As Arsenal fans fret over the possibility of going into a new season without any defensive recruitment, Unai Emery says the club will only sign players who can ‘really improve’ the squad.

The Gunners rearguard was exposed again during last night’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona. An own goal from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and poor marking from our centre-halves allowed Luis Suarez to snatch a late winner, and it highlighted the need for improvement at the back.

As of yet, we’ve added no defenders to the squad, and have lost the quality and experience of Laurent Koscielny due to his refusal to play. Calum Chambers has returned from his loan at Fulham, but Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are still sidelined as they recover from cruciate knee ligament injuries.

Speaking after the game in Spain, Emery was quizzed on transfers, and insisted that signings would only be made if they can make things better.

“Only if we can sign a player who really, really can improve our squad, then we are going to do that,” he said.

“If not, then not. We have good competitive players to achieve or try to achieve our target this season and we are going to be looking at something if we can sign someone, but with this idea.

“Only, and only, if we can improve.”

You don’t need to be the world’s greatest joke writer to fire off a zinger here about how almost anything could be an improvement on what we have, but it almost seems too easy.

The reality is we need to be better back there, and the only way we can do it is via the market. Over to you, Raul.

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Lanre
Lanre
9 months ago

Channelling his inner Arene right there

Jarghs
Jarghs
9 months ago
Reply to  Lanre

Top, top quality

Yellow Ribbon
Yellow Ribbon
9 months ago
Reply to  Jarghs

Lol, exactly what I thought as I was reading through it.

High gunner
High gunner
9 months ago
Reply to  Yellow Ribbon

hahaha I think many of us did.. Fuck I miss Wenger :))) Anyone knows what he is up to nowadays? still no news?

Dave M
Dave M
9 months ago
Reply to  High gunner

Staying as far the fuKc away from this sort of critiquing as he can 😉

punter
punter
9 months ago
Reply to  Lanre

my thoughts too – translates to ‘we are not making anymore signings this window’

Anonymarse
Anonymarse
9 months ago
Reply to  punter

Corrrect

SharpasFc
SharpasFc
9 months ago
Reply to  punter

No it translates to we aren’t signing anyone unless they can improve us – in other words a Van Dijk type signing.

thw14
thw14
9 months ago

This nonsense again. Listen, Pepe is nice, but we know we can pull attacking players. We have yet to see evidence of top-shelf defensive recruitments.

The Arsenal Twitter account can work double overtime, but unless defenders (plural) are brought in, we’ve seen this script before. It’s boring.

truj
truj
9 months ago
Reply to  thw14

No need to panic, we got some top self destructive defensive player!

SharpasFc
SharpasFc
9 months ago
Reply to  thw14

Don’t listen or watch then, absolutely no one is forcing you!

chuffy
chuffy
9 months ago

Right now the loan or free market is all we can realistically hope to find a centre back. If we dont get anybody and we lose Koscielny, we’re worse than last season. For all the positives about Pepe, if the defense isn’t improved, we’ll struggle, there’s no doubt. An injury to Sokratis and we’re royally screwed.

Newxieland@gmail.com
9 months ago
Reply to  chuffy

Whisper this softly but but there is a certain inanimate carbon rod that’s currently available which would instantly improve our defence…

Dave M
Dave M
9 months ago
Reply to  chuffy

What a market to get “top top quality”…players that are unwanted by their teams and aren’t valuable enough to sell for proper or young guys that are unproven and need first team football experience (jeez the later sounds a lot like a guy we just sold…).

Ngeno
Ngeno
9 months ago

After Pepe, one is almost tempted to actually believe this is not such drivel. Raul’s done made me an optimist for once. I am not used to this feeling.

Jarghs
Jarghs
9 months ago
Reply to  Ngeno

What… what’s it like?

Redbaron
Redbaron
9 months ago

Now all he needs to do is trot out the “We are working very hard in the transfer market, every minute of the day.” and he would have won the Arsene Wenger Transfer window quote bingo.

Dave M
Dave M
9 months ago
Reply to  Redbaron

And then the final salvo before running with what we got:
“We are in the transfer market, but we are focused on concentrating on our players – we have to get them ready for the season.”
Arsene Wenger 2016 (Arseblog News Item).

