Tag Archives: riyad mahrez

5 Alternatives to Thomas Lemar

The Lemar saga keeps rolling, rolling, rolling on. Whilst I think the epical transfer will eventual happen, it might be worth looking at a few other potential targets that Arsenal could move for, if the Lemar deal ends up dead in the water.

Riyad Mahrez

Arsenal have long been linked with the Leicester City play maker. If Arsenal are looking at Lemar as an option who can play both out wide, and behind the striker – providing competition for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez – then Mahrez would be a decent option.

2015/16’s PFA Premier League player of the year would give the side another attacking option. He would be the closest ‘like for like’ to Lemar on this list.

I feel the only reason we are going for Lemar ahead of Mahrez is due to age. Lemar is 21 and has a very high potential ability bar. Mahrez is 26 and the finished article.

If the Lemar deal does fall through, Mahrez must be top of the list.

Jean Seri

The unknown-but-everyone-knows-about-him is predominantly a defensive midfielder. There has been talk that Arsene Wenger is targeting Lemar as a long term replacement for Santi Cazorla. That he will mould the Frenchman into a deep lying play maker.

If the Lemar deal does fall through, a move for Seri, whilst a different type of midfielder, will provide the reinforcements in the middle of the park.

Personally I think we should be targeting Seri and Lemar. They are completely different players. Lemar attacking, Seri defensive. By forcing Lemar to be deeper and defend, you lost a lot of his talent.

It should be Seri and Lemar, not Seri or Lemar.

Ross Barkley

Since Paul Gascoigne, there has been a long list of players labelled the next Gazza who have failed to ever fulfil their promise. Jack Wilshere is one, Ross Barkley another.

There has never been any doubting Barkley’s natural talent. The concern is his consistency. He has never quite put it together for a run of 10/15 games, let alone a season. If it ever does click that he is on the verge of wasting his talent, he could become a world class player. But at 24 in December, time is running out.

He has pace, power and ability abundant, but does he have it between the ears.

Gareth Bale

If Arsenal are looking to go big, could a bid for Real Madrid Galactico materialise?

A deal for Bale would only probably happen if Arsenal fail to sign Lemar AND end up losing Alexis Sanchez. The club could package up the £50m put aside for Lemar, add the £50 they get for Bale, to enable them to offer a world record transfer fee for the former Spurs player.

Suso

The former Liverpool youngster has revitalised his career in the last 18 months, becoming a key player for AC Milan last season.

With AC Milan’s new found money, Suso might find himself on the fringes of the future. Like Lemar, he can play in all 3 positions behind the striker, so would be a good, and potential cheap, 2nd choice. He would provide the back up needed for Ozil and Sanchez, as well as be able to play outwide if we change up the formation.

Keenos

 

Arsenal set to sign 3 players in a week

The transfer window opened Saturday and Arsenal are in danger of making 3 major transfer within the first full-working week.

Arsenal’s deal for 24 year old Bosnian full back Saed Kolasinac from Germany side Schalke 04 on a free transfer was made official as the clock clicked to 00:00 on Saturday morning.

The full back gives Arsenal the option of playing him out wide or at the left side of a back 3. He will be interchangeable with Nacho Monreal and Arsenal will just have to work on getting the combination and positioning right.

A record breaking £45m deal for Alexandre Lacazette from French side Lyon will likely be completed within the next 24 hours.

Arsenal have chased the Frenchman for some time now, and the big money early move shows that the club heave learnt from previous transfer windows where they let key targets slip through the net due to chasing other targets.

Arsenal will potentially rush through a deal for Riyad Mahrez or Thomas Lemar before the week is out.

Arsenal have already placed bids for Thomas Lemar, which have been rejected. Monaco seem to be reluctant to sell any more players, but Lemar seems keen on a deal to take him to Islington.

Despite the rejected bid, Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim said over the weekend that he fully expects more players to leave.

‘Three players have left – Dirar, Valere and Bernardo,’ he said. ‘Other players could leave us.’

As for Mahrez, the news came out of the blue late on Saturday that Arsenal had renewed their interest in the Algerian.

Whether this is because the club believe the Lemar deal is dead in the water, or have now accepted Alexis Sanchez is off it unclear. There is of course the scenario that the news was broken from some journalist on work experience who was just trying to get his profile up.

A move late in the week for Thomas Lemar of Riyad Mahrez will be in the hope of softening Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester City.

It’s going to be a busy week at Highbury House.

Keenos

A wish list for Arsenal – 5 players we need to sign

I found this in my drafts. I wrote it before the FA Cup Final. I have no idea why I did not publish it earlier, but here it is.

Every year I write a wish list. A prediction. I play football manager with myself. Attempt to build the Arsenal squad. Who I want to see come in, who I think will leave, what I think the squad will look like next year.

Here are my thoughts on the 2017/18 season…

In goal, Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina will leave the club. We will raise £20-30m be selling them both. In their place, we should go for Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford.

Valued at £30m, we could pretty much get him for free if we get a decent value for the other two keepers. At worst we would be looking at a £10m outlay. Personally, I do not think Pickford is ready to play for a team like Arsenal.

It is easy at Sunderland. Saving 20 shots a game, not getting criticised if you concede 6, as you have said another 14. At Arsenal – and other top clubs – you come under higher scrutiny. By getting in Pickford now, we could easily play him in the cups whilst an understudy to Petr Cech. He will learn form the goal keeping legend, and this time next year, will take over as number one.

A deal for Sead Kolasinac looks done. A free transfer. Ignore the price tag. He is the best left back in the Bundesliga.

With his height and physicality, he could drop inside and become the left side of a 3 at the back. With Nacho Monreal also offering similar attributes, it could be a case of flipping a coin to decide who players where. Kieran Gibbs will make way.

In the middle of the park, I have been a long term fan of Renato Sanches.

He went for big money to Bayern Munich last year, but has struggled to nail down a spot. Munich could well look cash in before what they owe on him increases again.

Sanches has the physicality in the middle of the park that we have missed. An all round central midfielder, he can defend and attack, pass and tackle. He covers the ground and could become an absolute beast in the middle of the park alongside Granit Xhaka.

Moving forward, after their poor season last year, Riyad Mahrez might come available.

At the right price, he could provide competition for Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. If we get him in early, it would also take the pressure off if we lose either player as we would already have a replacement.

Mahrez would also do a job on the wing, if we decide to move Sanchez up top (or behind Sanchez alongside Ozil).

Having a choice between Ozil, Sanchez and Mahrez is something we could certainly accommodate.

Finally we have Kylian Mbappe. The young striker is going to be very expensive. I am not 100% sure on him. He has the talent. But his price tag does not quite justify what he has done so far. He would be a luxury signing if signing him does not mean we have to give up on other targets. I would not sacrifice (for example) signing Sanches and Mahrez to bring in Mbappe, but once sales come in, we could free up enough money to sign the wonderkid.

It will be interesting to see how many we sign.

Note: This was originally written before we won the FA Cup Final

Keenos