Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa recently turned down a transfer to Inter Milan this month because he preferred a move to the Premier League. That’s when Arsenal FC expressed interest and according to a report today, a deal appears to be imminent.
David Ornstein and James McNicholas of The Athletic report that Arsenal’s head of football, Raul Sanllehi, is negotiating a deal for the Frenchman today. The 27-year-old Kurzawa is out of a contract in six months at PSG and would be available on a free transfer. However, the report indicates that Arsenal will attempt to sign him this month and without paying a transfer fee.
— Steve McGowan (@macca2907) January 16, 2020
Arsenal’s preferred left-back, Kieran Tierney is out until March most likely with an injury and Sead Kolasinac can’t be depended upon either given his injury issues. Eighteen-year-old Bukayo Saka has a promising future but I’m not sure new manager Mikel Arteta wants to rely on a teenager to start against Premier League competition for the rest of the season. Unfortunately for the Gunners, Kurzawa has also been injury-prone throughout his PSG career.
Since arriving in 2015, Kurzawa has missed more than 40 matches (per Transfermarkt) due to various injuries. His most serious injury was last season when he missed 16 matches due to a herniated disc.
— Marc Damon (@MarcDamon1) January 16, 2020
During his tenure with PSG, Kurzawa played under three managers, Laurent Blanc, Unai Emery, and now Thomas Tuchel. What should be worrying for Arsenal supporters is that none of them ever rated Kurzawa high enough to make him a regular starter.
The most appearances he ever made in Ligue 1 in PSG colors was during the 2017-18 season when he played in 20 matches. When he arrived from AS Monaco, it was thought he would eventually replace the aging Maxwell, but that never happened.
The elder Brazilian outplayed the young Frenchman consistently and was the first choice left-back. Once Maxwell moved on, Yuri Berchiche was signed in 2017 and in his one season with PSG, he played in more Ligue 1 matches than Kurzawa (22).
The following season, Juan Bernat was brought in from FC Bayern Munich and the Spaniard turned out to be a revelation. He was superb at left-back and Kurzawa was once again relegated to the bench.
It’s interesting that Arsenal believes a player that couldn’t win the starting left-back position over Maxwell, Berchiche, and Bernat could do a job for them on a consistent basis but that’s where we are right now.
There have been bright moments for Kurzawa. Against Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League, the former Monaco man became the first defender to score a hat-trick in the competition since 1993. PSG won that match 5-0 at the Parc des Princes.
Despite that rare bit of magic from Kurzawa, his career at PSG has largely been disappointing. I think our friends Get French Football News put it best in their tweet yesterday:
Joorabchian's outsized influence at Arsenal becoming a bit uncanny, shades of Raiola at PSG in 2012/13 – Layvin Kurzawa is exceptionally injury-prone, criminally unfit & has not been playing regular football for the best part of the last 4.5 years.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 15, 2020
I don’t mean to rain on Arsenal’s parade. Kurzawa did have a solid match on Wednesday night in PSG’s 4-1 win over Monaco, and if they can sign him for no transfer fee it might be a risk worth taking.
However, Kurzawa is currently on a weekly salary of €115,000, per SillySeason.com. That’s quite an expensive risk for Arsenal to take when they will likely have a surplus of left-backs heading into next season.
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