With rumours everywhere, especially at this time of the year, we thought we’d take a look at one from a few months ago to see how it developed.
We picked a strong story, one which the reporters discussing it claimed there was ‘serious’ Arsenal interest.
The story began in May with headlines like this:
Arsenal are lining up a £10m bid for Celtic’s Kieran Tierney
Allegedly. Lining up.
We’ve already been over this 100 times this summer. We know that Arsenal don’t tend to send out a memo with details of all the bids they are considering, but still we hear on a daily basis about bids that they are ‘readying’.
This is one that we now have the benefit of hindsight with, but it could easily apply to any of the dozens of rumours still in circulation today.
So what happened?
Well, the folks at the Daily Record thought there must be some truth to the rumour and Arsenal must be serious because the report had a lot of details and from there it spread to other papers and websites.
So what were those details exactly?
They claimed that Steve Riley, Arsenal scout, has been up to watch the player and send back a report on the player. That sounds a lot more exciting than it actually is because the main part of a scout’s job is to file reports otherwise what’s the point?
They also said that Riley is ‘Arsenal’s top man’ but I’m not entirely sure what they meant by this. If they are talking head of scouting, that’s Steve Morrow. Riley doesn’t even get a mention on the Arsenal staff page.
Those are all the details they provided, apart from saying that £10m is ‘nothing’ and ‘not a gamble’ for Tierney before advising that he should stay at Celtic for another season which will probably be the case – but those are not relevant details to back up Arsenal’s ‘serious’ interest.
Time and time again we hear reporters claim that deals are almost done, interest is serious, and bids imminent. But when these things never happen, the reporters and papers just move to another topic and forget they ever mentioned it.
Should they nail one? Well, they are lauded for their contacts while most people forget how many others they got horribly wrong.
This transfer deal is not relevant any more. All alleged interest has gone from the papers as the rumour died without even a whimper. But it shows us that we should never trust anything that aims to guess at what Arsenal ‘might’ do in the transfer window.
Today, Arsenal are allegedly preparing bids for many players – Bruno Peres, Alexandre Lacazette, Julian Draxler, Mauro Icardi – the list is long.
All this story about Kieran Tierney tells me is that they probably aren’t.
When we see the rumours for what they really are, we can start to get a much clearer picture of what real information is actually out there.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot less than you are led to believe.