Scouting Report – Right-backs we should be following

by & filed under News Review.

Check out the latest guest post from Mike McDonald, give him a follow at @mike_mmcdonald

A few weeks ago Bellerin and Tierney were seen as the possible turning point in our season.

Time moves fast.

We may not see the best of either until the last 1/4 of the season.

What to do?

Do we play wing backs, giving opportunities to Saka and Nelson/AMN? Is Saka going to be trusted to continue after his impressive performance vs Everton? Can we recall Osei-Tutu? How good is Bola?

Will AMN have to play both sides (not at once, but he is an athletic boy 😉 Are Medley or Mavropanos ready to deputize at LB? Do we let AMN rotate at LB and use Mustafi and Chambers at RB?

If we find the solution in-house then this may free what funds we have to put into a DM and/or CB.

Two big questions have to be answered first:

1) What system does Arteta want and what does he think?

2) Are we looking for a first choice player (right back in particular) rather than back up, as Bellerin doesn’t seem the same player? Patience is needed as he’s still recovering but it’s a thought.

Either way, we need to know our options.

In the first of a two-part blog, I look at RIGHT BACKS that we may be interested in.

The first two players don’t need profiling as you know them.

You will probably get nauseous as I did, but unfortunately, they make sense.

Ashley Young can play both sides and has all the experience you’d want and isn’t getting games at Utd anymore.

Chelsea have just had their ban lifted and are looking for a left back and to get rid of Marcus Alonso.

Two possible loans?

Apologies for making you ill.

Here are a handful of other options that won’t make you want to hurt me.

The ideal option

Name: Achraf Hakimi

Position: RB/LB

Age: 21

Height: 5ft 10

Club: Dortmund (on loan from Real Madrid)

Nationality: Morocco

Potential fee: £40M

About: One of the best attacking full-backs in Europe.

Why ideal? He has played at least one full season each, at both left-back and right back.

Quick, skilful and determined at both ends of the pitch. On the flip side he has frustrated BD fans as he can be rash and flatter to deceive. Personally, I think this is because he has such a high ceiling and they expect much.

To date he has 2 goals and 5 assists from right-back this season.

As Arsenal tend to not play at 3pm on a Saturday, I’ve watched Dortmund all season instead.

I see Hakimi as an upgrade on Bellerin. Similar in many areas but far bolder in the final third. Maybe Bellerin played too long with Walcott, but for a guy who played further forward earlier in his career and spends over 50% of his time on our wing, he has no trick to match his pace and I’m way past frustrated at watching Bellerin one on one on the wing, only for him to pass it backwards.

For this to happen it would have to be part of other player negotiations. Selling Aubameyang to me would be foolish but if it’s going to happen then the club needs Hakimi more than Ceballos and possibly Jovic as part of the deal.

Young prospects, highly rated

Name: Noussair Mazraoui

Position: RB

Age: 22

Height: 6ft

Club: Ajax

Nationality: Morocco

Potential fee: 25M

About: Another Moroccan full-back.

First choice at Ajax and highly rated.

Mazraoui is an athletic, attacking right back. A player who is hard to stop when he gets a head of steam. Fantastic feet, skill and balance.

As a youngster he struggled with when to curtail his attacking instincts but has been trusted at Ajax recently which has led to a more intelligent footballer.

Defensively his most obvious strength is focus and concentration. Not something often seen from someone so young.

Spurs have an eye on him as Aurier is an accident waiting to happen, but Arsenal may step in, especially if they see AMN as a midfielder now and Bellerin needing a proper challenger.

Name: Yan Couto

Position: RB

Age: 17

Height: 5ft 5

Club: Coritiba FC

Nationality: Brazil U-17

Potential fee: £8M

About: Couto makes the list not because I watch Brazilian U-17 football but because he was linked last week as a potential Edu signing.

Leverkusen are also interested.

It makes perfect sense that after the success of Martinelli we would take the small risk of spending £10M or less on potential superstars.

The club is probably realizing that to keep Martinelli they might need to ensure he doesn’t get homesick and has a friend or two. Smart.

This breakdown is credit to the excellent

A complete full-back, an attack-minded player looking to push on at every opportunity, offering great pace overlapping runs into advanced positions.

Very good agility and coordination, with great pace at all distances.

