Tag Archives: max meyer

Aaron Ramsey, Wingers & Max Meyer

Aaron Ramsey

I am in the positivity train. I got on the moment Arsene Wenger announced he was leaving. The day we announced Unai Emery I got a job as ticket inspector. These days I am so positivity that I am driving the train.

I do however have two negative thoughts circling my head, both surrounding us playing 4231 – the formation preferred by Emery and played in pre-season.

Time and again Aaron Ramsey has shown he can not play in the two.

He is a wonderful football, amongst the best central midfielders in the league. I want him to stay. To sign a new contract. To be captain. But he needs a midfield 3 to get the best out of him.

Ramsey covers a lot of ground, and loves getting forward.

The problem is his lack is positional discipline leaves his midfield partner exposed. We have seen this time and again throughout his career.

If we want to get the best out of the Welshman, we need to play him in a trio alongside Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka. Not partnering just one. But Emery’s preferred formation does not allow for the accommodation of 3 in the middle.

The only way you could accommodate all 3 in a 4231 is by pushing Ramsey even further up, into the number 10, and then playing Mesut Ozil out wide. But then this is a waste of both of their talents.

Ramsey at 10 is too high up the pitch. He then can not make his late runs into the box.

And Mesut Ozil needs the freedom to find the ball. Whether it is is on the left, right or middle.

By playing him on the left you end up with half the pitch having no Ozil. 50% less Ozil is no good.


My second concern is the lack of widemen to sufficiently play 2 wide forwards.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan can certainly play wide right. People forget that in 2016 he was named Bundesliga Player of the Year coming in off the right in a similar formation as what Emery is planning.

The problem is the left hand side. Dortmund in 2015/16 had Marco Rues on the left hand side. Arsenal have a choice between Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi. Not quite the same is it?

There is an obvious solution to both situation. Sell Aaron Ramsey.

It is not a situation that I am comfortable with, but it is one that makes sense.

You sell Ramsey, and invest that money into a wideman. Someone like Dembele at Barcelona, Leon Bailey, Anthony Martial or Julian Draxler.

Then behind the 3 you have Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira. A much more solid middle of the park, Ozil in his best position and natural widemen.

Max Meyer

Former Football Manager “wunderkid” is about to join Crystal Palace on a free transfer.

For a while, he was top of my list for central midfield options at Arsenal. At a free transfer, it seemed like a no brainer.

Arsenal would get a 22-year old midfielder who would replace Jack Wilshere, cover Aaron Ramsey, as well as back up the 3 behind the striker.

But all was not as seemed.

Linked with Liverpool and AC Milan, as well as Arsenal, Meyer is now joining Crystal Palace. An odd fall from grace.

It transpires that money is Meyer’s motivator. That he (and his agent) priced himself out of a move to a top club by demanding what he felt was his transfer value to be paid as a signing on fee. The problem is those clubs did not see him as worth that much.

By paying Meyer and his representatives a £30million fee, he no longer really becomes a free transfer. He becomes a £30million transfer.

Clearly Arsenal, Liverpool, AC Milan and others felt that £30million could be better spent elsewhere.



3 free transfers Arsenal need to target

Same old Arsenal, doing it on the cheap is probably your first thought upon reading the headline. But the reality is, transfer values mean nothing. What is more important is the quality of the player, rather then what they cost.

Sol Campbell, for example, was one of the greatest signings by Arsene Wenger. He was a free transfer and amongst the best centre backs in the world at the time. Meanwhile Virgil van Dijk cost Liverpool £75m.

As Sead Kolasinac has shown this season, if the right player is the right player, it does not matter if he costs nothing or £50m. The bonus of getting in players on a free transfer is that it leaves funds free to strengthen elsewhere.

Lukas Hradecky

Arsenal need to be in the market for a new goal keeper in the summer. We will be linked with a lot of stoppers. Jan Oblak is a big money target, whilst Jack Butland and Bernd Leno are more realistic. One name that has popped up recently is Eintracht Frankfurt’s Lukas Hradecky.

The Slovak-born Finnish goalkeeper is an excellent shot stopper, and if you stuck this seasons statistics through the computer, I am sure they would come out not too far off Bernd Leno’s.

Originally from Czechoslovakia (born before the break up), Hradecky as number one and fellow Czechoslovakian-born Petr Cech as number two could clinch the deal.

Max Meyer

Staying in Germany, 22 year old midfielder Max Meyer on a free transfer seems a no brainer.

The all action central midfielder has lost his way in the last 12 months, but his natural talent is still clear to see.

With the players we currently have, we are likely to play 5 midfielders next season (3 central midfielders behind Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan). We are in desperate need of reinforcements in that area.

I expect us to sign a specialist defensive midfield, and the increasing likelihood is that Jack Wilshire and Aaron Ramsey will sign new deals. Add Granit Xhaka, Mo Elneny and Alex Iwobi, it will leave us with 8 players for 5 positions. There is certainly enough space for someone like Meyer.

The key for Meyer is his versatility.

For much of his career he has played in attacking midfield. He would provide great cover for Mesut Ozil and  Mkhitaryan – who have both missed plenty of games through injury this season.

He can also play deeper as a deep-lying playmaker, meaning he can provide competition and cover for the  equally injury prone pair of Wilshere and Ramsey. Taking into account how many games all 4 have missed this season, Meyer would get a lot of game time.

At just 22, he could also grow into a long term replacement for Mesut Ozil. He is still one of the hottest prospects in Europe.

Giorgio Chiellini

At the other end of the spectrum from Max Meyer is Giorgio Chiellini.

Soon to turn 34, the Juventus vice-captain could add the experience lost with Per Mertesacker’s retirement and Laurent Koscielny’s injury.

The veteran centre back has never been one to rely on pace. Italian centre backs have a history of going on into their late 30s. Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Costacurta all performed to a high level beyond their 35th birthday. Chiellini, having never suffered a serious long term injury, could do similar.

Steve Bould played at Arsenal until he was 37, Tony Adams 36 and Martin Keown was 38 when he finally left us.

With rumours of Max Allegri to Arsenal going, he would have the inside track as to whether Chiellini still has it. And if he still does, it is plausible that the Italian will be the first signing of the new era.

With Italy not at the World Cup, Chiellini would get a proper break in the summer.

The problem with our defence in the last decade is it has lacked a leader. Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have always been secondary defenders, looking to the primary one for positional and organisation. Chiellini next to Mustafi would give the German the guidance he needs.

And with youngsters Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Konstantinos Mavropanos in desperate need of a senior centre back, what they could learn from someone like Chiellini in the 2 or 3 years he has left could be invaluable.

Arsenal need to sign 4 or 5 players this summer. A new goal keeper, new centre back, new defensive midfielder and new attacking midfielder / winger. If we can secure even just 1 of those positions on a free transfer, it will free up a big chunk of cash to strengthen elsewhere.

It is not about doing things on the cheap, it is about buying the right player.