Sunday, July 14, 2024

Reports: Napoli centre-half the next target

The signing Granit Xhaka today is Arsenal’s first foray into the transfer market this summer, and it certainly won’t be the last.

A striker and a centre-half are very much on Arsene Wenger’s agenda, and this evening both the Telegraph and the Mirror report interest in Napoli’s central defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The 24 year old Senegal international has had an excellent season in Serie A after a difficult first campaign following his move from Genk in 2014, and could command a fee of £20m.

At 6’5 he would add height and physicality to the Arsenal defence, and with Wenger looking to reinforce in that area he ticks a lot of the right boxes. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are both over 30, with the German heading into the final year of his contract.

Gabriel hasn’t quite made the progress everybody expected this season, while fourth choice Cakum Chambers hardly played at all.

The Gunners are also interested in Bolton’s 20 year old player of the season Rob Holding, but it looks like there’s definite interest in this area.

We’ll give this one a 6 poo rating to begin with – let’s see where it ends up.


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Boom! Bring in the beasts.


Quality signing only if he’s really 24 years. What’s that Lazio kid’s name again?


He’s very quick and technical for 6’5. Impressed.

Mesut O'neill

No chance this guy is 6’5″.

Balotelli is 6’2″ and is clearly taller at the beginning of the clip.

ba dum tss

He’s 6’2” according to Transfermarkt.


Per Wikipedia, he’s actually 6’2″.

Petits Handbag

Per Mertesacker, he’s actually 6″4


SO this guy is 0.974 on the Per Mertesacker Scale of Defensive Heightness.

Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour!

Yep, I’m sold

Eric Blair

Koulibaly, wooaahhoo, Koulibaly, wooaahhoo, he comes from Senegal, he plays for the Arsenal.

Has a touch of the Vieiras to him, powerful running/tackling yet skillful on the ball. Stick him in midfield alongside Granit?


Had the same thoughts, when I saw this video.

Yorkshire Gunner

We Really need a Cb. We Buy a Cb. We Stick him in midfield. Genius.

Stuart Steele (@Stuart_Ten)

Love me a good slide tackle, so after watching that video I instantly want us to sign this guy.


He seems comfortable with the ball and seems to be bringing the ball out to build attacks as well!


Chambers has had a difficult season, but I wouldn’t call him cak just yet


Six on the poo meter

Parlour's pay packet

Hope Cakum Chambers was a typo!

Parisian Weetabix

Cakum Chambers is the most badass rap name I’ve heard in a while.


Capum Chambers

Ryan C

Catum Chambers?


The 36 Chambers of Cakum

Joe from Virginia

All in baby, the Manager is going out swinging. He really wants to win the League in his final year.


We’ll play him in our alternate FC with all the other plays we signed in the media. He even has chemistry with Higuain, who we signed way back in 2013.


I hope this guy doesn’t turn into the new Christopher “arsenal need a beast” Samba


It does seem that Wenger is at least finally addressing and getting exactly what everyone has said we’ve needed, but he disagreed on.

A defensive midfield hard ass that is also a leader? He disagreed that we needed it, but has now got one.

A physical beast towering CB along with Kos? We’ve been linked with 2.

If he gets that 30-goal striker then….rah, next season will be interesting indeed.

Crash Fistfight

Are you including Manolas in that list of 2? Not sure you’d call him a physical beast, if so.

Yorkshire Gunner

Hadn’t thought of it until I read this, do you reckon Xhaka might, eventually, be the captain? Not immediately obviously, but in 5 years time, if he is the leader he proclaims to be?


Wilshere please


He’s a physically dominant centre-half who was a vital cog in the slickest passing team in Serie A. This one’s a no-brainer.

Kenyan Gooner

1 down, 2 to go. Get this guy and it will be 1 to go.

occam's hatchet

I’ll take one Koulibaly and a side of Gonzalo Higuain.


Really hope that we sign him,he is a quality CB….


Looks good, but I bet there’s a video of Mangala like this too


I actually made myself watch both vids and Koulibaly’s looks better to my eyes. Mangala doesn’t look near as composed on the ball.

