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How former Arsenal player discouraged Liverpool from making Mustafi deal

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Former Arsenal player Perry Groves seem to have discouraged English Premier League title holders Liverpool from signing Gunners defender, Shkodran Mustafi this January window.

The Reds are short of defenders as Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez have been out. Sokratis Papa was earlier linked with a move to Anfield before he took a different direction and now Shkodran Mustafi is being linked.

Now it is claimed that Liverpool have agreed to land Preston defender Ben David with the platter expected for trials on Monday morning making out of the race.

Groves, who made more than 150 appearances for Arsenal, insists Mustafi would be a bad idea for Liverpool.

“I wouldn’t be taking Mustafi, because I’ve seen him play for Arsenal!” Groves told talkSPORT.

“He’s always got a mistake in him. He loses concentration. Even in the ginger brotherhood, I can’t back him!

“If you’re bringing someone in, they’ve got to be as good or better than what you’ve got – and I don’t think Mustafi is.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is also not keen to part ways with Mustafi after claiming the defender has a future at the Emirates Stadium.

The fact that William Saliba and Sokratis Papa are already away makes it important for the Gunners boss to keep more defenders in his team for the season’s challenge.

“His future right now is here,” the Spaniard replied when asked about the situation with Mustafi.

“I’m trying to help. We have Papa that probably is going to leave the club in this window, William that has already gone on loan, so we don’t have that many right now.

“Gabriel’s been out now for a period, David (Luiz) has been injured, so the situation is completely different to before.”

“Musti came back from a really difficult injury when he got injured at the end of last season,” he added.

“Up to that period I think he was doing really well, I think his performances were increasing and getting better and better. When he came back it was a moment when we had seven or eight centre-backs so he had to get his performance level up.”

Arsenal

Keane reveals one flaw made by Edu

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Arsenal chief Edu might have been hailed for his transfer activities, even by manager Mikel Arteta but he seems to have ‘goofed’ with one of the transfer decisions he made in 2020.

This was exposed by Man United legend Roy Keane who told Sky Sports that the North London outfit chief failed to make a good bargain for goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, hinting that he was sold cheaply.

Arsenal parted ways with Emiliano Martinez in 2020, shortly after he helped the club to win the FA Cup and the Community Shield for Aston Villa with a fee worth £17 million.

During his last days at the Emirates Stadium, Emiliano Martinez was favoured with playing time due to the injury of Bernd Leno and he was able to prove that he is a world-class goalkeeper.

Arsenal actually wanted to keep him but he was keen on a move to secure regular football as Mikel Arteta was clear about Bernd Leno as his first-choice.

Since that move, Emiliano Martinez has been apt for Aston Villa, ten clean sheets this season for the European-chasing side too – only Man City have more.

Manchester United legend Keane lauded the impact Martinez has had in the Midlands and the ‘huge difference’ he has made.

“Recruitment was right for Aston Villa,” said Keane. “I know they got promoted and there was a lot of players [brought in]. 12 or 13 out of contracts. Lots of changes.

“So, last season was expected that it was going to be hard work. But this season, I bet they cannot believe how well they are doing. They had a great start to the season when they won their first four games.

“Dean Smith used the word ‘platform’ and probably belief. And again, we talk about the signings.

“The goalkeeper has been such a huge bonus. To be able to get him at £17 or 20 million has been cheap really. And he has made a huge difference really. They are good to watch.”

While Bernd Leno has also been outstanding at the North London outfit, the wish by Mikel Arteta is to keep both goalkeepers at the club but that Emiliano Martinez was not ready to stay.

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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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