Does Wenger already have a replacement for Olivier Giroud?

How to replace Olivier Giroud?

The French word for Marmite would surely be ‘Giroud’, if they were ever converted into eating the dark, divisive substance. Many love him and many do not, but there is little doubt that the man who scores or assists in the PL every 110 minutes will once again lead the line in the coming season. And this is not because he is the best CF available, but because he is the best CF for Arsene’s system of football. The man who worked with some of the best attackers in world football knows what a typically good CF looks like, and I have no doubt he could get us one in no time – and one you and I would probably hardly or not have heard of. But he, like Deschamps, has opted for Ollie as his ‘Holding CF’, which I have explained on this webblog many a time.

The big question to ask is what will happen if Giroud gets injured? Who should replace him?

For me there are five options – and it would be good to discuss these on this blog today:

  1. Alexis
  2. Sanogo
  3. Akpom
  4. Another internal option
  5. Buy Buy Buy


Theo has said he wants to focus on playing on the right wing from now on but it remains to be seen whether Arsene wants him there. But with him saying he is no longer confident he can be a good CF, Wenger needs to look at his next option up front. I reckon Alexis would be a good shout to play as our CF but it would mean a change of system. He would fit the false nr.9 system (1-4-6) or being played as ‘an Aguero at Man City’. Alexis would fit this free CF role really well, and I have no doubt he can reach 20+ PL goals in a season. It is unlikely that Wenger will opt for this unless he has to, though, as it would mean it big change in system.


Yaya is young and raw but he is our best option to play in the Giroud role. His positional awareness is very good and his body strength is already impressive. He can play as our attacking pivot around whom the attack can function at its best. We all know that his finishing needs to improve dramatically, and it would be unwise to bank on Sanogo covering for Ollie if he were to get seriously injured at this stage. But the big advantage is that we can continue to play the same system of football albeit less effective.


Chuba, who will be 21 in two months, is talented and the more classical CF option. There is a bit of Ian Wright in Akpom and I like him a lot. We need to see more of him to judge whether he can make the significant jump to the first team, especially if he were to cover for Ollie in case of a long-lasting injury. The jury is still out and it would be a big risk on Arsene’s side to believe he can be our ‘nr.2’. On the other hand, he might grab the opportunity with both hands and be a big success.

Another internal option

Is Takuma Asano the right one for us? You tell me! 🙂 Or should the Ox be played as our CF, a suggestion JNYC made yesterday? Can you think of anybody else who could cover effectively for Giroud in case of injury?


Or is the one and best option buying a super CF or just good cover for Giroud: do we have to go external? Clearly, a super CF will want to play all the time and will not accept to be second best to Ollie. This would mean a change of system of football in all likelihood, and I reckon this is not on the cards (especially at this late stage of our pre-season). Good cover for Ollie, ideally somebody who can also play on the wing, seems to be the most likely option Wenger will take. But has he left it too late, and how many players are prepared and capable to play the ‘Holding CF’ role? Or will he go for an internal option?

What do you think fine fellow Gooners?

By TotalArsenal. 


38 thoughts on “Does Wenger already have a replacement for Olivier Giroud?

  • Hey, that reminds me! Where is Sanogo? I know he’s been training. But why hasn’t he had a look-i for the 3 matches so far?

  • Interesting thought, with Alexis TA. It has been said before, but you think AW would have given him a free role before … if he thought it would work?
    With posts coming thick and fast, I will have to be brief on this one, but keep them flowing TA.
    Many thanks.
    However, my views are pretty constant on this theme. Yes we have candidates who can perform in the role you suggested, but in my view they will be much much stronger next season.
    That said, in short spells, they might carry it off. But in such a demanding position I am not sure any one of them could carry it off for a whole season?
    So starting with Alexis.
    Let’s not kid ourselves, he has his shortcomings, and that means he will fail more times than he will succeed. That is true of all strikers, which is why the pressure on the youngsters will tell, imo.
    Positionally, I think Alexis is a player who needs the right ball ‘created for him’, albeit he is very skillful when he has the ball. By that I mean he is not an ‘Henry type’ who manoeuvres defenders around to get them out of position, before taking his shot. Alexis is more up and at ’em. In theory, playing alongside Giroud could work. But, and this is why the theory might break down, and why AW did not attempt it? is if he moves inside, he will bring defenders with him. An ever more crowded box? The good news is that should offer an opportunity to someone else?
    The bad news is …. do you think that will make Alexis very happy, long term?

