Tag Archives: Ben Chilwell

Rodgers to Leicester opens door for Tierney or Chilwell to Arsenal

Today Arsenal face Bournemouth looking to make it 3 wins in the last 3 games.

No game in the Premier League is easy, but anything less than 3 points will be a blow for the top 4 hopes.

It is a close fight for 4th place, with 3 points separating Arsenal in 4th and Chelsea in 6th. The key tonight is that Tottenham are at Chelsea.

If Spurs lose (and Arsenal win) Tottenham are dragged back towards the chasing pack – there could be just 5 points separating 3rd and 5th. If they win, it would could take Arsenal and Manchester United away from Chelsea and turn it into a two-horse race.

With Arsenal set to face Tottenham (away) and Manchester United (home) in the next two weeks, 3 points tonight as key – as you would be very surprised if we got 6 points from the next 2.

After Manchester United in a weeks time, there are 8 games to go, and Arsenal have a relatively comfortable run in – with Everton and Leicester away being our only tricky fixtures.

Victory tonight puts us on the tail of Tottenham and could result in us finishing ahead of them in 3rd place.

Moving on, Brendan Rodgers has joined Leicester City, and this could play out well for Arsenal’s chase for a new left back.

With Nacho Monreal coming to the end of his contract – and the rumours of him getting a 1-year extension dying down – Arsenal will certainly move in the summer for competition for Saed Kolasinac.

Kieran Tierney has been a long term target for some time.

Just 21-years-old, the Scottish youngster has remained loyal to Celtic in recent years, but Rodgers leaving could open the flood gates for those players who were loyal to the manager. Tierney will be one of those expected to leave in the summer.

Arsenal should be in for him.

One stumbling block could be that Rodgers wants to take him to Leicester City; but this could open another door.

If Tierney joins Leicester, they might cash in on Ben Chilwell to finance the transfer.

If either Chilwell or Tierney are available this summer, Arsenal need to move for one of them. It will be the left hand side of the defence sorted for a decade.

Enjoy the game tonight. Back the team.

Keenos

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What does Nacho Monreal’s contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

Arsenal have (reportedly at the time of writing) taken up the option of extending Nacho Monreal’s contract by a further year.

The Spanish international joined the club On 31 January 2013 for a fee believed to be around £8.5 million. In the 6 years he has been at the club, he has proved to be a very good signing, and has consistently been in the top 3 or 4 left backs in the league.

In recent years, he has also shown his worth on the left side of a back 3. Something which Unai emery might consider if he continues to play with 3 at the back.

Monreal turns 33 in February, so his career is coming to an end. However he has never been blessed with electric pace – relying on good positioning in defence and smart movement and solid crossing in attack. There is certainly still another 18 months in himat the top level.

But what does the contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

The Bosnian clearly can not play in a back 4.

Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger before him have changed from a back 4 to a back 3 to accommodate Kolasinac. This is not a long term solution as defences rely on continuity. Both of personnel and system.

This summer Arsenal need to go out and buy another left back. A younger player who can be Monreal’s long term replacement. Ideally already good enough to play ahead of the Spaniard next season. Monreal then acts as back up / cover for his younger team mate.

This leave Kolasinac in a position where, at left back at least, he is surplus to requirements.

So what are Arsenal’s options?

Cash in

We have spoken before about Arsenal selling poorly. Arsenal would easily command a fee in excess of £20 million if they sold Kolasinac. Many clubs both at home and abroad would pay that for him.

If he is not a long term solution, cash in over the summer and reinvest those funds. Monreal is then cover and competition for the new left back, then in 2020 we can explore signing someone to replace Monreal as that cover (or promote from within).

The likes of Ben Chilwell, Ferland Mendy or Kieran Tierney for under £30m. Cashing in on Kolasinac would fund almost all of the transfer fee of a new left back.

Moving him forward

Kolasinac is dangerous in the final third. He is able to muscle his way to the bye-line and get quality crosses in. He has been one of Arsenal most creative players this season.

There is an argument that you can buy a new left back, keep Monreal for a year, and keep Kolasinac as a winger.

Getting forward from the wing is different from left-back, however.

He often makes runs from deep, into space that has been created by his winger (usually Alex Iwobi) dropping inside. When he starts further up the pitch, he has less space to get up to speed in, and would have less space to operate as the opposing full-back would follow him instead the winger.

is left footed and would hug the touchline. He would not be ideal as a regular starter wide left, but he would give Arsenal an attacking option off the bench.

Another option would be if we are chasing the game, to take off the left-back and put Kolasinac on. Sacrificing for the defence for someone who can get forward more and provide quality.

Likewise when defending a lead, he could be bought on to provide further cover for the left back, whilst still offering a threat going forward.

You often saw Arsenal do this in the past when they had Emmanuel Eboue and Bacary Sagna.

Moving forward, Kolasinac would also then double up as the cover for the full back when Monreal leaves.


By renewing Monreal’s contract for a further year, it gives us plenty of options in the summer. Keep Kolasinac. Sell Kolasinac. Use him as a winger. Use Monreal on the left of a back 3.

What is for sure is that we need to buy a long term left back option.

Keenos

Rob Holding, Ben Chilwell & Hector Bellerin

Rob Holding

On the journey home from the game on Monday night, I was following the fall out from the game and the main discussion point was surrounding Rob Holding and a blatant handball in the area.

If given if would have meant a penalty to Leicester and surely a second yellow card for the Arsenal centre back.

Whilst it was a hand ball, it should not have been a penalty.

Everyone is focusing on what Rob Holding did, and not what the Leicester City player did in the lead up when jumping.

In the above still, it is clear and obvious that the Leicester player has his arm on the shoulder of Rob Holding.

The ball is not yet in frame, and the Leicester player has his arm across Holdings neck.

This in turn pulls Holding towards the Leicester player. His arm then bounces off the head of his opponent and towards the ball.

This is an obvious foul. And it is the weight he puts on Holding that unbalances him in the air, causing him to make contact with the ball with his hand.

https://twitter.com/daf2511/status/1054641453169815552?s=21

Ben Chilwell

Arsenal have been linked with the young Leicester left back for a few uses now. He turns 22 in December and his progress from potential to starter has been a little slower than expected.

But against Arsenal, he showed everything he needs to become a full back in Islington.

Quick in attack and capable of putting in a good ball – no Premier League player has put in more crosses this season – he can also defend.

If Monday night was a trial for him to show what he can do, he passes with flying colours.

Would not be upset if he was on our left flank next season.

Hector Bellerin

Talking about full backs, Hector Bellerin has returned to form on the other wing.

Yes, he was caught on his heels a little bit for their first goal. With him being very unlucky with the deflection. But he has looked more solid in recent games.

And that comes down to Alex Iwobi playing ahead of him.

Bellerin at the back looks a different player with a winger in front of him.

More space when going forward, and cover when he is defending.

No longer constantly left in 2 on 1 situations.

Iwobi has grown into the right wing to the point where he is now first choice winger.

Pace, strength and skill put there. Also puts a shift in, covering his full back.

With Reiss Nelson doing bits in Germany, our right flank looks solid for a few years to come

Keenos

https://twitter.com/shewore/status/1049278433749073920?s=21