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July 2021

All the players who will join Arsenal next season – Yanga-Mbiwa and the rest.

By Tony Attwood

The normal process for Arsenal recruiting new players in the summer is that we all go around talking about the big names on the horizon and then Mr Wenger goes and signs a Peruvian left back we have never heard of and plays him at centre forward.  Or puts him out on loan.  Or something else we never thought of.

Which is why we did that list a little while back and created a list of the player or players who did not make an impact last year who might this year.  They are at least known, and history tells us that each season one or two of those who are already with us will come through.  (I remember when writing for Highbury High years back I nominated Alex Song to come through, not long after the “not fit to wear the shirt” stuff from the AAA.  One of my more glorious predictions).

The whole article about this year’s players who might step up (which gathered in 60 comments which added quite a few names to my list) is still on line but for a quick reference here is the list I started with…

  • 1. Ryo
  • 2. Oxlade Chamberlaine
  • 3. Jack Wilshere
  • 4. Frimpong
  • 5.  Joel Campbell
  • 6. Abou Diaby
  • 7;  Francis Coquelin
  • 8. Podolski
  • 9.  Jenkinson
  • 10. Benik Afobe

As I say many other names were then added – and there is every chance that without any more dealings in the market we could in fact have two or three new faces to add to the regular playing squad.

And then there are the players who we have been linked with us by the press including.  Untold has done a few articles on them too.  Here’s that list

Some of those are now being tipped elsewhere – and this is where we get some interesting stories – like Vetonghen saying he wants to go to Tottenham but if they don’t move soon, he’ll consider Arsenal.  And you have to ask why?

Of course we are not going to get all of them, or even most of them – maybe one at most.  Maybe none.  But here’s one more for the list: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

He was born in 1989, is French, and plays for league champions Montpellier who famously have produced Laurent Blanc, Eric Cantona, Roger Milla, and Carlos Valderrama in the past.

Yanga-Mbiwa is a central defender – which asks the question, do we need another one?   Well, maybe, because he can play anywhere in defence – which given the way we get injuries could be good.

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He was born in the Central African Republic, and then moved as a child to France, joining Montpellier in 2005 and became a team regular in 2007.  He is now captain.

René Girard has made it clear how much he values Yanga-Mbiwa but I believe there is only one year left on the contract, so it is a chance.

He had played for the France under 21 team, and was named in the full France squad for the Euros but then dropped from the final selection.


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59 comments to All the players who will join Arsenal next season – Yanga-Mbiwa and the rest.

  • malish stephen

    Incoming Arsenal players 2012/13


    Outgoing players

    Djourou,Benayoun,Squallaic etc

    Malish in Yei South Sudan

  • Gav


    What is this? Is it meant to be a blog? Your grammar is poor, spelling attrocious and you make no point whatsoever Oik of the Week approved!
  • epl referees hater

    Mr Tony which one are we going to sign or is it going to be like last season or what ……….late signing.

  • cupsui

    the manager (or president but i think manager) of their club has said that he is one of two players that will be allowed to leave Montpellier along with Giroud. Giroud “because he has a clause” and Mbiwa because they promised him he could leave if a good offer came in.

  • @Gav – you spelt atrocious incorrectly… remind me please – what was your point again? Were you casting aspersions on Tony’s grandmother?

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Gav…….have you lost your way? The AAA LeGrove sewers are that way …..

  • Gav, if you are so far gone that you can’t tell a blog from anything else, then I think you should either stop taking what you are taking, or else get the water board in to check what is coming through your taps.

    To criticise another person’s grammar and spelling without actually knowing if English is that person’s first language is very rude in itself, and after that you might check if that person is dyslexic – although maybe you are a person who thinks those with disabilities should not have the right to express themselves.

    To do all that is bad enough – but to fail to give a singular example is just beyond words in terms of silliness.

    “Is it meant to be a blog?” How can you not know, and yet claim the ability to comment on another’s grammar?

  • My rebuttal was funnier…

  • EPL referees hater – we have already signed one, and as far as I know the window isn’t open yet.

