Arsenal defender chase takes double blow

Arsenal have been strongly linked with a deal to sign Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi, as well as being linked with a deal for Barcelona’s Jeremy Mathieu, but both look increasingly unlikely at present.

The experienced French defender is believed to be out of manager Luis Enrique’s first-team plans this season, and being eyed as a possible addition for Arsenal.

Mathieu was then chosen to start the club’s Spanish Super Cup, possibly rubbishing his supposed availability, before being forced to be substituted after picking up an injury inside 30 minutes.

The extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed, but his injury will likely rule him out as an option, especially as our main need is in the absence of Gabriel Paulista, who is out for the next five to seven weeks.

Mustafi had been claimed to have agreed to join Arsenal, but the Telegraph has seemingly revealed that not only has no fee been met, but the club are refusing to up their previous £30 Million bid, and have not agreed terms either.

Twitter has since exploded with rumours that the Valencia star’s move is ‘off’, although sources are unclear to pinpoint.

All this news comes following the club’s disastrous defensive display against Liverpool, where the club were forced to field an inexperienced centre-back pairing of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding against their rivals, who is turn put four goals past them.

We do expect to be able to welcome back Laurent Koscielny to our playing squad for the coming match however, as well as Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, who will be a huge boost to our defensive frailties.

The French centre-half should be able to steer us in the right direction, and another defensive arrival may stunt the progress of one or both of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding.

Will Koscielny’s return be enough to help us get back on track? Or are neither of the English duo ready for a first-team role to cover for Gabriel and Per?

Tags Arsenal Barcelona Liverpool mathieu Mustafi


  1. Bottom line we need a CB and not a quick fix. Mathieu isn’t the answer and clearly Barca value him as an option and appreciate his versatility not to sell him. If your willing to spend you might as well go all out on a longer term option.
    Mathieu is 32 not exactly making our back line younger and not one for the future. Mustafi is 24, a world cup winner part of the euro squad and Valencia Captain. He has great experience for his age, is versatile, and one of the best defender in la liga I believe even better than Mathieu and not even in his prime. One for now and the future clearly!!
    The nitpicking around the price must stop or we’ll end up with nothing AGAIN. How many times do you have to moan about how close you were from signing someone when they’re doing brilliant elsewhere? Doesn’t make us feel better in case you didn’t notice.
    You had time Wenger yet you were busy at the Euro. Now a little over 2 weeks left, time to act and stop talking about how hard you guys are working! There are quality players out there that would be a clear upgrade on Holding as well as Chambers (one of the two should go on loan) and also even over Gabriel & BFG. There’s other names out there too.

    1. @Raoh – even Ashlee Williams would have done a job for us and he could have another 2 years in him, enough time to develop our young guys.

      1. Even that I’m not so sure…don’t get me wrong Williams is an experienced and great defender in the EPL but for me every player over 30 is a quick fix.
        We already have Kos & BFG over 30, Chambers & Holding around 20. I believe we need somebody right in between. We do have Gabriel but he hasn’t fared well enough since he came to AFC.
        I’m talking about a player who can genuinely give us 5-6 years at the very top level (his prime) and be a class if not world class defender. Mustafi, Manolas, Koulibaly, Marquinhos (borderline as he is young) but they tick all the boxes for now and later.
        If your willing to spend like they say they are than you might as well than spending 10-15m on a quick fix than later face the same problem.
        It’s the same issue with the striker had you bought Higuain when he was at real or Suarez at liverpool even Aubameyang at Saint-Etienne you would’ve payed less than what your being asked to pay for Lacazette today. Look how important those 3 are for there club, how much they score and how much they can go for today (Higuain, Aubameyang)! That’s what happens when you miss the boat! You overpay in an already inflated market!

  2. “its only one game”
    “its only one game”
    *rocks back and forth on the floor

    “its only one game…its only one game”

    1. Lets not panic, its only one game! Lets leave our judgement on him till the end of the season…like we have been faithfully doing for past 10 years if not more.

  3. Wenger is taking us all for a ride! Yesterday Rio Ferdinard pointed out that A. Williams was available (or went to Everton) for only £10m and wondered why we didn’t go for him.

    He’s a leader, strong in the air and with his feet, experienced and has played in the PL for a long time.

    So if Wenger was looking for a bargain buy why not go for him?

    Truly, if we aren’t going to sign Mustafi, then I really doubt the ambition of this club, the board and manager!

  4. I don’t think Kos will fix all our problems, all though he will be a big boost. I do hope he stays fit as he has a tendency to pick up little injuries and as he has just returned make him more susceptible to muscle injuries.

