Arsenal Football Club has had an inconsistent season so far to say the least. Often shrouded by news regarding the futures of manager Arsene Wenger and star men Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, their displays at times leave plenty to be desired.
There have been a few false dawns this season like their two nil victory over archrivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates – the first since Mauricio Pochettino took over at their North London rivals – but such performances have been few and far between for the Gunners in recent times.
Despite their mightily impressive home form that has seen them win 13 out of their last 14 Premier League home matches, a run of only 2 away victories so far this season has been a source for concern amongst fans who have been betting on Arsenal.
Their poor away form has proven to be their undoing so far this season has The Gunners are currently outside the top 4 in fifth. Another finish outside the top 4 will prove to be disastrous for the club as it is already difficult enough to attract quality players to The Emirates and even to keep their current stars – as is the case with Ozil and Sanchez who are seemingly running down their current contracts with the club ahead of summer moves away.
Ahead of a defining set of fixtures to end the year, Wenger’s men need to start performing at their best to keep their hopes of a top 4 finish alive. Trips to Crystal Palace and West Brom (grounds where they faced defeats last season) follow a very crucial home match against Liverpool who are currently 1 point ahead of The Gunners in fourth.
The last meeting between these two sides came on August 27th at Anfield, which saw Arsenal totally torn apart by Liverpool’s blistering attack. A 4-0 defeat to a rival so early in the season did nothing to inspire confidence in the team for fans who had already been calling for the manager’s ‘head’.
Arsene Wenger has since steadied the ship, with a semi-final berth in the Carabao cup already secured as well as a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League (a competition that offers another route into the Champions League for the winners) and as was established earlier are within touching distance of the much-coveted top 4 places.
There are a few absentees for The Arsenal ahead of Friday’s mega clash at The Emirates. Olivier Giroud will be missing from the squad as he picked up a hamstring injury in midweek’s Carabao Cup victory over West Ham United. Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out until the New Year at least, with the same injury as Giroud but defender Shkodran Mustafi has returned to the squad having recovered from a thigh injury in a timely boost to the manager.
The veteran manager is set to stick with a back four after abandoning the back three system that served them so well towards the backend of last season. The Gunners defense will have to be extremely focused to deal with Liverpool’s ‘fab four’ of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and the leagues’ top scorer Mohamed Salah.
The predicted lineup should see, Petr Cech in goal, in defense; Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Saed Kolasinac. In central midfield, Granit Xhaka and Jack Wilshere – in place of the injured Aaron Ramsey.
The attack will see, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi as the trio behind center forward Alex Lacazette.
It promises to be a very intriguing match, which offers a chance for The Arsenal to stake their claim for a top 4 finish and also a chance to attain vengeance for the demolition at Anfield.
A run of victories in their next three fixtures could see The Gunners firmly placed on the log ahead of another massively important game against Chelsea three days into the New Year at The Emirates.
How Arsenal Will Lineup When Pablo Mari Completes His Loan Transfer
Arsenal have moved quickly to strengthen their defence for the rest of the season after Spanish defender Pablo Mari agreed a deal to join the Gunners.
Pablo Mari is a key player for reigning Brazilian Serie A champions and COPA Libertadores title holders Flamengo who have an agreement in place with Arsenal for the Spanish centre back to join on loan till this summer.
The player touched down in London for his Arsenal medical earlier this weekend in the company of sporting director Edu.
Both Pablo Mari and Edu flew to London from Rio De Janiero in Brazil together.
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Pablo Mari was in the Premier League with Champions Manchester City before he completed a £1m transfer to Flamengo where he enhanced his reputation as a ball playing central defender.
He forged a very good centre back partnership with Rodrigo Ciao at Flamengo and that was instrumental to the end of their title drought in the COPA Libertadores as Flamengo won the competition for the first time in over three decades.
Flamengo also won the league title in the Brazilian top flight aided by the centre back pairing.
