It’s time to take yet another trip down memory lane as we look back to a game two years ago today involving Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion. It was the season in which Leicester City were taking the Premier League by storm, and as a result, the Gunners should’ve had a realistic chance of winning their first English title in years – but it wasn’t to be.
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis spoke out about Arsenal’s failed bid for Northern Ireland centre-back Jonny Evans, admitted the Gunners didn’t meet the defender’s asking price last summer, reports the Express.
“If Arsenal or Man City had met the valuation it could’ve been different. He has to get his head down and get on with it. I hope we can offer him a new contract and tie him down, we will speak next week about what Jonny is thinking and what he wants to do,” said the 59-year-old.
According to the Telegraph, Arsenal have joined Manchester City and Leicester City in the race to sign West Bromwich Albion centre-back Jonny Evans. The 29-year-old was reported to be a target for the Gunners 12 months but Arsenal failed in their pursuit to procure his signature.
However, they stand a chance of bringing the former Manchester United defender to the Emirates Stadium for the right price. Arsenal are desperate for a centre-back this summer, with Gabriel Paulista being sold to Valencia, while Shkodran Mustafi could be on his way to the Italian Serie A.
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis revealed Arsenal an approach for Manchester City-target Jonny Evans 12 months ago. “He had a chance to go to Arsenal last year. It didn’t affect him in any way,” said Pulis, reports the Express.
“You could say Manchester City are different because they will be hoping to win the title, the Champions league, and the FA Cup. It is difficult. We don’t want to sell him, or need to sell him, we are not desperate to get the money in, so it would have to be a very, very good offer. Then we would sit down and talk to Jonny about the situation,” he added.
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs looks set to leave the club this summer after being left out of the squad for the Emirates Cup, reports The Sun. The England international has been linked with a move to Watford, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United and was previously left out of the pre-season tour as he negotiated his exit.
There’s been little progress since. West Bromwich Albion have pulled out of the deal, while Watford and Newcastle United aren’t keen to meet Arsenal’s £15m asking price. Gibbs has hardly featured for the Gunners in the last 12 months, making just eight Premier League starts in 2016/17. His contract is up next summer so Arsenal are running out of time to get value from the left-back.
According to the Mirror, Arsenanl’s long-serving defender Kieran Gibbs is a transfer target for West Bromwich Albion this summer as manager Tony Pulis looks to address the balance in the defence ahead of the news season. The Baggies have been playing the right-foot Nyom at left-back all campaign and have been targeting more natural full-backs as a result.
West Brom were in bid for Jeffrey Schlupp before he joined Crystal Palace from Leicester City in the last season, while Leeds United’s Charlie Taylor was believed to be on Pulis’ wishlist too. But the club have stumbled upon Gibbs at Arsenal, a highly experience player with just 12 months on his current deal at the club and seeking more first-team opportunities in the Premier League.
Arsenal travel to the Hawthorns Stadium to face West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and are favourites to pick up all three points to cut the deficit to fourth-placed Liverpool. The Gunners have struggled for form in recent weeks but may take hope from a West Brom side short of wins themselves while coincidentally suffering after hitting 40 points in the division.
Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion side find themselves seventh in the division with 40 points from 28 games, having lost back-to-back outings since hitting 40 points in the Premier League, while failing to score in both games. The Baggies have picked up only one win in their last four and have a woeful record against the top-six sides this season – one point from a possible 21.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise for West Bromwich Albion ahead of Saturday’s trip to face the Midlands outfit. Albion have been one of the biggest surprise packages in the Premier League this season with the side sitting pretty in eighth place, and Wenger isn’t taking them for granted this weekend as a result.
“They have (a lot of) experience, they are well organised, physically very strong and very efficient on set-pieces. I think they’re the team who have scored more goals than anybody else on set-pieces. This season they’ve done very well in midfield. They have played very well, and up front they have Hal Robson-Kanu and Salomon Rondon who have done very well for them also.”
Arsenal have a couple of injury doubts ahead of Saturday afternoon’s trip to face West Bromwich Albion. The Gunners are already without Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla for the rest of the season as the deep-lying midfielder continues his recovery from surgery on an achilles problem. Mohamed Elneny’s return from an ankle injury has come too soon.
England defender Kieran Gibbs is said to have picked up a knock this week and may sit out Saturday’s encounter. The long-serving left-back wasn’t pictured in Arsenal’s final training session and isn’t likely to be risked given Spaniard Nacho Monreal has been the club’s first choice this season.
Arsenal next travel to the Hawthorns to face a West Bromwich Albion side overachieving in the Premier League this season, at a time where their own away form couldn’t be any worse. The Gunners are favourites to pick up all three points on Saturday, but their recent results on their travels will have manager Arsene Wenger worried of another disappointing outcome.
On the road, Arsenal have lost three of their last four in all competitions, while suffering five defeats and a draw since December. The Londoners were unbeaten away from home in all competitions before losing at Everton three months ago. Since then, Arsenal have been hit and miss as the travelling side and it’s seen their season completely unravel.