Thursday, January 27, 2022

Report: Arsenal move early for Nigerian striker

According to Sky Sports, Arsenal have agreed a £6.8m fee with Belgian club KAS Eupen for striker Henry Onyekuru.

The 19-year-old, a graduate of the Aspire Academy, has scored 24 goals and made 14 assists in his debut season in Belgium’s top flight.

Unsurprisingly, his numbers have attracted attention from a host of top European clubs with the likes of Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Red Bull Leipzig, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Monchengladbach, Lyon, Lille, Monaco, Nice, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Fiorentina and Roma all linked.

Sky, who first pushed this link last week, claim that the Gunners have yet to agree personal terms with Onyekuru who could also face potential work permit complications as he’s not yet been capped by his country. The teenager is part of Nigeria’s squad to face Togo tomorrow and is hoping to make his debut.

With Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo likely to leave this summer, and Lucas Perez assessing his options, there is potentially room for a young striker. That said, it does raise questions about Chuba Akpom’s long-term future at the club.

Onyekuru may not be a big name signing (leading some to already question why we’re bothering) but he does at least have big support. Check this out from Ian Wright…

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Pedant

Good record for a 19 year old, worth a punt.

Give him a cap, Nigeria.

Kehnyshavin

He is already capped. He played last week in an official friendly for Nigeria

1886_gunner

The Corsica match is unofficial.

Anonymarse

He has Henry on the back of his shirt. What’s not to like.

Mpls

Heh, I’m sure that won’t lead to unrealistic expectations and unfair comparisons!

Anonymarse

No we would never do that

Third Plebeian

Spot on. For example, I remember vividly the way we never saddled Diaby with the Vieira comparisons.

Clive St Helmet

Yeah that’s a good point. Perhaps he could wear Pele on his shirt so we don’t get carried away with the next Henry.

IamaGoober

Not to put this lad down or anything.. but I cant take a whole summer of us signing random kids from small time clubs across Europe when you’ve got the likes of United who finished below us in the league signing Griezmann.. I get the old theory ‘there is no correlation between the quality of the player and the price tag,’ but I kind of think that is more the exception then the rule these days. It might of been different back in the late 90’s earlier 00’s but now I kind of think you get what you pay for.… Read more »

Clive St Helmet

I’ve not heard of him, he must be a random kid.

If he signs, give him a chance. He might be quality. Remember, Vieira was a random kid once.

IamaGoober

As my comment said ‘its far too early to write this kid off.’ Also we signed Patrick Vieira from AC Milan not from KAS Eupen so its not really the same.

My point was solely we cant have a summer of signing nothing but young players. We aren’t going to win the league by signing a young lad that’s still figuring out the game. Its also hardly going to encourage Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to sick around.

I mean nothing says ‘we’re making a title push,’ then signing a 19 year old teenager from the Belgian league.

Noblegunner

Haha. You probably should check his record. Yes , he is a 19 year old but he was joint top goalscorer in the entire Belgian league!! Plus, his 23 league goals meant he scored more goals than the rest of the squad……..combined!!
Bottom line, he’s better than any youngsters we currently have…..by far!!

Alez

Usually when we’re linked to a player who’s linked to a bunch of smaller clubs and the story’s only being reported by one source, it’s agent-driven and never comes to anything. I suspect he’ll end up elsewhere

OlegLuzhny

we are europa league now 😛

Red-Wing

One thing is being linked with a player and another actually agreeing a fee. For me this deal is as almost done.

Will be interesting to see what this means for our other young strikers, we seem to have quite a lot of them at the moment. This Henry guy, Chuba, Nketiah, Fortune, Asano… While it’s always welcome to have young talents at the club, this also means we have some decision to make regarding the future of some of these guys.

Mein Bergkampf

Does it really matter? I think our squad is good enough to challenge for the title already. It’s as good, if not better, than Chelsea’s. Unfortunately our manager decided to spend a whole season tinkering with formation and personnel, showing his 20+ years of experience and football know how with a trial and error tactic. That’s what’s costing us.

