‘If I was Barca I would be doing everything to tempt Hazard away’

Date published: Tuesday 8th August 2017 9:01

Manchester United fans debate the club’s transfer strategy, Arsene Wenger is again the subject of vitriol, while Chelsea fans hope to snatch Virgil van Dijk away from Liverpool, according to our forums.

Have anything to add on these or any other subjects? Join the debate here.

Is Wenger’s ‘socialist wage policy’ holding Arsenal back?


So we now have the news that the Lemar deal is on hold because Wenger needs to offload players but can’t because they are earning so much no one else can afford their demands. How accurate this story is who knows but given Liverpool are interested in Lemar this is a great time to put the deal on hold isn’t it.

Whats happened to the huge transfer fund Wenger has at his disposal? And who is it who agreed to overpay all of these flops, who signed these flops like Debuchy & Perez? It all comes back to Wenger. Its only going to get worse.

The Oracle


Shower of affairs. The good players want to leave cos we’re not contenders and the sh*te holding us back aren’t leaving cos of the loss in wages

The New Era


New Era, spot on and further proof of the folly of Wenger’s socialist wage policy. Top players aren’t paid what they are worth and poor players are grossly overpaid so Wenger can’t get rid of them.

We were told at the start of the window that Wenger had over £150million to spend so why isn’t he spending it? Why is it determined by player sales? Hardly surprising our wage bill is so high.

The Oracle


Who can transform Arsenal’s midfield into a title-winning unit?

Personally I think Xhaka is the long-term replacement for Santi now. I’m not suggesting they are the same type of player but Granit is going to be the one who controls the pace of the play and moves the ball between defence and attack the way Santi did. In order to really get the best out of Xhaka, we need to pair him up with someone really mobile and energetic. That’s why someone like Seri at Nice, would be the ideal partner.



As things stand, Xhaka looks like the most important component of our midfield. You could look at him as the successor to Cazorla in there (not in style of play,  but as deep-lying orchestrator), and we could do worse than build the midfield around him.

And that’s why I disagree with fans calling for Carvalho. We know what Big Will offers, but I personally don’t see him adding much based on the system we are looking to play. He’s your quintessential holding midfielder that actually wants to do the job Xhaka is doing in terms of controlling the midfield, with an inferior passing range. But he’s not mobile and I don’t believe he would be the best option beside Xhaka, who himself is rather static (albeit positionally shrewd).

What we need is a more mobile player who is strong and good on the ball, particularly in terms of carrying it. He also should be adept at winning the ball, preferably before opponents get into dangerous territory. My number one shout this summer was Tolisso from Lyon – he doesn’t seem aesthetically spectacular to watch, but that kid can play! About as complete a midfielder both now and potentially, he would’ve been perfect in our set-up.

Another I would be keen on, although I would be reluctant because of his injury record, is Leon Goretzka. He has the physicality, ball-carrying and ball-winning abilities that I believe would complement Xhaka. Mahmoud Dahoud is one that has interested me for a while and I don’t believe we didn’t at least check him out considering he was Xhaka’s partner at Gladbach and they had a great partnership.

Some people mention Seri, and that’s fair enough if we’re looking directly at as close to a like-for-like as Cazorla. In that same vein, I would actually take a brave punt on his Nice teammate Vincent Koziello. That kid takes my breath away with what he’s doing at such a young age. Tiny, yes, but his game belies his size and age. Never loses the ball, passes and carries the ball extremely well, and is tenacious in winning the ball back. Seri’s tackling is actually not all that, from what I’ve seen of him.



If you think a Central Midfielder has to be “slow or fast” then it says it all dosen’t it.Really I’m not trying to get in a never ending debate with you but like seriously,xabi alonso xavi these players mobility and pace wise were slows but were pass masters and understood the game better than anyone else on the pitch.Something what Xhaka offers us.

Barber – I personally like William carvalho.Why don’t people think he can do the dirty work.He’s also someone who could control the tempo of the game, has a great engine and is always available for a pass.There are many options.Although I did mention we don’t really need a midfielder that desperately I still think we should get one especially someone who will fit the bill.

What I do know is that we need a defender for sure.We can keep discussing all other position but unless wenger replaces mertesacker with a van dijk kind of player it will be all for nothing.

the specialone


Should we ‘write off Chelsea before a ball has been kicked’?

Antonio Conte: Took the blame for Man United defeat

So long as we do strengthen the team then we should be challenging on all 4 fronts as always. Realistically we will need extra players so as I said previously – too early to be definitive

I think Conte would love to retain the EPL but this will be hard based on what other teams have done to date – notably ManU for me – but it is not beyond the realms of possibility as all the experience will be there. CL as always will depend on the draw but I would fully expect us to progress out of the group and then by the time the knockout starts the players will be much more integrated and likely to be stronger than at the start of the season – so who knows

I do not like to write off our chances before a ball has even been kicked in anger so lets be optimistic and see what follows…?



