Arsenal should be taking advantage of Real Madrid’s clearout – Who should we go for?

Why is No One Talking About Real Madrid? by AT Israel

Last summer was an important one for Arsenal. A new coach arrived and five new players joined the club, with all but one of them turning out as more-than-OK signings. But the team still has holes all over and this summer is going to be another important one. Perhaps the most vital one of Emery’s tenure from a medium-term point of view.
Another great summer like the last one and we should find the top-four a considerably easier challenge with the nucleus of a title-challenging squad in place. But there are financial hurdles in place that can only be scaled if we qualify for the Champions League and buy smart to secure genuine talents on the cheap just like in the last major window.

So where do we find these bargains?

There have been strong rumours linking us to South America, lower Premier League sides, Barcelona, Portugal and just about everywhere except where these exact kinds of footballers are stacked and scattered about like a rich kid’s toy collection: the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid have a large, prestigious squad. They are having an awful season where many of their veterans have disappointed and their youngsters have thus been able to stake a claim. But reports out of Spain indicate that the merengues want more and want it now. They are clearing out 14 players this summer, or so we have heard, and it will be quite remarkable if Arsenal does not find any of these players interesting enough to play for us.

Unlike their eternal rivals, Real Madrid as of recent are sitting on a bucketload of young and potentially available players capable of making an impact in the first team. The products of their academy have been really impressive but as the extremely wealthy club they are, they plan to add more and more senior stars to their squad this window.

We currently have a need for a leftback who is good enough to start while also being one for the future. It would be a plus if he were defensively sound. Our defense also needs a big, commanding centre-back who can pass the ball like Pirlo (or at least better than Koscielny and co). Then there’s the issue of a replacement for both Ramsey and Elneny (who is presumably also leaving this window). Ramsey’s replacement must be capable of threatening the opponent’s goal with his attacking contribution while also retaining the ability to run back and press. Elneny’s need not be the best around, just someone young with enough talent to inspire hope. Then we need at least one winger who can play on the right. Somebody who can drive at defences, beat their man, skip a challenge or two and pick off a perfect pass for Aubameyang to bang inside the net. We could do with another winger on the left but that would not be a great sign for Reiss Nelson, whom we are purportedly planning to fit on that wing.

Real Madrid currently have four leftbacks in Full-hair Brazilian Marcelo, Theo Hernandez with the snowy Justin Bieber cut, Sergi Regulion who has recently been keeping Marcelo out of the first team picture and, of course, Achraf Hakimi, who can play on both side of the field. They are also reported to be close to signing Ferland Mendy from Lyon to add to the squad.

We should go for Sergi Regulion who, despite having his breakout season, has not played enough to be very costly. He has also been fantastic defensively for Real and can get forward to contribute well enough. In fact, he is a remarkable player who looks destined to play leftback for a top team. Why can’t that team be us?

Theo Hernandez is a bit more complicated. He was acquired from Atletico Madrid as a future star, but hasn’t done quite enough to displace Marcelo. He is still a big talent but could cost more than 25 million euros, which could be a problem. I believe Regulion, who is already better in my opinion, will cost less than that or otherwise would represent better value for money.

At centre-back, Nacho and Jesus Vallejo are not quite good enough and so we should look elsewhere.

Elsewhere is midfield where I am genuinely excited. Real have Modric, Kroos and Casemiro as their nominal starters. But this season they have James Rodriguez, Isco, Dani Ceballos, Martin Odeegard, Brahim Diaz, Marcos Llorente and Federico Valverde, any of whom I am completely convinced would be a great boost to our midfield. James and Isco would perhaps be the most difficult to acquire, along with Diaz who just joined from Manchester City and has been making a good impression. Dani Ceballos is likely to become a regular for the Spanish national side and we should honestly make an attempt to get him. If his role seems a little too vague, then there is still plenty to be excited about in Federico Valverde and Marcos Llorente. Valverde is an absolute gem. A freakish box-to-box player who is physically built to dominate the midfield with his Rabiot-esque height and athleticism. He is essentially a more mobile, roving Bentacur and is set to complete a golden generation in Uruguay’s midfield. In 2015, according to a Tribal Football article, Arsené Wenger was hellbent on bringing him to Arsenal while he was still a 17-year-old starlet on the books of Penarol. The legendary coach did succeed and Valverde ended up training with our first team with a penalty fee of 4 million euros over his head if he got injured. Unfortunately, Real Madrid turned his head stronger than we could. Though highly-rated, he would be relatively easy to afford. Because Real Madrid don’t use him that much, they would probably accept something around a 25 million euro deal or maybe less than that. Especially if they are getting new midfielders this summer.

