The pre-season journey through the United States is well underway for Arsenal, and while a lot of fans may be focusing on what’s happening on the pitch, we’re more intrigued about what’s going off of it: more specifically, in regards to Unai Emery. No, we aren’t thinking about the culture shock of being a Spaniard in the States, although that would make for a pretty good sitcom.
Arsenal are working on big, expensive deals in the transfer market, manager Unai Emery claims. The club are apparently working on bringing in three or four fresh faces, players who should be able to step into the first team straight away.
Meanwhile, all they have to show for their efforts so far is Gabriel Martinelli, an 18-year-old forward who, despite the obvious talent, seems some way from being in that bracket. It has been reported that the club haven’t given up on Kieran Tierney of Celtic and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace regardless of having bids rejected for both of them.
The future of Unai Emery is certainly an interesting topic for fans right now, even though he hasn’t actually begun his second season in charge of the club yet. There are still a few weeks remaining until the brand new domestic season gets underway, and as such, this period kind of feels like the calm before the storm. Of course, the lack of transfers isn’t helping with that, but we’ve got to try and be positive.
“Not easy to find the words to describe how we feel today, but here is an important one: Proud… of our team, our club, our fans, of the huge effort of all of us since day 1. Proud to be part of the @Arsenal family. Today we start building next season’s Arsenal. Forward together!”
Moving past the hurt
Those are the words of Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who posted up the following message on his Twitter account regarding how he feels towards the club. Now straight off the bat we can understand why people might find this a little bit weird, because let’s be honest, there wasn’t all too much to be proud of in terms of that second half on the pitch performance. Well, aside from Alex Iwobi’s absolute thunderbolt of a goal.
The pain felt from the Europa League final loss will still be there in a few days, a few weeks, and most likely a few months when Arsenal are in the Europa League again watching their rivals in the Champions League. It’s only natural for fans to feel that way, and the mourning is a natural process after a defeat like this. Still, at least they were able to reach a European final this season – unlike Manchester United. But, you know, that’s a different story altogether.
It seems that Arsenal could be in for some big squad surgery, well it is needed anyway. The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech, Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal and Stephan Lichtsteiner will leave as free agents.
Then there are the likes of Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil who have all been linked with moves away from the north London club.
A limited transfer budget this summer
Despite needing to heavily strengthen their squad this summer, Arsenal’s hierarchy will reportedly only allow £40million to spend this summer. In Premier League terms that is chump change, especially as the Gunners will receive major revenue via the Premier League television deal.
As we all now know, Arsenal suffered a 4-1 defeat against Chelsea in the Europa League final on Wednesday night in Baku. After a relatively even first half, Chelsea took control of the game and was difficult to argue with the scoreline in the end.
After the disappointing defeat, Gunners boss Unai Emery is quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “Our idea is to continue to carry on and improve with the young players that have arrived,”
“Maybe some players need to leave but it’s not the moment to speak about that.”
On Wednesday night, Arsenal face London rivals Chelsea in the Europa League final in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.
Chelsea have been designated as the home side for the London derby clash. The Blues have enjoyed a successful campaign, finishing in the Champions League spots in the Premier League, while making it to the final of this competition.
Despite the good campaign, the final could be Blues’ boss Maurizio Sarri’s final game in charge, as speculation mounts that he could be Juventus’ next boss.
According to reports from Sky Sports, Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has asked to leave the Eagles this summer. The 26-year-old is reportedly looking to play Champions League football next season. The news could be significant for Arsenal, as the Gunners are now 1/ 2 favourites to sign Zaha this summer.
Starting to fulfil his potential
Wilfried Zaha has started to fulfil his potential in the last few seasons in a poor Palace team. This season the Ivory Coast forward has scored ten league goals and produced five assists after playing much of the campaign as a central forward.
According to the Daily Express, Arsenal look set to miss out on signing Barcelona flop Malcom this summer, with the winger now expected to join north London rivals Tottenham instead.
The Express story claims that the youngster has chosen to join Spurs ahead of the Gunners this summer. If he does join Tottenham, he will be their first signing since Lucas Moura joined from PSG in the January transfer window of 2018.
Malcom has struggled to nail down at a starting spot with the Blaugrana, who are looking to revamp their squad this summer after more Champions League disappointment.