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Transfer Ratings: Mesut Ozil To Fenerbahce

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Mesut Ozil

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been a controversial figure at the North London club over the past years especially after he signed a lucrative new contract in February 2018. Ozil was given a new Arsenal deal worth £350,000 weekly while legendary manager Arsene Wenger and former chief executive Ivan Gazidis were still running the affairs at the Emirates Stadium and that made him the highest earner in the history of Arsenal.

Since he signed that three-year Arsenal deal two years ago, Ozil has been scrutinised more than before. The Turkish-born German player has been in the news on several occasions from criticisms as a result of his average performances on the pitch.

Ozil quickly found out that the big weekly wages came with serious expectations from fans and pundits who expected him to pull his weight on the pitch everytime. It is safe to say that he has not met those expectations and that prompted the criticisms.

The ex-German international also made the news severally while former manager Unai Emery was in North London as he was dropped from the matchday squad consistently. He has since regained his place in the team with the exit of Unai Emery in November 2019.

Ozil is a regular customer in the media and his latest bromance with the media has to do with him rejecting the pay cut caused by the current Coronavirus pandemic. Mesut Ozil was said to be one of the three Arsenal players that kicked against the pay cut idea.

Ozil was furious that Arsenal leaked the news of the pay cut rejection to the media plus he was the only player mentioned while the identity of the other two players opposed to the arrangement was not revealed. The situation led to reports that Ozil is considering his exit from the club with one year left to go on his contract.

Turkish Super League giants Fenerbahce have a long-term interest in Ozil but his weekly wages could be a stumbling block plus the player has always maintained that he would only leave Arsenal at the end of his present contract which is next summer.

Transfer Ratings for Mesut Ozil to Fenerbahce: 2/10.

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

Why Arsenal Have To Keep David Luiz For One More Season

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David Luiz

Arsenal could lose the services of Brazilian defender David Luiz after the recent revelation that the player signed for just a season. He was an £8m acquisition from London rivals Chelsea last summer.

David Luiz became surplus to requirements when Blues legend Frank Lampard was named the manager in 2019 and the centre back had to leave Stamford Bridge for a new adventure rather than sit on the sidelines at Chelsea. Various media outlets reported on Wednesday that the Brazilian international centre back signed a one-year contract plus the option of an additional year but the Gunners have not taken that ‘extra year’ option until now. The option will expire at the end of next month meaning that the player will become a free agent.

David Luiz is in the latter part of his football career at the age of 33 and this factor could be a major decider on the part of the Arsenal bosses especially with young defender William Saliba expected to return to the club for next season at the end of his loan at Saint Etienne. Arsenal signed Frenchman Saliba from Saint Etienne in a £25m deal before he was loaned back to the French Ligue 1 for the current campaign.

David Luiz is the most experienced player in the Arsenal squad though he didn’t have the best of starts to his career at the club. However, he has been able to recover from an uncertain start to become a key defender for new manager Mikel Arteta. Why Arteta and Arsenal still need him:

1. Experience – David Luiz has been a real force since Mikel Arteta became the Gunners boss and his wealth of experience would be useful for another season.

2. Consistency – He has been the only constant in the Arsenal backline since Arteta became manager in 2019.

3. Quality – Arsenal are blessed with quantity centre backs rather than quality. David Luiz can be a real handful for strikers on his good day.

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Will Arsenal Pull Off The Philippe Coutinho Deal This Summer

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Philippe Coutinho

In the last 24 hours, Arsenal have surprisingly emerged as the favourites to sign Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho in the summer. This has led to the question on whether stingy Arsenal and owner Stan Kroenke can pull off a deal for Coutinho who’s the third most expensive player in the history of the round leather game.

Barcelona splashed the cash on Philippe Coutinho in January 2018 to make him the most expensive player behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, both of French champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG). Around £142m was the transfer fee for the player but he has not been able to repay that money mainly due to his poor performances for the majority of the last two years.

