Tag Archives: Nabil Fekir

5 Mesut Ozil replacements identified

Nabil Fekir

The talented Frenchman was close to joining Liverpool last summer, only for a deal to fall through at the eleventh hour due to a suspect knee issue. The failed medical came as a surprise to both Fekir and his club, Lyon

This season he has played 48 games for club and country. His knee might be a “ticking time bomb” and it just did not go off last season.

With 12 goals and 9 assists this season, he has backed up his 23 goals and 9 assists from 2018/19. A duel threat of being able to score and assist, he has to be top of the list as a Mesut Ozil replacement.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has reportedly said that Fekir will leave this summer due to his contract expiring at the end of next season.

Only 25-years-old, Arsenal would have to match the five year contract worth around £140,000 a week that Liverpool had agreed last season.

Hakim Ziyech

With a reported £25million release clause, Hakim Ziyech has come to a lot of peoples attention following Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-final.

With 19 goals and 16 assists last season, the Moroccan international is at his peak.

The concern is those goals and assists have come in a poor Dutch league.

Last season Brighton signed Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who arrived on the South coast with a similar reputation as Ziyech. Jahanbakhsh went from top scorer in the Eredivisie to not netting a single goal in the Premier League.

Donny van de Beek

Perhaps more exciting than Ziyech is his Ajax team mate Donny van de Beek. The Dutchman is 4 years his junior at 22 years old.

With 16 goals and 12 assists last season, he is perhaps more similar to aaron Ramsey or Frank Lampard than Mesut Ozil.

A lot of his goals have come from late runs into the box – something Arsenal miss when Ozil plays. If Unai Emery opts to play two up top next season, van de Beek could be the ideal man to play behind the front two, drifting into the space left by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette when they go out wide.

Alongside Nabir Fekir, van de Beek is probably my favourite.

Bruno Fernandes

24-year-old Bruno Fernandes has been linked with both Manchester United and Manchester City this summer as he attempts to engineer a move to the Premier League.

The Portuguese midfielder has been in sparkling form this season with 31 goals, in the process becoming the highest-scoring Portuguese midfielder in a single season of all time. He also contributed  14 assists.

Like van de Beek, he tends to play a little bit deeper.

At €55 million, Arsenal might decide that he is overpriced and that their are cheaper options of equal talent available.

Luis Alberto

The wild card on the list.

Former Liverpool flop Luis Alberto has transformed himself into a fantastic all round midfielder since joining Lazio.

Last season he hit 12 goals with 19 assists. Whilst he has regressed this season with just 5 goals and 6 assists, he could be perfect if Emery wants a number 10 who can also put in a defensive shift.

Lazio paid just €4 million for him back in 2016.

The way I see it, Arsenal either go big and sign either Nabil Fekir or Donny van de Beek to replace Mesut Ozil – spending £50 million in the process, or they target both Hakim Ziyech and Luis Alberto, recruiting both for a combined £50million.


England, Serge Gnabry, Mike Dean, Nabil Fekir & Spurs


I went out to France to watch England v Wales in the Lille fan park with tens of thousands other Englishmen. The majority of people I spoke to did not particularly like the English national team. Boring, predictable, overpaid failures, was the general consensus.

But we travelled out there in our thousands. It was out of national pride, national loyalty, rather than to support the team, that we all travelled.

England games bore me. I have no real interest in them. The Wembley crowd is a joke, and as poor as the fans.

I did not watch the England v Germany game. We drew 0-0, and the headlines were hilarious.

The bar for England is set so low that we see a draw as a victory. It is all a bit Spursy. Celebrating draws like they are wins. Celebrating a fake progression. Getting excited when we have won nothing.

It probably is not a surprise that England consistently fail when it has so many Spurs (and Liverpool) players in the squad.

I remember back 20 years ago, having players in the England squad, and more than your rivals, was something to be proud of. These days it is pointless, especially as England are so poor.

If the likes of 25-year-old Jesse Lindgard is seen as part of the future of England, I can do without.

Tonight we play Brazil. I have little to no interest.

Serge Gnabry

I remember when Bayern Munich signed Serge Gnabry, a lot of fans got their knickers in a twist. As if Bayern Munich signing him showed Arsene Wenger had made a mistake in selling the German youngster to Werder Breman.

At the time of him joining Munich I questioned his intentions.

He left Arsenal for 1st team football, but then leaves Breman, who he was playing for week in, week out, for Bayern Munich. If he was not good enough for Arsenal 12 months previous, it is unlikely he would suddenly be better than Ribery, Robben, Thiago, etc.

At the time, I predicted that Gnabry was signed because Munich did not want an opponent to sign him, and wanted to control who he plays for – and against. That they have a history of doing this with other young, talented players in Germany.

Low-and-behold, Munich loaned out the 22-year-old to Hoffenheim.

Gnabry picked up an injury in just his 2nd game and has been out injured since.

Taking into account he missed a year shortly after making his Arsenal debut, and missed 6 weeks of football last season, another 3 months at the beginning of this season is clearly a worrying trend.

My view of Gnabry at Bayern Munich remains the same as it did when he joined them. I would be very surprised if he ever actually plays a game of any note for the German giants.

Mike Dean

The referee for the Arsenal v Spurs game is Mike Dean. Predictably, this made Arsenal Twitter explode in fear and anger.

I wonder if any other sides fans care about referees as much as Arsenal fans?

There was a time when Arsenal had won just 3 out of 22 games over a 5 year period that Mike Dean had taken charge for. A poor record, but nothing to blame the referee on.

In the 16 games since that run, Arsenal’s record with Mike Dean in charge is remarkably better, just the 2 defeats away to Chelsea and at home to Manchester United in those 16 games.

Our results against top teams with Mike Dean in charge recently has seen fairly standard results…

We should be beating small sides like Spurs no matter who is in refereeing.

Nabil Fekir

Don’t know, don’t care, but as the shops have their Christmas decorations out, it must be that time of year when the newspapers publish millions of columns of click bait to top up that advertising revenue.

Spurs love in

I will never understand Arsenal fans who put Spurs on a pedestal.

They have won 2 League Cups in 27 years. Finished above Arsenal once in 22 years. Yet some Arsenal fans act like they are the resurrection. The next coming of Jesus Christ. That one year finishing above Arsenal makes them superior.

I read people all over social media moaning that 3 FA Cups in 4 seasons is “not good enough”, “not acceptable.” They demand we “be more like Spurs.”

So what you want is for us to not win any trophies, yet finish top 4?

You probably spent the time between 2005 – 2014 moaning that top 4 meant nothing and we should be focusing on winning trophies.

In recent years, we have won trophies, whilst Spurs are celebrated for “progression” and “putting the pressure on”.

Would I take Arsenal’s last 10 years over Spurs last 10 years? Yes.
Would I take Arsenal’s last 5 years over Spurs last 5 years? Yes.
Would I take Arsenal’s last 3 years over Spurs last 3 years? Yes.
Would I take Arsenal’s last year over Spurs last year? Yes.

No matter which period you look at, whether it be 10, 5, 3 or 1, Arsenal have been more successful than Spurs. We have won trophies.

I would not trade the last 1 / 3 / 5 / 10 years of Arsenal’s “success” for what Spurs have(not) achieved in the same period.

As for the so called Arsenal fans who want the team to lose to spurs this weekend, you can get in the bin.