Category Archives: Opinions

Emmanuel Adebayor ranked amongst Arsenal’s best former players from Africa

The Gunners are known for the opportunity given to African players to feature in their team. African stars including Emmanuel Frimpong, Yaya Sanogo, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Nwankwo Kanu, Alex Iwobi, Gilles Sun, Jehad Muntasser, and Carlin Itonga have all featured for the North London club in the time past. Many of the listed players had a very successful spell with the team while others failed to live up to expectations before leaving the Emirates Stadium outfits.

However, we shall be unveiling the top five players who had a memorable experience at the Emirates Stadium. So, Who are the best players to have featured for the Gunners in history?

5. Emmanuel Adebayor

The Togolese striker is fifth on the list following his relative success during the three years he’s spent at the Emirates Stadium. The highly controversial star joined the Gunners in 2006 from Monaco and he went on to feature in 143 matches scoring 62 goals in all competitions.

The 2007-08 season was arguably his most productive campaign in the Gunners’ red and white jersey as he found the back of the net on 30 occasions from just 40 starts. Unfortunately, Adebayor didn’t win any trophy with the team before he was captured by Arsenal rival Manchester City in 2009.

4. Alex Song

The Cameroon legend rightly occupies the fourth position due to his breathtaking performances he put up throughout his days with Arsene Wenger’s men. Unlucky not to be part of the invisible Gunners, Song joined the team in 2005 from Bastia (first on loan before the deal was made permanent) and he stayed at North London for seven years. Though the defensive midfielder wasn’t consistent in his early days with the team, he can prevent best players from going past him whenever he’s in fine form.

He would be remembered for his wonderful display in his last few seasons with the club when he finally showcased his potentials and quality. Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough to prevent the French manager from sanctioning his move to Barcelona in 2012. Did he won any trophy with the Gunners? Sadly No

3. Kolo Toure

The inspirational and sturdy Ivorian deserves the third spot, thanks to the defensive prowess he showcased throughout his days with the team. Despite coming from a lowly-rated Ivorian side ASEC academy in 2002, the former Liverpool man stood his ground against amidst intense competition for spots in starting lineup. He established a formidable partnership with Sol Campbell at the heart of the defence, and he played a massive role in the team’s record-breaking run to 2003-04 EPL title without a single defeat.

2. Lauren

This is another Cameroonian on the list and he justifiably stays in the second position. He was part of the ‘invincible’ squad having joined the Gunners in 2000 through to 2007 in which he played 241 games scoring nine goals in the process. He helped Arsene Wenger’s men to two EPL titles, and he did these same with his country as he led them to two back-to-back AFCON trophies.

1. Nwankwo Kanu

44 goals in 198 games, Nwankwo Kanu tops our list of best five African legends that have featured for the North London club. Despite spending just five seasons under Wenger, the versatile player won two EPL titles, two CAF player of the year awards and two BBC African player awards. It will interest you to know that he was part of the highly-rated invisible Gunners team.

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Dani Ceballos deserves a lengthy spell at Arsenal

Arsenal’s display against West Ham United on Saturday wasn’t the best performance we’ve seen from Mikel Arteta’s men this season but they would be happy with the 1-0 victory.

The Gunners took the lead at the latter stages of the game as second-half substitute Alexandre Lacazette found the back of the net in the 78th minute.

Though the French striker deservedly made the headline for his inspiring cameo, one player was arguably the major reason why the Gunners maintained a clean sheet against the Hammers.

Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos continued his scintillating performance for the team on Saturday. Fresh from his man-of-the-match display against Portsmouth during the week, Ceballos was included in Arteta’s starting XI against struggling David Moyes’ side.

The Spaniard was brilliant at the middle of the park as he showed the defensive aspect of his game. He snatched the ball from West Ham players on 14 occasions ( The Sun)

Apart from acting as an unstoppable ball-winner during the weekend, the 23-year-old was equally important at the final half of the pitch.

He initiated many of the Gunners attacking moves which almost led to goal if not for their wastefulness in front of goal.

Considering the fact that he made 86 successful passes, he had 100 touches on the ball, and impressive numbers of interceptions against the Hammers, Dani Ceballos was obviously one of the best players on the pitch.

