It has been a significant summer this year in terms of incoming transfers at Arsenal. The Gunners obtained the services of defender Gabriel Magalhaes, defensive midfielder Thomas Partey, winger Willian and replaced the departed Emiliano Martinez with Runar Alex Runarsson as the number two goalkeeper. They also extended the loan of midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid by another year, as well as the contract of defender David Luiz, and turned the previous loan spells of defenders Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares into permanent ones. But perhaps the most impotant piece of business of all was captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing a new contract. Arsenal reportedly made a late effort to bring in Houssem Aouar from Olympique Lyon, but that did not come through.
As you probably know by now, head of football Raul Sanllehi has left the club. And with the former Barcelona man being involved in so much of Arsenal’s dealings in the transfer market, The Athletic journalist David Ornstein has provided some insight into the changes expected in that aspect.
Not much is expected to change at first. Sanllehi has set things in motion when it comes to the dealings surrounding Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, as well as the talks about a new contract with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The club will still pursue all those deals.
Mesut Ozil has once again confirmed his stance that he won’t be leaving Arsenal before his contract expires in 2021.
The last time the German attacking midfielder was given a game was back in March, when Arsenal beat West Ham by 1-0 at the Emirates in the Premier League. His place in the team has seemed lost from the earliest stages of the season, when Unai Emery, still at the helm back then, repeatedly claimed he was leaving Ozil out only for tactical reasons. He was given another chance to reclaim it when Mikel Arteta took over, but the fact that even the new coach hasn’t used him for such a long time points towards the player having no place in his plans. Overall, Ozil played a total of 23 games in 2019/20, scoring once and assisting three times.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has come through the ranks at the club’s academy, and apart from a season-long loan at Ipswich Town in 2015/16, he has been with Arsenal his entire football career so far. However, as exclusively revealed by David Ornstein of The Athletic, he has now decided that it is in his best interest to leave the club.
Looking at it from his own perspective, it’s hard to disagree. As Ornstein rightly points out, the 22-year-old is a winger by default used as a make-shift right-back for most of his senior career due to frequent injury absences of Hector Bellerin in previous seasons, and he has seen other academy graduates move past him on the development track.
Arsenal have intensified their interest in signing Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid this summer, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
The 27-year old midfield powerhouse has played 42 times for Diego Simeone’s side in all competitions this season. He scored three goals and provided no more than one assist, but it’s hardly relevant for a player whose primary duty is to protect the back line by positioning himself directly in front of them and fight for every ball.
Arsenal have a most dis-satisfactory record when it comes to seeing players they develop at youth levels blossom into proper first-team stars in the club shirt. Those of us who follow the Bundesliga have repeatedly been made aware of the quality of a certain Serge Gnabry, who is now terrorizing defences across the German top flight. The same, if to a lesser extent so far, can be said of Donyell Malen, currently at PSV Eindhoven and reportedly on the radars of a number of top European clubs. AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer is another good example, as David Ornstein points out in his “Ornstein on Monday” column for The Athletic.
You’ve probably heard or read somewhere by now that there were some disciplinary issues with Matteo Guendouzi during Arsenal’s winter-break trip to Dubai, after which the midfielder was dropped for the Newcastle encounter. In his weekly column for The Athletic, David Ornstein has thrown some light on what happened there.
Apparently, Guendouzi was involved in a row with another player (whom Ornstein doesn’t name), after which manager Mikel Arteta spoke sharply to both culprits. However, it was Guendouzi who received a stronger reprimand, with Arteta perceiving him as the more guilty party.
Arsenal are heading for a warm-weather training camp in Dubai during the winter break from games, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
The team will officially fly out on Thursday, and until then the players have been given leave to go wherever they want and do whatever takes their fancy, providing they are at the base in Dubai by Thursday evening and ready to start training on Friday morning.
The change of scenery comes from manager Mikel Arteta’s idea to get his players to bond and continue working in a relaxed atmosphere. To that end, the boss has suggested the players take their wives, children or girlfriends with them, and one evening he will organize a get-together for an informal dinner for all of them.
As reported exclusively by the ever-reliable David Ornstein of The Athletic, Arsenal are likely to part ways with head coach Unai Emery today (Friday).
The Spaniard has been in charge of the team for 18 months, and it’s fair to say that no tangible progress has been made in that time. He failed to improve on the results of the last stretch of Arsene Wenger’s reign and qualify for the Champions League. He had been backed in the transfer market during the summer window. The season started well enough, losing only once in the opening 11 games in all competitions, but the wagon soon started rolling downhill.
David Ornstein, formerly of BBC and now writing for the Athletic, believes it’s only a matter of time before Arsenal part ways with manager Unai Emery.
The club have backed the boss on a few occasions when he cane under fire due to poor results this season, but Ornstein says that the messages coming out of the club are now different. On a podcast the respected journalist did for his current employers, together with Mark Chapman, he said that things looked as it was now ‘a matter of when, rather than if’, but it would still depend on the immediate results.