Arsenal

USMNT transfer news: Yunus Musah wanted; Milan to keep Sergino Dest

0 Comments

The 2022 World Cup was a success on several levels for the United States men’s national team.

For one thing: They qualified for the tournament, impressed defensively in the group stage, and got loads of experience for their young team on the world’s stage ahead of the North American-hosted tournament in 2026.

[ RELATED: World Cup 2022 schedule – groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates ]

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that those young players are getting plenty of transfer interest in what could be the busiest January transfer window in some time.

Yunus Musah and Sergino Dest are already in the rumor mill this week. Here’s the latest on potential moves for USMNT players in the coming days.

Sergino Dest transfer news: Milan stay on the cards

This is a weird report, given that Sergino Dest has been with AC Milan for months on loan from Barcelona, but apparently the player’s World Cup has convinced the Rossonieri that he’s got more to offer the club.

Dest turned 22 in November and has made nine loan appearances for Milan totaling 375 minutes. Dest played nearly that much in four World Cup games for the USMNT.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings from the World Cup ]

Corriere dello Sport reports that Milan is now willing to give cash-hungry Barcelona $20 million to make Dest’s loan deal a permanent one.

Could this be how it all works? Could Milan’s board really not have made its mind up on Dest until it saw him in a U.S. shirt against Wales, England, Iran, and/or the Netherlands?

More importantly, would it be a good move for Dest? We suppose it would be best if Dest had the chance to experience this uplift in belief from Milan with playing time before he agrees to a long-term move.

Yunus Musah transfer news: Chelsea, Liverpool, join Arsenal pursuit

A report in 90min claims that Valencia is trying to lock USMNT midfielder Yunus Musah into a new contract amid interest from abroad given his strong World Cup.

Musah turned 20 last month and has been with Valencia since leaving Arsenal’s academy in 2019. The New York-born Musah spent 2012-19 with the Gunners but went almost straight into Valencia’s B-team and has now made 81 first-team appearances for La Liga’s outfit.

Musah’s current deal runs until 2026 and includes a release clause of $105 million, but surely he’s not a 9-figure player even at his tender age.

Arsenal has reportedly been monitoring his progress since he left, and he could join international teammate Matt Turner as well as several longtime friends back with the Gunners. Surely that would be attractive, but Chelsea and Liverpool have reportedly joined in the pursuit of Musah.

Musah is being played centrally at Valencia more and more after playing a lot of time on the right side. Valencia’s in 10th place on La Liga’s table and is three years removed from its last European campaign but wants Musah to be an every-week starter.

Those clubs back “home” in England can’t promise that, but can Musah resist the urge?

Follow @NicholasMendola

Report: Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus could be out for lengthy period

0 Comments

Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus has suffered a knee injury while on duty with Brazil at the World Cup and it could be very serious.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

According to one report from The Telegraph, Jesus could be out for up to three months which would be a hammer blow for the Gunners and their unlikely Premier League title push.

The striker suffered the injury during Brazil’s 1-0 group stage defeat to Cameroon and the Gunners are in contact with the Brazil medical team to figure out how serious the knee injury is.

Jesus, 25, has been instrumental in Mikel Arteta’s side sitting five points clear atop the Premier League table.

If he’s missing for a long period, Arsenal will seriously consider signing an emergency striker in January.


Latest update on Gabriel Jesus injury

The vibes are not good at all around this injury news.

An update below suggests that Arsenal are fearing and planning for the worst but hoping for the best.

If Jesus is out for the next few months, who plays up top for Arsenal? Does Gabriel Martinelli go central? Is Eddie Nketiah ready to fill the void?

Jesus hasn’t been banging goals in for Arsenal this season but his movement and slick interchange with Saka, Martinelli and Odegaard in particular has been the key behind their much-improved attacking displays.


Arsenal hits break with five-point Premier League table lead

0 Comments

Martin Odegaard scored a pair of goals to give Arsenal a five-point lead atop the Premier League table following a 2-0 win over Wolves at the Molineux on Saturday.

Arsenal’s 12-1-1 record through 14 matches gives it a five-point lead over Manchester City atop the Premier League table, seven points clear of Newcastle and 14 ahead of fifth-place Manchester United.

