KAI AT LEFT-BACK?!?!

by .

The beasting of Kai Havertz has been brutal. But for every amateur analyst demanding we know he’s terrible, another top pro manager pipes up and says they think he’s high qualidee.

This time, it’s Julian Nagelsmann – a manager a lot of Arsenal fans fawned over back in the day. He decided to go toe-to-toe with Mikel’s big galaxy brain and probably knocked him to the canvas by dropping him into the left-wing back position.

“Kai won’t always be in this position. I have a great idea, he’s an exceptionally good footballer. This is a very good option. He won’t always play as a classic left-back.”

Well, Kai opened the scoring for Germany and they went on to win.

Ok, they didn’t win. But that’s not the point. He scored a goal. THAT’S the point. Right?

Who knows where Kai’s Arsenal career is going to go, but hearing top footballing minds talking about how good he is does skew my view that he’ll probably come good. He’s a players player. A manager’s first pick. Clearly he has attributes that top coaches seem to love. We just need to see him bring a bit of bang-bang to proceedings.

My biggest takeaway from all of this is the thing that everyone said he’d be rubbish at (defending) seems to be the only thing he’s currently good at. I’m happy to put chips on his attacking game coming good when considering the managers that played him as a striker.

Arsenal are being linked with players this January — the list of players at the moment seems split between midfielders and strikers.

On the striker side, it’s Ivan Toney and now Dusan Vlahovic.

On the midfielder front it’s Douglas Luiz and Ruben Neves.

Let’s talk midfielders. Those two players, in a normal market, are £50m players. Both are versatile midfielders that can play as 6s or 8s… but the deeper role is where they thrive. For me, the only way you make that kind of deal happen is if Thomas Partey leaves the club. Neves is an outrageous technician who can’t go to Newcastle and Luiz is a free-scoring midfielder who is very unsexy but he’s never injured and he’s keeping an Unai Emery midfield going. He’s also exCity.

Midfield wasn’t where I saw Arsenal investing in January, but I think Arteta really wanted Thomas P involved this season, especially without Timber, so it would make sense.

The striker position is clearly a massive target for Arsenal, but £100m for Ivan Toney isn’t acceptable, and though Dusan Vlahvoci is a good player, what change out of £100m are we getting for him? 4 goals in 10 this season. 14 in 42 last season. Hard to say he’s banged.

If we can’t find a bonified goal-scoring freak this January, we should just pass. No point wasting good money on someone we’ll be lumbered with for 5 years. The player we sign needs to be pure glory. I’m not sure we’re getting that in 6 weeks time.

Arsenal have a new hype-child: Chido Obi-Martin

The Dane scored 10 goals against Liverpool U16s this weekend. He’s a U17, which is kind of cheating, but regardless, that is a big goal haul at a level in which you would not expect a scoreline like that.

Is he the next Jack Jebb?

The next Fran Merida?

Is he Arturo Lupoli?

Who knows… but it does seem like Arsenal’s production line continues to churn out the big names!

David Raya made his Spain debut against Cyprus… he conceded one goal off three shots on target.

Martinelli scored a lovely goal from a Vini Jr assist.

Saka did NOT get injured in very boring England win against Malta. 3 shots on target. How embarrassing.

Ok, a painfully slow week. The last international break is always the worst. So if you’re bored, check out the latest Patreon podcast below.

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Mark S

First?

Mark S

I was wondering how the break has been going for you, Pete?

Mark S

At least we’re done with breaks until the spring. This just stinks.

Mark S

Tr4phy and SKOL for my Vikings tonight!

Mark S

Good night Grovers. Back to the game in the Mile High City.

Mark S

I even read the whole post!

MG42

What happened to some of the posts in the previous thread it looks like that some of the political discussions were not to Pedro’s liking and got deleted. In my opinion, rightly so as they do not belong on this Arsenal blog.

Looks like Nagelsman is doing Arteta a favor and trying out some experiments with Kai to see what is his best position so that he can produce and contribute.

Chitrak

Kai playing at lb reminds me of emre can at fullback for Germany under loew. A good player but not at the top top level

Aaron

Reminds me of another player who was on the skippers starting list no mater whom was at the helm. Hint, he is back in the German league.

So, Kai probably does a lot of what every coach wants and scoring is just a bonus.

