I’ve been in a reflective mood this week after the dissapointment of not getting Buendia. My mood has been bolstered by the news that Xhaka looks set to leave the club. I know he divides opinion, but personally (and I have made no secret of this on this site), I’ve wanted Xhaka out of the club for a long time. I was there when he told me and other fans to fuck off when we’re trying to get him to get off the pitch quickly so we could win the game. Anyway, leaving all that aside, it looks like Xhaka is going to go this summer. Somthing that I didn’t expect and therefore an added bonus. Xhaka for me, represents the decline we have experienced over the last fews years and I will be pleased to see him gone. We should have gone for Kante and this represents the biggest failure of Wenger IMO, and the first time I questioned his judgement.
As a result I think we will have to bring in two new CM/DM players to bolster our midfield. I have been reflecting a lot about the prospect of Neves. My initial reaction was pretty underwhelmed. Seems like a very ‘safe’ transfer and nothing to get really excited about. However, the more I have thought about it, the more it makes sense. I was always impressed with Neves and Wolves’ midfield (not so much last season, but in past seasons). I also didn’t realise that Neves is only 24. He is already PL ready, and has the potential to still improve. Good all round player with good defensive abilities and good long range passing.
Lots of people have questioned the transfer fee, and I initially thought that £35/£40m was too much for a player like Neves. However, I had to remind myself that Liverpool paid £45m for Jota. This seems to be the going rate for a PL player of a certain quality.
I would personally prefer Bissouma - he remains my No.1 target for this summer. However, I do think that Neves would be a good buy. Yes, maybe a very sensible buy, but I think he would be solid and has the potential to grow and get better at Arsenal. He can come in and do a job and I’d be confident that he wouldn’t make the same number of mistakes as Xhaka. Essentially an upgrade on Xhaka!