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How Arteta could have got more out of Pepe, the tactics behind Girona’s unbeaten start, the Champions League groups by ELO rankings and Sesko in 2021

Good morning tactics fans and welcome to the #TFIFriday newsletter – full of analysis, scouting and tactics. Fill up on your football knowledge – follow the Total Football Analysis page and be part of the squad that want more than just a match report.

In La Liga, Girona have made an unbeaten start to the season under Michel, so Sakhu Mpofo has taken a deep dive to understand how and why.

Luis Kircher has used the ELO rankings to rank the Champions League teams heading into the group stage.

It is rumoured that Monaco’s Vanderson is another player on Barcelona’s want list – we scouted the player in August 2023 and our unique TIPPSTER model graded him as a medium-impact Tier 1 player.

Southampton’s Kamaldeen Sulemana is still being linked to a move to Everton which would now have to happen in January – we scouted Sulemana in April 2023 and even though Southampton were struggling, there was no doubt that he is a high-impact Tier 1 player.

One of the many clever signings in the summer transfer window was Stade Rennes snapping up Fabian Rieder from Young Boys – xGOLD first highlighted Rieder as a midfielder matching the profile of Lucas Paqueta, Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes meaning we tracked him closely, our TIPPSTER model grading him as potential high-impact Tier 1 player.

Ashley Sanchez has extended her Washington Spirit contract to 2026 – read about what the attacking midfielder adds to her club and the USWNT in Selim Ben Hmida’s scout report.

Summer RB Leipzig signing Benjamin Šeško scored the fourth and final goal for Slovenia in their 4-2 win over Northern Ireland yesterday in a EURO 2024 qualifier. Lee Scott analysed why the now-20 y/o forward was Red Bull Salzburg’s next top forward off the Haaland-inspired production line back in 2021.

Meanwhile, in South America, Rafael Santos Borré scored the only goal to help Colombia beat Venezuela 1-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualification clash. Read about the Colombian forward’s key qualities in our scout report.

Nicolas Pépé has left Arsenal for Trabzonspor on a short-term deal until next summer. The Gunners never really saw the best of the Ivorian after they splashed so much cash on him, but we analysed how we felt Mikel Arteta could’ve got the best out of him in this piece from May 2020.

That’s it for this week – we are back at the same time on TUESDAY. There will be no Monday newsletter next week. Spread the word!

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