Opinion: Ansu Fati can take Messi’s Barcelona crown in 2020/21

Ever since Ansu Fati set foot on a football pitch he has been destined for greatness.

The youngster has that intoxicating mix of fearlessness and superlative skill that only the very few have bestowed upon them.

It’s true that 2019/20 was his breakout year, but 2020/21 has the potential to be even better for the striker.

With so much going on behind the scenes at present, no one really knows if Lionel Messi will stay or leave the club, but regardless of that, Fati has everything at his disposal to be able to take the Argentinian’s crown.

A passing of the baton has to happen sooner or later, and the form that Fati is still in suggests that he’ll take on the responsibility with ease.

Making his senior debut for the Spain side in Thursday’s draw against Germany, Fati would’ve become the youngster ever scorer for the national team had … Read the rest

Gabriel in! Hector out?

Arsenal yesterday made official what everyone has known for some time now, we’ve signed Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.

The defender will cost something in the region of €30m, and adds to our expanding collection of centre-halves, as well as swelling our Brazilian ranks to four, alongside David Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli and Willian.

He spoke about how the traditions and history of Arsenal played a part in his thinking, and no doubt coming to a club where he’ll be helped settle in by his compatriots was a factor. Our Brazilian Technical Director Edu was someone with whom he had ‘many good conversations’, but phone calls from Mikel Arteta were important too:

As the days went by I was getting very excited, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring. Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates

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Arsenal midfielder closes in on two year loan switch to Serie A as Dani Ceballos return is almost done

We’re seeing a common theme where a lot of teams are having to get rid of one player in order to bring someone else in, although Arsenal fans will feel they’re still going to be one short compared to last season.

Lucas Torreira was highly rated when he came to the club, he was expected to bring some class to the midfield with a fearsome long shot, while also adding a healthy dose of aggression that short Uruguayan midfielders are famous for.

It’s not worked out for him and it makes sense to return to Serie A where he shone before, and it sounds like a two year loan deal with Fiorentina is edging closer:

The fans will hope that means a new face will … Read the rest

Analysis: Gabriel Magalhaes and what he’ll bring to the Arsenal defence

Arsenal never do things the easy way. After their worst domestic finish in 25 years, three different managers in charge and another season without Champions League football, the damage could have been irreparable. To say their immediate future hinged on one game would not be an understatement, but thankfully Mikel Arteta masterminded an unlikely FA Cup win to buy the club some time – literally.

That trophy high quickly turned into transfer talk and away from Thomas Partey, a deal for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes was completed amid competition from Napoli and others. But who is the Brazilian, what will he bring to Arsenal and why is he costing the best part of €30 million?

Having started his career with then Brasileirão side Avaí, Lille saw fit to spend €3 million on Gabriel in 2017 despite making just 21 senior appearances. The defender later enjoyed two loan spells with ESTAC … Read the rest

Spanish report explains how Barcelona’s president could go to prison over the Lionel Messi situation

Sometimes you just see a report that has to be completely and utterly made up, but it looks like this one could “technically” be true.

There’s no doubt that allowing the greatest footballer of all time to leave on a free transfer will lead to fans saying things like “that should be a criminal offence”, but it actually might be in a round about kind of way.

Ultimately it all comes down to the financial damage that the club will suffer, and Spanish outlet Cuatro have explained how Josep Maria Bartomeu could face a prison sentence over the entire situation.

It looks like this could depend on the Argentine star leaving for free next summer, as that will result in Barcelona suffering a huge financial loss in terms of losing all the marketing income that comes from Messi, while receiving no fee will leave them in a deficit as they … Read the rest

Arsecast Extra Episode 370 – 31.08.2020

Welcome to another Arsecast Extra, the Arsenal podcast, with myself and James from @gunnerblog.

On this week’s show we look back on our Community Shield win over Liverpool, the latest ‘big game’ win for Mikel Arteta’s side. We chat about the team selection, highlight some good individual performances and look at some of the positive aspects of the team’s play, before we round out part one with player ratings. After that we answer listener questions about the futures of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Emi Martinez who were so impressive at Wembley, as well as Matteo Guendouzi, the prospect of Lionel Messi playing in the Premier League, hopes for the upcoming season, and lots more besides.

Remember, you can send us questions via which we’ll try and get to each week. Send them to either @arseblog or @Gunnerblog (or both) using the hashtag #arsecastextra. Best to send them Monday morning so … Read the rest

One out, one in: Liverpool linked with reshuffle to land £27m transfer target

Liverpool could reportedly look to sell Georginio Wijnaldum in order to make space and raise funds to land Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara.

The Merseyside giants will be hoping to build on their success over the past two years and continue to win major trophies under Jurgen Klopp.

SEE MORE: Liverpool transfer news: Reds ready to pay star’s £40m asking price, Thiago Alcantara ultimatum, LFC duo pleased with Barcelona links

A Champions League triumph was followed by a Premier League title last season, and with a world-class squad already at his disposal, Klopp will no doubt hope that he can continue to improve it where possible in order to sustain their level of recent success.

According to The Sun, that could come through an initial sale, with Wijnaldum potentially being sold to Barcelona in order to help raise the funds needed to swoop for Thiago.

However, it’s added that talks … Read the rest

Community Shield Champions! Some thoughts and observations

Morning all, some  Community Shield thoughts for you this morning, after our penalty shoot-out win over Liverpool yesterday.

First, it’s obviously really nice to win. My interest in this game beforehand was peripheral. I felt it was almost too soon to be playing a fixture like this, and I was worried that we’d struggle physically given how short the break from the end of the previous season was. Once it starts though, it’s Arsenal playing the Mugsmashers and it’s impossible not to get into it.

Especially when you score a goal as good as the one we did after 12 minutes.

One of the most obvious things about the way we played yesterday was the way we tried to keep possession, regardless of the pressure we were under and how much … Read the rest

Medical set: Star will have medical with Man United next week ahead of transfer worth €40m +

The transfer market is so warped that you can never truly tell what represents value anymore, but this actually looks like it could be a cracking bit of business for Man United.

Donny van de Beek has been the driving force in Ajax’s midfield for a couple of years now and he looks like he has the quality to improve the Man United midfield.

He’s at his best in a box-to-box role and it will be interesting to see if anyone has to leave as a result, but his move to Man United now appears to be inevitable after their offer was formally accepted and the medical has been arranged:

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Community Shield about fitness, not result + interesting coaching appointments

Under normal circumstances, I’m sure Mikel Arteta would have preferred his pre-season preparations to be a bit more low key than having to play Liverpool at Wembley. In as much as anything can be low-key these days. However, it’s the price of success to an extent – we’re here because we won the FA Cup a few short weeks ago, and if that’s the trade-off, so be it.

In terms of today’s team, the performance, the result, the outcome, here’s where I am with it:

Give-a-fuck-ometer

Asked about the physical readiness of his players during his press conference on Thursday, Mikel Arteta laughed and said ‘We’ve had two training sessions!’. I know that because of the way last season ended, and the short break we’ve had since then, they might not have lost as much fitness as you’d expect during a more traditional summer, but I still think this a game … Read the rest