Xhaka proud of Jose Mourinho links

The Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been tipped to leave Arsenal this summer, and there have been numerous rumours that Jose Mourinho is very keen to leave the Emirates to play under him in Serie A with Roma next season.

The Swiss captain has certainly had a rollercoaster career at Arsenal with his relationship with the notoriously fickle Arsenal fans often being in the spotlight, and he was hotly tipped to be leaving before Mikel Arteta took over the reins when Unai Emery was dismissed 18 months ago.

But the Spaniard persuaded Xhaka to stay and it must be said that he has put in many solid performances this season but I still don’t think he has won over many of the Arsenal faithful.

H is currently with the Switzerland national team ahead of the rescheduled Euro2020 coming up, and has been talking to the media about the links with Roma and Jose Mourinho.

Xhaka told Blick: “Of course I read [about the interest]. But now I’m one 100 per cent focused on the national team here,” the 28-year-old told Blick as he prepares to compete at Euro 2020 with Switzerland.

“That’s more important than Arsenal or rumours right now. I have another two years on my contract in London and Arsenal they know what they have in me. When the time comes to talk about a transfer, I’ll be here.”

“To be honest, I didn’t hear what Mourinho has said about me. But that makes you proud. Everyone knows Mourinho, knows what he has achieved. Mourinho knows how to win titles.

“You can now see what work I have done over the past few years.”

Arsenal getting closer to signing Emi Martinez replacement

Arsenal’s GK Replacement close!

Reports on Sky Sports suggest that we are close to signing a replacement for the departed Emiliano Martinez. We are so close in fact that he could be here in time for our evening kick off against West Ham on Saturday, that is of course if he signs and then is registered by midday on Friday.

Our attentions now seem to have turned to Dijon keeper Runar Alex Runarsson a 25-year-old Icelandic footballer who has been at the Ligue 1 side for two years.

Seeing as Brentford seem set that they won’t be selling David Raya to anybody, although it has been reported by David Ornstein that we could go in for Raya and then he would return to Brentford on loan, but that of course would defeat the object of buying him.

So, here are Alex’s last season stats below:

Ideally, we would like someone with zero errors leading to a goal and someone that has clean sheets in every game during a whole season, but even world class Manuel Neuer would struggle to hold those records in the Premier League and every other competition throughout a whole season.

If Arsenal do go out and sign him then I would argue, why don’t they use Matt Macey and try to bring him up to the standards that Martinez was at, seeing that Macey is 26 years old and knows pretty much how the club operates. But of course having just two keepers at the club wouldn’t be enough if one was to get injured, and selling one of the two best keepers the club has had in a long long time, would automatically force you to have to go out and buy, as we are now seeing.

Here’s hoping that whoever we do get in as our new goalkeeper will not be just a panic buy because we have let a talented, passionate and experienced player go as arrangements to keep him had fallen through. Gooners?

Tough-talking Pablo Mari sounds perfect for Arsenal

Talking tough is good Mari; welcome to the Premiership by Lagos Gooner

It is no longer news that Arteta has succeeded in bringing in his first signing as coach of Arsenal. Just yesterday, Pablo Mari was announced as an Arsenal player. Like other new signings, there are always fears if such signings would click or not. Well, as if Mari was reading the minds of the Arsenal fans, he provided an answer to that, while assuring the fans that Arsenal would compete with the best. Pablo Mari believes that with his performance against Liverpool’s attacking duo of Salah and Mane, he is ready for the premiership.

He told the Arsenal website: “It was a great experience. It was really exciting to play against a big club and I think I performed really well. At the end of the day, they’re just people like everyone else.

‘Obviously they’re in great form at the moment and they’re among the best players in the world, but we also have a fantastic team with top players.. This is football and that’s the way you have to look at it.

‘You have to compete against every side, whether it’s Liverpool or any other club in the world.

‘I have a lot of faith in this great club, Arsenal, and I know we’re going to do very well.”

Well said Mari! Arsenal has a fantastic team and should be ready to contest against any team in the world! This is just the best way to look at it. If we are to analyze Pablo’s words, we will be happy to know that we have just signed a footballer who knows he is coming to Arsenal to work for the team, and would do anything to make the team tick. His encounter in the world club competition against the best team in the league right now, gives him so much confidence to look towards challenging more of the Premiership best.

