What are Arsenal waiting for before completing Mahrez swoop?

Arsenal are believed to have held talks over a swoop for Riyad Mahrez for much of the summer, but have put his capture off so far.

Thomas Lemar was believed to be a priority over the Algerian winger, but now looks to be off the cards, and there had been thoughts that would mean the Leicester star would become wanted once again.

It is possible however that our pursuit of Mahrez was more in preparation for when Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil left the club, with the pair both having allowed their contracts to run into their final season.

The duo have turned down any attempts to get them to sign for over a year now, but Arsene Wenger appears to be adamant that the duo can not leave the club during this month, possible meaning they no longer have any need for Riyad.

Theo Walcott is another forward who was linked with the exit door in the close-season, with West Ham claimed to have made a bid, but he also looks set to stay with the club.

The latest reports are stating that AS Roma have pulled out of their bid to try and sign the 2016 PFA Premier League Player of the Season, leaving us free to pursue a deal should we wish.

The speculation has reduced tenfold since the Community Shield regarding our interest in Mahrez, and for now there looks very little in it, but there is also reports that claim we must trim our squad before we can further bolster, which could well be another angle.

Do we want Mahrez? Do we need another forward in the squad? Did we only want the Algerian to replace one of our supposed outgoings attackers?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Leicester mahrez Roma


  1. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    But does he track back?

    1. Frank says:

      Hahaha no but at least Ozil will have someone to talk to while the other 8 out fielders defend.

      1. JoJoAFC says:

        From what I saw last Friday night we have no need to buy for any off the forward positions we looked deadly going forward and that was with no Alexis. Where we need to strengthen is the middle off the park we need a deep lying playmaker in the Santi mould and a beast off a DMF. My dream singnings to take us back to the top would be Steven N’Zonzi and Jean Michael Seri or Leon Goretzka. Then we are ready to challenge. I think with the right DMF and a deep lying playmaker with excellent offensive and solid defensive skills we don’t need to buy a Central Defender. The reason why we conceded 3 goals was because Xhaka and Elneny pushed up to much trying to play 1-2’s around the box and left our back 3 exposed to many times . To play a back 3 you need your holding medfielders to sit back and protect them. Especially when you are playing a kid, a new signing and a left back out off position as that back 3. It seems elementary to us fans but the guys making £100,000 pounds a week don’t think off that . I think with 2 off the right singings this team can go far this season .

  2. Twig says:

    “We were never close [to a deal],’ Wenger is quoted by The Independent. ‘I rate him as a player but we have similar types with Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil and now Jack Wilshere back.

    ‘We have plenty of the same type of player.’


    You need to read the papers more my friend

    1. Ranjan Das says:

      Yes I agree – this is not happening – specially given that we have kept all our attacking players
      Theo, Welbeck, Lacazette, Sanchez, Ozil, Ox can all play in the wings so I don’t think we need anymore.
      What worries me is our brittle midfield – not sure if we have enough cover

  3. Hass says:

    We have a few young lads coming through and a few established wingers. We should probably steer away from luxury players for a while.

  4. OldHighburyTommy says:

    Mahrez is not good enough.. Happy to hear we haven’t bid for him.

    Along with the rest of Arsenal-sympathising world, including every pundit and journalist for the last few years, I’m gonna fantasize about what should, and may be could, be done.

    1. Alexis can eff off in his private jet to wherever he chooses…c.50 million.. If we can get Aguerro or Mane in return why not Citeh ?

    2. If Ozil wants to go he can too..c. 40 million.
    Ramsey can play there since he is more effective further forward and his lack of defensive ability is not so crucial.

    3. Ox can go for 35 million, fine.

    4. Because of his footballing sense, great attitude and movement I’d try to keep Welbeck as a very good squad player. He’s the biggest miskicker and scuffer in the box I’ve ever seen but he is a very useful player..stretches the opposition and fits well into our fast and fluid attacking system. But 30 mill is tempting.

    5. When Walcott plays or comes on as sub usually nothing happens. Yes he scored some goals last season – nearly all of them in cups against lower opposition. Wenger loves him so forget about selling him.. He’ll stay until he takes up a training/advisory role at Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium. Someone has said here before he is the perfect example of inconsistency and why keeping players like him means we’re always nearly but not enough…what to do..

