Scouting Report – Best left-backs in Europe

by & filed under News Review.

via @Arsenal Instagram

Another exciting scouting report on the best left-backs in world football by @mike_mmcdonald.

The Full Backs dilemma (Part 2: Left Back)

I hear today that Napoli and Roma are interested in Sead Kolasinac.

At first it seems insanity to consider selling him with Tierney out for 3 months but maybe not…

Kolasinac has proved to be part of the problem more than part of our future solution.

Excels in pre-season then seems to flatline. Powers forward… stops.

Improved defensively but still slow to react to danger.

Considering he is on £120k, this may be the time to wave goodbye as I’m sure you could give his wages to a position more in need, and replace with a £40-70k guy.

If Saka is considered a real option then one of the options in this blog may end up being a reality.

Before we start the profiles allow me to make you nauseous again as I did by suggesting Ashley Young and Marcus Alonso, for there is another that’ll change your Christmas mood. His name is Danny Rose and he’s third choice under Mourinho down the road and he wants to play in the Euro’s I’m sure.

Danny Rose on loan. Sorry!

Young and promising

Name: Malang Sarr

Position: LB/CB

Age: 20

Height: 6ft

Club: Nice

Nationality: France U-21

Potential fee: £15M

About: Malang Sarr could fix two problems.

His primary position is left centre back which is arguably Arsenal’s biggest need. He is French and could form a formidable long term partnership with Saliba, speaking the same language.

Sarr is considered a generational talent and much like De Ligt, a natural leader in a generation of few.

An athletic, fast, ball-playing CB primarily.

Much like Upamecano, Sarr has formidable body strength.

Since switching to LB, he has suffered further forward when crossing but in a team whose attacking profile suits cutbacks, this isn’t a major concern.

His contract is up in June so we could get a short term left-back and a long term LCB for a small fee.

He is also playing out of position currently at Nice so the promise of a future as a CB option for a bigger club should appeal.

Name: Rayan Ait Nouri

Position: LB

Age: 18

Height: 5ft10

Club: Angers

Nationality: France

Potential fee: 20M

About: I was unaware of Ait-Nouri until L’Equipe recently mentioned that a Top 6 PL team have bid for him.

Over the last 12 months, Juve, Real Madrid, Man City and Athletico Madrid have shown interest so I think this qualifies us to take a look.

Ait Nouri is a very modern left-back. Plays more like a converted winger as his feet dazzle.

Electric pace and supreme athleticism add to the excitement but young, raw and untested at the higher level makes such a large investment unlikely perhaps for a club in our financial situation.

Ait Nouri represents many on these lists. Young, inexperienced but full of potential. I think that the fee dictates the risk. £15M or under and Arsenal may press go. As we are currently a club trying to fix everything I’d be surprised if we go for a very young player from abroad.

Name: Owen Wijndal

Position: LB

Age: 20

Height: 5ft 9in

Club: AZ Alkmaar

Nationality: Dutch

Potential fee: £10M

About: A regular for the second-best team in Holland this season. Wijndal is a complete full-back with no obvious weaknesses bar experience.

He is good going forward and also solid defensively.

Wijndal has great stamina and has been a very consistent performer for AZ.

Players like Owen Wijndal are often the best bargains. They have the possibility to play for very strong national teams but due to the depth currently in the Dutch squad he has yet to breakthrough. If you can get a player who is good enough to play international football but is outnumbered you may get them for half the actual value.

Experienced leader

Name: Jonas Hector

Position: LB

Age: 29

Height: 6ft 1in

Club: Koln

Nationality: Germany

Potential fee: 25M

About: Do you miss Nacho Monreal? If so, why?

Is it because he was so reliable? Because he was versatile, could play LB, LWB, CB.

Wish there was another like him?

Maybe there is…. Jonas Hector.

Hector is an uncommon modern player.

He has essentially played his whole career for Koln, even when they’ve been relegated. Had offers from Barcelona and Liverpool, but stayed.

A versatile and well-rounded player who has until recently been first choice for Germany even though he plays each year in the relegation zone.

