Trust in Arsenal’s new axis of power

We all love a good debate about who we should and shouldn’t sign.

Every time we are linked with a player, there are some who want him, and some who think he is the wrong man.

Bernd Leno is on who has split the opinion.

I have seen some say that at 26 and with 300+ games, he is the type of experience keeper that we need – whilst still having youth on his side.

That having played so many games, of course he will have some mistakes on his show real.

There are others who point at that there are reasons behind him not being with Germany at the World Cup. That he is not much better than David Ospina.

Both sides probably have a valid argument. And ultimately they are opinions built on having probably seen him no more than 20-30 times.

Some are calling for Jack Butland. A player those in England have seen a lot more than them Leno. But he also has errors to his game. He scored a ridiculous own goal against Leicester last season:

Ultimately, you could put forward a case for and against buying both.

My opinion on those coming in is fairly simple.

In Raul Sanllehi, Sven Mislintat and Unai Emery, we have a new axis of power at Arsenal. And we need to have faith in what they are doing, and who they are signing.

Sanllehi held a similar role at Barcelona.

Whilst in Spain, he was directly involved in some of biggest transfers in Europe.

He was the man who bought Neymar to Barcelona and in 2014 led the talks to sign Luis Suarez. He also helped bring in Ivan Rakitic and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

You then have Mislintat. Bought in from Borussia Dortmund to oversee recruitment.

He is credited with creating the pipeline of young talent at Dortmund which has produced the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele.

He is one of Europe’s most respected player recruitment experts.

It was Mislintat that brought Aubameyang and Henrik Mkhitaryan to Arsenal. He also returned to his old club to sign Sokratis.

Having spent all of his career in the Bundesliga (and being German), you have to think he has watched Leno more times than an Arsenal fan. He is the expert.

Finally we come to Unai Emery. After Pep Gaurdiola, he is the most successful manager in European football in recent years.

Having won 3 Europa League’s in a row with Sevilla, he went to PSG where he won 5 trophies in 2 seasons.

At Sevilla he had to work to a budget. Developing talented players, improving them. Organising them. Making the whole greater than the individual.

In the move to PSG, he dealt with the bigger egos. Edison Cavani. Neymar.

He has had success everywhere he has been.

Maybe we as fans need to forget about the past and look at the future.

Trust in the new men that they know what they are doing. Back who they are bringing in.

Also back whose contracts they are renewing (and whose they are not). I saw one idiot claim that he wanted Granit Xhaka to “break his legs at the World Cup” moments after his new contract was announced.

Let’s get back to supporting The Arsenal. Backing the team. Giving the new men a chance and trusting their decisions.

And if you are unable to do so, maybe it is you that is the problem, not Arsenal.



Mexico hero Arsenal’s missing piece?

With Arsenal set to complete the majority of their transfer business before the month end, it will give the club over a month to find that something special. The missing piece of the jigsaw.

With Sokratis coming in at the back, and a deal for Lucas Torreira nearing completion that will reinforce the midfield, the trio of Raul Sanllehi, Sven Mislintat and Unai Emery have acted quickly to address two of Arsenal’s long standing problems.

A third signing, expected to be Bernd Leno, will hopefully solve the problem of Petr Cech in goal. The German stopper will replace David Ospina and compete with the veteran Czech to be Arsenal’s number one.

That will leave Arsenal just one player short of a competitive squad next season. An attacking wide man.

With Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving the club in the last 12 months, Arsenal lack someone who will hug the touchline.

Whilst Mesut Ozil, Henrik Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can do a job out wide, their natural inclination is to drop inside. They won’t be getting too much chalk on their boots.

Whilst I expect Arsenal to play 4321 next season, with Ozil and Mkhitaryan playing behind Aubameyang, we need to get a wide man allowing us to change the tactics of required.

Ideally you want that wide man to be quick and direct, but also have the technical ability to come inside and play as a number 10 if needed.

If we are building a criteria, we also need to target someone under 24.

With Ozil and Mkhitaryan both 29, whoever comes in needs to be a long term option, a potential replacement for Ozil or Mkhitaryan in the future.

Someone to fill the talent gap between Iwobi (who will become 4th choice attacker) and the senior pair.

One person who ticks every single box is Mexico’s Hirving Lozano – goal scorer against Germany.

The PSV Eindhoven winger was heavily linked with Arsenal in 2017, with reports that The Gunners were considering activating his £30m release clause in January.

Originally seen as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, the deal died when the Chilean joined Manchester United, with Mkhitaryan coming the other way.

“Chucky” turns 23 in July, and usually plays on the left hand side. Being right footed, he usually cuts inside Robert Pires-esque.

Playing as an inverted winger, he is quick and direct, more than happy staying out wide. But he also has the technique when he drops inside.

Last season he scored 19 goals and contributed 11 assists in 34 games as he helped his Dutch side win the title.

Arsenal will easily be able to afford his release clause, and Lozano would be the final piece in the jigsaw for next season.


Arsenal set to complete £65m triple transfer “within 2 weeks”

A huge criticism of the last 10 years of the Arsene Wenger era was the dithering over transfers – with the club often waiting until the last week of the transfer window to complete deals.

The new era lead by Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat has heralded a new policy on transfers.

Not only were we happy to deal with a super agent when we signed Henrik Mkhitaryan, and got through a complex deal which saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang join the club in January, we are not concluding our transfer dealings earlier.

We have already seen Stephan Lichtsteiner join the club on a free transfer, and it is becoming increasingly likely that he will be joined by 3 more new signings.

We already know that the deal of Sokratis Papastathopoulos will go through at the beginning July. The Greek centre back joining Arsenal for £16m.

The Gunners are closing in on the £26m signing of Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira.

Arsenal are discussing personal terms with representatives of Uruguay midfielder Torreira and a deal for the 22-year-old who came off the bench on Friday to help Uruguay beat Egypt 1-0.

A £26m fee has been agreed between the two clubs. Over his release clause but allows Arsenal to spread payments out.

Unai Emery is also keen to sign a goalkeeper and Arsenal have made contact with Leverkusen over a move for Bernd Leno. The 26-year-old will replace Petr Cech as the Gunners No1.

Reports are they have approached Bayer Leverkusen over a £23m deal for German goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who recently liked an Instagram post concerning the transfer speculation.

As Leno was left out of Germany’s World Cup squad, there are unlikely to be too many delays in completing the deal.

With all 3 set to be completed in the next two weeks, it will leave the club plenty of time and money to complete a “special” signing before the window shuts on the eve of the transfer window.