Category Archives: Premier League

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Man City – Premier League

Holla, our torrid start to the 2021/22 Premier League continues and likely to be put to final test today as we prepares for a trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on the title holders Manchester City.

The 2-0 defeat at Brentford was followed up with another lost at home to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side. The below-par performances from the team has seen questions raised over the future of Mikel Arteta’s as the Gunners boss and a win today would go a long way to ease pressure up his sleeves.

That said, let take a look at our predicted lineup for today:

1. Between the sticks and in defence

Bernd Leno (GK) :- Aaron Ramsdale is gunning for his spot, but Leno will likely retain his place for a little while longer at least.

Cedric Soares (RB) :- With Hector Bellerin still pushing to leave, Arteta doesn’t have many options on the right. Expect Cedric to start ahead of Calum Chambers.

Rob Holding (CB) :- Gabriel is back in training but isn’t ready to return yet, while Ben White remains out with COVID-19, so Holding will keep his spot here.

Pablo Mari (CB) :- Injuries mean Arsenal don’t have any other options at centre-back. Mari will start.

Kieran Tierney (LB) :- The star of Arsenal’s defence, Tierney had a rough day against Chelsea but will be determined to bounce back with a bang for this one.

Prediction:

As a die-hard Gunner, I would never put a bet up against my club and owing that, I’m still of the opinion seeing my side get a point today at the Etihad, if not three points betting with soccer-tips.

2. Middle of park and the midfield

Granit Xhaka (DM) :- Once billed as a potential replacement for Rodri at Atletico Madrid, Xhaka will be directly up against the Spaniard on Saturday.

Albert Sambi Lokonga (DM) :- With Thomas Partey still out injured, Lokonga’s baptism of fire is set to continue.

Bukayo Saka (RM) :- Saka has been battling a minor knee injury but is likely to be fit enough to start.

Martin Odegaard (AM) :- Fresh off completing 60 minutes against West Brom in midweek, Odegaard will make his return to Premier League action against City.

Emile Smith Rowe (LM) :- Likely to start on the left on paper, expect Smith Rowe to rotate with Odegaard to try and overwhelm City’s back line.

3. In attack

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) :- Back from COVID-19, Aubameyang should be ready to go for this one and he may end up rotating his time with Alexandre Lacazette, whose recovery from the virus is a little behind his team-mate’s.

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Three biggest flops in Arsenal’s history

Many famous football players have flourished when they made the move to Arsenal. Thierry Henry, one of the EPL top scorers, is one such player who achieved tremendous success after moving to the London side from Juventus. However, there are many examples of others who failed to shine at the Gunners, despite receiving many opportunities at the club.

Marouane Chamakh

Marouane Chamakh had made a big name for himself at Bordeaux. The former Morocco international had helped the Girondins win several major trophies, including the Ligue 1 in 2009. Famous for his excellent heading ability and link-up play, the forward notched 56 goals for the French side in 230 league appearances. When Chamakh joined Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2010, fans were greatly excited to see his play at the Emirates Stadium. He looked very promising in the beginning for the Gunners but soon fell out of favour with Arsene Wenger after failing to make a big impact. During his time in London, he managed to score only eight goals in 40 league matches. Chamakh went on to join West Ham on loan in January 2013 before signing for Crystal Palace. Arsenal released him from the club after the expiration of his contract in 2014.

Nicklas Bendtner

Nicklas Bendtner is an academy graduate of Arsenal who spent a long time at the London side. However, his spell at the Gunners wasn’t successful on the whole, with his off-field antics, injuries and inconsistency stopping him from living up to his true potential. The Danish footballer made 171 appearances across all competitions for the Londoners, scoring 47 goals and creating 22 assists in the process (stats from Transfermarkt). Although regarded as a flop at Arsenal, Bendtner also had some memorable moments at the London side when he showed how good he can be on his day. One of these displays came in the 5-0 win over Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2009. The forward smashed three goals to became the second player in the club’s history to earn a hat-trick in the European competition. He also has the distinction of scoring the fastest goal by a substitute in the Premier League, with the Dane striking against Tottenham Hotspur in 2006 six seconds after leaving the bench.