Pavan
Pavan
9 months ago
Reply to  Dave M

And we have Rob holding coming back from injury. He is like a new signing

Shakie81
Shakie81
9 months ago

Improve the team…shouldn’t be too difficult to find a defender to improve our defense!

Dave M
Dave M
9 months ago
Reply to  Shakie81

Krystian Bielik?

Gooner
Gooner
9 months ago

Deja vu

Jarghs
Jarghs
9 months ago
Reply to  Gooner

Who’s he? Can he play CB?

78/79/80
78/79/80
9 months ago
Reply to  Jarghs

Look a bit like Eric Cantona to me so probably just continuing our aim of playing 11 attacking players. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8XQV0PYf3c

Phil
Phil
9 months ago

I’m hoping my new round faith after the Pepe signing isn’t misplaced! The worry is this sounds a bit like latter year Wenger – first you say you want to get player in position X, then you say you are working constantly to bring someone in, then you’ll only buy if they will improve the team, then finally you don’t buy but it’s because you couldn’t find ‘top, top quality’…

zyrth
zyrth
9 months ago

That means just about anyone, or anything in terms of center backs?

Matty Cakes
Matty Cakes
9 months ago

“Only if we can sign a player who really, really can improve our squad, then we are going to do that,”

Swap deal between us and The Dog & Duck, Fat Dave for Mustafi incoming

Said aboud
Said aboud
9 months ago

Sign back line leave monreal mustafi chambers nile if u dont see gud players who fit de team den EPL will show u…remember WENGER leaved de club bcoz of his sheet like yours den b aware.

Juan Cornetto
Juan Cornetto
9 months ago
Reply to  Said aboud

I beg your pardon?

Jarghs
Jarghs
9 months ago
Reply to  Juan Cornetto

Something about Arsene’s bed linen

Walmart Heiress
Walmart Heiress
9 months ago
Reply to  Jarghs

Bin laden you say?

Jack
Jack
9 months ago
Reply to  Said aboud

Quite.

midgunner
midgunner
9 months ago

As frustrating as it is, I’d prefer to take a loan signing now than be stuck with another mediocre defender on a four year contract.

Then let’s get one next summer when we hopefully have more cash.

PeteyB
PeteyB
9 months ago
Reply to  midgunner

More cash, and a ready made Saliba

Eduardo da Silva
Eduardo da Silva
9 months ago

Of course any one will sign players that will improve their team. For crying out loud most CB from the tram that hit us last season can improve us.

Snc
Snc
9 months ago

Su

Daniel
Daniel
9 months ago

Read between the lines. He says we have learned from the Mustafi fiasco.

Snc
Snc
9 months ago

Surely, there are waaaay better defenders in Ligue Un or anywhere than Mustafi… I was not this frentic even when senderos/cygan/squillaci was playing for us… But Mustafi…. Tt guy is on another level.

Batistuta
Batistuta
9 months ago
Reply to  Snc

Can we please stop this mustafi bashing, every player needs all the confidence in the world even Messi, constantly nagging on this guy, Is doing us no good, was he the one who scored the own goal? He’s market value keeps dropping because of our bashing, I saw a stat on sun news yesterday which clearly showed mustafi out performed 80m maguire
Am not saying he’s perfect, let’s support him while he’s still around

SarcasmB0t
SarcasmB0t
9 months ago
Reply to  Batistuta

No, his market value keeps dropping because he’s garbage.
I very much doubt professional football teams make multi-million euro decisions based on reading Twitter.
They have scouts watch players play – which seems to be why there haven’t been that many offers for Mustafi.

Pajanee
Pajanee
9 months ago

Mustafi is soo bad that signing cahill on free is like signing a world class player. We really need cover for right back.

Goonereality
Goonereality
9 months ago
Reply to  Pajanee

Interesting to see that the tide is (finally) turning and that the vast majority of Gooners on this site now appear to acknowledge how bad Mustafi really is. He wouldn’t get into the training grounds of the other “top” clubs, let alone be a first team regular but we keep on playing him, waiting for the next error to cost us on the pitch.