    I think each season is different, and this one will be different from the one before and the one before that. But one before the window opens (as we have had) and one just before it closes seems a fair arrangement to me.

  • I think he would be a great signing especially given our defensive frailties and injury problems. Having said that – I cant see us signing anyone else until after the Euros and certainly not until we’ve got rid of a lot of the dead wood in the squad

  • vinod.p.k

    Definitely we need a CB. Last season with the same availabilty a) we suffered for consistent back 2 frequently b) with TV who can play as LB and Kos who can play as RB, additon of strong CB ensures a strong back 4 for the entire season ( lack of which was one of the main undoing in the season just ended ) . It is surprising we didn’t succeed in getting vertongen. May he don’t want a compettion with TV as Kos emerged as equally stronger. Now it seems that is case with Hazard (Gervinjo) also.

  • That name called yanga mbiwa’ is he good enuf to make competion with another clubs lyk ch3l5i3 or we are going to see others get trophies while we fight for top 4?

  • countryboy

    For the 1st time in a long while I don’t think we need marquee signing. I saw an highlight of Joel Campell’s last game for Lorient. He was magnificent. In one instance he was beating as many as four defenders. I tell you this kid will blow up. Watch this space.(What space? U’re a commenter, stupid)
    I also predict this is the year TW14 moves centrally as a striker.
    Between them, prepare for loads of goals.
    I believe RVP will leave but the future is campbell and Theo upfront. Intelligent movement, pace, fasT counTer atTactking play. I can’t wait.

  • Ankit

    I just wished that Arsenal could have signed Kagawa….even if we did not sign anyone else(apart from a gk). That guy would have made our midfield by far the best in the league. Disappointed ! Will wait till after the Euros and lets hope Wenger gets something solid for the midfield !
    All Hail “Le Prof”… please go and buy established players 😉

  • Charlie Boy

    I find all this talk of us already having TV and LK so why would we need Vertonghen hilarious. Unless I’m blind and deaf (which I’m not), our defence was crap last season! We leaked goals throughout and had to rely on the ineptitude of other teams to see us home in turd place (I meant to write TURD btw). And don’t even get me started on Per ‘caught in the headlights’ Mertersacker! We need a quality CB and DM, as well as a backup Striker. Unfortunately, quality ain’t cheap and no player worth his salt will sign any deal until the end of the Euros – knowing he’ll command the highest price which we won’t pay. So, in summary – all talk is, and subsequent blogs are, pointless 🙂

  • Dogface: I hear by make you head of funnies

  • bc

    Im certain that if we offered montpellier chamakh and squillaci plus some cash mbwia and giroud would be ours. hell why not offer diaby park and djourou and ask for behanda as well. it seems to me that montpellier have 3 of the4 positions sorted that we need and mvila would complete our spending. anything else would be a bonus

  • WalterBroeckx

    According to twitter we will sign some 50 players between now and the start of the season. 😉
    And some of them are demanding the head of anyone who is responsible for us not buying all of them by now… sigh…Lucky I can put my mind on the ref reviews 😉 11 to go…

  • WalterBroeckx

    If possible I would buy Dean this summer 🙂

  • DocBrody

    Here’s what I fear.

    RVP goes to Chelsea to play with Hazard, M’villa and who ever else they bring in. Walcott goes to Spain or Italy and finally has that breakout year we’ve all been waiting for. Vertonghen goes to Spurs. Wilshire can’t get his form back. Sagna doesn’t fully recover. Podolski can’t adjust AND gets injured. We’re forced to recall Bendtner from whoever he gets loaned to to play as our striker. And when Usmanov finally takes over, he’s promptly thrown in jail and his assets are seized by Vladimir Putin.

    OK, OK I’m being absurdly cynical… but any of the above COULD happen.

