Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Transfer tittle-tattle: Sesko, Hartman, Bijlow, Biereth, Kiwior, Pukstas, Melia

Nobody really reads these intros, go on head straight to the juicy stuff…


Benjamin Sesko

Source: Mirror Football 
According to John Cross, Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to sign Sesko this summer despite interest from Chelsea and Manchester United. Given the managerial situation at both of those clubs, that’s not saying much. However, if we are indeed interested, it’s positive. Sesko is part of Slovenia’s squad for Euro 2024 so you imagine suitors / his agent will leave him in peace while he gears up for his first major international tournament. No doubt the rumours will continue to circulate in the meantime. One to watch.

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩💩


Quilindschy Hartman

Source: Telegraph Sport
Mike McGrath claims Arsenal hold a long-standing interest in Feyenoord’s 22-year-old left-back and could make a move for him even though he’s currently sidelined with a serious knee injury picked up at the end of March. Hartman broke through the ranks at De Kuip at the start of the 22/23 campaign and has since become a fully-fledged Dutch international, although he’ll sit out Euro 2024. He has previously acknowledged interest from Chelsea. 

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩💩💩💩


Justin Bijlow

Source: Voetbal Zone
Having been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool, that latter the destination of his recently departed Feyenoord boss Arne Slot, Bijlow has admitted he’d be tempted by a change of scene. “Would I stay at Feyenoord? You never know, do you? That’s football. You don’t know that. I’m ambitious, I’ve always said that. If the opportunity presents itself and a good club comes from abroad, I am open to it. I’ve always said that.” As we’ve mentioned before, his injury record is a concern. 

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩💩💩💩


Rokas Pukstas

Source: Mail Sport
Arsenal are one of three Premier League clubs keeping an eye on the 19-year-old American after he became a fixture in the starting lineup at Croatian side Hajduk Split. The attacking midfielder scored seven goals and made one assist in 31 appearances this season. We’re not convinced he’s the type of profile we need, especially given some of the talent coming through the academy ranks.

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩


Mason Melia

Source: Evening Standard
Simon Collings reports that Arsenal want to sign the St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder when he turns 18. Unfortunately, he’s only 16 and Brexit rules means he’s not allowed to move to England until he’s had at least two more birthdays. On a semi-related note, our resident Arsenal youth expert, Jeorge Bird, reports that the Gunners are soon to open a new ‘development facility’ in Northern Ireland. We’re speculating but perhaps the club are plotting a workaround for these types of signings from the Republic?

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩


Youssouf Fofana

Source: L’Equipe

It’s claimed Arsenal are one of four clubs to have held talks with the 25-year-old midfielder who is out of contract at the Stade Louis II in a year’s time. Honestly, it feels like our name has just been chucked in here to pad things out. We doubt there’s anything in it.

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩


Mika Biereth

Source: Kronen Zeitung
The Danish publication claims Arsenal rejected Sturm Graz’s attempts to sign Biereth in March (the Austrians have since scheduled another meeting) and Mikel Arteta plans to include the striker in his squad for the pre-season tour of the USA. That doesn’t rule out an exit – see Folarin Balogun last year – but it’s interesting that the manager wants to take another look at him. Given most of our attackers will be at major tournaments in June/July, he might even get some minutes. It’s said Bologna are also keeping tabs on his situation.

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩


Jakub Kiwior

Source: Tutto Mercato

It was only a matter of time before the Italian media started rubbing their thighs in the direction of the Pole. This is the third consecutive transfer window he’s been linked with a return to Serie A and, again, it’s AC Milan coveting his qualities. To be fair, if we sign a left-back, it’s not inconceivable that we cash in, but it would be surprising.

Poo-o-meter: 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩

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Only came here for the intro…


Me too. Very disappointing!

Mayor McCheese

At my age, I can’t head to the juicy stuff without a long intro.


So you’re both old and pattiless these days McCheese?

Mayor McCheese

A book that’s never been written about me: So Patty Got Up.


Does it flip the narrative?


Cheezta – you have my sympatti



At my age I need to get straight to the juicy stuff, too long of an intro and and there’s not enough energy left for the juicy stuff!

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

You need to thank Arteta for the mood around here. We use to give the maximum of downvotes to all “I am the first one !!!”.


