Emery confirms that Arsenal really are looking for a centre-back

As usual Arsenal lost another pre-season friendly (Okay it was the Emirates Cup) due to lapses in concentration at the back, and despite the excitement over the Gunners trying to get Nicholas Pepe to join us, most fans made it clear that if we don’t improve our defence from last season then we will still have no chance of improving our League position.

After the loss to Bayern Munich, Emery was asked by the media how our transfers were going, and specifically the move for Pepe, and he responded: “We are working, the club, and also thinking about how we can improve. There are different players on the table with the possibility that we can achieve their signature. Pepe is a very good player and also we are thinking only of players who can really, really improve this squad and also give us some different conditions to improve. The same, we are working for the last few weeks and before starting the season in the first match in Newcastle, our aim is to get the best team with the best players in our squad.

“We are deciding how we can improve. At the beginning we were thinking to do one player to achieve the possibility to sign, but only if we can really, really improve this position. It’s one centre back, one midfielder and one winger and we are going to [try] to do that. We are thinking the same. I want a team that is better than last year, so the players can achieve a lot being with us this season. Also we have a very good team. Only the players that can improve and help the squad [will be brought in].”

This is a familiar line that we used to gwet from Arsene Wenger about only getting players that will be improving the team, but somehow Emery comes across as someone who does not feel the need to pull the wool over our eyes like Le Prof used to. If Emery says he is trying to get a centre-back, then I for one believe him, do you?



    1. I think another right back would be a waste. I think we can use Hector as the number 1,AMN as deputy and Carl Jenkinson for the league cup and dead rubbers

      1. AMN is kind of like Kola. Not bad as wingback but can’t defend well enough as fullback.

        As for Jenks, he is sort of like Lich. More stable defensively, but limited with the ball and can’t bring the ball out from the back

  1. We are heavily linked with Sami Khedira.

    Why would we need him, a CDM/CM? Seems like utter trash these rumors.

      1. Thank heavens for that. The boat sailed five years ago and we don’t need another superannuated crock on a silly contract.

  2. Sign a cb to replace the kos,get tent from Celtic,promote a cb,add Pepe from lille or promote a winger from academy

  3. This new regime are doing all the correct things at the moment, dating back to last summer. We’ve been getting rid of the deadwood/injury prone players. Every signing from last season was for our weakest areas, and it’s the same story this season. Even if we sell Auba, I will support it given he only has 2 years left on his contract, because I am sick and tired seeing our biggest assets leave for free, or next to nothing.

    It’s so refreshing to see squad assessments are actually happening now. Why this didn’t happen under the previous regime was insane!

    1. Well said!! My only wish is that the club would get a move on. I know it isn’t in our hands but I am finding it really irritating. Hopefully they are working on signing a real quantity CB.

    2. We’ve been addressing issues, but the defense has been an issue for over a decade and we’ve only signed Sokratis, who is clearly short term. Still time to sign more players, but our largest longterm issue has still barely been addressed.

      1. ThirdManJW, based on what has potentially been achieved for the money thus far (ie provided Pepe and Tierney are signed), there will be no need to sell Aubameyang.

      2. I would disagree about it it being barely addressed. In regards to signing defenders, I would agree with you, but I feel you’re forgetting the internal solutions that have been found over the last year.

        When Emery came in, EVERY defender could have gone for me. Not good enough. But under Emery, Bellerin, and Holding, massively improved, thus saving us a couple of signings. Defensively I wouldn’t say there has been a huge improvement from Bellerin, but there has offensively. Marcelo, Alba, and Dani Alves, have been the best fullbacks/wingbacks over the last decade, but none of them are any good at defending. As long as Bellerin keeps producing in the final third, I’ll accept he won’t be the best defender around. Then we have Holding who not only became our best CB, but was knocking on the England door at the time of his injury. We now know how important these two had become, given how we struggled during their absence.

        So as long as those two fully recover, I feel that’s two positions sorted. We have Saliba for next season, and we also have Chambers back as well, and it looks very likely we’ll sign Tierney.

        We also signed Leno, Sokratis, and Lich last season, with a defensive midfielder in Torriera as well. So they are clearly aware of our defensive problems, just takes time, and we have to take into account the budget as well.

  4. Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri has reported that Juventus’ German midfielder Sami Khedira is nearing a move to the Emirates

    1. I thought the guys in here would be up for that, he plays a similar way to Xhaka, he was similar a type of player but sounder in possession when making a simple lay off even when knackered. His passing range was said to be decent but I think Xhaka might be a little better, because I remember Khedira just recycling the ball mostly to his German playmakers. I haven’t seen much of him except for Germany a fair few seasons back now. Someone other than me could probably enlighten, but I think he’d be competition for Xhaka rather than Torriera who has Guendouzi and possibly Cabellos can play with any of them too because he’s rounded.

