Tuesday, July 23, 2024

To be, or not to be a Gooner – Danes weigh up Arsenal futures

Mika Biereth returned to London Colney this week as Arsenal’s under-21s began their pre-season training but it sounds like his time as a Gunner is almost certainly coming to an end.

After an impressive loan spell with Sturm Graz, the Austrian side have been very open about their desire to sign the player on a permanent deal while the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Club Brugge have also been mentioned as possible destinations.

Interestingly, it sounds like Sturm Graz have the inside line with director Andreas Schicker, the man who recruited Biereth in January, stating telling Kronen Zeitung (translated by Sport Witness):

“Mika is in the last year of his contract and the club wants to sell him. Now we have to find a solution with Arsenal.”

Schicker has proved himself a bit of a talker on this matter, having said in May that Graz would “push our limits a little higher for a player like that” while confirming “we want to try to sign Mika permanently.”

Having impressed at Motherwell before helping the Austrians to a league and cup double, we’ve no doubt that’s music to the 21-year-old’s ears.

At the same time, with nine assists and 15 goals in 37 appearances last year, he knows others will also be looking at him covetously.

Coming up behind Mika in the Academy is fellow Dane, Chido Obi Martin. There have been plenty of reports that the 16-year-old, who was prolific at under-18 level last season, could leave the club for Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund this summer but it appears Arsenal aren’t giving up the fight.

According to Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners have offered improved terms to the teenager. He now needs to decide whether he sees a genuine pathway to first team football at the Emirates or whether he’s better off taking another path.

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There is nothing like a Dane

Gervinho is Driving

Props for the Willie S. reference, and I don’t bean out French centerback

Spanish Gooner

Was looking at Arda Guler yesterday and I have to say, that’s one heck of a player. He played more than 45 minutes 5 times for Madrid last season. Odegaard came to the Emirates and immediately elevated our level but couldn’t get a look in either. That’s how high the bar is at the clubs we want to emulate, so if Biereth, or Chido Obi Martin, or Cozier Duberry or whoever decides they want to try going elsewhere all I can say is good luck – it’s not a disaster for the club.


It’s always a disaster if we let a genuinely talented youngster go. At least we should sell them with a buy back clause, not let their contracts run down.

Ödegårds Magnifika Fot

Yeah either that or a sell-on clause at least


Can you name a few who left at the same stage and have made us regret it?

Olie Nwafada

Gnabry, Malen

Big L HoP

Bennacer, Musah

Dr. Gooner

Real Madrid did it again. Hats off.


Yes, the bar is high, but Real Madrid still managed to promote and play plenty of their academy players: Nacho, Carvajal, Vazquez…

It would be nice if Arsenal managed to do the same. Hale end has been a source of talents for a long time, but now it just seems neglected.

Dr. Gooner

All academies go through lean years. Just not able to produce the right level of talent for the generation coming through right now. Lots of exciting talent in the next crop though, headlined by Nwaneri, Chido, Lewis-Skelly… these guys are ballers.


If you close the door completely during the lean years, then the talented players coming later might be more inclined to leave. Chido Obi Martin could be one of them. He has not yet accepted the contract Arsenal offered him.

Le Sulk

Maybe wit a bit of an asterisk next to Carvajal. He did go to Leverkusen and proved himself as an excellent RB before going back to Real Madrid. Not like he was promoted straight from the academy.


True. They cared enough to add a buy back clause, though.


How much of it has to do with FFP? Academy players are 100% profit


Nothing, Arsenal are well within the limits.

Dr. Gooner

It 100% has to do with being really good and not having academy products that match that level. Chido is an exception to that. I don’t know why he fancies Bayern. He is as much of a sure thing as you can be at his age.


I think he fancies first team football more than any particular club, and I’m sure he will go to (or stay at) the club where he most sees that as being realistic. Currently at Arsenal that doesn’t seem likely. Bayern too tbf. Dortmund have a great track record developing youngsters so wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up there in the end.


All we actually know is that the biggest kid in the playground is tearing it up at a level above his age group. This isn’t always a great indicator of being able to go on and do it against men.

Dr. Gooner

Nobody is a sure thing at his age, but being able to tear it up above your age group is as good of a sign as there can be. It’s about his mentality from here.


Why can’t we give Biereth a contaract with the first team?

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