ChrisGoona

Of course recruiting young talent matters. How do you think the likes of Bellerin have been nurtured? Ridiculous question that.

I agree with you though that the squad is capable of challenging. The tinkering had to be done – regret is we didn’t revert to 3 at the back sooner. The injury to Santi threw a spanner in the works of course in terms of our formation and playing style, but I feel we have finally found a system that gets the best out of most our talented players.

Lets hope we can keep them and build on that.

Mein Bergkampf

Why are we still making excuses for him? Santi’s injury… pfft. One player! Ozil – fit all season, Sanchez – fit all season, Kos – fit all season. Cech – fit all season. Not many teams got as lucky as we did with injuries. Yeah but it’s that one player, that key player. Never mind that we bought big in CM and Santi is in the twighlight of his career. That’s what’s cost us. And then there’s always the promise of better things to come. It’s not a war chest this season, it’s a new formation. Does it really work?… Read more »

btw

Groundhog day, including the misplaced optimism and justifications by people on the Arseblog boards.

That said, I think the club is hoping to snatch young talent before they turn out to be 80M superstars. It might not work in every case, but it is a decent strategy. Unfortunately our scouting has failed to deliver -instead we got Sanogo, Campbell, and so on

Faisal Narrage

Isn’t that what preseason was for?
Don’t want to go into it again, but the season started off so badly. Wenger knew he wouldn’t have Giroud, yet had preseason to try Sanchez as CF but didn’t. Then bought Perez, but then played CF as CF anyways and just fell into a plan, which fell out of plan again.

I was concerned when it seemed he was using preseason purely for fitness and wasn’t really trying anything new, which turned out to be the case. Hopefully he doesn’t repeat the same mistake again (I know, I know).

Mein Bergkampf

Before the fa cup final, the commentator took us through the line ups. With Chelsea’s he basically said ‘you should all know it off by heart’, the key to their success being Conte making a decision mid September and sticking with it for the season. Does anyone have any idea what ours is? We’ve played so many players in so many different ways in different formations. We claim to be a quick counter attacking team but in fact concede most goals to inferior clubs who counter us, we are supposed to be beautiful to watch but spend game after game… Read more »

Third Plebeian

Please don’t associate Bergkamp with Hitler. It’s just wrong.

Modha

This is the ambition of the club writ large. Genuinely staggered that the club think that this will placate the fans and make them dream of leagues and getting back into the CL. A free left back and now this. I’m sure he has a great YouTube highlight reel, but the only way anything will change is when people stop paying their exorbitant prices to go watch this nearly team. I think the club is in for a rude awakening. And when Sanchez is sold, hoooo boy, the fireworks will be staggering. All our competitors are going to invest heavily… Read more »

TopBinBehaviour

Clearly this is not the marquee signing to placate the fans but we can’t just buy big name players as every signing. A free left back who was in the Bundesliga team of the season and looks to be a player that will fit well into our new system especially with Gibbs almost certainly leaving.

Do you think that our competitors do not invest in youth players? You are very naive, Chelsea have around 30 young players which they own and have loaned out, pull your head out of your ass.

Modha

Yeah, and how many of them make the first team vs making the club money? How many of those young players have Chelsea had to re-sign after selling them for far more money? We can’t just sign big name players….why not? It is what City do. It is what Chelsea do. It is what United do. It is what winners do. Do you think we are a poor club? Real champions are after Mbappe, Abamayung, Lukaku etc, we aren’t. That is my point.

TopBinBehaviour

That’s the eventual aim obviously but you have to take a punt on these players to find out the answer, the purchase of young unheard of players is something that has worked for us before. Rob Holding 2m when John Stones a ‘winner’ cost 55m is older and far worse is an example. Because is fiscally irresponsible to maintain that kind of spending to maintain that kind of spending. Chelsea owe Abramovich 726m based on the loans he gave them, eventually they will have to pay the piper. We do not have a sugar daddy owner who will lend us… Read more »

John C

Chelsea don’t owe Abramovic anything, if he were to sell he’d make a healthy profit on his investment, it’s called business.

Frank Bascombe

Man, that’s some original point you’ve got there. Some real deep analysis must have gone into that.

