Arsenal Top 3 Shock Transfers of the summer Published 3 years ago on September 4, 2014 By Guest Share Tweet In a Summer full of movement on the transfer front, that also seen some fascinating dealings take place, we take a look at the top three shock transfers of the window. 3. Danny Welbeck: Manchester United to Arsenal. Danny Welbeck’s Manchester United career has been up in the air over the past year and not least when Louis van Gaal took hold of the reigns at Old Trafford after the World Cup. After joining United when he was just eight years-old, the England international of Ghanaian descent, went on to have loan spells at Preston North End and Sunderland AFC. He joined United on professional terms during the 2005–06 season, making his debut for the club’s Under-18 side on 8 April 2006 in a league match against Sunderland, a club he would later spend time with. Welbeck had been touted as one of the most promising young players to come through the youth system in England. But why Arsenal, and why did Arsenal go for Welbeck? This deal went right down to the wire with both Arsenal and Manchester United needing an extension to the transfer deadline to get the deal over the line. On 2 September 2014, it was announced that Welbeck had joined arch rivals Arsenal on a “long-term deal” for a fee in the region of £16 million. It was reported that Tottenham were also in advanced talks with Welbeck over a potential move to White Hart Lane. Welbeck clearly fell out of favour with LvG and the Dutchman clearly wanted him out of the club after he had time to survey what he had at his disposal upon succeeding David Moyes at the helm. Arsene Wenger was under severe pressure to land another striker, especially after the Gunners missed out on Radamel Falcao, but he delivered. Whether Arsenal fans will be happy with the signing, one thing is for sure, this talented young player will give 100 per-cent every time he’s on the playing field. 2. Mario Balotelli: AC Milan to Liverpool. Ah yes, the return of ‘Super Mario’ Balotelli to the Barclays Premier League, how could we possibly leave him out? The Italian maverick comes back to England on the back of a mere single season with Italian giants AC Milan following his move from Manchester City in 2013. On 21 August 2014, AC Milan agreed a £16 million fee for Balotelli to return to the Premier League with the Kop outfit. The deal was officially announced on 25 August 2014. Liverpool had been in the market for a world-class striker ever since the departure of star player Luis Suarez to Barcelona during the Summer window. But has Brendan Rodgers pulled off a stroke of genius by signing Balotelli? What made the Azzurri man want to come back to England’s top flight? Especially when you consider how the British press responded to his on and off the field antics. Perhaps he’s now back with a vengeance and out to prove he’s more than just a circus clown in the mix of top class footballers at every club he’s since sampled. Nevertheless, nobody seen the move coming and questions have since been asked in regard to the former City front-man’s temperament. Yet, you simply cannot deny Balotelli’s remarkable footballing abilities, on his day. That’s the problem however, ‘on his day’, in other words, his consistency is a major issue, an issue which has been rather suspect in recent years. His pace, strength and finishing will bring something to the table but it remains to be seen if he can fill the big boots of Suarez alongside Daniel Sturridge this year. 1. Radamel Falcao: Monaco to Manchester United. (On loan). Just when you thought Manchester United already had one of the most potent strike-forces in world football, they poach the services of the Colombian ace Radamel Falcao. On 1 September 2014, Manchester United agreed to sign Falcao on loan for £6 million subject to a medical and also with an option to sign permanently for £43.5 million at the end of his loan spell at Old Trafford. The deal of course, took place after Falcao had previously been heavily linked with rivals Manchester City and Arsenal. Despite the rumours, Ed Woodward went all out to bring Falcao to Manchester United, further boosting the potency of Louis van Gaal’s star-studded attacking line. Why does this deal come as a major shock? Lets play the obvious but reasonable card, United don’t even find themselves in the Europa League this season yet they can bring the likes of Falcao and Di Maria to the club. People also wondered, where does Robin van Persie now fit in? What happens to Wayne Rooney? Not a bad scenario for LvG to ponder it must be said. Manchester United fans certainly weren’t expecting the former Atletico and Porto man’s arrival because they expected a defender, maybe a Mats Hummels. No doubt however, they won’t complain as Falcao, arguably the best striker in the world, joins the Red Devils on a season long loan as LvG says goodbye to the likes of outcasts Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez. Related Topics:Danny WelbeckMario BalotelliRadamel Falcao Up Next Blues Report Edition 2: A hell of a week for the Citizens Don't Miss Grading Manchester City’s Transfer Activity Guest Continue Reading You may like Four of Louis van Gaal’s worst signings at Manchester United How Twitter reacted to news that Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck is ruled out for three weeks Three who could leave Arsenal this summer as Wenger looks to reduce his squad Would a move to Everton be a good career move for Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck? Mario Balotelli’s renaissance: What now for the enigmatic Italian striker? Three interesting stats as Arsenal ended Manchester United’s 25-match unbeaten run Arsenal Why Everton are the perfect club for Theo Walcott to rebuild his career Published 2 days ago on January 18, 2018 By Rob Meech It is hard to believe Theo Walcott is only 28 years old. He burst on to the scene aged 16 for Southampton in League One and was snapped up by Arsenal shortly afterwards. His inexplicable selection for England’s 2006 World Cup squad, without playing in a single Premier League game, transformed him into an overnight star. Big things have been expected of Walcott ever since. It’s