Thursday, December 7, 2023

Arsenal transfer round-up: Rugani, Tierney, Nketiah

Raul, Edu and Unai have about three and a half days to strengthen Arsenal’s squad before the window for Premier League incomings closes at 5pm on Thursday.

After that, we have just under a month to sell any players we don’t need to clubs around Europe. The window for buying players in Italy closes on 23 August, while in Spain, France and Scotland it’s 2 September.

It’s no secret that Arsenal’s main priority lies in strengthening the defence. The acquisition of William Saliba is a boon for next year but having been loaned back to Saint-Etienne it’s clear we need to find another centre-back, especially if Laurent Koscielny gets the move he wants.

Daniele Rugani

The 25-year-old made 20 appearances for the Old Lady last season but has his work cut out making the team sheet ahead of old boys Chiellini and Bonucci and new arrival Matthijs de Light. Apparently, we’ve been trying to nail down a two-year loan deal for the Juventus defender but says the Serie A champions aren’t interested. Rugani is under contract in Turin until 2023.

Kieran Tierney

Reports at the weekend suggest the 22-year-old Scotland international may not be fit for another eight weeks. Is that enough to put us off from making a third bid? Maybe not. It sounds as though we’ll need to cough up the full £25 million asking price and will have to structure the deal so that a significant chunk of that cash is paid upfront. It’s something of a conundrum given we’re arguably stronger at left-back than we are in the centre of defence.

Eddie Nketiah

Unai Emery has said he wants the youngster to focus on playing for Arsenal this season but even after bagging a couple of goals against Bayern Munich and Fiorentina, the striker was still weighing up whether a loan move might be best for his development. It sounds as though he’s not short of suitors with Championship sides Bristol City, Cardiff City and Swansea both tipped to take him for the year. If he does go, perhaps Tyreece John-Jules can fill his boots for a bit? 

Emile Smith Rowe

Still out injured, still be tipped to moved to Germany. It sounds as though it’s a two-horse race for his signature with both Wolfsburg and Leipzig, with whom he spent six months earlier this year, said to be interested.

Laurent Koscielny

It sounds as though he’ll be heading to Rennes or Bordeaux if Emery can’t persuade him to stay. Both have said they want him.

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Tiereny deal has to be fast-tracked if we want him. Ornstein still quiet


Given that the first time Tierney’s name was mentioned was about six weeks ago, I think we can safely assume that we are not in the Kieran Tierney fast tracking business.


Maybe no one was at home when the deliver driver called and the notification slip to collect him from the depot fell down behind the replacement bust of Herbert Chapman.
Tierney might be locked in a cage with paddington bear

iddi amin apangu

But so long as he is a quality player we can bring him since we have such transfers which took place like Kim Kalstrom.


Surely there are other options who aren’t injured?

John C

You don’t not buy at 22 year old because he won’t be fit for 8 weeks


Whilst it’s seriously frustrating to have not sorted our Defense out seeing mediocre players like Maguire go for £80m is literally insane. Rugani is a good loan option but I do wonder if we need to swallow some pride and bring in Cahill for a year with option for another.


Is it about swallowing pride or is it that most of us just feel like bringing in an ageing Cahill feels like a panicky, very 2014 signing. This Arsenal squad doesn’t need to be filled with anymore over-the-hill, over-priced players.


I’d take Cahill over Mustafi tbh


Where’s the risk in signing up Cahill on a one year contract? It’s not like we’d give him a 3-4 year deal at the age of 33. He’d be Kos’ replacement and bridge the gap to Saliba next summer. I don’t see anything “panicky” about it


He went to Palace this morning


Is there any objective metric of player ‘value’ in European football?

We dont know most things about the financials of these organizations, which is what most of the American ‘moneyball’ approaches are based on (not to mention caps).

I’m not even all that bothered about what United are up to. All I see is that we needed a better centre back and we haven’t got one.


I believe they call it the Euro.

Don Cazorleone

@thw14 KPMG have a football benchmarking program using a pretty simple multiple regression model to predict market value that many clubs use. This calculates an intrinsic player value based on independent variables like age, stats, nationality etc. The issue is that there are so many intangible factors that inflate and suppress values that with all the best will in the world the “intrinsic” value of players is practically useless. These can be things like ‘player potential’; or how much a club needs to fill a position; or simply just having the market skewed by Utd paying £80m for Harry fucking… Read more »


Cahill has signed for Crystal Palace


I wonder if Arsenal have the money to do the initial payment of the Tierney deal, but they know CB is more of a pressing issue, so they are focusing on the CB problem first and are hoping they don’t need to use funds that are pencilled in for Tierney, and they can go get him on deadline day.


Sounds risky. Sounds very Arsenal. Could be a good shout! Lets just hope they can get a few decent defenders in!


