Blues’ Kai thinking
By the time I post this blog, the fixtures for the new Premier League season will just about to be published.
However, I need something to write about tomorrow, so I’m gonna wait and see. I have no clue who we’ll get on the opening day, but it feels like a long time since we’ve had Liverpool as a season opener, so I’m gonna put an imaginary fiver on that with Mickey Mower, the hilarious bookmaker who will use every single thing in football that can possibly be used to showcase their range of betting services.
I wrote yesterday about Kai Havertz and how we had a genuine interest in the player. I’m far from an ITK, as you know. We very rarely put anything specific out into the ether unless it’s from a good place, so it was interesting to see that story develop over the course of the day.
Aggregators aggregated, turning my mentions into a dumpster fire of Twitter transfer outrage. The Guardian reported our interest. David Ornstein said we’ve made an approach to Chelsea. There seems to be a wide discrepancy when it comes to the fee we’re willing to pay and what Chelsea want. If only there was a way of instigating some kind of back and forth with them to discuss the price and find some common ground.
Reaction to it was quite funny. A lot of people don’t like it because he’s a Chelsea player, and I get that. It’s a bit like your mum inviting a kid you hate to your birthday party. That fan outlook is what I talked about in yesterday’s blog, but I did outline reasons why Mikel Arteta might have a different perspective. As I said, I’ve never been particularly impressed by him at Chelsea, but as H.I. McDunnough said of he and his wife’s attempts to have a child in The Coen Brothers classic, Raising Arizona, “Her insides were a barren place where my seed could find no purchase.”
Chelsea is a barren place, and Havertz’s seed could … I think I might actually leave that analogy alone. Suffice to say there are plenty of examples of a player making a big money move to a club that just doesn’t suit him, before finding his way elsewhere. I can’t guarantee that obviously, but I do think Arteta and Edu have earned a fair amount of trust when it comes to our incoming business, and while I’m not suggesting we have blind faith, if they can see him add something to this side, I’m willing to go with it. If it does happen – rrice might play a part in how this is perceived, especially from a cash-strapped club like Chelsea, so if we can drive them downwards because they’re a bit desperate, then let’s do it.
The other objection I saw was that paying money for Havertz might preclude a deal for Moises Caicedo. Again, I get why people worry. I think if you asked the majority of Arsenal fans who they’d prefer to sign, it’d be the Brighton player. Me included. However, there’s nothing to say that this is the case. That it has to be one or the other. My gut feeling re: Havertz is that he’s more a target for our frontline than our midfield, and if that’s the case then he’s not going to get in the way of Caicedo in terms of squad building – unless there’s a financial aspect to it.
Is us giving Chelsea money for Havertz going to give them the money to sign Caicedo (because they’re said to be interested)? I don’t think it’s really as simplistic as that, but again I understand the sentiment to an extent. I have a fundamental moral objection to giving them money for anything. If there’s any comfort for anyone, it does seem as if there’s serious interest from Bayern Munich too, and having ‘missed out’ on Declan Rice, maybe they’ll go hard on this one. And I suspect very strongly that if Mikel Arteta really, really wants Caicedo in this window, he will get him, and be provided the resources to do it.
The final thing I’ll say is this: yesterday was the first day the transfer window was open, and all I could see – even with a fairly well cultivated timeline – was people losing their absolute reason over a potential football transfer. It is going to be a long, long summer folks.
We’ll have coverage of the fixtures over on Arseblog News at 9am when they drop. Join us for that, and more here tomorrow including a brand new Arsecast.