fair to say that, despite winning 47 caps for England and making 397 appearances for Arsenal, he has failed to live up to the hype. Now, after 12 years, Walcott is bidding farewell to the Emirates and hoping to revive his flagging career under Sam Allardyce at Everton, whom he has joined for £20 million after agreeing terms on a three-and-a-half-year deal. Speculation that Walcott’s days at Arsenal were numbered had persisted for several years, but his desire to prove himself at the club kept him in north London even when admirers came calling. His 21 goals in all competitions in the 2012/13 campaign suggested he had cracked it, but that proved to be a false dawn. In truth, Walcott’s decision to sign for Everton was probably a no-brainer. Now in the prime of his career, he simply has to be playing regularly. The reality of how far down the pecking order he had fallen at Arsenal struck this season, when he often failed to make Arsene Wenger’s match-day squad. His last appearance for the Gunners came as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth. Everton’s interest in Walcott emerged only recently, but he was clearly one of Allardyce’s top targets. One look at the Toffees’ recent form underlines why. After an immediate upturn in fortunes after the former England boss’s appointment, Everton have embarked on a winless streak that stretches back to December 18. Lack of pace is a pressing concern and this is an attribute that Walcott possesses in abundance. The likes of Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson are intelligent footballers, but not the type that will blitz opposition defenders. Instead, they have relied on chipping balls over the top for the striker to chase. As such, Everton are one-dimensional and easy to play against, with no player capable of launching a counter-attack. Also highlighting their urgent need for more firepower is the grim statistic that only rock-bottom Swansea have had fewer shots than Everton this season. New big-money signing Cenk Tosun has increased competition in the striking department but may take time to settle, whereas Walcott’s Premier League pedigree means no transitional period will be needed. The former Southampton man’s versatility makes him an attractive proposition. For Arsenal, he predominantly featured on the right wing – either in a four-man midfield or a three-man attack – but he is equally adept at playing up top on his own, a position where he tried but ultimately failed to establish himself at the Emirates. Potential is a word that has long been associated with Walcott. It is no longer applicable. At 28, this is possibly his final chance to realise his ambitions, both domestically and internationally. Everton, a sleeping giant, are a perfect fit. Under the auspices of major shareholder Farhad Moshiri, plans are in the pipeline for a brand-spanking new stadium to enable them to compete alongside the Premier League’s elite. After being a peripheral figure at Arsenal for so long, Walcott has become the forgotten man of English football. For the sake of his career, he simply had to leave north London. By joining Everton, Walcott, who will wear the number 11 shirt, has the security of working under a manager who rates him highly. Now, he has the opportunity to become the player he always promised to be. Continue Reading Arsenal Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal: Three talking points from the Vitality Stadium Published 6 days ago on January 14, 2018 By Rob Meech Photo: Reuters Bournemouth came from behind to claim a much-needed victory over Arsenal, whose hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have suffered another blow. After an insipid opening period at the Vitality Stadium, the action sparked into life when Hector Bellerin broke the deadlock on 52 minutes. But Arsenal’s lead was short-lived, as goals from Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe – his first for the club – secured the Cherries’ fourth home win of the season, which lifted them to 13th in the table. Arsenal, meanwhile, slipped further adrift in the battle to finish in the top four after their third consecutive league game without a win. Here are three talking points… Alexis Sanchez moves closer to the Emirates exit door All the pre-match talk centred on a player who wasn’t involved in the contest. Not only was Alexis Sanchez not named in the starting XI, he wasn’t even on the bench having not travelled to the south coast. Manager Arsene Wenger was ambiguous when pressed on this in the aftermath of the defeat, but the insinuation was clear; the want-away Chilean will not be an Arsenal player come the end of the transfer window. Both Manchester City and Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Sanchez, whose contract at the Emirates expires in the summer. Despite his uncertain future, this match was crying out for his never-say-die attitude. Arsenal controlled the first half and deserved to be in front when Bellerin fired home. However, the Gunners were unable to add a second and Bournemouth capitalised with two late efforts. Arsene Wenger’s side are now without a win in four games in 2018 as their troubles mount. Bournemouth buck the trend against the ‘Big Six’ Before this fixture, Bournemouth had lost all of their matches against the ‘Big Six’ this season, scoring only one goal in seven outings. While those are not necessarily the games that will define their campaign, it was a worrying statistic that Eddie Howe needed to address. Facing an Arsenal team without Sanchez or Mesut Ozil looked like being the Cherries’ best opportunity to buck that trend, and so it proved. With only nine points separating all the teams in the bottom half, an unexpected win can do so much to alter the picture. The Cherries didn’t fold after going a goal behind and they merited the three points for an enterprising second-half display. Having beaten Arsenal for the first time in their history, Bournemouth are now four points clear of the drop-zone. They are by no means safe because of this result, but the psychological impact could be immense. Jack Wilshere getting back to his best Returning to the club at which he spent last season on loan, this was not the