker are only with us for the pre-season and in case we don't succeed in buying more players. Agree with you on the four signings we need to make: LWB, CM, RWB, AM/CF. I think LWB and CM are the most pressing, and while Alex Sandro is the obvious choice for LWB I have no clue who or what kind of player we are looking at for CM. If we fail to buy a new RWB, I think we will be okay considering we have Azpi and Rudiger capable, but obviously the club have been looking at Danilo and Ox for a reason. The Llorente links make sense and seem to have legs but clearly we are not going to spend 30m. Then there for sure will be better options. But yeah, totally expect us to be very active the last five weeks of the window with another 2-4 signings to add to our current four. That Conte and the club seem to be leading this revolution together - because that's what it is - is comforting and encouraging.
  3. We are all over them. Great to see. Willian with four goals in 90 minutes of pre-season. Expect him to have a great season. Moses impressive. Batshuayi involved. Pedro looking as good as last year. Ospina should have been sent off.
  4. We are clearly looking for another LWB, and the Sandro deal is of course not dead until he signs a new deal with them. If it is not him, it will be another quality option and I think Bertrand for a decent fee could make sense also. We are very light at CM with Matic leaving, but I not many possible recruitments that want to play second fiddle to Kanté, Bakayoko and Fabregas. Not many young players available either, other than Baker, but I do think we need someone more defensive than him. Pasalic could be an option, but seems to be going out on loan. The rumours around Chamberlain are interesting, as he could both be deployed at RWB and AM. If we switch to 3-5-2, he may also be an option as a box to box midfielder. In terms of quality a very good squad option. Although I remain very skeptical to signing Arsenal players. No doubt we are in for Llorente as well, but the 30mp price tag is just ridiculous. I'd be willing to pay up to 15, maximum.
  5. Very excited about Morata. Think he will be a massive success.
  6. Our window so far looking better and better. Very happy with Morata. Complete forward. Tactically dependable and intelligent footballer. Conte is a fan. Has never been a #1 before, but will be for us and think we will see him bang in goals as well. The best option to replace Costa. Also think Bakayoko is, or at least very soon will be, an upgrade on Matic. Rüdiger looks to have the right profile, but I am even more excited to see what Christensen can do when given the chance. As for the rest of the window, we should do all we can to land Alex Sandro. And it seems like we are using Matic as best we can to make them sell. Would be a fantastic addition, and almost make our squad complete. Think we will land Llorente as well, respected sources have talked about that transfer for some time. The loan of Tammy only increases that probability. The fact that he broke his arm and won't return in a few weeks is probably what's delaying the transfer. Probably need another CM though. Not sure whether Conte rates Baker, but with Fabregas being promised a bigger role it wouldn't be naive to think Baker will be his back-up. 8 players for the 5 defensive positions: Luiz, Cahill, Rüdiger, Christensen, Azpi, Moses, Alex Sandro, Alonso. 6 of them can play CB, 4 can play WB. Would be a big upgrade on last season, especially given our ability to rest and rotate the draining WB positions. A little light in terms of injuries though, but I think it will be enough. 4 players for the 2 CM roles: Kanté, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Baker. Regardless of what happens with Baker, this is probably a little light. But Kanté never tires, Bakayoko just arrived for 40m and Fabregas is promised a bigger role in the team. Not sure a new signing here would get too much game time? Assuming 60 games and 120 CM starts, Kante gets 50, Bakayoko 35, Fabregas 30 and Baker 5? Christensen a possible back up option at DM? 7 players for the 3 AM/CF roles: Hazard, Pedro, Willian, Batshuayi, Morata, Llorente, Musonda. A lot of different options to mix between 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 3-4-1-2. Quality and depth. Pace, creativity, goals and strength. X-factor players that can come on and change the game. All in all, this is a big upgrade on last year. It is still a bit light with 19 outfield players for 10 positions. But Rome wasn't built in a day, and it is a step in the right direction. I would be happy with this all things considered.
