Author Archives: chris darwen

West Brom set to win race for Arsenal’s £35,000 a week midfielder

The Athletic have claimed that West Bromwich Albion are set to win the race for Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles after talks resumed between the Gunners and the Baggies – beating the likes of Southampton, Leicester and Newcastle.

Maitland-Niles, 23, is keen to leave Arsenal on loan this month after failing to be used in his favoured position of central midfielder under Mikel Arteta. The Spanish manager has instead used the England international at right-back, or left-back.

Southampton, Leicester, Newcastle and West Brom have all been linked with a move for Maitland-Niles. But a move to Leicester has been ruled out as the Gunners see Leicester as a direct rival. Maitland-Niles did not want to join Southampton.

Newcastle look more likely to go for Joe Willock, so that has left Sam Allardyce’s West Brom the only Premier League side left in the race to sign Maitland-Niles. Talks are progressing and David Ornstein claims a deal is expected to go through.

The Baggies are also bringing in Okay Yokuslu from Celta Vigo, while the Baggies also have Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore among others as options in the middle of the park. So, will Maitland-Niles find his loan beneficial?

One of the reasons he has turned down Southampton is because they were looking to use him on the flanks – rather than in midfield. The Baggies now look set to secure the midfielder but it might be that he does not play where he wants to and according to Spotrac, Maitland-Niles is currently earning £35,000 a week with the North London club.

Source: The Boot Room

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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal: Predicted Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 Starting Eleven

Arsenal will be aiming to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Gunners have been in fine form since Boxing Day and they have picked up 17 points from a possible 21 and have stayed unbeaten during this phase.

They are currently 10th on the Premier League table with 31 points, but still have a good chance of making the Champions League places come the end of the season. They are currently eight points adrift of fourth-placed Leicester City.

A victory on Tuesday, as predicted on would see Arsenal extend their winning away run in the top flight to four matches following wins on Brighton & Hove Albion, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton’s turf, and the Gunners claimed a 2-0 win in this game last season thanks to goals from Saka and Lacazette.

Predicted Line-up:

Bernd Leno came up with a stunning fingertip save to deny Fred from scoring for Manchester United on Saturday and that pleased some of the Gunners fans. He has played every minute of the club’s league campaign and is expected to start in goal.

In the backline, there could be a solitary change. Kieran Tierney returned to first-team training ahead of the Red Devils clash, but he was not deemed fit enough to make the game. The Scot should return for the Wolves clash in his customary left-back role.

Cedric Soares has fared impressively in the makeshift position in the absence of Tierney and it won’t come as a surprise, if he starts ahead of Hector Bellerin on the right side of the backline tomorrow. Rob Holding and David Luiz should keep their central defensive positions.

In the midfield, one of Granit Xhaka or Thomas Partey could be rested. Partey could be the one dropping to the bench after a mixed performance against United where he was guilty of losing possession in the Gunners half on multiple occasions. He has just returned from another knock and Mikel Arteta may be cautious over his fitness. Mohamed Elneny may come in his place.

Nicolas Pepe has been finding some good rhythm over the past few games and he should continue in the starting XI. We are fancying him to slot into the left wing position with Bukayo Saka, who was left out of the United game with a minor hip issue, starting on the opposite flank.

Emile Smith Rowe has started every game since Boxing Day without much of a rest. He could be given a breather. Arteta may be tempted to hand Martin Odegaard his maiden Gunners start in the number 10 position.

Alexandre Lacazette appeared concussed in the closing stages of the United game after a clash with Harry Maguire. He offered a positive update following the game, but is unlikely to start three matches on the bounce. Eddie Nketiah should lead the line with club-captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still under quarantine after recently returning home to take care of his ill mother.

Source: Arsenal Fever

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Report: Unai Emery planning to raid Arsenal raid for Reiss Nelson

Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery, according to report is ready and hoping to raid his former side Arsenal to complete the signing of Reiss Nelson.