  • Dom

    Toure (we need a good solid defender with expeiriance and leadership qualities and who better than our former captain. Yeh he might be old and a bit bigger but he is still a top defender and will still be for a couple more years)
    Capoue or Bruno soriano ( looks like m’villa is being overpriced by Rennes so maybe even a better option is capoue or Bruno soriano)
    Gourcuff or dzagoev and kovacic (gourcuff needs the pires treatment from wenger if we can get him he will be a great purchase, dzagoev was the highest assist maker in Russia and his contract runs out in December so will be cheap. Kovacic is free this summer and will be a perfect replacement for rosicky)
    Llorente or giroud or lewandowski

  • arse-n-hole

    I can’t understand why all the rumors and links out there at the moment are for cb’s or cm’s. In my opinion the two positions we need cover for is rb and an out and out striker, even if RVP stays. Any other signings should be looked at as a bonus not a necessity.

  • Charlie in terms of our defence being crap, if we had let in 9 goals less we would have had the 3rd best defence in the league – not the best, I know, but it would have made quite a difference. So yes a better defence I agree, would be good, but we were not crap. We had one dreadful game because we had just lost three midfielders (Cesc, Nasri, Jack) and let in 8. If we don’t do that again, we are almost there. One game.

    Defenders take a while to bed down – Kos is a perfect example – and if we can keep 2 of our three central defenders and 2 of our 5 full backs fit then we will immediately improve enough to be third best. Given the improvement of Kos during this past season, I would not be surprised to see us reach the top two.

  • @Tony – does that mean I can move out of the basement in Untold Towers? It’s damp and smells of mould…

  • Dan T

    @ Charlie Boy.

    I think individually we have great defenders (perhaps a bit suspect on the left but other than that). I think the answer may lie in the coaching of them. Perhaps Bould can bring a different approach and get them more disciplined in open play (set pieces don’t seem to be much of a problem anymore).

    Having said that, there is no harm in having a top quality defensive utility player to have as cover.

  • Gaddiel Gunner

    I think Wenger signs only two players- one central defender and one more centre forward who can play on the wings. So Mbiwa is a real possibility!

  • zdzis

    Are you guys sure we need another centre-half? Remember, we do have Miquel already in the squad, and Bartley coming back from loan. Plus there’s Coquelin, Yennaris and Botelho, each of whom, for different reasons, likely to make an impact on Arsenal’s next season. The only reason for Wenger to go out and buy another defender would be one of ours leaving. Of course, there’s this unbelievably fresh rumour about Djourou being urged to leave… I don’t feel qualified to assess the likelihood of that happening. However, Djourou might actually profit from leaving, and not only in financial terms.

    @DocBrody: This scenario is as likely as FFP actually dismantling Chelsea & ManC. I don’t think RVP wants to leave, and if so, that it would be England. If I were him, I’d choose Spain. He never suggested he has a desire to play with any of the kids you mention, so it hardly justifies the idea. Vertonghen to Spurs is hardly Armageddon. Ajax had him for several years, and what did they win? Sagna, Podolski & Wilshere ideas are perhaps closer to the mark, but then, do you really think none of our backup players improved over this season? As for Bendtner, I see him leaving. Permanently. He plays nice football, but lacks the bite. Maybe it’s because he’s the best striker in the world.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    We will not be signing any more players until we have agreements in place that at least 4 will move to other clubs. This would be the bare minumum amount of players we really need to move on whom take maybe 6-8 mill a year in wages from us (in total) and we would also make a 8-10 mill + in transfer fee’s.

    There is no point in getting all ur expectations up otherwise and imho, I would fully agree with this system because it is sustainable and will lead to us making a net profit as well.

  • Ugandan Goon

    er, tony,
    I always thought that you were a man of erudition and educashun, but i suppose every one has an off day.
    The correct form of the gentleman’s name in English is Mr Mapou mbiwa the younger like pitt or err…… get back to you on more examples of this ancient and well respected form of address.

  • Lanz

    All this noise about our defence being crap, just wait and see the outcome of the player of the season poll conducted by I am certain that aside, RVP all the others in the best 5 will be defensive players. So, who are the ones calling our defence crap, the voters or the press? @Tony’s response to Gav, are you trying to let Gav know that people in the league of The Harry of Tots have a right to express themselves?