    Looking back at the game and looking back at some of Sanchez’s body language, I think our biggest challenge is to lift the optimism around the club, since there is little. A lot of this is more a carryover of last season and poor fan management than anything else.

    Best thing this club could have done for fan management is to lay out a convincing case for why we don’t have the money to spend on a top striker and that we should not expect one. They should have done this before the window opened. I for one am most angry because I feel I have been led to believe we have the money for a striker but we are just not buying one. Spurs got Janssen and he was not too expensive and other decent strikers have been sold for less money.

    I could have dealt with the knowledge we don’t have the money if it was convincing and I would have looked forward to the season. Instead, I feel jerked around and taken for a fool. I am not interest in following a strong business I don’t own and one that seems to have a greedy owner (or at least a stingy owner). I am interested in following a strong football club with ambition.

    At this stage we almost need a big name striker more for player morale, I think of Ozil and Sanchez then for any other reason. Sanchez looked fed up and exasperated at some point.

    Do we want to the prove to the football world |Henry is wrong and that we in fact can attract the world’s best players? Or do we want to signal to all that we are content with our current results? You want ambitious players? You need to show ambition.

    1. Very good point about fan management and explaining if we do not have sufficient money for a stiker. Consistently we are told by the media and tv pundits that we have over 200 million pounds to spend on player transfers. Arsenal do very little to counter this statement, all I have found is an article on the bbc website dated 18 September 2015′ Titled “Arsenal: Annual accounts reveal £200m cash reserves”. This stated the following
      “”We’re focused on delivering more success,” said Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis. The cash reserves of £193.1m are intended to cover costs for a full season and are not solely designated for player transfers.”

      Effectively this statement is saying the cash reserves need to be higher and there is no money for player transfers from cash reserves. If that is the case then arsenal need to tell us clearly.

      As you say, we feel “jerked around and taken for a fool”.

  5. Anybody else here because they were going to Justeat but the browser picked up this site from the history?

  6. While we embark in a merry-go-round in our signings
    Medicals scheduled….Medicals cancelled….. Medicals non-existent

    we are yet to be Linked with one “leigh griffiths”…..scottish international who plays for celtic &
    would go for between 15-20mil….. 181 goals in 333 apps and he is only 25

  7. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill ?
    A Striker is what we really need and thats where the money should be spent!
    Yes, Koscielny was missed against the Scouser’s and hopefully he should be ready for the trip to Leicester, but it’s not as if Mertesacker or Gabriel were solid at the back and again, it’s not as our best defensive set up never got hammered before, either! ??and back then we were all crying out for a DM!… Coquelin stepped in and proved that he could do the job there, we also have Xhaka and Elneny who puts himself about.
    So what’s the problem? ? When we have a decent Defensive set up in midfield available to us now!
    Monreal could partner Koscielny in the CB positions and Gibbs who hasn’t been that bad when being called upon, could cover the LB position, he has more pace than Monreal. One of Holding or chambers can sit on the bench.

    The real issue here is Wenger! And Even I’m getting sick of pointing the blame at him ? But Geez, come on! The gamble he took with the starting 11 was beyond all jokes! And his reasoning and excuses are unacceptable.
    Was Xhaka carrying a knock or something?

    I seriously believe if he would have started Xhaka and Elneny in the DM positions and Monreal at CB with Gibbs at LB, along with The Ox instead of Ramsey, We would have beat the Scouser’s, Yesterday And that’s what pisses me off the most about Wenger, No logic or common sense!

    1. Spot on for me, Xhaka is an out and out DM where as Elneny has a bit more going forward and isn’t as rash as Coq, I hope they become our first choice pairing in Mid this year espescially when we are so frail at the back

  8. The likes of me and some others have been saying for the past five years now on this platform that with Wenger as manager we can kiss major trophies good bye, but we were thumbed down, now it’s beginning to get more obvious to even the most staunch AKB’s.

    Currently, Wenger is the most experienced manager in the EPL and yet he keeps acting like the least experienced of all because he hates to spend. Even before we lost Met and Gabriel our backline was screaming for a quality partner for Koscielny but Wenger refused to admit the obvious.

    Then we went ahead and lost both to injuries and then it became inevitable that we needed an experienced CB urgently, which was obviously why a move for Mustafi was attempted. But instead of Wenger wrapping up the deal immediately, he hesitated because of the price tag which we can comfortably afford.

    And he decided, in his characteristic manner, to gamble with two green horns at CB against a big club like Liverpool hoping that the gamble would pay off so he can find a justification not to spend.

