Sunday, March 3, 2024

Barcelona defensive midfielder linked

This morning’s front page of El Mundo goes large on a story that says Arsenal are after 20 year midfielder Sergi Samper.


The caption says that ‘He is ready to bring Samper to Arsenal, paying his clause of €12m. It would be his sixth ‘plunder’ of la Masia [Barcelona’s famous youth set-up].

How much truth there is in this we’re not sure, but with reports that Mathieu Flamini is on the verge of a move to Galatasaray, that would leave on Mikel Arteta as back-up for Francis Coquelin.

Although we did spend £2.5 on Krystian Bielik in January, the 17 year old is probably some way from being read for the Premier League. At the same time, Samper has yet to play a league game for the Barcelona first team, although he has made three appearances in the Copa del Rey and one in the Champions League.

So, given that we know the manager is partial to a raid on Barcelona, and there’s probably room in the squad, we’re giving this a 5 poo rating.


Hat-tip to Messi Minutes.

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RIP Hleb

Wouldn’t normally imagine barca selling a talent like that but their centre of midfield is stacked already (busquets, arda turan and rakitic) and he won’t be getting too many first team opportunities in the near future. Also he’s good friends with Héctor as they both came up in la masia together so maybe that would help steer him to us. Would be a great, great signing.

Alex K

Dont forget that they’ll be getting Pogba next year too which will just add to that!


Being at la Masia at the same time does not mean they are friends. As far as we know, one of them may have stolen the other one girlfriend(s).
But what can help is the growing number of Spanish-speaking players, and the fact that they settled well (ooooh, Cazorla!!!)


There are a couple of pics of them together and I remember seeing somewhere that Samper tweeted a pic of him and Bellerin as kids on Bellerin’s 20th(?) birthday. So yeah, I’m guessing they’re mates.

Woolwich Peripatetic

As I remember we wanted him along with Toral and Bellerin, the former is about a year behind the latter due to injuries but could still make the grade.
If they are friends (no reason to think they aren’t) then Bellerin’s success (as well as Fabregas before him) could be turning his head.

Daft Aider

If it’s a release clause, Barcelona wouldn’t have much choice over selling

David C

I thought this was a picture of Bojan Krkic, the former Barca player now at Stoke.


Just on first look seems like the sort of Gabriel-esque signing we need


He is very highly rated in Spain and could be a great buy for just 12m. Let’s go for it, even though a certain DNA might come out dominant at some point in the future

NW Gooner

Hopefully Bellerin will rub off on him

Mate Kiddleton

I’d rather Bellerin keep it in his pants tbh

Scott P

A little team chemistry never hurt anyone


He’s a DM. Maybe Coq will rub off on him.

Anonymous Physicist

The DNA thing doesn’t really matter anyway. Sure, Fabregas went to Barca, but so did Overmars, Petit, van Bronckhorst, Henry, Hleb, Song and Vermaelen. None of them had Barca DNA. In the end, very few players refuse Barca when they come calling. The only person on our books who I’m sure would choose us over Barca is Jenkinson. Most others would probably choose Barca, although the way our squad is developing at the moment might change that in the future. It doesn’t help either that Barcelona is such a wonderful city.


All hail the new mythical DM


The mythical DM is Coquelin… this is the potential back up to arteta, the back up. Realistically, guys unless an Ozil or a Sanchez becomes available (i.e. a top player with a top club that we have no chance of signing that suddenly becomes available due to some mental owners ego) wenger is only gonna improve the bench. That may, really outside chance, be Karim Benzema – but i don’t personally rate him any higher than Giroud – after all he gets outscored by his left winger at a rate of 2.5 to 1!! If Petr Cech isn’t enough of… Read more »


1.Arteta is not a great back up with his sideward passing and lack of pace
2.Benzema is a superior to Girioud
3 Chelsea squad is still stronger