Shkodran Mustafi

Shkodran Mustafi is also one of the biggest flops at Arsenal. The Gunners splashed a tremendous £35 million to secure a deal for him in the summer of 2016. Before arriving in London, the centre-back had proved his skills at Sampdoria and Valencia. There were lots of expectations that he would do well at the Emirates Stadium. However, the German defender failed to make an impact at the Premier League outfit, despite being given plenty of opportunities. He developed a reputation for errors and so became a target of criticism from the Gunners’ fans. Mustafi clocked up 151 appearances across all competitions during his time at the club, netting nine goals and creating five assists in the process. Arsenal failed to finish in the Top Four last season. They are currently scouring the market for signing talented players like Ben White in this transfer window, as per thefootballreports.com.

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Five Things We Learned: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City (Premier League)

Raheem Sterling’s second minute header guided Manchester City to a staggering 18th win in a row. It’s a victory which maintains their 10 point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

It was a gritty, hard-fought performance from the Blues, with maybe one eye on the important Champions League Round of 16 first leg in midweek. The first 20 minutes were electric, but it was Raheem Sterling’s flicked header from a Riyad Mahrez cross that broke the deadlock.

After yet another win, here’s five things we learned from the game…

Ruben x John are the partnership for big games

Want to start this point by saying I have absolutely nothing against Aymeric Laporte – he’s a terrific footballer. But I just get this air of solidity whenever John Stones and Ruben Dias are partnered at the heart of the defence.

Again on Sunday, Arsenal’s front line never got a meaningful chance. Dias was even involved in the build up to the goal, playing a brilliant cross-field ball to Riyad Mahrez. The Portuguese international was rightly awarded MoTM by Sky Sports and I don’t suppose John Stones will have been far behind him.

Fernandinho rolling back the years

It was maybe a surprise to see Fernandinho on the team-sheet yesterday after a string of imperious performances from his positional counterpart, Rodri. However, the Brazilian still showed, even at 35-years-old, he’s still got immense quality.

If City’s forward line were not as wasteful, Fernandinho would’ve had a hand in a number of goals yesterday. Typical from him, cutting any Arsenal danger out at source and starting a counter attack of our own on numerous occasions.

Oh please Ferna, just sign an extension.

Wasteful City

There’s not really many negatives to take from winning your 18th game in a row to be honest, but missing lots of chances could be one to address.

I bring this up because with the Champions League up next, Guardiola will no doubt hammer the importance of being clinical to his players. After the first goal yesterday, the Blues could’ve easily been 3-0 up by the half hour mark if they took their clear cut opportunities. Mix that in with late chances for Joao Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus and it’s a recipe for disaster in a knockout competition.

Pep says rotation is key

One key thing to pick up post match is Pep Guardiola’s comments about rotation. He said; “People talk about the records but to do that you have to win games like this many, many, many, many times. We don’t have time to do anything, just recover and prepare mentally as strong as possible as a team.”

He also mentioned he’ll have to change players for the game midweek and then again for West Ham next Saturday. Even today, the brilliant Phil Foden was given a well earned rest and you’d expect him to return in midweek with the hectic schedule. The likes of Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker and Ferran Torres will all be important for Manchester City as they still look to compete on all four fronts.

18 in a row

Remarkable, truly remarkable. If it didn’t already, surely this run rivals the one we put together to win the title in 18/19. 18 wins in a row in all competitions, in a season like this, is a brilliant achievement.

In that run we’ve beaten Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal twice. From as low as 13th in the table in early November, City have managed to create a 10 point gap at the top of the table – and they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.

 

Source: Sports Illustrated

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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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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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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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How Soon Will Arsenal Become Premier League Champions Once Again

Arsenal has really struggled to maintain their place among Premier League’s top four clubs since the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s reign at the Emirates Stadium.

In his last two seasons as the Gunners boss, the Frenchman failed to qualify his team to Champions League competition and that hasn’t changed since his departure. Many Arsenal fans expected so much from Unai Emery during his spell as Wenger’s successor but the Spanish tactician didn’t live up to expectations.

Though he led the team to Europa League final in his first season with the club, the former Sevilla and PSG boss only managed a fifth place finish in the League. Things got worse for the 48-year-old manager in his second season as he struggled to win matches both at home and away.

He was eventually fired by the board members after recording just four victories in 13 Premier League matches. Ljungberg took over on a short-term basis but didn’t do to well as his team continued to struggle for form.