  7. Personally can't decide who of Belotti, Morata or Aubameyang is best for us. But as long as Conte gets the CF he wants, that is all that matters. Also would not rule out us moving for two of them. Aubameyang could be quality playing behind Belotti together with Hazard.
  8. I think we will see a mix between 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 depending on who is in form, available and opposition. So I think it is more about having enough players for those front three positions. If we only have Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Musonda as AM options, I will still be content if we had Belotti, Batshuayi and Llorente also. In a scenario where we are short on AMs we can always switch to two up front. And I think we will do this during games also. Conte was not a fan of like for like substitutions last season, it was more about bringing on another type of player as a tactical tweak. Tactical unpredictability is an underrated trait and can be extremely valuable in the PL when facing lesser teams that have had a week to prepare for our style. Hopefully, Conte will build a squad that sets us up to surprise and adjust, both before and during games. 7 players for 3 positions seems like a good balance to me.
  9. Not sure it has been commented before, but pictures from training are revealing a few interesting things. There is a picture of the attacking midfielders running together, the central defenders running together and the wing-backs running together. Azpi was running with the wing backs which is an indication we will not buy a new RWB. Expect him to play both RWB and RCB next season. Equally interesting though, Lewis Baker was the odd one out, running with the wing backs. A coincidence, or an indication?
  10. I started to warm up to the idea of Lukaku, but that was mostly because word on the street was that he was Conte's preferred option. Don't know what really happened here, but I hope the club go all out and buy whoever is Conte's #1 option now. Morata, Belotti or Aubameyang - they are all top strikers. And they are all going to be overpriced. But we do not have a choice, it is what top strikers are going to cost. I would love to see Llorente here too, a great option to throw on when we are chasing goals.
  11. Transfer window certainly has not opened for Chelsea yet, but it seems pretty clear what positions we are trying to strengthen. CB, LWB, CM, CF. DEFENCE (center backs and wing backs) In central defence, we seem to be strengthening with Rüdiger (all but done) and Christensen (confirmed by the player), while Terry has left and Zouma is expected to head out on loan. All in all I'd say that is a very solid upgrade, and I guess it would mean Azpi is going to start some games on RWB too, perhaps making sure we don't need to buy someone to compete with Moses. On the left side it is pretty clear we are trying to get Alex Sandro, and if we don't get him I guess we will pursue whoever is second on that list. Assuming our preferred five consists of (from left): Sandro - Cahill, Luiz, Rüdiger - Azpi, we have Christensen for CB back, and Alonso for both LWB and LCB and Moses for RWB. Good mix of experience and potential, double cover on the wing backs and a lot of versatility. I'd be very happy with this. MIDFIELD Bakayoko is coming in (all but done), Fabregas seems to be staying, and if it is true that Matic is leaving I can't see us selling Chalobah. In fact, I'd expect him to be given a more senior role. The question is if these four players will be enough? Verratti is the wet dream, but given how our transfer dealings have gone so far, I am not going to expect us convincing PSG to sell their star player. Cheeky bet on Baker being included here - after two seasons of regular football perhaps he could afford a stepping stone year much like Chalobah had last season? ATTACK I am surprised to not see us being linked to any AM players. At the same time Musonda is rumoured to have pre-season with us, and after being six months with Conte already and with a dying need for game time, I'd expect Conte to be ready to give him some proper game time. Fourth choice after Hazard, Willian and Pedro could be decent for him. Maybe that is enough, if we can manage to pull off some excellent recruitments up front? Costa is gone already, which leaves us with Batshuayi. He is nowhere near capable of replacing Costa, and regardless of what happens with Lukaku, we need a new top class front man. I think Belotti has the most interesting profile, but his price is insane, given he has only had one top class season. We will get one of the top class CF out there, anything but that would be an absolute tragedy, so let's just assume that is Belotti. In addition, we seem to be after Llorente who I think would be a great 3rd option to throw on when chasing games. Would leave us with this preferred XI: Courtois - Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill - Azpilicueta, Kanté, Bakayoko, Sandro - Hazard, Belotti, Pedro With a pretty solid bench, and a lot of versatile options to switch to 3-5-2 or 4-2-4: Christensen, Alonso and Moses in defence/wing back, Chalobah, Fabregas and Baker in CM (but also options at AM), Willian, Musonda, Llorente or Batshuayi is front two or three options. 20 outfield players for 10 positions. I'd be happy with this. Assuming Bakayoko and Rudiger are done, all it takes for us now is to nail down Sandro, activate Belotti's release clause and send a few quid over to Wales for Llorente's signature and that's that. :)
  12. Bookies slashing odds on Llorente. I am not ruling out us going for 4-2-4, with Llorente, Batshuayi, Hazard and a big money signing (Lukaku, Morata etc) as CF options.
