Arsenal free-agent target highly praised by Cesc Fabregas – Should Arteta listen?

There is a very big contingent of Arsenal fans that have noticed that the Gunners seem to prefer signing players that are free agents or out of contract during the summer, and one of the biggest names on that list at the moment is the Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who has had an illustrious career all over Europe.

It seems clear that he has refused to sign a contract extension with his current club AC Milan as they won’t meet his wage demands, and there will be no more talks until after the Euros. Calhanoglu told before the game against Italy: “I spoke to Paolo Maldini [Milan’s technical director] three days ago, he called me and we spoke about AC Milan,”

“I wish to focus on Turkey…I have great respect for Ricky Massara [Milan’s director of football] and Maldini and if something does come to pass, then I will talk to them.”

By then his contract will have finnally ended, and it is believed that he is keen to return to the Premier League, with both Chelsea and Arsenal being heavily linked in the media. It appears that the Arsenal legend Cesc Fabregas thinks very highly of Calhanoglu as talking on the BBC ahead of the Italy game, (transcribed by the Spaniard said: “He’s very talented. What I like about him is he takes risks, he plays forward, he’s not scared to create things when people don’t see them.

“He follows the game, he understands it. In football nowadays, you need a little bit of that because it’s become a little bit robotic.

“He comes into half spaces, he’s not afraid to shoot, another thing in football I think we’re losing a little bit from outside the box. He’s got a fantastic delivery in him.”

Calhanoglu is a vastly different proposition to the signing of free-agent Willian last summer, as the Turk is still only 27 years-old, so could even be considered in his prime.

The report says that Calhanoglu is looking for a wage of 4.5m a year, so a 4 year contract would only cost us 18million without any transfer fee.

Do you think Arteta should listen to Fabregas and go all out to sign Calhanoglu?

Tags Calhanoglu Fabregas


  1. Have to think this would be an ideal signing considering we’ve got quite a lot of wages off our bill recently. Would also mean we’d still have money to spend on other areas

    1. Please, Edu and Arteta u will have made my summer fantastic if u sign that magician Hakan the great I admire Hakan so much ,no one play free kicks and always on target better than him in epl

    1. While I accept it is unfair to judge a player on one performance, he was virtually anonymous against Italy .In a deep lying left wing position he did show decent close control but rarely if ever, attempted to take on his marker.There are lots of tastier sweets on the counter than this Turkish delight imo.

  2. He looked good. But we should get an attacker who’ll complement our existing right-footed attackers, instead of benching them

    Besides, if the bid for Ben White is correct, Arteta would likely revert to the counter-attacking 3-4-3 formation and drop the CAM. I hope the offer isn’t true, because we shouldn’t follow Conte’s and Tuchel’s tactics

    Mancini’s 4-3-3 in Euro should be the one that Arteta is aiming for

    1. I would like to know something if you can spare a minute and save me hours of researching. What is the ideal number of players in every position that is required to have a well balanced squad?

        1. For my benefit and those who don’t know or care about the technicalities let’s go over our squad to find how unbalanced it is and which position need urgent care.

          Since you have knowledge about this subject your input is much appreciated.

          Let’s start with Central Defenders. Since every position should have at least two then we need 4 to the maximum of 5 taking into account next season we won’t have European football.

          We had 6 but with Luiz gone we still have too many at 5. Mari, Holding, Gabriel, Saliba, Mav. Taking into consideration Chambers, Kolasinac and Tierney can slot in if required who do you think we should keep and who we should sell?

          1. If Saliba and Mavropanos did well last season, give them a chance to compete with our existing CBs. Otherwise if they were inconsistent or if they refuse to be the third/ fourth choice CBs, we should sell them

            Magalhaes and Mari are our only left-footed CBs, so they have to stay. Holding/ Chambers were pretty consistent last season, homegrown and Chambers is versatile, so they also have to stay

            About Kolasinac, it’ll depend on whether we can get a new LB or not

          2. Understood and agreed. Since we have one of the good defensive performance last season the CB is not a problem and doesn’t need addressing. If they can improve next season it is even better.

            Now to Right Backs. We have Bellerin, Cedric and Chambers. Chambers as you have mentioned is versatile so he should be kept. What about the other two? Should we look for the better player than them and ship them or is that position not in need addressing. They may not be held to higher standards by most fans but they played their part in that good defensive performance last season.

            Now the other side is where there are issues in my opinion. Only Tierney and Kolasinac are natural LB. Kolasinac is not good and while Tierney is good I don’t think he is there yet as a dependable LB. He is also injury prone.

            Should we ship out Kolasinac and go with a proven LB capable of not only competing but also benching Tierney?

            What are your thoughts on those positions?

          3. @Highbury Hero : I’d like to keep Bellerin if he’s still motivated to play for Arsenal, because he’s so good in attacking, in his prime age and homegrown. Whereas Soares has shown that he’s a good RB for squad rotation and might be able to play like Spinazzola on the left

            About Kolasinac, I like his crosses/ aggression and he can still compete with Tierney. Unfortunately he’s on high salary and I think he’s no longer motivated to play for Arsenal after Arteta disbanded his clique, so we need to check his performance in pre-season

          4. So all in all you are satisfied with our current defense. About the midfield position I have seen a lot of fans request a DMF but when I check online Le Granit, Partey and Elneny are all listed as DMF. Why do Arsenal fans not consider them DMF?