From what I’ve read, Juve fans would be very happy to let Rugani go. Even noticed an “Italian Mustafi” thrown out there. Not a good sign.


Maguire costing £85 million, and us paying €30million for an 18yr old with 17 first team appearances, and then loaning him back out, is a sure indicator that’s there’s a lack of quality centre backs around.

The club can’t be blind to our needs? But even if they made £50-£60 million available? Can anyone name any obvious candidates we could target?

Surely if you spend that sort of cash, you’ll want a player who’ll significantly improve you? Rather than marginally improve you?

Tierney has giant red triangles all over him, I hope we give it a miss for now.

A Different George

Umtiti seems to have lost his place at Barca, initially because of injury, and is regularly mentioned as possibly available. He was good enough to play regularly for them, good enough to start for the world champions (probably in the absence of a fit Koscielny). Probably expensive–but so is everyone, apparently.


Time’s running out. We all know the problem but can Emary and the management team do anything about it? We’ve had almost the whole of the Summer window to address it in time for next season, so Saliba doesn’t count, but nothing so far. Regardless of the other signings made, if we can’t stop conceding so many goals all the (new) attacking options will count for little across the season. Emery is into his last year of his contract (although there’s a further year’s option by mutual consent). If we don’t make an improvement on last season’s very disappointing effort… Read more »




So Lille had the best defence in france last year. GC 33
They are still looking to sell players.
Raul has just inked their execs into his rolodex.

Could we not point StatDNA at them and see how they look in the right and centre back slots…
They don’t seem to have a Mustafi, a skodren or bearded numpty among their playing staff

Merlin's Panini

They do have Jose Fonte though, who is older than time itself. Not sure about any of the others but whilst it matters how well they did generally, you need to look at how they did against the other top teams (particularly PSG) to see if any of their players would cut it against the best in England.


Or be better than the incumbents


PS: they lost 2-1 away to PSG and won 5-1 at home last season


The press has succeeded in creating much fear into our heart as arsenal supporters. We missed top four by a point last season. This season we have added good quality. Our defence is not top notch but it’s not as bad as is meant to look. Bellerin and Holding should be able to play from September. During the friendlies, we played Bayern conceeding once, played Barcelona concerning once and scoring twice one an own goal. We do not have what you call a defensive midfielder who can break play and initiate attack. Teams take advantage of us in that they… Read more »


Whilst I’m not unhappy with the signings that we’ve made so far, I think that our main priority for this and the next two transfer windows should have been sorting out our defensive problems. Our defensive problems have been an issue for far too long. Anyone on the planet who has watched Arsenal could tell you that our problems are primarily defensive in nature. I suspect that, even alien life forms in other parts of the galaxy, who may be observing what goes on on earth, could discern our defensive problems. Trying to address them by outscoring the opposition may… Read more »


scoring goals has also been a bit of an issue. Auba and Lacazette being the only two players to consistently get on the score sheet. If anything happens to those two, we would’ve been f**ked. I think investing in attack was a smart move considering who we bought. That’s not to say I don’t think we shouldn’t invest in defence, but perhaps nailing down players like Pepe were deemed more important considering other parties involved.


with pepe, auba, and laca around him, i’m hoping ozil gets back to form and challenges the pl assist record again. yes, i’ve got my rose tinted glasses on.


I’d be content if we can get a reliable CB in for cheap. Maybe a similar thing to Sokratis if a palyer like that is out there? Even if we can’t bring a Rugani I think it’s vital we at least have another option to see how bad they are!


Anyone decent would seem an improvement


What is worrying is the fact all the deals we have made so far, we kinda knew about weeks in advance through rumours etc. There really does not seem to be that many central defenders being linked with us over the last month or so. I really hope I am wrong and the board are just playing this really close to their chest. Is there any way we can send Mustafi to you know one of those cults that brain washes people… like can we brainwash all these mistakes out of him.. maybe a shock collar that zaps him every… Read more »


With selling on Bielik, and getting a little bonus from Milan buying Bennacer… we should be able to add more onto the Tierney bid. But it’s so quiet on CBs. We really need a defensive marshal to come in and shore things up while Holding can get 100% and Chambers can continue to develop. Even just an experienced head for a year would do, we have Saliba coming next season to boost numbers. It’ll be an interesting 4 days until the window closes.

David Andre

With such little funds available to us, I dont understand why we dont go for James Tarkowski. Hes a established CB in league a good one as well that should be affordable.