If we really are going into the season light on numbers and quality then we should not even contemplate challenging on all 4 fronts. Use the 2 cups to field reserves and kids (assuming they haven’t all gone out on loan) and just concentrate on the PL and CL.

We need to get a top 4 and at least first knock out round of CL not to be considered failures rather than successful -sounds like we have become the new Arsenal!!!




Chelsea fans eager to snatch Van Dijk from Liverpool’s grasps

According to the Telegraph, it is confirmed that Chelsea are looking to bring in at least 3 more players before the end of the window. This would appear to support exactly what Conte and even Cahill have been saying

With regard to VVD, my feeling is that he has always stated his preference for Liverpool and I do not recall once seeing him make any mention of Chelsea or our reported interest in him. Therefore, logically that is where I see his final destination. However, because of the tapping up issue would Soton dig their heels and and be more receptive to a bid from another club if one was forthcoming…?

Still 3 weeks to go but options are reducing as all clubs continue to look to improve their squads so I wait with baited breath to see how this all develops.



In his statement, VVD talks about top clubs, hopefully meaning that he has widened his scope for a move beyond just Liverpool. I am not convinced a centre half is now top of our priority list, but there again, in these days when it is difficult to prise players from clubs, maybe we should snap him up, just because he is available and is a top player who would serve us many years.



I think if we sign VVD that would be a big boost for our defence and we will have the RWB role covered by Moses and Azpilicueta. Also those diagonal balls from left to right won’t be a threat because VVD is physically bigger that Azpi and good in the air. Potentially that could also mean that Azpi plays LCB in place of Cahill? (highly unlikely but still an option). That would leave the LWB to look at and then CM, a 3rd striker and potentially another winger.


Limited options for fragile Chelsea before the board ‘open their eyes’

Don’t care who starts down the middle but feel that Michy deserves a chance but if Moratta does have a good week, and we do consider him to be the main man, then start with him

I think we should take the game too Burnley so possibly Pedro – although I prefer Willain but Conte has never tried that – to replace Moses and give Musondsa a chance unless we want to go with Moratta and Michy up front but that was not very successful in pre season

Regardless, we should have enough about us to take the 3 points but I think we will need Fabregas to be at his best in finding players.



Not sure who 2 of our subs will be. I’m guessing Scott and Tomori. Maybe Baker but I hear he could be going on loan. It could possibly be a new signing if we make one by then.


Rudiger | Luiz | Cahill

Azpilicueta | Fabregas | Kante | Alonso

Willian | Morata | Pedro

Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Boga, Musonda, Batshuayi, ???, ???



I would be worried about Rudiger, however, he is an experienced international and the only way he will get fit and experienced in the EPL is to play games and really Burnley could not be a better opposition so if Conte opted for your starting 11 then I could easily accept that logic

Looking at the bench should only open the eyes of the board to how thin it is if they really are not aware – but I would find that really hard to understand.



United need to ‘up the ante’ in the transfer market

28 year olds like Matic and Perisic are now costing 40-50 million, and if we are realistic about competing with the top teams we need to up the ante.

Granted, one of the problems was previous under-investment on sh*te like David Bellion and because Moyes and Van Gaal then wasted sh*tloads on the wrong players.

By the way, if you take the 40-50 mill we’ve brought in from the sales of Schneiderlin, Memphis and Januzaj we’ve spent considerably less than 100 mill so far this year.

We’re not good enough and what we’ve bought this summer isn’t good enough but, unfortunately, it seems we’ve found our level. But look, what I’m saying is that whether United spend 50 or 350 mill every summer, it’s just increasing the debt.



If we are realistic about competing with the top teams we need to up the ante, but again, Utd are the 2nd highest gross spenders this summer so far behind City. So relatively, even with the crazy prices floating around, we’re still outspending nearly everyone else.

From what I understand, the debt is like a mortgage which we are paying off. I don’t think us spending £50m or £350m on players affects the debt or the payments made in reducing it, but I’m happy to be told otherwise.


So Perisic to United seems to be over… what do we do now?

– Fabinho from Monaco for 40m?
– Lucas Moura from PSG for 30m?
– Sergi Roberto from Barcelona for 40m?
– Stay as we are?

