When it comes to the Premier League title race, knowing that Arsenal losing to Manchester City in a few weeks isn’t enough to derail the Gunners, there’s a question we need to ask yet again given their beatdown of Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Can Arsenal be stopped?
The Gunners oozed class again against the Eagles, at times looking like they were playing a stylish rondo more than manipulating a Premier League rival all over the pitch.
So while Man City was showcasing its power elsewhere (read on for more), Arsenal was asking the two-time champs how they felt about an eight-point table gap with two months to play.
And how about Everton and Southampton?! The Toffees and Saints rallied to get helpful points for the relegation plights, and they did it against Chelsea and Tottenham, respectfully. In Southampton’s case, their point drew one of the most instantly memorable manager rants in history out of Antonio Conte.
The FA Cup weekend meant there were extra curricular chances for Premier League teams to spread their league nuttiness around the country (and the world).
So head to thing we learned No. 5 and learn a bit about how Manchester United, Man City, Fulham, and Brighton and Hove Albion got on in the quarterfinals.
10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 28
1. Arsenal’s first-half blitz continues to be too much for Premier League (Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace): Most teams are beaten by Arsenal before they know what happened. That was the case for Crystal Palace on Sunday. A near-miss by Wilfried Zaha woke Arsenal up — perhaps their Europa League exit delayed their usual early blitz a little? — and normal service resumed about 20 minutes into the first half. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Leandro Trossard were too quick for Palace and Gabriel Jesus came on to help them close it out in the second half. Arsenal’s intensity is too much for teams they play against and that hunger combined with pace, skill and understanding is so tough to stop. Eight points clear with 10 games to go, which includes that trip to Manchester City in April. Arsenal’s fans are so close to ending their two-decade wait for Premier League title. (NM)
2. Antonio Conte unleashes fury at Tottenham players; Exit close? (Southampton 3-3 Spurs): We can tell you what we learned from Antonio Conte’s blistering press conference following Spurs’ big blown lead to Saints at St. Mary’s, but you don’t need an interpreter. Is Conte leaving London quite soon?
“The problem is that for another time we showed that we are not a team. We are 11 players that go into the pitch. I see selfish players, I see players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart. Before today I prefer to hide this situation and to try to speak, to try to improve the spirit, the situation, with the words, with a lot of situations. Because about tactical or technical aspect, this is one situation. The most important thing if you want to become a strong team, if you want to become competitive, if you want to fight to win, is the desire, the fire that you need to have in your eyes , in your heart, and you have to show this in every moment. In every moment. If I have to compare last season and this season, we have to improve, but now we are worse in this aspect. When you are not a team, anything can happen, in any moment. Today is the last situation.” (JPW)
3. Dyche’s disagreeable Toffees expose Chelsea naivete (Chelsea 2-2 Everton): It’s not that Chelsea’s men didn’t work, or that Graham Potter didn’t tell them to fight for their points at Stamford Bridge. Rather, this is all about Sean Dyche’s men showing up ready to work harder than their foes even when trailing, and to never say die on the occasion. And that would’ve been apparent to anyone even if Everton didn’t manage their second equalizer, which was as feel-good as it gets considering it was (mostly) homegrown Ellis Simms just taking a world-class defender in Kalidou Koulibaly to the mat. If there’s anything more Sean Dyche than coming back from down twice thanks to two big, ornery scorers bulling their way to goals, we’re not sure what it is. As for Chelsea, Graham Potter now has a couple of weeks to make sure there’s nothing less Graham Potter than throwing up two leads at home. (NM)
4. Chaos continues as Leeds embrace it vs fiery Wolves (Wolves 2-4 Leeds): This season Leeds have tried to be something they’re not. Jesse Marsch tried to tone down his full throttle, high-pressing tactics which seemed to end in six-goal thrillers on a weekly basis for the first half of his reign. That switch cost him his job. By nature, Javi Gracia is a more composed and defensive coach, but even he has said ‘Screw it, do what comes naturally lads.’ That is why Leeds won at Wolves. They gave up big chances galore and needed Illan Meslier and his defenders to make big blocks but they created so many chances in attack and it just makes sense for them to play this way. This relegation scrap is chaotic and Leeds are ready for the fight. Wolves tried to embrace the chaos but it was all a bit too much for them. That may not bode well for them for the rest of the relegation scrap, while Leeds seem to be perfectly fine with bonkers games between now and May 28. (JPW)
5. FA Cup weekend: Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Cole Palmer flex youth for City, while Man United scoops up Fulham’s lost plot
With so many Premier League teams off this weekend so the FA Cup could determine its final four contenders for the 2022-23 trophy, it’s fair play to take a break from our 10 things to discuss what’s become of the competition for this season.