David Andre

Tarkowski should be around 15mil at the most which isn’t much for what we would be getting. At the same time Tierney is considered a TOP LB but also very versatile and could also play CB and CDM – given that we have LBs and Holding is on his way back from recovery overall our better option would be going all in for Tierney. Healthy Holding and Sokratis at the moment are definitely our best partnership at the back, having Tierney on the line up for LB would be the most ideal given hes a far better defender then both… Read more »

A Different George

I know Transfermarkt says 18 million euros for Tarkowski–but why would Burnley ever do that after Maguire and Van Dijk? Or after Saliba, for that matter?


“Tarkowski should be around 15mil at the most…”. I will really love to know how much you thought Maguire will cost before United signed him.
And out of curiosity, have you watched Tierney played as Central Defender before???


We won’t finish top 4 without a new centre back, so I’d certainly take a punt on that Juventus lad on loan.


Arsenal will have to scout for solid Centre backs. Come on, lot of talent around the world, just put some effort in finding.
Playing 11 should put in all the effort and skills from 1st minute till the match ends. ( without giving up / playing lazy in the match)


Through Nacho and Kola, I think we are pretty well covered on left back. The central defense is much more critical. With only three days to go of the transfer window, and the absence even of credible rumors, there will be another Mustafi-season.


One Mustafi season is one too many

iddi amin apangu

But Arsenal cant leave a defender to leave when they have not got the replacement which was even getting them problem when they played Barcelona.


I think the club are considering using Monreal as CB cover again this year, especially if Tierney comes in at LB. I also hope that they don’t let Koscielny leave without an incoming replacement. Which would leave us with the following options in central defence. Holding (injured) Chambers (not good enough in defense… yet) Sokratis Koscielny (wants to leave)/Replacement Monreal (makeshift at best) Mustafi (really not good enough) With Saliba coming in next year, worryingly it doesn’t look that bad on paper (until you consider those huge f@king caveats). I can really see the club trying to muddle those this… Read more »


Chambers and Sokratis looked solid against Barca. Holding coming soon. Monreal can slot in and Mavropanos can play EL and Carabou. I´ve always thought that our problems have been in midfield defending and lack of synical fouling. The best teams defend as a whole not just leave it to the defenders


I agree that Monreal and Mavro can do a job but it just feels like we’re settling. We need an upgrade on Chambers that directly replaces Mustafi and rivals Holding.

Then, next year, even with an ageing Sokratis, we’ll have a new, strong CB, Saliba, Holding and the best of Mavro or Chambers.

Completely agree with the midfield, too. Xhaka is a liability when it comes to defensive contributions. Willock, Ceballos, even AMN – should ensure that we’re more solid in the middle, when paired with Torreira or Guendouzi.


Hmmm. We still conceded a silly own goal. You’re right about “whole team” defence but when push comes to shove it’s the actual defensive unit that counts more often than not – and ours just isn’t good enough, even with a bit of tweaking by using squad players etc.


That silly own goal was an individual error, not a team error. They had been very solid on the whole and withstood a period of sustained pressure from Barca just after the break. And was it a coincidence that the Suarez goal came after Mustafi replaced Sokratis?


If we fail to sign a proper CB in this window. It should be deemed a failure nevermind the Pepe signing.
Our defence would be worst than last year. Which would be criminal.


Agree totally. There’s little point in strengthening goal scoring potential if the defence is so weak (and, in our case, largely unchanged = very weak) that it let’s in goals all over the place! All successful sides are built on very good or excellent defences, just look at the goals against of the leading EPL teams. The management team will regret it if they don’t do something about ours while they still (just) have the opportunity.


If it’s Bordeaux for Kos, demand 150 cases of Chateau Petrus.


I’ll drink to that!


1) not sure if Rugani is entirely a good deal particularly another loan. His reputation is no better than Mustafi’s in Italy albeit he has age on his side but do we need more young Cbacks? 2) Tierney – MOnreal was slow against barca and we do need eventually to replace the Spaniard but with prices on good Cbacks likely high, not sure if it makes any sense to dissipate our effort and go spending on Tierney at expense of quality we can bring in at Cback. 3) Eddie. I think he will be useful for us if he stays.… Read more »


Watched the Barca match. Did not want to comment until I had a chance to. Thought we were competitive but obviously some ways to go to be closer to parity. 1) Leno – Good stop to prevent Suarez with one hand and proactive coming out to claim a dangerous low cross first half. Maybe communication issue with AMN but otherwise solid 2) Monreal – Slow. He is clearly past his best and there is a need to replace him but we have more urgent priorities which demand focus on all our resource to provide for the best quality at CBack.… Read more »


I’m hoping ol’ Slabhead proves to be a huge bust this season, thus depressing the CB market back to sane levels.

If you consider comments from UE and the head office, things look like they’re on track for a 2-year project, with the goal this season to get back into the Champions League. If we do, Emery’s contract will be extended, and I believe our honest push for the Premier League will come next season.


Arsenal back:

May. God. Help. Us.


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