WATCH WOLVES vs ARSENAL FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM

Wolves enter the World Cup break with just 10 points and eight goals, 20th place on the table. That’s four points off 17th.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


What we learned from Wolves vs Arsenal

Odegaard at his clinical best: Martin Odegaard is a technician. Sometimes he’s a team’s metronome. Other times he’s asked to carve open a difficult, tight back line. But the Norwegian has also shown a willingness to fire when ready, and Odegaard’s pair of finishes on Saturday give him six goals through 13 Premier League games this season. That’s one off his PL-best total, set last season, and two off his best-ever league season when he scored eight times with Vitesse Arnhem in the 2018-19 Eredivisie season. He’s about to get a month off to recharge his batteries with Norway’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, and that seems unlikely to be a bad thing for Arsenal.

Wolves not ready for possession: There’s this line from Heath Ledger’s Joker in “The Dark Knight” where he compares himself to a dog chasing cards, “I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things.” That’s what Wolves look like in the final third right now. Wolves had an electric counterattack in the first half that fizzled in almost comical fashion whether a runner wasn’t arriving or arrived at the wrong time or destination. Julen Lopetegui has a lot of interesting pieces for his formal takeover of the squad, and his possession and attacking ideas are going to be paramount to Wolves’ hopes of staying in the Premier League.


Tactical focus

Fabio Vieira slid in for Granit Xhaka after just 16 minutes as the Swiss midfielder reportedly took ill, and brought a different feel to the game as Mikel Arteta’s midfield plan took a turn. Less explosive but just as forward-hopeful, Vieira barely put a foot wrong and helped move Wolves around with his clever runs.


Stars of the Show

Oleksandr Zinchenko

Martin Odegaard

Goncalo Guedes

Gabriel Jesus

Toti Gomes

Fabio Vieira


What’s next?

Arsenal’s off until Boxing Day, when the Gunners reengage their Premier League title chase by hosting West Ham for a London derby.

Wolves will break until hosting Gillingham in the League Cup’s Round of 16 on Dec. 20, then heading to Everton for what will be a relegation six-pointer on Boxing Day.


Martin Odegaard goal videos


How to watch Wolves vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Saturday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Arsenal are perhaps a year ahead of schedule by challenging for the Premier League title, but make no mistake they are genuine contenders this season. With just one defeat and one draw in 13 games, only Manchester City have a better goal-scoring record (thanks to the arrival of Erling Haaland), and no one has a better defensive record this season (11 conceded).

As for Wolves, relegation is a genuine fear after winning just two of their first 14 games. Julen Lopetegui is set to take over as new manager after Saturday’s game, with a reliable goal-scorer (or two) the top priority in the January transfer window. Just last weekend, Wolves scored two goals in a game for the first time all season, in a 3-2 defeat to Brighton.


Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Diego Costa (suspension), Raul Jimenez (groin), Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Chiquinho (knee), Jonny (undisclosed)

Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Takehiro Tomiyasu (undisclosed)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Impressive Arsenal beats Chelsea to regain top spot

5 Comments

Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought win at London rivals Chelsea.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Gabriel’s second half goal was enough to make it 11 wins from 13 games so far this season, as Mikel Arteta’s side looked dangerous throughout and controlled vast swathes of the game.

Graham Potter’s Chelsea never got going in this game and they’ve now lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2020, when Frank Lampard was in charge.

Arsenal’s win (their third-straight at Chelsea) means they are top of the table with 34 points, as they sit 13 points above Chelsea who are seventh.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


What we learned from Chelsea vs Arsenal

The Gunners are the real deal: This is the kind of game you win if you’re going to be in the title race. On a stormy, wet afternoon in west London, the Gunners showed up. Big time. In previous seasons they would have lost or drawn this game but they stuck to their task, kept the ball well and played with the philosophy and style that Arteta demands. Their belief never wavered and they’re playing with so much confidence right now. They still may not match Manchester City over the course of a 38-game season but the desire, passion and belief of this Arsenal side tells us they will be very close when all is said and done. The stat below sums up their improvement against the big boys this season and remember: they are the youngest team in the Premier League.

Clunky Chelsea need patience: This was a pretty terrible Chelsea display. It was clunky from the start and they never looked comfortable in a 4-3-3 formation. Graham Potter has been hampered by injuries but he has tried pretty much every combination of players and formation at this point. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a terrible time up top against his former team and Chelsea just couldn’t get the ball forward quickly enough to the final third. It is going to take time for Potter to fully implement his playing style. Do Chelsea’s fans, and Todd Boehly, have the patience needed?