Able to play as a wing-back in 3-5-2 and even as a winger if needed but right back in a 4-3-3 is optimal for Couto.

Couto is often looking to burst forward to offer width to the attacking movement in the final third. Couto is known for his tireless runs up and down the wings to aid both attack and defence and is extremely dangerous on the counter thanks to his pace and acceleration.

Like many Brazilians he is known for his “quick feet”, speed of movement and close control.

He has endless energy and his powerful running make him an incredibly useful asset as he brings an offensive value to a team, with a lot of activity during 90 minutes on the right side

He is determined and tenacious in defensive phase and has great timing and game reading ability when going forward.

Couto’s main weakness is seen to be over-enthusiasm.

Name: Emerson

Position: RB

Age: 20

Height: 6ft

Club: Real Betis/Barcelona

Nationality: Brazil

Potential fee: 25M

About: Much like Hakimi, Emerson has the best attacking stats for a full back in LaLiga… 2 goals, 4 assists.

Barcelona have an option to buy him in 2021 for just €6M as he was part purchased by them then allowed to join Betis. I’m unsure if this clause is still active if Betis sell him beforehand.

Emerson is considered to be the future RB at Barcelona. He excels in the air, reads the game well and is very fluid on the ball.

His greatest strength however is his tackling.

Much like Yan Couto (see below), Arsenal seem to be interested in acquiring more Brazilians due to the success of Martinelli and the ‘Edu connection.’

Name: Lukas Klostermann

Position: RB

Age: 23

Height: 6ft 2

Club: RB Leipzig

Nationality: Germany

Potential fee: £35M

About: Lukas Klostermann is a powerful option. Considered to be strong both defensively and offensively with no obvious weaknesses.

Of all the options, Klostermann is a better defender, but perhaps less fluid on the attack.

Much like Hakimi, Klostermann has played at LB as well as RB.

At the perfect age where he can balance the energy of youth with sufficient experience.

Klostermann is physical specimen at 6ft 2in. Built more like a CB and with the pace of a winger.

Depending on how Germany choose to use Kimmich, Lukas Klostermann is likely to be first choice right back at Euro 2020.

It will be very hard to prize away any Leipzig player (Upamecano included) in January as RB are currently top of the league.

A summer transfer would be more viable.

Name: Max Aarons

Position: RB

Age: 19 (almost 20)

Height: 5ft 10

Club: Norwich

Nationality: England

Potential fee: £25M

About: Imagine Reiss Nelson with defensive skills.

Max Aarons is the stereotypical modern day full-back.

Quick with quick feet. Confident on the ball and tigerish off it.

Only two defenders attempted more dribbles than the youngster in the whole of the Championship last season, while he weighed in with six assists from right-back.

Max Aarons reminds me of many players at smaller clubs. Some clubs take the risk and empower them at bigger clubs and others wait. I’m thinking of Ndidi, Gueye now at PSG, Sancho and many others. Often when you wait they cost 4 times the fee. Aarons may be one of those.

If Arteta wants wing-backs

Name: Adama Traore

Position: RWB

Age: 23

Height: 5ft10

Club: Wolves

Nationality: Spain

Potential fee: 40M

About: People are starting to pay attention to Adama Traore.

Up until this year many saw him as similar to Theo Walcott. Blazing speed but an inability to slow the wheels down in order to make better decisions in the final third and have better final product.

This is starting to change.

To the point where his muscles are being used as bumper pads, as he is repeatedly fouled.

Alongside Ismailia Sarr (Watford), Traore is the fastest player in the Premier League. Devastating pace matched with good feet and power unseen in any of his type.

Traore has been used mostly as an impact sub on the right wing during his Wolves career but is now being used as a Right Wing Back and progressing quickly.

You get the impression when watching Adama Traore that if he was coached by an expert (Arteta) then he will ultimately end up where he started, at Barcelona.

A couple of others to keep your eye on

Elseid Hysaj at Napoli and Sylvan Widmer at Basel

Arteta may recover Bellerin’s form and improve AMN so all this may be unnecessary.

He may pull a worldie and get a two for one player on loan that needs game time to get into his Euro squad. I’m thinking Joe Gomez who could play RB for 5 months then become part of our CB pool.

That’s too perfect though, and Klopp’s just not going to do it, right?