Manchester United and Manchester City are now on opposite sides of a draw that could put a Manchester derby into the FA Cup final.
United is set to meet Brighton and Hove Albion in the semifinal thanks to a heaping helping of meltdown from Fulham. The Cottagers led the Red Devils at Old Trafford with 20 minutes to play in the quarterfinal round but then disintegrated in two moments of madness as both Aleksandar Mitrovic and boss Marco Silva reacted in shameful fashion and joined handball-disguising Willian in collecting red cards. It was crazy. Read about it here.
Man City will tangle with high-flying Championship side Sheffield United a round after having zero trouble with an even higher-flying one in Burnley.
But it’s the manner in which Man City absolutely cooked Burnley that had people shaking their heads. Vincent Kompany, the City legend who manages the Clarets, could barely offer more than a shrug in response to his very good side allowing a half-dozen goals to Haaland (3), Alvarez (2), and Palmer.
6. Alexander Isak, Newcastle fight long and hard for deserved payout (Nottingham Forest 1-2 Newcastle): It was all Newcastle early, with Renan Lodi nearly putting the ball into his own net as the Magpies nearly flawlessly executed a clever set-piece routine in the 12th minute, but they failed to break through and were made to pay for it just before the half-hour mark. And then they wen’t down on a rare error from Sven Botman. It would take nearly 47 minutes, but Newcastle persevered and finally got their just reward for all of their attacking intent. Isak somehow got a foot to Joe Willock’s cross, which was a bit behind the Swede yet still angled off the inside of the far post as the final seconds of first-half stoppage time ticked away. VAR took a goal away from Elliot Anderson off a brilliant Isak assist, but Sean Longstaff was ruled in an offside position as the ball pinballed around the penalty are prior to the cross. Stoppage-time Isak struck once again in the second half after his header came off the arm of Moussa Niakhate inside the penalty area. Newcastle’s club-record signing stepped to the penalty spot, sent Keylor Navas one way and hammered the ball the other. (AE)
7. Unai Emery’s Villa makes jam from sour Cherries (Aston Villa 3-0 AFC Bournemouth): Bournemouth is not dead in the water but Villa sure made them look like a team not fit for the level. Villa’s expected goals of 3.20 really piled up late but that’s a big figure, and Tyrone Mings led a defense that only allowed Bournemouth nine shot attempts and an 0.59 xG total over 90 minutes. Villa literally looked like a European candidate on Saturday, and only some of that has to do with Bournemouth. The Villans were in the ascendancy from Moment No. 1 and probably could’ve scored five on another day (Mings had a late in-tight shot saved by Neto, in fact). This all happened with Boubacar Kamara, Leander Dendoncker, and Philippe Coutinho injured and Diego Carlos and Lucas Digne as unused subs. Watch out for Villa, who has a lot of reasonable points ahead of them on the fixture list. (NM)
8. David Brooks’ return a feel-good moment (Aston Villa 3-0 AFC Bournemouth): The vibes didn’t last too long, and that’s why we want to make sure we acknowledge David Brooks’ return to Bournemouth following a lengthy and scary absence. Brooks, 25, announced his diagnosis with Stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2021 and missed the rest of last season, then missing most of this season with a dreadful hamstring injury. His entrance to this game was greeted with very warm applause around Villa Park. Welcome back, David. (NM)
9. Will Arsenal end Kevin De Bruyne’s run atop the assist leaders? (Premier League assist list): Kevin De Bruyne is a two-time Premier League Playmaker of the Season and no one is creating as many chances as the Belgian (though Kieran Trippier and Bruno Fernandes are close). But KDB’s 12 assists are suddenly just two more than Bukayo Saka and four clear of Leandro Trossard. De Bruyne’s expected assists dominate the field but Erling Haaland’s 20 misses have kept both from destroying the PL record book. Arsenal is fit and firing, and either Saka, Trossard, or both could theoretically pass DE Bruyne before the end of the season. To have the Nos. 2, 3, and 7 (Martin Odegaard) assist leaders in the Premier League says a lot about the Gunners, doesn’t it? (NM)