Mari sounds like a winner who knows how to just win, win and win, he wants to come to the Premiership to shake things up and go head to head, toe to toe with the premiership best, because according to him they just humans doing extra ordinary things. With this type of mentality, we can be sure that we are signing a player who is not afraid to do whatever it takes, to neutralize any danger Arsenal may face against the best teams or the best players. All that is needed right now, is for Mari to be humble, avoid controversies and allow his game to speak for him. Who knows what will happen after his six months loan at Arsenal expires? After six months at Arsenal, the club may be encouraged by his performances to sign him up permanently.

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua

Should Arsenal just pay however much Aaron Ramsey asks for?

Henrikh Mkhitaryan hopes Aaron Ramsey ends all speculation on his future here at Arsenal, and becomes a real club legend.

As we all know and have read on a daily basis, Ramsey is no closer to signing a new contract with the club than he was a few months ago when negotiations started.

Nobody knows the full details about the kind of deal Ramsey has been asking for, but it has been rumoured he wants the same kind of deal which Ozil managed to get out of us last February when he literally waited until the very last minute to get a deal done.

The German knew we could not afford to lose another big name after the departure of Alexis Sanchez last January, and got his massive £350,000-a-week contract, which is about £150,000-a-week more than we were initially prepared to offer.

Anyway, whatever the reason for Ramsey not committing his long-term future with the club, Mkhitaryan is hopeful he will put pen to paper and ‘become a legend’ at the Emirates.

Mkhi said on the official website: ‘His work rate is very, very high and everyone appreciates what he does on the pitch and off it, because he’s a true professional.

‘Of course it’s very easy to play next to him because he tries to be everywhere to help the team – to score goals, to assist, to tackle, recover balls – and that’s why I’m going to be very happy if he stays at the club.

‘I think he’s been with the club for 10 years already and it seems that he became a symbol for this club. I will be very happy for him if he signs a new contract because he’s in the history of Arsenal already and I hope he can become a legend for Arsenal after a few more years.’

There are seven days left in the transfer window and with Rambo’s contract running out next summer, we need to wrap up this contract signing soon or decide to cash in and get an adequate replacement.

He may be an important member of the squad and one of our most creative, but just like Ozil he could run down his contract and force the club to offer silly money, as he knows he can get that kind of money elsewhere.

Should we pay whatever he asks?

Barcelona speak out on Dembele to Arsenal rumours

The Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde, has put an end to speculation we could make a summer move for winger Ousmane Dembele, stating he remains a key component of his squad.

Signed for an jaw-dropping £135 million last summer as a replacement for Neymar, Dembele has failed to live up to expectations at the Camp Nou and failed to make any impact on the first team, partly due to his long list of injuries.

And that led to speculation we could swoop in and offer him an £88 million escape route, with Emery reportedly in the transfer market for a fast, direct winger that will take the defender on rather than stand-him up and pass it, thinking of a certain Alex Iwobi.

Indeed, speculation continued to grow over the past week after Barca splashed out and spent a good chunk of money to acquire the services of Brazilian star Malcom from Bordeaux, who is tipped to develop into a real top-class winger.

But despite all the speculation and crazy rumours that Barca are willing to let Dembele leave for a cut-priced fee, or even on-loan, Valverde is adamant that Dembele will get his chance to prove himself at the La Liga Champions.

Velverde said: ‘Let’s hope it’s his season,’.

‘He is an extraordinary player. The past year has been complicated because of the injuries, but even so he has brought us a lot .

‘The important thing is that there is competition within the team. There are a lot of matches and we can not handle them with only eleven players.’

We have seen Emery spend a lot more money than the £50 million he was supposedly going to get at the beginning of the transfer window, and so far I have been impressed with the signings of the Spaniard.

So the news Dembele will not be coming to the Emirates in the coming weeks will come as a big relief, the 21-year old still has a lot to prove to be worth the £88 million we would have to spend to nail down his signature and I would prefer Emery saved his money and spent it on a player that can make an impact at the club now, not in two or three years time.