4. You talk a lot of crap.


at least provide some kind of argument to prove that I’m talking crap


1./ Have you seen our win % with Arteta in the team? Back up is not ever great – why would a great player sit on a bench? Great back up is a great player like Arteta who is a bit older and happy to back up Coq. 2./ A cat would score 20 goals a season in spain, if played as the CF in real madrid. failure to do that would be a shame on all felines 3./ Chelsea squad – Keepers – No (we have better cover for equally good starter) Defence We have better younger defence Midfield… Read more »


Completely agree- Chelsea as a starting XI are probably stronger (not that I’d trade any of our players for theirs) but I’d personally say we have the strongest squad in the league. As do most Chelsea fans I know!


1. Arteta’s pace has been exposed and expect his legs are now even worse after injury
2. Benzema is no ordinary cat…you should actually watch him play if you think he is no better than Girioud
3. Sanchez can beat/match Hazard for quality but Costa>> Giroud


1. Arteta is old and has lost his legs. This isn’t 2012/13. 2. Not if that cat’s job is to provide for a certain 50-60 goals a season player called Cristiano Ronaldo. Oh and this cat has technical ability than dear hfb can ever dream of having in the next life. 3. Chelsea has a better squad…goal keepers= chelsea. Begovic is better than ospina. Defence: Chelsea marginally. Terry is the only cb in the league better than kos. Cahill better than per, zouma better than chambers. Midfield: Better attacking mids obviously(best in the league), but Matic and Mikel better than… Read more »


Chelsea will finish above us unless we get the world class striker this team/squad has needed for past few seasons.
We are just the one player short of truly competing for the title. We may not win it but if we don’t get an improvement on giroud then we have not given ourselves the best opportunity we have had in the past 8 years or so to be real contenders.


Oh c’mon, ‘gets out scored by a left winger’ you say it like it’s any usual left winger


Sorry – to clarify – he gets outscored by a cunt faced left winger


And that’s how you lay and internet smack down! ha!

Unyoke The Ox

In response to Trez about Begovic being better than Ospina.. Did you see his Chelsea? Conceded 4 in 45 minutes.

I also recall him shitting the bed against us fairly recently.


Wenger Strikes Again? (according to Google Translate) Hah.


We should do it just to piss off Barcelona. Money well spent.


You hear hyperbolic reports from Spain about this kid. Dubbing him the ‘new Pirlo’ etc. Very highly rated anyway. Personally I haven’t seen him play, so can’t really comment (other than this comment…erm). If there’s any truth in the murmurings it would seem like a shrewd acquisition.


Is Con short for Cornelius? Never met anyone other than my dad that bears the Con/Cornelius combo.

I should probably say something Arsenal-based so without further ado, COYG!


Con means “with” in english or “avec” in french. Some would argue though (and they are correct) that it means “Jack was right about Tottenham”. 🙂 COYG!


He’s more like the next Xavi than the next Busquests or Pirlo. What he really looks like to me is the next Cazorla (except taller and therefore better in the air). He’s got wickedly quick feet for a DM, an excellent passing range, and his defensive game is more about being in the right place than big crunching tackles. If he really still has a release clause at 8.5 million pounds it seems like an excellent buy in principle…but I’m not sure he’s really what the team needs. I don’t see him being able to play the Coquelin role –… Read more »


Lets go for him NOW, AW, pls do not delay further

Matty Flam Flam

… You literally just heard about it


@moraques is that how you do your personal shopping? You hear about it on tee vee and start chomping at the bits to go get it? 🙂

Eddie McGoldrick

Hahaha!! This really tickled my funny bone.


Here we go again..why not go for a proven epl dm instead of going for a young raw talent..this is no way of challenging for a premiership title.


Because, unless you missed December onwards, we have the proven epl DM, so signing a younger DM who can then take over from Arteta is hardly a bad thing, especially a youngster who Barca quite clearly rate very highly


You don’t even know 100% if it is true so on what basis can you complain?