Bill

We signed Ozil and Sanchez, those were pretty big signings I think, I’m not sure though I could be wrong. Mbappe is 18 by the way and had one season with numbers similar to this youngster. At these ages who knows who will be better. Chealseas best signing is sane, and while highly touted as a youngster is I think 20, which means he’s still a youngster.

Anonymarse

Unlike us Chelsea never play any of their young players

Mikeh

It seems the club can’t win then. Miss out on players – our scouting is shit (Drogba, Yaya, and more), then when we do go for a youngster, we show no ambition. There really is no pleasing some fans…

Modha

There is pleasing this fan. Show some fucking ambition. Would you rather another untested player in the league, a 19 year old, who scored loads of goals in the Belgian league. Or them spending a metric tonne on a player of Lukaku’s ability and experience? Wenger said we were 2 players away from challenging after the FA cup final, we’ve now signed a free left back and this chap. When we sell Sanchez, and we will, who will you want to replace them? Another zygote from Africa who will be the next Kanu in 18 years? There is pleasing this… Read more »

CAGrules

You forget about Kos, Vardy and a whole host of others who come from lower leagues and boss the prem. Give him his shot and he could be as good as Alexis.

Mikeh

You probably said exactly the same thing when we signed Rob Holding, and you probably compared it to Man City spending 50m on John Stones to justify what you think ambition is.

Third Plebeian

Such a great comment, Mikeh.

ClockEndRider

Your assumption is that this signing is instead of rather than as well as. Why?

Modha

Because history has shown me as such.

ClockEndRider

Like Ozil? And Sanchez? And Koscielny? And Mertesacker? Honestly, the moaners really do try to suck the life out of everything.

Roof_attack

you berk.

Captain Common Sense

I guess I must have missed the announcement that said that this is going to be our last signing of the window. Damn. If only we had like, another 2-3 months to sign more players right?

JDizzle

Really insightful stuff there @Modha

‘Spend loads on big name signings – get results’

Like that theory never failed…

mo974

i am zygote from africa and i support the arsenal for nearly 30 years. get your act right and your words too .word is bond. this kid could surprise you…

Wenger in, Wenger out, Wenger shake it all about

Modha, what baffles me is you’re still talking… Do us all a favour yeah? Thanks

You get a thumbs up just for that name! ?

Vonnie

Lukaku is probably the most over-rated lump in the Premier League. We don’t need to waste money on someone like that. This is obviously one for the future, not a first team signing. In order to be successful it’s important to do both.

Adriano

He’s not really a similar player to Lukaku, so it has nothing to do with whether we’re signing him or not. I think we can get both this summer. I see Henry as being a back-up to Sanchez/Ozil positions (along with Iwobi) in our formation, and Welbeck being backup to Lukaku.
Did u guys see the way Romelu was all buddy-buddy with Welbeck and Giroud post-Everton?

Crash Fistfight

Were you upset when Sol Campbell signed on a free?

Wolf

Top takeaways from your post:

1) Only reason for a club to buy a player is to “placate the fans”.
2) Only expensive players are good.
3) Free players must be rubbish. If Alexis stays for another season, someone is getting him for free next year, so he must be… er…
4) When Alexis is sold, it is all down to the club, nothing to do with him *wanting* to leave.
5) As a ticket-paying fan you are ENTITLED to success.

Modha

I do not disagree that my post comes across as entitled. What I failed to articulate is that the club is stuck, stagnant, and that by making the same mistakes as always, we’re not going to progress. If you think the above signing signals fresh new thinking, and ambition, then we will have to disagree. On an aside, Sanchez wanting to leave is probably because he came to win the league and the club have singularly failed to do that due to the manager and the players he has brought in to play with him. So yes, I do believe… Read more »

Roof_attack

you seem determined to assume that is our only transfer business in terms of incoming players. surely you need to hold your judgement on making the same mistakes year in year out at least until the transfer window closes. do you think Leicester fans moaned about getting mahrez or kante for bargain rates just because they were not household names? had you heard of Vieira or anelka or koscielny or iwobi or bellerin before they put on an arsenal shirt ? I doubt you did. chill your beans before you make yourself ill mate!