The report is according to the Mirror, who are also reporting that Spanish side Real Betis are also planning a swoop for the midfielder ahead of tonight’s transfer deadline.

Reiss Nelson has fallen way down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates and is seeking first-team football in respective which side it would. At the weekend,  Manchester United fell further off the pace at the top of the Premier League as they were held to a goalless draw at Arsenal.

Nelson has only registered nine appearances in all outings for the Gunners this season, with just out of this coming in the Premier League.

He hasn’t even made a matchday squad in the top-flight since November and clearly isn’t fancied by Arteta. Emery was another boss who didn’t always see Nelson as the first choice at Arsenal.

He managed just six appearances under the former boss but he clearly feels he can do a job in La Liga. Emery’s team are currently fifth and he wants to bolster his attacking arsenal as he bids to take his team into Europe.

Nelson has 12 England under-21 caps to his name and really needs to leave Arsenal. However, the Gunners will be reluctant to offload the versatile winger permanently but getting him out on loan looks like a wise move.

The £15,000-a-week trickster needs to play and if he performs well he could earn a chance at the Emirates Stadium. Arteta has done some good business and some bad during his time in charge but loaning Nelson out seems like a no-brainer.

Playing under Emery will be interesting and the former boss nurturing a player ready for the Arsenal first-team provides an interesting twist of fate.

Nelson is a decent player but his career has stagnated somewhat this season. If he heads to Spain and plays plenty of football, he could earn an Arsenal reprieve next season.

The Hale End graduate enjoyed a loan spell at Hoffenheim previously, scoring seven goals. A similar run at Villarreal, or Real Betis, and he could earn more of a chance in North London.

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Manchester City v Arsenal: Three players to watch out for

Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium in what would be the first Premier League game in more than two months due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Citizens, who are on the verge of qualifying for next season’s Champions League competition, battle Arsenal who are struggling to qualify for Europa League competition as they sit in the ninth position.

It won’t be out of place to predict an outright win for the Manchester club if both teams’ form before the Coronavirus-enforced break is to be considered. However, this is football where anything is possible. As the Gunners faithful continue to hope that Mikel Arteta’s side will record a surprise result against Manchester City, we make a quick rundown of three unlikely players who could help the team do the unthinkable.

1. Nicholas Pepe

Are you surprised to see his name in my list? You don’t have to be shocked. The Ivory Coast international is obviously a good player who can easily score goals, but that hasn’t been happening since he joined the team last summer.

Pepe has had too many underwhelming displays this season, especially against big teams, and it would be a huge surprise if his goal against Guardiola’s men end up being the difference between both teams. He is no doubt one player who could win many matches for Arteta’s men, but just like many other Arsenal fans – would be surprised to see him do that in this encounter.

2. Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka is another player who could surprisingly help the Gunners overcome City’s pressure come July 17. Though the Swiss midfielder is yet to find the back of the net this campaign, his revitalization under Arteta has been wonderful. He could break his personal deadlock against City’s goalkeeper Ederson in the much-anticipated encounter.

3. David Luiz

The last time David Luiz scored a goal was over eight months when he found the back of the net against Crystal Palace in a game that ended 2-2. The Brazilian is known for scoring from set-pieces and he could do the same for the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, his contract saga might likely affect his performance on the pitch as he is heavily linked with a move out of the club this summer. This is why he makes my list of unlikely players whose goals might help Arteta record first victory over his former boss.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Match Day Postmortem, Premier League

What will Federico Bernardeschi bring to Arsenal

Arsenal has reportedly developed an interest in Juventus star Federico Bernardeschi who is said to be considering a move out of the Turin club due to lack of regular game time under Maurizio Sarri. Despite being one of Juve’s important players during Allegri’s reign, Bernardeschi has struggled for regular first-team actions this campaign as he’s not rated by the former Chelsea boss.

The 26-year-old has started just nine league matches this season and he is set to move to a new club this summer. Arsenal manager Arteta, who currently has some contract issues to sort out, is now looking at the prospect of luring the Italian international to the Emirates Stadium ahead of next season.

