Mudryk | Milinkovic Savic | Implications

Mykhaylo Mudryk (credit Transfermarkt)

Shakhtar Donetsk’s rising star Mykhaylo Mudryk could have upset the apple cart at the Emirates, bust the wage structure and transfer budget, unbalanced the side and stunted Gabriel Martinelli’s development.

Exciting to see the Ukrainian dart down the left wing at the Emirates, but £88m is a heavy burden on a young player without Premiership experience who at the moment would not get into the Arsenal side.

Nonetheless, it has shown Arsenal up. How many players have Arsenal and in particular in the Wenger regime, lost due to penny-pinching. And not that sensible in PR terms to publicly stake all this window’s transfer efforts to date on the Ukrainian. Raphinha seems like a second best option after this public pursuit, particularly as he turned Arsenal down in the summer.

The Sunday press reported that Arsenal and Chelsea both offered £62m up front for Mudryk but Arsenal were £6m short on the add-ons.

But the Chelsea hijack does raise questions over the west London club’s class under new owners. They appear to be throwing money at a problem without an obvious plan and using the Ukrainian, who wants to play for Arsenal as a trophy signing.

I thought it was better for Arsenal to concentrate on a player like Lazio’s Milinkovic Savic who can fill at least two or three positions including up front and brings experience to a very young side.

Milinkovic Saviccan play in several positions

But even here, Arsenal are in danger of being out-financed again. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund or Newcastle are reported to be offering Lazio £53m and a £10m signing on bonus. The Arsenal deal was for a loan until the end of the season and then a permanent £44m deal.

Arsenal have done brilliantly under the Arteta process. But it needs one or two quality signings to add depth. The ability to pay wages is the most reliable determinant of finishing positions and the developments of the last day or two does shine a light on whether the Arsenal owners have enough money or are prepared to spend to compete for a top four place in the medium long term.