Tag Archives: Kieran Tierney

Rodgers to Leicester opens door for Tierney or Chilwell to Arsenal

Today Arsenal face Bournemouth looking to make it 3 wins in the last 3 games.

No game in the Premier League is easy, but anything less than 3 points will be a blow for the top 4 hopes.

It is a close fight for 4th place, with 3 points separating Arsenal in 4th and Chelsea in 6th. The key tonight is that Tottenham are at Chelsea.

If Spurs lose (and Arsenal win) Tottenham are dragged back towards the chasing pack – there could be just 5 points separating 3rd and 5th. If they win, it would could take Arsenal and Manchester United away from Chelsea and turn it into a two-horse race.

With Arsenal set to face Tottenham (away) and Manchester United (home) in the next two weeks, 3 points tonight as key – as you would be very surprised if we got 6 points from the next 2.

After Manchester United in a weeks time, there are 8 games to go, and Arsenal have a relatively comfortable run in – with Everton and Leicester away being our only tricky fixtures.

Victory tonight puts us on the tail of Tottenham and could result in us finishing ahead of them in 3rd place.

Moving on, Brendan Rodgers has joined Leicester City, and this could play out well for Arsenal’s chase for a new left back.

With Nacho Monreal coming to the end of his contract – and the rumours of him getting a 1-year extension dying down – Arsenal will certainly move in the summer for competition for Saed Kolasinac.

Kieran Tierney has been a long term target for some time.

Just 21-years-old, the Scottish youngster has remained loyal to Celtic in recent years, but Rodgers leaving could open the flood gates for those players who were loyal to the manager. Tierney will be one of those expected to leave in the summer.

Arsenal should be in for him.

One stumbling block could be that Rodgers wants to take him to Leicester City; but this could open another door.

If Tierney joins Leicester, they might cash in on Ben Chilwell to finance the transfer.

If either Chilwell or Tierney are available this summer, Arsenal need to move for one of them. It will be the left hand side of the defence sorted for a decade.

Enjoy the game tonight. Back the team.

Keenos

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What does Nacho Monreal’s contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

Arsenal have (reportedly at the time of writing) taken up the option of extending Nacho Monreal’s contract by a further year.

The Spanish international joined the club On 31 January 2013 for a fee believed to be around ÂŁ8.5 million. In the 6 years he has been at the club, he has proved to be a very good signing, and has consistently been in the top 3 or 4 left backs in the league.

In recent years, he has also shown his worth on the left side of a back 3. Something which Unai emery might consider if he continues to play with 3 at the back.

Monreal turns 33 in February, so his career is coming to an end. However he has never been blessed with electric pace – relying on good positioning in defence and smart movement and solid crossing in attack. There is certainly still another 18 months in himat the top level.

But what does the contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

The Bosnian clearly can not play in a back 4.

Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger before him have changed from a back 4 to a back 3 to accommodate Kolasinac. This is not a long term solution as defences rely on continuity. Both of personnel and system.

This summer Arsenal need to go out and buy another left back. A younger player who can be Monreal’s long term replacement. Ideally already good enough to play ahead of the Spaniard next season. Monreal then acts as back up / cover for his younger team mate.

This leave Kolasinac in a position where, at left back at least, he is surplus to requirements.

So what are Arsenal’s options?

Cash in

We have spoken before about Arsenal selling poorly. Arsenal would easily command a fee in excess of ÂŁ20 million if they sold Kolasinac. Many clubs both at home and abroad would pay that for him.

If he is not a long term solution, cash in over the summer and reinvest those funds. Monreal is then cover and competition for the new left back, then in 2020 we can explore signing someone to replace Monreal as that cover (or promote from within).

The likes of Ben Chilwell, Ferland Mendy or Kieran Tierney for under ÂŁ30m. Cashing in on Kolasinac would fund almost all of the transfer fee of a new left back.

Moving him forward

Kolasinac is dangerous in the final third. He is able to muscle his way to the bye-line and get quality crosses in. He has been one of Arsenal most creative players this season.

There is an argument that you can buy a new left back, keep Monreal for a year, and keep Kolasinac as a winger.

Getting forward from the wing is different from left-back, however.

He often makes runs from deep, into space that has been created by his winger (usually Alex Iwobi) dropping inside. When he starts further up the pitch, he has less space to get up to speed in, and would have less space to operate as the opposing full-back would follow him instead the winger.

is left footed and would hug the touchline. He would not be ideal as a regular starter wide left, but he would give Arsenal an attacking option off the bench.

