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Could this Southampton star be one of three replacements for Arsenal’s Alexis?

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The 2015/16 Premier League season had somewhat of a déjà vu feel for Arsenal fans as they saw their side mount a title challenge up until December before they fell away from Leicester City.

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Despite being injured for much of the season, Alexis Sanchez still scored some very important goals for the Gunners. His most notable appearance came against eventual title winners, Leicester City in which he scored a hat-trick and led his side a 5-2 win.

The talented Chilean and Mesut Özil are arguably the North London clubs’ most influential players, and whilst Özil seems settled at the Emirates, Sanchez has been linked with a move to the likes of Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy may be on his way to Arsenal, but there is no way that he alone will be enough to put Arsenal in the title race next season, based on the strength of managers entering the Premier League next term.

Over the next few pages, we take a look at three players that could replace the former Barcelona player, should he choose to leave the Emirates. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, especially if you think there is an alternative option which has not been considered.

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Riyad Mahrez

The 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year and Premier League title winner has the skill ability to match Alexis Sanchez.

Some may see the Leicester winger as a gamble but if the Gunners were able to bring in both Vardy and Mahrez to play with Mesut Özil and new signing Granit Xhaka, Arsenal would certainly be a formidable force.

The Algerian managed 17 goals and 11 assists last season, and having already formed a dangerous partnership with Vardy, Arsene Wenger may see this double-swoop as a fantastic piece of business.

It is no secret that Mahrez would be a cheap option compared to much of the other top talent across Europe with his release clause believed to be around £25 million.

Sanchez cost Arsenal £33 million two years ago and they would certainly be able to earn some profit by selling the Chilean and bringing in Mahrez.

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Arsenal

Arsenal fans want Emery to sell Granit Xhaka after Man City loss

Fans are demanding Arsenal sell Xhaka in the next two weeks.

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Arsenal fans have made it clear throughout the history of the internet they need someone to be angry at and Granit Xhaka has inherited the crown.

With Arsene Wenger finally out, the Switzerland international has followed the likes of Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott as Arsenal’s weekly scapegoat, a title that is tough to shake, and his performance against Manchester City did not help matters.

Poor on the ball and struggling to cope with the Citizens’ quota of stars, fans on social media quickly flocked to criticism the midfielder and demand that Unai Emery sells the former Borussia Monchengladbach man ASAP.

With Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira amongst Emery’s summer acquisitions, Xhaka has plenty of competition for his role in midfield and many fans have made it clear they don’t want to see Xhaka wear the Arsenal shirt once again.

Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen and, a few months down the line, another scapegoat may have been identified. For now, it’s best Xhaka avoids logging onto Twitter…

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Emery’s Arsenal conference: Left-back options, Ramsey & further exits

A new era under Emery dawns for Arsenal.

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Arsenal enter a Premier League season with a new manager for the first time in over two decades, with Unai Emery now at the helm in north London.

The new boss starts life in English football with a baptism of fire as Arsenal host defending champions Manchester City on Sunday, where Emery has five new signings to potentially include in his starting line-up.

Ahead of his Premier League debut, Emery spoke to the press and we picked up three key takeaways from his comments.

Maitland-Niles in defence

Arsenal begin the season with a major issue in defence, as Sead Kolasinac will miss around ten weeks through injury and Nacho Monreal is not back to full fitness after returning from the World Cup with a knee problem.

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That means that young Ainsley Maitland-Niles may be thrown into the deep end due to his versatility, featuring on the left-side of a defence against the Premier League champions. Fortunately, he has experience in this position and Emery is confident he can impress.

“We want to give him confidence and the possibility to play. I’m not sure because I am going to decide tomorrow or on Sunday on the first 11, but Ainsley is the player who started the last match against Lazio.”

Ramsey update

Arsenal fans will have breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the transfer window closed yesterday, as it brought an end to speculation that Aaron Ramsey would be sold. However, it is far from the end of the saga concerning the Wales international.

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With less than 12 months remaining on his contract, Arsenal are fearful that Ramsey could walk for nothing next summer and are working hard behind the scenes to secure the 27-year-old favourite to fresh terms. Unfortunately, Emery did not have a positive update to share.

“That’s not my work. For me it’s very important he stays with us. His experience here in Arsenal and the Premier League is very important and will give us all the information and performances in his quality. Then, the contract is for speaking with the club and the players.”

Three could still leave

The transfer window has come to a close in the Premier League but the European window remains open until the end of the month, while Football League sides also have until the end of August to negotiate loan deals.

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Emery named three players that could leave by the end of the month in David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson and Joel Campbell – with goalkeeper Ospina currently the closest to an exit as Besiktas try to complete a deal for the stopper.

Interestingly, Danny Welbeck was omitted from the list despite speculation that a number of sides were keen on his services and that suggests he could still have a part to play this season.

“Today, we had a meeting with the players to close all the possibilities to leave or come with more players. We only have three players: Carl Jenkinson, David Ospina and Joel Campbell, with the possibility to leave.”

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One winner and loser from Arsenal’s pre-season campaign

Major changes took place in north London this summer

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A new era has dawned for Arsenal, we will enter the Premier League season with a new manager for the first time in over two decades.

Unai Emery has taken charge of the Emirates Stadium and swiftly rejuvenated the squad with five new signings, while also waving goodbye to established players like Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, both of whom left on free transfers.

Overall, Arsenal’s pre-season campaign was a positive one as the Gunners thrashed Paris Saint-Germain, edged Lazio in Sweden, beat Chelsea on penalties and held Atletico Madrid to a draw before losing on a shootout.

From those results we have identified one winner and one loser.

Winner: Emile Smith Rowe

Every pre-season there seems to be a young starlet who announces himself to Arsenal fans, catching the eye and providing a platform to build upon in the forthcoming campaign with the aim of fighting into the first-team squad.

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This year it was the turn of Emile Smith Rowe, who made headlines with a stunning goal against Atletico Madrid in Singapore and impressed in the other games where he featured, potentially opening the path for regular football under Unai Emery.

Still just 18, the starlet has now outlined his plans for the forthcoming season as he seeks to earn opportunities in cup competitions.

“My long-term goal is to get in the first team permanently. But this season it’s to try to get as many minutes as I can in the Europa League and cups, and hopefully make my Premier League debut.”

– Smith Rowe reveals his plans for 2018-19.

Loser: Danny Welbeck

It has been a very strange summer for Danny Welbeck. Only returning to training this week following an extended break after the World Cup, Welbeck featured for just 11 minutes of football for England in Russia and may wonder if his career would have been better off staying at home.

In his absence, Welbeck has seen Alex Iwobi and Reiss Nelson awarded new contracts as well as witnessing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette craft an exciting partnership in attack – which left the former Manchester United man on the fringes.

After failing to earn a permanent exit, Football.London states he will remain in the squad fighting for a place but it is clear the 27-year-old is now a spare part in north London.

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