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Arteta’s Plan For His Transfer Targets In Tatters After Shock Europa League Exit

Amuda Segun

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Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is in a very difficult position on transfers as a result of the shock exit from the Europa League earlier this week.

Arteta and Arsenal had won the first leg at Olympiacos 1-0 courtesy the goal from Alexandre Lacazette before the Greek club stunned the Gunners 2-1 at the end of extra time in the second leg at the Emirates Stadium to secure a place in the last 16 of the competition.

The early Europa League exit will definitely affect Arsenal financially according to The Sun.

Arsenal were paid around £40m for reaching the Europa League final in the last campaign but they will get just £15m for their last 32 appearance this season.

Despite the £40m financial outlay from the Europa League last season, Arsenal still suffered a £27m loss from the last financial year as revealed by the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta has three major transfer targets namely RB Leipzig centre back Dayot Upamecano, Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah and Ghent attack David Jonathan. His pursuit of the aforementioned transfer targets could be affected as a result of the sudden Europa League exit especially if his team fails to finish in the top five of the Premier League.

Arsenal have to finish in the top five to secure Champions League football and boost finances as a result. It was normally the top four teams but that will increase to top five after second-placed Manchester City were slammed with a European ban for two seasons.

Manchester City’s European ban has opened a window of opportunity for the team that finishes this season in fifth position. For now, Arteta and Arsenal are just four points off the top five spot presently occupied by rivals Manchester United.

The Gunners are seven points off Chelsea who are the fourth-placed team on the Premier League table.

I am Segun Amuda , Journalist at Thewistle.com. 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

Will Aubameyang Still Be An Arsenal Player Next Season

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Aubameyang

Just like what Manchester United have to face with midfielder Paul Pogba this summer, Arsenal will also be confronted with the future of club skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in North London.

Aubameyang has been a wonderful servant for Arsenal in his three years and there’s little or no doubt about that as the focus is on the Gunners to retain his services for the long haul. The Gabonese international has one year left on his Arsenal contract and that makes the Gunners susceptible to losing his services with other big European teams like Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid all rumoured to be interested in him.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is able to lay claim to the title of the most productive Arsenal player over the last two seasons based on his performances and only shot-stopper Bernd Leno comes close. The Gabonese striker scored 31 goals for the Gunners last season in all competitions.

22 of those 31 goals came in the Premier League and that was enough to earn him the joint Golden Boot Award alongside the Liverpool duo of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. He has already scored 17 league goals before the season was called off temporarily due to Coronavirus and only Leicester City star Jamie Vardy has scored more (19 goals).

One of the preferences for manager Mikel Arteta and Arsenal this summer is to retain the services of Aubameyang but that is dependent on the ability of the club to convince the player that his personal targets and aspirations can be met.

Gabonese international Aubameyang wants to win trophies as he enters the last lap of his football career but Arsenal do not look like a club that can meet that target at the moment. Arsenal won’t be facing the problem of hanging on to his services as they have to find a suitable replacement for him if he decides to leave the club.

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EPL: Will £72m Pepe Live Up To World Class Expectation At Arsenal

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Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal fans were over the moon last summer following the capture of Ivorian international winger Nicholas Pepe but it is safe that the optimism from last year has been dampened after the player’s first year in English football.

The Gunners Faithfuls have not rejoiced over a transfer like they did with Pepe last summer since Arsenal signed German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil in the summer of 2014. Arsenal broke their transfer record six years ago to sign Ozil from Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid.

The Gunners paid £42.5m for the playmaker who’s still a strong member of the starting XI under the guidance of manager Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal also had to break their transfer record to sign Nicholas Pepe from Lille in French Ligue 1 after the Ivorian international had a sensational 2018/19 season but he was not able to transform that form into the Premier League this season. Pepe was arguably the best player in France during the 2018/19 campaign as he fired Lille into the Champions League via a second-placed finish.

His Lille form led to the interest in his services from a lot of big clubs on the European continent and that convinced Arsenal to fork out £72m for the 24-year-old winger. Other big European sides like Napoli, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and many more were also keen on his signature.

Nicholas Pepe was expected to set English football on fire especially by his fans at Arsenal but the left-footed player has only shown his brilliance in a handful of games though club officials are certain that the first season is for him to acclamatise to the style of play in the Premier League. The Arsenal officials led by Mikel Arteta are hopeful that Nicholas Pepe will live up to his world class price tag in the coming seasons starting from the next season especially if the current season is not completed because of the dreaded Coronavirus.

