Scouting Report: Centre midfielders assessed

by & filed under News Review.

My word, another scouting report from Mike McDonald. I’m flying today, so likely not back online until tomorrow. Have a good one!

A new midfielder for Arsenal

This next transfer blog is about locating a Central Midfielder, not necessarily finding another Granit Xhaka.
Honestly, I think that would give Xhaka too much credit as his career would’ve been better served going to Serie A when he left BM.

You also need to know that this is not about finding a modern day, athletic DM as that blog is here…
Scouting Report: Where we are, where we should buy

It includes Partey, N’didi, Soumare, Danilo, William Carvalho, Witzel, Javi Martinez, Szoboszlai, Busquets, Sangare, Zakaria and Bruno Fernandez.

Modern day football has a midfield three in many forms. Either in a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1/3-5-2 or 3-4-3 with an Attacking Mid/False Nine.

Modern day midfields are made up of …..
a) A destroyer
b) A play maker
c) A line breaker (with and/or without the ball)

Arsenal actually have all three already. Torreira is a destroyer. Ceballos, Guendouzi and Xhaka are all different types of play makers. Willock and Maitlind-Niles are line breakers. Smith Rowe could be a play maker or line breaker.

A few teams are still using an Attacking Midfielder. Often they move from wide areas as Ceballos does for Spain, Nelson could do, Ozil is currently doing, ESR and Willock have been tried and Pepe could actually find himself as.

In my opinion, as a coach myself, it is hard to say how good these options are as Mikel Arteta’s biggest asset is his coaching skills. In his first game alone Torreira, Ozil and Xhaka had their best games of the season so perhaps the answer is local?

What Arsenal might then do is buy based on profile rather than replacing.

The profile we lack is height, mobility, athleticism, speed, penetration and positional sense.

Again, I say that Arteta could change some of this eg; Willock playing as a ‘line breaking #8.’
Ceballos has the ability to be a ‘play making #6.’ I’ve even wondered if Guendouzi could be an ‘energetic pressing #10?’

Most likely

Name: Adrien Rabiot
Position: CM
Age: 24
Height: 6ft 2
Club: Juventus
Nationality: France
Potential fee: Loan or 35M

About: I’m going to keep this profile simple. If the goal is to find a better version of Granit Xhaka as a player, Adrien Rabiot is that.
Has better dribbling ability, mobility, defensive ability, agility, speed and and an ego to play at the highest level. His mother, who is also his agent, has been a hindrance to him as she has placed unrealistic demands on his career. Hence why after half a season at Juve, he is wanting to move on.
If we can get Rabiot for a five month loan, I cannot see this being an initial problem.

Others in same category: Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Salzburg), Thomas Lemar (A.Madrid), Emre Can (Juventus), Kessie (AC Milan)

Generational talent

Not all in this category are CM’s. Again, there is an argument that AFC already have a play maker/regista or two. Some of these could be AM’s or ‘line breaking 8’s’ in a 3 man midfield

Name: Eduardo Camavinga
Position: CM
Age: 17
Height: 6ft
Club: Rennes
Nationality: France
Potential fee: 50M

About: One day you might remember that you read about Camavinga. One day very soon. You remembered his name as you thought he was a Bond villain but now you feel silly because he’s now the most talented midfielder in Europe.
Unless he falls off the track, Eduardo Camavinga is destined for superstardom.
A regular for Rennes at 16 and dominating at 17, Camavinga has everything. Statistically he is the best ball winner AND passer in French football. Is best as a line breaking 8, but plays as a deep lying playmaker with the dribbling ability of a winger. Got spider legs that seem to time tackles like only Kante can, yet the passing range of DeBruyne.
Part of me thinks he should go to a club like Lyon, then to an Arsenal before he has his pick of the elite. The other part of me thinks PSG will snap him up and he will struggle to play and regret the move. Then I watch him again and remind myself that once in a generation there is a player that can play for and start for an elite club as the play maker at the age of 17/18.
The biggest compliment I can pay him is to write a list of every quality that you’d want a midfielder to have. I’d say Camavinga at the age of 17, already ranks as an 8/10 or higher in every area.
If you haven’t yet seen Eduardo Camavinga bless your day and click above.

Name: Martin Ødegaard
Position: AM
Age: 21
Height: 5ft 9
Club: Real Madrid (on loan at Sociedad)
Nationality: Norway
Potential fee: 80M

About: When Mesut Ozil was at Real Madrid he was at his peak. Raking up titles, both team and individual. The king of the assist that Arsenal have rarely seen on a consistent basis.
Martin Ødegaard has this ability but has arguably started excelling more consistently at a younger age. You may remember him touring Europe‘s biggest clubs picking where he wanted to go. Many feel that he has been the best player so far in La Liga and he’s at Real Sociedad. Much like Valverde (below), there is no common sense reason for Real to sell as he is their future. It’s Real though and so you never know. Ordinarily plays as a 10, but perfectly able to play as an 8, penetrating on the dribble or floating between the lines. What I wish Dani Ceballos was, who has this level of talent but prefers to simply maintain possession in his eternal rondo. Heerenveen to Vitesse to Sociedad to Arsenal then on to Real Madrid, perhaps?

Others in this category….. Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Salzburg), Boubacar Kamara (CB who has played FB and DM… Marseille), Dani Olmo (Dinamo Zagreb), Phil Foden (City), Kai Havertz, Dejan Kulusevski (Parma), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Bruno Guimaraes (Athletico Paranese)

Established talents

Name: Fabian Ruiz
Position: CM
Age: 23
Height: 6ft 2
Club: Napoli
Nationality: Spain
Potential fee: 55M

About: Much like Rabiot, see Xhaka, think upgrade. Faster feet than both and more likely to use all surfaces of his golden left foot. Fabian also excels in his ‘second touch,’ the one that accelerates you away.
His fine form has seen him as a staple in the Spanish national team. An achievement that Granit Xhaka would never touch (if he were Spanish), due to his lack of mobility.
Real Madrid have been sniffing around but Fabian must be careful if he were to move as he has established himself. Could return to being an after thought at RM.

Name: Houssem Aouar
Position: CM
Age: 21
Height: 5ft 9
Club: Lyon
Nationality: France
Potential fee: 50M

About: Smooth. Graceful. Makes the hectic look simplistic. Small of frame and light on his feet, Aouar is a natural footballer. Much like Weigel at Dortmund, he makes me a little insecure as he looks too lightweight but he seems to glide effortlessly away from physical pressure.
You may remember Mikel Arteta teaching the players the concept of ‘ball, opponent, space and teammate’ at the first session. Aouar plays this way.
I was trying to think of a comparison to a player we’d all know and then I watched the video again and saw Arteta himself in his Everton days. Interesting.