  13. I disagree. Tammy is and was an extremely prized asset, with three to four PL clubs desperate to recruit him. Both Chelsea and Tammy could cherry pick. Which club offer the best deal? The only way Swansea would have been able to recruit Tammy at this point is if they told him "we want you as our number one" and if they briefed Chelsea on their transfer window plans, e.g., not intending to buy another CF. It follows implicitly that he will have to earn that spot, but it is a big difference from "welcome to the club, good luck on fighting for a spot" as Bamford at Palace seemed to get. I don't rule out any incentivising clauses in that deal too. For example, if he does not start/play a minimum number of games they have to pay a fee or we can recall him. The club is desperate for Tammy to be a Chelsea star, and if there is one loan deal they have spent extra time on making sure is the best one, then it is Tammy's.
  14. Are you not aware that these sources have an agenda? Why do you think different journos with respected sources often have contradicting information?
  15. Rumour has always been that Everton wanted 100mp and we were only willing to pay up to 80mp. Apparently United have "gazumped" us by offering 75mp? I don't believe this for a second. Lukaku wants Chelsea over Mourinho. If he ends up there it is because we don't want him. Which again means we want someone else. Who? Morata, Lewandowski, Aubameyang, Mbappe - I have absolutely no clue. But too me this is just as much an indication of us actually making a decisions on who to go and not go for, as it is as us "missing out" on Lukaku.
  16. Musonda looks set to be with the squad next season. Quite exciting, as I have always thought he would be great both in 3-4-3 and 4-2-4. Would be strange if he did not get any game time, everyone at the club rates him highly and knows how critical game time is for him after a "wasted" year. Colkett to Vitesse is exciting. In my opinion one of the most talented players from our academy in recent years, but perhaps he is too one-dimensional to succeed under Conte? Much more a Fabregas type of player than Baker. Will obviously replace Baker at Vitesse, and will get to test himself in the EL as well. Big step from L1. And with Mason Mount likely to go there too, Vitesse will be very interesting to follow next season. On the PL loans: Tammy: have a feeling we have gotten guarantees over playing time. With many clubs interested, and Newcastle rumoured to have completed the deal only for it to take a u-turn, Swansea surely has had to put an interesting offer on the table. With Clement there, and quick attacking players around him, I think Swansea is the best place for him to be. Unless, of course, Swansea splash 30mp on a top CF on deadline day. Palmer to Huddersfield is great, he is clearly valued by Wagner. They have signed a lot of attacking players though, and I fear he ends up in a super-sub role chasing deficits in the dying minutes of games against tougher opposition. Hopefully he can nail down that no 10 role behind Mounié, but he will need to showcase himself early on. RLC looks set to go to Newcastle, who is in need for a new number ten, and if he gets a key role there he could really flourish. Especially if they end up getting Sturridge - that could be a decent up front duo. If Brown gets himself a PL loan to Brighton, I will be very surprised if he manages to make much of an impact. A talented player, but from what I have seen of him some way off that level. Have not seen any rumours about Baker. Some journalist (don't remember who) claimed he was set to get a PL loan, but why has he not been linked to any clubs? Would surely be on many clubs' radar. Bournemouth has a pretty lame CM ... Or is he staying with us?
  17. Looks like Bakayoko will be done, and that he is pushing Matic out the door. Expect us to get a premium price for him, and if it means additional chances given to Chalobah I support that decision 100 %. Leaves us with only four CMs though. Aké, Luiz and Willian could do a job in case of emergency. Is that enough?
