Tag Archives: dayot upamecano

Signing Pablo Mari keeps door open for Dayot Upamecano bid

The key for Arsenal in January was always to get in reinforcements that did not take funds away from the club signing key targets next summer.

Whilst Pablo Mari would not have been at the top of anyone’s list on New Years Day, there is plenty of logic behind the deal.

I am sure the club would have wanted to go for a long term starter. Dayot Upamecano for example. But are these players available in a January? Probably not.

Arsenal could have gone and spent £20-30m on someone – Jamaal Lascelles or James Tarkowski for example. But these guys are not really good enough in the long term for Arsenal. And £20-30m is a huge lump sum that would restrict what business we could do in the summer. It takes a lot of money out of the pot. Money that we need to buy Upamecano (or whoever).

So we bought in Marí on loan with an option to buy. 5 months wages and a reported £4.5million loan fee, we are not tying too much money in him. The deal leaves us with plenty left in the pot to launch a bid for a top class central defender in the summer.

The Cedric Soares deal from Southampton is similar.

The Portuguese right back is a very good player. A couple of years ago he was regarded as one of the best right backs in the league. A falling out at Southampton led him to join Inter Milan on loan for 6 months, but is back as 1st choice right back with the south-coast side this season.

28-years-old and with over 100 Premier League games under his belt, Cedric will provide good cover for Hector Bellerin.

Available on a free at the end of the season, Arsenal are reportedly set to take Cedric on loan, with the club having agreed with his people they get 1st option to sign him at the end of the season if they wish.

Cedric coming in would also reinforce the middle of the park as it means Ainsley Maitland-Niles can return to his favoured position, rather than being emergency right back cover; meaning that Arsenal do not need to go out and buy a midfield reinforcement in January.

Like at centre back, not spending £20-30m on a central midfielder that the club do not really see as a long term option in January ensures our funds remain strong for a summer assault on someone who we actually want.

We could have easily gone out and spent £40-60m on a new central defender and new central midfielder. This would have kept some fans happy. But if they were not players Edu, Mikel Arteta, etc saw as being long term solutions, it would just be flushing money down the drain. It would restrict what business we could do in the summer.

By bringing in Mari and potentially Cedric, the impact on Arsenal’s summer transfer budget is negligible. They are cheap, smart moves.

The success of this window will be judged by who we sign in the summer.

If we go out and sign (for example) Upamecano, Wilfred Ndidi and Leroy Sane, it will be down to us not over spending in January.

In football, you always need to keep an eye on the long term. Plan for the future, not just tomorrow.

The clock is ticking: Umtiti, Rugani, Upamecano and Tierney

Thursday 8th August
17:00 BST

That is when the English transfer window slams shut, and Arsenal still have plenty of business to be done.

It seems every day we are linked with a different central defender. You only have to look at what is trending on Twitter to see the “name of the day”.

Everyone got a little excited over Daniele Rugani earlier last week – the Italian was linked with a 2 year loan deal with an obligation to buy after it.

The deal actually made a lot of sense.

Arsenal would be getting a 25-year-old defender who, whilst his career has stalled at Juventus – would be the best centre back at the club. Rugani would be able to come straight in and partner Sokratis, and be a long turn partner for William Saliba.

Only a small loan fee would need to be paid upfront, with Arsenal not having to pay a transfer fee for another 2 years.

Reports this morning were that Wolves were making a £30million bid for him. Should Arsenal match it and go out and sign him outright?

Next up it was Samuel Umtiti.

Frenchman Umtiti has been many Arsenal fans preferred option all summer. A left sided centre back with power and pace. But he also has knee problems.

A deal would have been easier to make had Barcelona rather than Juventus signed Matthijs de Ligt. As it stands Barcelona have just 4 senior backs – Gerard Pique, Clément Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and 19-year-old Jean-Clair Todibo.

I would be very surprised if Barcelona let Umtiti leave.

Then yesterday we had the news that Arsenal had bid £55million for Dayot Upamecano, the 20-year-old RB Leipzig central defender.

