Hello and welcome to football.london’s Arsenal blog live on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta’s side secured a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa last weekend thanks to a strike from talented youngster Bukayo Saka. The Gunners are now fourth in the Premier League table, three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who have played one game more than their north London rivals. Still, the next two weeks should give injured duo Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu a chance to rest ahead of the game against Crystal Palace next month.
Off the pitch, we’ll bring you all the latest transfer rumors as Arsenal continue to be linked with a number of exciting high-profile players ahead of what could be a busy summer transfer window for technical director Edu. The likes of Ousmane Dembele and Yves Bissouma have been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium and we’ll likely hear developments throughout the day.
READ MORE:Ben White opens up on football’s early struggles before his glory at Arsenal and England
So with all that said, sit back and let football.london bringing you all the latest news as it happens.
Arsenal can sign ‘the next Patrick Vieira’
Arsenal have been linked with a move for Rennes starlet Lesley Ugochukwu this summer.
The 18-year-old’s style of play has been compared to former Gunners captain and legend Patrick Vieira.
Learn more here.
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe put in an excellent performance in Ivory Coast’s 2-1 loss to France on Friday night.
Pepe scored the opener and Footmercato gave the former Lille star the highest rating for an Ivorian player, 7.5 out of 10.
“The Gunner was untenable at the Velodrome this Friday,” they wrote.
Retreat from Koscielny
Former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has officially announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 36.
The French centre-half left the Gunners in the summer of 2019 to join Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.
According to a recent report by Fichajes, Napoli are asking for £83m (€100m) for Victor Osimhen.
The report also claims that Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Liverpool are all interested in the Nigerian centre-forward.
Pursuit of midfield
L’Equipe, via GFFN, have reported that Arsenal and Spurs are interested in signing Rennes starlet Lesley Ugochukwu this summer.
The youngster has been branded as the next Patrick Vieira by some in France.
Interest of Neves
According to The Sun, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta sees Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as “the key” to improving his side over the summer.
However, the East Midlands club are keen to keep Neves and will try to convince the Portugal international to agree a new deal with the club.
Didier Deschamps has praised the mentality of Arsenal starlet William Saliba after the youngster made his France debut last night.
“William is incredibly calm,” Deschamps said after the game.
Arsenal fans have come up with a spectacular theory regarding Erling Haaland and a potential move to North London.
The Borussia Dortmund leader has a £64million release clause in his contract this summer, with a host of top clubs across Europe chasing his signature.
Read all about it here.
Tielemans Transfer Index
Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has admitted he wants to play in the UEFA Champions League.
“I’m not worried about it,” said the 24-year-old Het Laatste Nieuws (via voetbalniews ) when asked about his future with the Foxes. “I want to get the best out of myself this season and finish as high as possible with the team.”
He added: “Of course I want to play in the Champions League, like any footballer. Am I ready for a top European club?
Comparison Bruno Fernandes
Former Spurs striker Darren Bent has claimed Martin Odegaard is better than Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes.
Asked if he would take the former Sporting Lisbon star to Arsenal, Bent told Talksport: “No, I wouldn’t – I’ll tell you straight away.
“No, I wouldn’t. At the moment I prefer having Martin Odegaard with the way Arsenal play.”
He added: “I’m taking Odegaard in this role for Arsenal. He’s perfect for what Arsenal are doing at the moment.”
Arsenal youngster Marcelo Flores has admitted he would like to make his Arsenal debut in the coming months.
Speaking to Goal, Flores said: “I would like to make my Premier League debut before I’m 19. That’s my goal.
“And I would love to make my international debut for Mexico and hopefully play in the Qatar World Cup.”
Change of position of Martinelli?
Gabriel Martinelli is unlikely to move to centre-forward, according to Arsenal icon Kevin Campbell.
Speaking on the Highbury Squad YouTube channel, Campbell said: “Rumor has it that everyone wants Martinelli to play as number nine, but Martinelli’s game isn’t about getting up and tying, especially in traffic. I prefer to protect him, so if he plays as a nine, I think he has to play alongside Lacazette who will do the heavy lifting.
Merson on Odegaard
Arsenal hero Paul Merson has hailed Martin Odegaard’s influence this season.
Writing for The Daily Star, he said: “Martin Odegaard has proven me wrong and is becoming the leader Arsenal need to pass their toughest test yet.
“He’s the main man there now and the first name on the team sheet for me. He’s really improved and does the business. I think the players respect him because they can see that he he’s a real player. I didn’t see him at first, I have to admit.”
Speaking on the Highbury Squad YouTube channel, former Arsenal leader Kevin Campbell hailed Cedric Soares for his recent performances.
No disrespect to Cedric, I think Cedric has been excellent, he has exceeded my expectations in this team and he has done a very good job, but Tomiyasu is our number one, it’s like when Tavares arrived earlier this season and Tierney came back as number one.
Good morning all!
Not a day for Arsenal of course, but there’s still plenty to look forward to, although Gunners duo Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are unlikely to represent England against Switzerland at Wembley later today.
Saka is out for good after testing positive for Covid, while Smith Rowe missed training on Friday with an unspecified but minor injury.