Tag Archives: ousmane dembele

2 IN; 3 OUT at Arsenal

With the transfer window slamming shut on Thursday, all has been quiet at Arsenal surrounding who is potentially coming in.

With the transfer window still be open throughout Europe until the end of the month, we will probably not see a mass exodus of players this week, however it will be the last chance for English clubs to bring anyone in.

In a surprising deal, it looks like Calum Chambers is set to join Fulham on a season long loan deal.

There was plenty of speculation that Chambers was going to join the West London club earlier in the summer. But a new contract and reports that Unai Emery was impressed in the Englishman seemed to quash that deal.

One of the few players to have played every game in pre-season, Chambers departure is very surprising, especially considering the long-term injury to Laurent Koscielny.

At the back end of last season, he was ahead of Rob Holding and Kostadinos Mavropanos, and this pre-season has played more minutes than the pair. He was clearly 3rd choice centre back, and also provided additional cover at right back.

He will be 24-years-old in January and has already had a season long loan deal to Middlesbrough. It just feels like a strange move. The only reasoning is that someone else is coming in.

Lucas Perez has been like a yoyo this summer. Early indications were that Emery was going to give him a second chance. He failed to start any of our 5 pre-season games

Both Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson started three games a-piece and looked good. Emery seems to have decided to give them more chances in the first team squad at the sacrifice of 29-year-old Perez.

Perez was not even in the match day squad for the games against Chelsea in Dublin or Lazio in Stockholm. He has been heavily linked with the latter (Lazio) and more recently West Ham.

Having been at the World Cup, David Ospina was already facing a handicap when it came to the battle with Petr Cech to be new signing Bernd Leno’s competition.

Leno stared 3 out of 5, with Cech starting the other two.

With Cech having one-year left on his contract, he seems content to stay in London where has been for 14 years and the city where his children have grown up, regardless of being number 2.

That leaves Ospina as the man most likely to leave.

He has been linked with a move to Turkey every since his second season with Arsenal; and it seems this year will be when it finally happens. Some outlets are reporting it is a loan deal, others a permanent deal. £2,000,000 the mooted feed.

The only logical reason for Chambers to be leaving is that we are going to make a last minute signing at centre back.

There has been massive speculation this morning that Arsenal are in for Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng.

Emery has been quoted a few times saying that “if something special becomes available, we will be in for him”. Could Boateng be that something special?

The reported £45million fee is relatively cheap in the current transfer market. Arsenal would be getting one of the best 5 centre backs in the world who, at 29-years-old, would add experience and power at the back.

The only concern would be his injury record. In the last few years, he has started to accrue a few muscle injuries.

He nearly missed the World Cup after a hamstring injury and did not look 100% during Germany’s early exit. He also suffered a hamstring injury in 2017, and has failed to play 20 Bundesliga games in the last 3 seasons.

Munich could be looking to cash in on someone who is broken, and will never be repaired. Alternatively Arsenal could end up with a top centre back with another 4 seasons in him.

There is also an outside chance that Arsenal could bring in Ousmane Dembele on loan, with the possibility of a permanent deal if Aaron Ramsey leaves.

Reports have claimed that the 21-year-old has been concerned over his role at Barcelona following the eclub’s decision to sign Brazilian winger Malcom from Bordeaux this summer.

Dembele has been heavily linked with a switch to Arsenal this summer as he still has a strong relationship with the Gunners’ head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who he knows from his time at Dortmund. Last week, Dembele was also pictured having dinner with several members of Arsenal’s squad including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Reports from Spain are that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has personally assured Ousmane Dembele that he still has a future at the club, goning out of his way to speak to the France international.

All in all, bar the Chambers deal going through today, it will likely be a quiet week for Arsenal, with Perez and Ospina set to move closer towards the end of August.

Keenos

Arsenal Targets: 10 Wingers

Everyone agrees that we need a goal keeper, centre back and defensive midfielder next year. But we also need a winger.

Since letting Theo Walcott leave in January, we do not have a natural wide man. Whilst Danny Welbeck can do a job there, we require a speedy wideman who is happy getting chalk on his boots.

