Beyond the glitz, France has problems to solve before World Cup

Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images
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PARIS (AP) France’s attacking soccer can be compared to an All-Star basketball game: showy moves, flashy individual skill and outstanding finishing.

Up front France boasts Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, two of the world’s three most expensive players, and the 2016 European Championship’s top scorer in Antoine Griezmann.

When everything comes together, it’s a joy to watch but, behind the glitz, France has significant problems to resolve before its World Cup campaign begins on June 16.

As Euro 2016 runner-up, France will rightly be considered among the favorites in Russia. But rivals will marvel at the ease with which Colombia pierced France’s feeble defense and overran its tentative midfield on Friday. Trailing 2-0, Colombia rallied to win 3-2 in a tactical master class of positional switches and pressing which flummoxed France coach Didier Deschamps.

France showed similar frailties against World Cup winner Germany in November, twice squandering the lead in a 2-2 draw. Both times, France fluffed chances because of some complacent finishing – trying to score highlight-reel goals – and was then ruthlessly punished.

It is particularly worrying for Deschamps, who places high importance on tactical discipline, commitment, leadership and risk-free defending. Those were hallmarks of France’s triumphant teams at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 tournaments – with the combative midfielder Deschamps as captain – but they were missing against Colombia on Friday.

“We have to do more in terms of attitude, energy and playing with more heart,” France captain Hugo Lloris said. “We have to give more.”

In adding that Colombia “maybe has less talent but is a real team” Lloris highlighted the glossy veneer and soft underbelly of his side.

Striker Olivier Giroud criticized a lack of “aggression and determination,” adding it was important to understand why France was missing such “crucial values.”

Deschamps has another friendly, away to Russia on Tuesday, before he names his 23-man World Cup squad. He will then have three matches left to iron out evident flaws in his side, including a lack of leadership, lapses of concentration in defense, and a misplaced sense of superiority when dominating games.

“When things are going well, we’re capable of doing very good things. When things get tense we’re a lot more vulnerable,” Deschamps said. “It’s also a question of character, perhaps we are too self-satisfied and the highest level doesn’t forgive that.”

France’s second-half capitulation against Colombia was not just tactical; it was also because Les Bleus had no leader to spark a response.

France’s long-standing captain is goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. While there is no doubt over Lloris’ position as No. 1 – the Tottenham goalie is among the most consistent in the Premier League and has nearly 100 international caps – his position on the field works against him in communicating with his team.

Lloris has long been considered too soft-spoken and lacking enough of a vocal presence. Deschamps complained his side lacked aggression against Colombia, and he may question why he’s sticking with Lloris as captain when he is anything but aggressive, both in his body language and communication.

France plays such scintillating attacking football that its defenders must sometimes be tempted to put their feet up and admire it. Unfortunately, at times they seem to do just that.

Deschamps is still trying to decide on his best center back pairing: Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane alongside either Barcelona’s Samuel Umiti or Arsenal’s 50-cap veteran Laurent Koscielny. He went with Varane and Umtiti against Colombia and it was thoroughly unconvincing.

Forward Luis Muriel regularly got behind Varane, and Umtiti clumsily gave away a late penalty, from which Colombia made it 3-2.

But bringing Koscielny back in won’t solve everything, either. While he is a fine reader of the game, and one of the best ball-playing center halves around, Koscielny has a habit of giving away penalties and his man-marking can be poor.

Right backs Djibril Sidibe and Benjamin Pavard are attack-minded but so are left backs Layvin Kurzawa and Lucas Digne. Against Colombia, Sidibe and Digne raced forward almost at will, leaving gaping holes behind them for Colombia to exploit.

With N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi, the last position Deschamps should worry about is midfield.

However, Pogba has fallen out of favor at Manchester United and looks out of form. Against Colombia, Deschamps paired Kante and Matuidi as holding midfielders in a 4-4-2 formation, but they were at times completely overrun when Colombia countered on the break.

A 4-3-3 formation – Kante holding with Pogba and Matuidi either side – appears to offer more protection. But Pogba’s tactical indiscipline means he often drifts out of position and, while he’s among the world’s most expensive players, Deschamps may be better off using him as a substitute.

Instead, Deschamps could opt for a 4-3-3 with Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso, who is far more disciplined and a crisp passer with a good eye for goal. He scored 14 for Lyon last season, including long-range strikes, and has found the net several times for Bayern. Tuesday’s match against Russia could prove important for Pogba’s chances of starting France’s World Cup opener against Australia.

FA Cup fourth round live! Scores, how to watch live, predictions

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The FA Cup always delivers shocks and plenty of Premier League clubs have tricky tasks facing them in the fourth round.

After Aston Villa, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth were all knocked out by lower league opponents in round three, plus Everton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Brentford knocked out by fellow Premier League sides, there are only 10 top-flight teams left in the competition.

[ LIVE: Follow FA Cup scores, updates ]

Arsenal lost narrowly at Manchester City in heavyweight clash, while Brighton against Liverpool has the makings of a classic and Manchester United will be on upset alert against Reading and so too will West Ham as they face a tough trip to third-tier Derby County.