Imustafiyou
Imustafiyou
9 months ago
Reply to  Pajanee

Right back need cover, left back need change, but the most urgent problem is CB. With 4 days left in the trasnfer window and having splashed so much on Pepe, we can only hope to solve on one problem, the most critical one which is CB.

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio
The only sp*rs i like is san antonio
9 months ago
Reply to  Pajanee

Dani Alves is free and worth a shot for me at right back

Tankard Gooner
Tankard Gooner
9 months ago

Pretty sure dani alves joined some club in Brazil.

Imustafiyou
Imustafiyou
9 months ago

If CB is not purchase/loan for this transfer window, i think it should be deem as a failure despite our recruitment of Pepe and co.

Sir John King
Sir John King
9 months ago

I think this is wise. Better than to sign players who make us worse.

Gunner142
Gunner142
9 months ago

We should’ve bought Joachim Andersen. At this time of window, there really isn’t that much defenders available in our budget who can play from the back (Emery style). After the sale of Harry Maguire, I can only see Tarkowaski or Ben Mee of Burnley who can can improve this defense but their passing from back and composure on the ball is still a doubtful. Not to mention the price (40-50m) that comes with it. So, it is better to wait out and buy a quality center back rather than buying overpriced players who might become the next mustafi.

DaBoss
DaBoss
9 months ago

I can see Raul doing a ‘Godfather’ with Mustafi. Take him out on a row boat and only Raul comes back. Here’s hoping we can sign a CB before Thursday. I may be wrong, but it feels like the Tierney thing has dragged on because he simply isn’t fit and wouldn’t pass a medical right now. Little point pushing for a transfer for an injured player, ahem, Kallstrom, ahem.

Goonereality
Goonereality
9 months ago

The truth is that the defence is a shambles. We have three centre backs that are not fit for purpose: Kos – in dispute with the club and surely can’t stay on; Mustafi and Chambers – just not good enough. We all know about Mustafi. His dwindling band of supporters on this site is getting smaller each time he plays, I wonder why?. As to Chambers, he was given a good run in the team, unlike many youngsters, and wasn’t up to it. At Fulham he played mainly in midfield. He was apparently voted their “Player of the Year” (whatever… Read more »

henry
henry
9 months ago

Can Welbz play CB? he is still available.

Simon
Simon
9 months ago

As far as I’m concerned, getting rid of Ozil was his only KPI for the off-season

henry
henry
9 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Emery’s KPI? Good morning. Did you have a good sleep?

para
para
9 months ago

Saka should be “thrown” in to the fray(gradually). He has shown his quality, AND, how else are they expected to learn and improve?

Dingle goonie
Dingle goonie
9 months ago

Well get ready for the 5-4 and 6-5 wins (feeling positive this morning)

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio
The only sp*rs i like is san antonio
9 months ago

Any Defender is better than mustafi right about now. If we don’t have enough money, try the free market. Dani Alves and Garry Cahill at least can make up the numbers for us for a season before we seriously search next year

jon
jon
9 months ago

The defensive problems have been known for a long time. Why should it be better next year?

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio
The only sp*rs i like is san antonio
9 months ago
Reply to  jon

Would you prefer we don’t buy anyone and relegated to the championship instead?
Being pesimistic is one thing. But give up without try to buy a better player than mustafi first, that is plain stupid

Jamesanation
Jamesanation
9 months ago
Reply to  jon

Saliba?

AnonymousGun
AnonymousGun
9 months ago

What if we convert Elneny to a CB? 😮

jon
jon
9 months ago

While Holding has a better positional awareness than Mustafi, he is regrettably too slow when facing the likes of Salah and Mane. Chambers did not convince against Barcelona, and is probably a better defensive midfielder than central defender.

Bielek was sold without ever being tried in the first team. The injured Mavropanos is hardly Arsenal’s saviour either. Sokratis is top class, but he needs a good partner. Wallets must be opened (again).

