Q&A Mailbag: April 1
Football may be postponed, but we still have plenty of stuff to talk about for now, so we're back with another Mailbag. We've picked out a few questions here to answer this week. Don't forget to send in more questions here, and please stay as safe as you possibly can.
First up, Miles wants to know: Who'd make the best Alexander Lacazette replacement out of Marcus Thuram, Myron Boadu and Odsonne Édouard?
Llew Davies: The context of this question matters significantly, and it's only been complicated by COVID–19. If we work on the realtively reasonable assumption that Lacazette is sold along with an soon-to-be out-of-contract Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal will lose a massive percentage of goals – and replacing such a percentage would be extremely difficult.
Using the above scenario of Aubameyang and Lacazette leaving simultaneously, that leaves two positions – wide forward and striker – that would need to be filled in Mikel Arteta's current system (one that would likely change in such a scenario, anyway), therefore it makes sense for Arsenal to target two of the three players mentioned in your question.
In the current system, Marcus Thuram – a goalscoring forward who plays predominantly from the left-hand side, and he adds a lot of value with his dribblng and playmaking too – would be the obvious pick for Aubameyang's position. As for Lacazette, the most similar in role to him is Odsonne Édouard. He's a big-bodied forward who can retain possession under pressure, link play, carry from deep, and create shots for himself – he has a more diverse than Lacazette does. On the other hand, Myron Boadu is fantastic goalscorer with good movement into depth, intelligent penalty box positioning and electric athleticism, but isnt as active in build-up phases. He's more of an Aubameyang than Lacazette. We also have to consider how Gabriel Martinelli, and Eddie Nketiah to a lesser extent, configure into any contingency plan.
Onto Irish affairs, as Ewan asks: Of the 3 most highly-rated young Irish forwards at the moment; Parrott, Idah and Obafemi, who has the highest ceiling?
Joe Donnohue: That's an interesting one because the landscape across which they will be playing over the next couple of seasons will probably change dramatically.
Adam Idah is probably going to be playing regularly next season in the Championship with Norwich, so understandably you'd expect him to develop well. Troy Parrott could either still be a player in limbo at Spurs or on loan somewhere. Given he hasn't played anywhere enough senior club football to be judged on and not knowing where he'd be playing, it's difficult to say how well he'd get on.
Michael Obafemi has shown some nice things in the Premier League but he hasn't blown anybody away, perhaps because his gametime has been limited. I think he has a versatile skillset which means he'd work well across most attacking setups.
In terms of ceilings, I think at present Troy Parrott has the highest but in 12 months that could be hugely different if Idah has a prolific Championship campaign or Obafemi plays a much more central role for Southampton.
Cam Welsh asks: What are your opinions on Connor Gallagher? Do you think he can be as good in the Premier League as he has been in the Championship this season?
Joe Donnohue: Conor Gallagher is worth talking about one-hundred-percent. If it wasn't for the excellent progress the young players in Chelsea's first-team had made this season, there would be a great deal of discussion surrounding his loan spells at Charlton and Swansea.
With Billy Gilmour's emergence, Mateo Kovačić's dominance and Jorginho's permanence in this Chelsea squad, Gallagher will find it tough to break into the first team, though so I would advise caution. Given the hiatus football is currently enduring, it is more than likely going to be beneficial for Gallagher to spend another season playing regular football - whether that be on loan at Swansea or on loan in the Premier League. It's unfortunate timing for someone who would have had a strong finish to the Championship season. On the whole though, Gallagher's determination will stand him in good stead going forward. If he had remained at Chelsea this season, I am convinced he would have debuted already.
John asks: What are the chances of you guys doing a 'Scouted Managers' handbook, featuring different profiles of up-and-coming managers in world football?
Stephen Ganavas, our lead editor: It's something we've thought about in the past. There probably is scope to do more stuff on young managers but it is probably more likely to happen either on the website or as feature pieces in future handbooks. Ultimately, our focus is on the players so we don’t want to stray too far from that, but some things on managers like Nagelsmann now and into the future could be an interesting shake up.
And a final question, from Aidan Kabudi: Could you do a scouting report on Bukayo Saka?
Stephen: Don't worry, Aidan. We're working on something very exciting with Bukayo...
Thanks for your support, as always. You can support us even more by buying one of our Scouted Football Handbooks. We're still shipping worldwide.