  • Harley

    Congratulation to you Tony for your comments about Gav. In fact I am not British but I learned English at school. The main aim of a blog is to share our views with others world wide and make others understand our views with sometimes facts. If this is achieved , I think grammatical errors or any errors should be excused. By the way Gav, , I am from an island in the Indian Ocean please forgive me if my English writing is not to the level of a pure British. .

  • DocBrody


    I was just having a bit of fun with some doom and gloom. I thought the bit about Vladamir Putin made that clear. Trying (unsuccessfully) to be funny.

    All joking aside, I get so depressed this time of year. I start off so hopeful that this will be the summer we rebuild the team. I check the headlines 50 times a day. I post comments like these that no one will actually read. Then after a few weeks, fear sets in as I see nothing happen. Eventually, fear turns to terror as it starts to look like we might lose some of our best players. Then I stop reading the headlines for a month. That’s when I find religion again and begin to pray. By the start of the next season, I usually find a way to convince myself we can do it this year with the squad we have. Its one hell of an emotional roller coaster.

    Anyway, RVP to Spain is actually a possibility, but I still believe he’ll be a gooner till the day he retires.

  • bjtgooner


    If you check the transfer headlines 50 times a day you will dement yourself, I don’t think there will be much news until after the Euros. Chill out for a while and be patient. Also, just look at the 10 names above who could breakthrough next season.

  • Jacobite Gunner


    I agree with you that we do not need to do anything to our defence. If we were to loan jenkinson out to a championship team for a season for sustained 1st team footbal, boswinga would be a nice freebie (although, he may have ridiculous wage demands and he prob would not want to be a sub to sagna).

    Regarding Bartley, he is not ready for the EPL yet. As a regualar watcher of my native SPL football coverage I can confirm that is not played with any gr8 technical level and bartley has only played 20-25 games this season as well. He would need a season loan in a top championship team or a low EPL team before he’s anywhere neat ready for us as 4th defender, the same would apply for iggy miguel.

    Djourou, if you remember, played had a 5 month loan spell at birmingham before he cemented his squad position.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dogface, don’t push it I would suggest….

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Thomas Rosicky’s stats for this season (in all competitions from

    Appearances Goals Assists
    38 2 6 (an assist every 6 games)

    Above is our premier ATM’s stats for this season, although he has been looking gr8 recently and being a top player for us, as a top club would we not expect more assists and certainly more goals?

    With Rosicky being quite injury prone, ramsey still developing and wilshere coming back from a season long injury where there should be less expected of him this coming season because of it, should a strong ATM with pedigree not be the main signing priority now? (over those who want a DM)

    Seen as we will have song, arteta, wilshere, coquelin and also ramsey who can play in the deeper midfield roles, if we get rid of at least 4 players whom are on relatively big wages but do not contribute enough, I wholeheartedly beleive that an ATM should be our only signing priority.


  • Matt Clarke

    My cat just told me that he just heard that, in response to AAA pressure, we are buying every single professional footballer in the world for next season.

    Please confirm.

  • kevvil

    I think arsenal board now should really think of getting DAVID DEIN back so that the his network is useful for us and also the transfer hassles can be handed over to him as he is the master. if u remember viera was his first master stroke in the first year of wenger joining arsenal.

  • Arsenal1Again

    It’s disappointing seeing “Gav” generating responses. I think everybody here knew it was unnecessary for Tony to defend himself and Dog Face, doing in return to “Gav” what he or she did is nothing less than equality.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Defenders, now there’s a conundrum. There is room for improvement clearly, can a combination of bould and Banfield be set to work on this? If jd stays, contrary to recent press rumours he wants a new club, not sure,we really need more, but we clearly could do with better defending,as a team, we should not always have to come from behind with all the risks that exposes us to. On what I have seen, artetas presence seems to improve our defending,on a logarithmic scale. Do we need new players? Changes coaching or increased experience? Remember we were not the only top four team to receive a hammering, the other two are credited as having able defences. Kevvil, dein did a lot of good things, maybe he will return at some point, but he made mistakes as well, as we all do. There has been a lot of talk on aaa sites recently about how stupid we were to get rid of cashley over a relatively small wage increase, if dein was the influence you say, he must be in part responsible for cashley losing out his five grand a week. That happened under Deins watch. So alleged did missing out on a done deal for a certain c ronaldo…and others…..depending on who you believe of course