Read on for FA Cup stream info, fixtures, and predictions.


FA Cup live scores, schedule, dates, how to watch

Dates: Fourth round (January 27-30)
Times: Below
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: ESPN+


FA Cup fourth round schedule

All games 10am ET unless otherwise stated

Friday
Man City 1-0 Arsenal – Recap/video highlights

Saturday
Accrington Stanley 1-3 Leeds United
Walsall 0-1 Leicester City
Fulham vs Sunderland
Bristol City vs West Brom
Sheffield Wednesday vs Fleetwood Town
Blackburn Rovers vs Birmingham City
Luton Town vs Grimsby Town
Ipswich Town vs Burnley
Southampton vs Blackpool
Preston North End vs Tottenham Hotspur – 1pm ET
Manchester United vs Reading – 3pm ET

Sunday
Brighton vs Liverpool – 8:30am ET
Stoke City vs Stevenage – 9am ET
Wrexham vs Sheffield United – 11:30am ET

Monday
Derby County vs West Ham – 2:45pm ET


FA Cup fourth round predictions – By Joe Prince-Wright

Friday
Man City 2-1 Arsenal

Saturday
Accrington Stanley 1-3 Leeds United
Walsall 1-2 Leicester City
Fulham 1-2 Sunderland
Bristol City 1-2 West Brom
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Fleetwood Town
Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Birmingham City
Luton Town 3-1 Grimsby Town
Ipswich Town 1-3 Burnley
Southampton 2-0 Blackpool
Preston North End 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United 2-1 Reading

Sunday
Brighton 2-2 Liverpool
Stoke City 2-1 Stevenage
Wrexham 1-2 Sheffield United

Monday
Derby County 1-1 West Ham


FA Cup third round replays

Tuesday 

Swansea City 1-2 (AET) Bristol City
Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Birmingham City (original tie postponed due to waterlogged pitch)
Wigan 1-2 Luton
Wolves 0-1 Liverpool
West Brom 4-0 Chesterfield

Wednesday

Leeds United 5-2 Cardiff City

Tuesday, January 24

Accrington Stanley vs Boreham Wood


FA Cup third round results

Friday

Manchester United 3-1 Everton

Saturday

Preston North End 3-1 Huddersfield Town
Reading 2-0 Watford
Tottenham 1-0 Portsmouth
Gillingham 0-1 Leicester City
Forest Green Rovers vs Birmingham City — PPD
Crystal Palace 1-2 Southampton
Hull City 0-2 Fulham
Middlesbrough 1-5 Brighton
Fleetwood Town 2-1 QPR
Ipswich Town 4-1 Rotherham
Bournemouth 2-4 Burnley
Blackpool 4-1 Nottingham Forest
Chesterfield 3-3 West Brom
Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United
Boreham Wood 1-1 Accrington Stanley
Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Sunderland
Brentford 0-1 West Ham
Coventry City 3-4 Wrexham
Luton Town 1-1 Wigan
Grimsby Town 1-0 Burton Albion
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Newcastle
Liverpool 2-2 Wolves

Sunday

Bristol City 1-1 Swansea City
Derby County 3-0 Barnsley
Cardiff City 2-2 Leeds
Stockport 1-2 Walsall
Hartlepool 0-3 Stoke City
Norwich 0-1 Blackpool
Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage
Man City 4-0 Chelsea

Monday

Oxford United 0-3 Arsenal


Arsenal transfer news, live! Latest reports, rumors, updates

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Arsenal transfer news: The January transfer window will be interesting (and important) for the Gunners as Mikel Arteta’s side is clearly a big contender for everything the Premier League has to offer.

VIDEO: Premier League analysis

After finishing two points behind north London rivals Tottenham, due to back-to-back defeats on Matchweeks 36 and 37 with UEFA Champions League qualification nearly in the bag, Arsenal isn’t leaving anything up to chance this go-round. The Gunners lead the Premier League and show no signs of slowing down.

Following the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona, in January 2022) and Alexandre Lacazette (end of contract, this summer), Arteta continues to rejuvenate an already stunning attack that includes Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, and captain Martin Odegaard.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man City | Man United ]

Below we roundup the latest done deals, reports and rumors and give our analysis on Arsenal transfer news as Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) will guide you through a hectic next few months.


Arsenal confirmed transfers & signings – January 2023 window

Ins

Leandro Trossard – Brighton & Hove Albion ($33.4 million)
Jakub Kiwior – Spezia (undisclosed)

Outs

None


Arsenal transfer news today, live!

