These Smart Transfers Could Make Arsenal Look Like Geniuses
It’s time for something special – a transfer special. I’d like this to be a bit different, with an approach that perhaps gets you to go out and watch players you’d probably haven’t watched that much, in an attempt to open the doors to a quite different squad build for Arsenal.
Think of this like hiring your golden retriever to do your scouting – that’s what I’m after. This isn’t supposed to polish the current transfer targets – or embed the same highlight video of that one extra special prospect that every other ITK reposts.
This is all about finding the players that fly under the radar, while showing signs of something positive and would still be transformative to Arsenal’s squad.
At the moment, Arsenal are in the market for a whole lot of players. An attacking midfielder, a central midfielder, a backup left-back, possibly a starting right-back, a backup goalkeeper and some suggest a new striker as well.
That’s a lot of action in one transfer window!
Right now, there are some very sensible targets out there, but most of them are very reasonably priced in such a way that the owning clubs get a pretty big gift card for handing over their assets.
Without further ado, let’s roll!
GK – Matt Ryan – Free Transfer
Alternative – Larsonneur – 7m€
When I researched for my Kobel scouting report, I actually took a peek at Brest’s 24-year-old goalkeeper as well. His passing stats suggest he also has the ability to dish out passes, though not as good as Kobel does.
My reasoning for going for Larsonneur over Matt Ryan, is the same reason I checked out Kobel – He will increase in value in the next couple of seasons. Kobel rose to double the fee he cost Stuttgart in one season – Larsonneur, right now valued at 7m€, would probably rise as well.
RB – Tariq Lamptey – 18m€
Alternative – Joakim Mæhle – 13m€
Okay, hear me out, I like Lamptey. And I think he’s going to be a menace next season. That being said, his price tag has a very special “English Player tax” tag, that I absolutely despise.
Mæhle doesn’t have that tag, but still manages to rack up similar numbers to Lamptey. While he might not be as fast, he’s a solid dribbler, and no one can argue against the fact that Atalanta has done very well this season. As such, I’d much rather go for a player flying under the radar, than the guy whose value is going to be driven up by agents and rumours for 2 months.
LB – Max Aarons – 20m€
Alternative – Rico Henry – 5m€
This is another one of those headscratchers. While Max Aarons definitely has a high ceiling, the difference between him and Henry, given they’re both homegrown players, and both played in the Championship this season, is quite confusing.
[Edit]WAAAIT, HOLD THE RECORD! MAX AARONS IS A RIGHT BACK!
There’s been talks of Ryan Bertrand, Patrick Van Aanholt, as well as Yilmaz, Doig and Wijndal. And while Doig would be cheap, the only other player on that list cheaper than Rico Henry is Ridvan Yilmaz from Besiktas. He’s played 18 matches this season and has apparently confirmed he wants to play for Arsenal.[/Edit]
As such, I’d much rather pay the “English Player tax” on a player valued at 5m€ than 20m€. Both of them are going to play Premier League football next season, so chances are we’re going to be able to watch them play.
Rico Henry looks rapid and aggressive. The exact kind of player that Tierney is, just not Premier League tested yet.
CM – Bissouma – 17m€
Alternative – Mahdi Camara – 5m€
Let me start by saying that my number one transfer target would be Bissouma. His defending abilities and physique make him an ideal partner for Partey, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with that.
That being said, Bissouma is coming off of a wonderful season and is set to be tagged at 20-25m€. That’s a lot, given our Team of the Season Granit Xhaka is being touted by Roma for the same amount.
As an alternative, that’s going to be much cheaper, while also being a viable option, I’d suggest Mahdi Camara.
He’s not as tall as Bissouma, but his numbers suggest he’s still good in the air, as well as on the ground. His passing stats also suggest he’s more than capable with possession as well.
For the meager price of 5m€, he would be a much cheaper option, and one we should make ASAP.
Backup Central Midfielder
Backup CM – Elneny – 10m€
Alternative – Nørgaard – 3.5m€
Elneny is my heart player at Arsenal. Just like Jenkinson, I want him to stay forever. And there’s a simple reason for that – he gives EVERYTHING in EVERY game.
That being said, he’s also a safety player, who has a knack for passing the ball backwards into safety. And while he’s been better, when he moves towards the attacking third, I just think his value would be much more appreciated somewhere where he could feel a sense of merit to his work.
Nørgaard (who’s the last Brentford player on this list I swear!) would not be an expensive signing at all. But his versatility and his passing could be a nice rotational addition to the squad. Playing both in defense and midfield, he would be able to help Arsenal rest some legs in the FA cup and Peppa Pig EFL cup, taking whatever spot made the most sense.
AM – Emi Buendia – 22m€
Alternative – Damsgaard – 13m€
As I’m slowly finishing my list of things that will piss off people, let me introduce you to the third danish player on my shortlist.
Damsgaard, who’s playing for Sampdoria, has burst onto the national scene this year, tearing apart Moldova with 2 assists and 2 goals, picking up the man of the match in my opinion.
Ultimately a winger, he has the ability to move central as well, giving us another player who would be able to move across the entire front line.
Just as Joachim Andersen is now being linked with a move to Arsenal, after being scouted and dismissed 2 seasons ago, this would be a move that would be best suited early rather than later.
Sometimes it’s okay to be first movers.
Striker – Odsonne Edouard – 15m€
Alternative – Jonas Wind – 5m€
Okay so this is my last Danish player, hand on my heart.
Odsonne Édouard has now used two seasons at Celtic, to drive up his value as the next big hit. His value has also been increasing steadily since last season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the make-or-break season for his increased value.
Some Arsenal fans has debated the move, given how well he would fit. And of course I’m here to suggest a completely different player, because everything famous is overpriced!
Wind has the same type of skill set as Edouard but at ⅓ of the price. A menace in the air, he managed to snatch the striker position at the Danish national team in a matter of a season, showing quite well his ability to hold up play, as well as a fantastic aerial ability.
While there’s a world to difference between the Scottish and the Danish league, fact remains that Wind has retained his skills while playing for the national team, suggesting he might have a ceiling higher than the opposition in his current league might be able to give him.
That’s the list. I’ve even shortened it, wanting to talk about a lot of other alternatives. Like Mitchel Bakker from PSG or Marcus Ingvartsen from Union Berlin. But in the end, these were the most interesting alternatives that went for a cut price.
So I actually had a whole, 2000 word, scouting set up for Kobel, finished and ready to be published on the same day that BvB announced his transfer. And this is one hundred percent my attempt to rectify that, hoping that all of these players most certainly couldn’t be sold at the same time.