    One of the players not mentioned, and scored a wonderful goal for Germany last night, was Serge ‘Henry’ Gnabry. This post was written before he came on as a sub, but the style of that goal was something else. See Arseblog for the video, and I am sure you will agree?
    Unfortunately, from the position he played, will mean he would have to oust Alexis?
    Put Alexis in the middle of the three behind Giroud, with a wide man on the right and you might have a workable combination. Of course any injury to Giroud would disrupt that, as neither Akpom, Sanogo, or whoever, plays the Giroud role.

    Now the disparaging way you say ‘Buy, buy, buy’ says everything on your view, Yet the ‘buy’ option in the past has brought Ozil, Alexis, and now Xhaka and Elneny? All upgrades on previous options. Are there no ‘upgrades’ in your mind that might do the dual role of replacing Giroud when required, or better still, work alongside to make a 50 goal partnership?

    It is only an option if the right player is available of course. But a story last night about Man U’s back up should the Pogba deal fail, could be Ozil? Without at least one addition to take advantage of his key passes, he might be tempted?

    Food for thought TA?

  • Sanogo, much as I think has immense potential,displayed nowhere near the touch of Ollie, miking him unsuited to replacing Giroud for any length of time right now. Unless that is what he’s been working on in training for the past year of course, and is still doing so 🙂

    It’s strange that he’s nowhere to be seen, especially with no recognised first team striker available. He’s either on his way out, or is injured I would think. He was seen in training early on, but since then I haven’t spotted him (haven’t seen the latest pictures though)

    Akpom deserves a chance. He’s worked hard, even if he didn’t score many at Hull. And I see what you mean with the Ian Wright comparison. He seems to really fight to get into positions to score. He may not be an Aguero type striker, but he could be the poacher we missed last season.

    Speaking of which, some people are suggesting that Arsenal may be in for Chicharito and that the delegation that had gone to Germany a few weeks ago was for him. Not sure how true it is, but I’d be happy with that signing. He’s got the understanding of the position and space, and even though it’s a relatively short term signing, he adds something we’ve lacked. And think about it, Chicharito ahead of Akpom, and Giroud ahead of Sanogo while Welbeck gets back to fitness and Asano gets used to European football, either at Arsenal or on loan.

    Asano apparently scored for Japan against Nigeria. I stayed up to watch Germany v Mexico for Gnabry. He came on in the second half and was ELECTRIC. He missed one chance before scoring a very nice goal. It was late and so I may have missed some more subtle aspects of the game, but I would say he was their best player. I also woke up 3 hours later to watch Japan and Asano (that’s how crazy I am for Arsenal football stuff right now), but when I saw he wasn’t starting, I went back to bed.

    I think we do need an external solution to our striking department. And ideally, perhaps a Walcott upgrade/replacement in Mahrez or some such. In fact I now specifically want Mahrez after the Leicester owner’s photo message. Let’s get a bit nasty.

    (Ignore this bit. Just adding this to get out of moderation. I used another email id, hence stuck there)

  • Nice one Shard. I only came across the BBC link later.

    I think the Mahrez thing will go very quiet until after we play them. I am guessing the last thing they want is their fans hissing and booing, rather than united support?
    On the other hand they may do a Wolfsburg and say ‘honour your contract’ to Mahrez?
    With the striker thing, I think we are in the same position as Man U and RVP? They know we want, and therefore will squeeze the maximum cash out of us? Just as we did to Man U.

  • Gerry

    Good points even though I reckon you are wrong re Alexis in more than one way.

    Disparaging….. I am merely addressing a sense of urgency if that is what we need to do.