Others in this category ….. Doucoure (Watford), Pellegrini (Roma), Van De Beek (Ajax), Zielinski (Napoli), Koke (AM), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Isco (RM), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Merino ( Real Sociedad), Nandez (Cagliari), DePaul (Udinese), Sanson (Marseille), Cyprien (Nice), Pulgar (Fiorentina), Bentancur (Juventus), Weigel (Dortmund), Saul Niguez(AM)

Possible for different reasons

Name: Federico Valverde
Position: CM
Age: 21
Height: 5ft 10
Club: Real Madrid
Nationality: Uruguay
Potential fee: £50M

About: As hot as fire in the Spanish capital right now. Valverde has broken into a super competitive midfield with his all-action style.
Valverde is a supremely athletic box to box #8 who has recently been called a ‘jack of all trades and a master of ALL.’
So, why would they sell a youngster that has broken into the first team when they normally ship out youngsters on loan?
Aubameyang.

It’s not likely as I’m sure they’d offer players they don’t want, but if Arsenal have the upper hand in negotiations, never discount a Real Madrid president from doing something that the coach and fans oppose, just to get a star player he wants.

Name: Santi Cazorla
Position: CM
Age: 35
Height: 5ft 6
Club: Villarreal
Nationality: Spain
Potential fee: loan or £10M

About: I wasn’t going to profile Santi but I went on YouTube and I couldn’t resist!
I think that this is a very real possibility for a variety of reasons.
The long term fix is likely to not have PL experience. Cazorla would give us this. If you are concerned about his age and form then recognize that he was not in Spanish squad whilst in his latter years at Arsenal. At the age of 35, he is now.
Five goals and four assists in 15 LaLiga games. A goal against both Barca and Real too. On fire!
Is it coincidence that he has mentioned many times that he didn’t say goodbye? Just saying.

Others in this category….. Allan (Napoli), Alcantara (Bayern), Lallana (Liverpool), Vidal and Arthur (Barca), N’domble and LoCelso (Spurs), Paredes (PSG)

Upcoming midfielders

Name: Kalvin Phillips
Position: DM/CM
Age: 24
Height: 5ft10
Club: Leeds
Nationality: England
Potential fee: 35M

About: Wow! How is he not playing in the PL? How??
I understand that he’s not played at higher levels but to my eyes he is quite easily England’s most talented defensive midfielder. That’s England’s weak point. How is he not in the squad? Watched the video yet?
Kalvin Phillips should become a top player at a top team. Hard as whatever is harder than hard. Fantastic feet too. Converted from a CM to DM but so talented , he could play either. Not entirely sure what PL refs and those lovely VAR folk will make of his force of tackling but they say Arsenal are too soft so..?
The modern day argument is, do you want a deep lying play maker or a ball winner. Kalvin Phillips says, ‘do you want both?’

Others in this category…..

Sander Berge (Genk), Mwepu (RB Salzburg), Aribo (Rangers)

Potential Attacking Mids in a 4-3-3

Ziyech (Ajax), Maddison (Leicester), Fekir (Betis), Mooy (Brighton), Grealish (Villa), James Rodriguez (Real), Yazici (Lille)

My choice

Initially after researching, I had a list of 48 options. Amongst a list of supremely talented midfielders, there was one stand out choice for the circumstances Arsenal are in.

I’d choose Santi Cazorla.

Arsenal have a young group of midfielders made even younger if Xhaka leaves.
A PL experienced player on a short term deal, who clearly wants to play for Arsenal again AND here’s the big one…. we’ve had an awful season so far. You want to lift the fanbase?
Can you imagine the happiness?!?

I’d also attempt to buy N’didi to initially partner Cazorla and Szoboszlai and send him on loan to a PL team to understand the physicality. I’d also buy back Bielik as a very useful squad player.

What will Arsenal do?

I think we will sign Rabiot on loan and buy Szoboszlai. I think we will sign Fernandinho and Thiago Alcantara in the summer.

You?

Like these transfer blogs? I write review blogs after every game @mike_mmcdonald

481 Responses to “Scouting Report: Centre midfielders assessed”

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  1. MuddyGooner

    Love to see Santi back, even if it’s for a few months. Insane 2 footed ability. Class is always permanent.

  2. Un na naai

    CA (from previous)

    Why would you take away one of our most potent goal threats?
    You don’t have to be able to kick with your right to push and run on the right wing
    I agree he’s predictable and he slows the game down too often in looking to always weave his way infield but putting him on the left is not the answerWorking on him and getting him used to varying his methods from the right is.
    You want Pepe on that right wing in the same way Messi, Robben, Mahrez and Salah play.
    He needs to learn to show left and go right and when you get the ball on the half way line with space to run into then off you go. Burners on.

  3. Un na naai

    Digital (previous)

    We will just have to wait and see. All I’m saying is I’d rather Arteta gets his man than a half measure like rugani and if a short term option like boateng brings that about then that’s what we should do. We need to give Arteta everything he asks for to succeed because this guy is going to be magic for us

  4. HighburyLegend

    Big NO to Rabiot for me.
    His mother is his agent, many problems on the horizon if we go for “them”…

  5. Un na naai

    This is what cavity where I think Arteta will focus
    Midfield
    He will want players who will give the platform to the strikers.

    Torreira seems key to what Arteta wants to do and I reckon will be the staple of his team
    What we he build around it though? I’m expecting cazorla/wilshere type ball players

    They can carry, they can do one touch tikka takka.
    I think that’s where he’s headed
    I also think he will want forwards who offer more on the ball than Aubameyang.
    Will he work on Pepe and turn him into a goal scoring monster like Sterling? Let’s see?
    Next season we are going to be in for a treat, that’s one thing I’m certain of

  6. moray

    Much as I would love to see Santi back, I worry his legs would suffer from the pace and games. Unless we could surround him with runners and play him in the Jan Molby role.

  7. moray

    Phillips’ highlights reel is impressive, but I really couldn’t watch that barnet flying into tackles every week. A proper haircut would have to be part of the deal.

  8. Bamford10

    I’ve changed my mind on Boateng. As a short-term solution for losing Chambers, I think it does in fact make sense. At £12m, it will not prevent us from spending more serious money in the summer. And Boateng, while not ideal in some ways, is good with the ball at his feet, which fits the direction in which Arteta is taking us (i.e., possession, possession, possession). As Sanllehi said of the January window, it is for tactical and short term needs, not strategic and long-term needs.