We may be patient and wait. More will be fixed permanently in the summer and maybe we could prize Ricardo Perraira from Leicester or Matt Doherty from Wolves?

I think what will happen will depend on the Chelsea and Utd games.

If our Right Back has two impressive outings then I think we trust. If not, I think we get a loan.

My guess… Arteta will leave it and focus on Left Back.

The ‘Left Back blog’ is coming quickly on the heels of this one so check it out!

If you like my work, I write a blog for GunnersTown after every game called ‘Positives, Needs and Hopes’


114 Responses to “Scouting Report – Right-backs we should be following”

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  1. Guns of Hackney

    Good work, Mike.

    Two Brazilians and two Moroccans? With the terrible track record of both these nations in the premier league (a couple of exceptions aside) this might be a problem. Who isn’t still haunted by the hair and awfulness of Chamack or the absolute banter of Andre Santos?

    Got to go German, English or with someone who had played in the league.

  2. Bob N16

    Interesting reading but can’t help but feel that CM and CB more pressing concerns.

    Exciting times, young, driven coach arriving with Winter TW opening up. The number of players that will be rumoured to join us will be ridiculous. Looking forward to the outgoings almost as much as the incomings.

    If they can sign one CM, replacing Xhaka, that is going to have an immediate, positive effect, I reckon our gains will be massive. I don’t watch much European football so am always happy to be educated by the better informed.

    Just love the idea that we now have a coach who seems to know exactly what he wants.

  3. Grandad

    Nathan Ferguson, WBA. Is going to be terrific right back and can also play on the left flank.In my opinion a better buy than Aarons of Norwich.

  4. Ray in La

    Thanks for the research Mike…I am hopeful that we will solve the RB/LB issues in-house and agree with Bob that a DM is probably the more pressing challenge at the moment — but it is refreshingly un-Arsenal like to explore the possibilities and have a plan in place 🙂

  5. Ishola70

    “Chelsea have just had their ban lifted and are looking for a left back and to get rid of Marcus Alonso”

    If Chelsea revert to wingbacks with a back three which is possible then Marcos Alonso is more than useful for them. He’s not just useful playing wingback he is good playing that position.

  6. habesha gooner

    I like Lukas Klostermann, Max Aarons and Achraf Hakimi. I like hakimi most of all. he is a raider from full back. But a big fat no to Mazraoui. He is one player who looks ordinary in an excellent team at ajax. He is also defensively suspect from what I have seen. Aarons has a lot of potential. Klostermann would be the most solid option.

  7. Pierre

    Thomas Meunier is the right back I would like at the club.

    Experienced , tall , composed, technically good , athletic, good both defensively and offensively, always looks like he has time on the ball, ticks all the boxes for me.

    Reminds me of a Phil Neal or Paul Madeley( you’ll remember those 2 CG)

    Will only have a year left on his contract at the end of this season.

  8. Joaquim Moreira

    Right back?
    Why not Cancelo from M. city on loan
    He must play for be in summer with Portugal

    Left back I must think

    But it’s not the priority forme.

  9. Marko

    So the second you see Adams Traore mentioned as a potential RB signing because he plays RWB (he doesn’t) you just know it’s not a serious discussion on RB’s we need. Yes to Klostermann yes to Mazraoui and yes to Celik of Lille. Atal is the preference for me though

  10. Mike McDonald

    Thank you to all for your kind comments about the blog.

    Nelson…. feel free to get me a job at Arsenal’s scouting Dept 😊

  11. Emiratesstroller

    We cannot keep on buying new players on whim. The first step is for Arteta to
    assess the playing personnel on our books and then decide on the formation and style of play he wishes to adopt.

    Arsenal do need to make changes to our squad, but I doubt that it will be as many as some would wish.

    Making wholesale changes every season is counterproductive and is not likely to develop loyalty and commitment to the cause.

    The first step for Arteta is to assess which of the “mature players” whose contracts are due to expire in June 2021 are either good enough for contract
    renewal and/or wish to sign new contracts.

    The five players who will come into consideration are Luiz, Sokratis, Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang. Mkhitaryan who is out on loan falls into that
    category as well.

    Arsenal’s starting point should be to strengthen our spine. The three priorities
    for me are CB, CMF and Striker if Aubameyang leaves.