  • Shard, where is Sanogo is indeed the big question… Is he being prepared privately to be the surprise inclusion for our August games… Or has he been given time to find another club?

    I reckon it is not his first touch but his ability to score goals that will be the issue if Yaya were to be played as replacement for Giroud.

  • If Akpom continues his goal scoring run, then I guess you could say that he’s earned the right to be given a chance against Liverpool as our centre-forward…

    Both his goals were simple tap ins, but he was in the right place to finish off the moves, so I’m not complaining.

    Gerry, apparently BBC journalist David Ornstein, a reasonably reliable ‘source’ has tweeted that Arsenal are not in for either Draxler or Mahrez, which is a shame as I really like Mahrez…
    Just saying…

  • Hiya Total, yeah, Sanogo has played some 24 EPL games for Arsenal and Crystal Palace without scoring and then 3 Eredivisie games for Ajax without troubling the net, so that does seem an issue for him at the top top level…

    He did score 3 goals for Charlton in the Championship in 8 games.

    Gotta say that I’m not completely convinced that he’s what is required if we’re gonna compete.

  • Being in the right place is such a skill Kev and a prerequisite for a top striker. Rather than expecting the passer to get the ball to you, you need to move where the ball should ideally be delivered for the best opportunity to score. Giroud, Alexis, Akpom and Sanogo have this skill with mixed success in conversion rate, but Danny and Theo lack it to a large extent.

  • Hahaha Kev, a tactful way to describe Sanogo. I reckon he has the football intelligence and positional awareness to become good but his finishing is simply below par. He is young though and it may just fall all into place for him at some point.

  • Guys,

    I read the post on today’s arseblog and it is quite interesting.. a picture of cookie monsters drumming his hands on the table waiting. Waiting for a proper defender and striker.

    I am not sure why Sanogo is not appearing in the public.. this is the best time for him to make an appearance, but well..

    We can shift Alexis upfield, but we definitely need a real striker.

    I am still drumming my fingers on the table, waiting very patiently for the remaining 9 days.

  • Gerry

    Agreed on Mahrez and the timing of any such move. Which is ok since we have higher priority needs. Till then Theo may be able to generate some interest in his services as well, making room for Mahrez.


    Ornstein, or the Or(n)acle as he’s sometimes known is indeed a reliable source. But I still believe there was something happening there. The lack of any other clubs being linked with Mahrez is weird. Either everyone knows he’s staying, or everyone thinks he’s going elsewhere. We will see, but I reckon Leicester would prefer not to sell him to us until after we play them. Of course, they would prefer not to sell him at all. How badly does Mahrez want to leave? I think that’ll be the crucial factor.

  • Re Sanogo, I think in the absence of information it is best guess not to speculate as it may be related to a personal tragedy in his family, which of course they will not comment on until he is ready.

    The one player I really want to see tonight is second season Gabriel.
    ff he has been able to get to grips with the language, and has been able to digest his perfomances in the premier league, and is able to top those in an appreciable way …?
    Well it could help our short term deficiencies.
    Not that we don’t need an experienced defender, we do. Mustafi is clearly not being bought just to fill in for Per’s absence, more likely his long term successor? Also, it will not be long before Kos is in a similar position.
    The problem is now we really a CB, and if it is a price war with Chelsea, I cannot see us going to £35m? In fact I doubted whether we would go the £25m that apparently they have refused from Chelsea?
    It is a key signing without doubt, as it impinges on the budget elsewhere.
    I just hope AW has a fall back guy in mind? I saw Ginter score for Germany last night … he would have been a good choice?

    We shall see. We will also see whether the criticism for rushing back Ramsey and Alexis has had any effect on tonight’s team selection?

  • Well one signing we might or might not sign, may be decided in the next few days.
    Lacazette is to be offered a ‘long term’ contract.
    If he takes it, game over.
    If he turns it down? Best offer secures? £40m and a bit, I guess

  • Gerry

    I fail to understand the ‘rushing back’ criticism. They’ve gotten more time off than some players in similar situations at other clubs. (Some ‘fans’ have chosen to criticise this too)

    I don’t know why fans assume they know about conditioning, especially when it isn’t the same for everybody, and there is a mental aspect to it as well, meaning it is not always the same for even the same person.

