According to reports from Dutch publication De Telegraaf (via Metro), Arsenal are plotting a move for AZ Alkmaar’s Teun Koopmeiners. Mikel Arteta wants to add more quality in midfield, having already signed Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht and the Dutch midfielder seems to be the preferred option by the Spanish manager.
I must admit to rolling my eyes and sighing heavily upon hearing a brand new name linked with Arsenal. So far, this summer has been an endless stream of links brimming with familiar targets, but at least it was refreshing to learn that there was someone fresh to overlook in the tabloids.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) July 15, 2021
As Arsenal transfer rumours persist concerning Neves, Maddison and Aouar (close to a deal), up popped Teun Koopmeiners into the speculation pool. He may sound like a premier Dutch lager but on closer inspection, his credentials are certainly one worth considering.
The 23-year-old midfielder from Eredivisie is favoured by Jose Mourinho, but it’s his stats that peak the general levels of interest. I’m not normally a stats fan but this is different because it’s about goals and assists, so I’ll tolerate it.
Let’s Have The Stats
The left-footed defensive midfielder that also delivers a mean free-kick has contributed 33 goals and 10 assists in the past two seasons from a deep-lying defensive position, but from what I’ve seen, he enjoys marauding forward and can lash a ball goal-wards.
He had started to grow on me even if this was just another attempt to confuse the fan base and his physicality and height (1.88m) tended to make him more interesting. Odegaard, although incredibly skilful, looks like a stiff breeze could knock him over let alone a competitive, hairy and burly defender on a mission to cause a Premier League upset.
Eredivise stats 20/21
5.1 accurate long balls
1.1 key passes
3.9 grand duels won (55%)
1.2 aerial duels won (61%)
Set piece specialist✅
Boyhood Arsenal fan✅ pic.twitter.com/51QP2aAbPg
— AFCINSIDE (@AFCINSIDE_) July 18, 2021
The Dutchman has enough flicks, tricks, touches and dinks to satisfy the fans craving artistry, but he also has a robust side and a level of dogged determination which will appeal to the tactical disciples. Better still, Teun Koopmeiners is said to be available for around £15.75m, but that will go up if and when Arsenal show an interest.
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Those claiming he would be a replacement for Xhaka would be right in the sense that he’s regarded as a defensive or holding midfielder, but look again and he’s a clear upgrade on the Swiss. There’s also something about his persona I like, is it arrogance or focus? There’s something of an aura around him, the type when a player is completely comfortable with their level of natural skills and are accepting of their flaws, which in this case don’t appear to be many.
After looking at more footage, I had convinced myself that if I was going to embrace any rumour, this would be my preferred option and I recommend you do the same. Perhaps, if we wish hard enough collectively, then we could land him. Wake up, Tom!
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