An attacking midfielder in his youth, Hector still retains the in-game intelligence that first caught Cologne’s eye in summer 2010. Just look at where he has been deployed for club and country since: on the left wing, in defensive midfield, at centre-back and, for the most part, in his now favoured role on the left-hand side of defence.

Jonas Hector catches my eye as a good option for Arsenal as he checks many of the boxes needed as well as having the (rare) added benefit of being two-footed and a goal-scoring threat from left back.

A smart guy off the field who is currently studying for his business degree.

Arsenal are in need of leaders and reliable senior players. Koln captain Jonas Hector, could be the solution.

Out of favor, experienced options

Name: Ricardo Rodriguez

Position: LB

Age: 27

Height: 5ft 11

Club: AC Milan

Nationality: Swiss

Potential fee: £20M (loan possible)

About: There has always been something about Ricardo Rodriguez that’s bothered me.

I’m not a fan necessarily but his status as an out of favour player at struggling AC Milan makes me wonder whether he may be a loan option for Arsenal.

He will make the Swiss squad for the Euros but he may be concerned that he will lose his starting place.

RR has a distinctive hunched body shape when he plays that bothers me on an aesthetic level as I prefer players that have better field vision.

A similar player to Kolasinac with just one foot, good feet but not great, good going forward but not great and a good defender but again, not great.

Not a ringing endorsement, but I don’t have to approve for me to know that Arsenal are far more likely to attempt to solve their full back issues with loans and that this is a realistic option.

Name: Marcel Schmelzer

Position: LB

Age: 31

Height: 5ft 11

Club: Dortmund

Nationality: German

Potential fee: £15M (loan possible)

About: Much like Rodriguez, Marcel Schmelzer becomes a possible option as he is currently behind both Schultz and Guerreiro at Dortmund.

A former captain of Dortmund and a stalwart at left back for many years, Schmelzer’s form has recently dropped yet he is still considered an important member of the Dortmund squad due to his decade long service and the hope that he can regain his pace, tenacity and stamina that saw him hold down the left side for years.

Like Rodriguez, he is not a choice I’d go with but understanding that we may just need a body and that the club are looking for senior players that care and can lead on or off the field, then Schmelzer becomes a candidate.

There are others to consider.

Wendell at Bayer Leverkusen, Kurzawa at PSG and if City are looking for a left back upgrade then at least one of Mendy, Zinchenko or Angelino will leave.

I’d love to consider Chilwell but why buy Tierney if you are going to buy Chilwell.

My best guess is Arsenal will look at a loan and most likely Ricardo Rodriguez.

What would I do?

If Aubameyang can be persuaded to stay I’d go for Jonas Hector.

We need senior players with true leadership and better mentality.

If Aubameyang insists on going, I’d persuade Real Madrid to give us Achraf Hakimi in part exchange and use him at Left Back until Tierney is back, then play him instead of Bellerin at right back long term.

What would you do?

@mike_mmcdonald

369 Responses to “Scouting Report – Best left-backs in Europe”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Emiratesstroller

    The reality when we discuss Left Backs is that the club have on their books Tierney who cost us £27 million in the summer and was regarded as our future first string.

    Kolasinac may have defensive frailties as well as costing us a six figure weekly
    salary, but I don’t see him departing in January. In short term Arsenal will muddle their way through our current full/wing back problems with existing
    personnel.

  2. habesha gooner

    According to sky in Italy Hertha Berlin have offered 35 million euros. That is around 29.9 million pounds. Arsenal are holding out for 40 mill euros which works out about 34 mil pounds.
    My God who is negotiating this deal. 30 mil for Xhaka is daylight robbery. We shouldn’t haggle on this. We aren’t making a lot of loss with this deal and we are selling a player who has underperformed since he has been here

  3. Sid

    “We’re here to help him. If he’s willing to learn, to work hard, I assure you he has the potential be top, absolutely top.

    “He showed in two or three actions [in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth on December 26] how good he can be, but he has to be consistent.”

