サヨナラ, Ryo. Sayonara. A sign of Draxlers to come?

Reports suggest that Arsenal are open to the possibility of Ryo Miyaichi leaving the club on a permanent basis. Having failed to crack the starting lineup, having made only five appearances this season for a total of 217 minutes. Given how crowded the midfield is—then again, even in the absences of players like Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Cazorla for extended periods, and the more-recent loss of Walcott—it’s apparently been too difficult for Miyaichi to impress Arsène enough to be entrusted with anything but mop-up duty or lesser competitions such as the league cup.

The Smirk, Part Deux?

Last season saw Miyaichi loaned out to Wigan for the season, where he made seven appearances, six of them as substitutions, again failing to make much headway in then-manager Roberto Martinez’s squad. Perhaps his brighest stretch came in a 2011-12 loan to Bolton; while playing largely as a right wing, he made 16 appearances, four as substitutions and four times playing a full 90′, notching two assists. However, the sparse playing time he’s had over the last three years since coming to Arsenal in 2011 suggest that it’s time to move on.

The competition in the midfield is just too fierce at the moment, especially for a player as unproven and raw as Miyaichi. Even Lukas Podolski, fresh from injury and deliverer of 16 goals and 13 assists last season, finds himself firmly rooted to the bench despite returning, presumably fresh and well-rested, from a long injury-spell. Apparently, Arsène’s concerns over his fitness and training, among other concerns, extend to the point that there are persistent rumors about him leaving the club as well.

Without putting the cart before the horse, it’s enough to make me wonder. If we are moving Miyaichi on (and good luck to him, a young player who did his level-best bt simply came at a time when the position was already filled), and if we are looking to ship Podolski out (a more-puzzling one if not entirely new given his poor fitness—regularly subbed off after 70′ last year, longer-running questions about dedication), could we be clearing space for a January signing? If it were just Miyaichi, we could attribute it to a simple parting of ways. However, Podolski was an integral part of last season’s squad, and to suggest that he might be leave sooner rather than later is enough to wag tongues and raise eyebrows—well, one of them, at least.

He was visibly irked, muttering and shaking his head, when it was Oxlade-Chamberlain and not he who was called on to replace Rosický against Aston Villa, even for as much sense as the move made tactically. Despite his outgoing personality and undeniable bond with Mertesacker and Giroud, as well as his apparent popularity in the dressing room, the uncomfortable fact is that he’ll be 29 soon. While this is hardly the twilight of his career, the sun is setting, and unless he gets a chance to change minds and fast, this may be it for the man, at least at Arsenal. By contrast with Miyaichi, he’s had his chances and, at times, acquitted himself very well. However, there’s writing on the wall. The ship is trimming its sails. His star is fading.

At the risk of letting myself get too easily distracted by brighter, shinier objects, it’s enough to make me wonder if in fact a move for Draxler is in the offing. After all, even if Arsène is looking to sign Draxler and convert him to a striker (something he’s done with Henry and van Persie), this would take time, and it’s unlikely that Draxler could blithely arrive and just slot in to the position. New position, new team, new league. That’s one too many variables, even for a player of Draxler’s apparent quality and potential. On the other hand, clearing space on the wings to give Draxler a chance to adjust to the Prem and to Arsenal makes a great deal of sense, as it would allow him to adjust to the Prem and to Arsenal while making the occasional cameo at striker—say, against lower-tier opponents? This would keep Giroud fresh for the Champions League (Draxler’s cup-tied anyway) and against our rivals for the Prem title.

Balancing this short-term with the longer term, Giroud is 27, and grooming a replacement is a vital priority. Should Draxler come in, whether now or over the summer, he’d likely start training up to be a striker, one who could play off of Giroud in something closer to a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. Then, when the time is right, Draxler could step in as the number-one striker. It’s exciting to consider, but at this point it’s still all rumor and hearsay. Dare to dream, though. No harm in that, now, is there?

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8 thoughts on “サヨナラ, Ryo. Sayonara. A sign of Draxlers to come?