Llorente is a more basic option, though spectacular in his own right. Llorente is not a box-to-box player like Valverde. He is more of a defensive midfielder like Casemiro (or our own Torreira) and he is absolutely decent at his job. I don’t see much need for him since he would probably take away playing time from Lucas Torreira.
Another attractive option is Martin Odeegard. The former wonderkid has been tearing up the Eredivise this season and was the only player that is not from either Ajax or PSV to be given a place in the division’s team of the year. Extremely talented, with a high ceiling, all he needs is some good coaching to reach his potential as a winger or 10. Despite his poor physicality (though he’s certainly tall), Odeegard is quite sound defensively. If he reaches his peak, we could have a player as immaculate as Zidane on our hands. Ajax are rumoured to be extremely desperate to have him but Real Madrid know the gem that they have and are rumoured to only be interested in a loan or a sale with one of their ruthless buyback clauses. His transfer fee is reported to be about 20 million euros.
Up forward, Real could be open to a loan for Vinicius Junior, seeing as his playing time could be seriously limited if they do get Eden Hazard or any other world class winger in his position. It is really difficult to forget Vinicius burning the entire left wing for Real against Barcelona and Ajax in the El Clasico and Champions League respectively.

There is also the possibility of Lucas Vazquez, Mariano Diaz, or Gareth Bale, but none represent a too attractive option presently. Vazquez is not exactly the type of winger we need and he would be expensive anyways while Mariano Diaz for a backup centre forward would mean blocking the path of Eddie Nketiah. Gareth Bale is, well, Gareth Bale. Very capable of the spectacular performance or injury. He would also cost a lot. Our midfield urgently needs some backup. With Elneny and Ramsey leaving, we would only have Torreira, Guendouzi, and Xhaka as deeper midfield options. Federico Valverde is bound to be a future star and he would be an amazing replacement for Ramsey. We should attempt to get him.

Or if not, we can secure any of Real’s young leftbacks for a relatively cheap amount.

Real Madrid are currently sitting on a treasure chest of talented players in positions where we are severely lacking. It would be utterly baffling if we let other teams get to these players before we do.

A. T. Israel


  1. we do not need to go after deadwoods from other clubs… we should go for best players from other teams instead .

    TROSSARD 20 He can play both wings and in the middle
    ZIYECH. 25 he can play on the right and in the middle
    FRAZER 20. he can play both wings
    SALIBA. 20. develop him to be the engine room kind of CB and play along mavro and holding
    a good LB. 15 someone young

    OZIL. 20
    MHIKI 15
    IWOBI 15
    ELENEY 10
    MUSTAFI 20











    1. So with this nett spend, what comes first?
      Selling the list of players you identify in order to buy those you indicate?
      It’s seems certain that kronkie will only give up to £70,000,000 and that’s if we qualify for the CL.
      As you have put Ozil at the top of your list, let’s assume we sell him…then what?
      You have listed three other midfield players on your transfer list, so do we really expect our younger players to step in (and perform) until we find a replacement?
      And at what cost, both in transfer fees and salary…please don’t expect UE to be a magician and sign someone to fill Ozil’s boots for £20,000,000 and on a salary of peanuts it just will not happen.

      I am also puzzled by the way players are termed as “deadwoods” and yet (in the eyes of RICHIE anyway) expect other clubs to spend out £100,000,000 on our deadwood.
      Let me remind everyone that this deadwood has reached a european final and finished just out of the top four…a bigger achievement that actually finishing third because of UE’s tinkering with a winning team.

      There is no question that our defence needs to have a Adams,Campbell,Keown type player who will actually organise and take control at the back.
      I agree that we have some very good potential young players at the back, but this is our weakest link in my opinion.
      I would rather spend our complete transfer budget on one player who can actually do this, allowing the likes of Ozil, Lacs and Aba to get on with their roles of creating and scoring goals.

      If we have any money left over, then we could start looking at the wings, but while we still keep shipping stupid, childish goals, with no (seemingly) organiser to control the defence, what’s the point of signing atacking minded players?

      As a footnote, If we win the final with this squad of players and take into account the fact thatWelbeck, Bellerin and Holding will be coming back, isn’t it a fact that we really do not need to go overboard with the “ditching of deadwood”?
      This squad should have already qualified for the CL, a point that no Arsenal fan can argue with surely?
      Let’s buy the one or two players needed to strengthen this squad and make sure they are in the positions we are desperate to improve on.
      Ditch this ridiculous wholesale change called for by some fans and respect what UE and the players have achieved this season.