Another option would be if we are chasing the game, to take off the left-back and put Kolasinac on. Sacrificing for the defence for someone who can get forward more and provide quality.

Likewise when defending a lead, he could be bought on to provide further cover for the left back, whilst still offering a threat going forward.

You often saw Arsenal do this in the past when they had Emmanuel Eboue and Bacary Sagna.

Moving forward, Kolasinac would also then double up as the cover for the full back when Monreal leaves.


By renewing Monreal’s contract for a further year, it gives us plenty of options in the summer. Keep Kolasinac. Sell Kolasinac. Use him as a winger. Use Monreal on the left of a back 3.

What is for sure is that we need to buy a long term left back option.

Keenos

What else can Arsenal expect this transfer window?

I am writing this on Saturday evening. Writing my blogs the night before helps me sleep. It could be a cure for insomnia you might say. anyway, by the time it is blogged (set for 8.40am Monday morning), Jamie Vardy might have been already announced as an Arsenal player.

If he has not, the likelihood is that it will happen at some point today (I now have to imagine that I am writing this tomorrow). Whether it has been announced or not, it seems pretty certain that he is on the way in.another-vardy-grap_2911223a

That then creates a good start to the beginning of the transfer window.

I am sure 3 months ago, we all agreed on what Arsenal need:

  • A pacey striker
  • A defensive midfielder
  • A centre back
  • A right winger

So it is two down, two to go. And it is only the 6th of June. The transfer window does not even officially open until the 1st of next month.

It is a good start. And hopefully that is what it is. A start. We still have more to go. Our business is not done. The cheque book should not be closed.

So what can Arsenal expect from the rest of our transfer summer (in before all the negatives nancies say nothing).

Now before I start, this is all my opinion. I am not privy to any information. This is just me putting together 2 and 2 and getting 12.

Ricardo Rodriguez seems to be one on our radar. Reports are that he has a release clause that we are willing to meet. A first choice left back was certainly not on anyone’s list at the end of the season, but he would be a good positive signing.

The consensus was that Kieran Gibbs’ time at Arsenal was coming to an end. That Arsenal should get shot this summer, and bring in a young left back to provide cover for Nacho Monreal, who within a year or two would replace the 30 year old Spaniard. The likes of Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney were mooted. But it seems Rodriguez is top of the list.

This is a surprise at Rodriguez is not a youngster who would be willing to await his chance. He is 23 years old, is Switzerland’s first choice left back, whom he has 37 caps for, and has over played nearly 250 professional games. He certainly would not be coming to be Monreal’s understudy but as a direct competitor.

He is attacking and has a cracking left foot. In the short term, I think he would be coming in to both compete with Monreal, and also be a left footed option on the wing.

Were Rodriguez to come in, that would be 3 potential starters to have joined this summer.

Now I am of the belief that you do not introduce too many 1st XI players at any one time. It takes players time to settle, time to adapt, time to gel. Too many ends up with a disjointed team and history has shown it would create too any dropped points early on in the season.

By the time they have gelled it is too late.

Personally, 3 1st XI players is already too much. 2 maximum. But then we got back to the original shopping list. Signing a top left back still leaves us a right winger and a centre back short.

I honestly can not see the club signing Rodriguez, than adding a first choice centre back and a first choice right winger. It would leave us with one of the other. This will likely be a centre back.

Centre back is clearly more important than a winger. Laurent Koscielny aside, we are not strong enough at the back. Kalidou Koulibaly and Medhi Benatia seem to be the two at the top of our list.

A centre back is a most.

So where does that leave us with the right wing?

I do not think we will get one.

Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, two who were scheduled to be on their last legs, will be given a lifeline due to Danny Welbeck’s injury.

Again, in my opinion, the plan was obvious. Buy a striker, Welbeck go’s wide where he excells, and Walcott go’s.

With Welbeck out until February at least (don’t expect to see him at all next season) it leaves us short.

But as previously stated, I can not see us integrating a 5th player into the 1st XI. The result is Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, or even Serge Gnabry will start the season on the right wing. The alternative option would be Rodriguez on the left and Alexis Sanchez moving over.

Knowing Arsene and Arsenal, however, it would not be too much of a surprise if we did not buy a centre back and ended up with Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the right.

As for the out goings, I will look into these at another time.

It is going to be a busy summer. Granit Xhaka and Vardy are just the start.

Keenos