His Barcelona outings were not encouraging for 18 months and that led to him being loaned to Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga. Coutinho has stepped up his form in Germany but that has not convinced the Bavarian giants to make his loan move a permanent one.

With Bayern Munich reluctant to sign Coutinho permanently, the player has to find a new club this summer and Arsenal have emerged as a potential destination. Barcelona are prepared to cut their losses on the player by selling him for a fee much lower than what they paid Liverpool for his services.

Before now, Chelsea were considered to be the front-runner for his signature but that has cooled off in recent weeks. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is also interested in Coutinho having worked with the player during his time as the Liverpool boss but the Brazilian is not keen on the idea of joining the Foxes this summer.

Arsenal have already held discussions with Coutinho’s agents to show their seriousness in signing the player and this development has led to club fans wondering how they will pull off a transfer that would definitely be expensive including his wages. In addition, Arsenal and other big European sides have seen their income badly affected by Coronavirus. It’s only a matter of time before we find out whether the Coutinho to Arsenal transfer is for real or just like the other ‘could have been’ transfers before now.

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Is It Time For Alexander Lacazette To Find A New Club?

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Alexandre Lacazette

One of the biggest news on the transfer front in recent days is the revelation that Arsenal are open to the idea of letting striker Alexander Lacazette. As reported by several reliable news portals, the Gunners are open to an offer for the player this summer thus leading to the question: ‘If this is the right time for the player to move on from Arsenal after three years’.

Lacazette was the record signing when he moved to Arsenal from Lyon at the start of the 2017/18 campaign. The Gunners spent around £46m to secure his signing shortly after his move to Atletico Madrid fell through mainly due to the transfer ban on the part of the Spaniards. His transfer beat the previous record held by German playmaker Mesut Ozil who moved to Arsenal from Real Madrid for £42m in 2013.

The Frenchman held the record for just six months before the club spent £57m to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund at the start of 2018.

Alexandre Lacazette had a great start to his Arsenal career as he took him just some minutes to get his first goal for the club during the Premier League opener for the 2017/18 campaign, a 4-3 win at home to Leicester City. He was the main striker at Arsenal during that period and even ahead of compatriot Olivier Giroud who was referred to him by manager Didier Deschamps in the French national team setup.

His position as the main attacker at Arsenal lasted for six months until the arrival of the aforementioned Aubameyang but he was still able to produce his best goal/game at the club till date during that season. Lacazette scored 17 goals plus 4 assists in 39 games.

The French striker scored more goals (19 in 52 games) in the second season but his goal/game output was lesser than that of his debut campaign as an Arsenal player. He made more assists (10) and was rewarded with the Player of the Season award. However, things have gone from good to bad for him this season.

The ex-Lyon skipper struggled with an injury at the start of the current season having picked it up during pre-season and that seemed to affect him as he failed to rediscover the form of his last two seasons at the club. Young attackers like Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah have been picked ahead of him in the Arsenal attack this season after he failed to ignite the frontline with goals and assists. Lacazette has just nine goals and three assists in 35 games for the Gunners in the present campaign.

Lacazette is now seen as someone dispensable in the Arsenal attack thereby leading to the suggestion that a new club could be the catalyst for him to resurrect his ailing football career. Atletico Madrid are long-term admirers and the La Liga giants are also in the market for a new striker thus making it a big possibility for him to move to Madrid this summer.

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Premier League: Players With Most Titles At Arsenal

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Dennis Bergkamp

Arsenal were the only club who challenged the dominance of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his Manchester United team during the early part of the Premier League era. The Gunners didn’t pose much problems to Manchester United until the arrival of a certain Frenchman named Arsene Wenger in 1996.

Wenger was a relatively unknown quantity when he arrived on the shores of England despite winning the French league with AS Monaco plus managing successfully in the Japanese top flight. He was the catalyst for Arsenal who became a major threat to Ferguson and his players at Old Trafford.

Arsenal and Manchester United dominated Premier League football for the first 12 years. The two clubs won 11 from the 12 Premier League titles on offer with the only exception coming during the 1994/95 when Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish led Blackburn Rovers to the title.