Need a mid full stop. Partey is costing us more than $.

Nigel Tufnel

Pedro, As far as Kai being a managers first pick… even though I didn’t like him at Chelsea (a very superficial view).. I did notice something..he was bought for 80-90 mil at around the same time as Roman(?) splurged on Werner, Ziyech, Lukaku, and… am I forgetting any others in that period? The point is, they went through the normal coaching changes…. and the one player that was almost always starting was Havertz. That is a sign of something.. I’m glad Pedro mentions this. Arteta needs to make him more aggressive and goal hungry, selfish. I love his midfield play,… Read more »

Mysticleaves

Not sure being every managers pick translates to being a good player. Ordinarily, he started out as an attacker. A very very good one at that. Before 26, he might play as CB! He’s a headache.

Joelinton was signed as a striker too but couldn’t score in a brothel and was pretty gash at striker things so was switched to a CM. He’s been fantastic since. With Kai, he’s not been fantastic in any position and he just keeps going further back. For his sake I wish he finds a position and settle. But an attacking players he’s not.

China1

Watched the video of that kids 10 goals and safe to say whilst that’s quite remarkable and that he goals were all really well taken, it basically looked like a man bulldozing little boys. The gulf in size and power between him and the liverpool defense made it a total non-contest.

Still mad props to him for doubtful what he did. You can only score 10 against the team that’s in front of you…!

China1

Is the international break over yet ffs

If it’s not we’re going to have to have more political debates

What else can we do???

Useroz

Would the Brazilian NT coach really going to start Jesus tomorrow againstArgentina, defying common sense? Could Arsenal do anything as a club under the circumstance? A case of Edu being toothless dealing with the Brazilian FA? Nightmare scenario… Jesus limped off during match and 3, 4 weeks’ treatment and rehab undone and Kesus would be out till January… Thing is, it’d be a long while before the next batch of internationals and to Diniz whatever injuries Jesus might pick up tomorrow should be fixed by then so wouldnt bother him…. utter selfishness it appears! Yes, we need a first striker,… Read more »

China1

For me I’d rather we went all in for a world class striker than play a crazy high fee for one who is ‘only’ good We should be looking at someone like osimhen. If we have 80+m for Toney we should instead be bidding that for Osimhen and seeing what happens. Napoli would probably reject but they might say what sort of number they’d consider. But I just don’t see much point in trying to buy a striker who isn’t world class. We already have two good strikers, adding a third doesn’t interest me. Would rather we bought none than… Read more »

Siddeeq

Kai- jack of all trades, master of non.

Siddeeq

Why are all Naijas named Obi -martin?

Masterstroke

Not Vlahovic!!! He’s Trouble with a capital T, with his rants against other nations from the area once known as Yugoslavia

Kpankulu

@Dissenter:
It’s crazy that a manager who had the chutzpah to call poor refereeing decisions disgraceful attacked relentlessly whilst a club that demonstrably cheated like Everton is being defended by the likes of Gary Neville and Carragher.

Tells you the kind of human beings Neville [especially] and Carragher are.

kjelli

I fear that Kai H. doesn’t have the psycological attributes to fulfill his potential. And this Obi Martin
kid has a strong resemblance to Rashford´s physical appearancence . Lets hope he develops well

Tikpo

Kai is being picked and praised by his coaches because he gives them what they want from players. That makes him a very good player..
We criticize him because he doesn’t give us what we want to see on the pitch.
Then again he is in camp with his coaches and we are on the stands or in front of our televisions.
I will go with his coaches’ opinions every day of the week and twice on Sunday..

Chris

The way he’s being described here it appears we have spent £65 million on a younger version of Granit, but without the goals.

I’m sure we were all looking for something more from a Xhaka replacement, even if he had quite frankly an outstanding last season for us.

If Havertz playing makes the team better and win more games, then that’s obviously great. From purely an individual perspective however, he is largely brining underwhelming performances to the table. So I too hope there is much more to come from him.

