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Liverpool given another transfer advice for Arsenal defender

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English Premier League title holders, Liverpool have been urged to make a move for Shkodran Mustafi this month in order to solve their defensive crisis before the return of their key players.

The Merseyside outfit have been without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez and that is expected to continue until the end of the season as they suffered long-term injuries which have affected manager Jurgen Klopp’s team

The Red Devils boss has had to rely on Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in defence for much of this campaign.

Popular transfer journalist had claimed that the Reds wanted to sign Arsenal defender, Sokratis Papastathopoulos but he ended up moving back home to Olympiacos.

With Mustafi reinventing himself under Mikel Arteta after years of being one of the worse defenders in the Premier League, the Reds have been asked to take advantage of this and land him on a temporal basis.

Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport via TalkSport: “I’m not saying you are going to go and get your ‘A’ class, main centre-back right now, but there must be some sort of stopgap somewhere to fill that void.

“Because you are saying now, ‘we will play with a central midfield partnership that are now going to be our centre-back partnership, or I’m going to play with two very inexperienced players.”

Jermaine Jenas then suggested the Arsenal centre-back:

“Let’s just say that stopgap was Sokratis who came in or Mustafi,” said Jenas. “A centre-half out there who’s not getting a game.

“Are Liverpool fans going to be happy about it?”

“Is Jurgen Klopp looking at that and saying, ‘I’ve got an actual centre-half and this is better than Fabinho and Matip, or Henderson and Fabinho?

“Is it better, that stopgap, than what you’ve already got?”

Meanwhile, manager Mikl Arteta has ruled out Mustafi’s move away from the Emirates Stadium.

“His future right now is here,” the Arsenal boss said. “Trying to help. We have Papa that probably is going to leave the club this window, we have William that has already gone on loan. So we don’t have that many right now.

“Gabriel [Magalhaes] has been out for a period, David [Luiz] has been injured, so the situation is completely different from before.”

Detailing why Mustafi has featured so sparingly in the 2020-21 season, Arteta added: “Well Musti came back from a really difficult injury when he got injured at the end of last season.

“After that period he was doing really well. I think his performances were increasing and getting better and better.

“And when he came back that’s when we had seven or eight central defenders. So he had to get his performance level up.

“I think physically he still needed some time. Then he started to play some games in Europe which I think he did well as well.

“And now it’s about, yeah, when do you take the next step to be the starter? And the reality is that we have to change that for different reasons, use different personnel.

“He’s been very close in a few games. But now we’ve found as well a partnership (Rob Holding and Pablo Mari) that is giving us clean sheets, and sometimes when you do that it’s difficult to change. But he’s still in contention.

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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