According to reports coming out of the North London club, the Gunners are keeping close tabs on the player with the hope of completing his signing when the summer transfer window reopens. Bernardeschi is relatively unknown to many Arsenal fans and it is very likely they know nothing about their latest transfer target.

We take a quick look at the player’s profile and predict what he would possibly add to the team should he eventually move to the Premier League giants. Bernardeschi is a natural right-winger who can equally feature at the left flank. The Italian is versatile enough to play in an advanced part of the midfield which means he might be the best man to replace unsettled German midfielder Mesut Ozil.

In terms of what the player would bring to the table, Bernardeschi is a speedy player who loves beating defenders with his pace. He will surely enhance the Gunners ability to make quick counter-attacking moves during matches due to his speed and abilities to make key passes.

According to WhoScored’s ratings, Bernardeschi is a free-kick specialist and he has very laudable crossing techniques, which means the Gunners will likely see an improvement in their chances of scoring from dead-ball situations. Having won two Serie A titles with the Scudetto Champions, Bernardeschi’s winning mentality will likely play a huge role in boosting Arsenal’s morale in their quest for their first Premier League title in more than 16 years.

Conclusion

Joining Arsenal would be a great deal for the 26-year-old who will hope to begin his Arsenal career on a bright note. However, it may take him a while before settling into the team owing to the fact that he hasn’t stepped out of the shores of Italy all through his seven-year-old professional career.

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David Luiz recent comment shows why Arteta must overhaul his defence this summer

Arsenal defender David Luiz’s future continues to be subject of speculation among transfer media outlets. The Brazilian is presently linked with a departure from the Emirates Stadium just after a year with Mikel Arteta’s side.

It is believed that Arsenal manager and the club’s hierarchies are hoping to convince the 33-year-old to remain with the team for another season due to his experience and importance to the youngsters coming through the ranks.

Unfortunately, the World Cup-winning centre-back seems to have made up his mind over his future following his recent comments in which he revealed his desire and determination towards seeing that he reunites with Benfica next season.

According to him, he is in talks with Vieira to know if he stands a chance of joining the team in the summer as he could leave the Gunners as a free agent by the end of this campaign.

It should also be recalled that the former Chelsea star told Brazilian TV station SporTV, as reported by Football London, that he loves to return to Benfica before the end of his career.

He told the North American media outlet that he loves the Portuguese club so much that he wouldn’t mind losing any trophy in order to play for Bruno Lage’s side once again.

The information David Luiz is passing across to his current employers is simple — this is the right time to dump the English Premier League for the Portuguese Premiera Liga side.

Judging by the turnout of events, it is high time the Gunners intensify their search for a new defender who will take over from the want-away star.

It is obvious Arteta and his employers have a very slim chance of seeing Luiz in North London beyond this season; hence, there is a need to make wholesome changes to the defensive formation.

The backline has been poor throughout this term having conceded 36 League goals in 28 games despite the presence of the highly-rated and experienced defender.

Now that Luiz spell as a Gunner is as good as over, Arteta must add another experienced and quality player who can serve as a source of inspiration to the youngsters on and off the pitch.

Newly signed defender 19-year-old defender, William Saliba, who is on loan at Ligue 1 side Saint-Étienne, is reportedly seen as Brazilian’s replacement by the club’s executives but it appears too early for Saliba to step into the vacuum that would be created by Luiz’s departure. Just as predicted by former Arsenal star Martin Keown.

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Manchester City v Arsenal: Is the Premier League return too soon for Arsenal?

The date has been set, players are getting ready and managers are finalizing their tactics ahead of the Premier League’s return date. According to the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, the English Premier League is set to return on the 17th of June after a two months break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the most exciting feature on the return date is scheduled to take place at the Emirates Stadium where the Gunners will play host to second-place Manchester City. The Etihad Stadium outfits haven’t been in their best form throughout the season as they surprisingly dropped some points in matches and many tipped them to win outrightly.