January 28 – Moises Caicedo saga takes another twist

Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo has reportedly not shown up for training at Brighton after previously posting a message on social media asking for him to be allowed to leave. Arsenal reportedly had a $65 million bid for Caicedo rejected as Brighton do not want to sell him in January. Fabrizio Romano has said that Arsenal will go in with an improved offer. Caicedo, 21, has been a revelation for the Seagulls and has been chased by Chelsea, and many other Premier League heavyweights, since the summer. This latest twist could force Brighton’s hand in the final hours of the January window but they are likely to want closer to $85 million for their talented box-to-box midfielder. (JPW)


January 26 – Amadou Onana also an option

It has been reported by The Times that Chelsea have stepped up interest in Everton’s Belgium midfielder Amadou Onana. The 21-year-old has been one of the only bright spots in Everton’s dreadful campaign and the Belgian international is seen as a player Chelsea can sign this month to bolster their midfield and is easier (and much cheaper) to acquire than Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo. Onana arrived at Goodison from Lille last summer for a deal worth up to $40 million. It is believed Chelsea have offered $62 million initially for Onana, who can drive forward from midfield, is tidy on the ball and just always seems to make things happen. One problem: does Onana want to sign for Chelsea? A report from Belgian outlet Nieuwsblad states that Onana has rejected a move to Chelsea and wants to stay at Everton and keep them in the Premier League. There same report also says that a move to Arsenal could be a more realistic option for Onana. Are Arsenal and Chelsea settle to battle it out for yet another player? Keep a close eye on Onana late in this window. (JPW)

January 26 – Huge offer for Caicedo on the way?

It appears that Arsenal and Chelsea are going to go head-to-head for plenty of new signings and Moises Caicedo is the latest star player at the center of the battle. A report from the London Evening Standard says that Arsenal could spend $93 million on Caicedo, 21, as Chelsea have baulked at Brighton’s asking price and look to have moved on to other targets. The Ecuadorian midfielder has been a revelation in the Premier League this season and is exactly the kind of player Arsenal have made a habit of recruiting over the last few years: young, hungry, physical and focused. Caicedo has been chased by Chelsea for months and most expected him to join his former Brighton boss Graham Potter at Stamford Bridge in the upcoming transfer windows. Wherever he goes, Caicedo will make Brighton a huge profit and looks set for a brilliant Premier League as a holding midfielder. (JPW)


January 25 – One back in (from La Liga), one out to Fulham

Reports say that Arsenal will led Cedric Soares head on loan to London neighbors Fulham, but not without a replacement.

Sky Sports says that Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund are in hot pursuit of Real Valladolid right back Ivan Fresneda.

Marca says that Fresneda missed Valladolid training amid reports that Arsenal matched BVB’s $15 million bid for the back.

The 18-year-old has started regularly for Valladolid this season when healthy and has represented Spain at the U-18 and U-19 levels.

Valladolid doesn’t have a lot of the ball so there are limited ways to judge his attacking production even by advanced metrics, but he does rank well in receiving the ball and has terrific numbers in tackles, interceptions, and clearances according to FBref.com. (NM)


January 24 – Leeds join battle for McKennie

After USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie was linked with a move to Arsenal, it appears that Leeds United are also keen on the American. According to Fabrizio Romano, McKennie is an option Leeds are looking at. With Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson already at Elland Road, thanks largely to American coach Jesse Marsch, perhaps McKennie will head to Leeds where he will likely play every week? That probably won’t be the case at Arsenal, at least initially. (JPW)


January 23 – Arsenal unveils Polish back Jakub Kiwior from Spezia

Arsenal’s gone to Serie A for its latest signing, 22-year-old Jakub Kiwior of Spezia and the Poland national team.

A member of Poland’s World Cup team, Kiwior had been with Spezia since the start of the 2021-22 season.

The left-footed center back has nine caps for Poland and started all four of the club’s matches at the 2022 World Cup.

Kiwior turns 23 next month and will wear No. 15. A fee has not been disclosed.


January 23 – USMNT star Weston McKennie linked with $22-27 million transfer

According to a report from Gazzetta dello Sport, USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie is wanted by Arsenal. Per the report, Arsenal are in talks with Juve and are willing to spend around $22-27 million on McKennie. The American midfielder could be part of the mass exodus at Juventus given the recent turmoil at the club, as the Italian giants were just handed a 15-point deduction amid ongoing investigations into finances and the governance of the club. The report says McKennie could be sell to fund the arrival of a new winger. McKennie has long been linked with Tottenham, and other PL clubs, but this move to Arsenal would suit his style of play very well and he would be a great midfielder to rotate in for Xhaka and Partey, while his versatility means he can slot in at right back, center back and elsewhere. (JPW)

Arsenal transfer news
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

January 23 – Declan Rice linked with Arsenal again

Okay, so Arsenal are definitely trying to sign a central midfielder. And it seems like Declan Rice is their top target for this summer. Rice’s contract at West Ham is ticking down and although Chelsea and Manchester United also wanted to sign the England international, a report from the Guardian says that Rice would prefer a move to Arsenal (JPW)


January 21 – Eduardo Camavinga loan talks

This is a real surprise, isn’t it? According to the London Evening Standard, Arsenal are in talks with Real Madrid over a loan move for Eduardo Camavinga. The 20-year-old France international has struggled to become a regular at Real and it appears he wants more regular action. Will he get that at Arsenal? It’s hard to see the duo of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey being broken up but maybe Camavinga could play alongside them both in a more defensive midfield setup? Camavinga is a quality player and if Arsenal can get this loan move sealed, it significantly strengthens their options in central midfield. (JPW)