      I see Ceballos as a direct replacement to Ramsey, if we had bought him (over a loan) – I’d have been chuffed, he looks like if he settled with these players and settled in this country – He’d be the type of player that Ramsey’s detractors wanted Ramsey to be more like, rather than joining in on all those attacks and going beyond our forward players (on paper at least this is the impression that I got). He stitches things together (To simply put it ..a regular in here puts it from time). These players can help give a team some balance.

  5. Obviously we need 2top CD considering Kos on the way out. He wants to see ambition and right to stand up and not accept opposite.

    Any player or ball approaching that box in center is a scare to watch. Without Leno unreal save we would probably conceid at least 10 more goals. In a same game, he had multiple saves. Add this to our total, we are bellow 12th defense.

    KOULIBALY!!!!!! And Kos will stay, happy as we would. What da heck are we waiting on? City to get him?

    1. Daniele Rugani is being kept out of the Juventus team by two of the best CB’s in Europe and Juventus is bringing in De Lijt as well. Juventus are open to a loan deal for Rugani, because they still see him as a replacement for the current older CB’s. There is a rumour that Arsenal are working on a loan deal with an option to buy. He would be an improvement on what Arsenal currently have.

  6. Vyash. Koulibaly has bets on him but to low, wants EPL and be perfect at Arsenal as much we baddly need him too. Get Luis as back up if Kos leaves and get Bakayoko on loan to beef up our CM.

  7. Having signed Saliba and loaned him back and given the loss of Kos I would think that Cahill on a free would make perfect sense.A vocal and combative defensive leader who’s used to playing in the Premier League.For me it’s a “no brainer” as he could happily rotate with Holding,Socratis and possibly Chambers throughout the season and mentor Saliba when he arrives next season.
    As for Khadira..Fingers crossed we dont touch him with a barge-pole otherwise we’d then be supplementing ridiculous wages for three German ex-internationals who are incapable of any form of consistency on a football pitch and well past their best…That said I’m not sure Mustafi ever had a “best”..except perhaps the one day a scout presumably watched him play for Valencia

  8. This is for kev who said Pepe only attributes is his pace and finishing.”Nicolas Pepe was the only player in Europe’s top five leagues to have 100+ shots, win 100+ fouls and complete 100+ take-ons in the league in 2018/19. ”

    22+11 – Nicolas #Pepe is one of the two players with 20+ goals and 10+ assists in the top-5 European Leagues 2018/19 (22 goals and 11 assists), alongside Lionel Messi. Devasting.

    1. I am fan of kev but he’s wrong about this ..
      The most important aspect of an attacker is to produce output and zaha doesn’t produce enough..
      Not saying pepe is guaranteed to succeed exceptionally at arsenal but what he is
      going bring to the team will be very valuable..
      Last season we relied too much on aubameyang and lacazette for goal , but with pepe we are getting a player who can also contribute some goals..

    2. Is it a great stat to have 100+ shots but only 20 goals? I have not compared this conversion rate. In and of itself it means little. Only by comparison to other 20+ goal scorers would we know if he is efficient or wasteful.

  9. Why are we not looking to promote Christian Bielik?! He was one of the players of the tournament in the U23’s and has had no chance with us at all.

    1. I will be disappointed if Kris Bielik is allowed to leave Arsenal. It seems by not playing in the U23’s and going out on loan to Charlton, he has fallen under the radar.

  10. Sensible article with the final paragraph about the difference between UE and AW being especially apt! However,IF we fail to bring in at least one top quality CB for THIS season, then God help our chances of much Prem position improvement. The prospect of us starting at Newcastle with Mustafi the clown wearing our shirt are depression beyond bearing!

    1. I don’t always agree with everything you say Jon (we all have our opinions)but I’m with you 100% on that! We will have the capability of scoring 4 with The Chuckle Brothers making sure we concede 5.

      1. tony , I will be totally honest with you and admit that even I do not agree with all I a have previously written. In other words, like most humans I can change my mind in the light of events -or not change it too, such as on Ozil being bone idle, which I have thought almost since he first signed for us and still do. For what it is worth it seems to be almost unanimous among Gooners about “The Chuckle Brothers” being useless, esp Mustafi.

        1. The Ozil debate will run and run Jon. Like you I just don’t rate the guy and I’ve posted a couple of times “That Ozil can give you a 10 out of 10 moment every few games but if for the rest of the time you get 3 out of 10 for his performances its like playing with 10 men”. He wimps out of challenges, makes a 50/50 challenge become 70/30 in the oppositions favour as he hesitates, bends his back when going up for a header. People keep saying that his running statistics are quite good……Anybody can run but he doesn’t put in a proper and certainly doesn’t have a “I’ll die for the cause” attitude. And don’t get me started on XHAKA!!!!!!!!!!

          1. tony
            Xhaka is a lost cause. His concentration and mindfulness are the worst I have seen for his position. Plus he is so SLOWWWWWWWW.

  11. Daniele Rugani is young enough, good on the ground, 6’3″, speedy and from the Juve stable. C’mon Emery you say to improve us. It would’t take much to improve on old shakey, Mustafi. We have had too many nervous Centre Backs for too long. Time to get a goodun with a bit of class.

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