Tag Archives: Jordi Osei-Tutu

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.


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.