16 January 2014

Wingers in the wings: Draxler and Ntep's odds of joining Arsenal surge...

The transfer-window is up to its usual antics, with recent reports claiming that we had agreed to terms with Auxerre's 21-year old Paul-Georges Ntep: a five-year deal at 10m, but this was quickly scuppered by Auxerre's president. So it goes. Auxerre has a been good to us in recent years, selling us Sagna, for example. Oh. And Sanogo. It's hardly the kind of move that quickens the blood, though, as the idea of Ntep making a meaningful leap from Ligue 2 to the heat of a Prem title-chase is a bit far-fetched. Nonetheless, the move looks to be the kind that has its eye further into the future.

Of more immediate interest, of course, is potential movement around Schalke's Julian Draxler, also plying his trade along the wing (mostly). The buzz has faded somewhat after news of a potentially ruptured tendon might rule him out of action until late February or even into March. I don't know if this actually rules out the move, but it certainly seems to pull the rug out for seeing him join in January.

Probabilities as rated by transfermarkt.co.uk
In these situations, then, I turn to two sources that seem to deal more in odds and facts, such as they are—certainly more than I would ever turn to twitter, various tabloids, and blogs that seem to devote more screen-space to adds than content. With that in mind, I was intrigued to see that transfermarkt.co.uk had upgraded the probability of Ntep's move to Arsenal to 30%, a huge leap from the previous rating of question mark (a designation that seems to apply to just about anyone else who plays European football. The rumors around him joining Arsenal do borrow a bit of legitimacy from that surge. On Saturday, he did admit that he was on his way to London, but it was presumed that he was there to talk to QPR. However, Auxerre's president Guy Cotret tried to quash rumors that Ntep had ended up speaking with Arsenal: "I have had no contact with an English club. There is a French club [Rennes] of which I have spoken, and who has made ​​an offer. After that, maybe the player and his agent have had other contacts." Not much of a denial, to be honest.

Regarding Draxler, the player to whom we've been most heavily linked, the news is a little more intriguing than that reported injury suggests. Transfermarkt.co.uk's rating of his move to Arsenal has continued to creep up steadily—from the low teens last week to a probability of 27%, picking up a point or two each day, even in the face of the injury report. Similarly, gambling sites seem to see a January move as increasingly likely; the fractional odds have dropped from 10/2 last week to 5/6 today. In other words, last week, a £2 bet would win you £10. This week, a £6 bet would only win you £5. Triple your stake, halve your winnings? For those who make their money off of predicting these events, it's starting to look like they see Draxler joining Arsenal in January as increasingly likely.

Of course, the transfer-window is a cagey beast, and we could wake up to find that we've signed, say, Mario Mandzukic out of nowhere, and that Draxler has signed with Dortmund or Bayern while Ntep has completed a move to Reading. It's anyone's guess. Good thing we have a match coming up. Things that actually happen are inherently more interesting than things that might. After all, they do, you know, happen.

10 comments:

  1. We just need a striker. Not ntep

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  2. JULIAN DRAXLER WILL SAVE US ALL

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  3. You hear these publications on daily basis then only to see the player ending on other teams or denial by arsene it is different with other managers who just snach the player swiftly and quitely like morinyo did to matic.are we a poor mans team? The ones responsible nust said we dont compete with others.meaning we also dont compete for silvers b.....shit

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  4. Arsenal need a quality striker if they have in mind to win trophy this season pls wenger hurry and get one before transfer window close in .

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  5. I think this is an oppotunity for wenger to add more quality player to his squard because they can't westand what man city&chelsea as at now pls wenger do some thing quickly don't fail all arsenal fans all over the world again .

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  6. Anonymous #3 (1:49AM) got it right. The other clubs seem to act swiftly and decisively while Arsenal aka Wenger seem to hem and haw and try to find a better (or cheaper) deal all the while risking the chance of losing the player they want and alerting those other clubs who have figured out that AW will do the scouting for them and then they can close the deal before he makes his final decision.

    This summer, for once, he was lucky although dawdling cost him a striker and maybe more. Same was the pattern the year before when rumors abounded but little occurred after they spent the summer trying to deal with RVP leaving.

    As to present needs, it seems we all agree that they need a striker. All other rumors seem to either be smoke screens (which gives more credit than deserved to AW) or AW thinking years forward and ignoring the present reality (Denial is not a river in Africa).

    Meanwhile, as best I can determine, AW is continuing to rehearse for the role of Hamlet

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    1. True. Making matters worse, Arsene has an all-but-stated philosophy of waiting until the close the transfer-window under the belief that clubs will be eager/desperate to sell, and players will be feeling the pressure of the deadline more than Arsenal does, and we can therefore get players at discounted prices. Sadly, we've missed out on players as a result because they simply sign early in the window or because some other club that's willing to pay premium/market value ruin that pan.

      A striker is still my highest priority, even if Draxler is to be molded into one in the long run.

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    2. But if we can see the pattern, why can't the board see it as well? Are they more interested in the club being in the black than in winning silverware?

      The difference, like it or not, in this day of football (both types), baseball, basketball clubs is that they have become rich man's toys and with few exceptions, they want to feed their egos and can afford to throw money at the club and potential player-stars. Arsene and Arsenal are old school and feel they need to spend wisely and carefully. Wenger want to be so very sure when he makes a decision for fear he will be chastised for the mistakes. As a result, he won't jump into the water even if he were equipped with a life vest.

      Other clubs have dumped their mistakes and moved on, bu AW seems reluctant. I agree that he hopes to get a last-second deal, but it has been at the cost of a player. In hindsight, one can even look at the dealy during the summer of RVP leaving and recognize that, maybe (?) they should have made no deal at all. RVP would have played just as hard, if only to enhance his value, and he might have seen a better club and stayed or, at worst, he might have gone out of the EPL and then, on my positive side, MU would not have won the EPL. worst case, Arsenal might have been out 24M - chump change these days - but possibly still with a striker (ironically)

      JMHO, of course

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    3. I think the board sees it but feels that Arsene is the one who calls the shots, at least as far as whom to pursue/sign. The board might just be more interested in finances than in silverware (even if you sometimes have to spend money to make money; i.e., championships boost jersey sales, justify raised ticket prices, earn pay-outs (in the CL, for example).

      I keep closing my eyes and ears to it and hoping that Arsene is being as cautious as he is because he's preparing the club for longer-term success under FFP, under which the Chelseas and Man Cities of the world are forced to get rid of players they've amassed over the last few years. Meanwhile (as I tell myself), we've balanced the books for years and will be alone among the contenders in not just maintaining our roster but building on it. I hope.

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    4. I thought that FFP was going to make all the difference in the world and level the playing field for those smaller clubs at the bottom of the table. I still have not grasped all of the rules, but based on how PSG, Monaco, Chelsea, MC, and maybe Liverpool, ManU, etc are moving along, it becomes clear that there are any number of clever accounting tricks, let alone loopholes that make it still seem that the rich will get richer and the poor will continue to muddle along.

      Things will only change when they either create a salary cap or revenue distribution that can save the smaller clubs from bankruptcy or the British and European equivalent. There may be many billionaires out there who might want a club, but they better clubs have been purchased and those wannabes that purchased Championship or lower tier EPL clubs are not in the same league. Even Stan and maybe even the owners of ManU, Liverpool, Spurs, etc only spend in the millions and not the tens of millions or try to leverage (MU) the profit centers of their team to provide money.

      I just do not think these rules were ever tough enough, but probably because those who wrote them also wanted to protect their investments. I doubt it was "one man, one-vote" when decision-time came along.

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