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  1. I guess it's what the Italian clubs have been doing to us for years - taking Bakayoko, Zappacosta et al on loan deals and never purchasing. Slight difference with Saul is that he's contracted to 2026 (!) so it's not like his value goes to zero for them. I don't know how much the wages factor in. I can't figure out if it's a euro / pound mix up, whether his salary ratchets up, after tax or no one knows anything, but the salary seems to range from £115k / week to to £200k to £300k (including in this thread). I kind of find hard to believe Atletico could pay at the high end, but what do I know. Maybe if we pay a loan fee in addition to wages that relaxes the mandatory buy option although 15 mn euros sounds like... a lot. Either way I'd prefer a CM to Kounde given our options in the area, but I guess worst case it's... Ampadu or RLC? Even if not ideal, but maybe testing in Carabao and the like.
  2. VG

    Jules Kounde

    Know pretty much zero about him, and don't want to fixate on his height too much, but I did tell myself that maybe the reason we were okay with moving on Guehi was his height... but so much for that. I guess it depends on the price and expectations of how he adapts?
  3. I think we only get a fee if he goes to a club in the UK. Don't think we get anything cross border (and nor do we have to pay anything cross border, and we're a culprit in other cases much to the annoyance of Dutch clubs). I am curious as to the message a large contract sends to others like Mount, RLC, James, Tammy... but it is based on what he'd be getting and what we'd be losing if he went to Bayern. Assuming we'd buy a German CHO and give him deserved wages of, say, 100K based on prospects, the extra 80K is equivalent to a 20 mn transfer fee. (80K * 52 weeks * 5 years). But it's pretty bad for wage structure and messaging. I think Christian Eriksen is on 75K, and yes, he'd be worth more now, but this is pretty outsize from what we're seeing and cost of good academy prospects. As most people here seem to acknowledge though, it's partly our fault. We have to pay more since we've been so crap in the past at giving pathways for good youth. That'll take time to repair. Finally, I am very irritated by his brother as agent though and providing a pipeline into Germany. That is a toxic element that increases the bad feelings.
  4. If he’s out for a period of time we’re going to be looking back fondly on these displays.
  5. I’d argue Drinkwater worse than Bakayoko. He’s retaining some value and you can kind of see how he might have been one to bet on. More broadly I’m probably in a minority, but I’m a little puzzled we’re letting both (and Ampadu, but he needed minutes) go on when we are a bit light at the base of midfield and vulnerable to injury. Who will play at base or in the two in League cup?
  6. Depends on the game, but trying to strip Sarri out of things, I think a lot of the side-ways passing problem last season happened when teams defended deep against us. We haven't seen much of that yet in pre-season (rare teams do that in friendlies/warm ups) and that's the sort of thing where we'd want to sacrifice some solidity/ball-retention for incisive/quick passing, which I see less of from Kovacic. There have seen some nice signs pre-season on that but let's see what happens real world. He has been impressive in playing out from the press and I'm much happier that with Kante injured we have him and not Bakayoko and Drinkwater for a pivot...
  7. I’m all for managing expectations but don’t think Kenedy wasn’t rated as high as CHO when he came to us. Most were puzzled as he was seen as a one footed pony. Even discounting an English optimism premium, I think a lot of people think CHO’s ceiling is higher. Hard to tell what that likelihood will be but wouldn’t it be nice if our academy boy comes good? It’s worth paying for some of that potential upside. By all means we can be irritated with him, but let’s not tear down our own just yet. He hasn’t acted that badly - we should have done better by him first half of last season, for starters, and there wasn’t a huge press tantrum (well, there was but I think it was more the press - and some of us supporters).
  8. I’m anxious as everyone here for this to be done as well, and the awkward scenario as someone mentioned is what happens if at end of window no new contract. Do we invest in someone with 12 months left or convince through playing time (understanding it may take a few months to get back to 100%). I’m trying not to be too hard on player and his brother since we haven’t treated youth well ourselves but it doesn’t feel good all around. One idea that I don’t think we’ve ever done but I believe is the structure for young players at Barca etc is that if a certain number of appearances isn’t met the buyout clause is reduced. I don’t know what happens in injury situations but that may be a way to rebuild trust without ironclad guarantees on playing time.
  9. Yes - if we even get a minimal loan fee for Pasalic it’ll be worth it as they are covering wages. Probably not amazing but offsetting costs. As a bet that didn’t work out (I think initial fee was three million) it was worth doing in the early days and then now it’s just covering costs. I also thought he may have had a future in the early days - he’s not a bad player, just didn’t quite kick on.
  10. Huh, that is interesting. Do you have a link to articles or explanations on how the transfer ban will work for loans and options? From what I gather (i.e. internet chatter that may be totally wrong) if we have a loan, we hold the registration, so that's fine. If Kova's registration is back to Madrid, I can see how that would work against us. But Higuain with an option for a second year or to buy, is... okay for the option for a second year loan, but not for the purchase? If no Kovacic, I wonder if we'll be forced to move Kante back to the Jorginho backup role, as I don't see anyone else in our squad or on loan who can play that (Bakayoko in a crude way, maybe Pasalic, very optimistically, Ampadu if he's trusted, Reece James if pigs fly?)
  11. Not to debate Italy vs England too much because I agree different styles, but that’s what some people were saying when Salah went there and tore it up on loan... I do think we need more than a core who are ready made for English football.
  12. Good to see the message to Bayern too. Matt Law reporting it was in part due to the way they conducted this in public. Even come the summer I'd prefer we sell to Leipzig/someone else.
  13. That is irritating, and harkens back to when Mourinho was going for height with his full backs and Ivanovic was undroppable despite his decline simply because Cech to Ivanovic was route one. That said, it's not quite so bad when you see full quote - particularly in context of saying that Emerson is definitely staying: https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2019/1/24/maurizio-sarri-praises-players-and-hails-emerson-s-quality?cardIndex=0-0 ‘Emerson will stay with us, for sure. He’s very important. He’s improving. Sometimes I had a little problem to put him in because we are not a very physical team so when we play with three little players in the same match, set-pieces could be a problem, but not for another reason. I’m very happy with him, he’s improving and he’s a very good player.’ I can kind of see his point and it's said Sarri is obsessive over set plays (not that we've seen much benefit)... It is a little problematic when you have a Hazard, Pedro, and Kante in the team - and Kovacic is a middling 5"9, while Jorginho is pants in the air. RLC and Barkley playing over Kovacic might help I guess. Having Giroud or Higuian to help out versus false 9 too. That said, it needs to be messaged differently, and we have to find a way to make it work such that Alonso can't simply walk into the team because he's tall. Ashley Cole same height as Emerson and he did perfectly fine, clearly. Also, we absolutely need Emerson's crossing for Higuain.
  14. Guardian reported that we are - but I haven’t seen any reported amount.
  15. Some speculation it had to do with the potential transfer ban as well - if we get hit with a one or two window ban on signing players, this may work in our advantage (different to the Keita/Liverpool deal one poster mused, which sounds about a right). Any scouting reports worth linking to? Never seen him play. (Or if some supporters want to post their thoughts that would be nice too.) Ex-Dortmund players haven't always moved on well - not just Kagawa and Mkhitaryan in PL, but Gotze when he went to Bayern. Their entire model is developing youngsters for sale (and they're willing to go a few years without trophies to do it, unlike us) and it seems to work... mostly.
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