    Ramsey and Alexis will get some game time in these next two games, and might even play against Liverpool. Who knows? And who can judge whether this is right or a panic situation? Certainly not the fans who have none of the information required to make/judge that call.

    Fair point on Sanogo, though is there any reason to think there’s been some tragedy in the family? I hope not.

    Agree with you on Gabriel. I think he’s got the makings of a Keown. A real fighter who spent some time in the shadow of more established players in his position before making it his own as one of them moved on.

  • Hey there fellas, just trying to catch up between road-trips… Our mountains, though full of tourists, are also full of smoke from fires to our south… 😦

    I’ve been reading the posts and I was able to watch the Chivas match on tape… I dunno, it seems like the California trip was a good one and I’m almost regretful I didn’t make it down for the All-Star game…

    As per usual the only thing that gets me is what feels like the ‘uge (to borrow from some of the New York based US political characters…) gap between the Arsenal supporters who watch the football and those who just want the fantasy world of transfers and buying up the trophies. If that’s you’re bag, Moo-U would seem to be your team… (Even ManCity and Chavs, by comparison, seems a little too reality, i.e., football, based…) Hell, soon enough, Ozil will be pulling the strings up there according to one blog… 😀 Meanwhile, we’re planning to play Sanogo up front once he returns from his bereavement leave… Ah crap, the block poster function is failing… More smileys, but it seems like if we shouldn’t speculate, we shouldn’t speculate…

    That said, Gerry (and others) make the salient points that our reinforcements will likely come nearer the end of the window than before the season kicks off. As such, these guys who are knocking in the goals (Ox and Akpom) and those who aren’t (Theo) will probably need to do so in those first three matches. Luckily, by making the top three (actually 2nd, sorry Spuds…) we only have the three league matches, so hopefully we can muddle through. Count me with Shard that I’ll trust our fitness staff (including the new guy from Leicester, not Mahrez, nor Vardy…) more than the bloggers. As such, goals from Alexis, Ramsey and maybe even little Santi…Or even long range blasts from Xhaka or Elneny… or scrappy set piece things might be just enough…

    Not much to hang your hat upon, and it hardly answers the question posed by the post, but so it goes…

  • Hey hey hey. I only said the silence around Sanogo MIGHT be explained by some personal tragedy … NOT that I knew of any!!!!!

    Good grief, it is easy to see how Chinese whispers work. I only put that thought up to put an end to him laid up on crutches, or out house hunting somewhere else. Just give him a break.

    Mmmmmm … I just used my ‘Play fair poster button’ to delete what I was replying to you HT.

  • AS to AW listening to his coaches … He has!
    From Football Talk:

    ‘Arsene Wenger has named a mixed side with David Ospina replacing Petr Cech in goal while Mathieu Debuchy, Gabriel and Kieran Gibbs join youngster Krystian Bielik in defence.

    Mohamed Elneny is partnered by Francis Coquelin in midfield with summer signing Granit Xhaka not named in the squad. Joel Campbell, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla start in attack and will support Theo Walcott – who leads the line up front once again.

    Ron Holding, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal,Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom are among the players on the bench, however, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez haven’t been named in tonight’s squad so you’d expect they’ll feature in Sunday’s clash with Manchester City in Sweden.’

  • Well that was a good practice for the boys. The big lessons should be learned from the first half as the second half was a lot easier for us. If I have time I will write something about the game but I think I have said everything already in previous match reviews. Elneny and Cazorla ruled the show and both were brilliant in every aspect. Great work and goals by Campbell and Iwobi and Theo finally managed to get one on target and in the back of the net. Bielik looks very good and hungry and we finally have two very promising young CBs. Bring on the Northern Oilers on Sunday.

