Tag Archives: Laurent Koscielny

Busy day for Arsenal in the transfer market

A lot happened yesterday in the world of Arsenal.

Firstly Arsenal announced in a very brief statement that Laurent Koscielny is leaving to join Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

It feels like it is a real nasty, needless end to a player who has spent 9 years at the club.

The refusal to go on the American tour was out of character and the way he has departed as definitely damaged his legacy.

Instead of getting a big goodbye in front of an Emirates crowd like Aaron Ramsey did, he leaves with a black cloud over his head. Surely it would have been better to remain professional and have played one last time against Lyon in the Emirates club.

We thank Laurent for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future just about sums it up.

£5million is a decent chunk of money a player that turns 34 in a month. Arsenal have also chopped off nearly £5million off the age bill. Hopefully this frees up further cash to go for a centre back in these late hours.

We then had the news that Eddie Nketiah may well spend next season on loan, with Leeds being front runners for his signature.

It will be a make or break move for Nketiah who finds his playing time at Arsenal limited behind Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Some fans are moaning that he should get more of a chance at Arsenal, but with two world class strikers ahead of him, minutes will always be tough to come by

If Nketiah does exceptional, he will return to Arsenal and be prepped be Lacazette’s long term back up (taking into account next summer Aubameyang will have just 1 year left on his contract). If he only does OK, Arsenal will probably look to move him on.

With the likes of Tyreece John-Jules (18), Folarin Balogun (18) & Gabriel Martinelli (18) coming up behind, Arsenal will soon have to make a decision whether to continue investing in Nketiah’s development, or move him on in favour of those a couple of years younger.

The expectation was that with Danny Welbeck leaving on  a free at the end of last season, Nketiah will move up to 3rd choice striker – and maybe even the only striker on the bench if Aubameyang started on the left.

If the plan is to use Aubameyang solely as a striker, then loaning out Nketiah makes sense.

And it may well be Aubameyang and Lacazette competing upfront if Arsenal complete the signing of Philippe Coutinho.

According to stunning reports in France, Arsenal have agreed a deal to take the Brazilian on loan. Wait and see on this one I guess.

Than over night that Danieledaniel Rugani rumour reared its head again; with Arsenal having reportedly agreed terms with the young Italian.

Fans seem split on this one, with many calling him the “Italian Mustafi” and others saying he is a top central defender who just has not had his chance at Juventus.

A deal to bring the 25-year-old to London on a 2 year loan deal before making it permanent in 2021 does make a lot of sense in terms of budgeting.

Still plenty likely to happen over the next few days (and even between the writing of this blog and publishing).

Carl Jenkinson, who following Koscileny’s departure has become Arsenal’s longest serving player, looks set to leave.

Then you have Emile Smith Rowe who a few teams in Germany are clamouring over, and Shkodran Mustafi who no teams in Germany seem to want.

Do not be surprised to see a deadline day central defender come in either.

Yesterday it felt like every hour a different rumour was breaking.

One more blog and it will all be over.

Keenos

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A lot has happened in a week at The Arsenal

A lot has happened in the week I have been off.

Firstly we had Laurent Koscielny going William Gallas on us.

I always liked Koscielny. He seemed to hold himself well and was a good role model, a good captain. He seemed to understand what it means to play for The Arsenal. That is why it came as a shock when he refused to fly out to America on the pre-season tour.

With Arsenal chasing central defenders this summer, it was felt that it was important to keep hold of Koscielny for one more season.

With William Saliba set to sign and be loaned straight back to St Etienne, a second senior central defender would likely be purchased, with Shkodran Mustafi making way. Koscielny would then be kept as experience cover to the new signing, Sokratis and Rob Holding; with Saliba joining Arsenal in a year to replace his senior compatriot.

Koscielny’s actions were disappointing and will have ramifications to Arsenal’s transfer targets this summer.

It is likely that we will now lose the Frenchman and that will result in Mustafi remaining. That will mean less funds raised to buy a top central defender and could see us scrap those plans and going into the new season with Mustafi, Holding and Sokratis as our central defensive options.

Koscielny has tarnished his Arsenal legacy.

We then have the “will they won’t they” signings of Saliba and Kieran Tierney.

Both deals were reportedly very close not to long ago, but both have stalled.

Tottenham have reportedly come in for Saliba, despite a deal being agreed with Arsenal and “in the hands of the lawyers” according to David Ornstein. According to top soccer betting sites, Arsenal are still favourites for the deal

On Ornstein; he is not longer as reliable as he once was with his source within the club having left (reportedly Ivan himself). Recently he has taken to reporting what others like Sky’s Kaveh Solhekol has already broke. Take what he says these days with the same pinch of salt you would others.

Tierney deal is dragging along. Arsenal had a second bid rejected due to the structure of the deal.

Arsenal have a right to be cautious, with the Scotsman still recovering from a double hernia. £25million upfront would secure the man, but he would be unable to pass a medical. It would be a risk, which is why Arsenal are trying to do a deal where Celtic will get their £25million based on appearances.