After long search for the team’s permanent manager, the Gunners hierarchies eventually turned to their former player Mikel Arteta — who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant — for inspiration. He became the club’s new manager after signing a four-year contract in December

As much as the former Spanish midfielder has done too greatly with his new squad, he has shown so much promises that the fans are beginning to trust his leadership and tactical approach to games. He has lost just two in 15 matches, winning eight in the process.

Some factions of the Gunners faithfuls believe the inexperienced manager has all it takes to compete with Guardiola’s Manchester City and Klopp’s Liverpool for the Premier League Title. The question is — how soon will that be?

How soon? I can’t say but it will surely take time for Arteta to compete with his former boss and other experienced managers in the League.

Firstly, he has to build a team of his own having inherited most of his present squad from his predecessors. He definitely needs to make wholesome changes to his team in the summer transfer window by getting new and quality players who will play according to his style and instructions. Then, he must boost the player’s morale as it appears they lack the needed willpower and confidence to compete against big teams for any trophy this season.

He needs the cooperation of the team’s psychologists and medical staffs to help boost his players’ mentality ahead of the next season. As much as the fans can start thinking of winning the Premier League in the nearest future, the most important and pressing target for Arteta and his men is to qualify for next year’s Champions League. They currently occupy the 9th position with 40 points, eight points behind Chelsea who are in the fourth and final qualifying spot.

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Arsenal’s rising academy stars that could replace Aubameyang next season

Arsenal’s Hale End academy has witnessed the promotion of many youngsters to the first team. Players like Alex Iwobi, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Smith Rowe all graduated from the youth squad to the main team before some of them left for greener pastures.

Bukayo is currently the latest successful player produced by the famous academy, and certainly won’t be the last as there are some top teenagers who are close to gaining a spot in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

In this post, we shall be discussing on the top three youngsters who will likely make their first-team debut during next season. Who are the players?

1. Folarin Balogun

Folarin Balogun is a deadly striker who has a very bright future ahead of him. The 18-year-old is highly rated by the club’s hierarchies due to his goalscoring ability which saw him converted 25 chances in 19 Premier League (U18) matches last season. The England U19 international is a powerful striker who is comfortable using both legs. His dribbling skills and confidence in front of goal are other qualities that distinguish him from most of his peers.

In fact, some media outlets are tipping him to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyamg next season should the Gabonese striker decide to leave North London this summer. What’s the player’s chance of making his first-team debut next season? 70% I would say.

2. Miguel Azeez

Azeez, 17-year-old centre midfielder, was included in the Gunners Europa League squad prior to the start of the season, which further signifies how he’s highly rated by the North London club. He needs no introduction to many Arsenal fans because his beautiful goal against Aston Villa in one of U18 fixtures was well celebrated by the fans on social media.

The goal was enough to bring him to limelight and he has since been in Arteta’s list of youngsters to be promoted. Apart from his eye for goal and attacking potentials, Azeez’s defensive qualities are equally topnotch as he possesses the energy to make tireless runs during matches. Having featured for the U23 team, Azeez is really close to breaking into Arteta’s team and we believe he has 65% of doing so next season.

3. Sam Greenwood

Scoring 12 goals in 14 games is not an easy task to accomplish, but that was achieved by Greenwood while playing for England’s U17 team. His versatility remains his strongest potential as he can feature as a right winger, left winger or centre forward.

Greenwood has become one of the highly-rated youngsters in the Hale End academy despite joining the youth team last season. He is tipped to make it through to the senior team next season as we give him 70%.

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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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Ozil makes list as one of top three PL star who could leave this summer

Today on gooner news

Having inherited his current squad from his predecessor, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is expected to make wholesome changes to his team in the summer before the start of next season. The Spanish tactician will surely sanction the departure of some players who didn’t suit his playing style an d players who have failed to live up to their billings since he took over from Lljunberg in January.

In the meantime, we take a look at the players in the team and how they’ve performed so far this season before unveiling the list of three players who are likely to be shown the exit door in the summer. See the names below:

1. Mesut Ozil

The German has struggled to make a meaningful impact in the team since the start of the campaign. Though he had a very turbulent time under Unai Emery who often omitted him from the squad list, the former Real Madrid man wasn’t in great form before the League was stopped. The 31-year-old hasn’t done enough to remain untouchable at the Emirates Stadium and he could be told to leave in the summer. He has just a goal so far this season despite featuring in 23 matches in all competitions. The fact that he is close to the end of his contract with the north London club will further force the Gunners into parting ways with him as they would want to cash-in on his signature.

