Report: Barcelona youngster rejects contract, will join Arsenal

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According to a report in Catalan daily Sport, Barcelona youngster Joel Lopez has rejected a contract offer from the club, and will join Arsenal this summer.

In a move similar to the one which brought Cesc Fabregas to the club, there will be a mandatory payment to cover the player’s training rights, but as he had yet to sign professional terms there will be no transfer fee.

The move has been mooted for some months now, and the arrival of Raul Sanllehi as Head of Football Relations is believed to have played a significant part in the process.

He obviously knows the club and players very well having been Director of Football there, and will be aware of the top young talent at the club.

Barcelona have been trying to persuade the 15 year old left-back to stay right up until the end, but he will follow the path trodden by the likes of Fabregas and Hector Bellerin, hoping he too can make the breakthrough to the Arsenal first team.

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Laughing Stock
Laughing Stock

Come in while you can Joel!

Rossi88
Rossi88

welcome to Arsenal!

arseaddict
arseaddict

Loving the links with young players like Adli and Lopez and not to mention Torreira.
COYG!!
A top goalkeeper+CM signing and I’ll be over the moon with this transfer window

Rich
Rich

I think Emery’s biggest challenge is finding a balanced team, particularly our midfield.
Moving Ozil wide right? Or moving him a bit deeper? Either way he’s going to have to adapt to the team? Or move aside?

LondonN5
LondonN5

Are you happy with Mustafi then?
The centre back position is our priority…

IamaGoober

As of yet I am not willing to write off our players totally until I’ve seen them work under Emery.

I think a lot of our players issues collectively, and individually have been exacerbated by Arsene Wengers philosophical approach to management.

These new players coming through need to be spoon fed instructions. Because they have been spoon fed everything their entire careers.

So imagine the culture shock when they were turn up at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, and he pretty much just says to them before a big game ‘you play for Arsenal now, believe in yourself, you’ll be fine.’ You can see how these guys keep making the same mistakes.

So for me, I am willing to give these guys all a fair crack at it under Emery to see if he can coach them out of their defensive frailties.

thejw1
thejw1

Would like to see us recoup what can be had from a sale of Mustafi. Bring in another CB. Another season of high-risk defending-gone-wrong?
And we won’t be able to GIVE Mustafi away.

jw1

Atom
Atom

mustafi might not be bad with some good coaching. he did win the world cup after all so he at least is viewed as pretty talented. mustafi is still young enough & if you look at the team the past few years its pretty clear there were major systemic issues (a lot coming from the fact that our midfield simply doesn’t defend) as none of our defenders looked solid (maybe monreal but he had his share of errors) while Gabriel improved a fair amount by leaving. if emery gets here, works with mustafi & believes he can’t be salvaged then by all means move him on then.

thejw1
thejw1

Low dropped him from the WC squad.
He’s not featured for Germany since last October.
Low used him almost exclusively in a 3-back setup.

He’s lost his focus far too many times for my taste– leading directly /indirectly to goals outside of the norm of play and quality of opposition attack.

My opinion? I say sell. Get cash. Try someone else.
Don’t want to gamble what looks to be a revival– on a player who could well disappoint.

jw1

clins
clins

i dont think mustafi is good enough to be arsenal player even with good coaching. there are goals due to bad defending and goals due borderline stupid mistakes. mustafi falls in the second category, the goals we concede due to him is not because of poor positioning or something , he is simply gifting the ball to opposition with some very serious mistakes. and a good manager could not correct that fast . what he needs is to go back to drawing board and learn the basics and at 24 and in a team like arsenal there is simply no time for that

Prof Wenger to Emerytus
Prof Wenger to Emerytus

How did Mustafi win the WC and deemed good because of that ? Was he Muller, Klose or Gotze ? He was perhaps just an Atom there ! Lol

Atom
Atom

He actually played some in the World Cup and making the German squad was no mean feat – Hummels, Boateng, Lahm, etc. If Emery doesn’t think he’s good enough then by all means move him on. BUT pretty much every defender we have looks like they don’t know how to defend so lets see what a new coach can do. One of the biggest conundrums is going to be what Emery does with the midfield as Ramsey’s lack of any positional discipline is one of the major reasons our defense is so bad.

thejw1
thejw1

Good enough for WC when he’s 22.
But not even in the squad in his prime at 26?