January 20 – Leandro Trossard confirmed as newest Arsenal signing


January 19 – Trossard talks intensify

It seems like Leandro Trossard is getting closer to joining Arsenal in January. Per Fabrizio Romano, the Brighton and Belgium star has agreed personal terms and is just waiting for the Gunners and Seagulls to agree a transfer fee. Trossard, 28, has fallen out with Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi and is out of their plans. It has been reported that Brighton want over $33 million for Trossard as he has just six months left on his current contract but Brighton can also trigger an extra year so he basically has 18 months left on his current deal. Would this be a good move for Arsenal? Absolutely, 1000 percent yes. Trossard can slot into several different roles in their wide, midfield and attacking areas and can also do a job at full back or wing-back. He is versatile, has quality on the ball and this season he has added plenty of goals to his name. Mikel Arteta needs extra depth in wide areas and Trossard provides that. It will be key to keeping Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli fresh. This is one of those situations where it is a great deal for all involved. (JPW)


January 16 – Moussa Diaby a top target?

Arsenal are being linked with wingers galore at the moment and it appears Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby is the latest target. According to our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, Arsenal have reached out to Leverkusen about the availability of Diaby. The 23-year-old winger is a French international and Leverkusen have reportedly said he is worth over $108 million. Does that fee sound familiar? It is the transfer fee Chelsea just paid Shakhtar Donetsk for Mudryk and is now seen as the reference point for a talented winger in Europe. Diaby’s speed, crossing ability and penchant to cut inside mean he is very similar to Arsenal’s current wide players and he would slot into this system perfectly. He also creates and scores a lot of goals (25 assists and 23 goals since the start of the 2020-21 season), which is always handy. It seems like a move in the summer is more likely but Arsenal are putting the building blocks in place. (JPW)


January 16 – Gunners in Declan Rice driver’s seat?

The London Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella says that Arsenal has pulled ahead of Man City, Manchester United, and Chelsea in the race to sign West Ham star Declan Rice.

The 24-year-old England midfielder is part of the Irons’ potent midfield with Lucas Paqueta and Tomas Soucek, but has been said to want UEFA Champions League football and 15th-place West Ham is well off top-half standards so far this season.

Rice was long ticketed for old club Chelsea, but the Blues are said to prefer Enzo Fernandez and other options for the center of the park. (NM)


January 16 – Raphinha, Ferran Torres interest

According to 90min Arsenal have enquired about Barcelona duo Raphinha and Ferran Torres. Per the report, Arsenal’s sporting director Edu has held talks with Barca to see if the two wide forwards are available. After missing out on Mudryk, Arsenal still want to sign a new winger. It is believed both Raphinha and Torres could be available as Barcelona need to cut their wage bill further. Raphinha was a key target for Arsenal last summer but joined Barca from Leeds instead but the Brazilian winger has struggled to nail down a starting spot at the Nou Camp. If Arsenal could sign Raphinha for less than the $70 million Barcelona paid for him last summer, that would represent a very good deal for the Gunners. He knows the Premier League inside out and his style of play would suit this Arsenal side extremely well as he could rotate in and out of the lineup with Saka and Martinelli. (JPW)


January 15 – Gunners have interest in Leandro Trossard

According to David Ornstein, Arsenal are now interested in signing Leandro Trossard from Brighton. After missing out on Mudryk, the Gunners still want to improve their options out wide and Trossard has six months left on his current deal at Brighton with the Seagulls having an option to extend his contract by a year. Trossard, 28, has been left out of Brighton’s recent squads and his agents released a statement saying his time at Brighton is basically up after falling out with manager Roberto De Zerbi. Trossard is proven in the Premier League and will be a very good option to rotate into Arsenal’s attacking lineup. (JPW)


January 15 – Mudryk signs in $108 million deal on eight-and-a-half year deal

Mykhailo Mudryk has signed for Chelsea, as the Blues reportedly offered him double what Arsenal were prepared to pay him in wages. Mudryk, 22, has signed an eight-and-a-half year deal and the Ukrainian winger will be a big part of their future as they continue to expensively revamp their squad. As for Arsenal, this is one that got away as the finances of the deal just didn’t add up for the Gunners. They are now moving on to other options… (JPW)

January 14 – Chelsea could snap up Mudryk from under the noses of Arsenal

This is absolutely bonkers. There have been reports over the last week or so that Chelsea could make a move for Mudryk but this latest update from Fabrizio Romano seems to be a lot more concrete and Chelsea are trying to get one over their London rivals. Arsenal have been haggling over the transfer fee for many days with Shakhtar and it seems like Chelsea are ready to pay the Ukrainian side whatever they want for the talented winger. This would be a huge blow for Arsenal but I guess every player has his price, right? (JPW)