    Pedro has suggested that we need FB/WBs as well, but that would not be my
    priority at the moment. Messrs Bellerin and Tierney have suffered serious injuries and will need time to recover properly. Both are young enough to
    do so.

  12. salparadisenyc

    Has to prioritize CB and Xhaka replacement before anything , links to CF must be if we’re selling one of the two.

  13. Marko

    Fellas it’s not an either or situation. CM and CB needed sure but we’ve got one RB in the squad. One. And he’s injured and shite. AMN, Chambers at RB is not good plus it’s counterproductive to the expensive RW we have now.

  14. Emiratesstroller


    Clearly there are issues regarding our strikers not least because their contracts are due to expire in June 2021.

    The club will not wish to be faced once again with prospect of losing two high
    value players for peanuts as we did with Sanchez and being forced to cough up
    an unrealistic wage of £350K pw on Ozil.

    However, if we lose either Aubameyang and or Lacazette then we need to find
    a player of similar goalscoring potential. Buying either of two rumoured to be
    of interest does not fill me with optimism or likely to fulfil that expectation.

    If Real Madrid are genuinely interested in Aubameyang and willing to pay
    £70 million or its equivalent as has been suggested then I would be inclined
    to sell with Jovic being used in part exchange.

    Jovic scored something like 27 goals last season when at Eintracht Frankfurt.
    That is considerably better than the return offered by many other strikers

    If we receive in addition £20-30 million as well it would go some way towards
    buying a quality CMF particularly if we offload Xhaka as well.

  15. Marko

    Stroller I don’t literally mean shite but I would prefer an upgrade at RB because Bellerin isn’t great to begin with. You think it’s based on a period either side of an injury but it’s not. Like others it’s a general appraisal over the last 3/4 years.

  16. Wasi

    Klostermann seems to be the most solid option .
    Strong, athletic, defend first type of FB. Similar to Walker at City now. Leipzig also have another young FB Mukiele who is Highly rated as well.
    Wont be difficult to get him tho, now or even in the summer TW.
    If Arteta maybe goes for an attacking wing type option then Hakimi,Aarons, Atal seems to be good options. Getting Hakimi would be difficult tho. Havent seen much of the Brazilian and Moroccan guys mentioned above . Dont think their nationalities matter at this point in time in the league.

  17. Emiratesstroller


    1. Bellerin is only 24 and somehow I doubt that Arteta who has a similar background and were teammates will be making a hasty decision about this

    2. What has not been discussed is that Tierney has played right wing back for

    3. Whilst Chambers is not brilliant in RB position he is in my view a better option than Maitland-Niles.

  18. Marko

    What has not been discussed is that Tierney has played right wing back for

    So you want to play our first choice LB RB. So literally all of our options at RB are not good enough and there’s zero balance when Bellerin is out. This isn’t up for debate btw Chambers, Mustafi, AMN are not right backs. So why not get a RB. Literally every club has two RB’s but us.

  19. Emiratesstroller


    I am not suggesting that Arsenal do not need to find a second RB, but my priority at the moment is to recruit a top class and proven CB as Liverpool discovered when they recruited Van Dijk. That was the game changer in their team.

    Then Arsenal can find the best CB option from Chambers, Holding and Saliba
    to play alongside that player.

    My view about our WB/FB is that they have been allowed to play offensively
    without regard to defensive discipline. That was in part due to our squad lacking wingers until this season.

    Playing two wing backs who attack at same time as has been too often the case this season has been the major problem.

  20. Ishola70


    “However, if we lose either Aubameyang and or Lacazette then we need to find
    a player of similar goalscoring potential. Buying either of two rumoured to be
    of interest does not fill me with optimism or likely to fulfil that expectation.”

    Moussa Dembele is as good as you are going to get if Auba or Laca sail off soon.

    Was obviously far too good for the Scottish Premier League and he has done ok at Lyon as well so far.

    He’s a good striker.

  21. Champagne charlie

    “Was obviously far too good for the Scottish Premier League and he has done ok at Lyon as well so far.“

    Was never more than good in Scotland actually, don’t think he got 20 goals in a league campaign at any stage and was certainly never ripping it up as you would expect of someone “far too good” for the league.

    Not sure the figures quoted, but there’s better than Dembele out there imo and Lyon don’t tend to sell cheap.

  22. Chris

    How is Osei Tutu doing out on loan? I have heard very positive things about him from the youth set up.

