Tag Archives: cedric soares

Do Arsenal risk squad disharmony with 8 potential “new signings”

“8 new signings” would be crazy turnover for a single summer. Nearly 1 third of the squad. But having been sensible in January, this is the situation Arsenal could be in this summer.

If all goes well, Arsenal could add Gabriel, Thomas Partey, Dani Ceballos & Amadou Diawara to the confirmed summer signings of Willian, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.

Add in William Saliba and that will be 7 new signings this summer, and an 8th player signed last season but was left parked at his old club for a season.

Usually this amount of turnover would take 6 months for players to settle and gel. But Arsenal’s forward planning means it is a doable transfer window.

Cedric Soares

Joining in January on loan, Arsenal quickly snapped Portuguese right back on a free transfer once his contract at Southampton had expired.

He has already been at the club for nearly 7 months, training with team mates. With 5 appearances in the bag for Arsenal and 120 Premier League appearances under his belt for Southampton, he will not take any settling down what so ever.

Pablo Mari

Like Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari joined Arsenal on loan in January before a deal was completed in June.

Due to injury, he has played just 3 games for Arsenal in the 7 months he has been at the club.

But that 7 months takes out the usual half year a player takes to settle.

When he returns to full training, he will not require any integrating into the squad.

Willian

339 games for Chelsea, 234 in the Premier League. The only thing Willian will need is how much further London Colney is round the M25 from Cobham. About 45 miles.

He might not have played for Arsenal previously, but there will not be too many players who have played more Premier League games than him next season.

Dani Ceballos

Hopefully we get a deal over the line for Dani Ceballos – whether it is a permanent deal or another loan deal.

Having now played 36 games for Arsenal, the axis of Ceballos and Granit Xhaka was a key reason Arsenal won the FA Cup.

He might be a “new signing” this summer, but he will not be a new face at the training ground.

William Saliba

Opposite to Dani Ceballos is William Saliba.

He signed permanently last summer, but then spent the season on loan at St Etienne

Saliba will take some time to settle, which is why it is important that club kept David Luiz.

Gabriel

Not yet done but Arsenal are hopefully of getting the deal over the line.

Gabriel will be in the same boat as William Saliba. A new face in the training ground.

David Luiz will be key helping Gabriel and Saliba settle.

Thomas Partey

Atletico Madrid midfielder would be a big coup for Arsenal. He will be another new face.

Amadou Diaware

Likewise Diawara will be a new face.


So Arsenal could make 7 new signings this summer, with William Saliba being an 8th new player. Yet of the 8, only 5 would have not yet played for Arsenal and be a new face in the training ground, and of those 5, 4 come with no Premier League experience.

I would usually worry about so many new signings. But with half of them now being new faces, Arsenal would have improved the squad without too much disruption.

We just then need to lose half dozen players (Sokratis, Rob Holding, Ainsley Maitland Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torerria, Alex Lacazette) to make space for them.

Onwards and upwards.

Keenos

The Return of Arsenal Act II: 2 right backs & 2 free transfers

Morning all.

The Return of Arsenal enters its second act today with a trip down to sunny Brighton.

Originally scheduled for the 13th March, it was a fixture that many were looking forward to.

It was set to be a rare Saturday 3pm kick off for Arsenal. And for travelling fans it would have been trip down to the coast on a fresh spring day. Beers would have been drunk in the sunshine, some would have stayed overnight, and it would have been a top trip.

Instead we will all be at home this Saturday, watching the first ever 3pm Premier League game on the TV.

It might be time to set the TV up outside for these summer fixtures.

The hope is we can bounce back from the predictable defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday against a Brighton side without a win since Boxing Day 2019.

Yesterday Arsenal were linked with West Ham right back Jeremy Ngakia.

The 19-year-old is available on a free transfer following turning down a contract extension.

The move would make a lot of sense.

Arsenal need a back-up for Hector Bellerin.

Buying someone like Max Aarons for £30million makes no sense. The Norwich player is too good (and too expensive) to be Bellerin’s back-up. That deal only makes sense if we sell the Spaniard (unlikely).

A few will be screaming out Jordi Osei-Tutu, who has been in fine form since German football returned.

The on-loan academy product has 2 goals and an assist his 7 games since the return. However he has not been playing at right back.

Osei-Tutu’s improvement at Bochum coincide with him being played further forward on the wing. That decision was made after he was exposed too often at right back.

If he is not good enough defensively to be trusted to play right back in the German second division, as return to Arsenal to be back-up to Bellerin in the Premier League does not make sense.

He also turns 22 in October.

Arsenal should cash in this summer, and use those funds to reinvest. Stick in a sell on clause and a buy back clause so that if he does continue his progression, Arsenal have an option to buy him back or make some cash on a future transfer. His level is probably a promotion chasing Championship team.

Time is also running out for Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

There have always been rumblings that he is unhappy playing at right back. That he wants to be in the middle of the park. There have also been rumours in recent months of him showing a bit of an attitude problem on the training ground.

If he got his nut down, and accepted his position, he has a place at Arsenal as a utility man – covering Bellerin as well as a few other positions.

If he desires to play regularly in the middle of the park, he is best of seeking a new club.