    The Saucy one thinks Pepe got Sauce, let the marinating begin.

  4. Chris

    As much as Xhaka shouldn’t be a part of our long term future, there are no ‘internal solutions’ to replace him.

    Perhaps Arsenal are holding out for the fee they have specified as it is needed for his replacement.

    I won’t miss him, but his output needs replacing and I don’t see anyone in their current ability in the squad being able to do that unless Arteta coaches it into them.

  5. China1

    Wow 30m for xhaka is a very nice offer. If they don’t budge sharpish then take the damn money and run

    I also agree that we don’t have bodies as replacements in the squad right now. I’d still take that money and put it towards upemecano tho. Asking price is 40m, so we’d basically being paying just 10…

    As for the CM position, if there’s no money left after that and we don’t make any more sales then it would need a bargain basement deal, a loan or faith in youth for the rest of the season.

    I just really want us to have a top class CB regardless of how much we also need a CM

  6. Chris

    China

    I feel that we have our young CB in Saliba (any chance of him coming back early in January?) and would prefer to see an established centre back aged between 24-28 who is a vocal leader and can compliment our soon to be young Frenchman. For too long I think we have missed that, we need a calming, yet vocal and strong leader in the mould of van Dijk, which is easier said than to actually find obviously.

    I would worry about our midfield options and shape for the rest of the season if Xhaka were to leave and not be replaced.

  7. Unai

    Emirates, if you took 20 people and asked them who we should replace or upgrade you would probably get answers covering the whole squad bar Leno.

    Just shows how differently our fanbase views our squad and just how flaky our squad is overall.

    For me, in order of importance;

    CD – we need a proper prem class CD, perhaps Saliba and Hilding will be the answer?

    CDM/CM – if Xhaka is on his way out (and has been poor anyway) he needs to be replaced.

    CAM – Unless Ozil really steps up consistently we need someone who can help with quick transitions and unlock defences.

    For me, the wide players including full backs are suitable when fully fit, we just need to get them fit!

    If Bell, Tierney, Pepe, Martinelli were all fit and in form we would have strength in the flanks.

    Of course, all this could change as Arteta hopefully improves the organisation and puts his stamp on the team.

    Could there be a new lease of life for players like Ozil? Time will tell I guess.

  8. habesha gooner

    Replacing Xhaka if you have got a 30 mil offer is not really a tough job. I am more worried that Hertha will come to their senses and see that is Xhaka at best is 15-25 mil midfielder. China Upamecano for Xhaka + 10 mil would be insane. We wouldn’t even need to sign any Centerbacks in the summer. Ceballos, Willock, Guendouzi Torriera for two positions is a little worrying but adding Xhaka to that for me is just for pure numbers reason. We should wait till summer if we don’t have money to replace him right away. Our center back problem would be sorted by Upamecano, Saliba, Holding and Chambers.

  9. habesha gooner

    Replacing Xhaka if you have got a 30 mil offer is not really a tough job. I am more worried that Hertha will come to their senses and see that is Xhaka at best a 15-25 mil midfielder. China Upamecano for Xhaka + 10 mil would be insane. We wouldn’t even need to sign any Centerbacks in the summer. Ceballos, Willock, Guendouzi Torriera for two positions is a little worrying but adding Xhaka to that for me is just for pure numbers reason. We should wait till summer if we don’t have money to replace him right away. Our center back problem would be sorted by Upamecano, Saliba, Holding and Chambers.

  10. Useroz

    Activities and excitement in the January TW would largely depend on who Arteta considers not a part of the future plus probably contract challenges.

    Raul must show us how connected he really is, other than getting Luiz, in moving on players for decent money.

    Agree we must add pace *and* strength in MF asap so we recover some aerial abilities and don’t get bullied. Let’s at least try in January. PL experience ideal but rather see some hunger (eg Martinelli) instead.

    Yes. We need smart, competent scouting It’s dysfunctional at the moment. Not sure we’d trust Edu. Certainly not Raul.