Wolf

I suppose I don’t measure ambition by ‘money spent’. Signing a promising 19-year old is ambitious, because you’re planning for the future and not going to get “your money’s worth” back from him for quite a while. You take a risk, based on the opinion of your scouts, coaches etc and it could go either way. £6.8 million is also no small change for a teenager. Not everybody thinks buying Martial (who hasn’t quite turned out to be a superstar yet) for £36 million is a sensible thing to do. I agree that a lack of fulfilled expectations is the… Read more »

Araj

A promising 19 year old can mean a lot of things. And actually for the top bracket of 19 year olds 6.8 million is not at all a large sum. Most top quality talent has already been discovered, and often had their first full senior season, by 17 or 18. This is the central problem of our youth recruitment. We are still thinking we are in the early 2000s. The top bracket of young talent is no longer as cheap or as unknown as before. Even 10 years ago an 18 year old Sergio Aguero cost Atletico 23 million Euros.… Read more »

Magneto

Nicely observed!

Magneto

@ Wolf

Crash Fistfight

I agree with your sentiments in the main, but this whole thing about fans being ‘entitled’ because they demand success is not something I can get behind. I don’t think fans would be incandescent with rage if we showed ambition to achieve that success and/or showed improvement but didn’t manage to win the big trophies. Wanting the club hierarchy to demand success instead of desiring it is not ‘entitlement’ (even if it might be for some). Especially as the turnover of the club would suggest that it is not making the most of its available resources (Tottenham and Liverpool both… Read more »

Ramsey\'s slippy boots

This is confirmation bias. You are looking for evidence that Arsenal lack ambition, whether you realize it or not, and you are using this potential signing to support your engrained beliefs. In reality it is evidence of nothing. All clubs, those with or without “ambition” will look to sign players before they become established “world class players” because this makes financial sense and because younger players often show more loyalty to the club. Were Man U lacking ambition when they signed Ronaldo at 18 from Sporting CP? Did we lack ambition by signing Holding instead of Stones, or was it… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

I think they’re two different things.

I don’t think signing an up-and-coming player based on some very good numbers is showing a lack of ambition.

It’s not holding the manager to account for the team’s relative lack of success and/or changing him with an alternative manager that is a lack of ambition, the way I see it.

Savage

When you say “invest heavily”, do you mean paying huge prices for average players? John … cough … Stones. Memphis … ehem … Depay.

Yoki

Do you want to keep Alexis, because this is how you keep Alexis. This is a kid who has potential, has shown good things, and WILL NOT eat a ton of money for wages. That gives us room to negotiate for Ozil and Alexis new deals. We are also not in a position to give the world class players you want a spot in the Champions League. You have to look at the bigger picture. If this was last year, you’d have an excellent point, but we missed out on the CL, and we are in on a massive wage… Read more »

Mr. G

Looks a good prospect, and also looks like he’ll be really fast in FIFA 18 so we should definitely sign him up 😉

Rogerbij

Good start, buy top quality experienced players AND buy top youth prospects. Its not a case of one or the other folks.

Rogerbij

Btw, I like that he wears his firstname on his shirt, Henry!
Decent youtube compilation, even if the Belguim league isnt so strong:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h7jzf9KNO0

Roof_attack

looks good, a sure candidate for the wenger winger role, then moving to a central role I think. I am sure there is a YouTube compilation out there that makes me looks like a world beater, rather than a lardy horse in a man costume!

Hasmeh

Celebrates like Henry too!

Bai Blagoi

Sounds like lessons learned from the Mbappe mistake.

By the way, RB Leipzig is technically not “Red Bull” Leipzig.

Crash Fistfight

Only because the DFB wouldn’t allow the team to be named after a company.

Daniel

Even though Bayer leverkusen is alright, it’s a bit odd

Wolf

I believe that’s because Leverkusen was historically Bayer AG’s own club, ie made up out of their employees/workers. So it’s not really a sponsorship and doesn’t come under those rules.