That’s not what the comment was about


Which I suppose might prove Andrew’s point, maybe you skipped the intro? 🙂

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Lol, did it now.


I just checked the intro after I saw this comment!


Where players like Sesko are concerned, given the other interest is from Manchester United and Chelsea, the decisive point could be the club’s participation the Champions League.
For all their wealth the other clubs can only offer 8 year contracts and silly salaries as dictated by their no nothing American ownners.

Johnny 4 Hats

I just think we must be such an attractive option for a CF.

I mean, we have Saka checking inside and whipping balls to the back post, Martinelli racing to the byline and smashing crosses in, the best number 10 in world football, ball playing, creative full backs and Declan fricking Rice.

But then there’s this gaping great Jan Koller sized hole where a CF should be.

I just think any striker would be looking at our setup and licking his lips.


We already have “any striker”, actually 3-4 of them. I think the role has to be thought through. Do we want the powerful Giroud type, the running-from-behind Saka type, the simply is always-in-the-right-place van Nistelroy type or the drilling Gabriel Jesus-ish warrior?

Arsenal has a history of buying attackers (Podolsky, Källström) they really did not know how to use.

Eric Blair

Pretty sure Arteta and Edu are thinking things through.

Johnny 4 Hats

I actually am front seat on the Sesko bang bus after doing a bit of research. He’s really big and strong and great in the air. But he clocks in as fast as Mbappe. He’s 21 years old which is a great age profile to slowly find his feet in the team. And thanks to Kai, we don’t need someone to hit the ground running. And the most important thing – he’s scored everywhere he’s been. He’s a proper striker. Not a WF / CF. Not a ball playing CF. Not a false 9. Just an out-and-out killer. Plus, £50m… Read more »


50m isn’t such a steal for a big, fast, goal-scoring youngster who’s been at a number of clubs, when we already have Biereth who is exactly that!
Surely they have to give the lad a run – he’s done everything that’s ever been asked of him.

Dr. Gooner

The way the CF role is interpreted at Arsenal actually doesn’t really suit Sesko. If you look at our position maps, the striker often has a deeper starting position than the wingers. The idea is that the CF sucks defenders to him, opening space for others behind him, or is allowed to control the ball and advance up the pitch. It doesn’t platform the CF as a goal scorer. The role Sesko has thrived in to date is really the Martinelli role, the outlet role, which would release him into green grass where he can use his stride and his… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Arteta is constantly evolving his playing style in order to get the best out of his current players.

I do agree that a phase of this was playing a deep, creative CF. But don’t expect the system not to change.

And, as we know, Arteta is all about horses for courses. Some games probably won’t suit Sesko. But I think many will, especially given that 90% of teams play a low block against us.

Dr. Gooner

The low block is just what doesn’t suit him

Johnny 4 Hats

6″5′ and a great header of the ball.

Never did any harm when you can’t pick the lock with intricacy.

Dr. Gooner

Yes, he wins headers but that’s not his game. I promise I’m not trying to rain on your parade. I like him too. This is not a penalty box striker though. His associative play and creativitiy is not a strong suit. This is not Giroud or Zlatan. He wants space behind. He needs space behind. Look at his touch map. This guy carries the ball up the pitch on the flanks like Nico Jackson for Chelsea, he has that kind of range, but then he’s more skillful than Jackson. I know people will hate the comparison because NJ looks… Read more »


As I’ve said above, I’d far rather use the 50m elsewhere and give Biereth a few soft starts to see what the lad can do. He’s young, he’s big, he’s fast, he scores… and he’s ours.

Dr. Gooner

Yes, I agree, check my post below, big fan of the purchase at the quoted price. I don’t do binary analysis; all players have strengths and flaws.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I suppose the big question is, “is he coachable?”
There have been occasions this season where if Kai had that extra yard of pace, then he’d have been in.
If we could coach Sesko to do what Kai does for us – then we’d have a player who is a even taller and faster than Kai and can bring the same qualities… Last seasons heat map is not a metric of where they can fit in for us – try comparing Ben whites 2023/24 heat map to the one from his last season at Brighton


My point is – why are we in for a hulking, goal-hungry 20 year old when we have Biereth, who’s not really ever put a foot wrong in his development?

