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Arsenal drop January transfer hint after confirmation of Sokratis’ departure

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Arsenal could have a very busy January winter transfer after claims that the Greek international, Sokratis Papa will be leaving on a free.

Mikel Arteta has already given the hint that there will be a number of signings and most of them would be clearing out the fringe players. He also gave the hint that before bringing in a new face, some of the old players could leave.

Now, it’s been confirmed that Sokratis would leave to join Sead Kolasinac, who has already left to join Schalke on loan for the remainder of the season and Mesut Ozil on the exit list.

However, Edu gave the hint that Arsenal are looking to strengthen in one key position. “It’s quite clear what we need,” he said last month. “We need a player with creativity in the middle, we don’t have that in the squad right now.”

Mikel Arteta has, therefore, admitted that his side is on the lookout to bring in stronger competition for Bernd Leno after Runar Alex Runarsson ‘s shaky performances since his arrival in the summer, and Matt Macey’s departure to Hibernian.

“We are assessing what is going to happen with the three positions,” he said earlier this month.

“The discussions we had in the summer with Edu and the club were a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi at the end of the day.

“We didn’t have much time to do what we really wanted to do and we decided to assess the situation now in this window, which is what we are trying to do, and we will make a decision about how we want to move forward in those three positions in the goalkeeping area.”

Howbeit, Arsenal have been linked with Martin Odergaard and Isco as they are both looking to leave Real Madrid in search of first-team football, while Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt has been linked with a move to the Emirates.

Meanwhile, Arsenal now boasts of Emile Smith Rowe who has been helpful and instrumental in the last games and it is feared that Mikel Arteta might not consider a new creative player because of the young lad.

Arsenal

Why William Saliba may not wish to return to Arsenal again

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There is no doubt that William Saliba was not happy about his snub at the Emirates Stadium and that is enough to force him away from the club despite being touted to have a future at the Emirates Stadium.

The 19-year-old did not get a single appearance for the Gunners first team in the first half of the season, the reason why he was released back to Ligue 1 on loan to join Nice.

He arrived at the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2019 from Saint-Etienne in a deal estimated to be worth around £27 million ($37m), spending the 2019-20 season on loan at the French club under the terms of the transfer.

The Nice loanee has, therefore, spoken out on his frustration at not being given the opportunity to show his worth on a regular basis in the Arsenal first team.

The defender failed to make a single appearance for Arsenal, and at the start of January, he returned to Ligue 1 on another short-term move.

The story has changed for William Saliba as he has since become a fixture in the Nice first team and believes he had something to offer Arteta as part of his defensive plans.

“I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for almost €30m,” the youngster explained to TF1.

“To think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me, the fans were excited about me and you find yourself in the reserves, playing zero – nothing in the Europa League or the Premier League.

“I was in the squad once in the EFL Cup. It hurt me, it affected me. I don’t think I left too early. When you feel ready you have to go. These things happen. I believe in myself.”

Despite being happy with his new life and first team football, Saliba will not want to dwell much on what the future holds but there is no doubt he was not happy at the Emirates Stadium and that could be a factor to consider.

“I have learned now that it is better not to look too far in the future,” he added. “I am focused on just these six months to try to give absolutely everything and for the rest we will see.

“For me, the best decision was to join Nice because there is a good project, a good team, a good level of ambition and they like to play in a certain way.

“It feels good to play and to have consistent game time. I am young, I am 19, and it is by playing matches like this that you improve.

“You see what mistakes you make and you correct them for the next match”

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Roy Hodgson confident his £14m star is good to go for Arsenal

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Roy Hodgson does not see a big deal about Arsenal making a move for Patrick Van Aanholt, as he affirmed that the Dutch international is good enough to thrive at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were linked with the signature of Patrick Van Aanholt as Mikel Arteta hinted on the possibility of bringing in a new left-back before the end of last transfer window.

Arsenal were also hoping that Crystal Palace star, Van Aanholt, who has been valued for £14 million would be available on a cut-price fee with just a few months left on his contract.

“I’ve heard nothing but if you’re asking me if I think he’s good enough to play for Arsenal – yes I do,” said the ex-England boss.

“(But) this is where he is contracted and where I expect him to stay.”

Meanwhile, Van Aanholt told The Beautiful Game Podcast when asked some months ago about a move away from Crystal Palace.

He said: “I’m in the last year of my contract, my contract runs out next summer. I haven’t been talking to Palace, they haven’t been talking to my agent.

“As long as I’m here, I’m committed to the club. I don’t know what’s going to happen in a couple of weeks or a couple of months.

“But in January PSV did bid about three times and got rejected. I was thinking about going home. My kids are from there, my wife is from there and I’m from there. Every time the kids are in Holland they find it difficult to come back to England because the whole family are there.

“But when it got rejected I kept my head down, I kept professional – I didn’t do interviews saying I wanted to leave or put a transfer request in. I kept professional and the club knows2wz as well.”

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former arsenal player lacks faith in ozan kabak but hails agent

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Arsenal legend Paul Merson has expressed his lack of faith in Schalke’s Ozan Kabak but admits that his agent deserves a knighthood for making the deal fall through last season.

You recalled that the Red have lost both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries which made Jurgen Klopp move to bolster his defensive ranks with a deadline day loan move for the Schalke player.

It is understood that a £2m loan move was been agreed upon with a view to making the move permanent in this summer for a fee in the region of £16m.

However, former Arsenal star Paul Merson believes Kabak is lucky to have secured a move to a club as Liverpool from Schalke.

“He honestly cannot believe his luck,’ Merson told SkySports. “I mean if you’re his agent, you’d look to be knighted.

“You’ve just gone to the champions, and you’ve won one game all season. I’m shocked, it’s really shocked me. At Schalke, they’re expecting to lose every week. Here he comes into Liverpool and they’ve got to win football matches.

“If Liverpool had have drawn with West Ham, you’d have said that wasn’t very good because it’s Liverpool. If Schalke go and draw somewhere, it’s party time. That different mentality has to get into him as quickly as possible.

“I just think it’s about bodies. If Jordan Henderson got injured and one of the young lads got injured, you’ve got nobody there and you can’t be left with anybody.

“These aren’t £80m centre-halves, they probably won’t play, but they’re there just in case.”

Paul Merson is not too convinced about Kabak’s combative nature but believes the centre back will benefit by playing alongside much better players, particularly with van Dijk.

He said:

“When I heard he’s very physical, that worried me. Those days are long gone as a centre half when you came steaming through the back of a forward, you don’t get that any more.

“He might have to change his game there, but he’s a young kid. He’s going to be working with the best in the world in van Dijk and he’s going to have the best goalkeeper in the world behind him.

“I’m not being horrible here, but anybody can play alongside van Dijk – he’s a Rolls-Royce. If you’re playing next to him, you don’t need to be the most experienced player in the world. The lad might turn out to be a great signing.”

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