Arsenal XI with Pablo Mari in it is expected to be different a little bit with Sokratis Papasthathopoulos droppong out for him probably.
Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Sead Kolasinac; Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli and Nicholas Pepe.
EPL Transfer News Live: Aubameyang Transfer To Barcelona
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won’t be joining Spanish champions Barcelona this month according to the London Evening Standard.
Earlier reports had stated that Barcelona want to sign the Arsenal skipper on loan till this summer before they spend big on a striker like Lautaro Martinez who plays for Italian Serie A title contenders Inter Milan.
The above mentioned report stated that Barcelona are no longer interested in signing Aubameyang as they have concerns over his age (the Gabonese international will be 31 by June), the difficulty of doing a deal for him in the middle of the season.
Barcelona are looking for a new striker after Luis Suarez was ruled out for several months as a result of the knee injury he sustained earlier this month.
Luis Suarez has undergone knee surgery and rehabilitation will take close to four months.
Apart from Gunners skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Barcelona have been linked with Valencia and Spanish international striker Rodrigo Moreno who has a €60m release clause in his contract.
Valencia are open to the negotiation table for Rodrigo Moreno meaning that Barcelona can sign the striker for a lesser transfer fee than the release clause in his present deal with the Spanish Copa Del Rey holders.
Transfer News Live: Pablo Mari Transfer To Arsenal
Flamengo defender Pablo Mari is expected in London this weekend for his Arsenal medical after the two clubs agreed for the player to move back to the Premier League.
According to Arsenal correspondent for Goal Charles Watts, Pablo Mari will join the Gunners on loan for the remainder of this season with the option of a permanent transfer available this summer when his loan period at the Emirates Stadium comes to an end.
Pablo Mari was on the books at Premier League champions Manchester City for three years before his exit last summer.
The 26-year-old Spanish center-back was sent on loan to three different clubs during his time at Manchester City as he failed to register an appearance for the Citizens during his time with the club.
He was first sent on loan to feeder club Girona in Spain and then Dutch top-flight side NAC Breda before ending up at Deportivo La Coruna also in his native Spain.
Pablo Mari left Manchester City for Flamengo in the Brazilian Serie A at the start of this season for just £1m and went on to become a key player for the Brazilians whom he helped to win both the COPA Libertadores title and the league title.
EPL: Arsenal ‘In Talks’ Over Potential Deal For Thomas Lemar
North London club Arsenal are said to be in talks to sign Atletico Madrid forward Thomas Lemar who is surplus to requirements at the Spanish capital club.
According to French publication RMC Sport, Arsenal are in negotiations to sign Thomas Lemar from Atletico Madrid but a deal has not been agreed for him.
Thomas Lemar joined Atletico Madrid from former French champions AS Monaco at the start of the last campaign in a deal reported to be around £52.7m but the French international has not lived up to his price tag as he has struggled to make an impact for the Rojiblancos.
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Atletico Madrid want to sell him to fund the move for a new striker believed to be experienced Paris Saint Germain (PSG) hitman Edinson Cavani.
PSG director Leonardo recently confirmed a €10m bid from Atletico Madrid for Cavani before revealing that the offer was turned down.
Atletico Madrid want to sign the Uruguayan striker before the transfer window closes next week.
The player has already been offered a two-and-a-half-year deal by Atletico Madrid until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Edinson Cavani has scored 198 goals in 293 games since he joined from Napoli in the Italian Serie A around eight years ago.
EPL: How Arsenal Plan To Sign Mykola Matviyenko
Arsenal have submitted a loan offer for Shakthar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko as they bid to ease their defensive worries this season.
This is according to Sky Sports which stated that the Gunners want to sign the 23-year-old centre back on a temporary deal until this summer with the option of signing him permanently afterwards.
Ukrainian champions Shakthar Donetsk prefer a permanent deal for the £30m-rated centre back to the idea of a loan transfer that has the opportunity of not working as expected.