Before the current season was suspended because of Coronavirus, Pepe scored four goals and provided six assists in 24 league games in addition to two goals in 6 Europa League outings.

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Why Liverpool will not be crowned champions if EPL is cancelled

Timothy Aiyeku

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Liverpool are topping the English Premier League table and are expected to be crowned champions, but there is been a new twist as UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin said Liverpool will not be the English Premier League champions if the coronavirus pandemic forces the season to end prematirely.

All the English football fixtures are currently on suspension until April 4, because of the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan China.

Liverpool are 25 points clear at the top of the EPL table, but are not sure to be crowned Champions this season – they last won the league 30 years ago.

Aleksander Čeferin has now puts through is argument on whether Liverpool should be awardedthe trophy, if the epl fixtures are not completed.

“I’ve seen and heard some again fake news that UEFA will advise leagues to finish the championships now and decide that the winners are the ones who are number one now.

“I can say that it’s not true. Our goal is to finish the leagues and we didn’t recommend anything like that to any association or league,” Ceferin said according to Daily Mail.

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Arsenal Handed Major Injury Blow In Champions League Chase

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Lucas Torreira

Premier League giants Arsenal have been rocked by the news that combative midfielder Lucas Torreira might have played his last game for the club this season after the serious ankle injury sustained by him last week.

Lucas Torreira was stretchered off last week Monday during the FA Cup fifth round tie at English League One club Portsmouth. The Uruguayan international suffered an ankle injury in the first half of that game and that injury has ended his season after the medical update from Arsenal earlier on Monday.

The player has been ruled out for up to eight to ten weeks as a result of the serious ankle injury sustained during that Portsmouth game at Fratton Park last week Monday.

Without Lucas Torreira, Arsenal were able to secure a place in the quarterfinals of the competition via the 2-0 win over Portsmouth courtesy the goals from Sokratis Papasthathopoulos and Eddie Nketiah.

Arsenal will now travel to face Sheffield United in the quarterfinals of the competition. The winner of that last-eight tie will qualify for the semifinals.

Lucas Torreira will miss the remaining league games for Arsenal this season starting from the trip to face outgoing champions Manchester City on Wednesday night as the Gunners fight for a spot in the Champions League next season.

Arsenal have ten games to play in the Premier League this term as they try to make up the points on the leading pack for Champions League football.

Fourth and fifth spots would be enough for Champions League football next season. Arsenal is eight points off Chelsea in fourth position and five points off Manchester United in fifth spot having played one less game than both Chelsea and Manchester United.

Arsenal will play that outstanding game later this week in what’s a tough game at Premier League champions Manchester City.

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EPL: Four players Arsenal Could Get To Replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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A lot of Arsenal fans are anxious about the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the club as the Gabonese international attacker will enter into the final 12 months of his Gunners contract this summer.

Arsenal will have to make a decision on the player this summer especially if he does not renew his contract at the club. The Gunners will have to sell him with one year left on his deal or let him run his contract down.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has previously stated that his focus is on Arsenal despite the numerous transfer rumours linking the Gunners skipper with a move away from the club. Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Barcelona have all been mentioned as his next destination if he leaves Arsenal this summer.

The latest reports claimed that the player is holding out for a weekly salary of £300,000 and that senior club officials are not ready to meet that financial demand from the Gabonese international player.

Here are four potentials replacements for Aubameyang if he leaves Arsenal this summer:

1. Jonathan David – Gent striker Jonathan David has been in very good form for Belgian top flight side Gent this season and he has scored 18 goals in 26 games for the club. The Canadian international joined the Belgians from Ottawa internationals in his native country. He has an impressive 11 goals in 12 appearances for his country. Jonathan David has been watched by Arsenal scouts and he could be available for just £17.5m which would be affordable for the Gunners. The biggest risk could be the playing making the big step up from the Belgian league to the Premier League.

2. Wilfred Zaha – The Crystal Palace winger is also a possible replacement for Aubameyang since the Gabonese international spends most of his playing time for Arsenal on the wings, but Zaha doesn’t have his cutting edge in front of goal. Zaha has three goals and three assists in the league this season in comparison to Aubameyang who has 17 goals and three assists.

3. Moussa Dembele – The Lyon striker has 16 league goals this season. He has adequate experience in English football having played for the likes of Fulham and Celtic.

4. Thomas Lemar – The Atletico Madrid winger is a long-term target for Arsenal dating back from his time in France with AS Monaco.

