Just when you thought the dumb transfer rumors were over, Arsenal have two on their plate. And both have three clear things in common.
Arsenal have very clear and specific needs this summer. There’s no real debate. For starters, they need to figure out the centerback situation. In all likelihood, they will sell at least two of their current centerback options and with the addition of William Saliba and the need to improve, that justifies at least one more signing.
Then there’s the midfield, whether or not to keep Dani Ceballos and whether he’s enough on his own accord or if we need to spend on someone like Thomas Partey. There are other names being linked as well, seeing as how Mesut Ozil is likely to leave, and Jack Grealish and Orkun Kokcu are weighing in there.
Then there’s upfront if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves, not to mention Alexandre Lacazette. Chances are we’d need to infuse something into the strikers as well, with Luka Jovic and Odsonne Edouard both being linked.
See? Straightforward. Easy to see. Not a lot of wiggle room to do something creative and/or unnecessary. And Willian and Chris Smalling aren’t just unnecessary, they are almost exactly the same.
Here are three things they have in common that make them both undesirable.
3. Too old
Mikel Arteta and the higher-ups at Arsenal need to be thinking long-term. They need to be looking at the young options at the club and out in the world and building for the future of this new era. Both Willian and Smalling are over 30, which makes them stop-gap signings if indeed we do decide to sign them.
We don’t need any more stopgap signings. We don’t need to buy a guy to fill in for a few years and then disappear. That doesn’t make any sense anymore. We want to invest long-term, to find guys like Bruno Fuchs or our current supply of wingers and run with them, not let two 30+-year-olds hold down positions and absorb wages that could be better spent elsewhere.
Moving on to No. 2.