  • Shard, I’m sure that other clubs are interested in Mahrez, or would be if he becomes/is available, but it’s the world we live in, especially regarding the click-bait sites.
    Arsenal generate advertising traffic no no one else, so it’s a ‘done deal’ here or an ‘Arsenal snubbed’ there, and don’t ask about the other…
    Tbh I have seen Chelsea linked with Mahrez, but who knows…
    Having seen Iwobi in the 2nd half at Viking, and accepting that it was probably Vikings lesser lights in the 2nd half, maybe Wenger has a few options already in situ…
    I guess we’ll know better after the Man City game.

  • Total, I gotta say that Theo had a decent 70 minutes, scored a really good goal and helped set up Santi for his pile driver…

    Santiago had a majestic 90 minutes, it was wonderful to see him in a more attacking role, he can certainly offer us the prospect of a few more goals this coming season in that more advanced position.

    Good to see Bielik get the full 90, he was very composed and passed the ball out of defence with a sublime touch.

    As you said, Elneny was very good, always available for a pass, economical and efficient in using it and keeping us ticking over like a Swiss watch.
    Some great finishes and good to see Akpom score again…

  • Some mistakes by Ospina in goal, and our opponents have given us a good scare before the floodgates opened.

    The youngsters are feeling good together with the seniors, which is really important as it is time for the youngsters to make the step up.

    Cazorla is really soaking up the AM position, which was his before Ozil came in, and it is good to see him commanding the whole team and even though his missed penalty early in the game, he soldiered on and scored via a wonderful left footed shot.

    Next up, the tougher team, Citeh.

  • Here’s my two cents on the striker situation:

    We *know* Vardy was the first choice and we *know* we bid for him.

    It seems that we have at least enquired about Lacazette, though there has been no official confirmation of a bid via BBC Sport, for example. Lyons implied we had bid but it’s not the same.

    If we were *genuinely* interested in Lacazette we would have signed him by now. I’m sure they want £40m and I’m sure we would pay it.

    So what’s going on?

    My theory:

    Lacazette is a backup. Wenger is trying to do an Ozil and get us a really good player. We will wait and wait till the end of the transfer window and then if we can’t get him, we’ll go for Lacazette. This would make sense of our initial enquiries (is he interested in moving? Will Lyons sell him? – Both yes).

    So who is better than Lacazette and also hasn’t moved yet?

    Lewandowski? Seems highly unlikely that we can prise him from Bayern but not impossible. Ozil and Per may make the move more attractive and he has said he wouldn’t mind playing in England, unlike Aubemayang who said he only wants to move to Spain, if he moves at all.

    Aubemayang? I just ruled him out above.

    Lukaku? Seems to want to go to Chelsea. However, Arsenal seem to deal in surprises so for that reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the one we are targeting.

    Rodriguez? Maybe. Another that could become surplus at the end of the window if Madrid bring in a big signing (perhaps Morata counts as their marquee signing this year?)

    Griezmann? Would definitely fit the bill and could be attracted to playing with Giroud. I think we can afford him, especially if we only buy one other player (defender). But would Atletico sell? Would Griezmann want to come?

    Icardi? From everything that I’ve read, he looks like he’s trying to get a better deal at Inter. Maybe he’ll end up at Napoli to replace Higuain. I don’t think we are in for him.

    My guess is that whoever we are really targeting is someone not being mentioned in the media, just as Ozil was tracked secretly throughout that summer. I think Lacazette is the backup in case we can’t get our main target.

    I haven’t listed him because he’s not a striker but Draxler and Mahrez could also be backups. I know they’re officially not for sale but money talks.

  • I echo all thoughts above, especially on Bielik … you can see why he will be a great CDM, but already is a Stones-esque CB?

    On the other hand, Gabriel will need to improve. Clearly not fully fit as he looked shattered in the close up after 40 minutes.

    Talking of looking shattered, Campbell amuses me in so far as, after 15 or 20 minutes he is sweating, and breathing heavily …. yet he can keep going for the 90 minutes and barely looks any different. 😀 He had a very good game last night.

    As did Theo, given the pressure he is under. His goal was right on the button as far as instinct over careful play was concerned.