    I would agree other positions would take priority for me. The elusive dynamic and destructive central midfielder that we have been missing for so long is top of my list.

    Merry Christmas all!

  23. China1

    Emirates how many years back do you have to go to find a season where bellerin looked like a seriously good player?

    All the way back to his breakout season pretty much which was like 3+ years ago…

    He was dismal in wengers final year, he was just okay last season and he’s injured this season

    His rep is still based on what he did years back…

  24. China1

    As much as a great RB would be welcome as I still sorely miss sagna, this is not a top priority when funds are limited

    CM and CB are surely the positions which needs drastic interventions before anywhere else

    Our CM situation (from back to front) is looking frankly atrocious so far this season. You can have the best RB in the world but if we have a midfield as we do now it will mean very little

  25. China1

    And to think some on here were saying we shouldn’t have sold ox because he came back from 18 months of injuries and scored a couple of goals!

    He’s now back in the wheelchair!

    Daylight robbery to get 35+m for ox I tell ya

  26. Marko

    Was never more than good in Scotland actually, don’t think he got 20 goals in a league campaign at any stage

    His best is the same as Morelos best. 51 in 94 and 30 in 70 odd for Lyon is a pretty good return all things considered. Ultimately if he’s a Lacazette replacement he’s a good Lacazette replacement but if it’s replacing Auba and it’s first choice the preference would be someone else.

  27. Graham62

    Bellerin is overrated.


    I agree.

    Bellerin doesn’t look comfortable on the ball.

    Has lost the pace he once had.

    Not strong enough.

    Positional sense is poor.

    Better RB’s playing in the championship.

  28. Champagne charlie

    “His best is the same as Morelos best. 51 in 94 and 30 in 70 odd for Lyon is a pretty good return all things considered“

    Explain to me why Morelos has anything to do with whether Dembele lit up Scotland, or whether he’s a good choice?

    This is precisely the kind of ankle biting nonsense that bores folk with you.

  29. Dream10

    Yeah, Sagna was a top player. He would have been at home in the back three formation as well.

    Earlier above, Grandad mentioned Nathan Ferguson of WBA. Can play on both flanks.
    Spurs are interested in him as a replacement for Serge Aurier.

    I’m a fan of Klostermann’s teammate, Mukiele. He is fast, competent defensively and has high fitness. He was a very good RCB in a back three for Montpellier. He’d provide a good counterbalance to Tierney/Kolasinac/Saka who want to get forward.

  30. Bob N16

    I think Bellerin should be judged when he is back, fully fit. He is coming off a bad injury and we need to see if he’s still got his speed. Arteta may be great for him.

    I suspect some people are put off by his personality, being into fashion, veganism and left of centre politics. Not that it matters a jot to his footballing ability but I like his individualism and obvious intelligence, but it seems to threaten some people who would rather their footballers are conservative ( with a small ‘c’)

  31. Marko

    This is precisely the kind of ankle biting nonsense that bores folk with you.

    It’s not ankle biting relax you divv. We literally like yesterday got into an argument about Morelos and here you are turning your nose up to someone who had similar stats to Morelos in Scotland but at least he’s now scoring regular in a superior league. It. Makes. No. Sense. Can do better than Dembele but here’s Morelos. Anyway it’s not a big deal I thought that I’d just point out that if Dembele isn’t considered too good for the Scottish league then we wasted an evening arguing recently about Morelos.

  32. Champagne charlie


    Maybe because as per usual you can’t quite fathom anything outside of a black or white context.

    Are Dembele and Morelos the same type of player? Do they have the same price? Do they suit the same need?

    If the answer is identical to each one then sure, start building a case. But they’re not, so you’re dragging Morelos into a convo about Dembele purely because you’re acting like some jilted prick over a discussion from yesterday and you’re desperate to score a point.

    Like I said. Complete ankle biter.

  33. Champagne charlie

    “Ultimately if he’s a Lacazette replacement he’s a good Lacazette replacement “

    Would just like to flag up the logic being used here.

    Moussa Dembele is a good Lacazette replacement because he’s scored 30/70 for Lyon….. Lacazettes previous club where he himself had a superior goal scoring record to Dembele.

    Idk about anyone else, but that’s me sold…

  34. Marko

    Are Dembele and Morelos the same type of player? Do they have the same price? Do they suit the same need?