    So much augments over aiming for top 4, wins vs performance etc. Watched all initial Arteta interviews and frankly why would we even debate about it when the sauce guy emphasises in all occasions that we must get wins, wins. …..while he could see more etc.

    While Arteta fingerprints were on display, it’s BOU. Might have higher tempo, more pressing and forward passes….but not result. Would question the 17 ‘shots’. Pls watch those again. Plenty just hit BOU guys some literally inches away. No way the ‘shot’ would fly. Was BOU goalie busy?

    Some of Xhara’s acclaimed passes to release Saka were made under absolutely no pressure from BOU. Would Chelsea and Manure afford him the same. Moot point If media reports are to be believed that Xhara isn’t in the squats today.

    Ozil had probably two key passes while getting bumped off the ball a lot. Sprinted 15 yards to a loose ball but chickened out a 49/51 What’s to celebrate?

    Other than ‘wins’, Arteta said ‘ruthless’ several times loud n clear. Can’t wait.

    Let’s push for what Arsenal can control, and start playing to win. Chelsea and Manure are winnable. They play as shit as us in the last games.

  11. Samesong

    Blatant foul on Grealish in lead up to 3rd Watford goal.

    Besides that Grealish does lose the ball alot in key areas.

  12. Unai

    Bit soft for me Samesong tbf.

    Watched Game Changers btw, some great info and has helped me decide to design a better more balanced diet and give it another go.

    I’m only 36 and after years of use, I’m struggling with my knees, interested to see if it helps at all.

  13. Ishola70

    I’m just hoping Arsenal integrate the midfield better in any event of Xhaka leaving.

    I always find it flawed to rely on only one midfielder so much to set the tone for the team when on the ball.

    This means that this one midfielder that is relied upon so much has to be a real top player. If he has too many bad games means the team in turn has too many bad matches.

    A more complete midfield with less onus on one player is what I’d be looking for.

    And someone noticed that Grealish overplays and many times in the wrong areas. Fans love these type of individualistic players though don’t they.

  14. China1

    I am curious what arteta thinks about guen

    He has some really good attributes and he’s also very much rough around the edges. He needs a lot of coaching to get to that next level but you wonder if arteta can coax it out of him.

    If we sell xhaka but don’t sign a CM he will probably have to!

  15. Pierre

    Useroz
    “Some of Xhara’s acclaimed passes to release Saka were made under absolutely no pressure from BOU.”

    Some people are never happy, they complain when a player loses the ball under pressure and also complain when a player finds space to continually find the pass to put the team in dangerous situations.

    Also complaining that a player created the most chances in the game(four) , which was double anyone else on the pitch.

    Many on here were talking about winning games of football games of football.

    Well, to do that you need to score goals , and to score goals you need someone to create chances.

    Once the chances are created it is then down to the strikers to do the business.

    What is important, is that the team create chances .

  16. Bob N16

    Agree China, I can’t decide on whether I like Guendouzi as a player or not. If he is receptive to adjustments to his play then his potential is great. At the moment I find myself getting frustrated by his desire to take too many touches and desire to receive the ball too deep.

    Feel it’s unlikely Martinelli will be anything more than a sub today. Hard to predict the line up.

  17. China1

    I feel the same bob. All of guen’s best work came when he has been heavily instructed in terms of positioning off the ball and when he has received the ball and turned to carry it forwards from deep

    When he plays facing his own goal the whole match just making 10 yard passes to the CBs it really frustrates me as it’s neither his strength nor what we need from our DMs

    But both of those are coachable issues and he has already put in quite a lot of excellent performances already. I don’t doubt his attitude is good so it’s now down to Mikel to help him get that extra 15% and also consistency which he badly lacks

  18. Ishola70

    Bob N16

    “At the moment I find myself getting frustrated by his desire to take too many touches and desire to receive the ball too deep.”

    This has been the concept of Arsenal for a good few years though hasn’t it.

    The deep lying midfielder.

    I just wish they would scrap it and we become more conventional.

