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New Arsenal Signing Misses Out On Barcelona Friendly

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Nicolas Pepe

New Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe was a notable absentee from the Gunners traveling party to Barcelona for the friendly game with the Spanish La Liga champions.

Arsenal and Barcelona meet for the annual Joan Hamper trophy later on Sunday and Pepe won’t be involved in the game.

The Senegalese international star was not part of the 21-man Arsenal squad named by Gunners boss Unai Emery for the Barcelona game.

The Barcelona clash is the last friendly game for Arsenal this summer before the start of the new Premier League season.

Arsenal start their Premier League campaign with an away clash at Newcastle United next week Sunday.

Nicolas Pepe became the most expensive player in the history of Arsenal last week after the Gunners completed a deal reported to be around €80m (£72m) for him.

His transfer from French club Lille became a club-record as it surpassed the £56m paid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last year.

Aubameyang signed for the Gunners from German Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund during the 2018 winter transfer window.

Apart from Nicolas Pepe who’s working his way to fitness after his participation with Ivory Coast at the just concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt, Gunners striker Alexandre Lacazette will also miss the Barcelona game because of an ankle injury.

I am Segun Amuda , Journalist at You can also find my articles here on topics related to Football. Outside Blogging, I have a keen interest in watching English Premier League Games. For any queries or issues related to articles on our website, kindly get in touch.

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Arsenal Expecting Offers For These Three Players

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Arsenal officials are reportedly expecting offers for three of their best players in the summer.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Gunners are expecting bids for star players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bernd Leno and Alexandre Lacazette.

Arsenal skipper Aubameyang will have just one year left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium and the Gabonese international is almost expected to leave this summer as he wants to play Champions League football once again.

Aubameyang addressed the transfer rumours linking him with other clubs as he said that his focus is on Arsenal.

He has not played Champions League football since joining the club from German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund at the start of 2018 for a then world-record of £57m.

Aubameyang has been the leading goalscorer at Arsenal since his arrival from Germany and the club won’t have any choice but to sell him in the summer if he fails to sign a new contract unless officials are ready to let him walk away for free in 2021 when his contract expires.

On Bernd Leno, the Arsenal goalkeeper has been one of the best players at the club this season as he has been able to maintain his quality in front of a shaky backline.

He has spent just two seasons at Arsenal whom the German international joined from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen in a £19m deal.

Lastly, Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette will have two years left on his Gunners’ deal this summer, and he could be the subject of transfer interest from other clubs as his future at the Emirates Stadium is far from being certain.

Lacazette has endured a largely frustrating season that has seen him fail to score since the start of this year. He could redeem himself when Arsenal play hosts to Newcastle United in their next league game this weekend.

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Arsenal In Three-Horse Race For 6ft 4in Prodigy, Rivals To Make Six-figure bid

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Arsenal are reportedly in a three-horse race for young goalkeeper Brad Young who plays his club football for National League side Hartlepool.

According to The Sun, the 17-year-old Hartlepool shot-stopper is also a target for both Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea.

It was also revealed that these clubs (Chelsea and Manchester United) are prepared to make a six-figure bid for the player.

Brad Young is a 6ft 4in goalkeeper and he became prominent after he was invited to the England national team setup.

He would definitely be a signing for the future if one of the three clubs decide to sign him.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all have several first-team goalkeepers on their books at the moment.

For Manchester United, Spanish international David De Gea is the first choice shot-stopper at Old Trafford, but his position is increasingly coming under serious threat from Sergio Romero who is widely regarded as one of the best second choice goalkeepers in European football. Also, Dean Henderson is also closing in on a first-team role with the Red Devils.

England national team player Dean Henderson is on a season-long loan deal at Sheffield United from Manchester United. He has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season with nine clean sheets.

No other Premier League goalkeeper has more clean sheets than Dean Henderson this season. He is on loan for the season for the second time at Sheffield United from Manchester United.

At Chelsea, first-choice goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is under serious pressure after some below-average performances in the Premier League this season and he could leave the club this summer. The Spaniard has lost his place for 38-year-old shot-stopper Willy Caballero.

Bernd Leno and Emiliano Martinez are the first choice and second choice goalkeepers at Arsenal respectively.

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EPL: Why Mikel Arteta Must Start Pablo Mari Ahead Of Newcastle United Clash

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Several Arsenal fans are anticipating the introduction of new signing Pablo Mari into the starting XI and they could get their wish when the Gunners play hosts to Newcastle United this weekend.