    Yes. Don’t know. Yes.

    Would just like to flag up the logic being used here.

    It’s pretty simple with Lacazette he’d be replacing effectively a second choice striker who gets less than 20 goals a season which he’s showing at 23 to be capable of. While with Aubameyang he’d be replacing a first choice striker who gets closer to 30. See how I’m not getting unnecessarily pissy.

    Question for you now. Why wouldn’t you want Dembele but want Morelos?

  35. Champagne charlie


    I didn’t say I don’t want Dembele, I said what’s his apparent value? Because I think it’s high and there’s better available with that in mind.

    You’ve never watched Morelos play and you’re claiming him the same type of player as Dembele? Makes sense.

  36. Alexanderhenry


    ‘Bellerin doesn’t seem the same player’.

    As who exactly? If you mean the pre injury Bellerin I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.
    I really don’t know where this faith in Bellerin has come from.
    He plays football like a ten year old and needs to be moved on.

  37. Marko

    was certainly never ripping it up as you would expect of someone “far too good” for the league…there’s better than Dembele out there

    Yeah certainly appears that you want him.

    They’re both strikers and I don’t need to watch Scottish football to be unimpressed with a striker scoring in Scotland. Don’t care we’ve seen it all before it’s a piss poor league where a semi retired Jermaine Defoe is scoring regularly and where the better more successful club in Celtic are currently trying to sign up a 29 year old striker from championship side Sheffield Wednesday. And that’ll be considered a good signing for them. Joke league. At least Dembele is proving his quality in a better league now

  38. Champagne charlie


    There you go again, joke league because you’ve no time for it, cool story. Just makes you sound a massive tit to come out with remarks like that.

    When you’re laying out a comparison of one player vs another, it’s kind of a necessary element to have actually seen a player play before giving your scouting report from the armchair.

    Circle back for me onto Dembele and Lacazette though…

    Explain why Aubameyang was thrown into the mix when the discussion was Dembele apparently being a “good replacement” for Laca based on his goal scoring record for Lyon. A record Laca bettered when he was there.

    Unpack that wizardry.

  39. Sid

    Ashley young, marcus Alonso, traore, a few brazilians cut from the same cloth as Santos…WTF!
    Gilles Grimandi i know your handwriting!

  40. Marko

    There you go again, joke league because you’ve no time for it, cool story. Just makes you sound a massive tit to come out with remarks like that.

    It’s a notoriously poor league everyone knows this especially for strikers. Christ you have people turning their noses up to talent from Holland and Portugal due to the quality of their league but Scotland has a far worse league. I don’t even know why it’s worth arguing about for you.

    Unpack that wizardry.

    As I’ve said right now right now yeah if we sold Lacazette and replaced him with Dembele he’d have to replace someone considered back up and someone who gets less than 20 goals a season. He seems very capable of doing that. Whereas if he replaced Aubameyang we’re asking him to replace someone with far more goals. Replacing Auba I agree we could do better. Replacing Lacazette though Dembele could do that.

    Dembele apparently being a “good replacement” for Laca based on his goal scoring record for Lyon. A record Laca bettered when he was there

    I mean he’s only there a season and a half so obviously Lacazette has a better record.

  41. Champagne charlie


    I’m not saying the league is good, it isn’t, but it’s the dismissive nature you tarnish it with that makes you a prick. Numerous good players have come from that league, VVD rose to prominence there ffs, and we just bought our LB from Scotland. So when talking about current standouts from there is a topic you’re a complete melt to be as dismissive as you are down to league alone.

    On Laca/Dembele…

    Still not piecing that mega-strat together. How much would we get for Laca? How much is Dembele? Are you saying Dembele is better than Laca?

    Because for my money we’d get about 60 mil for Laca, and I can’t see Lyon giving Dembele up for less than 50. I also don’t for a second think he’s better than Laca so what exactly do we stand to gain from ridding us of Laca and buying a guy as good (for generous arguments sake) when the money is similar?

  42. Marko

    it’s the dismissive nature you tarnish it with that makes you a prick.

    You just dismissed Dembele earlier we can do better you said. Granted you get the rare occasion that a good player comes from that league but it’s few and far between and they’re rarely strikers. But anyway I digress we’re going in circles how about we forget about it and move on.

