Friday, June 21, 2024

Sesk-off! Arsenal end striker pursuit as Slovenian commits to RB Leipzig

According to Fabrizio Romano, Benjamin Sesko has opted to sign a new contract at RB Leipzig ending speculation about a summer move to the Premier League.

It had been reported in recent weeks that Arsenal were leading the way for the Slovenia international while Manchester United and Chelsea had also made contact with the 21-year-old’s representatives.

Over recent months, the Gunners have been linked with a host of top strikers including Victor Osimhen, Victor Gyokeres, Joshua Kirkzee, Marcus Rashford, Alexander Isak but Sesko emerged from the pack.

It was suggested the player’s age, 6″5′ physique and £55 million buyout clause all appealed to Mikel Arteta who was open to offloading one of Eddie Nketiah or Gabriel Jesus to help fund the deal.

Assuming Sesko does indeed commit to RB Leipzig, Arsenal will now have to pivot their attention elsewhere. It’s not unfamiliar territory for Edu who has previously wrapped up smart deals for Jorginho and Leandro Trossard after failing to sign Moises Caicedo and Mikhaylo Mudryk respectively.

If there’s a positive, it’s that we have clarity on the situation with plenty of time to find an alternative.

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Saved the benjamins for someone else I guess


I’m very pleased with this news. Sesko is overrated. A big lummox with a poor touch. I think this is a bullet dodged, he may have physique but his overall game is lacking. At best he would be a bench option and need a lot of time and patience. Now the elephant in the room is just how ideal Isak is for us. Speed, technique, physique, and intelligence by all accounts, he’s got the lot, all across the front line. Every single person out there is saying we can’t get him. Well, why not? It’s about time we started acting… Read more »


I have my own doubts about his physique and touch. But he’s great at getting the shot away quickly. Despite our impressive number of goal scored last season, it’s something our forwards (Trossard excluded) have failed to do on multiple occasions.
If we are on the hunt for a striker, I want someone who is snappy!

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Oshimen is a Gabriel Jesus plus more goals. He defends, a fighter and difficult to handle by defenders.


I heard Ryo Miyaichi is the Japanese Messi

Crash Fistfight

He loves cones, as well.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I would have wanted Wahi but Henry didn’t even pick him for the Olympics and said he preferred others.


To the Victors goes the spoils.


you know Osimhodo predicted all this

Naked Cygan

Yes, for Jamie Vardy.

Ben Swain

Really didn’t expect this. Ah well, onto the next one, got full faith there’ll be a plan B and C


If that’s the case….
I hope we will call back Biereth. Havertz enjoys life as a no.9 after all, so let’s bring in a top, top quality young left back plus a creative midfielder with the same attributes (to ease the burden on Odegaard and to challenge ESR and/or Vieira)

Johnny 4 Hats

While I love that idea in principle, I think we need to beware the ides of Flo.

We all thought Balogun was up to the standard and, if this last season is anything to go by, that wasn’t the case.

A player banging in goals in the Scottish prem and the Austrian league may not a premier league striker make.


Flo never had the right attitude, Biereth is a totally different proposition.

Johnny 4 Hats

Flo proved himself in one of the top European leagues though.

Mika surely would need a loan in a stronger league before he becomes our nailed on backup striker?

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

How do you know?


May not, but also may do. You can just as easily judge by Saliba acing it in the French league or Gabriel before him. It can go either way. And tbf too early to make a judgment on Flo, there was a recebt article about how he’s played this season in a completely different system where he hasn’t been the focal point of the offense. Any good player can have a bad season as we’ve just seen from Martinelli. If anything I’d prefer him to do badly at this point to not feel like we were made another Gnabry there,… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

We have to get comfortable with selling our academy players for profit. Not to the Chelsea level, but much more so than now. Eddie, Reiss and ESR could have all raised significant funds and we wouldn’t have missed them last season. Sometimes they’ll go on to have success elsewhere, and that’s great! We want to be able to use that to sell Arsenal to other talented lads. It should be such a consistent production line as there is at La Masia or at Ajax. Easier said than done, but like the first team, the academy also has to become world… Read more »


Great point. It sucks to have to watch our former academy players achieve success elsewhere but that’s probably just something you have to learn to live with as a top club, we may have lost a combined 50mil on the 3 players you mention given their perceived values last summer compared to now, plus if they do end up doing well somewhere else it makes a better name for our academy and enables us to sell even better in future. Plus it was pretty clear both Reiss and Eddie weren’t going to end up being stars to the point where… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

