Tag Archives: Gareth Bale

5 Alternatives to Thomas Lemar

The Lemar saga keeps rolling, rolling, rolling on. Whilst I think the epical transfer will eventual happen, it might be worth looking at a few other potential targets that Arsenal could move for, if the Lemar deal ends up dead in the water.

Riyad Mahrez

Arsenal have long been linked with the Leicester City play maker. If Arsenal are looking at Lemar as an option who can play both out wide, and behind the striker – providing competition for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez – then Mahrez would be a decent option.

2015/16’s PFA Premier League player of the year would give the side another attacking option. He would be the closest ‘like for like’ to Lemar on this list.

I feel the only reason we are going for Lemar ahead of Mahrez is due to age. Lemar is 21 and has a very high potential ability bar. Mahrez is 26 and the finished article.

If the Lemar deal does fall through, Mahrez must be top of the list.

Jean Seri

The unknown-but-everyone-knows-about-him is predominantly a defensive midfielder. There has been talk that Arsene Wenger is targeting Lemar as a long term replacement for Santi Cazorla. That he will mould the Frenchman into a deep lying play maker.

If the Lemar deal does fall through, a move for Seri, whilst a different type of midfielder, will provide the reinforcements in the middle of the park.

Personally I think we should be targeting Seri and Lemar. They are completely different players. Lemar attacking, Seri defensive. By forcing Lemar to be deeper and defend, you lost a lot of his talent.

It should be Seri and Lemar, not Seri or Lemar.

Ross Barkley

Since Paul Gascoigne, there has been a long list of players labelled the next Gazza who have failed to ever fulfil their promise. Jack Wilshere is one, Ross Barkley another.

There has never been any doubting Barkley’s natural talent. The concern is his consistency. He has never quite put it together for a run of 10/15 games, let alone a season. If it ever does click that he is on the verge of wasting his talent, he could become a world class player. But at 24 in December, time is running out.

He has pace, power and ability abundant, but does he have it between the ears.

Gareth Bale

If Arsenal are looking to go big, could a bid for Real Madrid Galactico materialise?

A deal for Bale would only probably happen if Arsenal fail to sign Lemar AND end up losing Alexis Sanchez. The club could package up the £50m put aside for Lemar, add the £50 they get for Bale, to enable them to offer a world record transfer fee for the former Spurs player.


The former Liverpool youngster has revitalised his career in the last 18 months, becoming a key player for AC Milan last season.

With AC Milan’s new found money, Suso might find himself on the fringes of the future. Like Lemar, he can play in all 3 positions behind the striker, so would be a good, and potential cheap, 2nd choice. He would provide the back up needed for Ozil and Sanchez, as well as be able to play outwide if we change up the formation.



Cristiano Ronaldo’s future set to change Arsenal’s transfer plans

It might just be posturing. Cristiano Ronaldo might just be flexing his muscles. Trying to get one big last contract out of Real Madrid.

Or it might be completely true. Ronaldo is fed up having been part of the Spanish version of HMRC’s witch hunt against footballers. Finds the £13m fine for unpaid tax to be excessive, and wants to pack up his bags and leave.

My personal bet is it is just posturing. Ronaldo wants Real Madrid to foot his tax bill. They pay, he stays. They don’t, he then has a decision to make. But if he does leave, what ramifications will it have for world football? The great players in the world leaving for a world record fee will have a ripple affect throughout the global game.

Chelsea, for example, will be quaking in their boots. Real Madrid were already targeting Eden Hazard this summer. Losing Ronaldo will just make them chase the Belgium international even more aggressively. Already set to lose Diego Costa, to lose Hazard as well will spell disaster for the English champions.

But what could Ronaldo’s move, probably to Manchester United, mean for Arsenal?

Closing doors

With Ronaldo leaving, Real Madrid will not want to lose any other of their Galácticos. Potential Arsenal targets like of Gareth Bale, Isco or James Rodriguez will be stopped from exiting the club.

Young start Marco Asensio, who has recently voiced his concern of a big name player coming in and taking his place, would also be told in no uncertain terms you aint going anywhere mate.

If Ronaldo leaves, there will be o further departures at Madrid.

Missed Targets

Kylian Mbappe.

Just a few weeks ago, Arsenal looked to have taken pole position in the race for the talented Frenchman. Since then, things have gone a little quiet, with Arsenal instead being linked with Alexandre Lacazette.

If Ronaldo joins Manchester United for anything above £100m, Real Madrid will then have the cash to immediately make a down payment to Monaco for Mbappe.

They have followed him since he was 14, and whilst the £100m price tag for an 18 year old with such little experience is high, selling Ronaldo and signing Mbappe balances the books.

I would not be surprised if a deal for Mbappe is done within days of Ronaldo leaving.