    When you watch other sides the CBs bring the ball out and the rest of the team are not stepping on their toes. They are spread out and away waiting to receive the pass from the CB either centra or on the flanks. It means the team as a whole are playing further up right from first transition on the ball.

    Arsenal get themselves in so many problems with this fixation on deep lying ball playing midfield play.

  19. Useroz

    No point putting too much gloss over facts and observations aren’t the same as complaints. Especially when major decision about players is at stake.

  20. Up 4 grabs now

    Morning,

    Game day, if xhaka isn’t in the squad, then he’s gone, and good riddance.

    Torriera looked good against bournemouth and I have no problem with him and guendouzi finally getting a decent run of games together.

    Use the money from xhaka to strengthen the defence.
    Midfield can wait till the summer.

    If arteta really can coach improvement into the youngsters (and I hope he can) then he can work on guendouzi after all it’s his own position he will be trying to drum into him.

  21. China1

    Ishola I agree

    The invincibles were one of the best possession sides, best offensive sides and went a whole damn season unbeaten and yet I don’t remember it requiring such tactical mysticism to take goal kicks or get the ball forwards to players on our own team

    You can play out from the back if you have the players for it but imo it’s a largely pointless tactical fad which will cease to continue in its current extreme form a few years from now. Like having the CBs on the edge of the 6 yard box at goal kicks and stuff it’s frankly ridiculous

  22. China1

    It reminds me a bit of when conte’s Chelsea won the league and the following season everyone was using 3 at the back and wing backs

    A couple of top teams use the extreme playing out from the back and everyone else just assumed it must be a good idea for them as well

    Tactical fad in its extreme form I tell ya…

  23. China1

    If pep started using a 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 formation and somehow won the game due to his awesomely talented squad you’d see other PL teams having a try with it a few weeks later

  24. Ishola70

    China1
    ” I agree. The invincibles were one of the best possession sides, best offensive sides and went a whole damn season unbeaten and yet I don’t remember it requiring such tactical mysticism to take goal kicks or get the ball forwards to players on our own team”

    And it’s so slow.

  25. Pierre

    Bob
    Guendouzi is young and is learning, the same as Saka.

    Guendouzi will make it , be has a drive and desire in his play and a will to win that will push him to the top.

    Will go back to the fact that playing in a dysfunctional team is detrimental for any kid learning the game.

    I’m sure that under Arteta he will learn the fundamentals of a central midfielder like positioning, discipline, shielding the ball, passing early.

  26. Up 4 grabs now

    I’m sure that under Arteta he will learn the fundamentals of a central midfielder like positioning, discipline, shielding the ball, passing early.

    Spot on Pierre.

  27. Graham62

    Tactics can consume or, should I say, suffocate a teams game. This was Emery’s failing.

    On the otherhand, tactical ineptitude, in the case of Wenger, will altimately go against you when you come up against the better teams.

    It will be interesting to see what Arteta has up his sleeve for today’s game.

    Quite exciting really.

  28. Up 4 grabs now

    If arteta can nurture guendouzi the right way, he could become the perfect all rounder that we need for midfield.
    A combination of Gilberto and Vieira.

  29. Pierre

    The goal conceded v Bournemouth was the perfect example of how not to play out from the back.

    Leno was to blame, first he slowly rolled the ball to sokratis who then had nowhere to go and hit a weak back pass to Leno with the opposition closing him down .

    That was the monent that Leno should have put his foot through the ball , instead he played luiz into trouble by the corner flag and in the end, the inevitable happened.

    Arteta got it right when he said something like, if you can’t see the picture then don’t do it …..or something similar.

  30. Pierre

    Grabs
    “A combination of Gilberto and Vieira.”

    I can see similarities to Vieira, he’s still very young so will get stronger and will hopefully dominate games and also learn the discipline that made Gilberto so influential in the side.

  31. Ishola70

    Sokratis had nowhere to go in the first instance because yet again Arsenal as a team are too deep and they get hemmed in by an opposition press.

    You see plenty of other plays with other teams where the ball is rolled out to the CB and he has space to run into because the rest of the team are a good distance away from the CB and this gives less opportunity for the opposition general press or at least further away from your own goal.

