According to BILD, Arsenal are interested in signing Jonathan Tah from Bayer Leverkusen this summer.

The centre-half has been vaguely linked with us in the past, but with defensive recruitment key as Mikel Arteta looks to rebuild the squad for a new campaign, the German international’s name has come to the fore.

Standing 6’4 (195cm), he’d certainly add some presence to the heart of our defence, and at 24 he’d be the right kind of age profile for a team which has David Luiz – who will be 33 in April but until then remains 32 because that’s how it work – and 31 year old Sokratis as key players.

The Gunners did bring in Pablo Mari from Flamengo during the January transfer window, and while it is nominally a loan, the expectation is that he will sign on a permanent basis assuming his spell between now and May isn’t a complete disaster.

Arteta has been playing Shkodran Mustafi in recent weeks, providing a surprising rehabilitation for the German who had been left out in the cold under Unai Emery due to a succession of high profile mistakes. There was evidence of that flaw to his game when his poor pass led to the Luiz red card against Chelsea, but in general he has played well.

Many fans will remain circumspect, however, having seen similar displays from the former Valencia and Sampdoria man in the past, before disaster strikes again.

Arsenal have also been strongly linked with Disgustingly Sweet Energy Drink Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. He is widely coveted by many European clubs, and the young Frenchman spoke about his future, saying, “I will now focus first on RB Leipzig and then on what I want to do afterwards. But there are some clubs that love me.

“I will talk to my advisor and my parents about it at the end of the season. We will make the right choice.”

He should be in action tonight when Leipzig take on Sp*rs in the Champions League, hopefully giving them a Turkey’s bumhole, i.e – a right stuffing.

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Why! All our links are Defenders.?


probably because that’s what we need.

pierre lacapeppe

3 RBs, 3 LBs, 5 CBs, not including Saliba, Mavropanos and Mari.Still not enough?

Ya Gooner

We need midfielders more


Ah.. The old quality v quantity debate…

David C

Luiz, Sokratis, Mustafi. Let’s say you’re keeping only 1, who do you pick? I’d probably keep Luiz because he’s good for the dressing room.


Mavropanos is looking like he sadly may not mmake the grade. Saka clearly wants to move up the pitch, while AMN has- much as I like him- not shown enough for me to be considered more than emergency RB cover. I expect one of Luiz or Sokratis to leave this summer. We have no idea how Chambers (or really even Holding) will react to rehab. There’s no point doing it on numbers- if he’s an upgrade, buy him. Simple as that.


there is a small point to numbers as the players themselves won’t stay if they can see 5 defenders ahead of them for the starting 2 spots.

But I agree, with mustafi/luiz/sokratis going to be leaving very soon I think more defensive recruitment is smart.

Lucas Sam

Bar some exception, CB tend to be a late blooming position as you amass experience. It thrives on positioning, reading of the game, composure, etc most of which comes with age. Don’t chalk him off yet. At worse we can extract decent money out of him.

Steve Morpurgo

When you have a strikeforce like we have, what are you suggesting our ‘links’ should be?


This question is a joke, right?

Faisal Narrage

I remember hearing about this dude.
cant believe he’s only 24 still.

but surely we can’t defend all the defenders in the world. I’m also still hopeful on Mavropanos.


I used to buy this guy on career mode on fifa 16. He got to like 88 if you played him on the reg. Therefore I can see absolutely no reason why we don’t do everything we can to get him. I mean, an 88 in our team. And Billy Saliba will be like, I dunno, 92 when he gets good. Imagine that. A fucking 88 and a 92 at CB. Man, this team would be so sick if it was fifa. Sweet. We should totally sign this guy. Eighty fucking eight. Go get him Edu.


10/10 analysis

DB10s Air Miles

I wish I could up vote this more.

Da Boss

This made me laugh so much I dropped my cashews. Excellent work my friend.


Jesus that’s proper analysis mate….very interesting. Hope it happens as I sense an MA summer clearout i.e Mustafi and Sokratis


They call him The Bear*.

Strong and a real unit, but also a surprisingly good ball-player. He fits the profile we need. I would still love to sign Upamecano, but I guess we’ll need to win the Europa League to stand a chance there.

*Maybe this is a nicknamed earned at certain notorious underground German nightclubs.