    With his over eighteen years in the EPL he should be able to accurately predict which team is strong enough to win the EPL. And with his experience I can bet he knew that our CB was very weak and could not deliver in a competitive game but because of his stubborn and unrepentant stingy nature he decided to ignore his experience and gamble with our CB and CF positions so he doesn’t have to spend available funds.

    And I can assure you due to his pride and penny pinching he would refuse to admit that we urgently need to spend to get a quality CB and would therefore decline to pay the £30 million for Mustafi.

    The truth is if we the fans don’t stand up and demand that Wenger goes at the end of the season and replace him with an ambitious coach such as Diego Simone, then we can kiss winning a major trophy goodbye forever.

  9. I am not looking forward to Leicester
    Mahrez and Vardy could tear us apart
    Hope Koscielny, Giroud and Ozil are available

    We desperately need a CB and striker
    Get Mahrez too and we can stop him from playing against us 🙂

  10. As sad as it sounds, once this season is over. Let’s just pray ? We don’t bring in a yes man manager.
    Bring in someone with drive, passion and have a much better all round tactical knowledge than arsene.
    This sitting on your hands business and squeezing your lips together whilst we are losing doesn’t seem to get the players motivated boss ?

  11. Dutch fitness coach Raymond Verheijen has told Aaron Ramsey to leave Arsenal if the Gunners cannot solve their injury problems, asking the midfielder why he is gambling with his career by staying at the club.

    Verheijen has been an outspoken critic of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, arguing that his training methods regularly lead to players picking up injuries, especially muscle injuries, which can be avoided.

    Let not forget about Tony Colbert, our dear fitness coach, who has been described by Thierry Henry, RVP and Nasri as a butcher stuck in the 80’s…?

  12. Watch Steve Bould reaction after Coutinho second goal… It is funny as it is pathetic… He is a muppet and Wenger is his “daddy”?

  13. Wenger will sign those 2 years extension, just because he wants to and just because he can… This club belongs to him and he does whatever he feels like?

  14. Joke after joke. I am seriously worried about arsenal fc season. Manchester United have got a beast of a defender for under 30 million in bailly. Here wenger is acting can one be so naive. Other teams would by now have known mustafi is available for 30 odd million and will just approach him while we are here laughing at other teams failure.

  15. Ramsey out for 3-4 weeks… Is anyone really dissapointed with that? ? I’m sorry to say “but I’m not”, hopefully the Ox will continue to improve! ?

    Inter are preparing a 69 million pound bid for Sanchez,
    Rumours suggest that Sanchez would only be interested if they make him the highest paid player, in the Italian league.

    Fan’s on Twitter are genuinely worried about Arsenal fc accepting that kind of offer.

  16. You guys have to remember…
    Gazidis has been placing the stones of this season since the beginning… “We cannot compete with the other clubs” before he precisely confirmed “We cannot compete FINANCIALLY with the other teams” (he did not mention which teams…).

    Then he said “Wenger has been working under a tight budget ans under pressure and he has done extremely well”, followed by “the chairman trust the manager with transfers and the club moving forward (WTF it means)”…

    Some of us go it…

    If you think you paid a season ticket or even a ticket with the hope something will happen, you are pissing on yourself. Arsenal fans have obviously money to burn…!!

    There are no promises of glory or improvement.

    When you have Wakcott, who is what we call an Arsenal senior player earning a whopping £140,000/week, you know there is something symptomatically wrong at Arsene football club.

  17. The new Spurs kid Jansen was the answer…..he was cheap and fit our needs perfectly. We didn’t go for him, not even an offer.

    We aren’t looking for a striker….we aren’t looking for a CB either. We will get no one. Accept that and go with it.

    Personally I don’t think we have the money….I think it’s all BS about the 100 million etc.

  18. Wenger and the board are B***s***ing us and we won’t get value for our money until we give them back what they are giving us. If you want our money then give us world-class signings and trophies, if not no deal. It’s as simple as that, the power is in our hands but we don’t realize it!

    1. It wouldn’t be so bad if it looked like the board and Wenger were TRYING to progress, but failing….

      I cannot believe or understand any of Wenger’s recent decisions, I think only the suicidal would.

  19. The defence in not the problem, I personally believe both Chambers and Holding did well and with Koscielny back Arsenal will be fine defensively. There is no need to spend 30 million on a defender, with Welbeck out for virtually the whole season, walcott shifting his perference to the right wing and Giroud poor display in UEFA Euro 2016 a striker is a must.

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