Tantalus has nothing on the Arsenal when it comes to transfer rumours, even less when it comes to finding the next dominant DM/#6/Heir to Vieira. With that as a backdrop, there have been some mouth-watering rumours circling around us circling both Moisés Caicedo and Declan Rice. We’re gonna need a bigger boat and all that. Sadly, it seems that Brighton’s form not to mention its recent transfer business may have shut the door on Caicedo bolstering our ranks.
Having prised both Ben White and Leandro Trossard away, only to see them each flourish by degrees, we’d have to admit that Brighton might be a little envious. What might they have achieved had the two stayed? Looking further afield, it must be a more than a bit galling to have sold others such as Cucurella, BIssouma, and [supressing gag relfex] Maupay. Our January flirtation with Caicedo has probably heightened tensions such that any subsequent move for him will be rebuffed on principle…unless we’re willing to offer mad money.
More to the point, the fact that De Zerbi has this squad flying high enough to envision a top-six finish. Having played just 31 games, they trail Tottenham (who’ve played 33) by just two points. It’s more than a bit mad to think that dat boy Welbz, among others, might knock Tottenham back a few pegs. That’s a tangent, though. Brighton’s form suggest that they have bigger fish to fry. Bad news? That means they’re unlikely to sell key assets unless they can extract enormous fees to re-invest.
At the other end of things, West Ham can’t seem to climb free of the crabs-in-a-barrel that is the relegation scrap. Having now lost two on the bounce, they find themselves just five points clear of that aforementioned barrel with trips to the Etihad and Brentford Community Stadium squeezed in between home and away legs to AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League. It’s not hard to imagine Moyes going all in for those even at the expense of domestic considerations. Should West Ham fall back into the drop-zone while pursuing some semblance of European glory, we might be able to get Declan Rice at something less than the £100m fee being widely quoted.
In an ideal world, of course, we’d sign both. After all, we’ll have to contend with Man City (of course) but also Newcastle, and it’s likely that at least one of Man U, Chelsea, or Liverpool will be back in business. At our end, we’ll need depth and variety to get through the Champions League group stage, which is somewhat more-challenging than the Europa League equivalent.
Let’s hope that Edu has fired up his BBQ and will secure RIce’s services. Caicedo may be just out of reach, but that’s not the same as saying we can’t reach him.
This season has been a roller-coaster of emotions. Something tells me the summer will offer more of the same…