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EPL: Arsenal Urged To Sign Man Utd Transfer Target As Lacazette Replacement

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Raul Jimenez

Premier League giants Arsenal have been urged to sign Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez this summer.

The Gunners were advised by footballer turned pundit Craig Burley who’s a regular on ESPN.

According to him, Arsenal should sign Raul Jimenez as a possible replacement for either Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Lacazette and Aubameyang have one year and two years left on their respective Arsenal contract. There are doubts over the availability of the two Arsenal strikers ahead of next season.

Several Arsenal fans want the club to sell Alexandre Lacazette to raise some cash to bolster the playing squad, while the same fans want the Gunners to do everything possible to retain the services of Gabonese international Aubameyang.

French international striker Lacazette has not been in the best of forms in front of goal this season and that has affected the Gunners a great deal. He has not scored an away goal in the Premier League for the better part of the last one year.

In stark contrast, Aubameyang has scored on a consistent basis. He is the leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 17 goals alongside Leicester City star Jamie Vardy.

Craig Burley believes that Mexican international attacker Raul Jimenez has the quality to thrive at a big club like Arsenal. He is the main striker at Wolverhampton Wanderers who are in the mix for Champions League football via the Premier League.

Wolves are in sixth position on the league table and three points off Chelsea in fourth place. They have the same point as Manchester United in fifth place.

Manchester United target Jimenez is in his first full season at Wolves following his £30m permanent transfer last year after a successful loan spell at the club from Benfica in Portugal.

He has scored 13 league goals in 28 games plus nine strikes in 12 Europa League matches.

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EPL: Why Arsenal Must Make A Summer Swoop For Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi

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Arsenal have a new attacking target ahead of this summer’s transfer window according to popular Italian media outlet CalcioMercato.

It was revealed that the Gunners are keen to make a summer swoop for Sassuolo attacker Domenico Berardi.

The aforementioned publication claimed that the Gunners will send scouts to run the rule over the player in the coming weeks. Arsenal officials want to watch him in action in the coming league matches.

Domenico Berardi has scored 83 goals in the Italian Serie A. The 25-year-old started his career as a striker but he has played on the right wing for the majority of this season. He has scored nine goals in all competitions plus five assists in his 20 games.

His goalscoring return has improved in comparison to last season when he scored 10 goals plus four assists in 37 games in all competitions when he played as a central striker for his Italian club.

His focus is in on making the Italian national team squad for the 2020 European Championships.

Domenico Berardi could be the man to replace Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in North London as there are doubts over the future of the Gabonese international at the Emirates Stadium.

Berardi has a long-term contract at Sassuolo as his present deal won’t expire until the summer of 2024, while Aubameyang will have just one year left on his Arsenal deal this summer.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 61 goals in 96 appearances for the Gunners. He has been the main man for Arsenal since his transfer in January 2018.

Arsenal might need to sell Aubameyang this summer if the Gabonese international fails to sign a new deal. The Gunners won’t want him to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer of 2021.

He has 17 league goals this season in the Premier League alone to make him the joint topscorer in the competition.

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Arsenal Handed Tricky FA Cup Draw

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arsenal

North London giants Arsenal have been given a tricky FA Cup draw in the quarterfinals as the Gunners will face Sheffield United who have been one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League this season.

The quarterfinal draw of the FA Cup was held on Wednesday night. Quarterfinal ties are billed for the weekend starting from March 20.

Arsenal will be guests of Sheffield United in the last eight of the competition in what would be their third meeting since the current season started.

Sheffield United have definitely punched above their weight in the Premier League this season and they are in eighth position on the league table this meaning that they are in the hunt for an European spot at the end of the season.

The Blades have 40 points from 27 games and a win in their outstanding game at relegation-threatened Aston Villa will take them above Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Tottenham Hotspur on the table.

A win over Aston Villa will take them to fifth spot which could be enough for Champions League football. The top four teams will secure spots in the Champions League but Manchester City have issues with the European authorities and that led to an European ban for two seasons to pave the way for fifth spot being available for Champions League football.

Sheffield United defeated Arsenal 1-0 at home in their first league meeting this season as young French striker Lys Moussett was responsible for the only goal of the game.

In the second league meeting this term, John Fleck scored a late equaliser to cancel out the first-half strike from Gabriel Martinelli as the two sides shared the spoils.

Arsenal beat hosts Portsmouth 2-0 on Monday night to secure their passage into the last eight of the FA Cup this season, while Sheffield United needed extra time to beat Reading 2-1 away from home in their last 16 tie thereby booking their place in the quarterfinals.

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