2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The former Manchester United player is yet to make his debut under Arteta as he is currently on a season-long loan at Roma. Unfortunately, the Armenian international might fail to feature for the North London side as he could be told leave this summer as part of the manager’s overhauling process. As much as Mkhitaryan can be deadly on his day, his inconsistency might likely be the main reason why his contract won’t be renewed by the club’s hierarchy.

3. Mohammed Elneny

Just like Mkhitaryan, the Egyptian midfielder is currently on loan after failing to break into Unai Emery’s team before the start of the season. The midfielder, who has been a regular starter for Turkish side Besiktas, might equally find it very hard to claim a spot in Arteta’s squad in the coming season despite his fine display in turkey before the league was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. It is believed that Besiktas hierarchies are looking at the prospect of signing him on a permanent deal in the summer which means the Egyptian international may not return to the Emirate Stadium in the nearest future.

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4 reasons why £23m-rated Victor Osimhen could be Arsenal’s new Thierry Henry

Arsenal and Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains yet uncertain to remain at the Emirates Stadium beyond this season as he’s close to the end of his contract with the Gunners. The 30-year-old France-born was the north London club’s most in-form player before the football season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Though it is believed that Arteta and his employers are doing everything possible to see him extend his current at the Emirates, but it remains to be seen if they will be successful in their mission. With doubts over his future with the Emirates, there are reports linking the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea all vying for his signature this summer, and it won’t be out of place to suggest that the Gunners ought to begin by now their search for a replacement.

Speaking of an ideal replacement to Aubameyang, no other player comes to mind other than former VfL Wolfsburg youngster Victor Osimhen – who currently plies his trade for France Ligue 1 outfit Lille OSC – who should be Arsenal’s top candidate to replace the Gabonese forward should he eventually face the exit door at Emirates this summer.

However, many will doubt what makes Nigerian international the right choice for Arsenal and why Arteta should enter into transfer lock horns with Chelsea and Manchester United for his signature? Answering both questions, below are four candid answers to these questions on why Arsenal should go all out and invest on the 21-year-old forward as they aim for Premier League glory next season.

1. Goal-scoring potentials

Osimhen, 21, was one of the deadliest strikers in French Ligue 1 this season so far with 13 goals and five assists to his name from 27 league appearances. Osimhen also has to his name two goals in the UEFA Champions League for Lille in five matches despite his side’s unimpressive performance in the group stage of the competition. He went on from this to scoring three goals for his side in their domestic League Cups, racking up his goal tally this season to 18 goals from 38 matches in all outings. To lose Aubameyang this summer and replace him with a below-par forward would be a serious blow for the Gunners judging by how star-studded the Premier League now is.

2. Age is on his side

Osimhen is in the prime of his career as he is just 21 years of age. Unlike Aubameyang who is 30, the Nigerian star still more years ahead of him meaning the Gunners will enjoy more of his services should everything go on as expected.

3. Impressive adaptability

If Arsenal must replace Aubameyang without any difficulty, they must go for a player who will quickly get used to the ways things are done in the country’s top-flight league. Despite spending a few months at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, the Nigerian forward was able to adapt to his new environment as he developed a great understanding with his striking partners Jonathan Ikoné, Loïc Rémy and the whole team. He will likely do the same at the Emirates Stadium judging by his obvious hunger and desire for more successes and playing alongside Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and the rest of the team.

4. He is relatively easy to get

Though Chelsea and Manchester United are leading the park for his services, Osimhen won’t be too difficult to get, unlike other European youngsters. His price tag, which is believed to be at £23 million (€27m Transfermarkt), shouldn’t scare the Gunners off which is relatively cheap and affordable. It should be recalled that former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tried capturing the youngster in 2015 following his record-breaking display during the U17 World Cup but the Frenchman was beaten by German side Wolfsburg. It remains unknown if Arteta will develop an interest in the player when the summer transfer window begins. Hence, we keep our fingers crossed as we monitor how things unfold.