  • matt from aus

    This email came second in the Oik of the Month competition Judges verdict: “no argument, no debate, just statement”

    Those of you saying we don’t really need work on our defence are obviously delirious. We shipped 49 goals in the premier league alone. 49!!! Does anyone realise that if we sell VP this year.. we would have sold 5 captains in 7 years? Coincidentally the same period of time we have won two thirds of fuck all? We are an inefficient selling club.. selling our top players for reasonable money and keeping our shit ones but continuously renewing and improving their contracts. The time will come when we have no good players to sell and rely on the likes of Diaby, Santos and Chamakh to fire us into the UCL. I have given up on winning the league.. simply because it is now purchased.. but I still enjoy watching my team playing AC Milan and Barcelona on Thursday mornings. These days are limited.. very limited.. I would love to be proved wrong.. but this will be our last year in the UCL until probably 2016-2017. mark my words. Oik of the Month 2nd place!
  • NoOneCome2Arsenal

    Editorial note: The writer of the following email (reproduced in its entirity) is awarded the prestigious Oik of the Month award.

    Hi buddy… For your latest information…



    Oik of the Month 1st place!

  • Kentetsu

    A good reason why Vertonghen may pass on Spurs is because they did not qualify for the Champions League. Vertonghen had indicated that he wants to move to a club that can offer Champions League football. I am not sure we need him at Arsenal, though. If we can keep all our defenders fit, then there’s no place for him.

    As for the transfer period, it officially opens on 1 July in England and other major European competitions. That coincides with the final of Euro 2012. Deals can be made before that date already, but I expect very little transfer activity until the Euros are over.

  • WalterBroeckx

    the end of times is nigh it seems…. 😉

  • See – now they’ve won some trophies!

  • WalterBroeckx


  • bob

    Still believe that ANYONE to Spain is a real possibility? Maybe put your prayers and worrying to the Spanish people?

  • Scravaldio


    This is crazy, most of the players on the step up list are either too young or won’t be able to remain fit to have enough of an impact to win anthing let alone the league. Except maybe jack there is not a single player which a team like man city would fear. The overpaid deadwood need to go quickly whether to a club or realeased and that money put into players that are worth there salt. Two seasons down the road you can start putting this kind of pressure on such young shoulders, except diaby who won’t be fit, but will still pick up 60 grand a week, a week !!!!! We want FFP rules but then its the one thing that will mean no small club will ever be able to compete with the big boys as a billionaire will not be able to bank roll then, which I think is actually not a good thing as I would live to see leyton orient or palace beat barca in CL final but anyway I digress, these rules will not save Arsenal. The only way to save Arsenal is start inisisting that squad players have there wages capped at 30 grand a week or pay by appearance. You can’t play 15 mins here and there and pick up 60 k a week no matter who you are let alone this load of rubbish. I like this site but you gove too much credit to AW saying he does well with such a week squad but bare in mind that it is a weak squad that he put together and not on the cheap like many who have you think. If he is not the problem then what is? The board, Kroneke owns the worst US teams and does nothing to help them. Peter hill wood doesn’t want usmanov on the board because he workd for one of his competitors back in russia so his own interests are coming ahead of the clubs. Get PHW and Kroeke out and don’t put so much pressure on these young players it just isn’t fair. Sorry for the rant. Oik of the Month 3rd place!
  • Scravaldio

    Third ahh gotta try harder hmm sounds familier. Maybe I should spend some money HA

  • Pad

    Dean?, Why not Riley, Walter?

