Jul 13, 2017

Arsenal round-up: World record Mbappe bid; Bellerin hints at Gunners’ stay; Wenger praises Lacazette after his debut

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Arsenal are pushing ahead with their transfer business as they attempt to get their squad ready for their opening match of the season against Leicester City. Spanish outlet Marca report that the Gunners have submitted a world record bid of £123.3 million (140 million euros) for Kylian Mbappe.

There is also heavy interest from Real Madrid and PSG. The latter are unlikely to win the race for the teenager as Monaco are determined not to sell to a league rival. Now that Alvaro Morata is likely to stay at Real Madrid, the Spanish champions would now prefer Mbappe to remain in Ligue 1 for another season before moving to the Bernabeu.

This update is an interesting one and shows that Arsenal do have a good chance of landing Mbappe this summer, if the striker chooses to leave Monaco. The news of their bid shows that they mean business and are prepared to put their money where their mouth is. It remains a transfer that would be unlikely, but they aren’t being deterred and are finally showing the ambition that they have lacked in previous windows.

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After the good news earlier this week that Mesut Ozil wants to stay at the club, Hector Bellerin has suggested that he is set to stay as well. Sport report that Barcelona have moved on from the Spanish right-back and he took to social media with the following tweet, which suggests that he is going to remain for at least one more season.

Sometimes people can read too much into what players say in interviews and post on social media. This may be another example of that, but the fact he has written that he will be ‘back’ does tell us that a move away is not close to happening. When combined with the report cited above, it makes it look likely that Bellerin will stay in North London.

Although he was dropped towards the end of last season, there are few better young right-backs in Europe and it is encouraging that Arsenal will keep him at the club. Earlier this summer, it seemed like a number of first team players would be heading for the exit, but that hasn’t been the case.

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Away from the transfer speculation, Arsenal kicked off their pre-season this morning against Sydney. Alexandre Lacazette managed to find the back of the net on his Gunners’ debut and Arsene Wenger was quick to heap praise on his new signing. It was a composed display from the striker after coming off the bench and he immediately showed the goal threat that he poses.

“It’s important that he gets that off his shoulders. You expect a striker to score. You could see he was happy.”

Pre-season means relatively little and the reason for it is to build up match fitness. Nobody will remember a goal against Sydney if he starts the season in poor form. That said, it is never a bad thing for a striker to hit the back of the net and it will boost his confidence as he settles into his new club. It was nice for the supporters to see their new man in action and they will be hoping that he can step up when it matters next month.

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Arsenal · Transfer Round-up
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.