  32. Useroz

    Other than how he receives the ball, generally taking too many touches (not quick enough a football brain?), positioning and strength of Guendouzi are weaknesses to overcome if he wants to become successful in the PL. At current shape Guendouzi is porous and can’t shield the back 4.

    Only if Torreira were 15, 20% bigger…

    I feel (hope am wrong!) the best we’d get is a draw this afternoon if MF isn’t fixed.

  33. Up 4 grabs now

    Pierre,
    I hope so, if he can improve the defensive side of his game, he looks quite the player.

    What you were saying about the bournemouth goal is true, the thing I couldn’t work out was that for the first 30 minutes we didn’t really play out from the back, withing 5 minutes of doing it though we were one down.

    Like others have said if you don’t have the players to play out from the back don’t do it.
    I have nothing wrong with throwing a quick ball out to a full back or winger but slowly passing out to a centreback or deep lying midfielder who then plays a square ball makes no sense.
    It gives the opposition time to regroup and get back into shape. And the opportunity for them to be closed down and lose the ball on the edge of your box.

  34. Alexanderhenry

    All the talk of tactics and potential targets is relevant of course but what arsenal actually need is a win.

    I’m sure Arteta understands that. The team are in a very bad run of form. Perhaps now isn’t the time to look for ideals and change too much.

    The players need to step up and grind a win out.

  35. Unai

    Alexander, if you don’t change the way you play how can you expect the results to change?

    The comparison to Everton for example, they have the players who will respond to becoming battering rams where our squad is more suited to a more subtle style of play.

    We don’t have blood and guts players who can grind out results.

    Without seeming like I’m lowering the bar, I think we need a more compact & organised yet free flowing style of play to get the best out of our lot.

    I think in time Arteta will bring both style and results but expecting some slip ups along the way.

  36. Nelson

    Supporters noticed that Granit Xhaka – linked with a January transfer away from Arsenal – was not present for Saturday’s training session at the Emirates Stadium.

    Marc must be very happy to read that!

    I would try to use Ceballos to replace Xhaka. Guen is too weak defensively.

  37. Useroz

    For some reasons, Leno is slow to release the ball. Martinez is much better in that department. But playing out from the back and on the pitch is the Arsenal way for ages.

    If we’d afford it personnel wise rather Guendouzi playing further up and trying those passes and thru balls while he’s being coached in other areas. Less damage in case something went wrong ..

    ESR is an interesting one. Lost something since last year. A loan as reported may not be the solution. He needs to add strength. Well many of our players do actually. With the ruby guy left any coaching in the strength department?

  38. Bob N16

    Just a thought but would it be worth trying Guendouzi furthest forward with Ceballos in the middle with Torreira sitting? Conventional thinking would have Ceballos and Guendouzi the other way round. Ceballos has quicker feet and Guendouzi can be more direct when he is more advanced.

    I imagine Ozil will start further forward today.

  39. alexanderhenry

    Unai

    I hope you’re right and we can finesse our way out of trouble.

    I’m just just saying that too much tinkering at this stage may be counterproductive.

  40. RockyRoe

    Useroz

    I’ve actually seen Leno ball in hand looking at the wings to find someone to release, but our team shape and positioning has been so that more often than not there is no outlet positioned.

    Which then frustratingly leads to the pass to CB. I’m not against playing from th back per-say but as others said, horses for courses, if you don’t have the players to do it, then try an mix it up once in a while. Neuer has shown time and against how effective a throw to the full back can be in a counter attack.

  41. Sid

    Dozi should play higher up the field as a 10 for now(instead of Ozil), he is not yet physically matured so playing next to Torr he gets dispossesed easily & cant see dangerous situations, someone should be bought to replace xhaka

  42. Bob N16

    Useroz, could a loan for ESR, where is gets the chance to play regularly, not strengthen him up? He was poor when he started the other day but am I wrong in thinking that was his first PL start? Love the way he turns and accelerates away when he receives the ball on the half turn.
    Far too early to properly judge him.