  • Azd


    Nice rant. It amazes me when people attribute our poor defensive record of the past season to injuries when for the last 5 years, the goals we concede have been on the increase.
    Walter in an article saidkeeping Arteta fit is going to be key next season but i posted a comment to say in Everton, Arteta was an attacking MF yet he is more aware to opponents danger than our DM, which imo is a failure of coaching.
    Methods that won Wenger the league in 03/04 will not do it now.
    Until Wenger learns that defending is a very important part of football, we will not win a trophy.

  • WalterBroeckx

    putting players in a new role is one of the things that Wenger does. He has done it with great success a few times.
    With the experience Arteta has he knows when to balance things better than younger midfielders.
    This is why with Arteta on the field we concede under 1 goal per game (23/26) and with him a lot of goals.

    I think Arteta is no longer an attacking MF for the moment. More a box to box player maybe even though that doesn’t fit the bill imo

  • Azd

    You miss my point. i’m what you people call an “AAA” but my point is emphasis should be placed on TEAM defending.
    Verm is about 25/26 so we cant call him a kid but he runs forward 15 mins into a game and Wenger does nothing about it cos it happens time and time again.
    Arteta is that good because he comes from a team where everybody has his own defensive duties.
    I actually think no matter the personnel in defensive, we will still concede cheap goals because Wenger relies on great individual defenders rather than great defensive units.

  • Azd

    I’m a regular poster on Legrove and i posted this yesterday there

    3 simple ways to win the league/compete(lots of story before this)
    1)Team defending
    2)Team discipline
    3)Optimal management of the wage bill.

    In response to no 3 above this is my take.
    Djourou is our 4th cb on 50k/w
    Diaby is always injured on 60k/w same with so many other players.
    Since we cant compete with chavs and $ity, we should be making optimal use of what we have with no room for sentiments.
    My 2 cents and grouse with Wenger/Gazidis.

  • WalterBroeckx


    We are an attacking side so it brings some risks at times.

    Wins put you higher up the league table than a draw.
    If Vermaelen would have stayed at the back against Newcastle we would have been in the Europe league now.

  • Philip

    Hi Tony,

    Good article & great blog – I always read your stuff. So nice not to have to read that we let slip a player who cost 32 million and is on 170,000 gross per week (8.84m per year) – we were never in that race!

    Been a gooner since 1955 when a schoolteacher took me & my 6 year old brother to watch a friendly against Real Madrid (Puskas, Di Stefano, Gento et al). We lost 4-0 and Real had 3 other ‘goals’ disallowed!

  • Azd

    I said 1st 15 mins. When We are 1 down or drawing a game, i clamour for Wenger to take off a defender and bring in a striker. but i also know that in life you have to adapt.
    We are an attacking team but sometimes, we need to be a defensive team.

  • elkieno

    AZD: you are not an AAA cos if u were you would be abusing us, calling for Wengers head, labellibg everyone bar RvP not fit to wear the shirt and so on…
    You come here and post reasonable comments, not abusive and respond to people who don’t agree with you, in an ordily manner.
    Thus you are not AAA. (Unless you change ur tune when on le groan)

  • zdzis

    @DocBrody: 🙂 I’m prone to miss such small details… I also think RVP is going nowhere. And the other thing I wanted to say is: I know what you’re talking about, cause I’m doing exactly the same. Every day, I skim through Arsenal blogs and football websites, hoping to find some conclusive proof that it’s MY club that’s on top of things. I believe a lot of us football fans do it. My only advice is: when the going gets tough, distract yourself – do the dishes, clean your apartment, play a game (not a football manager!). Everything will sort itself out whether or not we care.

    @Jacobite: I only caught glimpses of Bartley, and it is true SPL experience may hardly be enough to be able to compete in EPL. However,I also saw a number of our loanees play, and one thing a lot of the share is that their performances are rarely spectacular. I guess even our most successful loanees – and I’m not talking about Denilson – didn’t impress because they were already fully-formed players, but because they tried to learn as much as possible. I don’t know about Wenger’s plans for Bartley, you may be right there, a loan might yet be in order.