Straight Out Of Left Field: Arsenal In For Barkley

John Cross – yep, it’s totally understandable to roll your eyes – is reporting that Arsenal have joined Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in trying to sign Everton’s wantaway midfielder, Ross Barkley.

Ronald Koeman has spent the whole summer being refreshingly open about the situation with Barkley and the Toffees, but the club have softened their stance on their £50million valuation – it hasn’t yet been confirmed as to whether the reason for the 50% decrease in asking price is because Everton have realised that Barkley isn’t actually very good.

With Arsenal’s transfer window turning into a farcical fire sale – surely the first club in history that, when a manager has lost the dressing room, they’ve decided to sell the dressing room rather than sack the manager – Arsene Wenger has, apparently, deemed Ross Barkley as a worthwhile panic buy.

Barkley is clearly a guy who isn’t short of self-confidence – reportedly demanding he’s one of Tottenham’s highest earners if he were to move to White Hart Lane – but the midfielder clearly doesn’t realise that clubs just view him as a squad player and an easy win for the homegrown quota requirements.

Where the wannabe England international quite fits in at the Emirates Stadium is anyone’s guess. But the fact he’s an underwhelming, injury-prone lightweight attacking-midfielder means he fits the Arsene Wenger mould for a perfect footballer.

Wenger is also believed to have told Arsenal that Julian Draxler is the man he wants to get in, in order to sanction the sale of Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City. And although the signings of Barkley and Draxler would appease, to a certain extent, the Gooners, the central midfield and defensive issues remain (and probably worse than they’ve ever been).

Don’t change, Arsenal…