January 13 – Arsenal, Shakhtar ironing out transfer fee structure for Mudryk

According to the latest report regarding Arsenal’s pursuit of Mykhaylo Mudryk, progress is being made as Arsenal and Shakhtar Donetsk go back and forth over the transfer fee. $60 million is the latest reported base fee, with another $30 million expected in add-ons. (AE)


January 10 – Mudryk travels with Shakhtar as talks continue

The latest reports on Mykhaylo Mudryk to Arsenal have arrived and although the Gunners seem to be encouraged that they can strike a deal, the Ukraine international winger has flown to Turkey and gone on tour with them. Shakhtar are currently on a midseason break and Mudryk, 22, has been on holiday and working with a personal trainer to keep himself sharp. He is now heading away with the team for training and friendly games, so a deal does not appear to be imminent.

That said, a report from the Daily Express suggests that Shakhtar are finally open to negotiating down their asking price of $100 million and some compromises are being found. This all hinges on how much Arsenal are willing to pay up front and how much Shakhtar are willing to accept in installments. The structure of the deal seems to be being worked out and Arsenal really need to add another forward player so they can rotate their attacking lineup. (JPW)


January 9 – Alejandro Balde to Arsenal or Newcastle?

A report from Sport in Spain says that both Arsenal and Newcastle want to sign Barcelona left back Alejandro Balde. The versatile 19-year-old has become a regular for the Spanish giants this season but is yet to sign a new contract at the Nou Camp. Per the report, the issues with his contract talks at Barca involve the financial restraints they are facing and that has caused issues trying to agree new long-term contracts with current players. Newcastle and Arsenal have both reached out about Balde’s availability as his current contract runs out in the summer of 2024. Already a Spanish international, Balde is a huge talent and per the report his agent, Jorge Mendes, has told Barcelona that they could sell him to generate cash to help their financial situation. Both Arsenal and Newcastle are looking to add players in a structured and sensible way and Balde’s quality, and age, tick all of their boxes in terms of their recruitment model. (JPW)


January 3 – Chelsea ready to pounce to seal Mudryk deal

Another day, another update on Mykhaylo Mudryk but this does not involved Arsenal. Per a report from Jack Rosser of The Sun, Chelsea are ready to snap up the extremely talented Ukraine international as Arsenal have yet to agree a transfer fee with Shakhtar Donetsk. Mudryk, 21, is Arsenal’s main target in the January window but Chelsea certainly need some fresh attacking talent too and Shakhtar’s sporting director Darijo Srna is set to hold talks with the Blues this week. This all feels very Willian and Luis Diaz esque. (JPW)


January 3 – Improved bid for Mudryk but Chelsea lurking

Another day, another update on Arsenal’s pursuit of Mykhaylo Mudryk. Per a report from Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have submitted a bid of over $52.8 million up front to Shakhtar Donetsk. Plenty of add ons are included in the deal too. Romano adds that if Arsenal and Shakhtar cannot agree a fee, Chelsea are waiting in the wings to snap up the extremely talented Ukraine international. Mudryk, 21, is Arsenal’s main target in the January window and given their recent recruitment success, it seems likely he will be another key part of Mikel Arteta’s jigsaw. (JPW)


December 30 – Shakhtar negotiating with Arsenal over Mudryk transfer

That sound you can hear is Arsenal fans rubbing their hands with glee as Edu and Co. aim to sign one of the top young wingers in Europe. According to Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin, Arsenal are speaking with the Ukrainian club and they are haggling over a transfer fee. Arsenal have reportedly had an offer of over $66 million rejected by Shakhtar. The Ukrainian giants are said to want close to $100 million. Palkin spoke on Thursday and said: “Negotiations are continuing. We receive offers, but they are not the ones we would like to see on our table. Now, literally in five minutes, I will have a phone conversation with Arsenal. We are open to negotiations, ready to exchange ideas and figures. If we will agree, then let it be so. If we will not, then let it be another time.”

Per our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, there is ‘cautious optimism’ the deal can be completed as Mudryk’s representatives have reportedly already agreed personal terms and are now waiting on the two teams to agree a transfer fee. What would Mudryk bring? He fits Arsenal’s model of being a young, hungry player who can is technically gifted but also has incredible work rate. If he arrives he could allow the likes of Saka and Martinelli to play in slightly different roles and he adds real quality into their attacking rotation. As we’ve seen with the injury to Gabriel Jesus, this Arsenal squad is still pretty thin. But if Arsenal does sign Mudryk, it makes perfect sense and slots in with their identity as a club. Whenever Arsenal have spent big in recent seasons (Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel, Thomas Partey, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White are just a few examples) they have got it largely spot on. (JPW)


December 27 – Arsenal makes bid for Mykhailo Mudryk

Reports say that Arsenal has approached Shakhtar Donetsk with a $67 million bid for in-demand forward Mykhailo Mudryk.

The Ukrainian club is said to want over $100 million for the winger, who has eight caps for Ukraine and turns 22 on Jan. 5.