            Can’t Partey play the role Arsenal fans consider as a DMF?

            What are your thoughts on Nelson, Willock, AMN and Guendouzi? Do they have a role to play next season or should they look elsewhere? Speaking of Willock what do you think is better for his progress, another loan at Newcastle or fight for his place at Arsenal?

          5. @Highbury Hero : Partey is a box-to-box midfielder, but maybe some fans don’t see his movements from deep midfield area. Xhaka and Elneny are DMs since they tend to stay behind in the games, but Xhaka can also be considered as a deep-lying playmaker too

            About Nelson and Willock, I prefer to utilize them instead of recruiting another right-footed attacker like Calnahoglu. Willock seems to have understand the CAM and box-to-box CM roles better at Newcastle, so he can compete with Smith-Rowe and Partey

            Regarding Maitland-Niles, he could be a hell of an RB if he wants to focus on that role. About Guendouzi, we’d better sell him since we’ve got Partey, Willock, Azeez and Elneny

          6. I always figured you two didn’t have much to offer from a footballing standpoint…thanks for confirming that assumption

          7. @vieiralynn.

            That is why we are armchair managers. I was enjoying our harmless little chat with gai before you ruined it even though you could have simply stayed out of it.

            Since you have joined why don’t you add to the discussion and bless us with your football knowledge?

            @GAI thanks man I have really enjoyed our discussion before we were rudely interrupted. Perhaps we will continue in the future.

          8. Someone made a great point in some other post. He said “we were 3rd best defence I the league because we were always in a low block formation while defending”. I think this is correct. A good example being the games against City and Liverpool. This is so because we do not have the pressors in the midfield and defense area, maybe that’s why Ben White is coming in. Also He could play DM, LB and CB so who knows what MA is planning. I am just waiting to see how it play out.

    1. Not good enough for AC Milan? Do you that that he’s actually a key player for them? You guys don’t want Hakan but are drooling over odegard.. I really don’t understand some of the fans at all

      1. The AC fans who have actually watched him play over last 4 years will tell you he is skillful but inconsistent … so again NO THANK YOU

        1. I watched AC Milan all season! And he’s a great player and available for free!
          Who do you want then? Odegaard? Is Odigaard consistent? Did he actually show that he’s good enough?

          Even buendia is better than Odegaard and was available for cheaper!

  3. Look at it this way: If you had a top class player in his prime for £18 mill over a four year contact, who woud play without wages, you would be mad not to snap him up. Better still as we only pay thr £18 mill in stages(his wages of course) over that period.
    So will it happen? Not a scooby (“not a clue”, in factual English,for those whose first language is not English )as I have no idea if MA rates him. And however much anyone admires Cesc, he is not our manager!

    1. jon, you may “have no idea if MA rates him”; however does anybody know who MA rates, what he is looking for in a footballer, what style he is looking for the team to produce, what is his preferred formation and what deficiencies does he see in his squad?
      Hopefully, at the end of this current transfer window (MA’s second full one) we will have a better idea?
      I am so frustrated by the continuing poor financial and player asset management at Arsenal FC, exemplified by the underutilisation and misuse of the talent MA has had available to him.

  4. We should avoid contract rebels no matter their talent because we are going to pay above their worth in salaries. Being generous in wages is one of the biggest problems we have. We should be solving the problem not adding to it.

    We are already paying over the odds to a considerable number of players in relation to their performances.

    It says a lot when our wage bill is nearly on par with that of Bayern Munich. While the other beat Barcelona by 8 at their ground we get beat by relegation contenders home and away.

    We have all seen for the past few years not only at Arsenal but at other clubs as well, not one of contract rebels have gone on to justify their wages. The worst examples being Bale, Alexis, Pogba, Ramsey and Ozil.

  5. He was unimpressive in the game against Italy.. there
    are surely better options available for us .. ??

    1. So? Doesn’t mean he’s a bad player.. If you watched him for AC Milan you would know how great a player he is.. I would take him over odegaard anyday!

  6. Being Turkish, I hope Hakana Galhanogulu won’t turn around later to become another Ozil at Arsenal if the club sign him this summer.

    Therefore, as I fear for my club Arsenal. could profit from their former captain Cecs Febregas rating of Hakan if Arsenal exploit his tips? But AFC should take their time to think deeply before committing themselves to a Hakan project that could later hurt the club in the manner that the erstwhile Arsenal divisive player Ozil hurt Arsenal badly last season.

    Let me reiterate my advice to Arsenal once again to not rush to sign any new players this summer window after their abortive Buendia signing attempt. So that they can avoid any panic signing this summer. But neither should they be complacent in completing any top quality player signings they’ve found and sincerely want to sign them. But if over pricing in transfer fee payable by the selling club will not pose a hindrance to Arsenal from completing such deals.

  7. NO. Don’t really rate Cesc Fabregras as a judge of much. Hope Arsenal keep away from the freebies because they too often end up deadwood.

  8. I don’t believe in Edu & Co,they’re not good in there’s job!!!
    We all know how typically Arsenal transfer window goes every year so what will be different in this transfer window?!




  9. The man to gonfornis PEREIRA of west brom. He’s a prem proven player. Better than Ødegaard imo. Cheaper too. Go for him so he will help ease the burden on ESR.

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