Personally I think that, whilst Lucas Moura is the better winger and the one we need more, Sergi Roberto would be a superb signing if Barcelona are willing to let him go. Lucas Moura would definitely be more available as it seems he’s going to be the player that falls out of the PSG first XI to accommodate Neymar. Seems Arsenal are going in for him and I’d hate them to get their hands on him. With that said, if he does join Arsenal, perhaps we can get Oxlade Chamberlain?

Whatever the player, we do need a proper right winger or a very good player to cover the full back, central midfield and right winger positions of what we have.

Sympathy for the Devils

Klopp’s lack of ambition pushing Coutinho out the door


Coutinho wants to win titles, he won’t do it with the squad that we have now. Klopp recently stating that he’s happy with the 4 CBs that we have is likely what’s pushed Coutinho to ask to leave and I don’t blame him one bit. I expect FSG to sell him for a song because I know their tune by now.

Mr Makaveli


“Klopp recently stating that he’s happy with the 4 CBs that we have is likely what’s pushed Coutinho to ask to leave”

First of all, Klopp said 4 CBs is ‘enough’ not that 4 is ideal or the 4 we have now he’s happy with. He also said bringing another in depends on selling clubs – cryptically suggesting we still want VVD.
Secondly, I’m sure Coutinho’s future will not be decided on interviews from Klopp.

Klopp’s comments are not a lack of ambition, it’s more to do with showing Southampton we are not desperate, strengthening our negotiating position, and giving a vote of confidence to the players we already have.



MrMak I don’t think Klopp’s comments has anything to do with Coutinho wanting to leave(if he does)… Barca/Real are clubs that 99 percent of the players will say yes given the chance, Coutinho staying or leaving will depend on FSG, if they stand firm we’ll keep him( for at least a season) that’s all there is to it



Does everything hang on Hoffenheim game?

Transfer deadline week for us is between 24th and 31st August.
don’t expect too much action before then when we will have completed CL qualifying tie v Hoffenheim.

(1) If Coutinho leaves we hope he at least stays to get us into CL proper – or he might only leave if we don’t qualify!

(2) FSG will hopefully authorise the big money if we get through – even though you could argue we need them now to        get in to CL proper

(3) players coming in might be waiting to see if we are in CL group stage

(4) we can worry about missing out after that date if we need to – as we might downgrade targets accordingly



I don’t think players are so short sighted to decide to sign for us hinges on this qualifying round alone. I am sure they evaluate the “project” and the likelyhood of the club to be in the CL and challenge for domestic trophies in the years to come.

Chelsea and Man Utd were perfect examples of clubs having no problem attracting world class talent and being outside of the CL. For us it is a matter of showing some statement of intent compared to the clubs we fight against (Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham). So far we haven’t. 70mn for vvd and keeping coutinho would state a claim.



‘Any deal for Coutinho should involve Suarez’

Luis Suarez: Could have joined Real

I believe, because of the large sums involved, players will move but the activity will be late. There is a risk we will see Coutinho move in the process.

Any deal for Coutinho if it happens should involve Suarez coming back. The impact on the younger players around him aspiring to win it all would be immense not to mention filling the void in character out there since Gerrard & Carra hung up their boots.



Not being funny, but having just lost Neymar what are the chances are of Barca agreeing to let Suarez go now? I would say less than zero, Barca are trying to strengthen not weaken themselves further.

I know there is this dream of Suarez returning to Anfield but I really can’t see it being this season even for Coutinho.

nine nine nine


Well I am pretty confident that barca will go for hazard rather than coutinho. If I was barca I would be doing everything to tempt hazard away rather than going for couts who, for as good as he is, isnt on hazard’s level YET. Also conte’s words today that hazard’s future is up in the air is another welcoming sign that barca are indeed looking to hazard



Is patience a virtue lingering over Van Dijk’s possible Liverpool switch?

The Virgil Van Dijk statement that he wants to leave this window should there be any interest from a CL club, is a positive step. We can’t come straight back in because of the tapping up complaint & need to keep a bit of distance which potentially allows Southampton to talk to other clubs.

If they do talk to other clubs though it allows LFC to come back then with a matched bid. After that it will depend upon where the player wants to go.

However, Southampton could do a Leipzig & refuse to talk to any club, but will risk having an unhappy first team player in the process. There will be developments in the next few weeks, whether he comes to LFC though is still very much in the air.



I think Southampton give a sh*t that they have an unhappy player on their hands and a huge offer on the table. How they play that is an important decision. They should go into that knowing LFC are willing to be patient, this offer may not be here, or may not be as high next season. 60-70 million for one player is a big sum and this is a big decision for their club.



I’m not suggesting that they don’t care about the money but that they don’t care about how patient we are, because they know we’re willing to pay it. The thing they do care about is what just happened though, Van Dijks transfer request.

Mr Makaveli

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