Report: Barcelona youngster rejects contract, will join Arsenal


According to a report in Catalan daily Sport, Barcelona youngster Joel Lopez has rejected a contract offer from the club, and will join Arsenal this summer.

In a move similar to the one which brought Cesc Fabregas to the club, there will be a mandatory payment to cover the player’s training rights, but as he had yet to sign professional terms there will be no transfer fee.

The move has been mooted for some months now, and the arrival of Raul Sanllehi as Head of Football Relations is believed to have played a significant part in the process.

He obviously knows the club and players very well having been Director of Football there, and will be aware of the top young talent at the club.

Barcelona have been trying to persuade the 15 year old left-back to stay right up until the end, but he will follow the path trodden by the likes of Fabregas and Hector Bellerin, hoping he too can make the breakthrough to the Arsenal first team.

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Laughing Stock

Come in while you can Joel!


welcome to Arsenal!


Loving the links with young players like Adli and Lopez and not to mention Torreira.
A top goalkeeper+CM signing and I’ll be over the moon with this transfer window


I think Emery’s biggest challenge is finding a balanced team, particularly our midfield.
Moving Ozil wide right? Or moving him a bit deeper? Either way he’s going to have to adapt to the team? Or move aside?


Are you happy with Mustafi then?
The centre back position is our priority…


As of yet I am not willing to write off our players totally until I’ve seen them work under Emery. I think a lot of our players issues collectively, and individually have been exacerbated by Arsene Wengers philosophical approach to management. These new players coming through need to be spoon fed instructions. Because they have been spoon fed everything their entire careers. So imagine the culture shock when they were turn up at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, and he pretty much just says to them before a big game ‘you play for Arsenal now, believe in yourself, you’ll be fine.’… Read more »


Would like to see us recoup what can be had from a sale of Mustafi. Bring in another CB. Another season of high-risk defending-gone-wrong?
And we won’t be able to GIVE Mustafi away.



mustafi might not be bad with some good coaching. he did win the world cup after all so he at least is viewed as pretty talented. mustafi is still young enough & if you look at the team the past few years its pretty clear there were major systemic issues (a lot coming from the fact that our midfield simply doesn’t defend) as none of our defenders looked solid (maybe monreal but he had his share of errors) while Gabriel improved a fair amount by leaving. if emery gets here, works with mustafi & believes he can’t be salvaged then… Read more »


Low dropped him from the WC squad.
He’s not featured for Germany since last October.
Low used him almost exclusively in a 3-back setup.

He’s lost his focus far too many times for my taste– leading directly /indirectly to goals outside of the norm of play and quality of opposition attack.

My opinion? I say sell. Get cash. Try someone else.
Don’t want to gamble what looks to be a revival– on a player who could well disappoint.



i dont think mustafi is good enough to be arsenal player even with good coaching. there are goals due to bad defending and goals due borderline stupid mistakes. mustafi falls in the second category, the goals we concede due to him is not because of poor positioning or something , he is simply gifting the ball to opposition with some very serious mistakes. and a good manager could not correct that fast . what he needs is to go back to drawing board and learn the basics and at 24 and in a team like arsenal there is simply no… Read more »

Prof Wenger to Emerytus

How did Mustafi win the WC and deemed good because of that ? Was he Muller, Klose or Gotze ? He was perhaps just an Atom there ! Lol


He actually played some in the World Cup and making the German squad was no mean feat – Hummels, Boateng, Lahm, etc. If Emery doesn’t think he’s good enough then by all means move him on. BUT pretty much every defender we have looks like they don’t know how to defend so lets see what a new coach can do. One of the biggest conundrums is going to be what Emery does with the midfield as Ramsey’s lack of any positional discipline is one of the major reasons our defense is so bad.


Good enough for WC when he’s 22.
But not even in the squad in his prime at 26?

All due respect.
But if you look at his Transfermarkt valuations?
Except for the bump from being bought for £35M– he has had 2 seasons in the last 3.5 where his value has dropped 20% twice.