    Echoing JK’s point above, when the youngsters come on en-bloc like they have been doing, they do play very much like a unit that fully understands each others play. Having Santi still there was a bonus. The worry is, in the real world of cut and thrust league games, how much trust they will have from their seniors when they come on as individuals?
    I think Iwobi last season was helped enormously by Elneny in his first two games, as he constantly interacted with him. I think Bielik will have that respect. Akpom may, if he can replicate these runs in the box that keep getting him on the score sheet. Even Ox, who has been there and done that, will have to keep on demonstrating his effectiveness in his running for the team effort. I should add that last night’s effort by the Ox was the best yet when applying himself down the left side. His instant acceleration is what gives him space, and he uses it intelligently.

    Indeed, the Sunday game will reveal a lot more. A good replacement for our ‘missing’ Community Shield outing?

    Ospina’s game was strange. he clearly got rattled early on by that kick into the backside of the opposition player that could have easily gone straight back into his own net. In fact he nearly had the ball knocked out of his hands by the same player coming up behind him just seconds earlier. Two bad judgment calls is not what we expect from our No2 GK? The first one, he did not check who was around him. The second may have been Ospina trying to get a free kick for the player ‘impeding’ him? Which he did not get because the ref took the view that he kicked the ball at the player. The correct one, imo.
    I just hope that WS1 signing for Roma hasn’t upset his plans for a possible move?

    But it is true, this was the weakest opposition of the series so far, and the 8 goals do nothing to hide that. But a pleasing night overall.

  • njstone9 – That is a post I like to read. Opinion backed up by reasoning. Thank you.

    I do disagree with the Lacazette thinking, because you argue against yourself? You say in two sentences that if we were really interested we would have bought him. Then say, they want £40m, and you don’t think we will pay that.

    The trouble with transfers talk is the negotiation on fees is partly in the public domain, usually by the sellers wanting a bidding war to up the price, and partly in private as players agents satisfy their clients, if they don’t, then that too can end up in the public domain. But the important bit is done by each club CEO’s once the figure wanted(if there is one?) and it’s proximity to the final bid of the buying club. If it is close enough, then a compromise will be reached.
    My view is that £40m is our top bid(because of possible commitments elsewhere), and Lyon want £45m … So £42.5m might do it?

    However, there are complications here, and if Arsenal don’t move quickly, then it will not happen. The scenario I foresaw before Lacazette being offered a new contract, was that the dithering might go on until the last week in August, when Lyon would simply pull the plug and say ‘No, he is not for sale because we have no time to find a replacement’. This contract offer makes it make or break early next week. They don’t want to lose this player, and this is their final gambit to keep him …and keep him happy?

    And, I might add that applies to ALL deals not already secured. There will be no last minute ‘surprise’ deals … Well not a surprise to the club at least.

    The key to whether we get two players in attack is hinging on the ‘new’ CB. After Sunday’s game, AW may just decide that we have enough to get by until Per returns, then may be revisit the situation in January, or more likely next summer, if we still need one? That is a gamble we have seen before, and it cost us. But an alternative to a possible £30m plus Mustafi has to be found.
    I doubt it will be Jonny Evans, because of his ManU baggage?
    Watch this space ….

  • njstone9
    Decent theory regarding Lacazette, but surely it’s a fluid situation. Arsenal ask Lacazette if he wants to come, he says yes. Arsenal keep him hanging as they look elsewhere. Meanwhile Lyon are in his ear, promising to up his contract. Promising a move next year etc. Arsenal come back towards the end of the window, and Lacazette says no thanks, I think I’ll stay here for one more season.

    I have liked what little I’ve seen of Lacazette. In the sense that I think he’s a Theo Walcott upgrade rather than anything else. I think he could fit in nicely with us. But why is a striker who has scored consistently well in the past 3 years not being looked at seriously by all the clubs. (Only PSG seem interested, but they’re getting Jese I think) As we know, strikers are in short supply these days. What do they know that we don’t? Some attitude problems? Health or injury risk factors? Lifestyle problems? Don’t get me wrong, I’d still like him at Arsenal, but it is a bit weird.