All due respect.
But if you look at his Transfermarkt valuations?
Except for the bump from being bought for £35M– he has had 2 seasons in the last 3.5 where his value has dropped 20% twice.

https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/shkodran-mustafi/profil/spieler/88590

Somebody else sees something too.
And it’s not Ramsey’s positional discipline.

jw1

Atom
Atom

I’m really not sure what your beef with Mustafi is. Literally every single defender looks crap for Arsenal. That says far more about how bad of defense coach Wenger was IMO than it necessarily does about the quality of the players.

Atom
Atom

You keep pointing out that his transfer value has fallen & he isn’t playing as well for Arsenal as he did prior to coming. That pretty much makes my point though. Can you name one defender other than Kos in the last decade who has had his reputation improve since coming to Arsenal from another team? What’s wrong with giving him a blank slate and letting Emery decide if he’s good enough or not? If he’s not then move him on. But it’s not clear to me that he’s that bad of player. I leave that to Emery who out of the 3 of us is a professional talent evaluator.

thejw1
thejw1

It’ll be the whole SIRE team making that decision. And that includes what the data says, not simply one man eyeballing.

jw1

thejw1
thejw1

Actually his value dropped 20% at Valencia Nov 2015- Jun 2016– and another 20% at Arsenal Jun 2017 – Jan 2018.

That’s an indicator his current value is inflated even today at £22M (bought for £35M).

jw1

thejw1
thejw1

It’s not personal. Ergo– no ‘beef’.
I’ve laid out specifics as to why I’d rather see a different pair or pairs of CBs that don’t include him.

You seem good with waving these observations away with generalities (‘Wenger’. ‘All are crap’.) I don’t agree.

Mustafi was the starting CB for Arsenal on the teams which had the most GA in 2 of 3 the highest totals since 1988. Got an answer for that?

We know that while Kos lost a step he was one of the PL’s top CBs for several years. And for the the five seasons prior to Mustafi’s arrival? Arseanl was top-3 in GA.

So? If you can tell me why Mustafi is the ‘right choice’ to go forward with? Have at it.

jw1

thejw1
thejw1

I’ll amend that to ‘top-4 in GA’ the 5 seasons prior.

jw1

Atom
Atom

If you look at Arsenal over the years, we have traditionally had the worst defense in the top 4 (our peers) and really in the top 6 the last several years. That includes seasons where Kos was at the top of his game. Really Arsenal hasn’t had a top class defense in over a decade. Most people would agree that the issues are not with one individual player but rather speak to the weak mentality cultivated over Wenger and the system he ran. That’s why defender after defender has struggled playing for Arsenal the past decade. That might be a “generality” but it doesn’t make it any less true. Wenger set his teams up primarily in a back 4 with 2 fullbacks who constantly bombed forward, leaving the 2 center backs exposed. Add on top of that that Ozil generally has been freed from defensive duties (although he did improve some while on the wing) and Ramsey has not had defensive duties either. That meant that our midfield was constantly being overrun.

If you want to throw out Mustafi under the guise of he was a starting CB in a terrible defense, then I would posit you also need to throw out Cech, Bellerin, Kos, Nacho, Xhaka, Ramsey & Jack as they all had a massive hand in it as well. This was not a case of Mustafi being awful while the team around him was terrific. The whole defense was awful and has been for a long time – see above. Neither you nor I are a professional talent evaluator so while we both are entitled to our opinions, neither your opinion nor mine of his potential really is relevant. Emery & Sven who see him every day should make a decision. I’m really not sure what the harm in allowing them to give him a fresh start is, but for some reason you seem to vehemently disagree with that.

thejw1
thejw1

Actually?
There were times when Mustafi was very good.
But alternately very bad.

Here are numbers for Arsenal GA :
Year GA PL Rank
2013 – 37 (2nd)
2014 – 41 (4th)
2015 – 36 (3rd)
2016 – 36 (3rd)
2017 – 44 (7th)
2018 – 51 (8th)

Following a brilliant 1/2-season start to his Arsenal career, Mustafi has been the one different denominator in a defense that had been ‘at least capable’ until the past two seasons.

The ‘harm’ in keeping him? Is if he IS what I’ve been outlining? If he IS in the decline that his valuation, the GA stat, and his penchant for picking the worst times to ‘switch off’ — should continue?