    6. So that is roughly 150 million for four main players. Get rid of Cech and Ospina buy Jack Butland for 35-40 mill that f**kwit Stoke can’t refuse and recall Martinez from loan.
    Get Seri, 35 mill.
    With the other 70 million plus other minor sales, Debuchy, Cech, Ospina etc and wages saved get D. Sanchez from Ajax 30 mill or VvD 60 mill.. Kos needs treatment after every game. I reckon we’ll get 65-75% only of games from him.this season.. Bfg – limited games also.. Rob a hero but still learning..not enough for centre in a back 3. Gabriel only as right centre back in a back 3. So room for another major CB in very near future or now since defensively we are under organised/secure.

    7. Nearly everyone is thinking we play 3-4-3 all the time now but if you look at a couple of games from last season where we switched back to 4-4-2 or 4-3-2-1 in the last 20 mins we won… The fa cup final, and getting bogged down against Sunderland before coming out on top 3-1 I think. Which means that some players still have a role here.
    So, why get rid of Gibbs if squad numbers can manage it. ? What if aging Monreal or Kolasinac are injured ? Having decent, experienced LB back-up isn’t easy. He’s got Arsenal in the blood…played really well in games at the end of last season.

    8. Loan Chambers again. Might have a future somewhere in a 3-4-3 or other system.. Still learning.

    So the players who want Out – Alexis, Ox, probably Ozil..and may be cash in on Wellbeck… Means at least around 100-140 mill..
    In: Butland 35 mill, D. Sanchez or a proven CB around 35 mill, Seri 35-40 mill = total 110 mill. If VVD it’s 130 ..

    Plus with the money we clearly have anyway since we bid for Lemar, and the other sales get another forward..Ascensio, Moura, Draxler …etc

    A team with more solid spine and talent…without whingers not wanting to play for us.

    1. Kamikaze says:

      You must be living in dreamland

      1. OldHighburyTommy says:

        Yeah, true…maybe. That is why I said I’m fantasizing about what could be done to clean us up and actually compete at home and more in Europe.
        Adding 4-5 players doesn’t seem beyond the scope of other managers and rich clubs… Incidentally I like Ozil and Ox is a good kid , he can’t play in the middle though, but what’s the alternative? Let them all go on a free next yearir do the necessary now?!

    2. Vishaad says:

      I agree with your statement that Sanchez and Ozil should be sold . The discord created in the dressing room due their contracts situation will affect our team performance.
      If we can recoup 80million for both them we should buy Willian and Fabregas. Willian on the wing is brilliant and Fabregas can unlock any defence . As for Oxlaide Chamberlain well if he does not appreciate the faith shown in him after years of disappointing mediocre performances then must be sold . We have plenty young guns whin can fill the void if he does leave .

    3. dennis the menace says:

      FIFA, PES or Football Manager?

    4. Al the Gooner says:

      Sadly none of that is happening. Arsene is living in a fantasy world where everyone lives to his personal standards. I think he actually believes Ox and Ozil will sign if we win the title and sweep all before us. The reality is potential suitors will be able to offer insane wages as they will be free, we have no chance to match them and I can imagine their agents are all having wet dreams right now. The situation seems like complete madness to me.

  5. gotanidea says:

    Yes, Arsenal seems waiting for Sanchez’s and Ozil’s decisions. Any new attacking midfielder/ forward will only be a squad rotation player if they stay.

    I agree with Wenger, Arsenal still has Iwobi, Wilshere, Ramsey, Adelaide, Chamberlain, Nelson and Lacazette that can play behind a striker. Especially Iwobi, he has good close control, stature and other skills that would make him excel in that position.

    Rather than getting Mahrez, I prefer Arsenal gets Jean Seri, Rafinha and Sergi Roberto.

    1. Ranjan Das says:

      Why get this 3 players – they arre bang average

  6. AndersS says:

    Mahrez is exactly the type of player, we don’t need any more of, so I sure hope we stay away.

    1. Emma says:

      Nonsense talk. U keep Welbek and Walcot that England cannot even invite to national team. Both are no match for Mahrez

  7. SynthiagoCazorla_Hvman_Machine says:

    I agree that there has to be room for improving the first 11 with a top quality signing before the deadline day. But I don’t think that room is in the attack. Especially with Alexis staying this season and the acquisition of Lacazette, we are very good in attack.

    However, if Mahrez is willing to compete for a starting spot with Alexis and Ozil, and if he his price is more reasonable, we should get him.

    We need an effective signing in central midfield. A decisive signing that will come in and settle that midfield immediately.