  43. China1

    What odds on Kante dominating ozil for the first half and him getting frustrated early on then vanishing to the wing by the 30th minute only to get subbed off on 60 mins?

    Probably not very good odds considering how probable that is lol

  44. China1

    If true that’s great news on xhaka

    And actually yeah if ceballos can get fit he can be our xhaka cover until we get longer term option/get to the summer

    He didn’t start the season well after his brilliant debut but again the system was also horrific so maybe he too will look like a player of value under arteta

    We can only hope

  45. China1

    Something guen lack is speed. He is good at beating people with a drop of the shoulder cesc style without needing pace, but I always just feel a bit frustrated watching him run off the ball because he’s quite sluggish. He lacks zip

  46. Freddie Ljungberg

    https://amp.sportsmole.co.uk/football/arsenal/transfer-talk/news/arsenal-chelsea-renew-interest-in-bruno-guimaraes_384354.html

    I really hope this is true, he’s already said he’s moving in January and his reported price tag is 25m. Also got a spanish passport if I recall correctly so won’t be any issues there.

    Would be perfect as one of the 2 CMs we have to buy, the other can wait until the summer.

    Is much better at what Xhaka is supposedly good at and is much more mobile and can actually go past players as well. Also much better defensively.

    Let’s hope Edu can work the brazilian connection and get that done.

  47. Pierre

    Sid
    “Dozi should play higher up the field as a 10 for now(instead of Ozil)”

    The No.10 is a specialist position. , you can’t just put anyone there .

    I’m telling you that for free.

  48. Paulinho

    “When you watch other sides the CBs bring the ball out and the rest of the team are not stepping on their toes.”

    That’s the point I was making about Luiz and his improved performances. Instead of standing still with the ball way too deep, he’s now started to move into the space, reduce the gap between defend and midfield, and find our advanced players with his passing ability.

    At the start of the season all our centre backs had time and space on the ball and yet they would pass it to players who higher up who were tightly marked, instead of bringing the ball out themselves and picking the right time to pass it.

  49. Elmo

    If Xhaka is off this Jan, what are the odds of the new gaffer filling in as player-manager in midfield for the rest of the season? Lamps was still playing at City at the same age.

  50. Paulinho

    Emery’s biggest mistake, ironically because most fans were hanging off his nuts earlier in the season, was playing Guendouzi week in week out in midfield. Overhyped beyond belief.

  51. Pierre

    It’s got to the stage where I’d be happy just to see a few nice passing exchanges, link up play .

    The football has been so dire this season that for the first time in years, my interest has diminished to the point of choosing a round of golf over watching the Arsenal.

    Another couple of months of watching Arsenal under Emery and I would be offering to take the dog for a walk during the game….that’s how bad it was getting.

  52. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Tony

    3.37agree totally don5 think you missed anything off, getting 30m for him is a bonus.

    ES

    The club needs to keep reinventing itself and keep buying players to move forward. Maybe no big punts like Pepe..
    But 30m for xhara possibly 15 plus for mustafi… 3 for elnenn6 that’s 50 m to punt with in January.

  53. Dissenter

    People are funny
    The wanted to jump at 21 million yesterday, today they want to jump at 30 million. Hope you lot aren’t managing any pension funds.
    You would have thought they learned from lambasting Raul for not taking Everton’s first offer for Iwobi.

  54. Lego Hair

    Marko

    ‘ No way Arsene dithered on a deal…shocking’

    Guessing you didn’t even read the article?

    “The way I always characterised it is that we just couldn’t afford to make a big mistake,” says Law.

    Try reading something other than the headline before posting. Otherwise it makes you look a bit dim.

  55. Frank

    I have followed Sarr over a few seasons. He has continued to increase hie performances and has the physique and temperament for the PL. You may need to go a little more than $ 15M even with his contract running down. If he was still on contract in the summer he would likely command $ 25M+ from PL teams.

    As for the others lets wait and see what Sako and co can do unless one of the other young backs can be brought in fo $ 10 – $ 12 M.