For now, Arsenal will have to navigate through this season with unreliable defenders like David Luiz, Sokratis Papasthathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi.
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Arsenal have had to deal with the serious injury suffered by Calum Chambers plus the decision to send young defender Kostantinos Mavropanos to German Bundesliga two outfit Nurnberg.
The numerous defensive issues have impacted negatively on Arsenal who find themselves in 10th position on the league table with 14 Premier League games still to play this season.
Arsenal are ten points adrift of the top four spots on the Premier League log.
Still on Arsenal and their defensive issues, the Gunners are said to be closing in on the £7.5m signing of Flamengo defender Pablo Mari.
EPL: Arsenal To Triple Player Salary Amidst Transfer Scare
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have concluded plans to triple the salary of sensational attacker Gabriel Martinelli to ward off the interest of the Spanish club Real Madrid.
Real Madrid are said to be weighing up a £50m move for the young Arsenal player who has a long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium until 2024.
Gabriel Martinelli has been a revelation for the Gunners this season since his £7m transfer from Ituano in his native Brazil.
The young attacker was playing lower league football in Brazil before Arsenal swoop in on him.
Martinelli is the second topscorer in the Arsenal team with 10 goals in all competitions.
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The 10 goals have been in just 11 starts this season.
The 18-year-old has played 21 games for the Gunners since his transfer to North London last summer.
He earns £10,000 on a weekly basis and Arsenal are ready to triple his salary to £30,000 per week.
Gabriel Martinelli has taken his chance in the team after he replaced the suspended club skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the team.
Aubameyang was suspended after his red card during the London Derby clash with hosts Crystal Palace in the Premier League earlier this month.
Gabriel Martinelli has scored two goals in two league games since replacing Aubameyang.
EPL: Arsenal Suffer Another Transfer Blow
Arsenal have been dealt a big transfer blow following the news that they are set to miss out on one of their midfield targets.
Atletico Paranaense star Bruno Guimares has been on the radar of Arsenal in the past months but it looks like the player will be heading to France and not North London after French Ligue 1 club Lyon agreed on a deal to sign him.
As reported by French media portal L’Equipe, Lyon have reached an agreement to sign the 22-year-old midfielder for €25m this month.
It was also revealed that Lyon will now discuss personal terms with the player after the French giants reached an agreement with his Brazilian Serie A club over his transfer.
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Lyon were able to overcome the hurdle of his club retaining some of his economic rights to reach a transfer fee agreement.
Earlier reports had claimed that Arsenal would make a move for the Brazilian midfielder in the summer. This was before other clubs showed interest in signing him this month.
The interest of other European teams like Benfica and Lyon forced the Gunners to the negotiation table but it seems that would be enough to secure the signing of the player with Champions League campaigners Lyon primed to seal his transfer.
EPL: Liverpool, Arsenal Made Contact To Sign £25m Teenager
New Real Madrid signing Reinier was also a target for the Premier League duo of Liverpool and Arsenal according to his father Mauro Cavalho.
His father talked about the interest of both Arsenal and Liverpool in a chat with Cadena Ser, a Spanish radio station.
Reinier completed his transfer to Real Madrid from Brazilian Serie A club Flamengo in this winter transfer market for a fee said to be around €30m (£25m).
He will join the Real Madrid Castilla (youth team at the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu) upon his return from national team duty next week.
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Reinier is in line to represent Brazil at the pre-Olympics tournament for CONMEBOL ahead of Tokyo 2020.
He is not the first Brazilian teenager to join Real Madrid in the last one year as the likes of Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr. have also joined the Los Merengues as teenagers.
Arsenal have been very active in the Brazilian transfer market and that’s partly due to club legend Edu who’s the sporting director at the Emirates Stadium.
Edu is a former Arsenal midfielder who also turned out for the Brazilian national team.
He was instrumental to the signing of young forward Gabriel Martinelli who has been in sensational form for the Gunners in his first season with 10 goals in all competitions.