What would Layvin Kurzawa bring to Arsenal ? – Scout Report
With the injury concerns surrounding Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolašinac, Arsenal have explored the possibility of bringing out of favour Paris Saint-Germain 27 year old left-back Layvin Kurzawa to the club on a free transfer in preparation for next season.
Layvin Kurzawa was brought to PSG from Monaco by then-manager Laurent Blanc. The £22m signing was seen as the eventual successor to Maxwell, however, the club from the French capital felt that they never saw enough to believe in him. When Maxwell moved on, they brought in Yuri Berchiche and when he moved on after just one season, they then brought in Juan Bernat who has since become the undisputed number one left-back for the club. Since signing for PSG, Kurzawa has missed 40 matches through varying injuries, with many questioning his poor fitness when he has been injury-free. This season, the 27-year-old has played 15 matches in all competitions amassing 926 minutes.
Many PSG supporters have criticised Kurzawa for his criminal fitness levels and commitment to the club. Many of the PSG ultras believe that Kurzawa has almost gone stale at PSG and that the once exciting talent needs to move on for the good of both parties. One of Kurzawa’s best friends is former PSG right-back and current Tottenham Hotspur player, Serge Aurier. They have a very similar personality and jokester traits, which made them integral dressing room components. However, at times their professionalism has been questioned by managers and fans alike. It’s also worth noting that Kurzawa has just hired Kia Joorabchian as his new agent. Joorabchian is a lifelong Arsenal fan and boasts both Coutinho and Willian on his books. He is also a public backer of both Edu and Raul Sanllehi.
It’s safe to say that Kurzawa is most defiantly an attacking left-back. As you can see from the graph below, the majority of his work comes high in the oppositions half. With Mikel Arteta’s possession-based philosophy, players who are comfortable on the ball will be favoured. Kurzawa has that in abundance with 67% of his game being passing and only a mere 18% being about his defensive work. This is understandable given PSG’s dominance in Ligue 1 but would be interesting under scrutiny in the Premier League. Kurzawa is also comfortable playing as a wing-back. He hasn’t played their all to often, however has looked comfortable when he has. In the game against Galatasaray, Kurzawa helped his team to a 5-0 victory from left wing-back. Galatasaray’s narrow defence afforded him time and space to attack. At times he became PSG’s left-winger, helping them form a front four.
As mentioned, 67% of Kurzawa’s playing style is passing which would be of interest given Arteta’s desire to overload the left side of the pitch. Another impressive feature of his game is the number of passes he plays forward. Of his 1787 passes this season, Kurzawa has played 49% forward and with a 95% success rate. Furthermore, the left-back plays on average 2.75 crosses per game with a 40% accuracy. Kurzawa loves to dribble and beat his man. Per 90 minutes, Kurzawa attempts 2.36 dribbles with a success rate of 61%. A total of 64% of these dribbles come in the oppositions final third.
Per 90 minutes, Kurzawa attempts 2.91 1v1 defensive actions. This season he has attempted 110 1v1 defensive actions with a win rate of just 15%. In terms of total defensive duels, Kurzawa attempts 7.31 per game. He only won 22% of his total 276 defensive duels this season. Regarding interceptions, Kurzawa is rather impressive. He attempts 4.82 interceptions per game and has accumulated a total of 182 interceptions this season. Arteta seems to be looking for players who can pay positional football. A facet of positional football in defence is being able to cut passing lanes. Kurzawa can defiantly cut passing lanes as 58% of his interceptions have been cut passes. Kurzawa measures very well in aerial duels with a win rate of 53%. At 5ft 9in, he averages 3.82 aerial challenges per game.
In conclusion, if Kurzawa can stay fit, then he would be a vast improvement on Kolasinac and on a free transfer, you feel as though Arsenal can’t really lose from a footballing aspect. He seems to fit what Arteta wants with his possession-based system. Kurzawa is good in possession and can defend positionally very well. The only real question mark would be against his defensive ability and what then becomes of Kolasinac. Presumably, if Tierney, Kurzawa and Kolasinac are all fit then they would be preferred in that order. I think that signing Kurzawa on a free transfer, providing his wages are not astronomical, would be a shrewd signing. It would be interesting to see how he could do in the Premier League playing week in week out, hopefully with a determination to fulfil his once great potential.