Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A Mari-age of convenience? Arsenal court Udinese right-back

According to Italian publication Il Messaggero Veneto, Arsenal are keeping tabs on Udinese’s right-back Nahuel Molina and could use Pablo Mari as a makeweight in a potential summer deal.

Molina, 24, joined the Bianconeri on a free transfer in 2020 after four years in and around the Boca Juniors first team and quickly established himself as a regular at the Dacia Arena.

His performances during his debut season in Serie A didn’t go unnoticed with the player earning selection to the Argentina national team – he would go on to win the Copa America last summer – and an improved deal.

In this campaign, he’s scored seven goals and made four assists in 32 appearances, which is no mean feat for a defender.

His form has attracted a number of suitors – Inter Milan and Juventus amongst them – and his value has rocketed towards the €30 million mark.

It’s said that Arsenal could bring the price down by including Mari, currently on loan at Udinese, as part of the deal. The Spaniard is enjoying his time in Italy and has already expressed an interest in extending his stay.

The big question heading into the summer is whether Arsenal would want to spend big money on a right-back?

Takehiro Tomiyasu has made a real impact at Emirates Stadium since joining from Bologna although his injury issues have taken a shine off his bright start.

Cedric has provided solid enough backup to date but you suspect we could be tempted to upgrade even with Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles due to return from their loans and a couple of youngsters waiting in the wings.

Is Molina in our sights? We’re experienced enough to know that most ‘swap deal’ talk is utter guff. That’s not to say the player isn’t on the move. Udinese have already secured a long-term replacement in Derby’s 19-year-old right-back Festy Ebosele.

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Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Where’s the meter that counts shit?

Johnny 4 Hats

Sp*rs are using it to count their shots on target.


No shit? Not recently anyway.


To count how long it’s been from their last trophy?


The poo meter would not work. It only goes up to 10.

Actually tried to upvote this twice. No shit.

Hahahaha…the poo meter!😆


Asking the important questions 💪

Johnny 4 Hats

No need. Three words.





Bit early for him though…
I think the idea is to sell Saliba for big money to help fund striker purchases and use Tomi as back-up centre back and rotational option with a new right back.

Man Manny

We would be foolish to sell Saliba now… unless he insists on going.

Diaby's Left Peg

I imagine Tomi will stay first choice in the 433.

Think a 4 of White, Gabriel, Holding, Saliba has everything we want at cb, with Saliba and White able to cover rb if needed.

Johnny 4 Hats

We’ve got Cedric. And from what I’ve seen, the BNC is ready for league cup football at a minimum. The boy is 18 and shrugging off grown men like there’s a fly on his shoulder. Scary.


I would tend to agree. But I also thought a Holding-Gabriel-Saliba-Mari rotation was a good one and that we should focus our resources on strengthening central midfield last summer.

Plus, between Nketiah and Balogun, and selling Bellerin, I’m not sure how much Arteta cares for the academy (unless it produces automatic starboys).

Viv The Goat

Bellerin and Nketiah really weren’t going anywhere. And we could see Balogun wasn’t ready to be reliable in some sort this season.


Lol lots of hate for mentioning Saliba’s departure. Honestly though, I don’t think Arteta fancies him and he’s one of the few dispensable players we have that could raise a decent transfer fee…

Viv The Goat

Downvotes are the “sell Saliba” effect. I’m open to both, but I just see him becoming a really really good player at some stage. And would suck to see that at the wrong club.


I think it’s just people sick of comments reverting back to Saliba! So many seem to be upset that he’s getting good development elsewhere. Clearly he’s not going to be sold, we need a decent squad next season.

Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

Clearly? How can you be so sure? Arteta was similarly reserved when questioned about Willock last season following his good form.

It also doesn’t bode well that communication between Saliba and Arteta has been lacking. Let’s also not forget that Arsenal weren’t even the ones who organised his loan to Marseille.

Tomaury Bischfeld


Man Manny

This story is not worth the time it took to put it together. Why would we need a new right back who apparently will not be satisfied with a bench role when we already have Tomiyasu?
Besides, there are more pressing needs in the team right now.


Just because a RB is down the list of what we need doesn’t mean it isn’t news. If Arsenal are inquiring about a player, then I would like to know about it, whether i agree with it or not.


If Arsenal are interested, I can’t see it happening if Juventus are also interested.


Ya, a Vlahovic esquire


Yeah we need to think like Man City when they tricked Man U into signing Ronaldo. Hmmmm, did we do that to Sp*rs with Emerson? Although to be fair, Juve have been rubbish and their signings aren’t working out.