Maitland-Niles is a sellable asset.

In the current market Arsenal could expect to receive up to £10million for him. Key funds that could then be reinvested.

If Arsenal then moved for Ngakia (or Cedric Soares on a free transfer) then any funds bought in from the sale of Maitland-Niles would be available to be invested elsewhere.

A case could also be made for Arsenal to buy both Soares and Ngakia.

Arsenal lack good right back options in the U23s; so the move for Ngakia could see him play U23 football next season, whilst pushing Soares for cup opportunities.

When it comes to finding a back-up for Bellerin, CHEAP is the most important requirement.

With finances tight, we do not want to be spending millions on back-up player.

Ngakia on a free transfer makes a lot of sense.

Keenos

The 5 players Arsenal need to sign this summer

Cedric Soares

Arsenal took Southampton right back on loan in January.

He arrived with an injury and then the Covid19 suspension hit meaning he has yet to play a game for the club.

Available for free in the summer, Arsenal would do well to secure his services on a 3-year contract.

Capped 33 times by Portugal, Soares was part of the team that won Euro 2016.

The experienced right back has spent 5 years on the South-Coast, playing 138 games. He has experience, and more importantly Premier League experience.

Some are calling for us to sign Max Aarons – but at £30million it would be a misappropriate use of funds when he would not be first choice.

Soares would be solid cover for Hector Bellerin.

Pablo Mari

Like Soares, Pablo Mari is also on loan. Like Soares, Arsenal should make the deal permanent.

Arsenal are currently overloaded with central defenders. Before even signing Mari, we have 7 at the club (David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, William Saliba, Konstantinos Mavropanos).

Signing Mari would take it up to 8, but then the challenge would be to sell or loan out at least 3.

Two of David Luiz, Mustafi and Sokratis should be moved on. Mari is better than the later 2.

Time is also running out for Calum Chambers and Rob Holding.

Both Englishmen have stagnated at Arsenal and unlikely ever be good enough. Neither are young enough to be considered as “having potential”.

Mavropanos has been linked away from the club in recent days. A loan deal for a season would make a lot of sense.

Whilst plenty are linking us to the likes of Dayot Upamecano, we do not have the finances to make many big money signings.

Available for as little as £7million, Mari would add balance to the defence and replace the experience we would lose in Sokratis and Mustafi. He is an organiser and leader of the defence.

Ideally, we should go into next season with Luiz, Mari, Holding / Chambers and Saliba; with either Dan Ballard or Zech Medley as 5th choice.

Thomas Partey

If Arsenal make one big money signing this summer, it needs to be Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.

For years, Arsenal have lacked power in the middle of the park for nearly a decade. You have to go back to Abou Diaby for the last time we had midfielder powerhouse; capable of physically destroying an opposing midfield, whilst also having the power and pose to drive forward with the ball.

Calling Partey a defensive midfielder is a disservice to him. Like Patrick Vieira, Yaya Toure and Diaby, he is much more than someone who simple wins the ball and passes it on (think Claude Makelele or Gilberto Silva).

He is the type of midfielder that dominates the game, dictates it with his physicality.

The 27-year-old Ghanaian midfielder is at his peak and would transform Arsenal.

Orkun Kokcu

Dutch-born Turkish youth international Orkun Kocku is one of the biggest prospects in the Dutch top-flight at the moment.

It was reported recently that Arsenal’s technical director Edu is a huge fan of the midfielder and wants to bring him to the Emirates this summer.

With Mesut Ozil set to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer, Arsenal should recruit his replacement this summer, enabling him to play and train alongside the German, before taking the step up for the 2021/22 season.

Our friends over at GunnersTown have an excellent scouting report on Kokcu.

At just 19-years-old, recruiting him this summer would give him a year to adapt to the Premier League before becoming a first team regular in 2021.

Ryan Fraser

Bukayo Saka is going to be a star. But he is still just 18-years-old.

Saka can not be expected to play 50 games next season, and with Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson the other two “natural” wingers at the club, we are one short.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needs to play down the middle next season, with Gabrial Martinelli backing him up (if Alexandre Lacazette leaves). Neither player is really a winger.

Bournemouth winger Fraser is available on a free transfer. The Scot would give Arsenal some Premier League proven experience alongside Saka without breaking the bank.

The pair could share the load on the left hand side, and give Mikel Arteta the option of playing left or right footed players on both wings.


Final Thoughts: The impact of Covid19 is going to impact the finances of all clubs across Europe this summer. We are not going to see too many teams spending big this summer.

Based on reported fees, the above transfers would cost the club in the region of £80million. Once this is amortised for accounting reason, it would increase the clubs outgoings by around £16million a year.

Arsenal would look to raise funds (and make savings in salaries) by moving on Mustafi, Sokratis, Chambers / Holding and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. In the current market, Arsenal would do well to raise £25-30million.

Selling Alexandre Lacazette could double that, freeing up further wages and providing us with some very important cash to complete the transactions.

With tightening finances, Arsenal are going to have promote some youth next season. The likes of Soares, Mari and Fraser will provide experience alongside those youngsters, whilst Kocku would replace on loan Dani Ceballos as the creativity behind Ozil.

Thomas Partey should be the number one target.

Keenos