Jesus does everything but score: He often has the facial expression of someone who just lost their winning lottery ticket and that tells you how desperate Gabriel Jesus is to succeed. He missed a big chance in the first half but never stopped running and he knits Arsenal’s entire attack together. His runs, flicks and hold-up play gets them up the pitch and even though his drought continues, his importance to this Arsenal team is clear for all to see.


Tactical focus

Graphic via FotMob.com

Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 was dominant and so too were Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White. The two full backs tucked inside and Zinchenko’s return was a huge boost as he pushed in from left back and became the extra man in midfield. That allowed Arsenal to get on the ball further forward quickly and then Ben White on the other flank was often the spare man. It worked so well and Chelsea just couldn’t stop Arsenal getting up the pitch after a few slick passes.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Mikel Arteta lauds Arsenal’s performance

“Obviously we wanted to get back to the top but the competition is so difficult. The job, the challenge for us was to come here against a top team in the league and the way we did it – we deserved to win the game,” Arteta told BT Sport.

“For such a young team, the maturity, the composure they showed, the resilience and courage to play how we wanted to play was phenomenal to do it against these kind of players. Winning in this stadium is an extra thing, another step for this team to keep believing they can do it under pressure and against big opponents. The boys are willing and physically capable of doing it, the understanding of times and spaces is getting better every day, they feel comfortable playing these type of games.”

Speaking to the BBC: “What Manchester City are doing is what they’ve been doing for six years, they’re the best team in world, with the best coach in the world. We have taken another step against a really difficult opposition and to convince ourselves we can do it.”

Graham Potter concedes Chelsea ‘lacked quality’

“We played against a team in a really good moment, a confident team and you can see the points they have so credit to them. The boys gave everything, it was huffing and puffing but missed that last bit. The goal was disappointing, but overall they deserved it,” Potter told BT Sport.

“Arsenal are in a good moment and have been working together for a long time with a good understanding of what they want to do. We lacked a bit of quality. The effort was there, we were just beaten by the better team. It was not a great goal from our perspective.


Stars of the show

William Saliba: Dominant defensive display and looks so confidence and composed.

Gabriel Jesus: Ran himself into the ground and even though he didn’t bag his one big chance, was so unselfish.

Thomas Partey: He and Xhaka dominated midfield and the Ghanaian midfielder always looks in control.


What’s next?

Chelsea head to Manchester City on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the League Cup, then travel to Newcastle in the PL on Saturday, Nov. 12. Arsenal host Brighton on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the League Cup and Wolves in the league on Nov. 12.


How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network 
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines

Chelsea lost at Brighton last time out and drew against Manchester United in their last home game as Potter’s side are going through a few issues, especially defensively. He continues to rotate his lineup, especially in attack, and despite just one defeat in 11 games it feels like Chelsea are still yet to fully come to life under the talented English coach. As for Arsenal, they are flying with 10 wins from their opening 12 games of the season and Arteta’s youngsters responded superbly after dropping points at Southampton. They battered Nottingham Forest from start to finish last weekend and they will need to replicate that slick attacking display to make the most of the chances they get at Chelsea. The Gunners will be looking for yet another fast start as that has been key to their early-season success and they will be dangerous on the break.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Raheem Sterling scored in the Champions League in midweek and Mason Mount put in a Man of the Match display, while Denis Zakaria scored on his debut and looked very decent in midfield after spending the last few months waiting for his chance. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard have been superb all season long, while Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are dominating midfield each week. Everyone is in great form for the Gunners.


Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup

Ben Chilwell suffered a very serious hamstring injury right at the end of their win against Dinamo Zagreb and that is another big blow for the Blues’ defense. He joins Reece James and Wesley Fofana on the sidelines, plus N’Golo Kante is also out with a long-term thigh issue. Kepa Arrizabalaga is also out so Edouard Mendy starts in goal, while Mateo Kovacic is only fit enough for the bench. Thiago Silva, Marc Cucurella and Ruben Loftus-Cheek come back into the starting lineup.


Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup

Emile Smith Rowe is out, while Matt Turner is working his way back to fitness from a groin issue. Mohamed Elneny is back, while Oleksandr Zinchenko returns at left back which is a big boost. At the moment this is a very settled Arsenal lineup and Arteta has Gabriel Jesus up top with Saka (who has shaken off a knock), Martinelli and Odegaard floating around underneath him.



Arsenal clobbers Nottingham Forest; Bukayo Saka injured early

0 Comments

Arsenal hammered Nottingham Forest 5-0 on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium but the big win came at a potentially significant cost.