Against Atletico Madrid in the first leg, we struggled to change game plan. Over the two legs, we bought on 1 substitution. I expect next season we will play fairly narrow, with Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan playing in behind a single striker.

This means that we need an option on the bench to change things up, take things wider.

Strikers Welbeck, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can play out wide, but it is not their natural game and they will only drift back inside. Likewise with Ozil and Mkhitaryan (alongside Alex Iwobi), both would start out wide but end up inside.

This would result in us making a change to go wider, but not having the players who will stay on the touchline. In turn they drop back inside and the in-game tactical change has not occurred.

Manchester City have Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane who provide excellent foils to Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Bernado Silva. Liverpool are also capable of changing things up, even it is using the same personnel.

When they wish to go for width, a simple change of Mo Salah on the left and Sadio Mane on the right completely changes the complexion of the team.

What Arsenal need is a young, intelligent winger. Someone whose natural inclination is to play out wide, but they also versatile enough to play across the front line positions. Someone with natural pace, but technique to match.

So what options are there?

Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen)

The 20-year-old Jamaican has been in sparkling form for the majority of the Bundesliga season and has scored some spectacular goals to help Leverkusen to fourth place and Champions League contention. He ticks every box for Arsenal.

Justin Kluivert (Ajax)

The 19-year-old son of former Holland and Newcastle striker Patrick, young Kluivert is making a name for himself as a winger of note. Already valued in the £40m bracket, the Dutch youngster is perhaps overpriced and Ajax have recently been looking to extend his contract.

A new deal with Ajax would see a huge sell on percentage for both the play and super agent Mino Raiola. This would see him stay in Holland for a couple more years before he is moved on. Arsenal have recently dealt with Raiola in the signing of Henrik Mkhytarian.

Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona)

The French teenager became the world’s second most expensive player, when he moved to the Camp Nou in a €105m deal, to replace Neymar last summer. However, he suffered a hamstring injury in September, which ruled him out for four months.

He returned in January, but got injured again.

Barcelona are expected to strengthen their forward line with the signing of Atletico Madrid forward, Antoine Griezmann this summer, which could lead to them attempt ro recoup some of their huge outlay on Dembele.

Gelson Martins (Sporting Lisbon)

The 22-year-old is super fast and has been tipped for the top by coach Jorge Jesus. Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool have watched the Portugal international extensively and he is a classic-style winger who beats his man and gets the cross over. Arsenal may demand he learns a bit more but certainly has the raw talent and has scored 10 goals.

Malcolm (Bordeaux)

Arsenal were favourites to sign Malcolm in January, but they delayed the deal after the dual signing of Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arose.

With Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund now interested in him, Arsenal now face more competition for the Brazilian youngster than they did earlier in the year.

Malcolm himself has come out and said he expects to leave Bordeaux, come the summer. The 21-year-old is a quality winger capable of playing on both wings, and also has the technique to move into the middle when required.

the Gunners are  suddenly set to miss out on a real talent.

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

Has two years left on contract and is regarded as one of the most talented teenagers in the world. The USA international can play on the wing or as a playmaker. He joined Dortmund during the time recruitment was overseen by Arsenal’s Sven Mislintat.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Still just 22, it is incredible to think that Manchester United shocked the footballing world by signing the then teenager for £36 million. What seemed like a crazy price in 2015 would now be considered a good deal.

He has fallen out of favour at under Jose Mourinho and could be looking for a way out this summer. Only questions are around whether he would want to move from Manchester United’s bench to Arsenal’s, and whether he is exactly what we need.

He is not a winger who gets chalk on his boots, more a frustrated forward playing out wide.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

At 27, the Algerian is perhaps not as young as others on this list, but he his Premier League experience and versatility trumps that.

A £50m move to Manchester City fell through in January. He has 2 years remaining on a 4 year deal that he signed back in 2016, and Leicester City might decide this is the last summer that they can get a decent transfer fee for him.

Whilst we should go no where near the £50m that City had agree, if we can get him for closer to £30m a deal should be done.

And a blog about wingers would not be completed without mentioning the names Julian Draxler and Thomas Lemar.

Keenos