  9. Vladdy P

    What about from this year’s relegated teams?

    There seems to be a lot more than usual really good players in teams fighting to avoid the drop this year.

  10. Sid

    Martinelli is the striker who can bring others into play, plan B should be a battering ram type, one wing Pepe the other a creative type,
    thats after addressing the midfield. Strong mobile technical midfielder it helps if he has a longstuff to smack the fortnite outta Ozils face

    Im telling you this for free!

  11. DigitalBob

    Un – Rugani is for sure a no-no, I don’t think his game will work outside of Serie A.

    Bamford – You say it wont prevent us from spending serious money but what if the asking price for top targets can’t be met as we’ve spent 12 million on an over the hill Boateng?

    I’m not completely opposed to the idea, just a bit torn on Boateng’s ability vs. the financial outlay(fee, wages and bonuses).

  12. Pierre

    It’s depressing that Santi Cazorla is still so good and we didn’t give him a chance to prove himself after his injury.

    Mind you, Emery probably wouldn’t have deemed him good enough anyway.

  13. Francis Twesigye Mwiine Paskali

    I personally would prefer The Little Magician #Carzorla. Wonder how much he would cost now if he was 23years!!

  14. Un na naai

    Digital

    I’m with Bamford. I’d rather not spend at all right now unless it’s the real deal and the man that Arteta is desperate for but if we do then a boateng rather than a Demeral/Rugani until the summer for Me.

    On cazorla
    I would of course love to see him back at arsenal
    He should never have been allowed to walk like that
    Emery is such a mug

  15. Vladdy P

    Think Santi needed to get his rhythm back in a slower league, anyway.

    Would have probably been too much having all the prem anklebiters coming at him straight away.

  16. Un na naai

    It’s depressing that Santi Cazorla is still so good and we didn’t give him a chance to prove himself after his injury.Mind you, Emery probably wouldn’t have deemed him good enough anyway.

    Pierre

    Exactly!!
    All this how was he to know bull shit!! That’s what he’s paid for. I knew. Why didn’t he? The money he then blew on loan deals for Suarez and Ceballos when we had him all along
    Dropping Ramsey and ozil to boot. Destroying any form of creative outlet we had
    Why? Why did we bring in a guy who is the polar opposite to the sort of football arsenal are synonymous with? He went to work on our attacking midfielders immediately. Almost the first thing he did. Who wants to watch that?

  17. Un na naai

    Vladdy PJanuary 3, 2020 12:08:36
    Think Santi needed to get his rhythm back in a slower league, anyway.Would have probably been too much having all the prem anklebiters coming at him straight away.

    Vladdy

    Er, Europa league mate. Perfect
    20 mins here and there in the league
    Get him going
    I’m certain if Arteta was brought in when he should have been wed now have Santi, Jack and Ramsey at the club playing their best football for us

  18. Batistuta

    Pierre

    Nothing to do with Emery, Santi is just fine playing in Spain after that miraculous recovery, it was best for all parties involved he left and I’m sure everyone is happy he’s back playing…Hindsight is a good thing but we are a business, he’d been out for close to 2 years already and we were paying his wages for that period too…. We are a business not a charity and Santi leaving when he did was the best decision for all involved

  19. Batistuta

    Again weird that anyone would still be advocating having Wilshere and Ramsey at Arsenal, almost like some of you never want to look foward…. Both can barely stay fit but somehow Un na would have kept them here with us paying their wages and them contributing almost zilch

  20. DigitalBob

    I dunno Bamford. I don’t think any of us know the exact amount Arteta will be given this summer but if there is no top four finish or Europa league win I can’t see him getting anything like Emery got last summer.

    Actually at the time wasn’t it rumoured we were actually spending this coming summers budget, banking on making it back in the top four.

    In any case as long as it doesn’t disrupt Arteta’s transfer plans/budget for top targets then i’m ok with Boateng.

    I’d also love Santi back!

  21. Pierre

    I’m hoping that Nketiah stays at the club and doesn’t go out on loan again.

    We have the FA cup and Europa games that he can get game time.

    Plus obviously there is a possibility of injuries to Aubameyang or Lacazette.

    Yea , we have Martinelli but the more attacking options we have the better as it will be easier to rotate the front line.

    He will learn better and quicker under Arteta who has already recognised his “incredible potential”.

  22. Un na naai

    Bati

    Same was said of cazorla, the ox, Kanu and overmars

    Crocks apparently.
    Ledley king at spurs was managed well and he turned in plenty of world class performances because of it

    What was the alternative? Suarez and Ceballos. Who’ve turned in a total of around 12 appearances (mostly as a sub) between them in two seasons.

  23. Batistuta

    Santi on loan till the end of the season wouldn’t be the worst possible deal as long as there is a plan to get an actual CDM in the summer, can’t keep putting away getting in a player for that position

  24. Pierre

    Batistuta
    Yes, we paid his wages for 2 years whilst he was injured and then let him leave when he regained his fitness ..

    Makes sense?

  25. Jim Lahey

    I propose a statue of Santi outside the Emirates. Not just because he has been my favourite player over the past decade but also because it would be the cheapest statue to put up. Gotta save that money!

  26. Batistuta

    Un na

    Jack Wilshere is a crock and that’s a verifiable fact and no manager would be able to do anything about that….Dennis Suarez is back at Celta Vigo doing reasonably well, didn’t for in here and had injuries so that didn’t work… Ceballos is still young, started well and has been injured plus has struggled to adapt to the league especially pace wise but he’s a very good player…

  27. Bamford10

    Two brief things re Cazorla.

    One, the decision not to re-sign him was made prior to Emery’s arrival, and it was made by Ivan Gazidis. Even if they asked Emery what he thought about this matter — and we don’t know if they did — Emery would only have been giving input. The final decision regarding players is made above the manager’s head in the new set-up, and the decision re Cazorla would have been taken above Emery’s head.

    Two, Cazorla was 33 years old and he had been out for 18 months recovering from a serious surgery. This notion that letting him go was some terrible decision is nonsense. That he has played well since is great for him. It doesn’t mean that letting him go was not the right decision at the time.

  28. Vladdy P

    I don’t regret that we didn’t get Mikel earlier.

    He’d only been at Man City 2 years and was Pep’s main man for what? One of them? Who knows how much more he learned during that extra year and a bit in the dugout?

    No regrets over losing Wilshire. Had one good game in his entire career for us against Barca, and he’s not exactly regained form at West Ham. Liked Ramsey, but he’s not the difference between being a contender or not. Would like to see some new and exciting ideas instead of re-treads.