Hold what you have, Edu!


Oh boy, as a czech gunner, thanks for mentioning Big Dino 🙂


See Mudryk. Money talks. Agents influence players heavily.


I’m just here to say that non-intro “intro” was amazing.


I see Key and Peele have moved from the college gridiron naming game into real football. “Quilindschy” “Hartman” is not fooling anybody. And I have my eye on you too Justine Bigelow.

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

I swear one more word out of you A A Ron..


Am I the only one who is completely underwhelmed by Sesko? Sure he’s got some goals this season with some hit and miss finishing. But I’ve watched him live, and all the comps, and he doesn’t look like an Arsenal player to me. He’s got physical ability, but different to Havertz, has a bad touch for a big man. He struggles to keep the ball, and the data says he doesn’t pass or create, so what would he do here? We already have a 6ft4 lad in Kai who actually does keep the ball and combine. I haven’t seen anywhere… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You know the big Belgian guy’s name is Lukaku not Sesko, right?


Agreed, Zirkzee too.


I know very little about him, but I have thought watching the highlight reels (I know this is a dumb way of passing judgement on a player but I have no other choice!) that the vast majority of his goals he simply doesn’t score in the Prem. Most of them looked pretty untidy and a fair few thought the goalkeeper did poorly to not save them.
That said, John Cross has an awful record with transfer ‘news’. He’s barely a step up from the BBC gossip column.


The only reason I have any interest in Sesko is growth. He should get quite a lot better, but that’s a hope. Zirksee, I just don’t see it. I see Chamakh in Zirksee – I think with him it’s all his agent generating buzz (Agent: Kia J; nuff said). I’d still love to see us spend big on Isak, who could operate from left or forward (potentially even from the right a little). World class player. But it seems Newcastle are intent on not selling. Thus, I guess spending less on a project makes probably more sense. Even more sense… Read more »


Spending 50m on ‘growth’ is lunacy when we’ve been growing our very own giant, power-striker in Mika Biereth for the past 2/3 seasons?

Dr. Gooner

MIka is not that guy.

Dr. Gooner

Assuming the rumors are true, and I think they are, here’s how I see it. Sesko has been variously compared to Haaland, although he lacks that type of ruthlessness and sheer power, and to Lewandowski, although he lacks that kind of finesse in his finishing. He is some kind of hybrid of those two player types, a raw diamond based on his prodigious physical and technical attributes. He is feasting on Bundesliga defenses at age 20, showing burst, power, ability to link play and a relentless appetite for eating up the grass in front of him. He’s also a high… Read more »


We already have Mika Biereth – untried as yet… surely you test him before burning 50m on a very similar player?

Dr. Gooner

Not a professional, but I do my homework. This is how I scouted MB: This is what I see on tape at 3 different clubs: -Unsustainably high recent conversion rate inflates perception of his game: 8 goals for Sturm off 1.6 shots per game in 18 appearances. A top striker in that league should be having twice that many shots. -Impressive strong foot ball striker, good improvised finisher even through contact, certainly can score at all levels -Underwhelms physically even against weaker competition despite good size; not enough spring or balance, doesn’t show separation when carrying -More of a box… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

You’re not mate, poor man’s Havertz.


And we already have Mika Biereth knocking on the first team squad door!

Emi Rates

“despite interest from Chelsea and Manchester United”

Here’s how this goes:

Sesko joins Chelsea/Man U and turns into a massive flop. Man U eventually send him on loan to a decent club for calling the manager a clueless cunt where suddenly he starts to fulfill his true potential.

Sesko joins Arsenal and blossoms into a world class striker whose value doubles in two years.


Small correction – Kronen Zeitung isn’t a Danish publication, it’s Austrian

Master Floda

It’s the Austrian version of the Daily Mail

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Watched an interview Auba gave this week. He seems to say that it is difficult for a CF to score a lot of goals in the system that Arteta plays. Himself was scoring more goals from left wing position. Knowing that Arteta himself insists on goal sharing, should we expect a CF to score more than 25 goals a season under Arteta, a system that creates opportunities for wingers? Knowing Haaland breaks all goal scoring records under Guardiola, how is Arteta different from Guardiola?

