Signings late as always, but is this the end of Giroud and Mertesacker? by KM
We finally picked up some points! And it was a great first half performance, but in the second half, you could see we are not up to speed yet just as we aren’t with the signings, which at least we will see this year, because frankly, after Cech last year, I though we might sit on what we have.
I will once again hit on the fact we are at least 2 weeks late with everything. We could’ve beaten both Liverpool and Leicester and we were not prepared for those games. This is incredibly sad, because we are 5 points off Chelsea, United and City will probably join them this evening. We will be fighting for 4th spot by the looks of it so far, which is a painful battle we’ve seen over the years, but the ambition of the other teams will make it even tougher this time.
So we bought a total of four players that will actually play for us starting with Granit Xhaka, who is finding his place amongst the starting line up with young Rob Holding, and to be fair I really enjoy the fact we have new faces in the squad. I think everybody from pundits, managers and even the Arsenal players themselves know where the weakness of the squad lies and new faces just lift everyone up.
Both players are still finding their feet after a rocky start to the season, but overall I’m so far happy with both players. I think having somebody who has speed to cover Koscielny makes it easier, because Per is incredibly ineffective without someone always covering him. As for Xhaka, I hope he will be more consistent than Coquelin, Elneny and Ramsey in that role. Over the past few seasons we saw how the addition of a new DM always improved our game and hopefully he’ll fit the bill for the long run.
We also added Takuma Asano who is likely to never play a game for us and one other youngster, but the big thing we await to be announced is the arrival of world cup winner Skodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez from La Liga. Ignoring the fact how late this is, I’d like to see both players get integrated in the squad. And the two people I think will suffer are Mertesacker and Giroud.
Despite the fact Per got announced captain (a terrible decision…), he is the weakest point in an otherwise not that bad back 5, and Mustafi will likely take his place. Honestly I don’t know much about him, other than the fact, he was owned by Everton, to only play one game for them, but he should know English to some extent, and that he is a German international, despite not being a regular starter at Low’s squad, he can play as a CB and a RB if he has to. He had a solid partnership with Otamendi at Valencia, but hopefully he’ll quickly settle in with Koscielny to form a rock at the heart of our defence!
Moving on to Lucas Perez, he’ll soon be 28 and his career has only recently sparkled with a prolific last season featuring 17 goals and 8 assists for a relegation battling La Coruna. He has played abroad, so hopefully settling in wouldn’t be a problem. He’s a late bloomer and they’re so popular these days with the likes of Vardy and Payet making the big stage at a late age. So will he finally be the 20 goal a season striker we’ve never had since Van Persie left?
It’s so hard to make a verdict. It’s a gamble signing, but a gamble I’m willing to get, because with Giroud I’ve seen what we get and I don’t think it’s enough. I still believe we could’ve spent big and added a proven goalscorer, but you know Arsene. Still I’m interested in the fact that Giroud didn’t start against Watford, and the fact we’d rather play Alexis up front makes me think that Perez might be jumping into Girouds place and as I said, I’d take that.
Will it happen? First, let’s finalize that paperwork, get them on board and put them in the mix. The international break is good, because the players will get a chance to meet the atmosphere at Arsenal and get some preparation they should’ve got in the summer. So finally, what kind of starting line up would you like to see the new players in?
I feel like Cech, Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, Theo, Perez…