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Schneiderlin Joins Manchester United – What’s Next Arsene?

As we edge closer to the Premier League, the fans are anticipating the football as the Gunners are set to begin their preseason adventure against Singapore Select XI. The design of the Emirates Airline plane was simply awesome and P3tr C3ch has finally decided his jersey number for the forthcoming season,

With Cech secured and on his way to Singapore, the fans are eagerly anticipating the next player (s) that would be switching allegiances to the Red and White of Arsenal. Morgan Schneiderlin was a player that was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal but eyebrows were raised when Manchester United came into the picture and with Man Utd in for the kill, I’d envisaged that they’d hijack any potential plans Arsenal had for the French lad.

My concerns became a reality when ESPN reported that a transfer had been agreed between Southampton and Manchester United. BBC Sport also published a piece that the Frenchman was set to have his medicals ahead of his move to Old Trafford. This bit of info comes shortly after the Red Devils secured the services of German legend, Bastian Schweinsteiger after the maestro spent 17 years in Bayern.

Now that Schneiderlin is out of the picture, what’s next Arsene Wenger?

We were linked with Geoffrey Kondogbia – he signed for Inter. We were linked with Schneiderlin – he has signed for Manchester United. The Metro linked Arsenal with a potential bid for William Carvalho but only the Heavens know were he’d end up.

What if we don’t sign any holding midfielder and go through the season with what we have? Mikel Arteta recently extended his contract with the club so Arsene Wenger still believes that he has a role to play in the team. Since the midfielder joined the club in 2011, he was been an influential player and a vital cog in the midfield engine but he’s reaching his twilight years and injuries have been a major thorn in his flesh. His deputy, Mathieu Flamini, is a far cry from the player he was and last season showed that he’s past his peak to continue competing in a top-level club like Arsenal. We heard about the link with SC Bastia but I don’t think the Gunners would release the midfielder to allow him leave on a free transfer.

I don’t expect Francis Coquelin to play every game next season but it’s going to be interesting to see how thing pan out. I have issues with Arteta’s fitness and Flamini’s ability but it’s something I expect Wenger to manage efficiently.

Sayonara.

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Thoughts on Koscielny’s Link with Madrid and Schneiderlin Off to Man Utd?

 

The Copa America has been serving as a good distraction this summer with Chile and Peru advancing to the semifinals and they await the winners of the Argentina vs. Colombia and Brazil vs. Paraguay games. However, it’s transfer news that has been dominating the back pages with the usual bits and bobs here and there.

Morgan Schneiderlin is a player that has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal for as long as I can remember and it’s evident that Southampton is resigned to allowing the player leave this summer but the Saints have placed a price tag of ¬£25 million for one of their prized asset. The Mirror has reported that LVG has given Ed Woodward the go-ahead to make a bid for the midfielder and from all indications, Manchester United is ready to meet Southampton’s asking price. The club spent close to ¬£150 million¬†last summer and they’d continue in that vein as they have been linked with a host of players, including Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.

If Schneiderlin makes the proposed move to Manchester United, some Arsenal fans would be hoping that Wenger has plans to get a quality holding midfielder to support Francis Coquelin next season. Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are candidates to play the role of backup to Le Coq but we know that they are past their primes. Coquelin was regarded as a major success story last season but many fans believe that he cannot play every game in the forthcoming season but we will see how things pan out as the weeks progress.

Elsewhere, amid the uncertainty surrounding Sergio Ramos’ future, the Mirror has reported that Real Madrid has identified Laurent Koscielny as a possible replacement. It’s been reported that the Spanish juggernaut are set to offer the Gunners a fee worth ¬£21 million for the Boss. Koscielny has been at Arsenal for five years and has grown from strength to strength to become an indispensable member of the squad.

According to Squawka, Koscielny won 56 percent of his headed duels in the Premier League last season and, in typical Arsenal fashion, maintained an impressive passing accuracy of 89 per cent across his 27 appearances. The centre-back’s 93 interceptions demonstrates his excellent reading of the game, while his total of 166 successful clearances hints at the calming influence he has on his fellow defenders.

When the French defender was out injured for a considerable chunk of the campaign, Arsenal struggled defensively as Arsene Wenger featured the likes of Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers and even Matt Debuchy to play alongside Per Mertesacker. With his return to the team, Arsenal’s fortune changed for good and as expected, the club finished the season strongly as well as¬†winning the FA Cup to crown their efforts.

Arsenal is now at the peak of their financial powers and I don’t believe that they’d be swayed by Real Madrid’s advances. The only challenge would come if Koscielny opts out, like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and co. Then again, what do I know.

I’d monitor the situation in the coming weeks.

Sayonara.

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Schneiderlin or Kondogbia: Who Would Arsenal Sign?