Arsenal, on the other hand, is struggling to qualify for next year’s Champions League competition as they currently occupy the 9th position. A win for the North London club will boost their hope of finishing among the top clubs while Manchester City’s dream of beating Liverpool to the trophy (which is almost an impossible task) will receive a major boost.

However, the most fascinating aspect of the upcoming encounter is the fact that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be up against his former boss Pep Guardiola. It should be recalled that the Spaniard was Guardiola’s right-hand man when the Citizens clinched their second consecutive Premier League title last season. All eyes will be on the former Arsenal midfielder to see how his players would fare against the In-form Manchester City team. As much as the Gunners faithful are expecting Arteta to prove a point against his ex-boss, the encounter comes too early for an inexperienced tactician who could fail to live up to fans’ expectations.

Firstly, the manager hasn’t gained the required experience to record a surprise result against Manchester City. He has overseen just 15 games as first-team manager which is nothing compared to Guardiola’s 627 Matches. Another reason why the clash comes too soon for the Gunners is the fact that they might struggle for form due to the prolonged Coronavirus-enforced break. Just as Arsenal players, Guardiola’s men are equally going to be affected by the long break but Guardiola’s experience might just be the difference between both teams.

Our Thought

This is not to say that Arteta doesn’t stand a chance against his former boss. This is football where nothing is impossible, but the Gunners fans shouldn’t expect too much from the young manager who obviously needs more time before delivering consistent results.

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Why Arsenal’s move for Phillippe Coutinho does make sense

Arsenal have reportedly commenced transfer negotiations with Barcelona for former Liverpool playmaker Phillippe Coutinho who has endured a difficult time since he left the Reds two-and-a-half years ago. The Brazilian and Barcelona was far from his best during his debut season with the Camp Nou outfits who paid £142m to Liverpool for his services.

As part of their decision to cut their losses, the Catalans accepted a season-long offer from Bayern Munich for Coutinho’s services prior to the start of this season. Though the playmaker hasn’t really returned to the beastly form he is known, he has shown glimpses of brilliance for the Bavarians this campaign having scored eight goals in 22 league matches.

It was initially reported that the Bundesliga powerhouse might explore the €120m release clause in the deal with the Blaugranas in the summer transfer window, although the German club has publicly debunked the report. Bayern’s decision to turn down the chances of signing the attacking midfielder on a permanent deal has ultimately offered Premier League side Arsenal a great opportunity to bring Coutinho back to England’s top-flight league next season.

According to the transfer report making headlines via Football London, the Gunners are more than ready to complete the 27-year-old’s signature before the next campaign.

Is Arteta making the right choice by targeting a player who seems to have past his prime or Can Arteta help the player return to his best form once again? Here are three reasons why Arteta’s desire to bid for the Brazilian star is a great and welcome idea.

1. Getting used to the Premier League would not be a problem

Coutinho is no stranger to the English Premier League and its physically demanding nature having played 152 league matches for Liverpool (Premierleague.com). The Barcelona playmaker knows what to expect from English opponents, hence he won’t find it difficult to hit the ground running as soon as he joins the Emirates Stadium outfits.

2. His experience makes him Ozil’s perfect replacement

Mesut Ozil’s future has been a subject of speculation for some months as the German star continues to be linked with a move out of North London. Though the Gunners have reportedly made a list of youngsters who could replace the unsettled star, Coutinho appears to be one of the best players for the Gunners playmaking position due to his experience and obvious quality.

3. His versatility and goalscoring potentials

Signing Coutinho arguably means getting a three-in-one player because he can feature as an attacking midfielder, a right-wing, and a left-winger. He could swap positions with Nicholas Pepe or Lacazette during matches depending on Arteta’s tactics and formation.

Apart from his versatility, Coutinho has proven to be a goalscoring midfielder who can inspire the team to victory if the strikers fail to find the back of the net. Having played 39 games in all competitions this season, the Brazilian star has been involved in 17 goals (Transfermarkt) which means he is guaranteed to score some important goals for Arteta’s side.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, gooner news, Premier League, Transfer Bollocks

Has David Luiz done enough to remain at Arsenal beyong this season

Arsenal completed an unexpected deadline-day move for Chelsea defender David Luiz so much to the surprise of many football fans across the world.