But we’re just floating in a sea of poos at the moment anyway.

Jack Wheelchair

Ask him to bring Higuain with him too.

Lord Bendtner

Gotta fix ur poo meter, Wenger keeps throwing water at it and washing away the poo


As long as he’s better than Pascal Cygan and Igor Stepanovs I say lets do it!


Why can’t we have simple English names
Koulibaly sound like an African dance mix
At 6ft 5in he’ll deal with that West Ham Centreforward
At 24 years old he’ll need a year to adapt,and Arsene will make him be a star
I watch him past only twice via BTSport football
I can’t say if he’ll improve us , not for me to say
But he’s quick ( big Per downfall ) and I can’t see the similarity between him and Samba. (Samba wasn’t very footballing playing smart) as mentioned above
Poo o meter ….i’d say 3/6


Well that’s probably the comment that tells me I’ve had enough internets for the night.


I’m hurt ?


I’m not even African and I find this offensive.


Why are you hurt? Your comment was insensitive and racist. You should expect to be called out when you post things like that.


Imagine an African player having an African sounding name. What are things coming to. ffs


I heard Aaron Ramsey is actually from Chad. Lovely place, great weather, and the people are ever so nice.

Indian Gooner

Looks like a decent player to sign but off topic, for me these links with Morata has just got to stop.
He is not just yet the sort of striker we are in need of.
The kind of striker we are in need of should be more like a ready-made solution, TBH.

Wenger in or out?

I’m not a fan of his scoring record either but let’s have some perspective. There once was a winger Wenger brought in from Juventus. He had a very low scoring record there as well. He turned out to be Thiery Henry. Aside from the last 4 years, we’ve done very well with strikers (Anelka, Henry, Kanu, The Rat, Eduardo). I’ll ready to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’ll be a better fit in the Arsenal system than in Juve’s. He his The Rat’s clone as a player but hope not as a disloyal human being

Indian Gooner

Hey! Totally get it. I am not of the impression that Morata can never become a great player, he does look good.That is why I have clearly mentioned he is not yet the kind of striker we are in need of at the moment. But trust me if we have that much money to buy two strikers in the same transfer window, trust me I would gladly take him in along with a proven goalscorer. Hence the point clearly is, this should not be a transfer window where we should be taking even an iota of risk, if we are… Read more »

Shire gooner

Don’t forget Bendtner. I haven’t been able to…


Who’s the rat?

Third Plebeian

Reminds me a lot of Koscielny in that he likes to charge forward for the interception, and that he likes to get forward on occasion. Great slide tackles as well. And, I know this is the Peter Crouch damning praise, but he does have quick feet for a big man!

Dave M

I agree. He has that instinct of Koscienly, knows exactly when to go for the intercept (sometimes gambles too much but in long run worht it), great technique, looks very fast and strong. Sure everyone looks good on Youtube, but you have to look for the subtleties (pace, awareness, reactions, technique, strength…koulibaly looks to have them all…) I think he’d be a perfect partner for Koz, as long as he can keep his discipline. Kozzer needs that in a partner and this is why him and Merte work so well. Looks a good signing and wenger esque as he is… Read more »


Diego Maradona recently said if Koulibaly was white he’ll be playing for Real Madrid.


Thought the same thing- likes to step in early to win the ball, pick a pass to turn upfield, and confident on the ball. This ones got Wenger written all over it.

I’d be tempted to drop a few poos until we see who else is in for him.


Thats his main draw back for me. He’s too aggressive in his defending. I think for a CB pairing you want one aggressive defender and one whos prepared to sit back and cover, and we’ve already got the aggressive one in Kos, having two of them would leave gaps. However I think this guy would be perfect if he can have more defensive discipline drummed into him


I think ANY player that comes in, including defenders, go through an orientation where they are told how to gel with the Arsenal way. Most new buys are looked at for the potential to fit in our system (and not talent alone), right from an unknown Bellerin to an sstablished Alexis.

I’m sure he can be taught to pair with another player.


I agree, we ARE going to need the Mertesacker mark II sooner or later to balance the aggressive ‘stopper’ defending style with the slightly more ‘sweeper’ style positional discipline. It’s not Mertescielny for no reason.