I like to have a moan about offering both of them new contracts, but I could understand it with Eddie. We definitely couldn’t have afforded to buy a replacement for him at the time, having bought Jesus as first choice and having let Aubameyang and Lacazette leave for free. I did think we should have looked to sell him sooner, though. Same as with AMN. I think we could’ve been more ruthless previously because we didn’t have CL football, rather than the other way round – I think there was much more opportunity to ‘fudge’ it at the time and… Read more »


I also thought this. He’s been highly praised for his ability and his attitude by both his loan managers. It’s been reported that he’s going on the preseason tour to America, hopefully he gets a chance to impress there, he’s surely worth looking at.

Dr. Gooner

There’s a reason Sturm Graz, Sheffield Wednesday and Club Brugge are linked with him… that’s his level, sorry. Not a top profile physically or technically. Arsenal fans should be getting excited about Chido Obi Martin, not Biereth.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

AFTV is onto Chido leaving the club to go to Bayern. I don’t know.


Chidozie Obi-Martin leaving is worrying, like Hutchinson and more he or his advisors do NOT see a path to the 1st team squad. This is on Arteta & his refusal to use our youth players. Before anyone screams Saka, ESR, it was Emery who gave those players there chance.

Dr. Gooner

Which young player was ready to play for Arsenal last season? He gave a debut to Sagoe Jr, but there was no world class talent in the U21 group. Nwaneri has the goods but he was 16 and had Fabio and ESR ahead of him.

Also, let’s remember that Arsenal last season was competing for the UCL and the PL trophies and was in must win mode every game, while Arsenal in 2018-19 was headed for 8th place and played lots of relatively meaningless games.

Crash Fistfight

When can we start evaluating the level of talent coming through the academy under Per’s leadership?

I know we’ve had the batch of players in the current first team and there’s also Nwaneri, but they started in the academy a long time ago (presumably whilst Andries Jonker was in charge, or perhaps even before that).

It seems like we’ve been trying to ‘buy in’ youth players over recent years, which doesn’t suggest a great quality of player being produced directly.

Dr. Gooner

Yeah, this fits with what I saw on tape. Knows where the goal is, that has value, but little else.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m looking round (with my infinite wisdom haha) and I’m not liking any of the options that much. Gyokeres looks lethal but a little technically unsound and Lisbon are unlikely to do business for any less than the £85m release clause. Plus he’s still got that STI from a night out in his Coventry days. I’m not sure we have the budget for all that yogurt. Then we have Isak and Osimhen, both undeniably better strikers than Sesko at this moment in time, but likely to cost around £130m. And when we desperately need two midfielders, that sort of expenditure… Read more »

karl g

Agreed that central strikers look unappealing and I’d prefer a more versatile player. Havertz in the middle has been excellent and I think the midfield is more brittle with Partey unreliable with fitness and Jorginho getting a little older.

Spending £130m on a striker would be risky and I’m not even convinced by Osimhen, who only scored more than 20 goals in a season once. Saka outscored him last year from the wing.

Johnny 4 Hats

Totally agree. I think Havertz and GJ are easily good enough options at CF. And they both bring very different things to the side.

I think the left 8 is the most vital hole to plug, espcially if Havertz is going to be our striker. I’d go 70% of budget on a midfielder(s) and then try and find a backup RWF and LB with the rest.

But I suppose it really all depends on sales. Will T5 be willing to leave? Will we get offers for Zinny and Jesus? Very interesting summer.

Dr. Gooner

I think you’re bang on. Sesko’s appeal was largely based on cost and future projection of his elite profile. We shouldn’t buy a striker just to buy a striker, it has to be the right player. I don’t think the club is commited to a 9 at any rate. I believe the intention is more to secure a transitional monster that can unlock games with individual skill, and that can take many forms.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Havertz and GJ are easily good enough. Have you forgotten what happened this season already? It takes two games where these two misfire to not win the league.

karl g

I wouldn’t start blaming individuals. The reality is we dropped poor points against Fulham and West Ham as a team and it’s hard to keep up with the City conglomerate.

Dr. Gooner

As Mikely Arteta said, we didn’t just have a nice season, we broke all time club records. It will be really hard to improve on the season we just had.


Please get Victor Gyokeres. Far better striker.