Akofe
Akofe
9 months ago

Arsenals back 4 if we don’t sign defenders this season ..
God. Will. Help. Us

Leno

Robstar
Robstar
9 months ago

I’m sorry guys but you’re really not talking this seriously, this isn’t a computer game. Finding a defender in today’s market that wants to come to Arsenal and improve us is very hard to do. Man Utd are about to pay £80m for a defender and will he get them where they need to be? Is he worth the money? Defenders at the level teams like Arsenal need are rare, we’ve tried to half arse it and where has it got us? We’ve spent a lot of money on that will do defenders and we’ve paid the price, literally with… Read more »

Goonereality
Goonereality
9 months ago
Reply to  Robstar

Yes, I’m sure we’re all behind the team but that won’t make any difference if the defence just isn’t up to the job. The “surrender” that happened towards the end of last season happened on the pitch – not in the stands.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal
9 months ago
Reply to  Robstar

You DO REALIZE that Robstar is actually Holding…right? If I could thumb this up 1000 times I would. Try this experiment, play Arsenal manager with us. Your job while speaking to the cameras is to 1) instill confidence in fans, players, staff and ownership that you know the team needs improvement, you are always looking for better players, you will make good business and team players recommendations and decisions. 2) You have confidence in and appreciation for those players who work their asses off every day and although you are always looking to improve they will always have your respect,… Read more »

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal
9 months ago

Mustafi may have dropped a bit in performance, he and we may wish we had alternate choices but you tell me this. IF…IF the fans made a pact to support and cheer him on no matter what. If they stood up and clapped whenever his name was spoken or he came on or off the pitch. NO MATTER WHAT. What would happen? Would that be the best recruitment tool ever for Arsenal? How would the press write about it? How much would that help him and the club…Arseblog could be the experiment initiator and that would be a wonderful experiment.… Read more »

Robstar
Robstar
9 months ago

You make a great point but all I’m saying is come the start of the season I will be cheering on Arsenal not any one player. Saying the clock is ticking or 48 hours left sounds great in a blog post but useless in real life. We’ve brought Debuchy, Gabriele, Gallas that bloke from Man Utd and a whole host of defenders because the clock was ticking. Did any of those names and more get us to where we wanted to be? Now I ask the question again to Arseblog and all Arsenal fans because I genuinely don’t have the… Read more »

leroy
leroy
9 months ago
Reply to  Robstar

well said, Robstar. couldn’t agree with you more.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination
9 months ago

We’re on a roll with the pepe deal. Lets,smash the record and sign kaloubaly from napoli then. This will give them the financial muscle they need to sign someone like pepe.

TheArseman
TheArseman
9 months ago

Here’s a zinger for you, would you rather that you have to sign harry maguire for $80 million or keep Mustafi but obviously don’t spend that money

jon
jon
9 months ago
Reply to  TheArseman

Maguire is overrated. I attended England-Croatia during the World Cup. At 1-0 to England, Maguire signalled to his team mates to park the bus. As very often is the case, this backfired. The bus was not parked, but turned, full speed towards the English goal.

sami
sami
9 months ago
Reply to  jon

and you think he decided to change the entire emphasis of Englands World cup semi final strategy on his own do you? Not the fact it was instructed to him via the bench? ok lol

Cultured determination
Cultured determination
9 months ago

Only top top quality that can improve us. My colleagues tell me im a screw up at work. At least once a day. Hey, that’s 1 screw up every 8 hours! Much less frequently than mustafi.

TheArseman
TheArseman
9 months ago

Improvement you say.. maybe we could partner Kermit the frog with Sokratis. Pretty sure his arm flailing is an improvement on Mustafis

SharpasFc
SharpasFc
9 months ago

It’s frustrating but I get what he’s saying. We’ve paid “top money” for the likes of Mustafi and regrettably that now looks like money down the drain and we can’t shift him or get the best from him as he’s mentally shot now. The one time the excuse that there’s no value in the market happens to actually be true is unfortunately in this window. Great defenders will go for ridiculous money, but more likely will stay with their club because they are doing a great job. Leicester might have got £80m for Maguire, but now Bournemouth want £75m for… Read more »

Southpaw74
Southpaw74
9 months ago

But what he don’t seem to realise is anything is got to be better than what we got now ? Surely

Southpaw74
Southpaw74
9 months ago

Tierney and loan cahill for a season as our two CB’s, just a thought ,

Jamesanation
Jamesanation
9 months ago

At least this doesn’t rule out Long John Silva coming in at CB