10. Set Piece FC strikes again (Brentford 1-1 Leicester): With their opening goal, Brentford moved level with Arsenal and Tottenham for most set piece goals in this Premier League season. Just watch it, it’s brilliant for its simplicity of design, yet the difficult and complexity of its execution (even when it doesn’t go exactly to plan). So many moving parts, so many movements to be timed perfectly, and a sea of blue shirts standing around just watching.
“So good. They have always been with me,” Gabriel Jesus smiled when ProSoccerTalk asked about the support from the fans. “They help me, push me. The way they did it last Sunday against Fulham it was amazing. I will never forget that. All I want is to give them something back on the pitch. Maybe the next game. I hope a lot.”
Arsenal are running out of ‘next games’ this season and have on hand hovering over the Premier League trophy.
With 10 games to go they sit eight points clear atop the table and the return of their talismanic Brazilian striker from a near four-month injury layoff has given the Gunners a perfect boost ahead of the run-in.
For so long the doubts around Arsenal’s unlikely title bid were all about how they would cope without Gabriel Jesus, a four-time Premier League winner with Manchester City.
He has yet to score in his three appearances in all competitions since returning but (even before the injury) he represents much more than goals.
“It is very good to be back. It is not easy to be out long and have a very, very bad injury. Now I’m back I am fully fit. At the same time I am so happy because the team are doing good to keep the distance to the second,” Jesus said.
“I want to be involved. I was injured but in my mind I was involved. I need to talk, to try to help them with something like talking, or seeing the games. That is why. Always together. Everyone.”
Jesus a total team player
As well as helping the team off the pitch, his play on it helps Arsenal’s other attackers come to life and he has already slotted back in seamlessly.
Jesus admitted he suffered “a lot” while he was out but he’s been helping as much as he can behind-the-scenes and is delighted both Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard have stepped up to boost Arsenal’s attacking options in his absence.
“The team are doing so good. Everybody here is together. When I was getting fit we were sure Eddie can go there and help us and he did it. Trossard came and did it as well. Everyone is together. To be champions of this big, big competition we don’t need only 11 players,” Jesus explained.
He also explained that he has always been watching videos of his games, focusing on the goals he has scored, the chances he has missed and always striving to get better. That dedicated seems to have seeped into his teammates and fans love the extreme dedication of Gabriel Jesus.
Entire squad ready for the run-in
The atmosphere around the Emirates was buzzing throughout their routine win against Crystal Palace as back-up players like Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, Jakub Kiwior, Emile Smith Rowe and Jorginho all featured as injuries to William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu stretch the squad to its limits but the likes of Reiss Nelson and Fabio Vieira are still in reserve.
The fans, players and staff are together as one and Jesus is happy to be entering the business end of the season with this group as he was asked about Mikel Arteta referring to Arsenal as a ‘family’ unit.
“I believe when you have a good relationship with your teammates everything on the pitch works well. We are top of the league, we are playing good football, we are understanding each other. It is very good to be a family,” Jesus said.
“Now is the best part of the season. End of the season when you have deciding games, big games away and at home. Now is the time we have to play the same, don’t change, still together.”