Somebody else sees something too.
And it’s not Ramsey’s positional discipline.



I’m really not sure what your beef with Mustafi is. Literally every single defender looks crap for Arsenal. That says far more about how bad of defense coach Wenger was IMO than it necessarily does about the quality of the players.


You keep pointing out that his transfer value has fallen & he isn’t playing as well for Arsenal as he did prior to coming. That pretty much makes my point though. Can you name one defender other than Kos in the last decade who has had his reputation improve since coming to Arsenal from another team? What’s wrong with giving him a blank slate and letting Emery decide if he’s good enough or not? If he’s not then move him on. But it’s not clear to me that he’s that bad of player. I leave that to Emery who out… Read more »


It’ll be the whole SIRE team making that decision. And that includes what the data says, not simply one man eyeballing.



Actually his value dropped 20% at Valencia Nov 2015- Jun 2016– and another 20% at Arsenal Jun 2017 – Jan 2018.

That’s an indicator his current value is inflated even today at £22M (bought for £35M).



It’s not personal. Ergo– no ‘beef’. I’ve laid out specifics as to why I’d rather see a different pair or pairs of CBs that don’t include him. You seem good with waving these observations away with generalities (‘Wenger’. ‘All are crap’.) I don’t agree. Mustafi was the starting CB for Arsenal on the teams which had the most GA in 2 of 3 the highest totals since 1988. Got an answer for that? We know that while Kos lost a step he was one of the PL’s top CBs for several years. And for the the five seasons prior to… Read more »


I’ll amend that to ‘top-4 in GA’ the 5 seasons prior.



If you look at Arsenal over the years, we have traditionally had the worst defense in the top 4 (our peers) and really in the top 6 the last several years. That includes seasons where Kos was at the top of his game. Really Arsenal hasn’t had a top class defense in over a decade. Most people would agree that the issues are not with one individual player but rather speak to the weak mentality cultivated over Wenger and the system he ran. That’s why defender after defender has struggled playing for Arsenal the past decade. That might be a… Read more »


Actually? There were times when Mustafi was very good. But alternately very bad. Here are numbers for Arsenal GA : Year GA PL Rank 2013 – 37 (2nd) 2014 – 41 (4th) 2015 – 36 (3rd) 2016 – 36 (3rd) 2017 – 44 (7th) 2018 – 51 (8th) Following a brilliant 1/2-season start to his Arsenal career, Mustafi has been the one different denominator in a defense that had been ‘at least capable’ until the past two seasons. The ‘harm’ in keeping him? Is if he IS what I’ve been outlining? If he IS in the decline that his valuation,… Read more »


Actually? There were times when Mustafi was very good. But alternately very bad. Here are numbers for Arsenal GA : Year GA PL Rank 2013 – 37 (2nd) 2014 – 41 (4th) 2015 – 36 (3rd) 2016 – 36 (3rd) 2017 – 44 (7th) 2018 – 51 (8th) Following a brilliant 1/2-season start to his Arsenal career, Mustafi has been the one different denominator in a defense that had been ‘at least capable’ until the past two seasons. The ‘harm’ in keeping him? Is if he IS what I’ve been outlining? If he IS in the decline that his valuation,… Read more »


Looks like many of the things I’d stated upthread:

As mentioned upthread– seems there are others seeing the same things I’ve been observing.


A Different George

He played in the Germany team in the Confederations Cup last year; so, Low thinks he is a step below the first choice for Germany. I would not start him ahead of Boateng or Hummels either, but the question is: would I start him ahead of Chambers or Holding? And I mention again the WhoScored rating–one of the two highest-rated centre half in the top 5 European leagues last season. This could be deceptive, their methods may be flawed, etc. etc. I agree that he may not be as good as the rating indicates, but it is simply not possible… Read more »