Dr. Gooner

It’s especially difficult for a CF like him, but in fairness Lacazette, Nketiah and Jesus have also struggled at times. He does ask the CF to occupy defenders, to drop deep in the build at times and to play with back to goal, because the focal point is not the CF, it’s Bukayo Saka, rightfully so. Havertz has thrived in that role in part because he is so well suited to being that type of “off ball” CF who demands attention, can win duels, occupies his markers, and is still a threat despite mainly functioning to open space for others.… Read more »


It’s no accident that Auba’s goal-decline coincided neatly with his ascent into a lazy, prima-donna.


Hartmann is a very interesting player, really full of running and pretty physical ad a defender, but he really could be someone who is technically strong enough to play in midfield with the proper coaching.

Brian Dawes

Arsenal will be linked with about 300 players prior to and during the transfer window. It’s all 98% bullshit. Players, agents and selling Clubs will be the worse culprits because Arsenal never confirm or deny transfers. Believe it only when you see the player signing his contract along side Edu or Arteta.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Poor Robbie, he has to do this every year.


Poor Robbie!

Spanish Gooner

There was an interesting set of videos that Monchi (sevilla d.o.f) did in the quarantine where basically he said all 300 of the agent stories are true, in that they are constantly in communication with hundreds of players at any given time but will only sign 2/3 based on the feedback they get from those communications. If Jorginho breaks his leg on August 31st, we’d better have the name and number of a squad option DM available on a short term deal there and then. That means we need to talk to 20 different “good, not great” DMs in the… Read more »


Yea makes total sense. Good insight, explains alot.

Eric Blair

You’ve just ruined my summer!


Wow check out Nwaneri’s stunner! At 48 seconds


Nice, but same old England losing on pens to Italy!


What if… we would add only 2 players:
Sesko and Alphonso Davies?

Keep ESR but sell Tierney, Nketiah, Lokonga, Tavares, Nelson, Vieira.
That is 109m Euro, according to – while Sesko + Davies are “only” 100m combined

If Arteta would be able to convince Jesus to accept a role where he’d be used alternetely in the front 3 – we would have a complete, experienced but also very young squad.

Le Sulk

If we could only add 2 players, why would one of them be Davies? Left back is nowhere near our most urgent need.

Also, you and I both know, we aren’t getting 109m Euro in from sales for those players, regardless of their valuation on Transfermarkt. If only!


On the contrary, in my opinion.
I think the reason why Zinchenko was left out of the starting 11 in the latter part of the season (when Tomiyasu bacame available) was because his defensive play was far from enough against the top wingers.
But on the other hand – as a right-sided / right footed FB/CB Tomi is weaker in going forward (or playing as an inverted FB on the left).

I think that is one of the main reasons our team were so right-sided throughout the season.

Dr. Gooner

Well the right sided bias is because of Bukayo Saka. The whole offense in settled play is centered on freeing him up to work his magic. The left side winger is a bit of a poacher and the left side defender has really been a LCB. So if that’s going to continue then you don’t really need or want a ball dominant offensive LB except as a plan B in certain situations. If Mikel wants to be more balanced next season then that’s a possibility but I think he would want to add a more solid presence defensively than Davies… Read more »


I agree in your sales list, also for the sake of the players. Nketiah might be a sensation in for instance Germany.


What about Ademola Lookman? He was the best Nigerian in the Afcon and scored a hat trick for Atalanta in the Europa League final.

As African players go, he is not very fond of playing the ball to team mates, but he could be a powerful weapon in Arsenal’s attack.

Like White and Rice

The Sesko Kid, he was a friend of mine…

Lord Bendnter

Where’s Mbappe? I’m pretty sure we are signing Mbappe. When we do you can back to this post and show me the appreciation I deserve.


Mbappe and Bendnter up top. Ying and Yang. LETS DO IT

Lord Bendnter

This account has been permanently deactivated.


One has to ask… so we’re in for Sekso – a 6’5 striker who’s only 20 but has a load of potential.
That pretty much describes Mika Biereth – who hasn’t put a foot wrong thus far throughout his development… yet who we’re apparently wanting to sell???



Don’t trust anything Voetbalzone publishes.

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