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Nketiah latest development disclosed by Agbonlahor but Arsenal will not be held to ‘ransom’

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Gabriel Agbonlahor has disclosed that Arsenal have made a U-turn by deciding to keep Eddie Nketiah at the Emirates Stadium but they will be doing that on their own terms and will not be held to “ransom”.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aston Villa and England attacker insisted Arsenal have concluded to enter into negotiation with the striker.

Nketiah has scored four times in his last five Premier League starts, a development that has forced Arsenal to consider giving him a new deal.

“Earlier on in the season I didn’t but I think Arsenal will want him now,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“But they will only renew his contract if it’s on a wage that reflects the fact he’s going to be a back up.

“Arsenal are not going to go into the Champions League with Nketiah as their main striker so that will be reflected in his wages.

“Arsenal will not be held to ransom for a player like Nketiah. They will want to keep him but only on their terms.

“He has to understand that Arsenal are going in a different direction to other clubs. They’re going to be playing Champions League football and will know they have to bring in top quality players, especially at striker.”

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Frustrated Saka speaks to the press, exposed his team on how they lost to Newcastle

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Bukayo Saka has stated that he was shocked by Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle on Monday night.

With the prize of Champions League qualification just two wins away, a win would have brightened their chances of returning to the Champions League after six years.

Saka faced the media after the game, but his disappointment was palpable. He exposed his team, revealing how they lost the game.

“Overall there is huge disappointment and frustration,” he said. “I just can’t believe how we performed today.

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“We lost all our duels. We lost all the second balls. We didn’t play out well. Just overall disappointment in every aspect.”

“I think it’s going to hurt a lot of us tonight,” Saka continued.

“You know, all of us, the fans – all of our families. But come Sunday against Everton at the Emirates we’re going to be there to win, and hopefully things go our way. That’s all you can do from now.

“Technically it’s not over, we can still do it, but we’ve missed out on two big opportunities to put ourself in a good position. So it’s just a shame.”

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The North London outfit are now two points behind Tottenham, who travel to Norwich on the final day, but with goal difference vastly inferior – they need to take maximum points against Everton while hoping Norwich do the same.

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Arteta gives big reason why his players shouldn’t be blamed for Newcastle defeat

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has asked that his players should not be blamed for their flop at Newcastle on Monday night.

The Gunners lost 2-0 to hand the top four advantage to Tottenham.

A win would have ensured that they play in the Champions League next season, if they go ahead to repeat same against Everton on Saturday.

Arteta said: “We knew [what was at stake], but we didn’t cope with it. We didn’t compete, we never got into the game, we put ourselves in trouble time after time, we lost every duel. Every aspect of the game we were second best and Newcastle totally deserved to win the match, probably by a bigger margin as well.

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“I am the maximum responsible (person) all the time. If somebody has created an expectation this year that no one in this room probably would talk about at the start of this season, it’s those players that are there. I will always defend them. But tonight that’s a really, really difficult thing to do.

“Now we have to swallow everything, digest it and tomorrow is another day. We will still have five days to prepare that match. We know what we have to do. There’s not a lot of words I think that are needed after the performance tonight. “

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More than defeats, Arsenal fans have reasons to be worried after shocking “crash” development

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Arsenal fans have reasons to be worried, especially those that invested in volatile fan tokens at a time of wider “economic crisis”.

This was made known by finance guru Kieran Maguire, when he spoke exclusively to Football Insider about the Gunners’ involvement with cryptocurrency and the blockchain world.

Recall that the North London giants announced a partnership with fan token company Socios in July last year which offered fan engagement opportunities and can be publicly traded.

However, it is feared that the scope for real influence over club matters is limited.

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Data taken from Coin Market Cap shows that the token has crashed to $1.30 having started at over $6.00 last summer.

Maguire issued a warning to Arsenal fans considering an investment in the club-branded digital currency.

It is however, not clear if some have already invested in this token.

“Fan tokens are fine if you want to collect digital memorabilia,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.

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“But they are very expensive versions of digital trading cards and it’s an unregulated, highly volatile and easily manipulated market.

“At a time of economic crisis, the last thing you want to do is put your money into those kinds of ventures.”

Arsenal generated £136.4million in commercial revenue in 2020-21, with total turnover standing at £487m.

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How Arsenal stand in Liverpool’s way to replace Mane with this “great signing”

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Former Premier League striker, Kevin Campbell,speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry “would be a great signing” for Liverpool as Saido Mane’s replacement but Arsenal will stand in their way.

Campbell said Liverpool would face stiff competition from Arsenal and other top European clubs for the 26-year-old.

Arsenal are a major factor because of the relationship they have had with the player in the past.

Both players (Mane and Gnabry) are approaching the final 12 months of their current contracts and a move for them is possible this summer.

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When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs if there was value in a swap deal for the Reds, Campbell said: “That could be worth pursuing.

“Gnabry is going to be a sought-after player this summer. I know there is a lot of clubs who like him.

“He is a player who will be hotly pursued because he is still relatively young. We are talking about a Germany international who can play on either side, score goals, is quick and direct.

“He would be a great signing for Liverpool. There will be a lot of competition for Gnabry though. I think Arsenal would like to speak to him if there is an opportunity.”

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Gnabry has 17 goals and 10 assists to his name in 45 appearances across all competitions this season.