The Spanish star is currently in his best form since he returned from his two-month injury, and Arsenal fans are getting used to the player’s consistent performances on the pitch.

Unfortunately, Ceballos is just on a season-long loan from Real Madrid and he is expected to return to the Spanish side at the end of season.

His recent displays for the Emirates Stadium outfits must have caught Zinedine Zidane’s attention and the Frenchman will love to improve his midfield by integrating Ceballos into his plans for next season

However, It remains unknown if the North London Club can reach an agreement with Los Blancos to make him stay permanently ahead of the next season.

Since he joined the Gunners last summer , Ceballos has featured in 24 games and has been involved in three goals (two assists and one goal) in all competitions (Transfermarkt)

Arsenal fans will hope to see another great performance from their newly found unsung hero when they tackle Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday.

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Why Arsenal should rekindle interest in Villarreal youngster despite Saka’s importance

Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze has been Arsenal’s longtime transfer target as reports revealed that the Nigerian international was once targeted by former manager Arsene Wenger during his spell at the Emirates Stadium.

It was equally claimed that current manager Mikel Arteta was also interested in the player’s services as his employers put a call through to Santi Cazorla, who is Chukwueze’s teammate, to make enquiries over the youngster’s quality and availability in January.

Chukwueze, 20, was also tipped to join Chelsea during the winter transfer window but the Blues failed to make an official move for his services despite numerous reports which claimed that Lampard included him as one of his prime targets.

Other clubs including Liverpool, Lyon Manchester City and Barcelona were all believed to be keeping close eyes on his development under coach Javi Calleja’s tutelage prior to the January transaction period, but none of them was able to lure him out of the Yellow Submarine’s squad.

Having said that, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta must, however, reignite his desire to work with the young man in the next transfer window as he now stands a better chance of winning the race for his services due to some reasons.

Firstly, it must be said that Chukwueze is currently having a less-impressive spell at the Estadio de la Cerámica Stadium, having failed to make the team’s starting lineup in the last five consecutive league matches.

Should he fail to turn things around before the end of the campaign, top clubs might lose interest in him, which means Arsenal will have a massive chance of luring him to the Emirates Stadium in the summer.

In addition, Chukwueze often speaks of his desire to play in the Premier League before the end of his career, the North London club should try to take advantage of the player’s love for the League in the summer.

Another reason why the Gunners should consider Chukwueze’s services is the youthfulness, skills and competition he will inject into the team.

Saka is obviously doing a great job as a makeshift left-back, but signing the Nigerian star will add more depth and quality to the team.

He is obviously talented and his addition to the Gunners attacking setup will be a very huge boost to Arteta’s hope of having a strong team in the next campaign. Hence, all wingers or wing-backs will up their game in order to remain prominent members of the team.

Finally, Arsenal will have a very high tendency of capturing the player’s signature in few amount of money because his financial value is expected to drop as a result of lack of regular game-time this season.

According to a report from Daily Mail, Villarreal placed a huge £60m price tag on the player, but that is expected to change in the summer if he fails to regain his spot in the starting lineup before the end of the season.

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Alex Iwobi Or Tammy Abraham: In whose footstep should Arsenal young sensation follow?

Arsenal’s newfound assist king Bukayo Saka is enjoying life at the Emirates Stadium having laid strong hold on a regular spot in Mikel Arteta’s starting line-up this season.

Despite being deployed as a makeshift left-back by Arteta, the 18-year-old has been phenomenal at the final half of the pitch.

He already has 10 assists to his name, and he is obviously not going to stop at that as there are still 11 Premier League matches before the season ends. Carabao Cup and FA Cup also offer him more chances to add to his tally before the end of the season.

As much as Saka’s current blistering form has given him the chance to be an important figure at the Emirates Stadium, the player now finds himself in the middle of an intense international tug-of-war between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Three Lions of England.

Born to Nigerian parents, the 18-year-old is eligible to represent the three-time African champions, and he has the equal chance of featuring for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Though it is speculated that the Nigerian FA are ready to convince the youngster over playing for his father’s land, the European powerhouse are reportedly leading the race for his services.