  29. Jim Lahey

    Let me preference this by saying I am Santi Cazorla fanboy #1. I am as bias as they come.

    I got destroyed for bringing this up a fews ago, but… if you look at the stats for the time Santi was at Arsenal vs the same time of both Xavi and Iniesta, Santi outperformed both. Playing in a much tougher league for a much shitter team. Not saying Santi was as good as either, but I think he was very much underrated!

  30. Pierre

    Bamford
    “The final decision regarding players is made above the manager’s head in the new set-up”

    Well that needs to change and change now.

    The manager should have the final say on incomings and outgoings .

    Its ridiculous to expect a manager to play players he doesn’t rate and to allow players to leave who he does rate..

    It’s a policy that’s doomed to fail as proven by our league position and the mess that was left on the departure of Emery.

  31. Batistuta

    Pierre

    It was a smart financial and sporting decision to let him go at the time, our form or whatever since he left has nothing to do with that plus we did get to a European final without him in midfield so it’s not like we were atrocious after he left… Sure we couldn’t replace what he brought to the team but that’s down to our recruitment more than anything

  32. Bamford10

    Jim

    I think Cazorla was super talented, and I liked him a lot, but I was never quite sure what kind of midfielder he was exactly, and I always felt the midfields he was a part of were unbalanced and missing any number of things that a good midfield should have. Now, that is obviously not entirely on Cazorla, as perhaps we didn’t surround him with the right players. But if you look at Mike’s description above of “a modern midfield” — a destroyer, a play-maker, a line-breaker — my question would be: what is/was Cazorla? who/what would you have put around him to make for a balanced midfield?

  33. Romford Pele

    Nah i’m with Bamford. As much as i loved Santi he had been injured nearly two years and had eaten up so many wages. Right to let him go imo.

    Also no to Boateng btw, absolutely not.

  34. Bamford10

    Pierre

    Well, one, the manager does have something like a “final say,” in that he has veto power over any final decision. But he would obviously need to feel very strongly about a player (in or out) in order to exercise this power.

    Two, if you’re so opposed to this set-up, write a letter to the board, or to KSE, or to the editors of a big newspaper. It is a set-up used by many of the best clubs in the world, however, so I think your campaign against this set-up is a little like tilting at windmills.

  35. Batistuta

    anyone considering Jerome Boateng in 2020 needs to get their heads imagined and badly too and no not even on a shirt term basis will i touch him

  36. Marko

    What will Arsenal do?

    I think we will sign Rabiot on loan and buy Szoboszlai. I think we will sign Fernandinho and Thiago Alcantara in the summer.

    ???

  37. Romford Pele

    We have Sokratis and Luiz who are already on the worst side of 30 and on big wages. Adding another one makes no sense. You won’t be able to get rid of them at all. Only way i’d have Boateng is on loan until the end of the season.

    Me personally I just want to splash the bag on Upamecano. If not bring me Todibo or N’Dicka.

  38. Pierre

    Batistuta
    “Jack Wilshere is a crock and that’s a verifiable fact and no manager would be able to do anything about that”

    I’ve heard for the past 3 months how no manager can improve the players at the club, how they are not good enough , how they would never be able to play with discipline, how they cant defend. …I disagreed .

    So when you say a player is a crock and no manager can help him , I tend to disagree.

    Who says Wilshere won’t do a rvp ( who they said was a crock) and put all his injury problems behind him.

    Who says a manager like Arteta couldn’t coach him to play the game to protect his body , and the longer a player goes without injury, the stronger his body becomes.

  39. HighburyLegend

    Un Dos Tres and his best pal Pierre keep on slamming Emery.
    If that can make them feel better, why the hell not ? lol

  40. Bamford10

    I get the opposition to Boateng, but if Upamecano is not going to happen — and it’s looking like it’s not going to happen — what is it that you are proposing? Who do you think we should be in for, and how much money would you be willing to spend on this player in the January window? I think it’s the case that you sometimes have to settle on an imperfect, short-term solution in January, and if we sign Boateng, I think that’s what this is. I am curious to know what direction you guys would go in instead, though. What are these other options, and why do you prefer them?

  41. Paulinho

    “Who says Wilshere won’t do a rvp ( who they said was a crock) and put all his injury problems behind him.”

    Wilshere has been crock since 2012. He’s (subconsciously or not) receiving the ball under no pressure to protect his ankles, whereas when he was 19 he was asking for it in advanced areas knowing and willing to get clattered, but by doing it he was actually impacting the game. Now he does nothing but recycle.

  42. Batistuta

    Pierre

    Arteta is no miracle worker, he’s managed 3 games his entire career, 3….

    Jack Wilshere is a crock and there’s no working him into any kind of form when he can barely stay fit and even when he’s played for West ham, he’s been average…

    There are lots of young and coming very talented midfielders in world football at the moment, no need reminiscing on the past with the likes of Wilshere and co… Time to move foward and far away from injury prone players

  43. Marko

    As Sanllehi said of the January window, it is for tactical and short term needs, not strategic and long-term needs.

    Take out the stuff about short term this and long term that and your closer to what he actually said.

    No to Boatang especially after Luiz but I don’t think we’d be that stupid in all honesty. No to Cazorla. Honestly some of you cunts sometimes need your head examined. We should be looking forward as a club not talking about Özil and Xhaka for the umpteenth time or talking about bringing back Mhikitaryan and Cazorla. Fucking grow up how many more failures do you need to witness. Fucking Cazorla as great as he was for us was out nearly two years and nearly had his foot amputated at 33 but some people question the club not giving him a new deal? Considering the amount of moaning over the years about diaby and him being kept on its honestly rich

  44. Pierre

    Batistuta
    “It was a smart financial and sporting decision to let him go at the time,”

    I’m not sure how one comes to the conclusion that it was smart.

  45. Romford Pele

    Bamford, why would we sign Boateng on huge wages when he’s only declining physically. He’s just a name in football now, he’s not been at the top level for at least 3 years now. Ever since Messi did what he did to him i’ve not been able to look at him the same. Obviously Messi can do that to anyone but if you’ve watched Boateng over the last couple years it makes no sense. Big wages and we can’t get rid. Players coming to an intense league like the PL in their 30s makes no sense.

    Upamecano will go. Whether it’s now or in the summer it’ll happen. His contract expires in 2021 and he won’t sign a new one. It’s a question of when. And if not him there are other CBs too.

