Today our dear lord and savior, David Ornstein, dropped an Ornbomb that got me excited. He said that we are close to completing a deal for Saliba, along with progressing towards deals for Tierney and Ceballos.
As far as the Saliba deal is concerned, I’m extremely excited even though we won’t be seeing him until the 2020/21 season due to his loan-back to Saint-Etienne. It seems as though Arsenal are convinced the the 18 year-old center-back will be the future of their defense, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Even though his absence next season hurts in the short-term, especially given the recent antics of their one-legged captain Laurent Koscielny, I’m glad Arsenal is solving a problem they’ve had for a long time. It’s also worth noting that the transfer fee, rumored to be around 30-35 million euros, will largely be paid after next season. This is good news because it won’t eat that much into the transfer budget.
I could see a partnership of Saliba and Holding being a great duo going forward if Holding plays well this season. I could also see Arsenal going out and trying to get an experienced center-back to partner him, and it would be great to get that player in now because the center-backs that are in the squad all have severe question marks. Sokratis’s consistency, Holding’s health, Chambers’s readiness, and Mustafi’s horribleness.
Moving on to Kieran Tierney, it looks like this deal is getting done at some point. It seems that he could still pass a medical even with his double-hernia injury, but his readiness for the start of the season is still in question. It’s expected Arsenal will make a third bid for him if they haven’t already. Getting a left-back is crucial in order to start playing a back 4 instead of watching the dreadful 3-5-2 formation played at the end of last season. The Tierney deal will most likely cost Arsenal around 20-25 million pounds. Even with his signing it looks like Arsenal wouldn’t have their two preferred starting fullback choices, Bellerin and Tierney, in time for the start of the season. Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac/Monreal will be the options, which might force Unai Emery’s hand to revert back to a wingback formation for about the first month of the season.
The newest and most interesting part of Ornstein’s tweet is the loan deal for Dani Ceballos, a 22 year-old playmaking midfielder from Real Madrid who impressed during the U21 EUROS this summer. This is an interesting deal because it seems it would just be a loan with no option/obligation to buy, so just a one year rental. I like it because it fills an immediate need, but if he plays well I’ll be upset if we lose him at the end of the year and he never returns. Hopefully Arsenal can squeak in an option to buy, but if not it’s good business nonetheless. It’s a creative way to allow them to look at using the money to buy in other areas of need, given the very constrained budget.
Hopefully these deals eventually happen, because Arsenal need new signings desperately. My Twitter is @thebostongooner.