afternoon Jack Wilshere would have hoped for. Though it didn’t go well from a team perspective, the 26-year-old was close to his best at the Vitality Stadium. He touched the ball more than any other player on the pitch and also completed more passes. After a frustrating start to the campaign where he struggled for minutes in the Premier League, Wilshere is now establishing himself in the starting XI. He was Arsenal’s best player against Bournemouth and in a team that lacks leaders, he was one of the few who looked like he wanted the ball. Wilshere ran the show in midfield and was always keen to move forward with purpose. England manager Gareth Southgate surely can’t ignore Wilshere’s form and, fitness permitting, he must be a shoo-in for the next squad. In a World Cup year, Wilshere is peaking at just the right time. Continue Reading Arsenal An absence of progress at Arsenal leaves Arsene Wenger in danger of becoming the villain Published 6 days ago on January 14, 2018 By Martyn Cooke Photo: Reuters “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. So says Harvey Dent, a character in the 2008 DC Comics action movie The Dark Night Rises, which portrays the story of the fictional superhero Batman as he fights against organised crime in Gotham City. There may be no men dressed as bats around the Emirates Stadium but it is a quote that might resonate with the thoughts and feelings of a growing number of Arsenal supporters regarding the position of Arsene Wenger in recent seasons. The Frenchman is one of the most influential and successful managers in the club’s history, having secured ten major trophies since his appointment in 1996 and overseen the transition from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, but has come under increasing pressure over the last three seasons as The Gunners struggle to maintain the pace set by their title rivals. The previous campaign was tainted by calls from from a portion of the Arsenal fan base for the 68-year-old to resign, although the club eventually opted to hand him a new two-year deal. However, eight months on and Wenger’s position has never been more fragile and the number of dissenting voices in the stands is beginning to increase. The frustration around the Emirates Stadium is completely understandable. The Gunners are 23 points behind league leaders Manchester City, face an uphill task to qualify for the Champions League next season and suffered an early exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Nottingham Forrest. Furthermore, Arsenal are in danger of losing two of their prize assets in the summer for nothing after allowing the contracts of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to run down into their final year. The unwillingness of the duo to remain in North London is a definitive sign that the club are no longer considered to be a significant threat in the domestic game. With the club slipping behind their title rivals and struggling to retain key players, Wenger is in danger of turning from a hero into a villain. A lack of forward momentum The one thing that Arsenal have lacked this season, and arguably for a number of years, is a sense that the club is making progress or moving in the right direction. The Gunners have been on a gradual decline that is only now beginning to come to the fore and there has been nothing to suggest that Arsene Wenger has the vision or prowess to reinvigorate a club that is anchored in stagnation. Even success in the FA Cup has felt like a brief moment of respite rather than a signal that a corner had been turned. The Frenchman has failed to correct the issues that have undermined the team on the pitch, exemplified by his inability to purchase a top-quality central defender or defensive midfielder, and it has now been nearly thirteen years since the club last won the Premier League title. A sense of progress is why Jurgen Klopp and Mauriccio Pochettino have sustained their positions at Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively, despite failing to secure any silverware between them and have retained the favour of their club’s supporters. Both have implemented a clear philosophy and playing style whilst creating the feeling around Anfield and Wembley that the team is moving forward in the right direction. Wenger has secured more silverware than both Klopp and Pochettino combined since 2014 yet he finds himself under increasing pressure due to a lack of any forward momentum at the Emirates Stadium. Whilst there is a general feeling that Liverpool and Tottenham are improving, the perception of many Arsenal supporters is that the club is standing still at best and certainly slipping behind their counterparts. There have been question marks around Wenger’s future for some time and yet this feels like the 68-year-old is on the edge of cliff. Success in the FA Cup has provided him with a degree of respite in recent years which made his team selection for the defeat to Nottingham Forrest appear especially bizarre. With Arsenal already out of the title race you would have thought that Wenger would have put extra emphasis on winning the competition which, arguably, allowed him to negotiate a new contract in the summer. However, such is the obvious disparity in quality between the Gunners and Manchester City that Wenger can no longer hide behind domestic cup success. Failure to qualify for the Champions League for a second consecutive year would signify how far the club has fallen and the pressure on the Frenchman has been further exacerbated by the seemingly imminent departures of Sanchez and Ozil. Whilst Liverpool and Tottenham are moving forward, Arsenal seem to be moving backwards. With Wenger’s position appearing increasingly fragile and the club in decline you have to wonder whether the Frenchman has now become the villain of the piece. Continue Reading Football News 24/7 Advertisement Trending Manchester United2 days ago Paul Pogba defies critics as his incredible Manchester United record marches on Liverpool6 days ago Are Liverpool potential 2017/18 Champions League winners? Champions League6 days ago Are Chelsea potential 2017/18 Champions League winners? 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