Joao now? Probably not …

Morning all.

A very quick Christmas Eve blog for you. There’s really not a long going on beyond what we got from the manager’s press conference on Thursday.

I did enjoy this quote from David Moyes from his own presser when he was asked if now, after the World Cup break and period without competitive football, it’s the best time for West Ham to face Arsenal. He said:

“I think the best time to play Arsenal was about three years ago … since Mikel came in he’s done a brilliant job!”

The festive schedule begins on Monday against the Hammers, before we face Brighton away on New Year’s Eve. After that it’s Newcastle, followed by an FA Cup tie against Oxford United, then we face a North London derby away from home and Man Utd at home a week later. It’s not necessarily the most hectic run I’ve seen during this period of the season, but there are some very tricky games in there.

On the transfer front it seems quiet, but there’s a report we looking at a loan deal for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix. It would reportedly require a loan fee of around £8m, plus paying the player’s wages in full. Those wages, depending on what website you believe when you Google ‘joao felix salary’ are between €250,000 a week to €280,000 a week. Which would mean, if he was brought in in the first week of January, a total outlay of around €13m.

Which sounds like a lot of money. On the other hand, if his goals keep you in a title race it will end up being small potatoes. Maybe he’s been at the wrong club the whole time, because he’s clearly a talent, but his numbers at Atletico Madrid aren’t great and for that kind of money it’d be a significant gamble. Also, the price of loaning players these days is a bit mental. We chucked £5m in total at the Denis Suarez deal all those Januaries ago, and I remember we were linked with Ivan Perisic and Inter were quoting us a £6m fee + wages. Which would explain why that didn’t happen, although subsequently I think we have to take into account the player’s dodgy decision making based on where he is right now.

On another hand though, depending on how many hands you have at this point, we saw a highly rated player at a big club arrive on loan in January 2021, and that player has gone on to be our club captain. This one though, I just can’t see it. I suspect our need for a forward is a nice way for the agent, via his best friend in the media, to advertise the availability of his client. Still, if Arteta and Edu decided it was worth a go, you’d have to trust their judgement at this point.

Right, that’s just about that for now. Make sure you join us a bit later this morning over on Patreon for our West Ham preview podcast.

Whatever you’re doing this festive period, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you the very best, however you’re going to do it. I hope you can be with friends and family and the ones you love at this time of the year, because when it comes right down to it, that’s what matters most. May you and yours have peace, good health and happiness.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Arseblog, and from Archer and Lana (pictured below who demonstrate exactly how you should spend the next few days if you can).



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