I still think Arsenal will get the deal over the line.

You then had the fake bid for Nicolas Pepe.

Arsenal reportedly bid £72million for the Ivorian, an offer which was quickly debunked by many. Whilst I have no doubt Arsenal did not make an offer for the Lille winger, he should certainly be on our radar.

Younger and better than Wilfried Zaha, I would rather Arsenal spent £60million on Pepe than his national team mate.

Yesterday we had the launch of the #WeCareDoYou campaign by many prominent Arsenal groups.

The strongly written letter to Stan Kroenke got the attention it deserved and was picked up by every major media outlet.

With nearly 100,000 Arsenal fans backing the letter, it carries a clear and conscience undertone. We are not happy.

I have a few on Kroenke which anyone that follows me on Twitter will know. The letter is not asking him to pump billions in, nor is it spreading any fake news about him taking money out. It is calling on him to show that he cares, and lead Arsenal back on the right track.

Our identity as a club has ebbed away over the last few years. Some of it due to Kroenke’s leadership, other due to the previous custodians. Much to do with how Ivan Gazidis ran the club.

You can probably track Arsenal’s identity demise back to 2002 when Arsenal changed the badge of marketing and copywrite reasons. Since then the club has been a mess.

Now not everything that has gone wrong is Kroenke’s fault, but as sole owner of Arsenal he now has the final say in where the club is going. And the club needs to get back on course.

It will take a while, you do not turn a cruise liner on a six pence. But the letter is the start, and hopefully Kroenke (and perhaps more importantly Raul Sanllehi) does listen, does take things into account, and does show that he cares.

Finally Arsenal played last night, beating Colorado Rapids 3-0 with Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka getting on the score sheet.

I am not going to pretend to have watched the game, but there is a good write up on Jorge Bird’s Arsenal Youth Blog.

Arsenal’s 1st senior pre-season contained a youthful looking line up. Hopefully with another year in the Europa League we will see many of those players develop.

On Thursday Arsenal face Bayern Munich.

Keenos

Laurent Koscielny to see out last year of Arsenal contract

This summer there has been talk of Laurent Koscielny leaving Arsenal. It will not happen.

The Frenchman turns 34 in September and his best days are behind him, but he will see out the last year of his contract at Arsenal.

Next season will be Koscielny’s 10th and last at the club he has served with so much class. The captain will spend his last year with Arsenal as a senior back-up option, more influential on the training ground than on the pitch.

Koscielny put in some brave performances towards the end of last season, making up for his diminishing physical attributes by becoming a dogger, old fashioned defender. He put his body on the line to win every ball.

Had Arsenal wanted to get rid of him this summer, they would have at least giving him a goodbye on the last day of the season alongside Aaron Ramsey. There were no words said, no tears, no longing wave. That will come in 2020.

When you look at the make-up of the squad in 2019/20, you can see why Koscielny still has a part to play.

Sokratis is the senior defender. Every other player will be competing to partner the Greek international.

Currently we have Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Kostadinos Mavropanos as the defensive options alongside Sokratis.

Holding was fabulous last season, but there is no guarantee he will be ready for the start of the forthcoming season, whilst Mavropanos could really do with getting himself out on loan for a year.

That leave Koscielny, Mustafi and Chambers.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with William Saliba. A deal for the French teenager is reportedly close. Part of the deal means that he will remain on loan at St Etienne next season. Not a bad thing as it will see him play a full campaign before joining the Arsenal squad in 2020.

To finance the deal, Calum Chambers will be moved on. Arsenal would command similar in transfer fee as for Chambers as they would splash out on Saliba.

Taking into account Chambers spent last year on loan to Fulham, sending Saliba out on loan would maintain the numbers in defence from last season.

So then we have Mustafi and Koscielny.

Mustafi would still command a fee in excess of £20million were he to be sold. He has shown during his time at Arsenal that he is not good enough to be 1st choice alongside Sokratis in the short term, and be the leader of the defence in the long term.

Arsenal should cash in on Mustafi. They should then target a defender who is under 25 and who they believe could be 1st choice tomorrow, and for years to come.

With Sokratis also the wrong side of 30, Arsenal need to blood in the next senior, 1st choice defender next season.

So selling Mustafi and Chambers, signing Saliba and a 1st choice defender means that Koscielny stays for a season.

Then in 2020, Saliba (assuming we clinch the deal) returns and becomes Koscielny’s replacement.

2019/20:
Sokratis, New CB, Holding, Koscielny
Saliba: Loaned
Mavropanos: Loaned
Chambers: Sold
Mustafi: Sold

2020/21:
New CB, Holding, Saliba, Sokratis, Mavropanos
Koscielny: Released

You then add the likes of Zach Medley and Dan Ballard as replacements for Sokratis in 2021 (and for Mavropanos if he does not kick on).

By keeping Koscielny for 1 more season allows for Arsenal to replace both Chambers and Mustafi this summer. With the succession planning above, it would mean that if we make the right to signings, we would not have to sign another central defender until 2022 at the earliest.

Koscielny deserves his goodbye.

Keenos