Read also: Mesut Ozil to remain at Arsenal despite 2020-21 UCL uncertainty

Having played for England’s U16, U17, U18 and U19, progressing to the Three Lions squad won’t require much stress or change of playing pattern.

However, he will certainly need to overcome intense competitions from highly experienced players if he must get regular playing-time for the Three Lions.

Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, Tottenham-owned Newcastle star Danny Rose and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw are all ahead of him in the pecking order of left-backs or left wing-backs available for selection.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and United’s Jesse Lingard are also competing for a place at both flanks. Hence, choosing England over Nigeria means the player must develop his game in order for him to break into this formidable team.

Unlike playing for England, Saka will need to submit a change of allegiance document to FIFA before he could feature for the West African country.

He will equally need to get familiar with the country’s playing patterns— although, it’s not too different from Southgate’s tactical approach.

Nonetheless, he has better chances of breaking into Genort Rohr’s starting line-up judging by his work-rate and beautiful deliveries into opponent’s box.

Torino’s Ola Aina and Paderborn’s Jamilu, who are Rohr’s regular fullbacks, are not in good form for their respective clubs. This means Saka have a brighter opportunity of becoming the gaffer’s most trusted fullback in no time.

Having said that, it remains unknown if the youngster will follow Alex Iwobi’s footstep, who dumped England in favor of the African side, or he will imitate Tammy Abraham’s decision by ignoring Nigeria’s approach.

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Filed under Arsenal, General Musings, gooner news, Opinions, Saka, Transfer Bollocks

One Of These Two African Stars Can Make Arsenal Title Contenders Next Season

It’s a forgone conclusion that Liverpool are Premier League Champions in waiting as they currently top the League table with 79 points, 22 points above reigning champions Manchester City.

Though the Gunners still have a chance of winning their first trophy under Mikel Arteta this season, every Arsenal fan is more determined to see the team qualify for next season’s Champions League competition.

The Gunners faithfuls will equally hope to see their darling team compete for the EPL glory in the 2020-21 campaign.

As much as winning next season’s Premier League title appears too early for Arteta and his backroom staffs, the Gunners cannot be ruled out of title race next season in thus, his employers should be ready to get quality players during the next summer transfer window.

The former Manchester City assistant manager has seen his side conceded cheap goals so far this season, and he must find a perfect solution to the shaky defence during the next transfer window period.

Apart from finding a quality centre-back to replace aging David Luiz, Arteta must bring at least one defensive midfielder to the Emirates Stadium next season.

Some top players have been linked with the North London club, but we believe any of these two players will increase the club’s chances of winning their first Premier League title since 2005. Who are the players?

1. Wilfred Ndidi

The Nigerian midfielder is definitely one of the best defensive midfielders in the world judging by his obvious ball-winning potentials.

He is not just an important player for Leicester City, he has been the club’s engine so far this season as he often prevent opponents from gaining access to the defensive setup.

His passing ability has improved tremendously under Rodgers, while, he now score goals too.

The Foxes have struggled to win matches since his injury. They have played six league games without the 23-year-old star, they’ve recorded three defeats and two draws and one victory.

His physical appearance and work rate at the middle of the park will give Mesut Ozil the confidence to operate more in an advanced position.

2. Thomas Partey

You can’t make a list of top 10 players in the Spanish League without mentioning the Ghanaian star.

Partey has a strong reputation as one of the most reliable defensive midfielders in the world following his exploits for Atletico Madrid in recent years.

Apart from stopping opponents’ attack, the player also helps in scoring important goals for Diego Simeone’s side.

His level of creativity, strength and experience are all needed by the Gunners who have arguably failed to produce a reliable defensive midfielder all through this season.

Though Lucas Torreira is no doubt a fine midfielder, the Uruguayan has struggled to settle down at the North London club and it won’t be a surprise should he decide to return to Serie A next campaign.

Considering Xhaka’s inconsistency, Guendozi’s inexperience and Torreira’s uncertain future, the Gunners must lure either Ndidi or Partey to the Emirates Stadium before the start of next season.

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