    As to who this mystery epic signing could be. I like your examples though I don’t believe Lewandowski will come to us, unless he dislikes Ancelotti or something. Griezmann is a fine player but is he suited to playing the lone cf role? I’m less sure. Lukaku would score goals for us in the league though he’s not a great footballer. And he would cost a lot of money. I agree that it seems like Icardi is just looking for a better deal. His agent said as much. He’s not a great goalscorer at this stage, but would fit TA’s analysis of our use of a pivot type striker being a conscious choice.

    At this moment, I see us needing a striker. A lack of numbers there as much as anything.
    Could do with upgrades at the wing, but that depends on the futures of one or two players. We’ve got plenty numbers there. Upgrade at backup RB. I’m sorry, I think Debuchy isn’t good enough anymore. And perhaps, another CB though I like all of those we already have.

  • Yes kev. We’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out. I’m less worried about the season than I am about the fans’ reaction to losing the transfer market game. Even though I share misgivings about our team, I think we’ve still got a chance even without any signings, especially because I think we’ve got a good generation of young players who will need a chance at some stage.

  • Some thoughts on pre-season so far.

    Gibbs has been better than Monreal.

    Elneny seems to think he’s got a chance to claim a regular spot and is raring to go.

    Coquelin is up for the fight with Xhaka for his spot.

    Ox is looking determined to set things right.

    Theo came out more determined in the second half yesterday, but he really doesn’t have the awareness or technique to play at cf. He scored a decent goal after good work from Campbell, and against poor defending. Hope it gives him some confidence. But he can’t really trap the ball, he can’t dribble past a defense. And crucially, he doesn’t position himself to get the ball even as well as the much younger, and still raw Akpom, who it seems might get to start against City in his final audition.

    The youngsters are looking like they feel they belong with this team on this stage.

    In fact, I think we’re now going to see a steady stream of youngsters integrated into the first team squad almost every year. Iwobi broke through last season. Jeff has been added this season. And Akpom could well stake a claim to be in the squad as well. Gnabry as well, though shame he had to miss pre-season. Behind them there’s Zelalem who has incredible vision and will make the team in one or two years. Willock who the manager has already mentioned as being part of his thinking. Toral and Maitland-Niles have done well out on loan. Bielik looks a real talent.

    I recall Wenger saying a few years ago that Arsenal aim to have around 60% of their squad homegrown. That’s like 18 players from 30. This might actually be achievable in a couple of years. Watch this space.

  • Guys,

    I suspect that against Citeh it will be a game of 2 halves and it will be the stronger side topped by Theo first and then the youngsters side topped by Akpom.

    If one of them performs better it will he him that is likely to start up top against Liv.

    The chief citeh manager is looking to get one over Le Prof, so we will see a good battle of wits tomorrow evening.


  • Gerry, sorry if I was unclear. I think we are very much prepared to pay 40m, or 50m or more. I think if Griezmann wanted to come we would pay 80m for him. But not Higuain because Wenger explicitly mentioned resale value when he was speaking about transfers recently. By that I think it means we will not pay huge amounts for players nearing the end of their career (Zlatan/Man U).

  • I reckon it’s a sure thing that Arsenal and Lyons are frank with each other.

    If Lyons are prepared to give Lacazette another contract I don’t think it’ll happen secretly and catch us out. They are also happy to sell him if the price is right. At some point they can either refuse to sell, however, because they have no replacement or because there is no time to get one.

    At this juncture I would imagine they’d contact Arsenal and say, “now or never”.

    If another club came in and bought him without Arsenal being aware of the approach, I think that would be bad business management and to be frank, poor from Lyons who would surely want to get a bidding war going anyway.

  • Hi all..
    After what displayed on Viking.. Do you think Wenger still want to sign a Winger..?? Hehehe..

    Did Walcott looked okay..?? Or Akpom..?? Or we still need Icardi.. I doubt it.. with Asano and Sanogo as their backup.. Wenger won’t get anyone soon.. maybe in January..

    JRA.. is he a DM.. He remind me of somebody we missing year by year injured.. Diaby.. Wish the best for him to come without any serious injury..

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