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Ian Wright warns Arteta against making ‘Serge Gnabry mistake’ again

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been warned not to make the same mistake former Arsene Wenger made with Serge Gnabry with young playmaker Emile Smith Rowe.

Ian Wright recalled how the Gunners let go of the youngster for Werder Bremen in 2016 because he was condemned not be up to the club’s standard.

The German winger went on to sign for Bayern Munich the following year, and become of the best in his position in Europe, in addition to winning two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League to his name.

In this case, Arsenal have got a young and impressive talent, Smith-Rowe who has burst onto the scene in recent weeks with some stellar performances for Arteta’s side and can be likened to Serge Gnabry.

The teen was majorly used in the Europa League alone and against weaker opposition at the start of the season but that has changed with an opportunity given to him which he proved the manager wrong. He started with the storming display in the Gunners 3-1 win over Chelsea.

The youngster who is dubbed ‘The Croydon De Bruyne’ by his team-mates and fans alike was strong enough to keep his place in the starting XI for games against Brighton and West Brom.

Ian Wright expressed fears that Arsenal now run the risk of losing him if they don’t continue to support him with regular game time, as top clubs are now paying attention to him.

He told Wrighty’s House Podcast: “It must be brilliant going into training at the moment for someone like Emile Smith Rowe. He’s somebody who has had his injuries, he’s gone on loan, he’s done his stuff.

“For me, Smith Rowe has paid his dues out there, waiting for his chance. I think that what Mikel has done now, the timing with which he’s done it, is absolutely perfect because I think if Smith Rowe doesn’t get into this team, at this stage, and they carry on doing what they’re doing and persisting with people who are not performing at the levels they should – whether it’s Willian or Pepe – I think you lose him.

“Especially with January being here, and then we’ve got a Serge Gnabry on our hands.” He stated

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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