Lucas Torriera is Key to Xhaka’s Future with Arsenal

Granit Xhaka’s performance in the match against Brazil revealed why Lucas Torreira is fundamental to his future with Arsenal FC. The 25-year old player could well enjoy a new lease on life at Arsenal thanks to Torreira’s arrival. Of all the players that could be used as a reference point for how Unai Emery intends to reshape the midfield for Arsenal, Valon Behrami, from Switzerland, is not the most obvious choice. Yet, in the match against Brazil, the former utility man from Watford and West Ham provided a favour to Xhaka that should not be overlooked during the debate as to how to bring out the best in the 25-year old player at the Emirates and he certainly has the right mindset to go far.

The Last Few Weeks Have Been Very Kind

Not that he has been having much difficulty of late. The last few weeks of the season saw him enjoying a rise in consistency and stature as one of the finest performers in the final days of Arsène Wenger’s reign. Punters who support the young player thanks to the online betting NZ makes available will recall that he has been awarded a new contract along with some words of encouragement from Wenger’s successor in the dugout at Arsenal. Emery stated that Xhaka was an important part of the team, and his youth made it possible for him to develop his natural skills even more. It is clear that Emery has big expectations when things settle down after the World Cup.

Xhaka Won’t Be Returning On His Own

Xhaka won’t be the only footballer heading back to Arsenal when the tournament finishes, but, even if you include those already associated with the club, there is set to be another midfielder to wend his way from Russia to North London.

Lucas Torreira, from Uruguay, is likely to become a member of the Gunners, and this could actually be just what the deep-lying playmaker from Switzerland requires in a partner in order to unlock his true potential.

Torreira’s work as a winner of the ball and middle-of-the-park enforcer for Sampdoria has already earned him comparisons to players like N’Golo Kante, but it’s the possible similarity he shares with Behrami, or rather his relationship on the pitch with Xhaka, that will be the most instructive over how he could assist with the creative dreadnought at Arsenal.

Wenger Was Unsure of What to Do With Xhaka

Wenger seemed to be uncertain as to what exactly to do with Xhaka when he first came to Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach back in 2016. He had crafted a reputation as an incredible passer in the Bundesliga, as well as one who patrolled the pitch in front of his back-line, collecting and making use of the ball to unleash the players in front of him. But he was not a defensive player, and he was not a holding midfielder. Havard Nordtveit was doing the dirty work, a far more destructive presence in the park’s middle, and while the Norwegian went for it, closing down opponents, Xhaka was able to sit back and dictate play.

This is possibly the hoped for direction that the Torreira/Xhaka partnership is going to be headed in.

Arsenal Won the January Transfer Window – Now for some trophies!

The Gunners, for once, made serious strides in the latest transfer window, despite losing star man, Alexis Sanchez. It is certainly a rarity for a team to lose their best player and somehow be better off for it, but that is exactly what Arsenal seem to have managed.

For starters, Sanchez was just six months away from leaving the club for absolutely nothing. And while it’s disappointing that his contract situation got to that stage, to bring in someone in the ilk of Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of the deal was nothing short of a masterstroke.

Indeed, the Chilean wasn’t the only player to depart the Emirates, with established squad members, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin also leaving for a combined fee of around £50 million. So, to lose three fringe players and bring in one of Europe’s most prolific strikers, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in his prime for just a few million more seems an absolute snip.

And then there was the small matter of Mesut Ozil’s shock contract renewal on deadline day, which – in itself – is a huge signing.

Obviously, there is still a long way to go before Arsenal are back at the top of the Premier League challenging for honours. But the shrewd business of January shows they are heading in the right direction.

Of course, the Gunners are in the final of the League Cup against Manchester City, as they hope to end Pep Guardiola’s quadruple hopes and bringing a trophy to the Emirates. But the bigger priority is the not so small matter of the Europa League – which currently represents Arsene Wenger’s best hope of returning the club to the Europe’s premier club competition: the Champions League. Indeed, as of the end of January, Arsenal are at hefty 6/1 in Premier League betting markets to finish in the top four and qualify for the tournament domestically.

Can Aubameyang Return Arsenal to the Champions League?

Alexis Sanchez has led the Arsenal line since joining the club from Barcelona in 2014, but few could have hoped for a replacement at the level of Aubameyang.

Naturally, it is a shame that the pair, along with Ozil, couldn’t have played together in North London. But with a forward line now containing Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, opposition defences are on full guard. Indeed, the latter had long seemed destined for Real Madrid, having netted a remarkable 141 goals in 213 appearances during his five years in Dortmund.

And it’s not like Arsenal paid over the odds for Aubameyang. By the current market standards, his £57 million price tag is widely agreed to be outstanding value.