Despite being just 20, the French defender has a wealth of experience both domestically and in the Champions League.

The news, 1st reported by Bild, came out of nowhere. And if true shows that Arsenal still have plenty available to spend.

If we were able to bid £55million for Upamecano, a permanent deal for Rugani might be able to be done.

And then we have Kieran Tierney.

The trail seems to have gone cold on the Scottish left-back; especially after news that he had suffered a set back following his double hernia operation.

Unlikely to be back fit until October, you have to wonder if the club is thinking “we will come back next year” and have put the money set aside for him into the pot to buy a new centre back.

I have always said that buying a strong left sided centre back is perhaps more important than buying a replacement for Saed Kolasinac.

A big move for someone like Upamecano this summer and then going back for Tierney next summer makes a lot of sense.

Regardless of what business Arsenal do in the next 2 and a half days, people will moan.


Not many left…

Arsenal Set For French Shopping Spree

When Arsene Wenger left Arsenal in 2018, you would think the days of the club shopping in France, or buying French players had come to an end.

In the two transfer windows under Sven Mislintat’s eye, Arsenal looked at Germany, at players that Mislintat knew. The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrik Mkhitaryan, Sokratis, Kostadinos Mavropanos and Bernd Leno.

With Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Francis Cagigao running things now, you would have thought Arsenal would be focusing on the Spanish market. But this summer it seems Arsenal are back shopping on the other side of the English Channel.

The team already has a Gaelic feel, with Laurent Koscielny, Matteo Guendouzi, Alexandre Lacazette and French-born Aubameyang and having managed in France for 2 years, Emery would have extensive scouting reports of Ligue 1

With France having won the last World Cup and having some of the most exciting playhers in the world coming through, it is perhaps sensible that Arsenal are returning to a market they know well.

So who are the French or Ligue 1 based players Arsenal are looking at?

Alexis Claude Maurice

Arsenal could well return to Lorient this summer following the acquisition of Matteo Guendouzi last to sign French forward Alexis Claude Maurice.

Our friends over at GunnersTown wrote about the youngster back in January and he comes highly recommended.

It seems like Arsenal are looking beyon the more established wingers in France – the likes of Nicolas Pepe and  Ismael Sarr – and are looking at the next generation.

Christopher Nkunku

Part of that next generation is Charles Nkunku was Unai Emery would have worked with whilst at PSG.

Arsenal were linked with him in January. A late deal fell through at the last.

Versatility is the key with Nkunku, with him having played in Ligue 1 in midfield, attack and defence. A French Ainsley Maitland Niles. Could be a good asset to add in the middle of the park alongside Niles, Geundouzi, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira

William Saliba

Arsenal are also looking to France for a long term replacement for Laurent Koscielny.

18-year-old St Etienne defender is reportedly top of the list, although the £26million I have seen quoted does seem a lot for a player with only a handful of appearances.

St Etienne reportedly want to sell but be loaned the player back for next season.

Samuel Umtiti

25-year-old Samuel Umtiti is reportedly on the way out of Barcelona, with Arsenal and Manchester United leading the way.

The French central defender has been plagued by injured and lost his starting place for Barcelona earlier this last season.

He is a proven international class defender, but there have to be question marks over those knees.

Ibrahima Konaté & Dayot Upamecano

Arsenal have been linked with RB Leipzig pair Ibrahima Konaté & Dayot Upamecano already this summer.

The pair sit between Saliba and Umtiti in terms of experience.

Upamecano is a little more experienced, with Konaté perhaps being a little more talented. There is not much to split them.

Adrien Rabiot

The last man on this list is someone we have been linked with for what feels like a decade.

Despite having been around forever, Rabiot is still only 24.

Emery is reportedly targeting a box to box midfielder to compete alongside Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira.

Having worked with Emery before, and available on a free transfer, Rabiot could be a good replacement for Aaron Ramsey (the defensive side of his game at least).

He has had a troublesome couple of years and his attitude left him to miss out on a potential World Cup medal. But he is a talent.

It would not surprise me to see Arsenal sign at least two from this list over the summer.