Freddie Ljungberg

How often do we play teams of the quality and intensity of the Turkish national team? A couple of times a year max (carabobo or FA) now that we’re not in the europa. I prefer to watch what he is doing and been doing for the last 3 seasons rather than what his coaches in irrelevant tournaments and leagues say or do with him. When the tempo and pace drops and he has time and space on the ball he looks a lot less useless, in the Bundesliga he was absolutely beasting it. Doesn’t matter at all if 3 +… Read more »

Bilbo

China, I saw the same re: the young striker. Like vids of a teenage Lukaku just dominating scrawny Belgian kids. Still, did his internet rep the world of good. The midfielder who is 13/14 apparently ran the show.

englandsbest

Painful to see Arsenal overpay for players. Partly due, I suspect, to a rookie manager trying to establish himself as a force in the transfer market. Surely those days are over and a terrier-like approach is a negative factor. Whenever Arteta shows an interest the price goes up.

Better to look elsewhere. Nobody in PL knows Brazilian football better than Edu. And maybe Latin American football as a whole.

G

Think we overpaid on Kai but can’t think of many others..

Habesha Gooner

Kai turning it around is what we all want to see. But at the moment he is playing like crap and has done so since the start of the season. Whatever these managers are talking about with regards to him playing well is for his confidence and because they are good leaders. They know you rarely get anything positive when you put someone down. But they have eyes. He has been playing like crap. Let’s hope he can turn it around.

Bob N16

Not sure Arteta decides how much we should pay to bring in a player. Our negotiation team needs to be better sure.

Bilbo

Agreed there Bob. Our main shortcomings on the transfer side are selling: Arteta makes it abundantly clear people have been jettisoned, we aren’t ruthless enough in pushing them out & end up forcing them to leave.

Which actually brings us back to the buying side: are we just too liberal with contracts that become a millstone when selling? Maybe. Hopefully that was driven by us needing to overpay when we were a bit shit and should die down a touch now.

Freddie Ljungberg

G

35m for Vieira who’s basically a 23 year old u16 player.

Whatever we paid for Pablo Mari who was totally unsuited for the PL.

Not too bad in the grand scheme of things but the Havertz and Vieira signings especially are the reason we’re so thin on quality in midfield now and don’t really have a nailed on starting trio there.
If we had the money to absorb bad signings and got rid quickly it wouldn’t be so bad but since we can’t and we don’t every bad big money signing has massive repercussions.

1970 Gooner

I am always very suspicious of any footballer who doesn’t have a nailed on position where they excel. Versatility is a great asset of course but, more often than not, that versatility comes with a cost – namely mediocrity! Jack of all trades, master of none. Next up we’ll be seeing him in goal, having already failed as a striker, midfielder and, more than likely, defender!

Samesong

I remember Willian played for us looked half the player at Chelsea then went to Fulham and looks decent again. I get the same vibes with Havertz. If Partey was fit would Havertz actually get a look in? Would we be better defensively? I think we would still.

As an Arsenal player I will back him but do I think he will come good the answer is no!

Guns of Hackney

No idea what a ‘players player’ means in this context.

Playing Kai at wing back tells me one thing:

He doesn’t have a position that he makes his own. For me that’s not a hallmark of a good player, let alone first choice on the team sheet. Did Adams ever play left back or in midfield? No. How about Maldini or have we seen Messi as a holding midfielder?

Kai is terrible.

G

Freddie think mari was under 10m and yeh there’s probably 2 that we’ve overpaid on but not gona get everyone right.. ask chelsea and manu
Understand what you’re saying about being light In middle and absorbing the bad signings which means every one has to work which is unlikely

agreymab

Definite parallels between Kai and Granit – hated by the keyboard warriors, first on the team sheet by the managers

jwl

The “top footballing minds” who praise Kai are his managers who don’t want to insult their player. Kai is obviously good at some things, he doesn’t embarrass on the field, but he doesn’t excel at anything here in Eng and he way overpaid and over-promoted, Kai is like a late era Wenger signing stealing a living.

Bob N16

Jwl , surely not picking him sends a message just as picking him does. Nobody forced Nagelsman to select Havertz.

China1

I don’t think we should complain about mari I seem to recall he was about 6m He wasn’t a crap player he just wasn’t the level we needed. He had a good run alongside I think holding or was it sokratis when we were actually quite solid for a bit. We changed play style to be more open and he was exposed for similar reasons to holding who works better in a tight unit rather than a more expansive one But at the price we paid he didn’t particularly disappoint imo. If he’d been 30m that would’ve been an eyebrow… Read more »

X haka

Surely playing Havertz at left back and then conceding 3 against Turkey is going to reduce his confidence not restore it.