  18. I think Luiz would struggle a little as "side back". It is a lot easier to put a foot wrong there than in the middle, and he would be exposed more often. It is the reason why he had such a good season with us. He gets more time to deal with situations, which is good for his lack of concentration. He is also allowed to be aggressive in his press because he has two CBs behind him, something he is both good at and prone to doing instinctively. The "problem" with Bonucci is that he would basically demand that central position, as he perhaps is the best in the world in it. Would he accept playing next to Luiz? If not, where would that leave Luiz? Considering his age and price, I suspect our real target is van Dijk. He is also more versatile as I consider him able to play anywhere across the back three. Not a better player of course, but a more realistic and sensible option at the moment. I think it is looking more and more likely that we will start next season with Cahill - Luiz - van Dijk, where Aké and Christensen are realistic challengers to especially Cahill but of course all three. It does not seem like we are going for a RWB this window, which indicates Azpi is going to play there more next season.
  19. Caballero, Bakayoko and Lukaku are all but wrapped up, Alex Sandro is looking more and more likely, and if I had to put my money on a CB it would be van Dijk. If we can get another top class AM/CF as well, I'd be very satisfied. Squad will not be complete yet, but we are getting there.
  20. Hah!
  21. Juventus apparently close to signing left back Dalbert from Nice. Increases our chances of getting Alex Sandro. Comments from Marotta are indicating he is willing to sell, but just wants a good price. But he does not have that much time, as they are dependent on closing several other deals. Think we will see Sandro on board the plane to Singapore/Beijing July 19.
  22. If we are signing Adama Traore, it for sure is an Emenalo signing going straight into the loan army. He is a high potential player with blistering pace and physique. And it can possibly be a very good investment, as his price is going to be around 5-8mp. Villa signed him for 9mp at 19, and Boro for 7mp at 20. After 37 PL and no goals in his two seasons, I expect we are looking for a price perhaps even lower than that. Has the potential to be worth at least 30mp in today's market, and if we give him 1-2 seasons at Vitesse and then another one to take the next step to a top European league, we might be looking at a very valuable player in 2-3 years. But yeah, definitely a loan army signing. And from my perspective, one that can possibly be a great investment. Nothing to enter panic mode for. Edit: If Vitesse can get themselves a decent CF, it would be quite exciting to see Mason Mount and Traore line up behind him in a 3-4-3 system next season :-)
  23. I think comparing Ox to Shane Long is a bit unfair. He is a very good PL player. He has the Arsenal mentality though, which is a massive drawback. But coming from Southampton, I guess it will be possible to shake that off him. What he is though, is a poor man's Willian. Immense acceleration and balance, great technique, crisp passing, good at attacking space, but lacks that bit of killer instinct that could have made him a world-beater. Why he has been playing wing back for Arsenal is pretty obvious when you look at his skills. But, for comparison: I have long argued that Willian should be great in the RWB position, but have come to the conclusion that he is too much of a superstar for Conte to switch him from AM/playmaker to a more defensive role. More like it's a mentality thing rather than a skill thing. Lack of concentration or focus for just a few seconds can be lethal. I remember Swansea's first goal when we played them on the opening day of the 2015/16 season - Willian had tracked back but suddenly forgot he had to get up the pitch again, and was playing Swansea 5-10 yards onside instead. He is a creative player that influences instinctively. Players like that can switch off and on suddenly. And will be is a defensive risk if given the responsibility for an entire side of the pitch. Question is, if we are looking at Ox as a wing back, does he have the concentration and focus that Willian (perhaps) lack, to be able to play that position effectively under Conte? (And no, it is not an argument that he played there for Wenger - that guy doesn't have a clue.)
  24. And since we are speaking of the "old days". Can everyone please remember the summer when our only signing was Enrique de Lucas, a free transfer signing from Espanyol? It is not that long time ago.
  25. Definitely a very good fit for the wing back position. But I just don't like the soft Arsenal boys. Lacks winning mentality and fighting spirit.