Mane has contributed 22 goals and five assists in 49 appearances.

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Saka given one stunning opportunity at Arsenal if he snubs interest from Man City

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Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has told Bukayo Saka that he has the opportunity of becoming an Arsenal legend if he refuses to leave the club.

This is as Man City are understood to be monitoring his situation at Arsenal to snap him up.

However, Sagna, who left Arsenal for the Etihad himself, believes Saka should resist interest from City and stay put at the Emirates where he can develop into an icon.

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: ‘The fans show a lot of love for him, and he’s been incredibly important for a few years now. He’s young, he’s developing well, he’s important for England and he needs to play every single game.

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‘You have to play to develop, I’m not sure he would have the same impact with City, the same type of play at City. But it’s personal, it’s a personal choice of his and how he feels and what he really wants.

‘(Saka) has amazing potential and I think he could be one of the best players in Arsenal’s history. He’s doing amazing, he’s a treat to watch, he’s not scared, he’s confident, he has everything. The last player I saw playing that way was Jack Wilshere.’

Since breaking into the Arsenal first-team in 2019, Saka has emerged as one of Europe’s most promising young forwards.

His contract runs until 2024 and Arsenal have the option to extend his stay by a further year.

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But Saka is facing interest from Man City. With Arsenal likely to lose out of the Champions League, he could be tempted to leave.

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Ferdinand kicks as Saka goes ahead of Ronaldo in stunning award nomination

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Man United legend Rio Ferdinand has protested the exclusion of Cristiano Ronaldo on the shortlist for the Premier League’s Player of the Season award when Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka was mentioned.

Ronaldo was not a standout performer this season but the 37-year-old has still scored 18 goals in his first campaign back in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Saka has been one of Arsenal’s standout performers with 11 goals and six assists in the Premier League so far.

Last week, the 20-year-old was named on the shortlist for the Premier League’s Player of the Season alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jarrod Bowen, Joao Cancelo, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and James Ward-Prowse.

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But Ferdinand believes Ronaldo has done enough to warrant being alongside the frontrunners for the award.

‘Saka’s in the in the Player of the Year nominees?’ Ferdinand asked on Vibe with Five.

‘I wouldn’t have had Saka in there yet, as well as he’s done.

‘I wouldn’t have had him over Ronaldo, no, not this season.

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‘Ronaldo should be in ahead of three of four of those guys in there.

‘He probably doesn’t win it but in terms of nominees, it’s laughable.

‘He’ll take it as a disrespect but these are the things that fuel him, he’ll be thinking, ‘how dare you?’.

‘If it’s based on stats, he’s like, ‘I’ve banged in more goals than most of them on that list other than Salah, so what are you talking about?”

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Neville calls this Arsenal player a disgrace for what he did to his teammates

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Gary Neville tagged Granit Xhaka a disgrace after the midfielder slammed his Arsenal teammates following their 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Monday evening.

The Gunners failed to take advantage of the night to secure a Champions League spot as they were defeated. A win would have brightened their chance.

Xhaka, however, slammed his teammates, urging players who cannot handle pressure to ‘stay at home’.

‘It’s very hard to take it at the moment. I don’t know why we’re not doing what the coach is asking of us,’ Xhaka told Sky Sports.

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‘If someone is not ready for this game, stay at home. It doesn’t matter their age, they can be 30, they can be 35, they can be 18, if you’re not ready for that, if you’re nervous, stay on the bench, stay at home, don’t come here.

‘We need people who have the balls, sorry to say that, to come here and play, this game is one of the most important games for us.’

But Neville blasted Xhaka for his comments and claimed the Switzerland international has been ‘a disgrace’ for Arsenal over the last few years.

‘I don’t know what to make of that interview.

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‘I think I heard him say, ‘stay at home if you haven’t got the balls’. I think that’s what he said.

‘Obviously he’s having a right dig at people within his dressing room.

‘I don’t know who he’s having a go at there. I hope he wasn’t having a go at those young players.

‘Him? I tell you what, he’s been a disgrace at times over the last four or five years getting sent off recklessly.

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‘He’s left it up in the air there. It was nothing, that.’

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Newcastle boss in mind games? Makes stunning claim about Arteta and Arsenal

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Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe could be on a mind game as he claimed to be impressed by the overhaul at Arsenal conducted by Mikel Arteta.

This is as the Gunners head for St James’ Park on Monday for a must win game, if they must play in the Champions League next season.

Although, Mikel Arteta’s team have another against Everton in their final fixture that must also be won to finish in the Champions League places for the first time since 2016 regardless of what rivals Tottenham do.

Asked to assess Arteta’s contribution to date, Howe said: “Sometimes trying to judge how a manager has performed is very, very difficult because results don’t always tell the whole story.

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“The biggest compliment I can give Mikel is he’s overseen a big transition of players and a big transition of playing style, and he’s managed to do that while getting results and that’s very, very difficult to do.

“They now have, I think, one of the youngest teams in the Premier League and the future looks very bright there, so full credit to him and his staff and his players for what they have done.”

Asked if they had punched above their weight this time around, Howe said: “It’s difficult for me to say, I’ve got no real comment on that. I’m just observing from things I see from a manager’s perspective.

“As I said, the transition of players, ins and outs, and the average age of the squad has come right down – they have a lot of really talented young players – that’s very hard to do and remain competitive in the Premier League.”

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