Some reports have said the move is “imminent,” but Mudryk’s been linked with Manchester City amongst others. He’s scored 10 times with eight assists in 18 matches across all competitions this season.

Mudryk is an electric dribbler who plays mainly on the left side, where fellow 21-year-old Gabriel Martinelli has often starred opposite another 21-year-old Bukayo Saka on the right. Relatively elderly Gabriel Jesus, 25, has been the Gunners center forward in front of 23-year-old Eddie Nketiah. The club also has Reiss Nelson and Marquinhos plus long-injured Emile Smith-Rowe. Wow.

Shakhtar is transferring from the Champions League to the Europa League playoffs, while Arsenal has a bye past the playoffs into the Round of 16. (NM)


Arsenal 2022-23 confirmed transfers & signings

In

Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City ($54.7 million)
Fabio Vieira – Porto ($42 million) – MORE
Oleksandr Zinchenko – Manchester City ($35.9 million)
Matt Turner – New England Revolution ($10.2 million) – MORE
Marquinhos – Sao Paulo ($3.5 million)

Out

Matteo Guendouzi – Marseille ($10.8 million)
Alexandre Lacazette (end of contract)
Auston Trusty – Birmingham City (loan)
Bernd Leno – Fulham ($5 million)
Lucas Torreira – Galatasaray ($7.5 million)
Konstantinos Mavropanos – Stuttgart ($4.75 million)
Hector Bellerin – (end of contract)
Nuno Tavares – Marseille (loan)
Pablo Mari – Monza (loan)
Nicolas Pepe – Nice (loan)
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Southampton (loan)
Runar Alex Runarsson – Alanyaspor (loan)


Arsenal archived transfer news, rumors

July 22 – Oleksandr Zinchenko unveiled as newest Arsenal player

Following weeks of reports and speculation, and even confirmation from his former manager, Oleksandr Zinchenko is officially an Arsenal player. The Gunners announced the 25-year-old left back/midfielder’s arrival on Friday, with the Ukrainian international calling it “a boyhood dream come true.” (AE)


July 4 – Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal signed, sealed, delivered

What a move for Arsenal this is. Gabriel Jesus, 25, has joined the Gunners for $54.7 million from Manchester City, and Mikel Arteta will be absolutely delighted with this deal. With Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez arriving this summer, Jesus needed to move to get more minutes as he aims to start for Brazil at the World Cup in November. He has found the perfect spot at Arsenal, as they needed a number nine, his playing style and philosophy matches theirs perfectly, and he knows Arteta very well from the latter being Man City’s assistant coach. This transfer works so well for everyone it actually hurts. Now, if Jesus can just become a little more clinical, this will be one of the deals of the summer, but at least we now know that Jesus wants to play up front instead of on the right. (JPW)


June 27 – Matt Turner completes his move to Arsenal

USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner has completed his move to Arsenal and is in north London settling in at his new club. It will take a lot for Turner to usurp Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal’s starting goalkeeper but he should get plenty of minutes in the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League this season. It will be intriguing to see how Turner fares early on at Arsenal, especially as they are heading to the U.S. on a preseason tour and he should play plenty of minutes for the Gunners as he gets to know his new teammates, coaches and settles in further. (JPW)


June 21 – Arsenal seals Fabio Vieira

We have lift-off.

Arsenal has purchased Fabio Vieira — no relation to Patrick — for a reported $42 million fee.

The Porto man just turned 21 in late May and racked up the joint second-most assists in Portugal last season despite playing under 1400 minutes.

What else will the Gunners get in Vieira, who can play left wing or second striker in addition to attacking midfield? Click here for more. (NM)


June 10 – Young forward Marquinhos set to join Gunners for $3.7 million

Marquinhos, 19, is set to join Arsenal from Sao Paulo, according to The Guardian. They say that Arsenal have ‘won the race’ to sign the Brazilian forward, who will sign a five-year contract. Marquinhos is definitely a player for the future after he broke through at Sao Paulo last season and has been capped by Brazil at U17 level. As for a player for the here and now, this report states that Gabriel Jesus remains Arsenal’s main target. If they can bring in Jesus then Arteta will be delighted as the Gunners’ young squad continues to move in the direction as they battle for a top four finish. (JPW)


June 9 – Alexandre Lacazette rejoins Lyon, who he left to sign for Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette’s Arsenal departure was already confirmed, but we now know that the 31-year-old French forward has rejoined Lyon on a free transfer. Lacazette spent seven season in the Lyon first team, where he scored 129 goals in 275 appearances (all competitions) from 2010-2017, before leaving the Ligue 1 side to sign for Arsenal. He made 206 appearances for the Gunners and scored 71 times in five seasons at the Emirates Stadium. (AE)

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Premier League transfer news, live! Complete list of January transfers so far

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The January transfer window is again seeing big-name imports into the Premier League, and the final hours of the window are seeing a flurry of deals take place.