Though many Arsenal fans believed Unai Emery would sign two or more players during the final day of the transaction period, only few persons would ever have imagined seeing Luiz at the Emirates Stadium prior to the start of the campaign. This was as a result of the intense rivalry between both clubs; there were few hours to the end of the summer transfer window and the Brazilian star wasn’t getting any younger.

David Luiz’s departure was sanctioned by Frank Lampard, the deal was sealed by both clubs and the Brazilian was unveiled to the Gunners faithfuls who had mixed feelings about the players move to the Emirates Stadium. How has he fared, nine months after the famous move from West London to North London? We take a look at his performance under Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta to see if he deserves to be offered a new contract or not.

Defensive Duties

The Brazilian has been a mainstay in Arteta’s starting lineup since he joined the team and he has somehow lived up to expectations. He has featured in 32 matches in all competitions and has a record of 1.5 aerial duels won per game. He won 75 tackles in all competitions before the season was brought to an unexpected break in March.

Nonetheless, the 33-year-old still has to add more qualities to his overall performance if he must remain with the North London club for more seasons. Luiz is definitely one of the most experienced defenders in the team and his young teammates are obviously looking up to him for inspiration. Our ratings —6/10

Goalscoring Record

Though the defender’s main assignment is to prevent opponents from scoring or going past them, Luiz was expected to score some breathtaking free-kicks just as he did during his time at Chelsea and PSG. Unfortunately, he hasn’t replicated such form for the Gunners. His goal scoring ratio has drastically dropped as he has scored just two goals and an assist in 32 games. Our rating 5/10

Conclusion

The Brazilian defender is a great player but his overall performances has dropped a bit, which could affect his chances of being with the North London club for long. Considering his age and his desire to return to his former club Benfica, it might be impossible for Arteta and his employers to retain the Brazilian star after this season. I guess the Gunners executives would love to invest big on a more and adventurous centre-back in the summer transfer window.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, News, Opinions

Where next for Alexandre Lacazette if he leaves Arsenal?

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium this summer following his controversial behaviour. The Frenchman was reportedly seen inhaling nitrous oxide, which has further reduced his chances of being with the North London beyond this season.

Though the 28-year-old attacker still has an active contract with the Gunners, it is believed that his recent controversial behaviour might likely force the club to consider incoming offers from interested suitors.

Apart from the recent unprecedented behaviour, the striker’s form hasn’t helped matters in any way. He has to his name this season nine goals from 26 matches in all competitions as he has struggled for form and matches fitness throughout the first half of this season.

Many interested clubs might be happy with the Frenchman’s current situation as it serves as a major boost to their hopes of luring the world cup winner to their respective teams. Speaking of his suitors, who are the two clubs likely to win the race for the former Olympique Lyonnais forward?

1. Atletico Madrid

The Spanish giants have a very bright chance of signing the player this summer as they are guaranteed a Champions League position by the end of this season. According to Spanish news publication AS the Madrid based club see the Frenchman as a perfect replacement for Spanish striker Diego Costa who has been linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium before next season. The Rojiblancos, if reports bear fruit, are ready to launch a big-money bid for his services as soon as the summer transfer commences.

2. Inter Milan

Former Chelsea head-coach now at Inter Milan dugout, Antonio Conte is strongly rumoured to be a strong admirer of the 28-year-old former Lyon striker. Conte is aware of Lacazette’s goalscoring threats having faced him several during his time at the Stamford Bridge’s dugout. While there are no confirmed reports linking him to the San Siro, former AC Milan player Antonio Cassano advised his compatriot to capture the Frenchman from Arsenal this summer. Lacazette’s move to Inter could also come into fruition should reported Lautaro Martinez possibly move out of the Serie A club before next season as a result of Chelsea and Barcelona’s interest.