        I am tired of seeing the same talk from Gooner fans about selling half our squad and then mention 1000 wingers we should buy lol.

        Arsenal doesn’t have a winger problem, WE DON”T EVEN NEED WINGERS RIGHT NOW!.
        Our attack is golden, this winger craze is ridiculous a few winger won’t win you a trophy, and Arsenal will prove that in the final(we have already with FA cups).

        We need to FIX THE DEFENSE….PERIOD!

      2. I don’t get this delusion where some people keep going on about “If we sell Ozil then what? Who will be able to fill his boots?” Blah blah.

        There is nothing or no boots to fill with Ozil. He is as useless and finished. We don’t want to fill his boots, we want to move on from his nonexistent presence in our team.

        It’s not like when we lost the likes of Henry, Cesc, Rvp, Nasri and even Sanchez. Those guys had a presence and 8/10 they made their teammates play better.

        Ozil is a failed experiment. To me for the majority of his time here he has been riding on sentiment and past glory from his loyal fans.

        It’s like when people used to say “Get rid of Wenger and then what? Who do you replace him with?” Blah blah.

        Again Arsenal were here before Ozil.

        1. Do you have buyers for these values for players with high wages? This is not football manager. Support players before the final.

        2. Goonster, you totally missed the point I was trying to make:
          As Ozil was top of the list, I used him as an example.
          So, take any of the players listed and carry on with the scenario that I set out.
          Whoever we buy, if you want to get top payyers, it is going to cost you an awful lot of money in wages and transfer fees…something we haven’t got.

          Also, after this season, why do we need to make wholesale changes?
          We should have finished third, we are in the final of the europa league and that is in UE’s first season.
          How on earth you can say that Ozil is a “failed experiment” is ridiculous to the point of being tiresome.
          How on earth did we acomplish the season we have just had, if we need wholesale changes, both in and out?
          Ue made some mistakes that cost us the third spot with his selections, but didn’t he get the squad together?
          Like it or not, part of that success was his willingness to work with Ozil and that will be the case next season, as Ue has indicated.

          Why not take a deep bbreath, stop jumping on the same player to vent your feelings and actually look at what UE and his squad have done.
          Forget your animosity of one player and you will see that there is something being built slowly but surely…and Ozil is part of that!

  2. Lovely article, I enjoyed that, out of those forwards, I’ll honestly take Vinicius on loan (Only because we won’t be able to afford him) Still a better option than wasting 70million on Zaha.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have Zaha, but with our transfer policy, 70Million is way too much for him, Since Emery loves his wingers, I’d love to take Vinicius on loan, Try to snap Malcolm for 35million and then we focus on the midfield and the defense.

  3. Can we just say sell so and so player without quoting ridiculous amount. I’m all for selling players we don’t need or has not contributed much to the teen. Quoting 20m for Ozil is frivolous. How much will Madrid want for Isco and James? Do they have way better season than him? Iwobi 15 when palace want ? for Zaha. A lot of us will do worse than Ivan and Wenger.

  4. Good article. For Richie to talk about the players who Real Madrid may sell as “dead wood” is ridiculous. Just because Real are selling doesn’t reflect the ability of the players. The club has high expectations and now that they are behind Barcelona and Atletico the fans require Zidane to reconstruct the team and regain success, whatever the cost.
    Federico Valverde would be a great acquisition, as well as Llorente, Regulion and Junior (even on loan) if the prices are right. Maybe Torriera can have a word to his countryman Valverde.

  5. I disagree with @ken1945 on ozil, as i believe a 20m player can perform better than him and probably fill his boot in arsena, he isnt indispensable.
    I also disagree with his point about defence, the best form of defense is attack, a good attack will relieve pressure on the defence, so if we could get good wingers, our goals conceeded with drastically reduce even with the current defenders, a good winger will help full backs stay in position, and cb too wouldnt need tl be drawn away mostly.
    However , i agree we dont need to go for deadwoods/rejects of others but there are some good players that could improve us.
    If 3 players Dortmond signed were the ones we signed throughout the summer, i wouldnt even complain. I think we need to dithch one of this 3, ozil/miki/iwobi, by all means.
    I hope we sign Suarez on permanent, i hope we go for saliba instead of manola, just 1cb, 1 lb, 1winger(preferably left footed), with the signing of young argentine, we are good to go

  6. lol to people like richie who thinks spending most of our small budget on wingers will magically fix our team or calling other team players deadwood.