    P.s. Charles I heard that Witcher series on Netflix is shite btw

  43. Marko

    Still not piecing that mega-strat together. How much would we get for Laca? How much is Dembele? Are you saying Dembele is better than Laca?

    Don’t know a decent price I’d say. Dembele probably a good price but less. And I’m saying that Dembele could replace what we get from Laca

  44. Champagne charlie

    “You just dismissed Dembele earlier we can do better you said“

    Nothing to do with what league he was in, I’ve watched him and he doesn’t appeal. He was good at Celtic, not brilliant, he seems good at Lyon, and not brilliant. For the money I’d imagine they’d want I consider there better.

    If he was a 25 mil player and were selling Laca for 60 then sure, I’d get the point. But it isn’t that so I don’t get gain.

    “P.s. Charles I heard that Witcher series on Netflix is shite btw”

    Ok, I don’t think so. Haven’t heard that either? Think it’s one of Netflix highest rated shows of all time on IMDb.

  45. Mr Serge

    Merry Christmas to everyone on here thanks Pedro for your constant work on here it’s both interesting and enjoyable

  46. China1

    Bob when was the last time bellerin looked like a major prospect for anything other than a one off game?

    The injury is irrelevant – he hasn’t been a major prospect for ages now

  47. China1

    I’ve no comment on laca vs dembele ib terms of quality, tho when comparing records – does dembele take penalties?

    If he doesn’t it’s an unfair comparison because didn’t laca score like 9 penalties on his last season with them? As consistent and impressive as that is, penalties are a major stat padder for goal scorers

  48. Gentlebris

    The King is born
    The Saviour Eternal
    My Friend life long
    My Lord Personal.

    Merry Christmas, fellas!

  49. Bob N16

    China, I think he lost his way, just like the team but I think there’s a better than evens chance that if he stays fit he could be a RB for us for a few years yet. At 24 he can come again. Last season he showed real signs of returning to his best form before he got injured.

  50. RockyRoe


    On Witcher, saw 2 episodes was quite disappointed. They didn’t catch the gruffness of Geralt and why the fuck did they not create the right witcher medallion? And 2 episodes in there has been 0 backstory on what exactly is a Witcher. Hope it gets better.

  51. bennydevito

    I’ve read that the Witcher is a poor man’s Game of Thrones.

    Fuck me, if GoT is being held up as a benchmark it must be bad.

  52. Tony

    Looks like Arteta has his backroom staff in place now. I knew very little about Round & Stuivenberg and good to see Freddie kept on.

    “Mikel Arteta confirms his Arsenal backroom squad as Wales assistant Albert Stuivenberg joins alongside Freddie Ljungberg, Steve Round and goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana Pavon

    Arsenal have confirmed that Ljungberg will stay on as assistant coach

    The Swede has been joined by Wales assistant boss Stuivenberg

    Former Everton and Manchester United coach Round also joins new set up

    Cana has been brought in as Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach from Brentford”

  53. Tony

    in other Xmas cheer news Son has had his 3-match ban for his red card upheld.

    He’s a bigger loss to the Spuds than Kane.

  54. Aussie Gooner

    Seasons greetings to all from downunder!

    It would appear that many on here are already imbibing of the sauce when suggesting players we should be buying in January. Sorry to rain on your parade but the Krankies will not be imbibed of the same sauce and will not be splashing the cash anytime soon. They are still in recovery after their last ‘spendings’. Maybe a few cast off outgoings for bargain prices just to be rid of them from the wage bill and maybe, if we are lucky, a couple of cheap Brazilian kids and a has been journeyman or two incoming!

  55. Useroz

    Afraid we are entering the infamous self sustaining mode in January and would need to sell to buy. We did spend quite a lot tho not smart and well.

    Whatever this season becomes we need to consider selling Auba for decent money and reinvest in the future. Auba is over 30 and not likely our key guy in the next 3 years given his age and style of play. Take the money so we’d address the real problems. If. Arteta is as saucy as some believe there are enough good strikers out there. H
    Personally I see mid field being the worse area. Arteta may patch up defence disciplines to last the season but if he doesn’t fix the MF we are screwed. They assumed no shape, are slow, don’t pass forward, can’t defend, hardly score….