Conclusion

Arsenal won’t find it difficult to release the Frenchman, no thanks to his uninspiring form and unruly attitude. However, everything depends on the offers submitted by both clubs as the Gunners would surely love to make a huge profit from the player whose contract remains valid until 2022.

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Filed under Arsenal, General Musings, gooner news, Lacazette, News, Premier League, Transfer Bollocks

Arsenal’s move for Orkun Kokcu could spell a bad news for Reiss Nelson

Today on gooner news is about the club’s move for Eredivisie youngster Orkun Kokcu this summer which will believe could spell a bad omen for Reiss Nelson should the move materialise.

The Emirates outfit are reportedly on the verge of signing Eredivisie youngster Orkun Kokcu with reports that the club has beaten likes of Chelsea, Sevilla, Valencia and Real Betis in the race for his signature. Arsenal has been a strong admirer of the Turkish U21 international but all their previous efforts to bring him to the Emirates Stadium were fruitless as Feyenoord were unconvinced by the offer submitted by the North London club.

However, emerging reports appears to be positive for the Gunners with reports coming out of the player’s camp via HITC, revealed that the youngster is set to complete his £25m switch to Mikel Arteta’s side as he had already turned down the chance to extend his stay with the Eredivisie side.

Though the 19-year-old is relatively unknown to many Arsenal fans across the world, Kokcu is one of the best teenagers in the world and also in red-hot form at the moment. He’s got speed and his goalscoring ability is not bad for a player of his age. His overall performances for Feyenoord before the abrupt end of the season due to the Covid-19 was inspiring and great, which makes him a good buy for the Gunners should they eventually wrap up the deal in the summer ahead of the other suitors has the reports says.

Any move that will see him an Arsenal player this summer might come as bad news to one of Arsenal’s Hale End academy products Reiss Nelson as he might be pushed down the pecking order under Arteta. The English youngster hasn’t done enough to gain a permanent spot in the team’s starting lineup due to his uninspiring displays in some of the matches he has played under Mikel Arteta’s watch.

Nelson is yet with a goal to his name neither does he has any assist despite registering 11 Premier League matches for the London club both under Freddie Ljungberg and Arteta. Hence, an urgent need for him to up his game if he really wants to be part of the team when the 2020-21 season begins or risks losing his position to the young and versatile Turkish U21 international.

Meanwhile, a loan deal isn’t totally out of proportion for the youngster as he could be shipped out of the club on a loan move to any European side in order to gain more first-team experiences when the next season begins. A loan move to either EFL Championship, Spanish La Liga, Belgium’s Jupiler League or Eredivisie will definitely help his development as long as he is getting regular game-time.

However, let’s keep our fingers crossed and see how events unfold as regards Kokcu’s proposed move to the Emirates Stadium.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, News, Transfer Bollocks

Kai Havertz to Arsenal: What will he bring to the team?

We discuss today on gooner news, the potential signing of Kai Havertz to Arsenal. The 20-year-old Germany international has been linked to Arsenal in a rumoured £70m move with Manchester United and Manchester City also in the race for his signature.

The German Bundesliga finally returned from its two months break last weekend and so was Kai Havertz who scored two lovely goals for Bayer Leverkusen against Werder Bremen on Monday. The young striker was one of Arsenal’s major transfer targets during the winter transaction period but the German side failed to sanction his sale to the Premier League outfits.

Though the Bundesliga side has made it clear they want to keep their precious jewel beyond this season, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta isn’t giving up on his hope to lure the 20-year-old German international to the Emirates Stadium before next season. In the meantime, we face stiff competition from Chelsea and Liverpool in the race for the player’s services as both clubs are keeping close tabs on his performances.

However, should we end up beating all other interested suitors to his signature, the questions on everyone’s mind would be — what will Havertz bring to the team; is he really needed by the Gunners and who should serve as a sacrificial lamb during the upcoming transfer window?