Stringer Bell

Yep your right Patrick Vieira was a flop and how could wenger expect to win the EPL with him.


Sound like typical Wenger signing. Great talent, unknown to us, under 25 and good looking. BTW Blog, there is a y missing on a ready somewhere. Never post without a good cup of coffee. Great time ahead COYG


COG indeed, as Blogs would say.


Rumour masters. I’m tired of rumours.
When is the real thing going to happen? When are we getting a class DM and striker?


Why would a world class DM come and sit on our bench to cover our galaxy class Coq?

Bielik's brother

£2.5 on Bielik was a bit of a bargain


£8.4m would be good price too considering we paid 16m for Chambers who was 19 at the time.


going by the players DNA he is right in the AW mould and would fit nicely into the squads game plan, 12 mill is pocket money now for a player of his talent and age, must be the players agents who release the info on the buy out clauses but all good for us


The last time an agent told Arsenal about a release clause didn’t work out too well……

Black Hei

No senior games, no problem. Just ask Pogba, it is the talent that counts.


We’re firmly in the Barcelona TO Arsenal transfer era. Gotta love that


What happens to Beilik now?


He continues to play in his own age group, like he ought to be?


He would be an amazing signing, but this is almost certainly nonsense. The “readying a swoop” type rumours come from the players’ agents/clubs.

It’s not like some journo overheard Wenger asking his secretary how to spell Samper.

Nothern Gooner

What about Jon Toral’s future at the Grove? Haven’t heard anyone talking about him in the discussion about our midfield options. Didn’t he play well at Brentford and signed a new contract?Could he be an option in our midfield?

Woolwich Peripatetic

Very promising attacking midfielder, not ready yet as injuries stalled his development.
Also google Samper and Toral Limited Company 😉


He’s more of an attacker, so he’s got to go through about 5 top class players to get there. Never say never but I doubt he’s going to see the first team at Arsenal anytime soon.


It’s going to be a great signing if truly Wenger will go for him.


Overheard Wenger saying to Steve Bould…”Stick him in the back of the van and let’s go and get Benzema”…:-)


Thought that was a Messi Fabregas photoshop.


We were after Samper at the time we got Bellerin. We couldn’t convince him and so we settled on Toral.

I’d love to have him at Arsenal. If nothing else, it’d further annoy my Barca supporting mate.


Huge fan of Samper. Always thought he would get converted into an AM though; such is his passing ability and vision.

Don’t think there’s much in this. He is the long term heir to Busquets plus we tried before. Plus we also have Toral, who has a food chance at doing a Coquelin this season tbh (great technically and can deffo play the DLP role, whilst also being 6’3).

Scott P

Are you sure he doesn’t have a food chance of pulling an Arshavin?

Eddie McGoldrick

From what I’ve seen of samper on youtube he takes players on even when he’s literally the last man back! It’s quite hilarious actually. This normally before a koscielny/vieira-esque burst forward and subsequent laser-guided pass.

Obviously may well not be happening at all but this is entertaining to watch:


He’s amazing on Football Manager, so he must be good!


Certainly the most important area to strengthen with Coq being the only realiable DM in the hole squad. This guy looks interesting/promising but I would probably prefer that we had bought a more experienced player like one of the two new Mancs. Still, the focus of the Boss is right – and I am pleased about it.


We currently have two other reliable DM’s, so I would say a world class CF is a bigger need, even if they’re not available.

Even so, we’re talking about fine margins – we’re really class to a top, top squad now.


We don’t have any deadwood to sell to PSG, who pay millions to buy expensive deadwood from everyone else.

Where is TGSTEL when we need him!

Belfast Gooner

If we dont go after a world class Def Midfielder and Flamini leaves then we either need a young def midfielder or experienced back-up to Le Coq. Dont think we could go wrong with Cambiasso on a years deal. Can give Coq’s legs a rest while also providing cover to the back four. Also has Premier League expierience and knows what it takes to win.