Firstly? I’m not making the case that Mustafi is crap. But that he is alternately ‘good’, then ‘crap’– from one match to the next. I’d weighed that WhoScored rating with another poster elsewhere. Basing his rating on 2 goals given on errors. That stat must be extremely narrow in consideration of what constitutes error. I could list at least 3 other goals resulting not from physical errors– but a lack of focus. The one that sealed it for me was the long ball to Griezmann vs Atletico (1st leg) with minutes to go. He had NO other responsibility but to… Read more »

A Different George

I think your point about Mustafi’s inconsistency is valid, but to me most of his errors involve positioning rather than lack of effort, many times over-aggression rather than laziness. As for your example, my recollection of the Atletico goal (which, I am sure you are correct, a system like WhoScored’s would have registered as entirely Koscielny’s error) is that Mutsafi slowed down to be in position to prevent a cutback, confident that Griezmann would not be able to get through Koscielny. To me, this is exactly the kind of mistake that coaching and a different system can overcome. I still… Read more »


All good points. And I perhaps ought to have clarified that I’d not meant ‘laziness’– with ‘lack of effort’. But instead a lack of recognition in dangerous situations, rendering effort futile. There was a goal by Ayoze Perez in the 2-1 loss to Newcastle– where he flashed to the 6– where there was nothing else for Mustafi to do– but move to cutoff the near post. Granted, it was executed quickly– but Mustafi was standing flat-footed, motionless center of goal. Cech dressed him down without hesitation. I’ve never witnessed Cech showing emotion on-pitch prior to that incident. Honestly feel that… Read more »


Love to see Malcom turn up to be honest. The team still lacks width, trickery and directness.


to be honest, the team lacks a lot of things

Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour

I’d play Malcom in the middle

Bobby Dazzler



You’re right, it’s great to see. I don’t think we can underestimate these young signings either. There’s basically no downside to these signings and it really shows what a dedicated transfer/scouting team can get done. If they don’t cut the mustard, then so what. It’s very smart business and you never know, we could end up with the next Jordi Alba with this kid!


doubt if we will do much more business now


i am really eager to see which goalkeeper will we bring in. because i think thats the most weakest position we have at arsenal at the moment. a weak and aging petr cech and outgiong ospina and some unproven youngsters is all we have. we might have the weakest goalkeepers in the top 8 teams. and the challenge is to find a goalkeeper young enough but experienced enough to lead the line for years to come. besides the age he needs to know how to play ball with his feat not to mention should be able to make decent saves(bravo!!)… Read more »

Anne Noyd

I’ll help you. No one.


Exciting times with our young talent!!!! Any chance we go all out for Oblak!?!?! Like just any chance at all??


Dreamer by name eh? lol


Hahaha ya. A girl can dream


Who knew being in europa league would attract top youngsters to arsenal…

Too bad mbappe didn’t realize… his loss


I like this.


Get rid of Mustafi, bring in Soyuncu and Torreira and I think that’s job done as far as the defensive side of the team. Our attack is fine, maybe we can do with a wide player but that’s about it.

A Different George

When I read the article, I was hoping it was Messi.

A Different George

The headline. Spoiled that joke pretty quick.

Lord Bendnter

Gotta catch em all!


Welcome to the Gunners!!


far too early to make a comment on this


There’s nothing to be excited about, yet.

Winterburn Wanderers

Looks like a beast


Youngsters joining are all well and good but will they be given a chance or just developed to be sold later?


Hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha. Fuck off Barca

Rectum Spectrum

There comes a time in a young players career that they have to step away from the comfort of a small club and try to make it somewhere where bigger.


Speaking of Bellerin, he was blanked by the Sky Sports reporter on the grid at the Canadian GP in Montreal. He was in conversation with a supermodel (Harlow?) in Lewis Hamilton’s entourage when the dude interrupted quite clumsily to speak with her. It was super awkward. There must be video of this online already.


Enjoying what should be the new administration’s honeymoon period. All support, no criticism.

Loving every move so far. Trusting honeymoon period through silly season! This team is f*cking undefeated!

On Any Block

Pay Back Time. Marcus Mcguane ?