For those who don’t know, Arsenal is in the midst of a mini defensive injury crisis. The Gunners are currently without Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sead Kolašinac, Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney. Quite notably, both the club’s left-backs are on the sidelines, forcing Mikel Arteta to play Bukayo Saka in that position.
That’s why the club has now turned their attention to Paris Saint-Germain’s Layvin Kurzawa who is out of contract in the summer. Instead of waiting till the summer, Arsenal has taken initiative to pay a small fee for the LB now due to the desperate nature of their situation.
Here’s what Layvin Kurzawa brings to Arsenal.
Layvin Kurzawa has enjoyed a fruitful career in France. Having joined PSG from Monaco in 2015, the 27-year-old has gone on to make 84 games for the French champions. In his younger years at Monaco, he made 75 appearances including one season where they finished runners-up to his future employers. At the time, the Frenchman was one of the highest-rated LB prospects in the world. However, since arriving in Paris, injuries have derailed his once-promising progress. At PSG, the left-back has spent 274 days on the sidelines, equating to 43 games missed.
Kurzawa has represented his country at every level through; U19, U20 and U21 with 12 caps at senior level. The calibre of player Arsenal would be acquiring can be seen through the 14 domestic titles he’s won in France, such a winning mentality cannot be understated.
#2 Squad Depth
Like we said earlier, Arsenal is in the midst of an injury crisis. The likes of Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolašinac combined are set to miss the next few months of football. And even when they do return to full training, it will take them a while to get up to match speed. In the short term, this transfer would allow Arteta to finally field a team with players who are actually comfortable in their positions.
This transfer could also suggest a bit of long-term planning from the Gunners. Kieran Tierney is set to be the club’s first choice LB for the coming years and Kurzawa has been brought in to be backup/competition to the Scotsman. It’s been rumoured for a while now that this will be Sead Kolašinac last season in London, making the acquisition of Kurzawa all the more likely.
#1 Attacking Prowess
The role of the modern-day full-back has evolved immensely over the past few decades. Nowadays, their primary focus is to provide width and contribute mainly to the attacking phases of the game. Kurzawa has been described as an offensive that relentlessly attacks his flank.
On several occasions this season alone, the 27-year-old has been seen disobeying Thomas Tuchel’s instructions of staying back in phases of possession. Instead, the Frenchman tries to run at low-block defences whenever possible, a trait that will be welcome at the Emirates. His versatility to switch between being a wing-back and left-back will also provide Arteta with the tactical interchangeability he desires.