Wenger became the Arsenal manager in the opening weeks of the 5th Premier League season and didn’t have to wait for long to secure his first league title. He won the Premier League trophy in his first full season in the competition before winning two more league titles including the unprecedented unbeaten campaign during the 2003/04 season. Several players thrived under his management and were instrumental to those league titles as follows:

1. Dennis Bergkamp – He is regarded by a lot of football fans and stakeholders as the best foreign import in Premier League history. He was already an Arsenal player before the appointment of Arsene Wenger and was available for all the three league wins.

2. Patrick Vieira – The Frenchman was the first signing of the Arsene Wenger era at Arsenal and he more than lived up to expectations. Vieira took over the captain’s armband from Mr. Arsenal Tony Adams before leaving the team through the entire league season unbeaten during the 2003/04 campaign. He also has three Premier League titles alongside Dennis Bergkamp and fellow midfielder Ray Parlour.

3. Ray Parlour – Nicknamed the Romford Pele, Parlour was one of the unsung heroes in the Arsenal team. He was an important member of the Arsenal midfield through the three Premier League titles won under Arsene Wenger.

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Impressive Bukayo Saka Is An Able Replacement For Mesut Ozil?

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Bukayo Saka

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been one of the most controversial figures in the Premier League over the past few years and that has been partly due to his consistently below average performance for the Gunners. The scrutiny on him increased the moment he became the most expensive player (in terms of weekly wages) in the history of the club two years ago.

The Turkish-born German player penned a three-year deal worth £350,000 weekly in 2018 and that contract will expire next summer. It is safe to say that majority of the Arsenal fans are sure that Ozil has not lived up to the expectations associated with his huge salary.

Despite his inability to produce top performances for Arsenal on a consistent basis as their major playmaker, Mesut Ozil has always reiterated that he will see out his present contract at the club meaning that the Gunners need to start making plans for his replacement.

A candidate that most Arsenal fans didn’t think about is young attacker Bukayo Saka who has been very impressive for his club this season at the age of just 18. His quality this season has shown that he could be the man to take the playmaking mantle at the Emirates Stadium as from the summer of 2021 when Ozil leaves the club at the end of his current deal.

Bukayo Saka has not only shown quality as the Arsenal Academy graduate has also been versatile. He has played left-back on several occasions this season due to the injury problems with left-sided fullbacks Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney.

Young Arsenal star Saka shone at left-back and his performances have attracted interest from rivals like Liverpool and Manchester United as he has one year left on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium though he’s likely to sign a contract extension.

He has four goals and eight assists in all competitions this season to show that he has the quality to become the major playmaker at Arsenal. No Arsenal player has created more goals this season.

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Premier League: Has Mikel Arteta Been An Upgrade On Sacked Unai Emery

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Mikel Arteta

Spanish tactician Unai Emery has been in the news for the last few days after his latest interview on his time at Arsenal. According to Unai Emery, in a chat with the Daily Mail, he felt lonely at Arsenal during his time at the club.

The Spaniard said he didn’t receive adequate support from the club bosses at Arsenal. The revelation from Unai Emery has led to many questions which involve his replacement as permanent manager, Mikel Arteta.

One of the questions raised amongst the Gunners is if Mikel Arteta has been an upgrade on Unai Emery since his appointment as his replacement in December 2019. Arteta had previously spent five years as an Arsenal player between 2011 and 2016 before he retired from football at the club. He went on to become the assistant manager at Premier League side Manchester City for three years until his appointment as Arsenal’s permanent manager six months ago.

Unai Emery questioned the commitment of the Arsenal bosses but can’t say same about the fans who backed him until results became terrible in his second season at the club. A lot of football stakeholders expected Arsenal to struggle in the aftermath of Arsene Wenger’s exit after 22 years as Gunners boss but Unai Emery, his replacement, made a good job of the task in his early days.