  8. Kostafi says:

    Do we need him? Not particularly.
    Is he an upgrade on certain players like Walcott? Definitely.
    Is attacking midfield/Right Wing the most crucial place for us to reinforce? No.
    Will he definitely start? Not with Ozil and Sanchez in the match-day squad.
    So it seems it is only wise to make a move (for the £50m price) if a couple of players are part exchanged (Walcott, Jenkinson+Debuchy for free) otherwise what is the point?

    It’s all well splashing £89m on a Pogba, but having to rest Rashford against Arsenal and Spurs due to Zlatan injury seems the money wasn’t invested properly in the area reinforcements were needed the most.

  9. Mobella says:

    No, i don’t want him near my team. I can’t help it to think those that want him want another player to complain about. People here will here murder me with complain about him six months in his career as our player. As bad as Walcott is, he is better than him in terms of goal and assist for the team. Mahrez didn’t just start playing football 3 years ago. Where was he before that. If we truly we want to improve our team then we should look else where or improve within. People are talking about Dembele, Mbamppe etc now but no arsenal fans will give us the chance of signing them few season(s )ago because they are kids and won’t improve us. Now we all want them. I will gladly take Nelson, Willock and all other kids in academy over Mehrez.

  10. Vishaad says:

    Sell Ozil , Sanchez , Welbeck and Oxlaide Chamberlain . Buy Rashford and Martial along with Fabregas and Willian

    1. Elvinho says:

      seems like you missed your flight back from dream land

      1. Vishaad says:

        Seems you are happy with competing for 4th place and being knocked out of the group stages of the champions league . If Arsenal are to move forward they need to show they are a big Club that is not held ransom by the players . With the players and new manages in the premier league now can we afford to sit with a squad that complacent and lost the hunger for titles. Sanchez is the only player that pereforms out of his skin on the pitch because he ‘s hungry to win a title . The rest are weak and happy to earn a massive salary for putting in sub standard performance’s . Make a statement of intent by releasing these players and bring in talent that are hungry to fulfil our goals

        1. Marty says:

          What makes you think M.U. would even think of selling us Rashford and Martial or Chelsea selling us Willan and Fabregas. This isn’t Championship Manager on the computer. Such a daft thing to say it’s unbelievable you think this could hapen….

  11. Joshua Bryant says:

    A CB is a must. Boss has fitness issues. Holding is still learning. Per is in his last season. Gabriel is not good enough to be a consistant starter in my opinion. Chambers looks to be on his way out. Mustafi will be crucial and will have to have a massive season. For me our best back 3 will be Mustafi Kos Holding but how often will they play together? If we could pull of a Van Dijk or someone of that calibre we would have a much stronger back 3.

  12. Emma says:

    I laugh at people who say Mahrez is not good enough. Apart from Sanchez who is better than him in Arsenal statistically. Is it Welbeck, Walcot, Giroud. Why have they not won the league for Arsenal if they are that good. You keep injured players in club and u call them squad players.

  13. Midkemma says:

    Anyone else thinking that Mahrez is an option IF we need a AM, so for example if AFC sold Perez and Welbeck then getting Mahrez could be seen as an upgrade while ‘cutting the fat’?

    Or what if Barca go stupid and offer £70 million for Ozil… AFC would prob accept that and replace him with Mahrez, seeing the profit as good business.

    Part of me thinks that AFC have put transfers on hold until they can raise more funds and go back with one last try for Lemar, I know it looks dead in the water because Monaco have raised their asking price but it might be the fact we do not have that money and without that money it is dead… but we get the money and it could be on again.

    If the rumored war chest of £100 million plus money from sales was true then we have spent about £46 million upfront for Lacazette, this leave £54 million… we Sold Szcz and got £10 million upfront which takes it to £64 million.

    Do AFC have to hold the add on fee back incase Lacazette triggers them this financial year?
    Do player signing bonuses come out of the war chest?

    If the answer is yes to both of them then we would have less than £64 million, AFC made a reported offer of £55 million and that feels kinda within range for this scenario…

    I could be totally wrong 😛
    But what if I am right?

    1. Ranjan Das says:

      The short answer is Unless we sell – there won’t be a Mahrez ; I don’t doubt his quality like some pll in this forum but we don’t have enough room – we are full of attackers. What we need this season is a good DM and next season probably is a top class CB.

      For DM – I have no idea which top class player we can realistically get
      For CB – Sanchez from Ajax looks like a class CB (Spurs are after him)

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