Chelsea’s signed Benoit Badiashile and Andrey Santos, Newcastle’s formally welcomed Garang Kuol, and Liverpool’s reinforced its forward ranks with Cody Gakpo joining the Anfield set.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man City | Man United | Arsenal ]

There’s plenty of discussion about Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur making additions to deepen their squads’ top-four pushes, but nothing complete yet for either big name side.

The same is true for title-fighters Arsenal and Manchester City, though their top-end footing is a lot more stable.


Latest transfer deals developing – January 28

Weston McKennie to Leeds United is a developing deal as the American midfielder is set to join on loan until the end of the season, with Leeds having an option to buy him for $36 million.

Arsenal are pushing hard to sign Moises Caicedo, with the Ecuadorian midfielder reportedly not showing up for training at Brighton amid a rejected $65 million bid from the Gunners.


AFC Bournemouth

In
Dango Ouattara (Lorient)
Darren Randolph (West Ham)
Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City)

Out
Ferdinand Okoh (Dorchester) Loan
James Hill (Hearts) Loan
Will Dennis (Slough) Loan


Arsenal

In
Leandro Trossard (Brighton)
Jakub Kiwior (Spezia Calcio)

Out
Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Coventry) Loan
Miguel Azeez (Wigan) Loan
Arthur Okonkwo (Sturm Graz) Loan
Ovie Ejeheri (SJK Seinajoki) Loan
Harry Clarke (Ipswich Town)


Aston Villa

In
Aaron Ramsey (loan recall)
Tyreik Wright (loan recall)
Alex Moreno (Real Betis)
Jhon Duran (Chicago Fire)

Out
Cameron Archer (Middlesbrough) Loan
Tyreik Wright (Plymouth Argyle)
Frederic Guilbert (RC Strasbourg)
Indiana Vassilev (St. Louis City SC)
Danny Ings (West Ham)
Jan Bednarek (loan recall)
Morgan Sanson (Strasbourg) Loan


Brentford

In
Byron Wilson (Coventry)
Conor McManus (Bray Wanderers)
Fin Stevens (loan recall)
Mads Bech (loan recall)
Beaux Booth (Dorking)
Kevin Schade (Freiburg) Loan
Paris Maghoma (loan recall)
Romeo Beckham (Inter Miami) Loan
Nathan Young-Coombes (loan recall)

Out
Myles Peart-Harris (Forest Green Rovers) Loan extension
Aaron Pressley (Accrington) Loan
Lachlan Brook (Crewe) Loan extension
Edon Pruti (Hartlepool)
Mads Bech (Groningen) Loan
Ellery Balcombe (Bristol Rovers) Loan
Tariqe Fosu (Rotherham) Loan
Paris Maghoma (MK Dons) Loan
Charlie Goode (Blackpool) Loan


Brighton & Hove Albion

In
Facundo Buonanotte (Rosario Central)
Jamie Mullins (Bohemians)
Mark O’Mahony (Cork)

Out
Aaron Connolly (Hull) Loan
Reda Khadra (Birmingham)
Ed Turns (Leyton Orient) Loan
James Beadle (Crewe Alexandra) Loan
Leandro Trossard (Arsenal)


Chelsea

In
David Datro Fofana (Molde)
Benoit Badiashile (Monaco)
Andrey Santos (Vasco da Gama)
Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid) Loan
Mykhailo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven)

Out
Bashir Humphreys (Paderborn) Loan

Chelsea transfer news
Benoit Badiashile (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Crystal Palace

Out
Killian Phillips (Shrewsbury) Loan
Jack Butland (Man Utd) Loan
John-Kymani Gordon (Carlise) Loan
Malcolm Ebiowei (Hull) Loan
Ryan Bartley (Eastbourne Borough) Loan
David Boateng (Dover) Loan


Everton

In
Ellis Simms (loan recall)
Nathan Broadhead (loan recall)
Niels Nkounkou (loan recall)

Out
Salomon Rondon (released)
Nathan Broadhead (Ipswich)
Tom Cannon (Preston) Loan
Niels Nkounkou (Saint-Etienne) Loan
Sebastian Quirk (Accrington Stanley)
Tyler Onyango (Forest Green) Loan


Fulham

In
Anthony Knockaert (loan recall)

Out
Idris Odutayo (Maidenhead) Loan extension
Anthony Knockaert (Huddersfield) Loan
Ibane Bowat (Den Bosch) Loan


Leeds United

In
Max Wober (RB Salzburg)
Georginio Rutter (Hoffenheim)

Out
Mateusz Klich (MLS pending)
Alfie McCalmont (Carlisle) Loan
Leo Hjelde (Rotherham) Loan
Max Dean (MK Dons)
Cody Drameh (Luton) Loan
Joe Gelhardt (Sunderland) Loan


Leicester City

In
George Hirst (loan recall)
Victor Kristiansen (Copenhagen)

Out
George Hirst (Ipswich) Loan
Ben Nelson (Doncaster) Loan
Jakub Stolarczyk (Hartlepool) Loan


