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Could Arsenal hijack Manchester City’s pursuit of West Brom’s Jonny Evans?

Rob Meech

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Evans

Arsenal have joined Manchester City in the race to sign Jonny Evans. That is according to the Telegraph, which says the Gunners enquired about the West Bromwich Albion defender after their embarrassing 4-0 defeat by Liverpool.

Arsenal looked shambolic defensively at Anfield and manager Arsene Wenger came in for severe criticism from pundits and former players.

With one victory and two defeats from their opening three Premier League games, Arsenal, who failed to qualify for the Champions League last season by finishing fifth, have made a disappointing start to this campaign.

Evans is a player in high demand, with the same Telegraph article reporting City have already failed with two bids, while Leicester City are also understood to have had an offer rejected by the West Midlands club.

Arsenal’s move for Evans is made more intriguing by the developments in Guardiola’s ongoing attempts to sign Alexis Sanchez. It has emerged, as is reported by The Guardian, that City are prepared to offer Raheem Sterling plus cash for Sanchez in order to force through a move for the Chilean before deadline day.

With that in mind, Arsenal could use their interest in Evans as leverage and convince City to drop their chase for the former Manchester United centre-back.

Evans is currently on international duty with Northern Ireland ahead of their World Cup qualifiers but his plans may be thrown into disarray if West Brom agree a fee with another club. Publicly, boss Tony Pulis has said he wants to keep his linchpin defender, but a bid upwards of £30 million for the 29-year-old would be very difficult to turn down.

With a seemingly bottomless pit of money, City remain in pole position to capture Evans. However, with Shkodran Mustafi closing in on a season-long loan to Inter Milan, as reported by The Sun, Wenger looks to be short of options at the back.

His three-man central defence was horribly exposed against Liverpool and public opinion has taken another turn against him in light of that humiliation. Many supporters are bemused by the Gunners’ lack of transfer activity, with just two incomings to date this summer.

Evans may not be a cultured, world-class defender, but the amount of interest in him underlines his Premier League pedigree. He is no-nonsense and would offer reliability and leadership – qualities Arsenal desperately lack. Evans is also capable of playing as one of two centre-backs or one of three. Comfortable on the ball, he would complement Wenger’s brand of football.

City’s pursuit of Sanchez is key here. How desperately do Arsenal want to hold on to the Chile star? If they were prepared to sell for the right deal, then a domino effect might happen. This could go down to the wire.

Rob is a freelance writer, specialising in football, who previously worked as a sports journalist at the Dorset Echo. A long-standing AFC Bournemouth supporter, Rob can often be found on the terraces at the Vitality Stadium. Follow him on Twitter - @RobMeech

Arsenal

Liverpool receive blow as Caglar Soyuncu reveals desire to play for Arsenal

Arsenal appear to have won the race for the player’s signature.

Jamie Watts

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Liverpool have recieved a blow in their attempts to sign Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu, as the player has revealed his desire to play for Arsenal next term, in quotes via Turkish outlet Gunes.

Jurgen Klopp is said to be keen on landing the 22-year-old’s signature this summer, as the team search for a long-term partner to develop alongside star defender Virgil van Dijk next term, according to the Mirror.

However Arsenal are also keen admirers of the Turkish international’s talents, with new boss Unai Emery weighing up a potential move for his services this summer, according to the Sun. And the team sit in poll position.

Photo: Getty Images

“Arsenal is a proposal. I go to Arsenal. I want to play there, but everything is connected. Because I have a contract for 3 more years,” the player revealed.  And now it looks as though the north London club has won the race, if they increase their interest in signing Soyuncu.

The young defender is renowned for his superb reading of the game and his quality range of passing – boasting 81 per cent passing completion last term – garnering comparisons to the likes of seasoned veteran Mats Hummels.

His two footedness and explosive pace over short distances also suit the Premier League, and Arsenal could now land a serious talent with the potential to become a superstar at the Emirates.

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Criticism of Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson unfair? stats suggest he’s England’s best option

The midfielder came under scrutiny for his latest performance.

Jamie Watts

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England put an end to the World Cup opener curse after Harry Kane’s stoppage time header ensured England started the tournament with maximum points, with Tunisia looking more than likely to take their share of points in Volograd.

A promising opening 20 minutes was encored by ponderous and slow football in the second half, after the team began looking seemingly affected by Tunisia’s equaliser. The additions of Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added impetus and purpose to the attack late on. But prior to that, England struggled in pursuit of a second, and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson came under fire for what was deemed to be a lack of creativity.

Photo: Getty Images

Many fans were questioning the omission of Jack Wilshere from England duties, as Gareth Southgate opted for the Liverpool man as the regular in central midfield. But last season’s statistics show some maybe being preemptive in wanting to replace the 28-year-old this World Cup.

Squawka stats (below) show that the Liverpool man was superior to both Eric Dier and Jack Wilshere in all aspects of midfield play in the Premier League last term, suggesting he could very well be the right man to continue starting for the Three Lions.

The former Sunderland man bested his two counterparts for number of forward passes, average pass length, key passes, tackles won, aerial duels won and chances created (all per 90 minutes), which sheds some light on why he’s a regular in Southgate’s team.

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Arsenal and Chelsea receive huge boost in pursuit of Aleksandr Golovin

The London rivals have been given an edge over Juventus in the pursuit it seems.

Jamie Watts

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Photo: Getty Images

London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have recieved a huge boost in their pursuit of Russian maestro Aleksandr Golovin, after the play-maker’s father revealed he is currently learning English, in quotes via Russian outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Italian giants Juventus are said to be courting the CSKA Moscow midfielder closely, with some reports even claiming a deal had been agreed between the two clubs (Calciomercato). However, the new revelation from the player’s father suggests the move is anything but a formality, and Chelsea and Arsenal remain in the race.

“He [Golovin] now has one thing on his mind: the Russian team. But if such proposals are made, I believe that he will go abroad, play abroad,” the Russian international’s father claimed.

“Their football is of a different level, there is nowhere to hide. Speeds are different. I’m sure my son will be able to play at a new level. It will be more difficult with a foreign language. But I know that he has already started learning English.”

Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal have no plans of slowing down in the transfer window after agreeing a deal for 34-year-old Stephan Lichtsteiner and closing in on Lucas Torreira. SportBILD claims that a deal for Bernd Leno is also close to being completed, as personal terms have been agreed. And now it would appear Unai Emery is keen on continuing the pursuit for Golovin.

However, they will face stern competition from west London, as Chelsea have expressed an interest in signing the 22-year-old, with the Express claiming that the club are looking to quickly encore the managerial appointment of Maurizio Sarri with the Italian’s long-spanning target.

CSKA are said to want £22 million before they would be willing to do business for a player they regard as one of the most influential in their squad, while they also assert that a sell-on clause will be part of any deal, to ensure they dont miss out should the player’s market value drastically increase in the future, according to The Sun.

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