Think we will have do what Chelsea do with Lukaku, a series of loan moans to overseas clubs until his contract runs out, in 2028.

Don’t really want to to talk about this player all season ,making excuses and finding unsuitable positions for him.

GD4

Guess Nagelsmann was channeling his inner Mikel Arteta
and pretending Kai was Zinchenko lol.
Smh @ these coaches ..

Useroz

Viera and Havertz could become eventual surplus and that’s £100m down the drain, judging by how well we manage to move players on recently. That would be massive punt went wrong.

Sometimes you feel we needn’t always go left field for players to show how uniquely brilliant we are in scouting..

On getting a WC striker, Victor O. allegedly would cost upward of €150m. Love to have him here but not sure we’d really be in that $ league …

Useroz

Bruno Fernandez is a WC dickhead, especially at Manure ,who costed ~£15m more than Vieira and may be plus incentives…. For argument sake, imagine we bought him instead of Vieira …. that would be very interesting …

Rusty Shackleford

Kai should’ve been left back at Chelsea. And I’m not talking positions. Terrible waste of money.

WengerEagle

It’s so bizarre with Havertz because even though he’s worth nowhere near 65m and 200+k a week, he can’t be THIS bad, can he?

It’s getting to the stage where every shot of his is scuffed, Gervinho/Welbeck esque. Even the Turkey goal wasn’t cleanly hit and trickled in.

At least those two had athleticism to fall back on. And a position to call home.

LB now? 😂 What’s the opposite of a Swiss Army Knife

GD4

On a different front, looks like Timber is about 6-8 weeks away from returning. Saw his pics of him working out at Colney and reports say he’s progressing well and targeting a January return. That’s great news.

Dunno how rusty he will be but he brings something different to the squad and has been missed. Also hopes Partey can get well and sort out things with Mikel. These rumors of him wanting out could be an indicator that something is not right there.

Chris

Excellent news about Timber if true.

He’ll be like a new signing!!!!!!

TR7

Remember Maroune Fellaini? He was bought by United as a box to box midfielder.

In a short span of time he played as B2B mid, CDM, second striker and sometimes even as a defender. Eventually he couldn’t do well in any of the several positions he was tried at and offloaded.

Kai reminds me so much of Fellaini – tall, always moving, decent in air at least defensively, winning second balls etc. but eventually not having elite technical ability for any position really. By the way Fellaini was also always picked/used by all his managers.

Bilbo

If Timber does look like he’s making it back in time for Jan and Mikel is asked, I hope to God Wenger pops out of nowhere to tell us he’d be ‘like a new signing’. In that respect, I lost count of the amount of times we signed Diaby.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CzHGCbZNLz9/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

Bilbo

TR7 – Fellaini is a great analogy. That’s Kai spot on.

Tom

That’s actually pretty funny because Mourinho always praised Fellaini for his defensive contributions, while trying to convince Man U fans to give him more love.

Has Arteta transformed into Jose with the defensive stability as his priority?

Nigel Tufnel

Genius implying the Party situation is somehow the fault of Arteta. ” Sort it out” ” Something not right there” ?? At this point the situation makes Arteta and us fans the victims of Partey and his “problems”. Probably no truth that he wants to leave.. totally sounds like Italian club and Italian media bullshit meant to destabilize, start rumours, hoping for a cut price deal. The players only interest at his advanced age is his next contract. We’ve given Partey a pass because of his talent, but he’s a bit of a problem case. I won’t even go into… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

I understand the Fellaini analogy but they couldn’t be more different in style.

Fellaini was an all action work horse, who attacked headers like they were his favourite part of the game. Kind of a brute .
Not a finesse footballer of course. Defensive and physical.

Kai is more shy in attacking and much smoother in his midfield actions with real football skills.. Luckily not a soft player.,. Just not aggressive in the box.

Fellaini was aggressive everywhere on the pitch, more of a wrecking ball to shake things up.

MidwestGun

*sigh* please get this international break over with… this one seems especially long. I don’t know, Kai reminds me of the coaches.. son.. that everyone had on at least one of their teams growing up. He was usually tall strong and somewhat athletic so he would dominate at an early age.. hence why his dad wanted to be a coach. Then later on when everyone else caught up his dad kept rolling him out there in every single position and he wasn’t especially good at any of them. Played with a guy like that growing up… his name was Derek..… Read more »

Siddeeq

Fellaini was aggressive, Kai is a meek version of him.