Wenger In-N-Out

A striker please, Love Giroud but he needs assistance and competion We need a center half but our defence is actually not so horrible as some people make it out to be. There is only much a defense can do when the midfield is getting murdered which was the case since Cazorla-Coq injury happened. But bring them all in man, when the gods of injury strike again( seems they’re still mad at us) we will have reinforcements on the bench. And now there’s competition? Wilshere, Ramsey, Chamberlain..You all need to stay fit and in form Just had double cheese burger,… Read more »

lovely arse

Looks slick like Diaby bringing that ball outta the back. Love defenders confident on the ball. Very Arsenal. Gabriel take notice.


Beast+Pacey+Skills. Should be a very good signing if we can get him. However, I doubt some of those tackles will be considered tackles and not a yellow, given that we have such amazing refereeing standards in the epl.

X(Hakka) Gooner give it to ya

Kalidou Koulibaly life goes on bra
La la how life goes on

Danish Gooner

Sign the fucker,the sooner the better.

Arctic Marauder

Awesome clip. Hope there’s someone like this that good in reality and that Wenger buys him.

Ljungbergs Mohawk

Agree, loved it. But not sure where´s my day gonna end after listening to that music for 10 minutes!


Go get, asap.

Thank you

Don't leave Tommy!

Yeah but he’ll fuck off for a month in january when the african cup is on.


I was excited about Granit but a signing like Koulibaly would get me super pumped. I’ve always been a big fan of Arsene’s and know the lack of signings last summer/jan window meant he had big plans coming up. He is slowly filling in the missing pieces — too slowly for some — but he’ll get there.


Koscienly also had his ups and downs when he arrived. Took him at least 2 years to get some kind of constancy in his performances. So I wouldn’t write Gabriel off yet. And I still rate Chambers pretty high. Hasn’t played that much but when he was given the chance he always did ok in my opinion. And he seems to make a good Job for the english U21 too. But if we would add another class CB I would be more han happy. And am I the only one who’s thinking that we should go all in for Zlatan?… Read more »


I waited so long. Congratulations on making the first proper Football-Manager-fueled comment this transfer season. Somebody give this man a medal.


The tricks and skills video looks very promising


Don’t mind the Koulibalynator in the video.


We have a turkish signing named Cakum that i don’t know about?

Matty T.

Jeremy Wilson and John Cross writing the same Arsenal-related story? Whatever next?

Parisian Weetabix

– good at sliding around on the ground
– capable of eating up a lot of ground
– difficult to get past

not saying we shouldn’t buy this guy, I’m just saying that approx. 100000 worms would do exactly the same job for less money

Dave M

But each team is only limited to 10000 worms on the pitch at any given time

Ryan C

I’ve always found that rule ridiculous. The FA is such a joke! They keep on harping on about irrelevant issues when the real ones, like permitted worm population on the pitch, get ignored.

Mertesacker's houseboy

After watching this clip I want us to sign him yesterday.


Seems Wenger has abandoned the short technical model of players we had been building teams out for the last decade.

Looks like he’s reverting to the sort of pace, power, and height, with which he had so much early success.

craszy gunner

I have no doubt this guy will be better than Mert and Gabriel..I have watched him about 3 times now and on each occasion he was outstanding…I was thinking Why is arsenal not in for this guy.. My main problem is it appears he has a release clause of about £23M …whether arsene will be willing to pay the asking price ..we know how much he likes to spend on defenders..(£9-11m). Also chelsea and Juve are sniffing around him…..I am not too worried about Juve …..but I hope chelsea are not too keen, otherwise it will be another mata all… Read more »

Coq au Vin

Who the fuck is mata?


Doesn’t mata.


Different ball game now.
Not only can we match them for wages, we can offer CL, and a more likely challenge for the title.


Very impressive video, if we signed him, then just “Wow” is all I can say!
Go on Arsene get him in pleeeeeese!

broken red army

not just a video, had a very impressive season for a Napoli which had a real open offensive aproach with their 4.3.3. no real defensive midfielders and wingers who didnt track back. as his quality is obvious his style is a perfect match for Wengers Arsenal.


