The last time Arsenal picked up a Paris Saint-Germain cast-off it was devastating. Layvin Kurzawa will expect to have greater success in North London compared to his former boss Unai Emery.
The French left-back is expected to join the Gunners to offer cover following Kieran Tierney, himself signed in the summer, was ruled out for the remainder of the year with a shoulder injury.
Kurzawa is out of contract in the Parc des Princes this summer and despite being a semi-regular, the 27-year-old will leave the French capital searching for a new challenge having found himself firmly supporting Juan Bernat in the pecking order.
This makes January PSG’s final opportunity to recoup some of the 23million they forked out to signal Kurzawa from Monaco in the summer of 2015. Arsenal are not expected to pay much for the 12-cup French global, something they have made a staple of the recruitment this month.
The fact les Parisiens were ready to pay so much for Kurzawa five years ago speaks for the esteem that he was held in. Among the most exciting young full-backs in Europe while in Monaco, Kurzawa flew up and down the left-hand for Claudio Ranieri’s side since they ended runners-up to PSG in 2013. This wasn’t the Monaco of Kylian Mbappé, Bernardo Silva and Fabinho — although the latter came on loan from Rio Ave before this season.
Netting five occasions from left-back, Kurzawa shone again the next season before getting his big move to the funds in the summer of 2015.
Which is why he’ll walk away from one of the most glamorous clubs in Europe this summer.
Like so many contemporary full-backs, Kurzawa creates a wonderful highlight reel. He is fast, mobile and has forward with no need for another invitation.
He comes out 12th for overall touches with 85.08 which only serves to highlight how involved he’s for PSG.
Clearly he is comfortable going forward and Kurzawa completes 1.07 of the 2.3 dribbles he tries per 90. An accomplished crosser also, Kurzawa has a range of deliveries in his locker, either going to the line or crossing from a shallow position.
The different drawback of Kurzawa is the defensive side of his game. That is why we liken him to numerous other contemporary full-backs who put greater emphasis on getting ahead than performing the fundamentals of their job.
He’s got the recovery rate to get himself out of trouble but his willingness to bomb creates problems. As does his lack of defensive awareness occasionally.
However, it isn’t good, he loses the second-most defensive duels of any full-back in the league with 7.83 per 90. In addition to that, the amount of times he is dispossessed (1.84 per 90) is the next most for players in his place.
These certainly are not the traits of a guardian Arsenal, using their shambolic defence, should be studying. Much like Sead Kolašinac, it is tough to understand what Kurzawa’s best role is. What is clear is that at the elite level, it is not a full-back.