Generational and Fellaini were teamates

Siddeeq

The Evertonian in Generational always shows however much he tries to be La masia.

Rich

MidWestGun sounds really traumatised by the nepotism shown to De-Bomb-Derek by his Dad…

MidwestGun

Haha Rich.. ya.. I wasn’t loving the rotation back then..
D-bomb went on to get a 4 year scholarship at a university to be an American football place kicker. He did have a strong leg. Not sure what happened to him after that.. all his coaches loved him though.. not just his Dad. Think he just looked the part more then anything.

TheLegendaryDB10

I suppose that with Kai, all we can hope for is that Arteta can use his coaching magic to make him.a better player. He has managed to make players like Martinelli and Ødegaard much better players than they initially were. It really is down to Kai to believe in his own ability and to progress. Whether he will is a very different story. I actually think Arteta went ahead of himself and went on a vanity project when now is not the time. This is the kind of project you indulge in when the team is already successful. There is… Read more »

Un

DB10

With Kai it’s all confidence. It’s in everything he does, all over his game
He’ll get there

Un

Tr7

T’Was I who first compared Havertz to fellaini in the summer after he’d signed
Haven’t changed my mind
But Kai is far more mobile

Pierre

Habesha “. But at the moment havertz is playing like crap and has done so since the start of the season. ” His general game has been decent but in front of goal he has been abysmal ، that hasn’t surprised me in the slightest، in fact I would have been more surprised if he had found the net a few times as it was obvious from pre season leading into the season that his technique in front of goal has deserted him.. As per usual on le grove we have scapegoats and untouchables and Havertz is the fall guy… Read more »

Freddie Ljungberg

You’re a very, very sick man Pierre. Get help.

Spanishdave

Saka getting brutalized in a nothing game won’t bode well for the weekend

Left Testicle

Yes, Kai at left back. Left back in the changing room. 😁

Left Testicle

Dion Dublin needs to stick to Homes Under The Hammer.

Pierre

Fred
“You’re a very, very sick man Pierre. Get help.”

For saying that there has been little difference between Havertz and Odegaard this season and the effect they have had on the game good and bad ، as i said

” both are doing a similar job in helping the team to be one point off the top of the league and top of our champions league group without either being close to their best.”

Terraloon

And people moan about English refs and how VAR is operated

Nigel Tufnel

Pierre just can’t help himself…
I can’t remember another grove obsession like his with Ødegaard.

Mysticleaves

Karim

Come back later. The blog is better with you in it.

Luteo Guenreira

Pierre

Give it a rest, you will never be a reliable source of opinion on any player’s performance, not since you decided to ignore any and all faults from Özil for years on end.

If you don’t like your reputation for having an agenda driven opinion and carrying a bias for/against certain players, just remember why it happened in the first place.

Luteo Guenreira

Maybe if Martin changes the spelling of his name from Ødegaard to Ödegaard it might help get Pierre off his back.

MidwestGun

Hi Karim.. my brother from another mother…. don’t chuck it in over political discussion on here.. you have been here too long.. you know how it works.. it goes sideways fast any discussion not Arsenal related.

Pedro doesn’t read every comment. I doubt it was personal.. you know Un has been binned more times than anyone can count.

Besides who is going to talk to me about San Antonio B-ball this season once the French Le Bron settles in if you leave?

TheLegendaryDB10

Un

I really hope so to that he’ll get there.

The talent is definitely hidden in there, which is what Arteta (and most coaches) are spotting in him.

It is all about coaxing it out of him.

I am wondering whether it is Arteta’s complex system that is also causing Kai to double down on his lack of confidence?

It would be great to see him prove his doubters, which includes me, wrong and show us what he can do.

Spanishdave

If England had a half decent manager we would be flying.
Hope Saka is ok

TheLegendaryDB10

Karim

Rest avec nous, mon gars!!!

Te venère pas contre Pedro. Il veut éviter des embrouilles, c’est tout.

Comme le dit Mid, tu as été sur Le Grove depuis belle lurette.

Ne te barre pas pour si peu.