England and Arsenal star Bukayo Saka subbed off the pitch before the half-hour mark, having assisted Gabriel Martinelli’s opener before going down with an apparent leg injury.

WATCH ARSENAL v NOTTINGHAM FOREST FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM

Reiss Nelson had a brilliant day in Saka’s place, scoring twice before assisting Thomas Partey. Martin Odegaard also got on the score sheet in front of a joyous home crowd, while Gabriel Jesus had two assists in the win that pushed the Gunners back ahead of Man City for the Premier League lead.

As for Nottingham Forest, the shock upset of Liverpool is gone as is the defensively-sound presence the Tricky Trees had against the Anfield set at the City Ground. Forest sits 20th with nine points, three off 17th place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  


What we learned from Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest

Feel-good Nelson flexes depth after Saka injury: Yes, there’s the full nelson, the half-nelson, and now the feel-good Nelson. The Arsenal academy boyhood prodigy would’ve felt his growth slowed by loan stints to Hoffenheim and Feyenoord. Boy will he — and the rest of the world outside of Nottingham — feel good at a brace off the bench. Bukayo Saka’s injury is a major concern should it be anything more than a precautionary sub, but Nelson’s scoring joins previous shows from Eddie Nketiah and a soon-to-return Emile Smith-Rowe as a real flex for Arsenal.

Forest will have more days like this with a lineup like this: Choosing Renan Lodl and Serge Aurier shows that Steve Cooper wanted to attack the Gunners but Neco Williams and Joe Worrall could’ve been used in the Starting XI instead of off the bench (What in the world does Aurier provide Forest is another question). Willy Boly will soon-enough get a look, too, as Forest has plenty of attacking pieces but needs help at the back to hang with top attacks.


Tactical focus

Getting packed-in at the back can limit damage and keep your team in a game at 0-0 or even 1-0, but Nelson’s early second-half goal all but set the stage for the eventual blowout. Doors were, indeed, blown off the barn.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Stars of the show

Reiss Nelson

Gabriel Jesus

Thomas Partey

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest
Gabriel Jesus stats at fotmob.com

What’s next?

Arsenal hosts Zurich on Thursday with its Europa League advancement secured but not seeded, but it will likely worry more about a 7am ET Sunday trip to Chelsea.

Forest hosts Brentford at 11am ET Saturday.


Gabriel Martinelli goal video, Bukayo Saka injury update

Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka assisted the game’s opening goal with class, but fans of both his club and national team will be concerned about his status coming out of the match.

Saka’s left leg was being cared for by trainers on the pitch before he was replaced by Reiss Nelson on Sunday.

It’s less than a month before the World Cup and Saka is one of the keys to England’s high hopes in Qatar. He walked off the pitch without a major limp but watch this space for Mikel Arteta’s post-match thoughts.


Thomas Partey goal video: Curling smash makes it 4-0


How to watch Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines

All eyes will be on this young Gunners squad to see how they respond to a few small setbacks. They have a two-point lead atop the Premier League table heading into this weekend but with Manchester City playing before them in Matchweek 14, but the time Arsenal kick off against Forest they could be second. Arsenal look a little jaded and susceptible on the counter and they need to take their big chances early to stop any thought of dropping more points. For Forest, they have nothing to lose in this game. Ryan Yates’ industry has summed up the new-look of this side as Forest have become a solid unit and nasty to play against. Also, quite a few of these Forest players played in their FA Cup win against Arsenal in January 2022 as the then second-tier side knocked FA Cup holders Arsenal out of the competition.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Arsenal’s entire team is in good form but Granit Xhaka has been the main man for most of this season. Elsewhere, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli looked a little tired and have been just off it and that could explain Arsenal’s poor results in their last two games. Yates has been the heartbeat of Forest’s revival, with goalkeeper Dean Henderson playing superbly and Taiwo Awoniyi giving them a real focal point up top.


Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny remain out, while Oleksandr Zinchenko and Marquinhos are doubts. USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner suffered a small groin injury in training so 20-year-old Karl Hein is in the 18 at backup goalkeeper. Arsenal left Ben White, Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel, and Bukayo Saka out of the starting lineup at PSV and all five return after a rest.


Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options

Omar Richards, Harry Toffolo, Jack Colback, and Moussa Niakhate all remain out of the lineup. Forest makes one change from the team which performed so well against Liverpool as Cooper has finally found his formula.