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Liverpool could make move to sign Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The English Premier League is currently on break as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak which has prevented many football matches from taking place in Europe and other part of the world since February.

However, the pandemic is unable to stop the media from coming up with latest transfer news regarding players who are likely to change their current club during the next summer transfer window.

The most shocking but interesting news coming out of the Emirate Stadium this morning revealed that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is interested in luring Arsenal’s want-away striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Anfield Stadium in the summer.

According to the Mirror, the former Borussia Dortmund manager is highly impressed with the Gabonese international , and he is ready to explore the player’s contract situation to his advantage.

The 30-year-old centre-forward is in the final year of his contract with the Gunners and pundits can’t stop linking him with a move out of the Emirate Stadium.

Though it is believed that the Gunners hierarchies are in talks with the player’s agent over a new contract but it remains unknown if that will be enough to prevent other clubs from snatching him out of Mikel Arteta’s watch before the start of next season.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are not the only European giants keeping close tabs on the player’s current situation. Manchester United are said to be monitoring the gunners top striker as Ole Gunnar Solskjear is very keen on bringing a goal-poacher to Old Trafford on a long-term deal.

Despite signing in-form Odion Ighalo on a loan deal from Shanghai Shenua In January, Solskjear is still keen on bolstering his side by signing a very reliable goalscorer who can convert most of his clear-cut chances.

Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham are also in the race for the player’s services as Mourinho aims to provide a strong competition for Harry Kane.

Jose Mourinho’s men have struggled to win matches since Kane picked up an injury, and they are far from qualifying for next year’s Champions league competition.

The Portuguese tactician will hope to see his employers beat other suitors to Aubameyang’s services in the summer as that will surely boost his team’s attacking prowess during his second season as the Spurs manager.

Barcelona are also linked with a move for the former Borussia Dortmund star as the Catalans begin intense search for Luis Suarez’s replacement.

The Uruguayan has been a huge success at Camp Nou, but the La Liga Champions could release him in the next transfer market due to his late injury concerns.

Aubameyang is reportedly their major target and Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu is doing everything within his power to ensure that the player ends up being the club’s top striker in the 2020-21 season.

Conclusively, Arsenal will definitely want to do everything possible to make Abameyang stay at the Emirate Stadium beyond this campaign due to his goalscoring abilities and Lacazette’s uncertain future.

As for Liverpool, it is yet to be seen how Klopp will feature Salah, Mane, Firmino, and Aubameyang in his starting lineup, should he eventually capture the Gabonese star.

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

“…king of assists is back” – Some Arsenal fans react to Mesut Ozil and Saka’s performance against Hammers

It was a tough London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Gunners battled West Ham United to the very end of the match. Mikel Arteta’s men weren’t very lively in the opening minutes of the encounter as they almost concede a quick goal in the opening two minutes of the game.

West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen struck the woodwork in the early stages before Michail Antonio also wasted a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock.

However, the home side grew into the game and they piled much pressure on their visitors but it remained goalless throughout the first 45 minutes of the game.

The second half saw a better display from Arsenal who needed maximum points to boost their Champions League’s qualifying hopes for the next season.

Nketiah, Sokratis and Granit Xhaka all have their chances to put the Gunners ahead but the ball couldn’t find its way into Fabianski’s net.

The Hammers also have some chances of their own at the other end of the pitch and one of them was Antonio’s well-struck header that was saved by Bernd Leno’s mighty hands.

After 78 minutes of actions and some controversies, the host eventually broke the deadlock via second-half substitute Alexandre Lacazette who replaced Eddie Nketiah.

The Frenchman converted from close range after a lovely pass from Mesut Ozil. The goal was initially ruled out for offside by the match officials, but the decision was turned down by VAR after a lengthy check.

With the result, Arsenal now occupy the 9th position on the League table with 40 points. They are five points behind fourth-place Chelsea who play host to Everton at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, and they have a game at hand.

At full-time, some Arsenal fans took to social media networking site Twitter to express delight with Ozil and Saka’s performance against Hammers. While there are some who believed Saka is very good, others cannot stop admitting the Premier League’s “king of assists” is back.