Cultured determination

Tell him no bear hugs in the box though


”There are some clubs that love me”.

Hold on. We’re still on our first date. Don’t make any assumptions before we’ve even had dinner!~


“first date”?

We haven’t even got that far, in truth we’re still making small talk at the bar…


We’re not even at the bar…right now we are the stalker in the bushes outside his house

Evang. Simon

Until summer I remain coy on any speculation

Cape Town Gooner

There’s going to have to be a massive clear out at some point… By my count we’ve got 8 CBs on the books. Mavropanos will probably be back on loan next year (or sold), and Chambers will be out for the majority of the season, but even then we’ll struggle to give adequate game time to the six currently on the books, without any reinforcements. You’d have to anticipate that Saliba will be getting time, and unless Mari’s loan is a disaster, he must be in the plans. Luiz will be in his final year and unlikely to be shifted,… Read more »

The Voice of the Noise

I could see Sokratis getting moved on in the summer. It might not be for much, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

On an unrelated note, I’m travelling to Cape Town in a few weeks actually!
Got any advice for a first-time Cape Town traveller? Any recommendations? 🙂

G Man

Hi I am from Cape Town. You should definitely try out fish on the rocks in hout Bay. Best fish and chips and an amazing view of the ocean with mountain in the background. If you want to experience what the locals eat you should get a gatsby.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Well, I’ll eat my hat!!!


Do the hike up Table Mountain to watch the sunset. Breath taking

Mesut O’Neill

Avoid the bat soup


Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden! Top notch!


Yeah, don’t go


How about we sign someone (tall and athletic) like Gilberto or Petit who will protect the defence from midfield?

Currently it’s like having to buy lots of socks (and being unhappy with them) because we don’t buy a pair of shoes.


I think we should buy socks and shoes


Generally yes, though with Luiz, Sokratis, Holding, Chambers, Saliba, Mavropanos, Mustafi and Mari we may have to keep a lot in a drawer and not use them.

Better to sell some and get one set of Petit or Gilberto shoes.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We do seem to have a few odd socks. 🙂


he looks like troy deeney


Really surprised by the aggressive rebuild of the back line.

No one’s safe, besides Saliba and Chambers who can’t go anywhere (for vastly different reasons). Everyone else could easily find themselves gone, even Mari may not end up staying past his loan spell.

People always criticized the safety and comfort of London Colney and life in general as an Arsenal player, sure doesn’t sound that way anymore!


Great point 👍


I know this and this only, he’s an absolute Unit


No testicles?

Cultured determination

How many centre backs do we need? Luiz sokratis holding chambers mustafi mavropanos mari saliba.
7 players for 2 positions next season.
Im more interested to ses who leaves.


Some good ones?

Vince Parsnips

He’s a magnificent defender, exactly the type we should be looking to bring in. I expect him to come with a bloody hearty price tag though


If we buy any more CB’s it should be absolute top level, or potential to be that. We have way too many just about decent CB’s, it is getting ridiculous, no team can have 9 first team CB’s. Mustafi (even though has been better) has to go, so do Sokratis, we know their level, in long run not good enough. Keep Luis for experience for one more year, Chambers will be out most of season anyway. Keep one of Mari or Holding, not both. New monster CB, Saliba, Luis, Mari/Holding, if possible would loan Mavro out for another full season,… Read more »

Ya Gooner

Holding is still young so and has just come back from acl tear. Maybe loan him next season, if anything it will increase his price tag

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Tried to sign him on football manager years ago, hopefully we get him now.

Enough of the “he’s .. in april but until then remains .. because that’s how it works” please.


People who crack lame jokes about being X years old by a certain month but remains X-1 years old before that because that’s how it works, is stupid until he becomes clever and stop making lame jokes because that is how it works.


Just because a joke is lame now, doesn’t mean it can’t become clever. But until it does, it remains lame, because that’s how it works.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

If the joke doesn’t work, then it works, because that’s how it works.

Thierry Walcott

Don’t lie… That joke might become lame sometime in the future but it is still funny right now until it’s lame… That’s how it works


It’s been lame for over two years now.


Range of stats on whoscored seems to indicate similar level to Upemacano.


Zagadou anyone…?

Chipper 49

Push pineapple…?


Push pineapple, shake the tree.