Kentun

I know it is Belgium League, but for that goal record, isn’t the price too cheap?

alexy

I believe that is his release clause.

YouThee

Buy out clause, it seems

Adriano

release clause

Sean

Iwobi has a new compatriot, the future is looking brighter for Nigeria ?

Thierry bergkamp

Sneakily watched about a minute of him on youtube and the first 2 clips of him were bloody impressive! Pace, great dribbling, finishing. Lets see what happens with this one.

Trez

He is too raw. Not an upgrade on Lucas Perez. If he’s the only forward we’re getting, then Wenger is not serious about getting back into the top 4.
Get a top striker like Belotti, Icardi or a goal scoring wide forward. If we truly have 100m transfer budget, then we can afford to spend 60 on a striker and 40 on a CM.
Signings like this will not convince Ozil and Alexis to stay.

Bai Blagoi

Probably you thought the same when we bought Rob Holding?

Doug

Raw talent by the looks of his videos. One for a few years time perhaps. Not the type of signing that will encourage Alexis to stay.

Third Plebeian

I don’t understand why some believe that THIS is the signing the club imagines will placate fans and Alexis. Seriously? Do you really think Wenger phoned up Alexis this morning and said, “Good morning, Alexis. I’ve got one word for you: Onyekuru!”

Doug

Raw talent by the look of his videos, perhaps a player for a couple of years time.
Not the type of signing that will convince Alexis to stay.

Alexis Signitplease

To those who write this signing off as “not a big name” because his fee is £6.8m, I say; Rob Holding.

GunnerYY

Don’t worry, still 93 mill to go.

AusGunner

bloody hell, I’d forgotten about Joel Campbell

Simala

But how is Takano Asano going to get playing time if we sign another striker?

Crash Fistfight

He isn’t.

Lord Bendnter

This is a good signing. That’s amazing stats for a 19yr old in a debut season, even if it’s in the Belgian league.
I hope we snatch him up fast.

Third Plebeian

Some pretty great talent has come out of the Belgian league. The whole “oh, but it’s from an inferior league so they’ll tank in the PL” argument holds no water.

Russ99

Seems like he could be developing into a really good player, hope he does well for us, and it will be fun to have another player with “Henry” on the back of the kit. But playing U21 games, going out on loan or sitting on the bench won’t get him there, if we’re signing good young players, they need to play. Just don’t want this signing to be in lieu of a quality striker that Dick Law never seems to be able to sign and so Wenger can keep his favorites (Giroud and Walcott) around when we can do so… Read more »

Liam Pirosicastle

Nowt wrong with adding a bit of promise to the ranks. £6.8m is a fairly cheap gamble in today’s football world. Those declaring a lack of ambition based on the recruiting of promising young talent, presumably to satisfy their own doomsday complex, need to get a grip.

The ghost of Arshavin\'s fitness

If we had bought Mbappé last summer people would have been angry that we didn’t sign some big name instead. We cant both fuss over missing out on talent and be angry when the club takes a punt on a youngster with potential at the same time. He is cheap, young (20 in a week) and can play both wide and central. Maybe he’ll never be even decent, so what, it aint my money and Stan got more than enough. But maybe, just maybe, he’ll be a arsenal striker for years to come. Now i’ll try to figure out how… Read more »

BromleyGooner

We got kolasinac and looks like we are getting him. Winger’s 1-2 signings we need to win the league are complete

heihaci

add Mahrez and Dembele from Celtic and another Cazorla type midefielder

Thisisme

Every world class player was an unknown gamble for a club once.

Ally

Great signing. The potential stars of tomorrow are exactly the sort of signings we should be making given the frustrating way we approach transfer business. Better to get this lad now, for peanuts, than balk at the price two years from now if it turns out he’s good.

Faisal Narrage

I have to LOL at the backpedalling of the blog and some of the comments here. When it was first reported, blogs gave it high poos and people rubbished the idea. A few pointed out that “this kinda sounds like a Wenger-type signing” which was rubbished. Now the news seems to have some basis, it’s all “hey he could be worth a punt” from blogs and now everyone is like “this may be shrewd business from Arsenal”. Heh, the ease at which people sway here is pretty funny. 😛 As a Nigerian, I really hope he’s of value. But he… Read more »

fatwinger

Wrighty is a legend. As a human being. Not just as a footballer.