Chennai Loves Arsenal

I still think it’s better to get someone who is already in the Premiere League

Maul Person

Sooooooo…. Isak?!

karl g

I know he’s flavour of the month, but what if Isak went back to his usual form next season. He’s not traditionally a high scoring player.

Johnny 4 Hats

Chris Wood?



John C

14 goals in 20 starts for Forest, comfortably better than any of our players this season

Johnny 4 Hats

Trust you to go against the grain.

For me, he’d just blend into the woodwork. You wouldn’t see the Wood for the Gabi’s.

He’d lumber along for a while and then just be deadwood. And he’d probably have all us fans sleeping like a log.

We’d be lucky to win the wooden spoon. Besides, Wood belongs in a Forest.

John C

14 goals from an xG of 11.9 and a npxG of 0.59 is also considerably better than any of our players and we all know these are the really important numbers when judging a player!! But on a serious note, we had a world class defence last season both collectively and individually but it was the attack where although we scored a high number of goals no one was scoring a world class number of them. We had players who went through periods, Saka had a 6 or 7 game period in the middle, Trossard 9 in the last 15… Read more »

karl g

I agree with the last bit. Martinelli had a poor season by his standards, but he is told to stay wide and most of the play goes down the right.

A Different George

I was pining for some creative humour, maple something about going out on a limb. Or else you could have gone for tragicomedy: a compilation of his misses against Man City (objectively funny, tragic for us).

Johnny 4 Hats

God, he looked like a right plank.

But maybe he was already on the beech.

Dr. Gooner

He had a wooden eye for goal, a chip off the old English block, creaked and groaned when the wind blew, wood not branch out, his fears deeply rooted, ultimately felled and floated down stream like so much Timber. A carpenter found him, sawed him into planks and blocks, now he’s part of my mantle and the rest of him is feeding the blaze that’s warming my Arsenal socks.


He’s 32. A loan deal might make sense or even a season long deal

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Why is it that nobody is talking about Toney?

Dr. Gooner

Not a good fit. Havertz already gives us most of what he would bring and the price tag isn’t worth the marginal improvement. Plus I have doubts about the culture fit. Strong doubts.

Dr. Gooner

I like Gyokeres a lot but not for the asking price.

Red Fred

No doubt have increased wages, doubled his buyout clause and will offload within a year.


Perhaps lowered the buyout clause on condition he stays another season or two. Remember how Haaland had a ridiculously low one after he stayed?


Seems like Leipzig are gambling that they have a Haaland, rather than a guy for whom £55m looked like a decent punt based on increasing his existing relatively low wages. Suddenly even paying a similar amount but doing the kind of agent dealings and wages it’ll take to extract him only looks viable if he progresses rapidly. Don’t blame the guy for staying but wonder whether this might not work quite as intended.

Absolute Camel

Isak! Isak! Isak!

Dr. Gooner

They won’t sell him for any reasonable amount…


Zirkzee looks good


Yeah but he wants Milan…

Dr. Gooner

Too similar to Havertz.

karl g

Nice player, but not a goalscorer with the kind of numbers to upstage anyone we have already.


Bummer, but we have plenty of time to find another target. And he was more one for the future than the present anyway.

If we could get Olise instead, it would be a net positive, i think

The team could look something like this:


Trossard/Martinelli Saka/Olise

Rice/Player X Ødegaard/Fabio Viera


Timber/Zinchenko Big Gabi/Kiwior Big Willy/Tomiyasu White/Tomiyasu

Raya/Player Y

Full of confidence in Edu and Arteta to figure it out.


Olise is too good and would be too expensive to be backup to Saka. I absolutely love him as a player but I don’t think he fits in our team.

It Is What It Is

Fun fact: Olise and Eze were once on our books.

I’d be content with any three of Mitoma, Wharton, Luiz, Timber, Isak or Leao.


We won’t get even one of them


Olise is too injury prone and I hear from insiders he’s a bit of a risk to the dressing room with his oddness/awkwardness.

Give me Nico Jackson; practically two footed, pacey and can play both wings seamlessly.

Dr. Gooner

Love Nico Jackson, can do everything on the ball, but I have concerns about his decision making. I wouldn’t pay a premium for him.

Dr. Gooner

God, Nico Williams, not Jackson.

karl g

In my mind he missed just about every opportunity he got, but still managed 17 goals last season.

Dr. Gooner

Haha, I wasn’t even talking about him, I keep mixing him and Nico Williams up. I think the original post was about the Bilbao winger, not the Chelsea striker.