Jesus is a focused, serious, dedicated individual and the perfect role model for this young Arsenal side. He and Oleksandr Zinchenko have been serial winners at Manchester City in bit-part roles but in their first season at Arsenal they are now thriving as key men in this unlikely title push.
“I think the most important thing is my mind. I keep focused and then come back fully fit,” Jesus said.
Arsenal are glad he’s back fit to further boost their title hopes and the role Jesus has played off the pitch over the last four months could be just as important as his play on it as this young Gunners outfit are still the team to catch.
Arsenal transfer news: The January transfer window was nteresting (and important) for the Gunners as Mikel Arteta’s side is clearly a big contender for everything the Premier League has to offer… but the summer might have even more interesting subplots.
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, and are looking to lock down their key performers to new deals as UEFA Champions League life is fast approaching the Arsenal.
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.
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.
The 27-year-old has 39 caps and seven goals for Serbia, and he’s twice been Serie A Best XI, including last season. Milinkovic-Savic is Lazio’s two-time defending Player of the Year.
Milinkovic-Savic is among the complete midfielders in the game. Newcastle and West Ham have also been heavily linked with his services, but only one is currently on pace to offer him European football. Advantage: Arsenal? (NM)
Twice-capped by Denmark, Hojlund started at home with Copenhagen before heading to Austria’s Sturm Graz.
Hojlund has 13 goals and five assists in 29 appearances across all competitions between Sturm Graz and Atalanta, scoring against Dynamo Kiev in Champions League qualification for the latter.
He’s one to watch, but it’s also worth noting that Atalanta just purchased him in summer and is very much in the race for Champions League places in Serie A. He could do worse than collecting some group stage seasoning in the UCL and UEL at a club that spotted him early. Heck, would a club like Arsenal consider a summer buy and loan back to Italy? (NM)
February 25 – Bukayo Saka, William Saliba approach new deals
Reports out of North London say that Arsenal is nearing new deals with 21-year-olds: Center back William Saliba and, perhaps more eye-catching, playmaker Bukayo Saka.
Saka signed his current deal in 2019 and it runs through the end of the 2023-24 season: It’s safe to say his career has since found a new level.
London-born and with 24 England caps, Saka is one of the faces of Arsenal’s renaissance. A relentless worker off the ball, he has nine goals and eight assists in Premier League play this season and would fetch a heaping helping of salary on the open market.
Easy decision for the Gunners, given his status within the team. (NM)
Arsenal confirmed transfers & signings – January 2023 window
Leandro Trossard – Brighton & Hove Albion ($33.4 million)
Jorginho – Chelsea ($14.8 million)
Jakub Kiwior – Spezia (undisclosed)
Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Coventry) Loan
Miguel Azeez (Wigan) Loan
Arthur Okonkwo (Sturm Graz) Loan
Ovie Ejeheri (SJK Seinajoki) Loan
Harry Clarke (Ipswich Town)
Arsenal archived transfer news, January 2023
January 31 – Arsenal confirm Jorginho signing
Jorginho has joined Arsenal on an 18-month contract, for a reported fee of $14.8 million. The 31-year-old Italian, who started 15 of 20 Premier League games for Chelsea this season, should be an incredibly useful (and experienced) figure for Mikel Arteta, as the Gunners try to lift the PL trophy for the first time since 2004.
January 31 – Arsenal moves for Jorginho as Caicedo move collapses
Brighton wasn’t lying when it came to their desire to keep Moises Caicedo for a European push, and Arsenal has made a new plan.
Reports say that Arsenal will sign Chelsea midfielder Jorginho on an 18-month deal with an option for an additional year. The price tag? About $15 million.