That this rebuild (chasing top-4 in 2018-19) be put at risk for sentimental reasons– like a ‘fresh start’.

So let’s leave it at that.
We’ll see if SIRE ship him out post-WC– and bring in a new CB.
We can rehash it then.

jw1

thejw1
thejw1

Actually?
There were times when Mustafi was very good.
But alternately very bad.

Here are numbers for Arsenal GA :
Year GA PL Rank
2013 – 37 (2nd)
2014 – 41 (4th)
2015 – 36 (3rd)
2016 – 36 (3rd)
2017 – 44 (7th)
2018 – 51 (8th)

Following a brilliant 1/2-season start to his Arsenal career, Mustafi has been the one different denominator in a defense that had been ‘at least capable’ until the past two seasons.

The ‘harm’ in keeping him? Is if he IS what I’ve been outlining? If he IS in the decline that his valuation, the GA stat, and his penchant for picking the worst times to ‘switch off’ — should continue?

That this rebuild (chasing top-4 in 2018-19) be put at risk for sentimental reasons– like a ‘fresh start’.

So let’s leave it at that.
We’ll see if Sven, et al, ship him out post-WC– and bring in a new CB.
We can rehash it then.

jw1

thejw1
thejw1

Gee.
Looks like many of the things I’d stated upthread:

https://arseblog.com/2018/06/central-defender-speculation-could-mustafi-make-way-if-transfers-go-through/

As mentioned upthread– seems there are others seeing the same things I’ve been observing.

jw1

A Different George
A Different George

He played in the Germany team in the Confederations Cup last year; so, Low thinks he is a step below the first choice for Germany. I would not start him ahead of Boateng or Hummels either, but the question is: would I start him ahead of Chambers or Holding?

And I mention again the WhoScored rating–one of the two highest-rated centre half in the top 5 European leagues last season. This could be deceptive, their methods may be flawed, etc. etc. I agree that he may not be as good as the rating indicates, but it is simply not possible that he is crap and comes out top-rated.

thejw1
thejw1

Firstly? I’m not making the case that Mustafi is crap.
But that he is alternately ‘good’, then ‘crap’– from one match to the next.

I’d weighed that WhoScored rating with another poster elsewhere. Basing his rating on 2 goals given on errors. That stat must be extremely narrow in consideration of what constitutes error. I could list at least 3 other goals resulting not from physical errors– but a lack of focus.

The one that sealed it for me was the long ball to Griezmann vs Atletico (1st leg) with minutes to go. He had NO other responsibility but to track back full-tilt to cover if Kos had problems. Video shows Mustafi speeding toward where he might be needed– only to slow momentarily at about 20yds out– then ‘switching back on’ to find himself scrambling on all fours– then beaten for the goal that essentially killed our hopes for a trophy and CL entry.

Griezmann is world-class– no doubt. And he shirt-tugged Kos into a an error on clearing with an overhead. Then got a lucky bounce on Ospina’s save. The slight deflection off Mustafi’s leg went in. A bit of skill, a bit of luck, a lack of effort. 1-1. Season done.

When a player is put in pressure situations and fails?
When he could have done what was expected, but didn’t?
I don’t want to put him in that situation again.

Those are things a WhoScored rating can’t possibly consider.

jw1

A Different George
A Different George

I think your point about Mustafi’s inconsistency is valid, but to me most of his errors involve positioning rather than lack of effort, many times over-aggression rather than laziness. As for your example, my recollection of the Atletico goal (which, I am sure you are correct, a system like WhoScored’s would have registered as entirely Koscielny’s error) is that Mutsafi slowed down to be in position to prevent a cutback, confident that Griezmann would not be able to get through Koscielny. To me, this is exactly the kind of mistake that coaching and a different system can overcome.

I still believe Mustafi has the makings of a top-class defender. I have been wrong before, but I would hate for Arsenal to lose a player and see him become a mainstay in Germany or Italy.

thejw1
thejw1

All good points.
And I perhaps ought to have clarified that I’d not meant ‘laziness’– with ‘lack of effort’. But instead a lack of recognition in dangerous situations, rendering effort futile.