TheLegendaryDB10

SpanishDave

Southgate is so meek it is awful.

The conservatism he wields over the England team is strangling it’s creativity.

Unfortunately we’ll have to wait for a major fail on his part before he finally gets moved on.

I really would like to see Arsène manage England.

His flair to let players express themselves would massively benefit the current England squad.

Darren

I love the comment section on Le Grove, but a lot of people say stuff, and then later they say the opposite and say “I’ve been saying the same thing for the past 3 years” – which is nonsense. So I want to try to start getting people to use this prediction market website (it’s like betting, but NOT real money). I just made a market which asks: Will Kai Havertz score 4 or more non-penalty goals this season. If you think the chances are above the current market percent, then you should select yes. If not, you should select… Read more »

Thorough

Nothing quite says title shot than getting Timber and Partey back in January.

rollen

Save Karim.

One of the best posters here.

Pedro has his agendas and has to promote woke bulshit and other propaganda to stay relevant and some $$$.
Anyway it’s not political blog.

GD4

Surely all these newspapers must be kidding when they say Jesus is to start
for Brazil against Argentina later on today.
Surely this can’t be true, right?

Samuel

Kai at LB? Did I read that right?

Siddeeq

Pierre is spot on about Odegaard

China1

Reports in the media today saying it’s expected to take years before there will be a decision about city

Exactly what I said would happen

Drag it out as long as humanely possible to allow city to win as much as possible in the meantime. Give them a slap on the wrist for one season after.

Keep an eye on how many on the committee overseeing this are gifted new cars and lavish all expenses paid holidays in the meantime…

Siddeeq

Nuggets of football analysis from Pierre are unparalleled

Thorough

Pedro.
Bring back our Karim. Plssss!!!

Siddeeq

Im Not going elsewhere

No worries my friend

Sid Longstuff

TallestTiz

Karim

Chill

We’ve got a lot of insights to share

Nigel Tufnel

The political stuff was annoying. That’s what Twitter X is for. Not an Arsenal blog.
It’s like screaming your personal political views at people in the street.
Nobody wants to hear it.

Tom

PedroNovember 21, 2023 05:14:54
Karim,I deleted posts from those guys as well. If you’re leaving because I don’t want to read your political views on here, no worries my friend.

You must’ve missed this gem, Pedro
“jwlNovember 18, 2023 16:49:58
I agree with you, TR7. Gaza should have been turned into rubble/parking lot decades ago by Israelis, the inbred Arabs are fortunate the Jews are peaceful people who would prefer to coexist.

Although no one has gotten in trouble in this country for spewing hatred towards inbred Arabs yet, so I suppose it makes perfect sense.

FB

Karim

I rarely read LeG, but definitely recognise you as one of the good guys, and remember your comments during the World Cup.

It would be a sad day for liberté, égalité, fraternité and all that french claptrap if you left

I certainly won’t condone Pedro’s censorship policy.

Hope you’re back soon

Allez Les Blancs 🙂

Markymark

Can we just get back to psychoanalysis, sorry I mean football! Thank god the inter lull is over

Terraloon

Nigel

The political stuff was annoying. That’s what Twitter X is for. Not an Arsenal blog.
It’s like screaming your personal political views at people in the street.
Nobody wants to hear it.

100% with you on this one.

Markymark

It’s like screaming your personal political views at people in the street. – you just know there are people on this forum who are doing that right now

Siddeeq

‘Arsenal have conceded the fewest Expected Goals (xGC) so far in 2023/24.’

Binning Rama was a good decision

Samesong

Not hearing the bring-back Ramsey talk from the know-alls recently lol. Must be a concentration thing.

I predict that Havertz will be a flop and will be playing for young boys next season.

GoonerDave

I wonder if Chelsea are in far more trouble than we realise? City and Everton may be guilty of breaching financial restrictions, but it appears that Chelsea were bribing people. They could face criminal charges for that.

X haka

Chelsea bribing people, paying players and agents off the books and laundering money under their Russian billionaire owner for 2 decades?

Really who would have thought that now?

Kenyangunner

They will play Kai in every position to try and prove that he is a great player. I will not be surprised to see play as a goalkeeper soon.
Which brings me to the question,why was this kind of patience and flexibility not extended to Pepe? Maybe he could have been a good wingback too

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