Somewhat disappointing but it is what it is. My personal preference would be for a more versatile forward, someone that can play alongside Havertz on the wing (ideally the left) as well as slotting in at CF. Basically someone like Isak, if not Isak.

John C

People keep saying that Isak is a winger, can someone tell me the last time Isak played on the wing? I don’t think he’s played a single Premier League match as a winger.

Newcastle do actually have a excellent player that plays on the wing, and across the entire front line, Anthony Gordon. If i was to buy one player from Newcastle he’d be the one


He’s had games there when they’ve played Wilson up top. Admittedly, due to Wilson’s injury issues and the emergence of Gordon, he’s primarily played CF this season, but I think he would be capable of playing wide for us given that Havertz likes to drift away from CF anyway.

I do like Gordon as a player btw but at this stage I don’t think he would quite move the needle enough for us given what we already have.

John C

From what I can see Isak only played centre forward this season and scored 21 goals (5 penalties).

I’m always curious to understand why people think 16 open play goals from centre forward is going to translate to a similar number from the wing, especially as they don’t actually player there?

If he can score that number from anywhere why don’t we just put him a left back and have him score 16 from there?


Have you watched him play? Genuine question, not being snide. I think he has it in him to be one of the best players in the world in the next few years. He’s seriously quick, strong, has great positioning, really good finishing, incredible control and dribbling ability, and great vision. Plus he has that Thierry-esque swagger in spades. The only big question mark for me is injuries- he missed two whole months of this past season, and almost four of the season before (though part of that was the WC so didn’t miss a tonne of games). Which partly explains… Read more »

John C

He’s a great player but I don’t think we need a striker and I don’t think he’s a winger and ultimately I don’t think he wins us the league. I don’t think he’s actually an improvement on Havertz, especially if the 9 goals in the final 13 matches is representative of his progression. I think our need is a left 8 and more generally making our attacking potency on the left side is the most obvious area of improvement and where we should focus our resources. As I said if I could pick anyone from Newcastle it would be Gordon,… Read more »


Fuck Gordon already


Agree on injuries being a big concern. Regarding PSR, I believe Newcastle are also in a very tough spot with their finances, one that’s gotten tougher given that they’ve not got European football next season. So who knows, a deal could be doable.


Many if not most of his goals have come from him drifting into the middle from the left channel and I believe he could replicate that as a LW for us, as well as being an alternative for Havertz at CF. His intelligence, pace and dribbling skills mean he’s well adapted to either role. And if we couldn’t get him, ideally we’d be on the lookout for someone similarly versatile and potent imo.

John C

I don’t think that’s how it works, there’s a difference drifting to the left and starting on the left.

How effective will he be being asked to track back or maintain the width?

Not for me I’m afraid


He plays quite a bit on the wing for Newcastle and a lot of his best performances have been on the left wing.

John C

From what i can see he didn’t play any matches on the left wing, Anthony Gordon did, all his starts were at CF

Gervinho is Driving

Sounds like GJ.


GJ with goals (and fitness) would be the dream!

Dr. Gooner

Isak is much more like Martinelli, a direct channel runner who can finish well. Not particularly robust in duels, doesn’t really manufacture his own shots, wouldn’t back him in take ons from a standing start, haven’t seen him play with his back to goal, not sure about his heading and weak foot finishing; in other words, far from a sure thing and wouldn’t be ideal against a low block in any case. Still valuable in games that are inevitably going to be transitional, like in moments against the likes of City and the UCL, but we can find that elsewhere… Read more »

Gervinho is Driving

Love it, I hear you. “He’s the right guy except that his knee is made of wet newspaper and he can’t finish.” Why do I spend so much time thinking about RVP?


Bet we end up with Solanke


Bet we don’t. I’m sure there’s a space on the Citeh bench and they’ll pay somewhere around £115m to fill it.
This is usually where breakthrough PL stars go to rot…

karl g

Certainly not with a £65m price tag.


To be clear, I hope we don’t !

Dr. Gooner

No way. The club’s not going to buy a striker just to buy a striker and that’s what that would be.

Frog In Ze Roim

I did expect it. I didn’t see it happening and made little sense given Havertz brilliant development up there. Someone like Zikzee makes mores sense as he can play across the line up front. Also I hear doubt as to wear Declan’s best position is, but it is clear ( to me) that 8 is where Arteta fancies him, where he played all the second half of the season , and where we’ve been outstanding. In that time our 6 was Jorginho or Partey. Which makes it obvious what kind of midfielder we’re going for. My pick is Zubimendi or… Read more »

John C

For me Rice played 8 because Arteta was more comfortable with either Jorginho or Partey at 6 than Vieira or Smith-Rowe at 8 after Havertz moved up front.