There was a goal by Ayoze Perez in the 2-1 loss to Newcastle– where he flashed to the 6– where there was nothing else for Mustafi to do– but move to cutoff the near post. Granted, it was executed quickly– but Mustafi was standing flat-footed, motionless center of goal. Cech dressed him down without hesitation. I’ve never witnessed Cech showing emotion on-pitch prior to that incident.

Honestly feel that Cech would not have made nearly the mistakes he did, with a low-risk style CB in front of him.

So– in addition to the trio of youngsters-on-the-cusp, with Sokratis all but assured? Kos returning at an unknown point? And with Monreal as good or better than Mustafi at CB?

He becomes one of the few salable assets we could part with this Summer. I’d prefer a DM in the Torreira mold– to keeping Mustafi. As his valuation may continue to drop?

Sell post-WC.
Buy a DM, like Lucas Torreira, who fits a pressing scheme.

Appreciate the considered perspective BTW.

jw1

myrtle
myrtle

Love to see Malcom turn up to be honest. The team still lacks width, trickery and directness.

afan
afan

to be honest, the team lacks a lot of things

Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour
Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour

I’d play Malcom in the middle

Bobby Dazzler
Bobby Dazzler

😂

420Goonerblayzeit
420Goonerblayzeit

You’re right, it’s great to see. I don’t think we can underestimate these young signings either. There’s basically no downside to these signings and it really shows what a dedicated transfer/scouting team can get done. If they don’t cut the mustard, then so what. It’s very smart business and you never know, we could end up with the next Jordi Alba with this kid!

afan
afan

doubt if we will do much more business now

clins
clins

i am really eager to see which goalkeeper will we bring in. because i think thats the most weakest position we have at arsenal at the moment. a weak and aging petr cech and outgiong ospina and some unproven youngsters is all we have. we might have the weakest goalkeepers in the top 8 teams.

and the challenge is to find a goalkeeper young enough but experienced enough to lead the line for years to come. besides the age he needs to know how to play ball with his feat not to mention should be able to make decent saves(bravo!!) , and should have leadership qualities to lead the defence and we wont be able to pay huge fees like city and co. it all sounds too good but thats exactly what a team like arsenal needs otherwise we’d end up with like what liverpool have at the moment .good goalkeepers are so hard to find , thats what makes this harder . in my opinion there are only two at the moment that i can find fits every one of these characterstics. allison of roma and cillisen of barca. i hope we get one of them. i dont know much about bernard leno , but i’ve seen him make couple of howlers. but getting the above two ahead of liverpooll would be a coup

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

I’ll help you. No one.

Dreamer
Dreamer

Exciting times with our young talent!!!! Any chance we go all out for Oblak!?!?! Like just any chance at all??

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Dreamer by name eh? lol

Dreamer
Dreamer

Hahaha ya. A girl can dream

GFSammy
GFSammy

Who knew being in europa league would attract top youngsters to arsenal…

Too bad mbappe didn’t realize… his loss

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

I like this.

Hunman

Get rid of Mustafi, bring in Soyuncu and Torreira and I think that’s job done as far as the defensive side of the team. Our attack is fine, maybe we can do with a wide player but that’s about it.

A Different George
A Different George

When I read the article, I was hoping it was Messi.

A Different George
A Different George

The headline. Spoiled that joke pretty quick.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Gotta catch em all!

Gooner49
Gooner49

Welcome to the Gunners!!

afan
afan

far too early to make a comment on this

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

There’s nothing to be excited about, yet.

Winterburn Wanderers
Winterburn Wanderers

Looks like a beast

shokim
shokim

Youngsters joining are all well and good but will they be given a chance or just developed to be sold later?

Carl
Carl

Hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha. Fuck off Barca

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

There comes a time in a young players career that they have to step away from the comfort of a small club and try to make it somewhere where bigger.

Jasonissimo
Jasonissimo

Speaking of Bellerin, he was blanked by the Sky Sports reporter on the grid at the Canadian GP in Montreal. He was in conversation with a supermodel (Harlow?) in Lewis Hamilton’s entourage when the dude interrupted quite clumsily to speak with her. It was super awkward. There must be video of this online already.

COYG1001
COYG1001

Enjoying what should be the new administration’s honeymoon period. All support, no criticism.

Loving every move so far. Trusting honeymoon period through silly season! This team is f*cking undefeated!

On Any Block
On Any Block

Pay Back Time. Marcus Mcguane 😳