Sure some Arsenal fans won’t love buying a player off of Chelsea, but Jorginho is one of the great game readers of his generation. The risk is low. (NM)
January 29 – Brighton without Caicedo as talks continue
A report from the Daily Mail says Arsenal have submitted a second bid for Moises Caicedo, with an improved offer of $86.6 million going in. Brighton are said to want $100 million for Caicedo. He did not play against Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday and reportedly he will not be around the team until Feb. 1, after the transfer deadline. Brighton have told Caicedo they want him to stay but his social media posting asking to be allowed to leave has put the writing on the wall. Will Arsenal up their offer and get their main ahead of Chelsea? (JPW)
De Zerbi: “Caicedo is a good guy. We will see. We hope he stays with us but this question for the club and Moises”🚨🇪🇨 #BHAFC#AFC
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)
EXCL: Moises Caicedo didn’t turn up for training today — he wants leave immediately. Caicedo could also miss tomorrow’s game. ⚠️ #BHAFC
🚨 Understand Arsenal are expected to improve their bid, after £60m revealed yesterday. #AFC
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)
Leeds are exploring new options for the midfield including Weston McKennie. It’s one of the possibilities considered by the club as @MatteMoretto has reported ⚪️🇺🇸 #LUFC
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)
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
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)
EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal have opened talks to sign Leandro Trossard from Brighton, negotiations are advanced with official bid ready for permanent move. 🚨⚪️🔴 #AFC
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 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)
🚨 EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea board now in Poland trying to reach verbal agreement with Shakhtar for Mudryk and hijack the deal! Official bid ready close to €100m. 🔵 #CFC
Arsenal always been leading the race, in talks with Shakhtar after 3d official bid.
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)
Shakhtar Donetsk finally show signs of cracking over Mykhaylo Mudryk as Arsenal make positive steps towards agreement during talks on Monday. First time Gunners have received indication deal can be struck on what they consider to be realistic terms. #AFChttps://t.co/Xh67VnFCnD
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)
Exclusive: Chelsea are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk over a deal for Mykhaylo Mudryk and could hijack Arsenal's move.
Darijo Srna expected in London to meet with the Blues this week.
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)
Arsenal second proposal for Mykhaylo Mudryk is close to €50m fixed fee plus add-ons. Shakhtar expected to make a decision, the clubs are in direct contact. ⚪️🔴🇺🇦 #AFC
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)
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)
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)
💬 "First of all I would like to say, this is a boyhood dream come true."
📺 Watch our first interview with our new signing now! 👇
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)
💬 "I am so happy to be here to help. I come to help, to learn as well, and to try to do my best"
📺 Watch Gabriel Jesus' first interview right here 👇
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)
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)
Antonio Adan stopped Gabriel Martinelli’s penalty, the only such miss by either Arsenal or Sporting Lisbon, as visiting Sporting swept the Gunners out of the Europa League on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon needed penalty kicks to decide who’d head to the Europa League quarterfinals after Pedro Goncalves long distance goal forced extra time at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.
Aaron Ramsdale got two hands to one of Sporting’s penalties but the ball made its way inside the goal anyway.
Gunners show heart, lack finish as hot goalkeeper cooks Arsenal
This one stings on so many levels.
Arsenal, the Premier League title favorites, led Sporting with a half-hour to go and just needed to get it over the line to reach the Europa League quarterfinals.
Then came an immaculate bit of genius from Pedro Goncalves, who lobbed Aaron Ramsdale from more 45, maybe 50 yards away from goal. It was 1-1 in the 62nd minute.
Arsenal wasn’t just in danger of being eliminated from the competition; The Gunners were now facing the possibility of extra time and 120, not 90 minutes, on some of their players legs ahead of Sunday’s Premier League visit from Crystal Palace. Gabriel Magalhaes, Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Martinelli, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Ramsdale went 120 minutes.
And there’s the mental side: Arsenal poured their hearts into this and it was apparent from substitute Martin Odegaard’s Emirates Stadium exhortations that the Gunners very much care about winning anything on offer.
But they also will look at the xG numbers — 1.89-1.18 — and feel there was a lost chance. Arsenal was credit with four “big chances” by FotMob to just one for Sporting, but was out-attempted 15-13 and lost at home.