  46. Romford Pele

    Pierre, Wilshere is done at the top level. Physically he’s not up to it anymore. He can’t even get games at West Ham. It’s over. Shame as he was so talented but it’s done.

  47. Marko

    Yeah let’s have an afternoon having a pointless conversation on Wilshere. Why not. Again what is wrong with you people. Cazorla was old and broken why didn’t we keep him? Wilshere is shite and broken? Why not bring him back? I swear

  48. Batistuta

    Pierre

    It was smart because he had been out for almost 2 years, nearly had his foot taken out plus his contract was up, the club decided a player who hadn’t contributed in two years and who had such a serious operation would be best recuperating somewhere else while we looked to replace his contribution or non contribution for the prior two years… It’s to his credit he’s managed to get himself playing to the level he is at the moment and I’m sure gooners worldwide are happy he’s back to something resembling his best but it was the smart decision to let him go

  49. DigitalBob

    Romford – Exactly my reservations about Boateng.

    Bamford – I wrote earlier that Dino Mavropano’s if fit should be given a chance to fill in as that 4th CB till the summer if the top targets are not attainable this month.

  50. Bamford10

    Romford

    N’Dicka looks interesting, as it looks like he can play both as a CB and a LB. But he also looks like a regular starter. Why would Eintracht part with him in January?

    As for Todibo, reports are that Barcelona have agreed to loan him to Milan.

    In the end, Sanllehi’s comments re the winter window vs. the summer window (tactical vs. strategic) make me think he thinks of January as a time to solve short term needs, not long term needs. That may be short-sighted, in a sense, but it also has a logic to it.

  51. Pierre

    Bamford

    You said.

    ““The final decision regarding players is made above the manager’s head in the new set-up”

    And after I replied, you said.

    “Well, one, the manager does have something like a “final say,” in that he has veto power over any final decision. ”

    So, is the final decision made above the manager’s head or not .

    Your comments appear to be a little contradictory.

  52. Romford Pele

    Bamford – Arsenal are a much bigger club. If we pay the money he’ll come. It’s not like Frankfurt are competing for the title either.

    My point is that there are CBs. I do take your point about Jan being harder to do business as per Raul’s comments and tbh we have a lot of CBs, need to get rid of a couple.

  53. Bamford10

    Digital

    OK, but given the club is looking to the market for a replacement for Chambers, I think there’s reason to think they do not believe in Mavropanos. Yes, if Mavropanos could step up and do the job, great. Wait until the summer to spend any more money on a CB. But what if Arteta doesn’t think Mavropanos is reliable, doesn’t believe he can do the job? I think you then need to go in to the market, and that’s what it looks like they’re doing.

    By the way, all, how did we come to sign Mavropanos rather than Soyuncu? I’m not saying these things are simple — they’re not — but were we looking at Soyuncu then or at any point since?

  54. njwc

    Pedro

    I have never commented before but I have tuned into Le Grove daily for as long as I can remember. Probably at least 10 years (now 26, going on 27).

    You have always managed to produce content which I admire however these scouting reports are terrible. There’s nothing leftfield in there at all. Its all 35-50 mil players. If this guy knows anything, who are the potential gems for 5 – 15 mil. That’s the real market arsenal are playing in. Get the feeling this chap is just flicking open La Marca/goal.com and having a fun playing career mode on fifa.

    He isn’t telling my anything I already know. I wonder if its the same for most other readers.

  55. Romford Pele

    Tbh Freiburg took the mickey with Soyuncu. At that time we bud £20m and Freiburg asked for £35m. We then signed Sokratis and nobody bid for Soyuncu until the end of the window so Freiburg panicked and sold him for £18m to Leicester. It’s really annoying because Soyuncu and Saliba could’ve been great together.

  56. Left testicle

    Wakes up after operation, doctor by his bedside says: Sir, I have good news and bad news. Patient says: what is bad news? Doctor says: Sir, owing to tragic error surgeon amputated wrong leg. Patient screams, says: what in hell can possibly be good news? Doctor says: patient in next bed wants to buy your shoes.

  57. Bamford10

    Pierre

    Talking to you is a little frustrating. The new set-up has been explained many times here and elsewhere. Anyone who follows Arsenal and talks about Arsenal every day — as you do — should know how it works. It’s not that complicated. The final decision rests with Sanllehi and Edu. They are the decision-makers, they drive the process. Not the manager. The manager focuses on training the team, instructing them in tactics, selecting his XI, etc. The manager does have input on the process above, however. He offers names, he offers opinion. He also has veto power. That is, if he feels really, really strongly about a particular decision — no, I don’t like that player at all; or, sorry, that player is too important to sell — then he can exercise that veto power. Like all veto power, however, the idea is that this would be a rare occurrence.

    Please never bring this issue up again. If you don’t like the new set-up, write a letter to the board. Please stop pretending not to understand it, so that you can use it as a cudgel against this or that nemesis of yours (read: Unai Emery). What you’re up to is transparent and obvious (and dishonest).

  58. Pierre

    I never said I wanted wilshere back , what I said was , and I quote

    “I’ve heard for the past 3 months how no manager can improve the players at the club, how they are not good enough , how they would never be able to play with discipline, how they cant defend. …I disagreed .
    So when you say a player is a crock and no manager can help him , I tend to disagree.”

    I then went on to say
    “Who says a manager like Arteta couldn’t coach him to play the game to protect his body , and the longer a player goes without injury, the stronger his body becomes.”

    So how about you all calm down a little as it is possible for a player to overcome his injury problems .

    And no, I do not want wilshere back , it will be very difficult, though not impossible,for him to return to his best.

  59. Pierre

    Paulinho
    “Wilshere He’s (subconsciously or not) receiving the ball under no pressure to protect his ankles, whereas when he was 19 he was asking for it in advanced areas knowing and willing to get clattered, but by doing it he was actually impacting the game. Now he does nothing but recycle.”

    Accurate comment .

  60. DigitalBob

    Bamford – they may just see him as rough around the edges and he’s also been injured for hefty portion of the season so far. I haven’t seen enough of him to call him a flop so i’d prefer he’s given a chance to prove himself under the new coaching regime.

    Is there no way we can throw some of that 12 million they want to spend on Boateng to bring Saliba in a few months early? Raul needs to be smart about this one.

  61. Distant legrover

    Maybe Wilshere should move to a slower league ala Cazorla. Like someone mentioned above, even when he receives the ball now, he’s too scared and scarred to do anything attacking with it, always sideway passing.

    But we are definitely dying for carry ball midfielders.

  62. Pierre

    Bamford
    Emery wanted to play a pressing game.