Wright on the money

Hopefully he will turn out to be a great player, I don’t know if him or ever watched him play but the stats look good.

I would of bought Incheco from Man City for me though but he could else play on Thursday nights and League cup should get a few games and goals.

Carlos _ Santana

Oh sweet louwdy those stats are delicious.. Let’s hope this is true and he can replicate that form for us in whichever competition he jams in..

Thesoulofpdavis

Hes only cheap at 6.8m because of the release clause in his contract. Thats also why ‘smaller’ clubs are trying their luck. Remember though, with these new raw talents their prices can rise swiftly if you give them one more season etc. At 6.8m he is worth a punt. If he comes good, great, if he doesnt but hes still decent we have a good chance we would get our money back. Lastly, it was reported that the guy us an actual Arsenal fan. With that being the case im welcoming him with open arms and give him the benefit… Read more »

bdagooner

Well that’s 2 signings already.

Guess we are done as Wenger said only 1 or 2 signings are needed.

Sigh.

Geefive

I always forget about Joel and Yaya. Are their contracts up now? How was Joel’s year? Yaya really didn’t pan out at all..hopefully Henry has a better time of it. Good luck lad!

Faisal Narrage

I know it’s hard to know what could happen with youth players, but it still irks me till this day that we let Afobe go to make room for Sanogo. Whether he’s a CL (EL?) quality striker or not, Afobe was still young enough (still 23) to be given a chance. Instead, we let him go to make room for Sanogo. Then within 18 months Afobe goes from League 1 to being a PL-level striker, and Sanogo goes from playing against Bayern to featuring for Ajax reserves and then Charlton. I’m sure if we afforded Afobe that opportunity, he may… Read more »

John C

My prediction is we’ll buy this guy and Mahrez as a replacement for either Ozil or Sanchez and in the January of 2019 we’ll be top of the league, flying high and this dude, Mahrez and Iwobi will go off to the African Cup of Nations and then we’ll proceed to scrap to a final league position of 4th.

Wenger will then proceed to sign a new 2 year contract citing that we didn’t win the title the previous year due to the “exceptional circumstances” of half our team taking January off for the ACN.

Pooplord76

But..but…what about Takuma Asano!?!?

Jack Kelsey

Actually I would be very surprised if we make any ‘marquee’ signings this window. The obvious names will all want either CL football or top-dollar wage packets. Neither will be on offer from us, so as usual Wenger’s only hope will be to sign a hidden gem who’s under the radar. Xhaka and Holding have come good, so we can but hope…

Savage

Wenger has been quite early in attempting to acquire a number of bright prospects recently without luck … Mbappe, Coman, Martial … hopefully this is the one he gets right.

Merlin\'s Panini

he looks decent in the videos (doesn’t everyone) but certainly doesn’t seem frightened to take people on. Could be an exciting player. Certainly looks like he has more to him than Sanogo, Akpom or Asano.

Yoki

Absolutely love the signing.

19 year old, tore up the Belgian League and for a relatively small fee. Low risk – high reward potential signing.

This and Sead (I’ll call him SEED, I don’t care what anyone else say), good stuff so far.

Henry Tudor

Mahrez has put in a transfer request, as much potential as this kid has shown am not sure he is what we need to challenge for EPL next season. It would be a shame if we passed on mahrez having kept the likes of walcott around for ten yrs. Wenger has to be completely objective abt the next two season. we need players to win now this unending growth project can wait, cuz it hasn’t worked so far.

Caleb T Leach

I’m a big fan of this signing. Young, had a great run-out during his first season in a new league, and low transfer fee. Can’t argue with any of those. He’s going against lower level opposition in some of the videos we’ve seen, but he looks like he has good pace and overall athleticism, plus some nice finishing touches. Hopefully he can progress and be an effective contributor to the first team.

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