1. What Will He Bring To The Team?

* Huge Attacking Threat

Havertz is known for his ability to make tireless attacking runs as he can juggle the ball really well. He will definitely add more threats to the Gunners attacking prowess due to his attacking style of play. He knows how and when to dribble, his through balls in the final half of the pitch are impressive and will surely help the Emirates outfits in the desire to lift first Premier League title in 16 years.

* More Depth to the Gunners squad

The player’s versatility is another reason why the Arteta should push on with his plans to capture the 20-year-old star. Havertz has featured as an attacking midfielder, a centre forward, a right midfielder and centre midfielder for club and country. Therefore, signing Havertz simply means adding more depth to the team as he can be called upon to feature at any of the aforementioned positions, depending on Arteta’s tactical approach to games.

2. Is He Needed At The Moment

Judging by the Gunners underwhelming display at the attacking department this season, it won’t be out of place to advise that Havertz should be brought to the team’s set up to support Aubameyang, should the Gabonese remains with the team.

3. Who Should be the Sacrificial Lamb?

Either Mesut Ozil or Alexandre Lacazette should be allowed to leave in the summer in order to create space for the youngster. As much as Ozil is an experienced figure in the team, his overall performances throughout the season have left so much to be desired. Just like Ozil, France international striker Lacazette is also far from convincing and his recent controversy isn’t helping matters. Nonetheless, it is left for Arteta and his employers to decide who should be placed on the outgoing transfer list.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, gooner news, Opinions, Transfer Bollocks

Should Granit Xhaka leave Arsenal?

It all began on the 25th of May 2016 when a certain Switzerland international completed a stunning £35m move to the Emirates Stadium from Borussia Mönchengladbach despite interests from other interested suitors. He wasted no time before becoming a regular starter under Arsene Wenger despite massive competition for a place in the Frenchman’s team. Though sometimes makes some unexpected howlers, the 27-year-old is seen as an inspirational figure to his teammates on and off the field of play.

Controversial Moment

His importance to the team got to a whole new level when he was reportedly voted as the team captain by his teammate during Unai Emery’s time at the helm of affairs. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the beginning of his trying times as many fans weren’t impressed with the player’s decision to make him the captain.

Things got out of control between the Xhaka and the fans during a Premier League game against Crystal Palace last year. He was booed by his own fans and he furiously replied ‘fuck off’ while walking off the tunnel. He was immediately stripped of the captain armband and couldn’t make Emery’s team list in many subsequent matches as part of the club’s decision to punish him for his unruly action.

Should He Consider Moving Out Of The Emirates Stadium?

Though Xhaka is enjoying life under Mikel Arteta, he is far from becoming a fan favourite and it is not advisable to remain in a club where you struggle to gain supporters’ affection. It was revealed during January’s transaction period that Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin were strongly interested in his services but he turned down the chance to part ways with the Gunners.

Considering the unhealthy relationship between Xhaka and Arsenal fans, it might be good for the centre midfielder to search for a new team where his services will be appreciated. In addition, the 27-year-old midfielder might fail to command regular action next season if Arteta eventually signs top defensive midfielders, such as Ndidi or Thomas Partey, who are both linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Our Final Verdict

Considering the quality of players who could join the team in the summer and his relationship with the fans, I believe putting an end to his four-year stay at the Emirates Stadium might be the best decision. Returning back to Germany will be a great idea as he won’t spend much time getting used to the ways things are done in the country’s top-flight league.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., gooner news, Opinions, Transfer Bollocks, Wenger

Why Mikel Arteta help could help Arsenal to Santi Cazorla return to the club

Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla revealed to newsmen his desire to be part of Mikel Arteta’s backroom staff if he was given the chance.

The Spanish international, who currently plays his club football with Spanish side Villarreal, was Arteta’s teammate during their days at the Emirates Stadium and he didn’t rule out the chance of reuniting with his countryman in the North London club.

The partnership with the former Everton star will definitely bring the best out of the team as they both know the club’s philosophy and how to integrate it into the team.