I don’t understand the logic of wanting another 6 when we’ve just resigned Jorginho, why do we need another Jorginho when we’ve already got he current Jorginho?

We know Arteta currently has 3 players he trusts at 6 but we don’t know who he trusts at 8 beyond Rice or Odegaard, the obvious gap is signing another 8

El Mintero

Because Partey will likely leave this Summer so Rice could very well be starting at 6 next season with Jorginho as back up. A left 8 is then a definite priority as is a left back.

Dr. Gooner

Rice had issues with ball progression from the 6 against well organized mid blocks (notably, Fulham in October, Porto home game). In general he’s an accomplished passer, but finding ways to dictate the game from deep against a top structural setup is an area where he can develop. But you definitely want him deeper if the ball gets turned over, not in front of play where he can’t affect the transition. That’s the major catch with his game right now. Jorginho solves the ball progression problem, but he can’t handle a fast, technical 10 like Musiala running at him, and… Read more »


Nod nod nod

I miss santi cazorla

Ideally we should be focusing on the replacement to Party.

Positive Pete

So Benjamin Tesco is not doing the “ every little helps”.
Back to the drawing board.Would appear now to whittle down to the ‘ Ozzie man’ or Vic Gykores? Looks like we’re going to have to cough up the readies.No choice ,unless EDU has a surprise up his sleeve.


Solanke then?

Public Elneny

Shame. Looks to have a lot of potential and would have been a far more like for like replacement/rotation for Havertz up front than Jesus Not sure he would have been ready to be our 1st choice striker next season, but for £45m and with Havertz finding his real position at last he wouldn’t really have to be. So long as he could make an impact off the bench and do well for short spells of being the starter, we would be in a far better position striker wise than last year and it would have been money well spent… Read more »


Romano is an agent’s best friend. He can basically whip any fanbase up into a frenzy with rumours, enabling the player’s agent to say to clubs: pay us or we jump. I don’t believe any more that anyone at Arsenal is speaking to Romano about our plans, considering how Mudryk, Caicedo et al worked out. Until I hear an annoucement, I’m refusing to get excited about any rumour.


And the striker market is in the mud right now. Very little quality out there, available.


Ollie Watkins for 50m please, least Villa/Emery can do for fucking our title chances.


Doubtful watkins can repeat last season again, which was the best in his career, so l…

Public Elneny

Watkins is very good with space in behind but how often would he get that playing for us?


Not really bothered because I know nothing about Sesko and for all I know he is actually overrated. The thing is that nobody quite understood for at least half a season why Arsenal spent so much on Kai Havertz.
I will say that Sesko is probably at least worth the same as Havertz and not the inflated nonsense for the ultimate in overrated: Ivan Toney.

Billy bob

Salt n Peppa: let’s not talk about sesk baby


Imagine wanting to stay at RB Leipzig rather than coming to the most exciting young team in Europe. What a knob.

Dr. Gooner

It’s the path Haaland took in a similar spot at BVB. Then the next season he got his move and increased the profit for his club. I think he knows what he’s doing.


Haaland, another total knob


Rashford please.
1. Can play across the frontline
2. is premier ready
3.disappointed were he is
4. english
5.rapid fast
6. Good finisher

Dr. Gooner

He can’t play across the front line. Absolutely doesn’t have the goods to be a penalty box striker. He is an outlet and a transitional monster with highly questionable mentality. Wouldn’t gamble on that for more than 50.


Arteta was responsible to transition Sterling at false 9 at City and he recalibrate Kai how to.
Do you think he can’t do Rashford?

Dr. Gooner

I don’t know. I do know we don’t need Rashford to play as any kind of 9 if he does come, because it’s not a natural position for him and we have players there. What Rashford needs is green grass in front of him and top class service to his feet and that’s usually easier to come by on the flanks. He’s a Son, Martinelli, Vardy, Walcott type, arguably with greater potential than any of those but playing well below it at the moment. You can stick those guys up top for a few games or as a tactical surprise… Read more »


What’s going on with Dusan, did he renew at Juve. He’d be stupid money and by no means a sure thing but I’d be interested.

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