But while the pacey Arsenal forward line may have rekindled attention from the league’s elite sides, a defensive rebuild is still required at the Gunners. That said, after years of stagnation in the transfer market, Arsenal have at last made a positive stride forward. So maybe a new back line in the summer isn’t beyond the realms of possibility?

Nevertheless, the one thing that is not in doubt is that Arsenal certainly ‘won’ the 2018 January Transfer Window. Now the big question is; can the Gunners get back to winning major honours?

BREAKING – Arsenal striker undergoing medical

It is hardly a surprise but Arsenal now have yet another striker leaving the club in this transfer window, as it has been revealed by Belgian media outlet Het Laatste Nieuws that Chuba Akpom has has arrived at Sint-Truidense for a routine medical, before signing a contract that will keep him at the club for the next three years.

Akpom and his father were among the over-17,000 spectators that watched Sint-Truidense draw 1-1 with Racing Genk on Saturday in the Belgian First Division. They are currently in 6th place in the League and they are hoping that Akpom can score goals to help them get back into the European places.

Akpom has actually been at Arsenal for 16 years since he was 6 years old, but despite his great promise in his younger days he has only made 12 appearances for the club and only 4 in the Premier League.

But his senior performances simply never met up to his promise and there are very few Arsenal fans that will miss the youngstr. Maybe he’ll do well in Belgium.

Good luck

Arsenal fans told identity of First January transfer target?

This might not be the most thrilling of Arsenal transfer rumours, but it does at least have the benefit of coming straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, so we do not have to ask the usual question of whether it is just a made up piece of fake news from the always inventive football media.

With this one, though, the player in question, who is a 19-year old midfield star called Berkay Ozcan who is currently playing in second tier of the German Bundesliga with Stuttgart, has declared that he does expect to be signing for Arsenal, although it may not be as soon as the next transfer window in January.

It could be, though, as a report by The Mirror says that scouts from the Gunners are keeping close tabs on Ozcan’s progress and there have already been talks between the two clubs and the player’s people about his transfer to north London.

Ozcan said, “My agent and I are in talks with Arsenal. Arsenal have been scouting me for the past two years and send representatives to watch my games.

“I am not sure if now is the right time to join Arsenal, it may be a bit early for me. I want to prove myself here and keep developing first.

“Ultimately, Arsenal is the club I want to join in the future, god willing I will achieve my goal.”

He certainly sounds pretty confident about coming to Arsenal, but I agree with him saying that now may not be the right time, as he still has a lot to prove and despite playing 24 times at various age levels, he is yet to receive a full international cap for Turkey.

But could Ozcan be the first transfer target for Arsenal in January or is this one for a bit further in the future?

Wenger expects BIG problems ahead for Arsenal in transfer market

If Arsene Wenger is right about how hard it is going to be for Arsenal to bring in the transfer targets that all of us fans would like to see come to north London in the future, then it does make his decision to hold onto our star striker Alexis Sanchez through the final year of his contract despite reported offers from Man City of more than £50 million.

However, it looks unlikely that Wenger will be able to convince the Chilean international to sign a new contract and so we will lose him fairly soon and in comments reported by the Evening Standard the manager admits that it is going to be very difficult and very expensive to find an adequate replacement after the transfer market went even further down the path of madness with the money spent by PSG on Neymar from Barcelona and Mbappe from Monaco.

He said, “You take a Sanchez into the final year of [his] contract, you sacrifice £60-£70m income and at the end of the season, you will have to buy somebody for that amount of money.

“It has a huge price so at some stage you have to make a decision, you have to sacrifice one or two.

“We have today 107 players in England who go into the final year of their contract.

“It’s a complete rotation and change in the way people see their career for two reasons.

“One, all the players expect higher wages because they anticipate inflation.

“All the clubs, because the transfer market has gone up so much, the clubs do not want to pay so high prices for all the transfers for players who are good players, but will not change their life.

“The amount of money is completely disconnected to reality and the truth,” he added.

“One example – no matter how well you work as a football coach, Dembele last year was €15m, this year €150m.

“No matter how well you work on the football pitch, you cannot make a player go from €15m to €150m.

“The calculation between investment and what you can get back, that has gone. It’s just, ‘can you afford to buy or not?'”

So are there big problems ahead for Wenger and Arsenal?