    Ceballos isn’t good enough for the PL. you can’t fix pace even if he gets stronger. Return him. Arteta will assess but Torreira isn’t built for the PL either but can wait till summer to revisit DM. If H Berlin offers 25m or so sell Xhara; his 35m cost has been amortised anyway.! Rest we have in MF are kids Arteta could coach.

    Must sell Elneny and Mikhi to squeeze every pound for reinvestment. These guys have been dragging our feet for too long. Don’t know what Raul can do with Ozil ‘cos he ain’t going to be able to meet Arteta’s expectation at all. Couple of games may be but not consistently. Call your contacts, Raul.

    There are exceptions but defenders lacking pace aren’t cool in the PL. Can you erase the image of Chambers in the 2nd minutes of the City game? Slow, can’t turn and the rest is history. Ok as the 4th CB or a cover for backup RB. The other know how may be coachable for some and again for Arteta to assess. I think he’d improvise and try get through the season before making wholesale changes to defence. Saliba cannot be recalled either.

  56. Useroz

    Auba, Xhara, Elneny, Mikhi, Mustadu could fetch over 100m that can be used for three or more suitable players Arteta wanted.

    I think the key is ‘not expensive’ so we’d afford to take a bit of risk. Low fee, sub 100& wages, and shorter terms. Can’t have another Pepe saga honestly.

    Mertens turns 33 this season. He looks very fit, industrious and able to get goals and assists. Remember Henruk Larson? As long as it’s a short contract; the reported fee was under 10m euro.

    If Arteta doesn’t like what he sees and is genuinely ruthless moving on Laca could get another 50m+. (Transfermark says 70m euro). Based on what he gives in goals etc there are many cheaper options. The reported Volland guy looks a shorter but more pacy Giroud. etc.

    Same for Luiz, Kolac and kids.

    We need to redeploy resources to help Arteta getting his styles of play ASAP. The earlier we know the better…

  57. kristoman

    Again why are we clamouring for signings in january t.w. Knowing that the kronkes won’t spend after all that money spent in the last window. I thought we are a top 4 team and arteta is the real sauce. Arteta plus top4 team equal to good football and a trophy. After all this is what emery and freddy where working with
    emery and freddy where given a blunt machete to work and you all said they were up to task now arteta m.r sauce is here now you want a new sharp machete to be given to him to work magic. I repeat what stop arteta from working with the same blunt machete if as some you retard were saying that this blunt machete is good enough to work with?

  58. Tee

    The next two matches before the tf window opens will show arteta where and who he needs to buy and sell.

    Merry Christmas to the le-grove family

  59. Tee

    Krsito the bitter man

    If Emery or Freddie is still in charge, then we will also be clamouring for new players to lift the team. Nothing changes.

    Your comment shows you will have arsenal fail than improve.

    You can follow Emery to his next club. No hard feeling.

    Stop the act of scoring cheap point and support the new gaffer

  60. Unai

    Merry Xmas Kristoman, quality contribution as ever.

    Nice to see Marko n CC embrace the festive spirit too by acting like 2 spoilt schoolgirl.

    Merry Xmas to all of LeGrove, what a set if cunts you all are!

  61. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal are still a piss poor team, but at least Arteta showed in his game plan
    that he is trying to introduce a more attacking style of game..

    As ever our defence is the achilles heel. We can argue ad infinitum about the
    standard of our centre and wing backs. If we are going to buy any new players
    in the New Year then the priority must be a top class Centre Back.

    Maitland-Niles is awful and Saka despite his potential talent is not a full-back.
    So I suppose if I chose to buy a second player in January it needs to be a full-back who is preferably two footed.

    The midfield is not great, but I suspect that under instruction of Arteta can
    improve. We should not forget that Ceballos should be available in New Year
    so there could be better balance in this department when he returns. The time
    to review personnel should be in the summer.

    Clearly the club needs to make some decisions with its forwards, but I am
    sure that Pepe should be starting. My view is that we need to persevere with
    Aubameyang and Lacazette playing up front. Lacazette looked very rusty today, but that is not altogether surprising in view of his limited game time.

    I would bring Nkietah back to sit on bench alongside Martinelli. That would
    provide us with forward options to play in cup games and also as subs.

    Realistically I don’t see this team finishing in top four, but the club needs to
    plan methodically for next season. Bringing in a couple of defenders in January followed by perhaps three additional players in the Summer would be
    my route to next season.