Spanish defender Pablo Mari signed for Arsenal in January after the club reached an agreement for him to move to North London on loan for the remainder of this campaign and many Gunners Faithfuls believe that the 26-year-old could be the answer to a notoriously shaky defence.

Arsenal paid around £4m for the loan transfer and it could be made permanent in the summer for £8m.

Pablo Mari was an unknown quantity in the Premier League during his three years at English champions Manchester City as he spent a lot of time on loan at clubs in Spain and the Netherlands.

His football status changed upon his transfer from England to Brazil last summer. Flamengo paid £1m for him and the move was exactly what he needed to get to his next level in his football career.

Pablo Mari won two titles in just six months with Flamengo and he was the main man in the defence for the Brazilian Serie A club.

The Spaniard was the defensive coordinator for Flamengo during his short stay at the club and he could add the same quality to an Arsenal defence vastly improving under new manager Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal had one of the worst defensive records in the top ten on the Premier League table but that has improved since Arteta became the Gunners boss in December 2019.

The Gunners have recorded two clean sheets in seven league games under Arteta. The defence has let in just six goals during that time.

Pablo Mari could even improve that defensive stats the more as he could add defensive organisation, better passing accuracy and balance to the team.

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The Real Reason Dani Ceballos Rejected Liverpool For Arsenal Revealed

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Dani Ceballos

Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos has hinted that he turned down a move to Liverpool in favour of Arsenal in a chat with Spanish newspaper Marca.

The decision seems strange especially with the form of Liverpool who have won all but one of their 25 league games this season. The Reds have 24 victories and one draw from 25 matches thereby opening up a 22-point gap at the top of the table.

On the other hand, Dani Ceballos and his Arsenal teammates are languishing in a disappointing 10th place. The Gunners are struggling to qualify for Champions League next season.

Spanish international Dani Ceballos said that he turned down a move to Liverpool as he was not a right fit for the system played under Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

The 23-year-old midfielder is on loan at Arsenal from Spanish giants Real Madrid having teamed up with former Gunners manager Unai Emery at the start of the season with no option for a permanent transfer.

Dani Ceballos was linked with Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal last summer before he opted for the Gunners. According to the Spaniard, Unai Emery was key to his decision to swap Real Madrid for the Gunners.

He had a terrific home debut for Arsenal vs Burnley in August which ended in a 2-1 win for the hosts.

Arsenal beat the Clarets at home with Dani Ceballos getting the two assists for both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score but he has not been able to maintain that tempo at the North London side.

Ceballos scored his one and only goal for Arsenal till date during the Europa League win over Standard Liege FC of Belgium (4-0).

His progress at Arsenal was affected by a hamstring injury which kept him out for almost two months before his return to action at Bournemouth in the English FA Cup earlier this year.

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EPL: Midfielder Reveals Why He Stayed At Arsenal

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Dani Ceballos

Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has given the reason behind his decision to stay at the club beyond last month’s winter transfer window.

Dani Ceballos was linked with a return to Real Madrid who is his parent club. The Spaniard signed for the Gunners on loan from the Spanish La Liga leaders and there were reports that he wanted to go back to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu before going to another team on loan till the summer.

The 23-year-old opted to stay and fight for his place in the Arsenal squad.

Sacked Arsenal manager Unai Emery was the major factor for Dani Ceballos when he joined the Gunners ahead of both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

He was first linked with Liverpool in 2015 when he was coming to the end of his contract at former team Real Betis FC of Spain.

Liverpool wanted to sign Dani Ceballos on a free transfer with a sign-on fee of €1.5m plus a car and a house. The 18-year-old midfielder didn’t move to the Reds in the end.

He was also linked with the Merseyside club last summer before joining Arsenal because of Unai Emery who has since been sacked after a poor start to the season.

On his reason for snubbing Liverpool, Dani Ceballos said that his style of play was not suitable for the Jurgen Klopp system.

In his recent interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, Dani Ceballos cited his connection with the Arsenal fans as the reason for his decision to stay at the club beyond the January winter transfer market.

He also pointed out that the Gunners fans are special to him because of the song composed for the Spanish international which is not a common theme for the players.

Ceballos has scored one goal for the club since his loan transfer last summer.

In other news, Unai Emery revealed why he failed to take Arsenal to the Champions League.

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Why Arsenal Can’t Afford To Sell Aubameyang

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Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been the subject of transfer rumours in recent weeks and his future at the club is still in the air despite the fact that the transfer window ended last month.