  7. Real madrid and barcelona are unlike any other club in the world. They use and dispose of players like object in such a way that you would think they play fifa 19 in real life.e.g Buy coutinho 140m, if he fails dump him like trash, its the same for real madrid.

    For a team like us who cannot really bargain on huge money signing who if they fail will have a huge negative impact on the club finance and field performance, it is an opportunity to grab some very good players who are dumped by them. They could have an new mbappe, de bruyne in their ranks and dump because they don’t develop and give minutes to young players anymore. Remember the reason barca gave pep and his young team a chance was because they couldn’t compete with other rich clubs, now they are the rich club. Liverpool were also like us looking for players with potentials, look at them now.

  8. I cannot believe Real Madrid would contemplate selling such a talented midfielder as Valverde He is exactly the athletic type of player they need to speed up what has become a very one paced set of central midfielders.

  9. I think we do need more on the wings, while I do agree with Ken, wholesale changes sounds like fantasy coming from some fans, though the wing area is an area we need to improve on. I don’t think you can just look at our threat and goals scored to say we are ok here, that was down to two players mostly and them receiving the ball early so they can face goal, and their clinical abilities. Why wouldn’t we want to try and improve our firepower, esp now that we have a couple of top calibre strikers. Iwobi needs more competition, when we need someone similar to his style he is the only option we have on both sides. Mkhit has popped up on occasion but we need a fitter, younger and braver player. I like Fraser allot. Some of our young guns might get a shot. Defence obv is an area that will receive treatment. Ken is right though, we need to build on what we have, build on the foundations so to speak, not just swap everything out and hope for the best, not to mention all the talks and what not, it would leave us open for too much to go wrong.

    Madrid have a huge squad, I wonder if Raul might have some difficulties dealing with that club. That youngster we almost signed, that’s news to me.

  10. Sorry to say but we can not sell most of our squad in one window. its a slow change but we will have to just bear it, while our defense is problematic i think its our midfield the weakest part of our team, too many slow players, correct our midfield and our defensive issues will become less.

    A lot of our attacks has come from our left and right backs this season, which shows the importance of personnel in wide areas, it is up to Emery to see which direction we go this season, if he buys Fraser or any other wide player i think our attack would have been improve.

    On to Real Madrid, i think they have a mix of super young talent, unfortunately i do not think they use their talents efficiently, one defensively minded DM Casimero, very attacking backs, playing in the premier league Real Madrid would not finish in our top 8. That is a team that needs restructuring. Valverde and Asensio i think we could use.

  11. It would be a “plus” if we get a left back who can defend? A plus? Seriously I must be getting old as that makes about as much sense to me as saying we need a back up keeper and it would be a plus if they can stop shots.

  12. We never had a good defence every since the invincible era, it was the midfield and strike force which would dictate the game.Now since our mid field is weak the defence is stretched further and succumb under pressure.The back and side passing invites mistakes and leads to goals.We need CAM and a winger desperately with a replacement for Mustafi (please ignore the stats).the rest of an average defence can stand for another year

    1. Bob Stevens, some may argue (well me anyway) that the Invincible defence was a once in a lifetime defence…better even than GG’s back four.
      It’s those bl**dy Invincibles that changed the way of judging our players!!!

      1. Ken, I feel proud to have seen them and been part of that era as a fan. Till date there has been no goalie like Mad Jens or David, the closest to them was Peter Schemeichel (as a leader on the field)

        1. Agree wholeheartedly, it was a wonderful time to be an Arsenal supporter and it was achieved without the money that city, united and pool have spent.
          So pleases and proud that I was around when it happened Bob, but as I say, don’t you think it has been an albatross sround our necks ever since?

      2. Ken, Well, I suppose some may argue the Invincible defence was better than GG’s . Not me though. No comparison in my view. The 1989 and 1991 defence were far superior. Neither Campbell nor Toure would have got in as first choice while Adams and Bould were fit. Cole shaded Winterburn slightly, mainly for his attacking ability. Not one other outfield defender in the Invincibles remotely compares, IMO. It was the midfield and attacking brilliance that ensured The Invincibles defence were rarely under real pressure.

  13. I never understood why we never checked out of favour players from clubs like real,Barca,psg… surely there would be some good bargains,every year they’re buying new players and have to sell some because FFP,squad size,..and if they were bought by these clubs they have to be good players,also young ones who can’t get a chance to show what they can do,look at Rodgers at Celtic he got some good ones from these clubs!!and needing to sell we could get them for cheaper than théir real value!

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