After a stunning 5-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal are progressing well under Unai Emery but there is still work to be done in the market.
The Gunners have drafted in five new recruits already at the Emirates Stadium in the form of Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichsteiner, Lucas Torreira, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matteo Guendouzi, the latter of whom impressed in the win against PSG.
Emery is still looking to sign a number of players before the window shuts in just a few weeks time though and it could be a busy week in north London as the Gunners head back to Europe following their two fixtures in Singapore.
Here, we have identified five deals Arsenal could look to complete this week.
Leon Bailey: Bayer Leverkusen
Unai Emery is understood to be in the market for a direct and pacy winger, which has led to links suggesting a move could be made for Bayer Leverkusen ace Leon Bailey after suggestions he is pushing for a Premier League move.
The Sun says the Jamaican-born winger, who is eligible to represent England, wants to leave the Bundesliga and that Arsenal, along with Chelsea, will hold talks ahead of a potential £40m swoop for the 20-year-old.
However, after seeing Barcelona snipe Malcom from under their noses, Gianluca Di Marzio states Italian giants Roma are eyeing a move and, unlike Arsenal, would be able to offer Champions League football.
David Ospina to Besiktas
The signing of Bernd Leno was always going to lead to changes and speculation on the future of Colombia international David Ospina has rumbled on for a number of weeks – but the end to the saga could be right around the corner.
Turkish outlet Fanatik state a deal is on the verge of going through taking the World Cup stopper to Besiktas, who are seeking a new first-choice goalkeeper after approving the sale of Fabri to newly-promoted Premier League side Fulham.
Arsenal are said to have ‘shaken hands’ on a loan agreement for the stopper, who has 12 months remaining on his contract, but terms between Ospina and Besiktas need to be agreed as the South American seeks €4m-a-year in wages – €1m more than the Turkish giants are prepared to offer.
M’Baye Niang: Torino
Once a highly-rated prospect at AC Milan, M’Baye Niang has had to fight to succeed in his career but has made great strides in the past 12 months after impressing on-loan with Torino and earning a permanent transfer to the Serie A side.
23-year-old Niang then impressed at the World Cup with Senegal, scoring once and providing an assist in his nation’s three group stage matches, and Unai Emery is reported to be a big fan of the former Watford loanee.
Joel Campbell sold
From one World Cup outcast to another, it is sometimes easy to forget that Joel Campbell is still on Arsenal’s books but that is unlikely to be the case for too much longer with the Gunners ready to offload the Costa Rica international.
The 26-year-old told La Nacion he is still waiting for a final decision on his future but, after being left out of the club’s pre-season plans and having spent time at five different clubs in six different loan spells, an exit is likely to be approved ahead of the expiration of his contract in 12 months time.
“I have one more year of contract with Arsenal. This weekend, I’m traveling and they’ll decide what’s coming next. I know that I have a lot left to show in football, so wherever it may be I’ll do things as well as possible to enjoy this sport.”
Tomas Holy: Gillingham
Arsenal have already made one major change between the sticks to land Leno but, amidst speculation that Petr Cech could also be on the way out, Unai Emery could dip into the market to land another stopper – and a surprise name has been touted.
The Mirror states Arsenal are amongst the sides interested in Gillingham goalkeeper Tomas Holy following his impressive debut season in League One after joining on a free transfer last summer, following his release from Sparta Prague in his homeland.
While Cech has insisted he’ll stay at the club, in comments made to Arsenal’s official websites, Holy could arrive as third-string goalkeeper, which would likely lead to Emiliano Martinez spending the campaign away on-loan.
Arsenal fans want Emery to sell Granit Xhaka after Man City loss
Fans are demanding Arsenal sell Xhaka in the next two weeks.
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…
Xhaka never has been and never will be good enough for Arsenal FC.
— Amy AFC (@newmanqueen1) August 12, 2018
Can we sell Xhaka? @arsenal
— napolean dynamite (@BennySumerY) August 12, 2018
Xhaka looks like the inexperienced youngster and Guendouzi is carrying his dumbass through this game.
— WH (@Wilshoholic) August 12, 2018
— Charles Wilman (@Khaosan05) August 12, 2018
He’s absolute bang average!! Not worthy of the @Arsenal shirt!
— ArsenalTheSinkingShip (@Shell_DonG) August 12, 2018
Hopefully the last time we see Xhaka play for the club.
— MW (@mediocentroEN) August 12, 2018
Yes, Guendouzi has made mistakes but he is meant to be playing with experienced pro's such as Cech, Mustafi and Xhaka yet he seems to be the leader out of them all. Embarrassing.
— Mitch (@MHaywxrd) August 12, 2018
Xhaka is genuinely the worst midfielder I've seen in 25 years at Arsenal. Slow, indecisive, positionally abject, constantly invites pressure on to the team and excels at literally nothing
— Exiled Expat (@ComradeNuts) August 12, 2018
2 weeks to get rid of Xhaka, come on Arsenal unload him please!
— Gooner Rumour (@GoonerRumour) August 13, 2018
Emery’s Arsenal conference: Left-back options, Ramsey & further exits
A new era under Emery dawns for Arsenal.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
One winner and loser from Arsenal’s pre-season campaign
Major changes took place in north London this summer
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.
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.”
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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