Tag Archives: Kieran Tierney

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.

Keenos

Not many left…

Advertisements

Arsenal have 6 days to sign 3 players

The 2019 summer transfer window slams at 17:00 BST on 8 August. That leaves just 6 days for Arsenal to complete their transfer business.

After a slow start with just Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli joining the club at the beginning of the month, Arsenal announced the double move of Dani Ceballos and William Saliba towards the end of July. Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid, with Saliba remaining on loan at St Etienne.

As July turned to August everything went a little bit mental and Arsenal broke their transfer record signing Nicolas Pepe for £72million, dispelling the media lies around the club having just £40million to spend.

The signing of Pepe showed that form is temporary, class is permanent and players would rather join a big club not in the Champions League over a small club in Europe’s premier competition.

It has been a decent window for the club so far, but we still need to make a couple more transfers. If we get those right it could become one of Arsenal’s best transfer windows in a decade.

We have been heavily linked with Kieran Tierney over this summer and it is clear that he is the clubs premier choice to be 1st choice left back. It is a deal we need to push over the line.

Central defence is also a glaring concern.

It was the defence that let Arsenal down last season and was the primary reason why we are not in the Champions League.

With Laurent Koscielny unlikely to ever play for the club again and Shkodran Mustasfi being offered around Europe, a new central defender is surely on the cusp of coming in?

In recent days both Samuel Umtiti and Daniel Rugani have been linked.

Arsenal are also short in midfield, especially if the club decide to cash in on Mo Elneny.

The Egyptian leaving would leave us with just Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock in midfield.

It would only take a couple of injuries or suspensions to see us line up with the 2 teenagers. Clearly we would need to sign a senior pro to replace Elneny. Khedira?

On a side note, we are reportedly in the market for a youthful 3rd choice goal keeper.

Left back
Centre back
Central midfielder

We have 6 days to get them.

Keenos

Less than 30 left – Will never be reproduced

Arsenal can only sign ONE more foreign player

In June I analysed the state of the Arsenal squad.

The theory behind it was to evaluate what exactly Arsenal currently has in the squad, in terms of players that must be registered with the Premier League (Players born on or after 1 January 1998 do not need to be register) and of those registered players, who is home grown (HG) and non-home grown (NHG).

At the time of previous blog, Arsenal had 22 players over the age of 21, 15 of whom had to be registered. This left Arsenal with 3 senior spots, 2 of which could be filled by a NHG player if desired.

Since that blog, Arsenal have signed Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba, with Nicolas Pepe on the cusp of joining (at the time of writing). David Ospina has been sold.

This leaves Arsenal’s squad looking at follows:

The signings of Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe, with David Ospina leaving puts Arsenal in a position where they can sign 2 more senior players – enough room for a central defender and left back.

This leaves Arsenal with just 1 space for a non home grown player.

Scottish players are considered NHG under Premier League rules. This means that were Arsenal to sign Kieran Tierney at left back, they would have reached the maximum amount of NHG players.

Things can change quickly in football, however.

Laurent Koscielny is likely to return to France, with Edu having recently met with his counterpart at Rennes.

If a new central defender joins, it will most likely mean the end for Shkodran Mustafi. Either Saed Kolasinac or Nacho Monreal will surely make way for Tierney.

Losing Koscielny, Mustafi and a left back will free up 3 more NHG places, taking us down to just 14 – and 21 registered players in total.

That would leave us the places to add someone like Samuel Umtiti or Daniele Rugani – both of whom we have been linked with. It would also give us a bit of breathing room if we wanted to make a late bid for another central midfielder like Sami Khedira.

With the likes of Mohammed Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan set to be on the fringes of the squad, Arsenal could free up further space if needed.

We are closing in on the maximum registered squad number (25) and maximum amount of non home grown players (17), but there is nothing to worry about. Yet.

Keenos