And what for Alexis Sanchez?

If Ronaldo does go, Arsenal might have a ready made Real Madrid replacement for him in Alexis Sanchez. Could losing Ronaldo force Madrid into entering the race for the former Barcelona man? It would not surprise me.


Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid could change the transfer plans of every top side in Europe.


Arsenal target Real Madrid Galactico

Back in 2013, I predicted early in the summer transfer window that Arsenal were going to sign Mesut Ozil.

It had nothing to do with being “in the know” (ITK) or having any sort of inside knowledge, it was just an educated guess.

With a squad already containing Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria playing behind Karim Benzema up top, Madrid had already invested €30M in 21 year old Spanish talent Isco. When I made the prediction over Ozil, they were making it clear Gareth Bale was going to be their Galatico signing of 2013.

What I foresaw was the Bale joining would leave 5 players – Ozil, Ronaldo, di Maria, Isco and Bale – fighting it out for 3 places. Players of that calibre do not sit on the bench. 5 into 3 does not go.

You could immediately strike a line through the recently signed Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo. Isxo would be happy to site behind Bale (et al) in the pecking order and Cristiano Ronaldo was, well, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Logic dictated that either Ozil or di Maria was likely to be the one cast aside. I tossed a coin and it came up Ozil. Incidentally it than transpired that both di Maria and Ozil were offered around Europe and di Maria left the next season to make way for James Rodriguez.

I looked at the sides who could afford Mesut Ozil around Europe. Italian teams could not afford him, Bayern Munich had just spent big on Mario Gotze. That left England.

Manchester Cuity already had David Silva, Samir Nasri & Yaya Toure. Chelsea had Eden Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata, Frank Lampard and had just signed Andre Schurle and Willian. Manchester United had just parted ways with Sir Alex Ferguson, replacing him with David Moyes.

This left his most natural destination as Arsenal, if we were willing to fork out the money.

This season, I see a similar situation transpiring at Real Madrid.

Over the course of the season, Gareth Bale has lost his place in the Real Madrid side to the now fully developed Isco. Injury to Bale gave Isco his chance and he has taken it. He has now developed into one of Madrid’s stand out players. This leaves Bale in a situation that, upon regaining his fitness, he finds himself behind Isco, James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo for a starting place.

With Real Madrid’s transfer ban set to expire on 1st July, they will look to move for a big name, marquee player straight away. That player will likely be a forward. Probably Eden Hazard? It will leave them in a situation similar to that in 2013, where they will have to get rid of either Isco or Gareth Bale to make space for a new player.

Gareth Bale has already been heavily linked with Manchester United. It is supposedly his favoured destination. But with Manchester United also heavily linked with Antoine Griezmann – their number one target – and looking to secure Ivan Perisic in the next few days, the squad places for Bale look limited. Add in Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, I struggle to see where Bale would fit if they get Griezmann.

Obviously all bets are off in Atletico Madrid keep Griezmann – likely due to their transfer ban. Bale will then become Manchester United’s primary target.

With Manchester United off the table, that would still leave Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich as interested parties – I still do not believe Italian teams can afford his transfer cost and wages.

Man City have just spent big on Bernard Silva. With Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Leeroy Sane in their squad, it would leave them in a situation like Real Madrid. They would have to sell one of their current established players to make space for Bale. I can not see it happening.

Chelsea could do a deal to bring Bale back to London with Eden Hazard going the other way. It is a deal I could see happening.

Over in Germany, Bayern Munich are looking for a long term replacement for Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. They have recently invested time and money in Douglas Costa and Kinsley Coman, but a senior, proven forward would still be essential.

There first choice would be Alexis Sanchez.

If Sanchez does go to Bayern Munich, another door closes on Bale. But as another door closes, one will open. And that door is at Arsenal.

If Sanchez ends up in Germany next season, Arsenal need to make a big name signing to replace him. Like in 2013 when all the cards fell in place leading Ozil to join Arsenal from Madrid, the could happen again with Gareth Bale.

With Aaron Ramsey already at the club, and Bale already having lived in London for a few years, a move to Arsenal would interest him.

Arsenal can afford the transfer fee, and afford the wages. And what a statement that would make. One of the best players in the world, and someone who used to star for your rivals.

Could Arsenal end up with Gareth Bale in 2017/18? It could happen.

Of course, one thing that could stop it happening is if Real Madrid decide not to sell him. If that happens, it would mean that Isco could be the one that is moved on. If Bale stays, simply re-read the above but change the name ‘Bale’ for ‘Isco’.

Arsenal would make a huge statement if they signed either rIsco or Bale for Real Madrid, even if either Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil left the club.

It is going to be an exciting summer (hopefully) for Arsenal.