Liverpool

In
Cody Gakpo (PSV)
Billy Koumetio (Austria Vienna) Loan recall
Max Woltman (loan recall)
Jakub Ojrzynski (loan recall)
James Balagizi (loan recall)
Fidel O’Rourke (loan recall)
Rhys Williams (loan recall)

Out
Jake Cain (Swindon Town)
Jarell Quansah (Bristol Rovers) Loan

Liverpool transfer news
Cody Gakpo photo vis twitter.com/LFC

Manchester City

In
Liam Delap (loan recall)
Maximo Perrone (Velez Sarsfield)

Out
Josh Wilson-Esbrand (Coventry) Loan
Liam Delap (Preston) Loan
Kayky (Bahia) Loan


Manchester United

In
Jack Butland (Crystal Palace) Loan
Wout Weghorst (Burnley) Loan

Out
Martin Dubravka (loan recall)
Shola Shoretire Loan (Bolton Wanderers)
Charlie Savage (Forest Green) Loan


Newcastle United

In
Amadou Diallo (free) 
Garang Kuol (Central Coast Mariners)
Martin Dubravka (loan recall)

Out
Garang Kuol (Hearts) Loan
Chris Wood (Nott’m Forest) Loan
Dylan Stephenson (Hamilton) Loan


Nottingham Forest

In
Gustavo Scarpa (Palmeiras)
Danilo (Palmeiras)
Alex Mighten (loan recall)
Chris Wood (Newcastle United) Loan

Out
Loic Bade (loan recall)
Dale Taylor (Burton Albion) Loan
Aaron Donnelly (Port Vale) Loan


Southampton

In
Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb)
Carlos Alcaraz (Racing Club)
Jan Bednarek (loan recall)
James Bree (Luton)

Out
Dynel Simeu (Morecambe) Loan
Dan Nlundulu (Bolton) Loan
Nico Lawrence (Torquay) Loan


Tottenham

In
Arnaut Danjuma (Villarreal) Loan


West Ham United

In
Luizao (Sao Paulo)
Armstrong Okoflex (loan recall)
Danny Ings (Aston Villa)

Out
Thierry Nevers (Bradford) Loan
Craig Dawson (Wolves)
Pierre Ekwah (Sunderland)
Darren Randolph (AFC Bournemouth)
Will Greenidge (Colchester) Loan


Wolverhampton Wanderers

In
Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid) Loan
Joe Young (loan recall)
Louie Moulden (loan recall)
Theo Corbeanu (loan recall)
Christian Marques (loan recall)
Lewis Richards (loan recall)
Mario Lemina (Nice)
Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain)
Craig Dawson (West Ham)
Dan Bentley (Bristol City)
Ki-Jana Hoever (loan recall)

Out
Leo Bonatini (released)
Joe Young (Telford) Loan
Goncalo Guedes (Benfica) Loan
Theo Corbeanu (Arminia Bielefeld) Loan
Leonardo Campana (Inter Miami)
Connor Ronan (Colorado Rapids)
Fabio Silva (PSV) Loan
Matija Sarkic (Stoke) Loan
Ki-Jana Hoever (Stoke) Loan
Jackson Smith (Walsall) Loan

Premier League transfers
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Matheus Cunha  (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

Weston McKennie set to join Leeds: Is this a good move for the USMNT star?

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USMNT star Weston McKennie is set to sign for Leeds United from Juventus.

“Leeds United States of America” continues to grow with McKennie to join fellow Americans Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson playing for Jesse Marsch and newly-appointed assistant Chris Armas.

Who will be next to turn up at Elland Road, Christian Pulisic?

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Per Fabrizio Romano, McKennie will sign for Leeds on loan for a $1.4 million fee and Leeds have the option to buy him for just under $36 million in the summer.

Juventus boss Max Allegri confirmed that Juventus and Leeds have completed the deal and that the USMNT midfielder will not be available to play for the Italian giants against Monza on Sunday.

“There’s an agreement ready between clubs to sell McKennie. He won’t be available tomorrow,” Allegri said.


Would a move to Leeds be a good fit for Weston McKennie?

Stylistically the Premier League is a great fit for Weston McKennie and Leeds are probably one of the best teams he could move to.

He loves to fly into tackles and drive forward from midfield and playing just in front of Tyler Adams and Marc Roca or to the right of them would be a perfect spot for him at Leeds.

It would give Leeds more control of games and the Yorkshire club also play to his strengths. it’s a really good fit.

McKennie has struggled to have a big impact at Juve this season as injuries have taken their toll on him over the last few years. That would perhaps be the one concern about his move to the Premier League, as McKennie seems to pick up quite a few knocks.

However, looking at his stats below from this season at Juventus, the chances he creates per game and the shots per game will improve and his accurate passing will help Leeds become less susceptible on the counter.

McKennie is a player who rattles into tackles, feeds off the energy of his fans and his mentality is perfect for the aggressive side Jesse Marsch has created at Leeds.

The Texas born midfielder has always wanted to play in the Premier League and he’s got his wish at a club where he will play week in, week out and one which suits his style of play perfectly.

Weston McKennie
Graphic via FotMob.com