Aubameyang’s future is still up in the air with the Gabonese international having a little over a year left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners skipper was strongly linked with Spanish champions Barcelona during the winter transfer window last month just weeks after Manchester United were keen on signing him.

Barcelona were dealt a big blow with the knww injury to star striker Luis Suarez and they targeted Aubameyang as his replacement but were unsuccessful in their attempt to lure the former Borussia Dortmund attacker to the Nou Camp.

Luis Suarez has undergone knee surgery and recuperation will take him until this summer.

For Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he has been a consistent goalscorer for Arsenal since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018. Only Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has scored more goals than Aubameyang since he came into the Premier League.

This is a major reason why Arsenal need to do everything possible to retain the services of their skipper. Aubameyang scores goals on a regular basis.

He has scored 16 goals for Arsenal this season with 14 strikes coming in the Premier League.

Aubameyang was the topscorer for the Gunners in the last campaign with 31 goals in his first full season as an Arsenal player and he has maintained that status into this season.

Another reason why Arsenal need to keep their best player is that he is one of the few leaders in the team after last summer’s exits of Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny.

A suitable replacement for Aubameyang could also be a big problem for Arsenal and it’s enough reason to hold on to him beyond this summer.

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EPL: The Three Football Teams That Could Stop Liverpool’s Unbeaten Run Revealed

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Merseyside giants Liverpool have been in sensational form in the Premier League season and it is scary for the other teams in the division.

Liverpool have not been beaten since the start of last year and one of the questions on the lips of several Premier League fans is the team that will stop the Jurgen Klopp-led club in their quest to break more titles.

The Reds are 22 points ahead of Manchester City on the league table and its just a matter of time before they end their 30-year wait for a league title cum their first ever Premier League crown.

Liverpool need just six wins from their final 13 matches to be crowned champions irrespective of second-placed Manchester City winning all their games. They have gone 43 games without a single defeat in the league and they need just seven more matches to break the 49-match unbeaten run set by Arsenal between 2003 and 2004.

Their last defeat came at outgoing Premier League champions Manchester City in January 2019 via a 2-1 loss. In addition, Liverpool need to avoid defeat in the last 13 games of the season to match the record of Arsenal in the 2003/04 season after the Gunners went unbeaten for the entire campaign.

Here are the teams that could end Liverpool’s quest for an unbeaten run this season:

1. Everton

Apart from Liverpool, city rivals Everton are the other team with 16 points+ over the last seven league games and the Toffees Faithfuls will love nothing more than to end the unbeaten run of the Reds when both teams meet at their home next month.

2. Manchester City

The outgoing Premier League champions are the last team to beat Liverpool in the league and they could repeat that feat when the two teams meet at the same venue of that game (Etihad Stadium) in April.

3. Arsenal

The Gunners are a different team under Mikel Arteta and they would be prepared to stop Liverpool from matching their unbeaten record.

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3 Midfielder Arsenal Must Sign This Summer Revealed

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According to experienced British journalist Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, new Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants to sign two new midfielders this summer.

He disclosed that the new Gunners boss is eyeing a box-to-box midfielder plus a creative midfielder to bolster his playing squad before next season. The journalist also said that the North Londoners want a new centre back in addition to those two midfielders.

Arsenal were mentioned alongside several potential midfield signing but nothing tangible came out of those transfer links especially after Granit Xhaka opted to stay until at least this summer.

Xhaka was closing on on a move back to Germany with capital club Hertha Berlin before Arteta intervened and convinced him to stay at the Emirates Stadium.

He was fed up with life at Arsenal on the back of him falling out with the supporters during a league game and had already agreed on personal terms with Hertha Berlin before the move was called off.

With the Xhaka situation resolved, the Gunners concentrated on the defence last summer with the loan signings of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares. They had earlier been in the market to sign a midfield replacement for Xhaka.

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta will revisit the hunt for midfielder(s) this summer and here are options:

1. Jack Grealish

The Aston Villa skipper has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League this season. He has been mentioned as a possible signing for Arsenal though rivals Manchester United are also interested. The 24-year-old could be the long term replacement for Mesut Ozil as the Gunners’ no 10.

2. Boubakary Soumare

The Frenchman was a transfer target for several Premier League clubs during the winter transfer period last month. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all want him at the club.

3. Abdoulaye Doucoure

Arteta wants a box-to-box midfielder this summer and the Watford player fits the bill perfectly.

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