Upamecano is suspended for the Sp*rs game tonight, unfortunately. I watched him in the bundesliga last week and he looks the real deal. Dominant.


Not on topic but Mustafi stats comparable to any defender in Premiership.

One stat he lets himself down on is accuracy of his short passing


after the shit they pulled with the xhaka deal, i say we steer clear of leverkuzen


We’re not short on numbers at centre half, we’re short on quality.

We’ve got Sokratis, Holding, Chambers, Luiz, Mustafi, Saliba, Mavropanos, and the option to buy Mari, that’s 7 possibly 8 centre half’s, on our books for next season.

I don’t know if Tah is any good?

But if we sign Mari! We’d need to clear 4 permanently before we looked at bringing in another.

We should certainly be looking for quality over quantity, our centre half options are pretty average, there’s no value selling average players and replacing them with average players.

SLC Gooner

If Mustafi can reduce his catastrophic error rate, there’s a pretty good argument for keeping him. He’s a fairly good CB outside of that. Everyone, even Van Dijk, will make an occasional error. Mustafi just needs to get the number down. And we probably have to keep at least one of Chambers or Holding to keep homegrown numbers up. Chambers might be the better option, as he can cover at FB and CDM. Meaning Mavro, Sok, and Luiz could all go if we get this guy? At this point though, I’d say a top level central midfielder is higher on… Read more »


Can’t disagree… I’m wondering if there are any issues with Sokratis in terms of commitment. He hasn’t been played over last 3 matches. To select a Mustafi-Luiz combination over using Sokratis could mean something… We will keep one of Luiz or Sokratis if that’s the case. We may still cash out on Mustafi if there is a buyer 9which will be helped by up turn in performance. Particularly if good points aside (and there are many) he still has calamity DNA imprinted somewhere… Holding is a big question mark. There’s nothing terribly wrong with him physically (some people prefer to… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Ask not if we wanted Emre Can, but if Emre Can wanted us.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t.

Right now we’re a team with little chance of being in the Europa League and next to no chance to play in the Champions League next season. We are not attractive to established top players. You can wish for any player you want, but its not happening until we have guaranteed top level competitions to compete (not just be) in.


Anybody think Arteta may toy with a 3-4-3 next season? Especially in event we move away from a 4-2-3-1 with a 10 in the hole.

Back three of Tierney, CB1, CB2

Midfield four of Saka, CM1, CM2, Bellerin

Front three of Martinelli, Auba, Pepe

I suspect Tierney could fulfill the underlapping full back role.that Nacho Monreal executed so well when Wenger reverted to that system.

We will retain the ability to play the modern 3-2-5 system with runners from deep making up the front five with fluidity.


A little too defensive for Arteta I suspect. Plus we cannot be dogmatic with ‘formation’. Most teams we play in league sit back and hold tight lines. We do not need 3 at the back for them, if anything we need to commit more forward whilst holding a discipline line. Arteta has partially solved this with Granit dropping left effectively giving us 3 screening but also 3 playmakers from deep. Which is likely another reason why Luiz and Mustafi have been preferred bc of their ability (along with granit) from the back line to lob balls from deep. Most other… Read more »


Much of this also depends on attacking and defensive phases. People tend to get confuse and interpret it as a 3 -2-5.

BUT it rarely is. This tends to be used when we are laying seige in an attacking phase when a team decides to constrict space and defend in depth hoping to spring on the counter.

BUT defensively we will then be in a 4-5-1 as much as a 5-4-1

Nominally the system employed will still be either 4-3-3 or with the midfield iverted and one of the deeper midfielders pushing forward to press higher.


Soooo many defenders. Wonder what’s going on with Sokratis. has not featured last 3 matches. Holding clearly unconvincing to the gaffer besides the usual crowd who prefer to believe otherwise. Luiz a panic buy I can’t see us reliant on past this season. Frankly should not have been left in the position to have to buy him last summer. Mustafi surprisingly (to some people) still be relied on. As I mention he has some good qualities many prefer to ignore. But its the poor qualities that is the worry. Can Arteta really improve on them. Then there is Saliba and… Read more »

Tasmanian Jesus

Ok, now i wonder. When does Sokratis turn32, and why isnt he 32 yet?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He’s enjoying 31 too much. He’s been getting plenty of rest and a great seat for watching Arsenal games. Wouldn’t we all love that?