  1. Anonymous

    What about joel campbell, akpom, afobe, sanogo infact, lipman? draxler to striker?(potential power!)

  2. Anonymous

    JonWhile all of what you write here makes sense it requires several critical premises:1) Wenger thinks rationally and not egotistically2) Wenger will take under consideration that his players might get hurt or tired and cannot always play at their best as the season rolls on (see point #1)3) Wenger will not undervalue potential transfers thereby underbidding and losing them to those willing to pay more, even if above what Wenger considers to be the “true value. (see point #1)4) Wenger will recognize that he is still a bit lacking in his squad for the long EPL, FA and (maybe) CL haul this year (see points #1 and #2)5) Wenger is willing to spend the money he has or has been promised and not wait for that one shining moment or the one white knight to appear that might lead Arsenal to the promised landWhether he moves or buys players or not, his pattern over the past few years, with the one major exception of Ozil, is often a pattern of too little too late, not willing to spend enough, etc.It is unclear whether, if they had obtained Higuain, they might never have done the Ozil deal, but that was a striker they needed as he proved in the CL match that cost Arsenal 1st place in their group. However, while there was some nonsense going on, it might be that added funds, even if above what Wenger felt was proper, might have closed the deal as Napoli proved. (Note: consider now that rumor or gossip has Chelsea is willing to go to 45-50M for him).The nonsense going after Suarez and offering 1 Pound more than the rumored trigger price was ludicrous and I never understood it. If Wenger wanted him, they should have offered 60-70M and then watched the results. They might well have been outbid, but by insulting Liverpool they were, effectively, barred from the table. Silly maneuver, at best. worse yet, they might have obtained the best striker around (at least in England)All of the rumors about Draxler seem to point toward the summer, at best, assuming they are true and someone else does not pop up by then as always occurs when Arsenal is looking at a player. Regardless, however, it would have little meaning in a season when Arsenal has a shot at winning the EPL and maybe the FA, again assuming Wenger does not, by trying to conserve his meager resources, play a squad that cannot readily win a match (we have seen that before in recent years)

  3. Anonymous

    ……….and now comes news that Draxler is injured and might not even be available until March. What is Arsene's Plan B, if this was even Plan APersonally, as indicated earlier, I suspect Plan A was to do nothing and earn whatever interest might accrue on the available money. The question, however, is for the Board to decide, should they lose out on players and one or more titles: “Did they lose out because Arsene did not buy the necessary players even when he had money to spend?”If the answer is positive there might be some question as to a contract extension (or should be) much as I like AW

  4. Anonymous

    he should be back in mid-February so they say, so i hope he's still plan A. I think it was Tim Stillman who says we can safely spend 50m. if a player of draxler's quality is available for 40m, do it! I worry if the risk is for Arsene not to spend though, so if we don't win trophies this year his defenders can still say, 'yeah but we're so close to the rivals who outspend us so much each year'. if we spend big in January but fizzle out anyway, that excuse is gone, there would be nothing to hide behind.

  5. Anonymous

    Wenger does cling rather stubbornly to his valuation of players, which can be both a virtue and liability. Was Bale really worth what RM paid? Is any player? I don't know what went on with the Suarez bid, but he certainly seems to be proving his worth–so far.They would never have sold to us as they saw us as the closest club to overtake, assuming, I imagine that Man U, Chelsea, and City would be too far ahead to reel in. I agree that we're unlikely to see anything dramatic in the January window, as a result of Wenger's own history/philosophy and the nature of the window itself, when very few players of real quality are available.

  6. Anonymous

    those guys are too young (and I think Campbell just injured his ankle) and unproven, we need someone who can come in and compete with OG or at least replace him without too much drop-off. Akpom I like but he's loaned to Brentford. If we're serious about continuing to challenge for BPL glory, we need more firepower! Draxler would be massive even if he's not a true striker.

  7. Anonymous

    and now I read where Spurs are making every effort to block a Daxler deal by not letting there guy go. Still angry that the Ozil deal made it easier for Bale to be bought. Petty rich owners hold grudges especially when things go wrong


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