After winning the opening two Premier League games of the season, Arsenal’s results haven’t been that great. While the Anfield defeat and the North London Derby draw perhaps shouldn’t draw too much criticism, what happened at in the second half at the Vicarage was a complete shambles. Defensive mistakes and the inability of midfield to wrest the control of the game away from the charged up Hornets resulted in a two-goal lead being wasted and two points unnecessarily dropped.
Arsenal’s 19-game unbeaten record in all competitions faces a potential test on Wednesday night, as the Gunners visit Old Trafford to face Manchester United. Old Trafford has become something a wasteland for Arsenal teams in recent years. In fact, the Gunners have won just once in 15 games at United in all competitions. The one win was back in 2015 in the FA Cup in a 2-1 win.
Arsenal’s last Premier League victory at Old Trafford was 12 years ago. It is fair to say it is not the Gunners favourite ground to visit.
According to the Daily Star, among other publications, Arsenal are set to battle it out with north London rivals Tottenham for the signature of Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly in the January transfer window.
The Ivorian’s future at Old Trafford is in doubt after failing to start in the Premier League for the Red Devils since gameweek two of the campaign. Reportedly, the defender is set for talks with United over his future.
Promising start but has struggled of late
Bailly looked like the real deal in his debut campaign at United after joining the Red Devils from Villarreal in the summer of 2016. He looked strong and pacey, which are two attributes needed to be a top centre-back.
According to the Guardian, Arsenal and Tottenham are in a transfer battle to land Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly in the January transfer window.
Both clubs are looking to strengthen at the heart of their defences, for different reasons. It seems that Bailly has become a prime target for the north London pair.
Endured mixed fortunes at United
When Bailly arrived at United in 2016 from Villarreal for a fee of around £30million, the Ivory Coast international was seen as the answer to the Red Devils central defensive problems.
As Arsenal prepare to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, it will certainly be an occasion for Alexis Sanchez. The ex-Gunner will be playing against his old club for the first time since his move in January. He praised Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman made his decision to leave at the end of the season public last week, calling him a ’legend and a gentleman’.
Sanchez claims he’s still adapting to life in Manchester, and adds that United have more history than Arsenal and aim to win trophies next season – a classic case of trying to look good for your new employers, it seems.
According to the Times, via the Metro, Manchester United’s French forward Anthony Martial wanted to join Arsenal in January as part of the deal that saw Alexis Sanchez head for Old Trafford.
However, reportedly United boss Jose Mourinho blocked the move and Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved to north London instead. The former Dortmund star has enjoyed a decent start to life with the Gunners.
Frustrated young talent
Martial is no doubt a top young player with immense potential. However, the 22-year-old has struggled for regular first-team football this season, especially since Sanchez’s move to the Red Devils.
According to TalkSPORT guest, former Coventry striker Mickey Quinn, Arsenal are one of three clubs that should attempt to sign Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford along with Chelsea and Liverpool.
Asked about the youngster’s future, Quinn told the radio station: ‘I think he’s gotta go. He’s not a first choice for Jose Mourinho. He is not first choice.
Then asked by presenter Alan Brazil where the striker could go, Quinn continued by saying: ‘Great question. Everyone would take him, wouldn’t they?
‘Arsenal he’s walk in there. [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang is ok but he can play as a three can’t he, like Liverpool’
According to the Daily Star, Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho could make a summer move for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
The Wales midfielder will have just 12 months left on his contract this summer. The Gunners hierarchy are reportedly looking to avoid another contract wrangle resulting in losing a player for less than his actual value, like the Alexis Sanchez situation in January.
Ramsey likely to want a wage rise
The clubs reluctance to get into another Sanchez situation could lead to selling the star in the summer, rather than losing him for absolutely nothing the following summer.
Picture the scenario. We’re at WrestleMania in front of 80,000 screaming fans, mainly made up of middle-aged men, all awaiting the grudge match main event between two goliaths of the sport. Wenger always falls short against the mighty José, despite the Frenchman constantly reinventing himself in an attempt to best his rival. It’s like a rubbish Stone Cold vs The Rock, basically.
Ladies and gentleman, this contest is a ‘No Disqualification’ match set for one fall. Introducing first from Strasbourg, France, weighing in at about the equivalent of 1,000 cocktail sticks, ARSENE WENGER. His opponent, from Setúbal, Portugal, the most miserable man on planet earth, JOSÉ MOURINHO.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez is close to joining his side from Arsenal despite the Chilean training with Arsene Wenger and his team ahead of this weekends games.
Reports have been constantly circulating this week as the proposed transfer of Alexis Sanchez edges ever closer. The forward had initially been linked with his former manager at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola and a move to Manchester City, but that deal did not come to fruition.
Instead, Manchester United have become frontrunners, with Jose Mourinho’s side clear favourites to sign the star. In fact, news arose that former-Borussia Dortmund player Henrikh Mkhitaryan would be used in a switch for the player.