    Raul buys Pepe for 72 million who is worse than Ozil at pressing.

    Does this make sense to you.

    If the answer is no (as it should be) then the process doesnt work .

  63. bennydevito

    PierreJanuary 3, 2020    12:34:39

    Bamford
    “The final decision regarding players is made above the manager’s head in the new set-up”

    Well that needs to change and change now.

    The manager should have the final say on incomings and outgoings .

    Its ridiculous to expect a manager to play players he doesn’t rate and to allow players to leave who he does rate..

    It’s a policy that’s doomed to fail as proven by our league position and the mess that was left on the departure of Emery.

    >>>>>>

    We are operating a head coach/ director of football model now. Emery wasn’t in control of player recruitment and neither is Arteta.

    Liverpool operate a similar model where they have a committee to identify and sign the players. Klopp didn’t want some of the players they’ve signed like Salah & vvd I’ve read but wanted others. It’s a model most of the top clubs use now.

    The Emery obsessives need to get it into their thick agenda dense heads that the decision to let Cazorla, Ramsey and Wilshere go was Gazidis’s and Raul’s, not Emery’s.

  64. Marko

    Romford actually a very true description of the Soyuncu situation. Honestly it’s a shame Sven Mislintat didn’t do more to sign him. Hindsight is a great thing though I remember when he was linked a tonne of people here were against his signing much like the Saliba signing.

  65. Romford Pele

    Marko, I really wanted Soyuncu as he fits the modern profile of a PL CB. That said, I understood why we said no at the time because it did feel like Freiburg were trying to rip us off. That’s why they panicked and sold low at the end of the window. Wish he was here though, fantastic CB.

  66. Distant legrover

    Romford
    He’s just such a cool and smart defender. I love his finesse. He’s the anti-Sokratis. And yeah trying to get him now from Leicester city with our cheap owners probably isn’t plausible.

    But the list goes on right ? Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe, Soyuncu ?

  67. Pierre

    Bamford
    I think that Arteta will control all transfer business..

    He has already made it clear that he doesn’t want to sell xhaka even though it appeared he had one foot out of the door.

    If the board go above his head and sell him then Arteta won’t hang around at the club too long .

  68. CG

    Vladdy

    “”””I don’t regret that we didn’t get Mikel earlier.”””””

    (What a preposterous thing to say….totally nonsensical)

    No – its bloody marvellous – that he takes over after £250 000 000 has been wasted on average and overpriced players and the team is broken, lopsided and sitting in mid table.

    Arsenal have made lots of strategic errors in recent times.

    Not appointing Arteta and appointing The Clown after Wenger was the worst decision any soccer club has ever made.

    Imagine what Arteta could have done- when everyone was enthused when Wenger left.

    Arteta would have known about Santi, Rambo, Kos etc. A huge advantage.

    Failure to make CL football next year- will mean we will be posting £100 million losses next term.

    Unlike Chelsea- we have not a Hazard to sell.

    One thing we must not do this window – is buy more Garbage.

    Now -we have a brilliant coach- let him get to work on the young Greek defender and Eddie N.

    NO MORE GARBAGE!

  69. Un na naai

    Benny

    Only if the manager knows what he’s doing

    Yes I’d take Santi back in a heartbeat
    Wilshere- he had a full season at Bournemouth and then another at arsenal (where he put in motm displays for us) without injury
    Goes to West Ham and boom
    He’s out
    Maybe he should go to a slower league but he wants to be near his kid. I understand that. I couldn’t be apart from mine either

  70. Pierre

    Benny
    Arteta will not operate without having the final say…of that I am sure as he has seen what a monumental cock up they have made on the last 12 months with signings like Suarez and Pepe who are totally unsuitable for the football Emery was trying( and failed) to produce.

  71. Bamford10

    Pierre

    “If the board go above his head …”

    One, it’s not the board that does the selling and buying. FFS, I just explained this to you. It is Raul and Edu who make the final decisions re players out and in, not the board.

    Two, I agree that Arteta will be more assertive when it comes to discussions and decisions about players. Where Emery was meek and deferential to Sanllehi and Edu, Arteta will be a third equal voice in the room; he may even be the most forceful voice in the room at times, as he has a big personality, is a very determined guy and he has very clear ideas about what he wants and doesn’t want. So yes, I agree that things will be a little different with Arteta in the room. The structure will remain the same, though.

  72. CG

    “””””If the board go above his head and sell him then Arteta won’t hang around at the club too long “””””

    Well deciphered Pierre. My- you have had a good few weeks.

    (You must be closing in on my 87.7% accuracy levels??)

    Arteta already after 18 days- Runs the show.
    The rest dance to his tune now.

    And as the G of H rightly alluded to:

    It wont be long before Barcelona or Real Madrid or Bayern Or City will be trying to snare him.

    Tie him on a 10 year deal.

  73. Marko

    Maybe he should go to a slower league but he wants to be near his kid. I understand that. I couldn’t be apart from mine either

    I mean they got Sunday league in London right? Maybe even a 5 a side league too. More his level honestly. He can have his kick about and still drink and smoke all he wants

  74. Distant legrover

    After rewatching the match, these are my observations on Pepe.

    1. Pepe is our most dangerous player. A sort of messi-lite.

    2. Most of our dangerous moves involved Pepe.

    3. He should be passed the ball more often

    4. Someone needs to stay close to him at all times, he shouldn’t have to dribble 2 people every time he gets the ball.

    5. We are very dangerous when Pepe is leading the link-up play.

  75. Pedro

    Pierre,

    He’ll be in control of the squad and what he needs. Not sure he’ll lead. Think they’ll have a brain trust model. There are quotes somewhere with him saying his job is to give an opinion.

    I love Mikel, but it doesn’t matter how good he is, he can’t be given too much control. Need a club run properly.

  76. Distant legrover

    Also last which is probably the most important point, Pepe is a confident based player. When he’s confident he can be world class, when he’s low on confidence, he looks like a watered down Gervinho.

    Feed his confidence and he will blow.

  77. Marko

    The Gunners boss has said: ““We are going to try and be in the market to see options that can strengthen the team. That’s for sure and that’s our obligation and we’re going to be working on that.”

    For sure he says.

  78. Valentin

    Pedro,

    N’Zogbia is in a worse physical condition than Santi. He was forced to retired because of a heart defect. Doctors have told him that he would drop dead if he were to continue to play professional football….
    Even with a chopped foot, Santi would still be able to play.

  79. Pierre

    Distant le Grover
    “4. Someone needs to stay close to him at all times, he shouldn’t have to dribble 2 people every time he gets the ball.”

