Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has revealed that Arsenal manager Unai Emery has played a key part in luring him to the north London side this summer. The Spain international had found himself at the midst of a battle between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur for his signature but ultimately, he decided to join the Gunners on loan after receiving assurances of regular gametime under Emery.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start. I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal. The coach was the turning point in terms of me joining this massive club. He’s a Spanish coach and he knows me from my time at other clubs. I’m really happy to be able to help Arsenal achieve our objectives.”
West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere has said that Ryan Fraser would be a great signing for Arsenal, should he make the move from Bournemouth this summer. The Scotland international has been heavily touted to leave the Cherries in the transfer window after having declined to sign a new deal beyond next season.
Speaking to Football.London, Wilshere spoke fondly about Fraser with whom he played at Bournemouth during a season-long loan stint. He added that the Scot has the right attitude and determination on the playing field and he would be the perfect fit for the Gunners, should he join them this summer.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said that Yannick Carrasco may not necessarily have to pursue a fresh challenge away from the Chinese Super League in order to secure a place in the national team. The 25-year-old has recently been tipped to make a return to Europe this summer but Martinez remains relatively unperturbed with the player’s club status.
Speaking to HLN, Martinez said that he has no concerns with the league status of Carrasco and it is up to the winger to decide his future, he told: “Yannick feels his moment has come. Who am I to stop him. He doesn’t necessarily have to leave China. I even plan a visit to the country, also to see [Mousa] Dembele. Playing football in China is not an issue for me.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confirmed that the club won’t be able to bank on the services if Henrikh Mkhitaryan when they face Chelsea in the Europa League final next week. The Armenian’s participation in the final had been doubtful due to his country’s poor relations with Azerbaijan and Emery has now revealed that the playmaker has decided not to travel to Baku for personal reasons.
Speaking in a press conference arranged by UEFA, he said: “It’s bad news but we cannot do anything for this issue, it’s a very personal decision and we need to respect him. I don’t understand the political problems now, but I must respect [his decision]. I spoke this morning with Mkhitaryan and it’s a personal decision. I respect him. He wants to play to help us by being with the team but they spoke, both him and his family, and decided not to go. I come from the Basque Country and we had a big political problem that finished five or six years ago, and I can understand it is a very personal decision for his family and also thinking in their country.”
French midfielder Francis Coquelin has said that he has no regrets about parting ways with Arsenal at the beginning of 2018. The midfielder had barely featured for the north London side during the first half of the 2017/18 season and this convinced him to make the switch to Los Che, where he was assured of a regular starting role.
Speaking to Goal.com, Coquelin said that he had approached a vital stage in his career and he had to take the decision to leave the Gunners in order to secure more gametime, he told: “I am at an important stage in my career. I had little game time with Arsenal. And I wanted to see and experience something else. I chose a club with a strong history, and that is welcoming. And right away, I felt great here. Yes, I was playing matches, but not necessarily the most important ones… I still need to grow.”
Bosnia international Sead Kolasinac has said that he is unconcerned regarding the ongoing speculation regarding his position at Arsenal. The 25-year-old has been a regular in the left-back/left wing-back role for most of the season but there have been doubts whether he can keep his place with Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Tagliafico considered to replace him.
Speaking to Goal.com, Kolasinac said that there will always be speculation at a big club like Arsenal and he is only focused on the proceedings for the season, he told: “I think you will always have that speculation, that happens at a club like this. I just look at us as a team at the moment and I want us to finish as positively as possible and I want to be a part of that. What happens in the summer, I don’t know. But I’m very happy at Arsenal, I’m really pleased to be playing for a club like this.”
Former Manchester City defender Danny Mills claims that it is a major disadvantage for Arsenal to be playing the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals away from home. After having come back from a huge deficit against Rennes, Arsenal were disappointed to learn about facing Napoli in the next stage of the Europa League. Even though Napoli have not been as good in the 2018-19 campaign, the quality of the team certainly means that it is a difficult test for the Gunners. It has just been made to due to the scheduling of the second leg matches.
Arsenal were set to play the second leg at home at the Emirates Stadium. However, Chelsea also had a similar Europa League draw and they were up against Slavia Prague in the second leg tie at the Stamford Bridge. Since UEFA decided that it cannot have to London clubs playing on the same evening, it was decided to shift one of the ties are the other way around. As a result of Chelsea’s FA Cup success last season, the West London outfit took precedence in the draw and they were handed a second leg tie at home. Arsenal, meanwhile, will be playing the first leg at the Emirates and the second leg will be at the Stadio San Paolo.
Former Arsenal star Lee Dixon believes Mesut Ozil does not look hungry since signing a new contract during the backend of last season. The German footballer has been in-and-out of the starting lineup under Unai Emery during the current campaign and this has recently generated doubts regarding his long-term future with the club.
In a report covered by The Sun, Dixon has said that Ozil may have been affected following the contract extension last year, where he was made one of the highest-paid players in the division. He added that the midfielder’s performances have not been up to the mark and there has been an evident lack of hunger when compared to recent seasons.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that Mesut Ozil may be in a comfort zone at the Gunners after penning a new long-term deal last year. The former Germany international had been in a contract saga with the Gunners for the best part of 12 months but he managed to end the speculation by penning a fresh three-year deal 12 months ago.
However, this has not quite translated into consistent performances on the playing field and under Unai Emery this season, he has genuinely struggled for gametime. Speaking to Sportsmole, Wenger has said the length of the contract has nothing to do with the selection process and in Ozil’s case, he may have gone into a comfort zone after the contract extension.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has indicated that Denis Suarez has not joined the Gunners necessary to replace Mesut Ozil. The Spain international joined the north London side after a lengthy transfer saga on deadline day and he is scheduled to make his debut against former employers Manchester City this weekend.
Speaking to reporters, Emery was asked whether the arrival of Suarez could impact the position of Ozil but he replied in the negative by stating that the former was recruited to bolster the options in the wider areas, he said: “It’s no change for him. [Suarez] is coming here because we have a lot of problems on the wing, we haven’t got players to play right or left – that is the reason. He’s a player with quality and I think he can help us with his quality, and also his ambition to do something important here. It’s a good challenge for him to help us.”