Tuesday 27 June 2017

Good afternoon all,

I’ve had a busy day today hence the late post. Today I’ll discuss our left sided defensive options and think it would be wise to discuss our new player Kolasinac because, quite frankly, I don’t know much about him.

What I do know is that he was included in the Bundesliga team of the season so he must’ve been doing something well.

Despite signing him on a free transfer I don’t envisage him coming into the team as a squad player. He’s at an age where he will be coming into his prime years and will want to be playing week in week out, as was the case last season.

This is the main reason we are hearing so many stories about Gibbs leaving the club this summer. The other reason for these rumours are based on the fact that he’s being selected less and less as the seasons go by (granted some seasons have been injury related) and also the fact that the manager decided a right footed, central/right midfielder is better served to fulfil the duties of left wing back than a left footed left back who used to be a left winger.

So do I think Gibbs will leave? I do not have a clue. Initially I thought he’d be gone before the FA Cup celebrations had finished but since signing Kolasinac the manager has said his plans for Monreal lay more as a left sided central defender as part of a back 3 – which I have no objections with – but assuming this is the case, surely we can’t sell a left back and leave ourselves with 1 and a half left backs? Or can we?

If you assume Kolasinac is our first choice left back, Gibbs is sold and Monreal plays predominantly as a centre back what options do we have should Saed get injured?

Monreal, of course, can play the role with no issues whatsoever. But let’s say he too is injured, where do we turn?

Oxlade-Chamberlain is an option based on his performance in the final but this is assuming we retain his services for the upcoming season and, truth be told, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him playing there for any significant period of time due to his reliance on his right foot.

The other option which a few may not have thought about is the speedy youngster we signed in January Cohan Bramall who has been a feature in the U23 on numerous occasions. Could his performances have convinced the manager he is ready to be drafted into the senior squad for next season, even if it is just in the case of an emergency.

Pre-season will give us an idea of who the manager feels is closest to the first team as he typically uses the games abroad to give his younger players the chance to stake their claim for a first team squad number in the upcoming season.

To conclude, I don’t feel we need to sign anyone in this particular position and would also be happy with letting Gibbs leave this summer, especially if it frees up funds to contribute to Alexis’ new contract.

Kolasinac is certainly a player I am looking forward to seeing because his physicality is something we have been missing in recent seasons but also something we seem to be looking for in our signings. Xhaka, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Elneny to a lesser extent and Gabriel are all players who have been signed recently and their physical presence is certainly more imposing than majority of our first team players.

As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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