    That will be Ozil, I mentioned yesterday that Pepe needs to trust Ozil and understand that when he passes the ball to Ozil , he is only loaning him the ball as he always gives it back .

    I agree Ozil should play closer to Pepe, it is possible that Ozil could have the same on field relationship with Pepe as he had with Sanchez , though it may take a little more time to get

  80. Un na naai

    I mean they got Sunday league in London right? Maybe even a 5 a side league too. More his level honestly. He can have his kick about and still drink and smoke all he wants

    And still be the most talented player of his generation. Tell me. How is the great Paul Pogba faring?

  81. Distant legrover

    CG

    There is an argument to be made that Arteta wouldn’t have been ready 18 months ago. It’s 18 months later, he’s more experienced, he’s since Liverpool overtake his old Man City team despite them being the more talented side. I m sure he’s learned from that too.

    I would say he has come at the right time.

  82. HighburyLegend

    “I love Mikel, but it doesn’t matter how good he is, he can’t be given too much control. Need a club run properly”

    I must admit that Pedro has won my respect with this one. lol

  83. Marko

    And still be the most talented player of his generation. Tell me. How is the great Paul Pogba faring?

    Don you make me laugh I swear. Most talented of his generation and yet he never kicked on at Arsenal went on loan to Bolton and Bournemouth and joined West Ham on a free. Even now at just turned 28 he’s talked about like he’s close to retirement. Pogba has done more in one season than Wilshere has his entire career and it wasn’t even one of the seasons he had at Juve. Jack isn’t fit to lace his boots.

  84. Chris

    It’s a shame we didn’t get Soyuncu, him and Luiz together with Guendouzi sitting in front of defence might have caused a bit of confusion with their hair styles.

    I’d be happy to see Mavropanos given a run in the team but unfortunately the question mark remains over his fitness. If he can stay for now is the time to see what he can do and how he can fit in under Arteta. If he struggles or can’t stay fit it may be best to let him go in the summer.

  85. Valentin

    Pierre,

    I am in favour of a manager having a veto but not the final say on players. The manager should state his need in term of position and players characteristics. He should be able to make suggestions, but the recruitment cell should should go and find players based on his recruitment.
    In project management one of the classic mistakes People makes is letting the client dictate the solution instead of gather the requirements.
    A manager should say I need a defensive midfielder who can run X km, who can make Y sprints, Z interceptions per game but can also move the ball forward, good header of the ball and etc. If the solution is player X, but under no circumstances club should allow a manager tell them I need player X. Otherwise we have not move to a more structure approach. Every time a new manager will come, we will have to change half the team.

  86. bennydevito

    I really hope Arteta does have more authority on the final say of who we sign and who we sell. As long as we keep improving on the pitch and get a run of wins together that will surely strengthen Arteta’s hand in having the final say.

    As for transfers we should firstly keep the group of players we have right now including Aubameyang, Ozil and Xhaka until the summer at least.

    We should look to raise funds by shifting Mkhitaryan and Elneny on permanently.

    Any money we do have should be used to sign Upamecano only. That’s it. No to Boateng, no to Umtiti, no to anyone over 28 with a bad injury record on high wages.

    And absolutely no to Lemar! We don’t need anymore lightweight Foreign players with long term injuries ill equipped for the premier league, especially more attackers when we need defenders ffs!

    Upamecano or no one. Keep our money for the summer.

  87. CG

    PedRo

    “””””Think they’ll have a brain trust model.”””””

    Well this Brain Trust Model has propelled us from 5th to 6th to mid table.
    And Burned through 1/4 of a billion on players
    And gave us Emery and his 9 Goons.
    And gave us Vinny crawling the streets of Manchester like a drug dealer in the night.

    We dont need Brains Trusts or Committees.

    We need one person Mikel Arteta ( who has integrity and is competent)to make the decisions.

    Arteta in 18 days has got more decisions correct than Raul, Edu and Vinny have in 18 months.

    reminder

    Vinny when asked about the Clowns appointment.

    “We Would not change a Thing”

  88. Un na naai

    ogba has done more in one season than Wilshere has his entire career and it wasn’t even one of the seasons he had at Juve. Jack isn’t fit to lace his boots.

    Marko
    Jack was a better player when they were both 20
    Had he been managed properly he’d have been one of the best

  89. CG

    Distant Le Grover

    “””””There is an argument to be made that Arteta wouldn’t have been ready 18 months ago. It’s 18 months later.””””””

    He knew all the players. He was more ready then than he is now. ( he dont know half this new team)
    Off course he was ready.

    We would have finished in the top 4 both seasons. And probably chasing Liverpool down for the title this season
    We would not be in The Loosers Cup
    We would not be posting a £ 50 million loss this year
    and £100 million loss next year.

    Arsenal will take years to recover from Emery.

  90. Valentin

    Romford,/Bamford,

    Last summer Todibo or N’Dicka were two of the left side CB I was advocating when Koscielny made clear he wanted to leave.

    Barcelona got Todibo initially on a free then for 2 millions when he was freeze in January by Toulouse. They were willing to sell him for £17 millions with a buy back clause to ManUtd who refuse the clause.
    At the time Barcelona went after Todibo, Raul was too busy in the US sucking up to Kroenke to think strategically. So Obviously for strategic reason we later went after David Luiz the short term solution.

  91. Marko

    Jack was a better player when they were both 20

    No he wasn’t. He was bit part while Pogba was at Juve winning things.

    Had he been managed properly he’d have been one of the best

    You basically need an asterisk added to everything ever written about Jack Wilshere. Jack Wilshere best of his generation * had he been managed properly. Jack Wilshere better than Pogba * had he been managed properly. Don’s Mrs feed his confidence and he will blow * had he been born a woman.

  92. Thomas

    Wilshere was/is shit. More like most overrated player of his generation. Mostly sat on his ass with his arms out complaining to the ref. Little shit.

  93. Marko

    So Obviously for strategic reason we later went after David Luiz the short term solution.

    Todibo and Luiz were signed in completely different transfer windows.

  94. CG

    Well Said BD

    Now we have a genuinely great coach.
    Lets look for in house solutions and coach upwards.

    NO MORE GARBAGE!

  95. Bamford10

    Reports we’re in for Norwich right-back Max Aarons. Continued reports that we’re interested in Guimarães.

  96. Distant legrover

    CG

    Have you ever heard that familiarity breeds contempt ? Also don’t get in business with family ? If he had joined before Emery he would have been joining mostly his old teammates. Its hard to listen to someone you used to bunk beds with. That may not have worked out well.

