English Premier League club, Arsenal are still yet to find a major breakthrough in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey which makes them consider other alternatives.
The Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta is keen on a defensive midfielder and has made the Ghanaian midfielder his primary target but there seems to be a difficulty in convincing the club for a deal to happen as a fee of £50 million remains a major roadblock.
Arsenal are now deciding to move in for other alternatives in Spain with Barcelona star Rafinha who is also being followed by two other clubs.
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Rafinha has just returned from a season-long loan deal with Celta Vigo but it is confirmed he will not be staying with the Catalans anymore as they have placed him on sale for a fee of £16 million, according to Spanish publication, Sport.
Reports claim that Arsenal have seen Rafinha as a good alternative and are handed a major financial advantage because he would be gotten for a cheaper price.
Meanwhile, a bid was submitted swap deal of Matteo Gunedouzi plus cash was submitted for Thomas Partey but that was rejected by the La Liga outfit as they demand a full buy from Arsenal.
EPL: Mikel Arteta justified with these statements
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has come under attack by Mesut Ozil’s agent and some of his fans for dropping the German international from his Europa League and Premier League squad but his action has been justified by Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers who claims he would have done the same if he were to be the manager.
The Spanish boss has stated that his reasons for dropping the former Real Madrid midfielder from his team are football reasons as he distanced himself from any personal interest but that has been refuted by Mesut Ozil’s agent who claims unfair treatment of his player, stressing that his client was not given the chance to prove himself this season.
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Giving his support to Mikel Arteta, the Leicester City boss noted that the German international is a talented player but it depends on the structure of the team as he has to contribute to the team defensively despite being an attacking player.
He noted that a team needs to function together with all players helping each other, stressing that Mesut Ozil is a talented player with lots of creativity and good passes but his individual qualities must work with that of the entire team to be able to produce results.
Rodgers hinted that Mesut Ozil is not a hard-working player and that will not be accepted in a team with a good structure as Arsenal. He stated that his words to his attackers are that it is unacceptable to run forward if you cannot run back and this is believed to be the major challenge with Mesut Ozil under Mikel Arteta.
The system of play under Mikel Arteta allows all players to move forward and back with a sense of responsibility to defend the team and that is known to be against Mesut Ozil’s style of play. No wonder he was dropped from the team after failing to meet the expectations.
EPL: Why Mikel Arteta is assured of a good Arsenal defence in coming years
The presence of Gabriel Magalhaes in the Arsenal defence has been able to give it a better standing amongst other top clubs in the English Premier League and that’s expected to continue for a longer time with the list of superb youngsters in the books of the North London outfit.
Mikel Arteta still has an unused talent in William Saliba as he has been tipped to be a quality defender who has a lot to offer when the time is right for him to have the stage.
The news coming from Arsenal loanees have further brightened the hope for the Gunners that the future is secured as regards the defensive department of the team.
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Daniel Ballard is one of the names that give hope to Arsenal with his impressive performance with Blackpool in his current loan term at the club. He won the second Man of the Match award on his first start for the club against MK Dons on Saturday.
It’s appealing to learn that Daniel Ballard had won the Man of the Match award in his first start for Blackpool despite starting from the bench as his performance in the remaining time left was enough for him to prove his quality.
The second Man of the Match award was won by Daniel Ballard after he replaced suspended James Husband and it is obvious he has nailed down the position to himself for subsequent games.
A total of eight clearances were recorded, two tackles, and blocking of shots without any infringement from Daniel Ballard’s game. He was solid to have won all individual duels and completed 33 of his 44 passes to earn him the award.
More to the award is the fact that he has shown great presence on the pitch with his good size and ability to fight hard. This is the quality that would be enjoyed by the North London outfit when he returns from loan and when the opportunity comes s calling for him at the Emirates Stadium.
Should Leno be given Kepa Arrizabalaga’s treatment?
After seeing German goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s mistake against Rapid last Thursday, during the Europa League clash, one will be forced to ask if Bernd Leno be relieved of his first-team duties or a change be enforced by manager Mikel Arteta in the playing from the back style.
The North London outfit risked a defeat in their first Europa League game of the season after they conceded a cheap goal, no thanks to Bernd Leno in an attempt to build the attack from the back
Arsenal are on a mission of rebuilding the team and more to that is the fact that results must be visible, starting from this season. All errors that could cost the team must not be entertained and that must be made very clear to the German goalkeeper.
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As a matter of fact, the Gunners do have other goalkeepers in the team and can be forced to give others the chance if they can be able to perform confidently in terms of the build-up attack from the back than surprise that happened with Bernd Leno in Austria.
The same treatment as meted on Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga can be done to Bernd Leno, knowing that he can be relegated to bench roles if the errors become consistent.
More to that is the fact that a new style of building an attack be adopted by the Spanish boss if he insists on playing Bernd Leno and not jeopardize the good efforts of other teammates in subsequent games.
There is no doubt about Bernd Leno’s quality and Level as a top player but with Mikel Arteta showing already showing that he is more of a business-minded manager, especially in the handling of Mesut Ozil, such might reflect on other players to keep the right culture and standard at the club.