Apart from bringing his experience to the team, Cazorla’s switch to the Emirates Stadium will possibly boost the club’s hopes of luring Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze to the team.

Chukwueze, 20, has been a subject of transfer speculations for a while now as he is being linked with a move to top European clubs, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona and the Gunners.

According to Daily Mail, the Nigerian impressive dribbler is being monitored by Liverpool manager Jurgen who is very keen on adding more deadly youngsters to his team.

The media outlet further revealed that the German manager launched a surprise £30m bid for the player’s service but was rejected by Villareal in the winter transfer window.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is also keeping close tabs on his performances for the Spanish side, hoping to compete with Klopp and Guardiola for the player.

However, considering the relationship existing between Chukwueze and Cazorla, it won’t be out of context to say that the North London club might be the player’s next destination.

The Spaniard can easily convince the young winger by letting him know the importance of choosing Arsenal over all other suitors.

He could equally promise him a regular game-time at the North London club  — as long as he is in top form  — which will surely influence Chukwueze’s decision regarding his next destination.

The highly-rated Nigerian is one of the skilful youngsters tipped to change clubs in the next summer window. He has featured in 30 matches for the Yellow Submarines this season, scoring four goals and four assists before the season was halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Other youngsters who are linked with a switch to the North London club include Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and Feyernoord’s Orkun Kokcu, but nothing is set to happen until the world gets rid of the ongoing global crisis.

Meanwhile, it remains unknown if the Gunners board members are ready and willing to hire Cazorla as Arteta’s assistant considering his lack of coaching experience.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Cazorla, gooner news, Transfer Bollocks

Three reasons why Unai Emery failed at Arsenal

Unai Emery was hired by Arsenal board members as Arsene Wenger’s replacement after many reports linked top managers with the position.

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was first tipped to be the next Gunners boss, before highly-rated and experienced tactician José Mourinho was listed for the job.

Former Real Madrid Manager Rafael Benitez was equally linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium, but it was the former Sevilla and Paris St-German boss who won the race.

Much was expected from the 48-year-old due to his successful Europa League campaigns with Sevilla where he won back-to-back trophies.

Emery showed great promises in his early days in the dugout as he recorded 11 straight wins and played 22 matches without defeat. That’s not all, he equally led his team to the Europa League final only to be thrashed 3-1 by Chelsea.

Unfortunately, his second season as the manager was a total contrast to what he did in the first term as he was far from convincing.

His team were obviously uncoordinated on the field of play and he lost too many matches, which eventually led to his dismissal.

Looking back to the manager’s short spell as the Gunners boss, we picked out three major reasons why the Spaniard failed to deliver.

1. Poor managerial skill at the top level

Being a manager is more than giving instructions to players or creating weekly team list, it has to do with the manner with which you relate with the players in the team.

It has a lot to do with the way you react to emerging issues in the team and in the media. It’s quite unfortunate Emery doesn’t realize how bad he was when it comes to managing the players at his disposal.

Firstly, creating an unhealthy and appalling relationship with Mesut Ozil — one of Arsenal’s best players — was his first error at the North London club.

Though the former German international wasn’t consistent in his performances, there’s a better way Emery could get him back to his best other than excluding him from team list.

Xhaka’s captaincy row and controversial moment with the fans was equally mishandled by the manager which further buttressed the fact that Emery needs to improve his managerial skill if he must succeed in future endeavors.

2. Lost the dressing room

Another reason why Emery didn’t stay long as Arsenal manager was his inability to control the dressing room. He totally lost control over his players and the solidarity wasn’t there at all.

He created a division in his team as some folks belonged to Ozil’s group while some are for Xhaka and Aubameyang respectively.

It is said that a family divided against itself cannot stand, and that was a clear picture of what happened to Unai Emery’s team.

3. Largely depleted or off-form squad

Emery inherited a squad of players who are low in confidence and are mentally unprepared for greater challenges. Unfortunately, the manager didn’t help matters as he was involved in many controversies with his players.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., General Musings, gooner news, Opinions, Wenger