Alex Manninger

Definitely an upgrade to Cedric and would fit good with a back 3.
Priority is up front ofc, but we need more than that and in the end it’s all about the right price and our ability to sell certain players. Mari + 20 Mio € would be not too bad, if we are able to sell Bellerin and Cedric. But selling players somehow seems to be the hardest part for us…

Morrisey fan #1

Anything involving a part exchange deal is a red flag to me. I can’t remember that happening in the last decade except for miki who we weren’t even after.

Naked Cygan

I really feel we need to be looking for a solid LB cover for Tierney. You know next season he will be out for long spells again. Some players are unfortunately injury prone. Also Tavares is not at any level to play left back in the premier league or championship or the San Marino super league. He is to raw, rash and inexperienced defensively. Going forward he is great to watch, but in defence …..no fking way.


Cedric is not good enough, we need and upgrade whether it’s this lad or Spence etc…..

A Different George

I didn’t think that Bellerin’s return was even a possibility. I can’t imagine that he will want to come back, but if he does that solves the right back problem completely without buying someone like Molina. It would allow both injury back-up and rotation for Tomiyasu, and allow Tomiyasu to play as a third centre half or as backup to Ben White. I am one of those who always rated Cedric quite a bit higher than most people, but Hector would be a huge improvement. Plus, he is a genuine leader in the dressing room.


No way bellerin is coming back mate.


In theory fine. But 1) no way is he coming back to play backup 2) waste of wages to have him on the bench

Viv The Goat

The loan was his good bye from the start. Betis just couldn’t afford him etc. Bellerin was going nowhere a year ago and needed a reboot.


Clearly we’re the ones who should be in for Feisty Eboue!


Exactly my thought


Is he Spanish or Argentinian?


Guess what ? P. Mari just scored for udinese against florentina ……lets do business


I’m just pissed we missed out on Festy!

Timorous Me

Would have been a Festyvus miracle! Alas, now we just have one additional grievance to air.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Would have been great to have a Festy-fal and a Partey.


Like how mikel had managed KT’s injuries he can do the same with Tomi. It’s smart management to change the structure of the team to cater to players injury and training loads. KT doesn’t bomb up the wing anymore because her use instructed to tactically but also his loading and recovery will be manageable for repeated games. The team really did a great job with him before he went to play for Scotland. Don’t forget Tomi has similar situation in that he had already a high load and not much pre season before his injury and reinjury. I can imagine… Read more »


I hope Ainsley stays. What a terrific option to have in midfield or either full back position. Hector just won the Copa Del Rey so I think he might move on in a permanent deal.


I kind of do too. He had some great performances for us at rb, lb, and midfield. All positions we clearly need cover for. I love his quiet aggression. He is a fighter just not a demonstrative one. Academy boy, our ice cold 5th pen taker in any shootouts, and Swiss Army knife deluxe. Can’t imagine people will beat down his door after the year he’s had at Roma either.

Arteta doesn’t fancy Ainsley at either CM or LB otherwise we wouldn’t have signed Lokonga and Tavares last summer.

Will Arteta want to keep all 4 of Partey, Xhaka, Elneny, Lokonga for next season, or upgrade one (or two) with a quality replacement now that it’s likely we’ll be in Europe next season.

We could even sign a new CM without a sale and roll into next season with 5 CM’s but then how much playing time would Lokonga get.

We almost nabbed Melo on loan in January but presumably that was just to cover Partey and Elneny at AFCON.

Diaby's Left Peg

Given we were heavily linked with Locatelli as well as Arthur I’d say we’re definitely in the market for a cm.


Jobs for the defence:

Sell Leno.
Sell Runarsaon
Make Tavares spend the summer with Nigel Winterburn and George Graham.
Bring back Saliba as 3rd choice CB.
Sell/release Bellerin
Sell/release Mavropanos
Sell AMN (regretfully).
Sell Mari


Jobs for midfield:

Renew Elneny
Buy a top level CM to start
Sell Torreira
Sell Guendouzi
Loan Lokonga out for 6 months


Jobs for attack:

Release Lacazette
Sell Pepe (regretfully)
Sell Nelson
Renew Nketiah (2 years)
Buy a first choice striker
Buy a winger who can operate on left or right side.


Cedric has not proven to be a solid enough backup. His 1k aerial crosses into the box when our options in there is one of Nketiah or Laca isn’t impressive.

He’s also erratic.

Get this guy in. I want all these players playing like their place is on the line. Tomi too. Just back from injury and we’re all certain he’s getting his place back. That what you call competition?


Oh all players on the team – I trust Tomi to always play like his place is on the line, have you seen this guy’s work ethic on the pitch? And never gets discourage. Guy is 100% all the time, in the good controlled way.

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