Stop getting me over-excited mate!

D Rattz

I tell you what he’s half decent on FIFA, ands that’s good enough for me


We have 4 areas where we need improvement:

-possession in midfield (check)
-defending crosses
-creativity/technical capability on the wing

It looks like this guy can fill one of these needs.


If we get a striker (finisher) then the wings are ok imo. Being realistic over signings here…


You’re probably right Paul. However, I still think we need a Pires type player. Mkhitaryan with 12 months on his contract, has to be worth a punt? Sadly, time for Walcott to move on too.

broken red army

I’d gladly ship away Walcott AND Chamberlain and have one Henrikh Mkhitaryan


Very well summarised mate. Mkhitaryan and Icardi for points 3 and 4?

Someone Orother

Are Senegal in the African Nations Cup of Nations Cup of Africa?

El Nenny will be going with Egypt…

Crash Fistfight

I thought Egypt didn’t qualify for once?

Crash Fistfight

No idea where I got that from – qualifying doesn’t appear to be completed yet, and Egypt are topping their group, unless I’m mistaken.


Egypt is 90 percent certain to qualfy

broken red army

thanks :))


I’d take him over Benatia any day of the week and he’s only slightly more expensive than Benatia. Question is if he can play alongside Koscienly…they’ve got similar style of play..this would be a dream signing


Bring in the next kolo toure



broken red army

somehow every successful british team always had a bunch of blacks in first 11. as far as I can remember. (and no one is being racist here, move on!)

Crash Fistfight

If you’re suggesting that black players possess attributes that would make us successful that other races don’t I would suggest that you’re being racist. It doesn’t matter if you’re being ‘nice’ racist. Who cares what colour/nationality/belief/star sign the players are? What’s important is whether they’re good or not. If this guy’s good, then sure, let’s buy him. Whether he’s black or otherwise (we already have a fair few mixed race, middle-eastern and Latin-American players, for what it’s worth) is inconsequential. I would worry that he’s likely to play in the AFCON whenever Senegal qualify, but that’s a separate issue (why… Read more »

broken red army

fuck off (now thats not racist) :))


Likes the ball at his feet everytime I have seen him play. Whether he will have enough time to do that in England is another matter.

But definitely Wenger_esque


This bloke is in a better ball park in terms of age than Benatia.

As mentioned, likely Wenger will have to bring in a Cback.

Relying on Chambers to develop is a massive risk. Gabriel has not been convincing and is still learning the ropes. Anyone who thinks he is suddenly better than Per should have their eyesight checked. He still needs time to develop.

Crash Fistfight

You’re probably right on Chambers, but I’d like to see him given more of a chance (maybe that’s a crazy idea).

The question is, does Arsene think Gabriel is better than Per? He seemed to do towards the end of the season – why else would he pick Gabriel? Not sure I agree with him – I’m with you on this one.


This guy is precisely the type of signing we need to make.


He looks really formidable. With him and and Xhaka in the team we will be almost impregnable. Wenger looks like he is reverting to the kind of powerful players that he favored at the start of his time at Arsenal. This guy and a top striker and we are back in business…titlewise.

Tasmanian Jesus

Looks good. But he’s no Chris Samba, Im sure.


Does this guy have some kind of referee immunity or what? None seems to care to blow against me. This might just be a virus in Mike Dean’s skin but we will be defeated in our little “mistaken” identity ploy – he would be spotted this time except the Ox impersonates Gallas and stand by him.




I recognize the individual words in your post, but the order you’ve put them in leaves me very confused.


As long as we are putting words sausages where we like.


Wow….we’re in for the first footballing shape shifter. His height is given as 6’2″ on transfermarket 6’4″ on FIFA 16 and 6’5″ on the Napoli website.
Obviously when marking Andy Carroll at set pieces he will crank himself up to his full towering stature and then when he needs to dash out of defence to slide in to make a remarkably well timed crunching tackle on Eden Hazzard he will have lowered his frame to his 6’2″ optimum pace size.
Well thought out Arsene…

Crash Fistfight

Go go gadget legs!

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