Monthly Archives: June 2017

Arsenal Confirm the Signing of Sead Kolasinac

Sead Kolasinac

(via Arsenal.com)

It all started with a post, or maybe two, from Sead Kolasinac’s teammate, Max Meyer, on Instagram LIVE.

#YaGunnersYa, a hashtag used by Mesut Ozil on Twitter, more times than the amount of goals Yaya Sanogo scored in his entire career.

Many speculated, the media vultures did their bit and after a number of reliable sources published pretty much the same news, it was simply a case of waiting for Arsenal to confirm the signing of their new Bosnian left back, Sead Kolasinac. I’m not an avid fan of the Bundesliga but I learned that he was in the Team of the Year last season with three goals and seven assists to his name in the campaign. The YouTube video below offers some insight on what to expect from the lad.

At 23, he’s certainly one for the future but his arrival has more or less confirmed the end of the road for Kieran Gibbs with Nacho Monreal stating that he wants to spend three more years with the club,

“I am very happy at Arsenal and I feel important because Wenger has shown me confidence.

“I have two years left to contract, an optional third, and the idea is to stay there. I am aware that football can change, but I’m playing and in my head, the idea is to stay.”

Monreal has been a symbol of consistency at the club and he has proven himself well as a left back, left wing back and in some cases, as an adept center back. In Kolasinac, Arsenal has a full back at the right age that can understudy and challenge Monreal for his place in the squad and as we know, competition brings out the best in footballers.

The lad had some nice things to say as he confirmed his move to North London,

“It feels really good and I’m pleased to be here. I’m happy to have signed at Arsenal for five years and I’m really pleased. Arsenal has a huge tradition and I followed the club as a young boy, in the days of Jens Lehmann and Thierry Henry. Arsenal has always been a club that is well recognised in Europe and I’m pleased to be here.”

One thing I noticed about Kolasinac is how bulky he is, and in a division like the Premier League, his strength can come in handy as he shove right wingers off the ball with consummate ease. Good stuff. The lad also stated that his greatest strength is his ‘mentality’ and we would get a glimpse of that in the 2017/18 season.

With Kolasinac in the bag, let’s remain hopeful that there would be more quality additions to the squad. You can watch his first interview with the club (via Arsenal.com) to get a feel of our shiny new toy.

Sayonara.

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Thoughts on Szczesny’s Potential Move to Juventus

Image result for szczesny save roma

After seven seasons and 153 games for Arsenal, which included a Golden Glove, Wojciech Szczesny fell out of favor following the arrival of legendary goalie, Petr Cech, from Chelsea and he was farmed out to AS Roma to continue his footballing education. After amassing 81 games in two full seasons with the Italian giants, which also included a Serie A Golden Glove, Szczesny time in Rome was up and he was one of those players that needed to get his future sorted out with the club this summer.

The Polish shot stopper has just one year on his contract, and that’s the point where players have better bargaining power on their futures when it comes to transfers and contract negotiations. With Cech, David Ospina and Emiliano Martinez still in Arsenal’s ranks, it was evident that Arsene Wenger would be the person to make the final decision in that department, as the Gunners are fully stocked.

Sky Sports has reported that Juventus has reached a deal with Arsenal to sign Szczesny for about £14m. Apparently, the initial fee is £12.2m but there are some add-ons to the deal that makes it £14m in total. Juventus have also agreed personal terms with the player, which is believed to be about £3.5m a year. With the iconic goalie, Gianluigi Buffon, 39, having one more year left on his deal before he retires, Szczesny will be his understudy for one season before he hangs his boots in 2018.

I feel it’s definitely a good deal for the player and the club but it’s really sad to see how Szczesny fell from grace at Arsenal. This was a keeper that successfully saw out the threats of Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski but his shortcomings became glaring, probably due to cockiness and he lost his place in the team to David Ospina. The signing of Petr Cech was a rather opportunistic one, as the Czech goalie didn’t want to play second fiddle to the emerging Thibaut Courtois, and it was evident that he was going to be Arsenal’s first choice goalie when he arrived.

Many thought that Ospina was going to be shipped out to accommodate Cech and Szczesny but football is a surprising sport, and a goalie with so much potential and who was also loved by the fans was shipped away with minimal fuss by the club. I watched him closely in the Serie A and I must say he really impressed with Roma, raking in those clean sheets and putting up great performances, that has certainly caught the eyes of Max Allegri and Juventus, to the point they have made things official.

I really liked Szczesny and thought he would be our #1 for many years to come, but the reality of the situation is that he’s moving on to a really good side and I can only wish him the very best in his future endeavors. With Juventus, Szczesny will add more trophies to his current cabinet that has two FA Cups (2013/14, 2104/15) and one Community Shield (2014).

Sayonara.

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New Deal for the Ox, Gibbs Set for Newcastle and Yaya Sanogone!

Image result for marriner ox gibbs

I’d mentioned a couple of days ago that with Wenger’s future sorted out, there is a lot fo work to be done on the squad in regards to sorting out player contracts and buying / selling some players as well. The boss also confirmed that he has a ‘heavy squad’ which essentially means that there would be a lot of business to and from the club.

Starting with the good stuff, it seems like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to commit his long-term future to the club and sign a new deal worth  £100,000-a-week (per the Mirror). Since he joined the club in 2011, last season has turned out to be Ox’s best season in terms of games played, goas scored and assists supplied. He has been around for quite some time but at 23, he has his best years ahead of him. Liverpool was one of the teams that was keenly interested in acquiring his services and it would have been painful to let the English midfielder leave when he’s finally finding his feet.

The Ox has been deployed in several positions in his time with the club but he has really flourished in the right wing back position since the Gunners switched to 3-4-3. His directness and pace became a powerful tool that saw him keep Hector Bellerin out of the side, but his fitness issues were on display as he suffered a hamstring strain in the game against Southampton where he was having a stormer. I’d monitor the situation as it develops.

Elsewhere, the Sun has reported that Newcastle is willing to meet Arsenal’s £15m valuation for out-of-favor fullback, Kieran Gibbs. Like recent campaigns, Gibbs was reduced to a handful of appearances and managed a brief run out as a left wing back when Wenger deployed the 3-4-3 setup. However, Gibbs continued to struggle with injury, which was his primary problem in all his years at Arsenal. As far as I’m concerned, £15m is an absolute steal for Gibbs and with Sead Kolasinac’s imminent arrival this summer, Gibbs will be further down in the pecking order, so it makes sense for the player and the club if he leaves for Tyneside.

He is one of our stalwarts and longest servants and I believe he deserves a testimonial for his years of service, but in most cases, testimonials are for old folks nearing their twilight in the beautiful game. Gibbs has many more years to go. Besides, Newcastle is a Premier League side, so he will still be playing competitive football in one of the best leagues in the world.

Finally, Metro has confirmed that Yaya Sanogo is leaving the club this summer,

‘I’m free. The adventure ends.

‘My left calf is healed. It kept me off the pitch for nearly seven months. I came back in January, with a fitness trainer. I was able to play again for the Arsenal reserves.

Arsenal bought Sanogo after a successful youth tournament that saw him score a couple of goals for France U-20s but he failed to reach that potential expected of him. There are a couple of loan spells to Crystal Palace, Ajax and Charlton but Sanogo struggled to make any impact in those clubs.

Sayonara

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