 

Arsenal 'close on Premier League midfield transfer after making £25m bid'

With Barcelona and Juventus closing the curtains of what has been a great season, we have to make do with the transfer rumors emanating from various sports sites like want more hits than the amount of goals the Messi-Neymar-Suarez scored this season.

The Saints made a considerable amount of profit from transfer sales of Rickie Lambert (£4m), Luke Shaw (£30m), Adam Lallana (£25m), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Calum Chambers (£16m) and Jack Cork (£3m) which summed up to £98m but they spent some money on replacements like Dusan Tadic (£10..9m), Graziano Pelle (£8m), Fraser Forster (£10m), Shane Long (£13m), Florian Gardos (£5.5m), Saido Mane (£11.8m) and Ryan Bertrand (£10m).

Despite their transfer dealings, Southampton was tipped to struggle in the Premier League but Ronald Koeman brought some good football to St. Mary’s and they put up some amazing results at home, as well as a couple away which ultimately led to a seventh place Europa League finish. Southampton were renowned for their mean defense in the course of the campaign and it was due to a collective work ethic they had when defending as a team. Forster kept a lot of clean sheets in the season and was a forerunner for the Golden Glove before a serious injury halted his progress but the great work Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama put up this season must be mentioned.

Schneiderlin has been on high demand for a while now with Tottenham’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, trying to poach him last summer when he left the Saints to Tottenham. The French midfielder suffered an injury-stricken campaign but he still managed to score five goals for the team. His defensive work was good as always and as expected, teams are sniffing around for his services.

According to Goal.com, the Southampton hierarchy has placed a price tag of £25 million on one of their prized asset, Morgan Schneiderlin. But the question would be Рis Schneiderlin actually worth that amount?

If Schneiderlin is to join Arsenal, he’d have to contend with Francis Coquelin, Arsenal’s enforcer that protected the back line with such valor and doggedness in the second half of the season.¬†Before I delve further into this discussion, I felt it would be nice to compare the stats of both players in the Premier League this season. Bear in mind that Schneiderlein has played many more games than the Coq.

 

Coquelin

Schneiderlein

Appearances (subs)

19 (3)

24 (2)

Tackles made per game

3.2

3.7

Interceptions made per game

3.7

2.6

Fouls committed per game

1.4

1.8

Clearances per game

3.1

1.7

Blocked shots per game

0.4

0.2

Aerial Duels Won per game

2.5

1.8

Pass Completion percentage

85.9%

89.3%

Bookings (Yellow/Red)

(5/0)

(5/1)

Stats via WhoScored.

From the stats shown above, these are two defensive midfielder that are in the peak of their powers and having both of them in the same team will be awesome. Schneiderlin had more tackles and committed more fouls than Coquelin. He also had a better pass completion percentage than his French compatriot. Coquelin on the other hand, made more interceptions, clearances, blocked shots and aerial duels than Schneiderlin.

I’d love to have both players at Arsenal, but I tend to wonder if he’s actually worth that amount of money been placed on his head. The Mirror published a piece that the Gunners aren’t prepared to buy top pounds for Schneiderlin but the Independent reports that the Gunners are also eyeing a move for Monaco’s Geoffrey Kondogbia if a move for Schneiderlin doesn’t materialize.

I thought it would be nice to compare all three defensive midfielders from a statistical perspective

 League Only Coquelin Schneiderlin Kondogbia
Appearances (subs) 19 (3) 24 (2) 22 (1)
Tackles made per game 3.2 3.7 3.1
Interceptions made per game 3.7 2.6 2.5
Fouls committed per game 1.4 1.8 1.3
Clearances per game 3.1 1.7 0.7
Blocked shots per game 0.4 0.2 0.1
Aerial Duels Won per game 2.5 1.8 1.3
Pass Completion percentage 85.9% 89.3% 86.2%
Bookings (Yellow/Red) (5/0) (5/1) (3/1)

Stats via WhoScored.

As an avid Arsenal fan and ardent watcher of the Premier League, I can vouch for the performances of Coquelin and Schneiderlin because I watch them on a consistent basis but I cannot say the same for Kondogbia, even though I got a glimpse of his ability when Arsenal locked horns with Monaco during the preseason and twice in the Champions League knockout stage.

Kondogbia has the frame of Patrick Vieira and he’s a dominant force on the field of play. Boy, he has a thunderbolt on his left foot, as the Gunners found out at the Emirates in February.

The media is heavily linking the Gunners with Schneiderlin and Kondogbia. Who would the Gunners sign?

I’m happy with either signing because they’d improve the game massively. I don’t expect Francis Coquelin to play every game and with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini washed up, the Gunners would definitely need another holding midfielder of top top quality.

We all know Wenger loves his top top quality.

Sayonara.

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