This is a strong bunch and we’ve seen the Gunners rally after losing to Man City, and after blowing the first leg lead away to Sporting. Still, Mikel Arteta has a significant couple of days ahead of him.
Arsenal vs Sporting Lisbon player ratings: Stars of the Show
Antonio Adan: Seven saves on 2.31 xGOT faced for the Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper.
Pedro Goncalves: He had four shot attempts, but beating Aaron Ramsdale from back in Lisbon was special.
Granit Xhaka: It’s not just the goal, which came from the desire to follow the ball into the area, as Arsenal’s longtime leader racked up 12 recoveries and won 16-of-22 tackles.
The Emirates Stadium is going to be electric on Thursday as Arsenal fans see their men within a win over the Europa League quarterfinals and showing few signs of being ill-equipped for a Premier League title run. Throw in more Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard after the pair missed out in Portugal, please.
Marcus Edwards is the fun foil for this one, as the ex-Tottenham forward has found himself a massive part of Sporting. The winger has double-digit goals and assists so far this season. Goncalo Inacio and Jeremiah St. Juste also impressed as part of the Portuguese powers’ back four.
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Mohamed Elneny (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle).
Starting in a central role but drifting all over the place, the Belgian winger ripped Fulham apart and looks like being one of the best January signings in league history as he continues to help Arsenal push towards an unlikely Premier League title.
For the first time this season Gunners fans sang ‘we’re going to win the league!’ multiple times at Craven Cottage on Sunday as they remain five points clear at the top with 11 games to go.
Standing outside the famous cottage (watch the interview in full above) after he was named Man of the Match, ProSoccerTalk asked Trossard about that chant from the Arsenal fans.
“It’s nice for them,” Leandro Trossard said, smiling. “Obviously, it’s a great away win and we want to give them that belief. For us, though, we need to take it game by game. It’s a great win today, 3-0 at Fulham is not for everyone. They have had such a great season.
“There’s still a long way to go, though – 11 games. A lot can happen,” Trossard continued. “Last month there was a lot of talk after we lost against City at home. Now it is again that we are at the top of the table. We just need to look at ourselves. If we keep the momentum high, and the quality high, it’s up to us.”
Trossard’s January arrival has given Arsenal a real boost and added quality in attack as he was in the form of his life at Brighton in the first half of this season and has carried that on seamlessly since his switch to north London.
Arteta knows Arsenal can win games in different ways
His manager Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Trossard, who had been struggling with an injury but came back earlier than expected to help the team.
“When we talk about composure and finding the right pass, and looking to the right player in the box, it’s very blurry and some other players make rash decisions, and he created three goals. He could have scored two – I think he was really impressive,” Arteta said. “Not only that, he had an injury only a few days ago and that injury could have taken a week or 10 days. He was really willing to come back early, the physios and doctors did really well to do that. That changes things in the team, and we needed him today, his contribution was superb.”
Arteta now has so many attacking options with Gabriel Jesus back and with the duo of Gabriel Martinelli and Trossard linking up so well, plus Eddie Nketiah (currently out injured) standing in admirably over the last few months, the Arsenal boss now has different ways to set up his team.
Does that give Arsenal an extra edge in this title race? ProSoccerTalk asked the Arsenal boss after the win at Fulham if the untimely injuries to Jesus and Nketiah have actually given him a few more options on how to play and if that could be an unexpected bonus in their title pursuit.
“Yeah, we try to adapt to the qualities of the players that we have,” Arteta explained. “We put them in their strengths and their positions we want as much possible. Leo [Trossard] has very different qualities to Gabby [Jesus] and Martin [Odegaard] as well compliments him really well in terms of his space and understanding of the game. Great to have that versatility in the team.”
Versatility to keep opponents guessing? Check. Pretty much everyone healthy? Check. Five-point lead at the top of the table? Check.
Everything is going Arsenal’s way right now and Sunday proved this young team is hungry to complete a title-winning season as soon as possible.