Fans began to doubt Unai Emery at the end of his first season when his team collapsed during the chase for Champions League via the Premier League and also suffered a heavy defeat to London rivals Chelsea in the Europa League final. He started his second season with a hundred percent Premier League record before everything fell apart leading up to his sack in November 2019.

Unai Emery was regularly criticised for the football played under his watch but that has changed for the better under Mikel Arteta though results have been almost identical in Premier League terms to further strengthen the question asked earlier ‘if Arteta has been an upgrade on Emery’ since he took over from his compatriot.

Unai Emery led Arsenal to 4 wins, 6 draws and 3 losses in 13 league games in his second season at the rate of 1.38 points per game, while Mikel Arteta has overseen 4 wins, 5 draws and one loss at the rate of 1.7 points per game.

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EPL: Is Time Running Out For Jack Wilshere?

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Injury is an unwanted aspect of Sports, including football, and it is almost impossible to get rid. Management rather than elimination has been the path taken by sportsmen since time immemorial. Injuries have the capacity to decimate the career of the best sportsmen and former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is unfortunately a good example in this regard.

Jack Wilshere was a big prospect while he came through the youth teams at Arsenal and he has remained that way failing to graduate into one of the best footballers in the world as predicted during his Arsenal youth days largely due to injuries. The 28-year-old has had a lot of long-term injuries and they have affected his output as a footballer over the years.

Jack Wilshere was the star of the last team that won the FA Youth Cup during the 2008/09 season and big things were expected from him until injuries struck as aforementioned. He broke into the Arsenal first team at the age of 16 and was already playing established Barcelona stars like Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta as a teenager some years later.

The West Ham United player was the best player as Arsenal beat Barcelona 2-1 in a come from behind win in the first leg of the first knockout stage of the 2008/09 season. It remains the biggest night ever at the Emirates Stadium in addition to being the best game in an Arsenal shirt for Jack Wilshere.

Legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave Wilshere enough opportunities to prove his quality consistently at the club but that didn’t happen because of injuries. The England international eventually left the Gunners on a free transfer upon the exit of Wenger in 2018 and after 17 years at the club, he has been at the age of 9.

Jack Wilshere’s club career was not the only one affected as the Arsenal Academy graduate also didn’t fulfil his career with the Three Lions of England as expected. He has been overlooked in the last three years by England manager Gareth Southgate the few times he has been fit.

Wilshere joined West Ham United as a free agent upon leaving Arsenal two years ago meaning that he has just one year left to prove himself with the Hammers as time might be running out for him at the top level of football. His time at West Ham has been injury-filled just like what was obtainable during his career as an Arsenal player.

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Top Three Potential Swap Deals This Summer

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paul pogba

Swap deals and free transfers are likely to be very popular during the upcoming transfer market due to reduced income amongst the clubs. Coronavirus has hit the world hard and football has not been spared on the financial front.

Football was suspended in March because of the COVID19 virus though some leagues have resumed, while some others are planning to resume. Others like the Dutch Eredivisie and the French Ligue 1 have already moved on from the current football season.

For now, the leagues returning to the football field will play behind closed doors thus impacting on finances for both the small and big clubs. To this effect, these clubs are not expected to spend big on players in the transfer market this summer with emphasis now mostly on free transfers and swap deals. Let’s take a look at the top three potential swap deals this summer:

1. Paul Pogba-Aaron Ramsey: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is likely to leave the club this summer with his contract running out and former club Juventus are one of the sides interested in him, while Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey has not really settled into life at the club he joined on a free transfer last summer. A possible swap deal has been discussed in the media.

2. Miralem Pjanic-Arthur: Barcelona and Juventus are reportedly in talks over a swap deal involving their midfielders Arthur and Miralem Pjanic respectively. The swap deal was close to being completed until Barcelona requested for a cash-plus-player deal rather than a straight swap deal. Despite this setback, the transfer could still go ahead with Juventus keen to sell Pjanic this summer.

Alexandre Lacazette-Thomas Partey: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a big fan of top target Thomas Partey and he might need to sacrifice striker Alexandre Lacazette in his quest to sign the Ghanaian player.

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