While the excitement of the World Cup has been sweeping the nation over the last few weeks, there have still been some interesting developments when it comes to the world of domestic football. Today, we had the release of the Premier League fixtures for the 2018/19 campaign – and if you’re an Arsenal fan, prepare yourself for a baptism of fire on the opening weekend.
Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has become the head coach of Ligue One side Nice. The former Gunners star had previously spent two and a half years as head coach of MLS franchise New York City FC. Vieira’s contract in the Big Apple was due to expire in November, so he has made the move back to Europe.
Received a phone call from Arsenal
Vieira reportedly received a phone call from Arsenal to tell him that he was not set to replace outgoing Gunners Arsene Wenger this summer, with Unai Emery replacing the veteran French boss instead. The Frenchman is believed to have been disappointed at the so-called ‘token gesture’.
It’s starting to look like Liverpool are on the verge of signing Nabil Fekir, and when we say it’s starting to look like, we mean that it’s pretty much done. The 24-year-old Frenchman has been in the headlines ever since the summer transfer window officially opened, and it’s no secret that there were a handful of teams who were interested in acquiring his services.
The guy was always going to be a hot commodity given how fast his rise up through the ranks has been, but few could’ve anticipated that he’d be sold for figures over £50 million. Still, it’s going to be a great move for the development of his young career, and many fans will be excited to see him in action in the Premier League.
While we may only be in the early stages of the summer transfer window, things are already starting to heat up. Arsenal are enquiring for every high-profile player under the sun, Manchester United are stepping up their title challenge in the form of Fred, and Liverpool have already surprised a lot of people by bringing Fabinho to the club.
In the last few seasons, Arsenal seems to be slipping more and more behind the teams occupying the Champions League spots. For two decades, the team from north London were ensconced in those top-four positions.
However, standards have slipped dramatically at Arsenal in recent years, while their rivals have improved, mostly down to spending big on quality players.
Arsenal not spending big this summer
Arsenal have not spent money in the same dramatic fashion as some of their rivals in recent years. When the Gunners have spent big in the transfer market it has produced mixed results, German centre-back Shkodran Mustafi being the perfect example of the bad and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the good.
Apparently, Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has liked a Tweet linking Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele with a £87million move to the Gunners.
The Gabon international is a regular on Twitter and caused quite a stir on a number of occasions with his activity. While it is nice that the striker likes the thought of his former teammate joining the Gunners, it looks highly unlikely.
Arsenal reportedly have a limited budget
Reports coming out of Arsenal suggest that the club are only likely to spend around £50million, plus player sales this summer. With defensive reinforcements the priority, it seems unlikely the Gunners can sign enough defensive quality and Dembele, even if they do manage to offload some players.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for out-of-contract Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner. The veteran Switzerland international is weighing up his options in Turin, as he can move elsewhere as a free agent this summer.
According to reports from the Metro, the 34-year-old has been in talks with the north London giants for the last few weeks. However, the player himself has admitted that he is not sure there will be any developments before this summer’s World Cup.
The 24-year-old sensation that is Fabinho made the headlines last night after it was confirmed that he’d be signing with Liverpool, just days after they lost the UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev. However, as reported by Sky Sports, it seems like there was another club in the running to land his signature at the eleventh hour: Arsenal.
The signing is a huge sign of intent from the Reds, especially given that they’ve moved so quickly in the wake of such a devastating defeat. It’s already starting to seem like they’re going to bounce back and learn from their loss to Real Madrid, which isn’t necessarily how most teams would react to a defeat in the UCL final.
While we may only just be approaching June, it won’t be long until Arsenal, alongside every other top-flight team, are back in pre-season training. By the time that happens, it’s a fair assumption to say that their squad will probably look a little bit different. Unai Emery is already starting to make his mark at the Emirates, and the exciting thing is that this is only the beginning of what will hopefully be a long and exhilarating journey.
Last night, Liverpool tried and failed to become the Champions of Europe as they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the final. Zidane’s side won the trophy for the third straight year, solidifying their position as one of the greatest teams of all time – and perhaps even the greatest. Many will say that Karius is the biggest story of the evening, and yet, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo both did their best to ensure that they stole the show.