Below are some of the best selected tweets:

https://twitter.com/LacaSweat/status/1236323335115624450?s=20

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

Arsenal’s probable line-up against West Ham at the Emirates Stadium

The Premier League’s match-day 29 fixtures is set to kickoff on Saturday’s launch-time as the Gunners welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side were involved in the mid-week FA Cup competition and comfortably secured a 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at the Fratton Park Stadium and a win against the Hammers on Saturday afternoon will make it two wins in two games for the Gunners

Ahead of the London derby, let’s take a look players that could make the match-day squad:

Goalkeeper

German goalkeeper Bernd Leno is expected to return to the starting XI after being rested against the League One side on Monday.

Though Martinez kept a clean sheet against the promotion-chasing side, I’m afraid he hasn’t done enough to displace Leno from Arteta’s first eleven.

Defence

Hector Bellerin, who wasn’t included in the club’s traveling squad on Monday, is expected to regain his spot in the team.

The Spaniard has been a mainstay in the team since he returned from injury, and he will hope to help the Gunners record a famous victory over West Ham. This means that Sokratis Papastathopoulos will return to the bench for this one.

David Luiz will surely keep his spot at the heart of defense alongside Shkodran Mustafi who was left out of the team that defeated Portsmouth.

Though Pablo Mari was immense for the North London club on Tuesday, it is arguably too early to see him leapfrog rejuvenated Mustafi in the pecking order.

18-year-old Bukayo Saka is definitely set for another starting role as long as there are no unforeseen circumstances.

Midfield

Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka will feature at the base of the midfield as they will be charged with the responsibility of providing a strong shield for the back four.

Mesut Ozil will feature as the link between the midfield and attack. The German has somewhat returned to form and his teammates will rely on his creativity to provide some goal-scoring opportunities.

Attack

In-form Aubameyang will return to the line-up following his inactive role on Monday. The Gabonese is currently the Gunners top goalscorer and they will rely solely on his goal-scoring abilities during the upcoming encounter.

Nicholas Pepe is tipped to start despite his unimpressive stats in front of goal this season. The Ivorian has struggled to hit the ground running at the Emirates Stadium but Arteta will likely give him a starting berth against West Ham.

Hale End Academy product Eddie Nketiah is expected to be the club’s centre-forward ahead of Alexandre Lacazette due to his present form.

Summary: Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Mustafi, Saka; Ceballos, Xhaka; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang; Nketiah.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Premier League

How Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd’s Match-day 28 results could determine Arsenal’s top-four hopes

Arsenal’s hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League has received a massive boost following series of favorable results from other top-four competitors.

Chelsea needed a win on Saturday to boost their chances of laying strong hold on the fourth position, but Frank Lampard’s men failed to defeat 18-place AFC Bournemouth who have been poor all through the campaign.

Despite taking the lead through Marcos Alonso in the 33rd minute of the encounter, the Blues only managed to play a 2-2 draw as they conceded two quick second-half goals.

The Gunners, who are 10th on the Premier League table with 37 points from 27 games, have played a game fewer than other top-four chasers, and they now trail Chelsea with just eight points.

As for Tottenham who are also in the race for a place among the top-four clubs, José Mourinho’s men surprisingly lost 3-2 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of the Lilywhites supporters.

Though the result is not totally favorable to the Gunners’ top-four hope because Wolves are also in the race, Mikel Arteta’s side will be happy to see their local rivals drop important points.

Mourinho and his men are obviously missing Harry Kane and Heung-min Son’s services as they are yet to win a single league game since losing both players to injury.

They remain on the 7th position with 37 points, three points ahead of the Gunners. Arsenal won’t have difficulty overtaking them before the end of the season, judging by their current unimpressive form.

We move to Manchester United’s result against Everton in a highly controversial game that was played on Sunday. The Red Devils looked to have regained their confidence having won two consecutive Premier League matches prior to the encounter.

However, Carlo Ancelotti’s men shocked everyone as they took the lead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin in less than 5 minutes of action.

Winter signing Bruno Fernandes equalized for the away side before half-time and both sides settled for a 1-1 draw after some VAR controversial decisions.

The result means the Red Devils are in the fifth position with 42 points, five above Arsenal who should be able to close the gap when they play their one outstanding game.

As much as these results appear to favor the Gunners, Mikel Arteta’s men must make perfect use of this opportunity to close the gap between them and the three Premier League giants.

They must endeavor to win every match left in the season because every point is valuable at this stage of the campaign.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Premier League, Tactical Bollocks