    You saw how Lampard got rid of Luiz first thing right ? He was eradicating a potential obstacle to his reign.

  97. Un na naai

    Marko

    Pogba was winning things at juve? Big deal!! Pascal cygan was at arsenal winning things. Doesn’t make him better than (name your defender here) does it?

    Anyway. I’m not doing the wilshere debate again. Nobody is changing my mind on the matter.

  98. Marc

    “I love Mikel, but it doesn’t matter how good he is, he can’t be given too much control. Need a club run properly”

    It’s not just running a club properly it’s about giving someone a manageable work load and allowing them to focus their talents most where they are needed. People forget that when Wenger joined and was picking up great talent it was David Dein who actually did the dealing – Wenger highlighted players he liked.

  99. Un na naai

    Reports we’re in for Norwich right-back Max Aarons. Continued reports that we’re interested in Guimarães

    Now that’s a move
    I had a feeling he’d be in for a new rb.
    Max Aaron’s would be a smart move

  100. Cesc Appeal

    Talk that City are going to offer Fernandinho a one year extension.

    If not I agree with the post and think that is a player Arteta might well try to get on a free.

    Don’t know much about Guimaraes but he certainly seems to be surrounded by a lot of excitement from football writers.

    Aarons would be a good signing for the right price, potential there, but I don’t think he’s been that great this season. Although to be honest might be harsh on him given the state of Norwich.

  101. Luisjo

    Great article Pete. I’ve got to say Fabian or Valverde. Valverde has a massive engine he’s like a much better Guendozi as in he’s always busy, great passing % (late eighties), scores wonder goals, can break a press with a dribble. Problem is he won’t want to leave and Real Madrid won’t want to sell, they dropped Modric for him. Fabian is simply an amazing central midfielder also got a great engine, can play as a DM if injuries are bad, can literally play anywhere in midfield, superb passer including defence splitters, his vision is maybe his best quality, he sees things before they happen. Of those you mentioned, Fabian is the best and most gettable. Two others that will be cheap and worth a shot Doucoure. He’d suit us to the ground another one you didn’t mention but we could get on loan plus Arsenal have superb relationship with Madrid is Brahim Diaz. Got prem experience and desperate for minutes

  102. Marko

    Anyway. I’m not doing the wilshere debate again. Nobody is changing my mind on the matter

    Wrong is wrong I suppose. Still though if playing regularly and being successful wasn’t enough for Pogba at 20 one wonders how you got to Wilshere being better at 20. He wad neither playing regularly nor influential at 20. Or ever really. Football really passed by the lad meanwhile Pogba has been a record signing, won major honours and even won the world cup.

  103. Marko

    Fernandinho will be 35 next season. Nope for me. Can’t complain about Sokratis and Luiz and Lichtsteiner and then think about Fernandinho.

  104. Freddie Ljungberg

    Aarons for 30m+? Only if we get more than that for Bellerin which doesn’t seem very likely unless Barca feels like overpaying.

    Would rather we focus on CM and CB the next 2 windows, have to sort out our spine once and for all. No more short term buys either, if it’s short term make it a loan so we’re not stuck with more aging declining players.

    Upamecano doesn’t seem likely this window but still strong links with Demiral, earlier links with Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.

    Wouldn’t hurt getting some of Pepes pals so just travel to Lille with a bag of cash for Gabriel and Soumare.

  105. Marko

    Aarons would be a good signing for the right price, potential there, but I don’t think he’s been that great this season.

    He’s good but likely massively overpriced because he’s English. Anything past 20/25 million I’d forget it considering Atal and a few others would be available for that and better value for money.

    Be interesting to see what Watford do with Joao Pedro. Massive amount of buzz around the lad to the point where apparently Liverpool were trying to get him from Watford before he even kicked a ball for them.

  106. CG

    Distant Le grover

    “”””Its hard to listen to someone you used to bunk beds with. That may not have worked out well.”””””

    No- it worked out well with Emery, instead

    Lampard was very astute in getting shot of the woeful Luiz.
    unlike Edu- who bought him..

    Chelsea would not be having the season they are having- had we not solved one of their problems.

    they still cant believe their luck – we were that foolish enough to buy him.

    He may have had a couple of resolute games- but history will tell you – he is a complete and utter liability and always trouble for any manager.

  107. Major_Jeneral

    Soyuncu is gone. Let’s stop crying over split milk and get someone who is in that mold or even better.
    Is it true that Upamecano’s present teammate is a better prospect because Upamecano had an injury and the teammate was playing better.?

    Secondly how the hell did Moyes win 4-0 against Bournemouth in his first match back at westham. I Never saw that coming?

  108. Distant legrover

    CG

    This isn’t about Emery .
    Seeing as Luiz has actually won titles playing for them and his replacements aren’t exactly playing like John Terry then I would wager that u don’t know what you are talking about.

    “Chelsea wouldn’t be having the season they are having” ? You make it sound like they are competing for the league. There is nothing special or extraordinary about their season. Their defense this season isn’t known for its meaness either lol.

    Those young defenders could have used Luiz on their side this season and I m not even a fan of Luiz.

    Back to Arteta, he arrived at Arsenal more experienced and I think that’s the right time.

  109. Marko

    Is it true that Upamecano’s present teammate is a better prospect because Upamecano had an injury and the teammate was playing better.?

    Funny thing is that since Konate has been out injured Leipzig have looked better with Upamecano in.

  110. Nelson

    It is going to be exciting to see how Arteta wii convert Pepe to become a complete winger. Previously, Pepe always tried to cut inside and shoot. Last game was the first time I saw him forcing his way passed a left back (Luke Shaw) and centered.

    Pepe has a very good shot. Arteta’s structure uses the right back to help out the midfield and the left back to attack and cross the ball. Pepe will have a lot of chances to pick up those crosses and delivers his strikes. A good system can really bring out the best of a player.

  111. Major_Jeneral

    I agree @Distantlegrover

    Marko – I guess that settles it.
    if the transfer guidelines allows Arsenal should get an agreement with Leipzig or Upamecano so other rivals won’t get him in summer. We need to tie down our targets.

    Great scouting report @mike
    I am mesmerised by the huge potential of carmavinga.

  112. Valentin

    Marko,

    Saint-Clair Todibo was available on the cheap during summer 2019 either on a year long loan or for £17 millions with a hefty buy back clause.

    N’Dicka was also available this summer and in view of this year lack of involvement at Frankfurt should be cheap. He has also the advantage of being able to play left back if needed.