All of this makes sense. At four in the morning and a need to have the squad complete. Could we really be going for the league this season? It would be perfect I have waited so long. Feel old now the invincible squad was the crowning glory of my youth.


If he can be acclimated and becomes arteta with a snarl…
And I didn’t know toral was 6″3′. Give him a chance to kick someone up in the air!


Sorry, I meant 6’1.


On another topic. I cannot believe the horror and blasphemy coming from wolsburg. How on earth do they dare preferring that Lord Bendtner is not fit and should work on his fitness!! Do they even remotely realise that they are dealing with the greatest striker to ever grace this planet to his presence? Absolutely shocking



Sergi Samper is really good in Football Manager though.

Then of course, he’s he’s close buddy to Bellerin. If he’s worth 12m I feel we take the punt


Feels a lot like the Thiago Alcantara story – lack of game time, release clause available, deal done.


Can’t guarantee first 15 will be injury free so striker & DM cover needed urgently


Sorry to go so far off topic, but the way Maureen is discussing Stones so publicly is absolutely disgusting. Utter cunt.




Saw the headline and thought, “is Thomas Vermaelen coming back?!”


If he’s really available, I’d say it’s a bit of a no brainer really. Young, willing to learn, can still be moulded into any type of player, and for that fee with minimal wages as well. Coq is obviously (and with good reason) first choice at DM. Guess we’ll see.


first-rate eyebrows


How about Isaac Hayden as Coq backup? is he not good enough or not ready yet?


Cech was the most needed signing this summer. But number two is adding quality to complement and give true competion to our fragile DM situation with Coq being uncontested at the moment. The spanish youngster could be the answer although a more experienced player would be a safer bet (Arteta is to slow and injury prone, but I admit he is still a player with great vision on the pitch and therefore a useable squadplayer).


what happened to those posters that claimed that we didn’t Petr Cech?


It is always interesting how Wenger is willing to pay a relatively high fee for the very young players (like Chamberlin, Chambers, Ramsey, etc.) looking to the future more so than I think most managers are willing to do. That’s a tough thing to do in this day of “win now” mentality everywhere when others will want him to invest that money in someone that will help this squad this year, but cheers for Wenger for looking both the present and the future. Hopefully the signings of Ozil and Sanchez the last two Summers show that he is looking to… Read more »


what happened to those posters that claimed that we didn’t need Petr Cech? are there the same ppl that think Coq and Arteta are sufficient?


I think that was szesny ‘s dad and some of his mates


Could be true, you never know. Barca have quality in their youth system although at 20yrs, he may still lack experience to be effective backing up. Consider how long it took Coquelin to finally become effective (Ramsey, Walcott, Jack, Ox, Fabregas, Nasr ditto all around 23yrs – OTOH Bellerin at 20yrs) As I mentioned there may be a reason why Arteta is retained for another season. It could be transitional because we are not bringing someone who may be considered ready made. And there is possibility that with Juventus loaded up with Khedira, Barca may take Pogba. Personally, I would… Read more »


Samper is very technical. Has a good pass from deep. He suits what Santi does for us as a deep Regista. With Santi getting older, it makes sense to cover the other part of the successful recipe of 2015. Samper holds the ball well in tight spaces and has vision to distribute from deep. Could be an interesting buy. I think Wenger’s thinking about defensive midfielders is as per usual slightly ahead of the game. A Carvalho for instance strikes me as pure one dimensional DM ala what was prescribed to us by media and amateur theorist in Melo and… Read more »


Would sign him without thinking twice. Great player, has the ability to be even better than coq. A Busquets type DM is something I’ve always dreamed of us having.


…only problem is of course source. Dubious paper.


Giroud must be pissed.


if it annoys Barca i say lets do it.


Where in shites name is the promising Serge Gnabry?


We desperately need a powerful defensive mid. An enforcer who can knock it about a bit too. Coq is OK but still a gamble to go the whole season with just Arteta and Flamini as backup.

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