Arsenal this window showed a really positive intent in signing their targets quickly! With the inclusions of Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice, a further addition Arsenal have been longing for an extended period of time is the cover player for Saka at RW and Mohammed Kudus is a player who could be on the cards for Mikel Arteta.
The Ghanian prodigy has been mentioned in connection to a move to England after his impressive spell at the world cup for Ghana. Arsenal along with several other clubs are waiting for the signature of Kudus. However, according to Sambi Morkel – the Gunners would need to sell several first team players before considering a move.
Bringing Mohammed Kudus to the Emirates stadium could be a big statement considering the fact that Kudus is still just 22 and Arteta’s nature to work with young talents.
Lack of squad depth saw Arsenal fold at times at the end of last season in which they toiled with Bukayo Saka in particular at the RW position because clearly, they didn’t have much quality a particular position. Kudus’s versatility to play in various positions and his athletic ability would give Arsenal an addition option to ponder upon.
Kudus’ combination of technical ability and impressive awareness had allowed him to stand out in the Danish side ever since he signed for them. Ajax are obviously no strangers to precocious young talents and their long history with the development of young players together with the Ghanaian midfielder’s constant growth. Kudus has two years left on his contract at the Johan Cruyff Arena and his agent has admitted that the player wants a fresh start this summer.
Thierry Henry’s Appreciation: Last season, Kudus impressed in the UEFA Champions League, netting four goals and providing a further two assists during the group stages. A goal against Liverpool caught the eye of Arsenal icon Thierry Henry. Speaking about Kudus’ finish against the Reds, Henry told CBS Sports, “He came from the Academy Right to Dream from Ghana and he is living the dream. Take a bow son, what a finish from Kudus!”
PLAYER DEPTH IN DEPTH:
Mohammed Kudus is a 22 year old left footed Ghanaian who’s been playing for Ajax for a couple of years where he’s established a name for himself. Impressive spells at the World Cup and Champions League created an additional buzz around his name.
Yet again, Arsenal scouting a player who’s versatile in the market is no surprise. His versatility and adaptability to excel in various positions across attack and midfield is just one of his key abilities. May it be CF, RW, AMF, CMF or even DMF
Kudus has an outstanding athletic ability. The youngster is very quick, with the ball or without the ball at his feet which makes it comfortable for him to take on players. Kudus has 7.33 take-ons attempted, 4.57 successful (62.3%)
It’s no surprise that dribbling is the highlight of his game. He’s got fantastic agility and very tight ball control. He often combines his pace and strength with an additional talent of running with the ball and dribbling. Often stretches the width of the pitch like Saka.
In spite of that, he gets too predictable which makes it not his core position. Very clinical in the box with both his head and left foot as he doesn’t need many chances to score. Could have a dynamic of having a left footer on the right is something that is valued very highly.
Playing for Ajax being a possession-based club, he often has to do the job of breaking down defences with his killer eye for a pass. His technical ability allows him to do that.
Kudus strikes the ball really well and has an excellent shooting technique. He hits the ball with a lot of power and accuracy, making it hard for the goalkeeper to pull off a save.
When he joined Ajax, he was always partnered in a double pivot which was more attacking minded. His qualities from that role had boundaries. Which was why he was tested out as a ST, RW.
Moreover, Mohammed Kudus has excelled particularly plying the role of a #9 last season; the game vs Liverpool in the CL. When playing up top, he cleverly drops into attacking positions in the right spaces, displaying his tactical understanding and adaptability within different systems.
He has a wonderful technique of setting up the ball for his body to drive a finesse or a powerful shot. He can score poacher type goals but that’ll need him to develop his left foot too.
Lacks awareness in the final third: He often holds the ball for too long, doesn’t release the ball sooner and tends to go on his own even when a teammate are in space. It is a bit of a concern, as he breaks down attacks because of his lack of game sense
Limited while it comes to passing: short passing is good and consistent, but he does not have a variety. Doesn’t use his weak foot much too. He mostly progresses the ball by runs rather than passes
Injury Prone: Unfortunately, injury is a significant weakness in Kudus’s game. These injuries often force him out of action for extended periods, disrupting his form and requiring additional time to regain his peak performance level.
HOW WOULD MOHAMMED KUDUS FIT INTO ARSENAL?
Largely seen as a RW cover for Saka with plenty of competitions to be played this season, he could see himself play as a CF being rotated with Jesus.
He has the direct route to play the role and has proved his goal scoring ability. Functions quite similar to Saka. Started the season as a CF and that explains why he’s got a more goal threat than a winger like Saka.
Could start as a #8 at the LCM role and drop higher up the pitch. Genuine goal threat and is good in tight spaces. However, it would be an ultra-attacking situation. With the inclusion of Kai this role seems unlikely but could still work. Could easily play the Xhaka role too!
To play the LCM role he’ll have to improve on his anticipation and read the game better. Due to his penetrating runs, his best position will be midfield. He needs the freedom to make forward runs and open the defence, while he tracks back decently to be a good asset in ball recovery
Imo, wish we could’ve signed him before Havertz to develop him into a proper #8 but never mind, he can be used as a Saka, Ø and #8 cover.
Only 22, he’s got a lot of room for development and improvement under the right coach.