PSG boss Thomas Tuchel says the Ligue 1 club “need” full-back Layvin Kurzawa amid reported interest from Arsenal.
The 27-year-old has struggled for consistent game time this term, but it appears he is still a valued member of the French champions’ squad.
Kurzawa to Arsenal? Five things to know…
- Kurzawa moved to the French capital in 2015 from Monaco.
- After being the first choice for a few seasons, the Frenchman has lost his place in the team to Juan Bernat.
- As a result, he has only started five league games this season.
- Kieran Tierney is a long-term absentee with a dislocated shoulder, which has left the Gunners short at left-back.
- Sead Kolasinac is also out, meaning Bukayo Saka has been filling in in an unfamiliar position.
The full-back is entering the prime years of his career but has increasingly found himself left out of Tuchel’s side. Kurzawa has only played once in the Champions League this season: a 5-0 win at home to Galatasaray after the Parisians had already sealed their qualification to the last 16.
Arsenal would be unable to offer him Champions League football like PSG can, but the Frenchman would be likely to be able to secure significantly more first-team minutes in north London.
Reports suggest that discussions between the two sides have taken place, but Tuchel is adamant Kurzawa still has a role to play at the Parc des Princes.
The PSG boss told reporters: “I haven’t spoken with Layvin or anyone else about his departure this winter. Layvin is number two behind [Juan] Bernat in the left-back position.
“We need him and Layvin will play tomorrow (Sunday) against Lorient.
“He has played well recently.”
Arteta needs backing
There is no questioning that Arsenal’s performances have improved since Mikel Arteta’s appointment at the club, but the results are yet to echo this progress.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United means it’s now three draws, a win and a loss in the league since the Spaniard took over from Unai Emery.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 19, 2020
Arsenal have some holes in their squad that need filling, particularly at full-back: Hector Bellerin, Kolasinac and Tierney are all out, meaning Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Saka have been forced to regularly form part of a makeshift defence.
The Gunners are currently 10 points adrift of the Champions League places and, unless further improvements are made, the club may have to settle for another season outside of Europe’s elite club competition.