Tag Archives: hector bellerin

How will Arsenal solve right-back conundrum?

Arsenal need to address the right back situation in the summer.

With Hector Bellerin’s injury, Stephan Lichtsteiner demise, Ainsley Maitland-Niles not really stepping up & Carl Jenkinson’s contract set to run out, we could be starting 2019/20 without a recognised right back.

So what are Arsenal’s options?

Sign an established right back

The first option would for Arsenal to spend big and go for an established right back.

The fear could be for Arsenal that is Bellerin is out for the start of the season, signing a raw talent or promoting someone from the youth team could leave the side weak on the right hand side. After an injury like what Bellerin had, the odds are high that he might break down again.

Arsenal should therefore target top-flight proven right back. Someone who could come in and not just provide cover for Bellerin, but also competition to him.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the man that springs to mind for this role.

The Crystal Palace right back might be raw, but is not as raw as other candidates we will speak about later. At 21-years-old, he would have a season of top flight Premier League football under his belt and is currently pushing for an England place.

He would cost a lot of money, but if he fulfils his potential he could become even better than Bellerin.

A cheaper option could be long term Arsenal target Ferland Mendy. I imagine there are plenty of other similar talents on the clubs radar.

Sign a raw talent

A cheaper option than signing an established right back is to go for a raw talent.

Over at GunnersTown there is a brilliant scouting report on Houboulang Mendes. He is a 20-year-old Frenchman currently playing in Ligue 2. He has all the natural attributes to be an Arsenal right back, but sound like a very unpolished diamond.

There is also Max Aarons at Norwich. Another who comes with a high reputation but only has a year of Championship football under his belt.

The issue with these sort of players is they might not yet be ready for the Premier League. And if Bellerin is not fit and ready to go at the beginning of next season, they could be exposed and lose confidence before they have even started.

My feeling would be if we signed Aarons or Mendes we would want to put them out on loan for a year. This does not solve our immediate problem.

Promote Jordi Osei-Tutu

If we are going to sign a raw talent, why not promote one of our own?

Jordi Osei-Tutu may well have had a chance in the Arsenal first team this season had he not picked up an early season injury ruling him out for the first quarter of the season.

He would likely have got game time in the Europa League and League Cup had he been fit.

Like with Aarons and Mendes, it would be a huge risk to install Osei-Tutu as Bellerin’s back up. The better options, as with the other 2, would be to send him on loan for a season.

Moving for the likes of Mendes or Aarons; or promoting Osei-Tutu could be a good budget option in the long term, but it would require someone else to be signed in the short term to cover the next 12 months.

Keep Carl Jenkinson

One short term option could be to keep what we have in Carl Jenkinson.

His contract runs out at the end of this season. We could offer him a new 2 year deal on his currently salary – rumoured to be around £45,000 a week. He would then provide short term cover for Bellerin over the next 12 months, whilst his long term cover (Mendes, Aarons or Osei-Tutu) gets top flight experience out on loan.

Buy Lichtsteiner MK II

The deal for Stephan Lichtsteiner did make sense.

Experienced short term cover for Hector Bellerin allowing us another 12 months to develop either Ainsley-Maitland Niles or Jordi Osei-Tutu.

Unfortunately Maitland-Niles has not kicked on and Osei-Tutu picked up an injury. This leaves us in a similar situation last year.

If Unai Emery decides that he wants to go for a raw talent and that Jenkinson is not sufficient short-term cover, scouring the world for a senior right back whose contract has expired could be an option.

Atletico Madrid’s Juanfran seems best to suit this bill.

Experienced and Spanish, he is set to leave Atletico in the summer on a free transfer. Would a one-year deal in the Premier League interest him? Perhaps if we offer him similar money to Lichtsteiner.

It would then be a similar scenario to keeping Jenkinson.

Arsenal get in the experienced man to cover Bellerin whilst they develop a raw talent who spends a year out on loan.

Keenos

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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

What happened to Arsenal’s 2015 FA Cup winners?

Three years ago today, Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0.

It was certainly not as stressful as what happened at Wembley 12 months previous – when Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down with Kieran Gibbs heading off the line – but it was equally as satisfying.

Arsenal were in complete control from the first minute against relegated Aston Villa – who did not have a shot on target.

What struck me was the goal scorers that day. Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud. Who would have thought all four would have departed just 3 years later.

That day Santi Cazorla was named Man of the Match. He joins the goal scorers by leaving Arsenal this summer.

These little snippets then made me look at the entire match day squad from 2015, and investigate “where are they now?”

 

For Wojciech Szczęsny, the FA Cup Final would be the last time he would be seen in an Arsenal shirt. what followed was a 2 year loan to Roma before he joined Juventus as the eventual replacement for Gianluigi Buffon.

Captaining Arsenal that day was Per Mertesacker. He retires this summer. Also leaving the club this summer on a free is Santi Cazorla.

In January, we saw a quadruple of exits. Francis Coquelin went to Valencia, where he joined Gabriel Paulista  who returned to Spain in the summer of 2017.

Three of the goal scorers that day also left in January. Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea in a massive merry-go-round of players and Theo Walcott went to Everton. Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United,

Kieran Gibbs, who saved the day with a goal line clearance the season before which would have seen Arsenal go 3-0 down, went to WBA where he got relegated.

Thinking the grass was greener, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went to Liverpool in a big money move in the summer of 2017. Inconsistent performances and injury showed that sometimes it is the player, not the manager.

Finally, Mathieu Flamini Went to Crystal Palace and became a billionaire.

With the futures of Hector Bellerin, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina and Aaron Ramsey in the balance this summer, Arsenal could be in a situation where just 3 players remain from that victorious team 3 years ago.

Keenos