In today’s news roundup, we focus on the large number of transfer rumours floating around the club right now, with a couple of midfielders in the spotlight. Also, Arsenal are looking like favourites to retain the FA Cup this season after Liverpool crashed and burned against Aston Villa at Wembley yesterday.
In other news, German playmaker Mesut Ozil speaks of the differences between the Premier League and the La Liga and gives his opinion on which league is better while captain Mikel Arteta speaks about the resurgence made by the Gunners during the second half of the season. All this and more in today’s roundup.
Transfer stories: Schneiderlin, Isco and Gray on Wenger’s radar
With the season coming to an end, it is inevitable that the club will be linked to several players over the summer. Some stories have gained more traction than others, with the major ones being the following:
Arsenal are considering making a summer move for the highly-rated Birmingham winger Demarai Gray, who is set to leave St Andrews in the near future according to The Sun.
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Despite his tender age, Gray has arguably been the club’s best player this season, scoring six goals from 38 appearances. are resigned to losing the 18-year-old, as he only has one year left on his current deal.
Arsenal are also looking to battle it out with Premier League rivals Manchester City for the signature of Real Madrid midfielder Isco, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 22-year-old joined the Spanish giants nearly two years ago for €30m, and he has been used on a regular basis by Carlo Ancelotti this season, making 29 appearances in La Liga. However, he will be allowed to leave the Bernabeu in the summer, as the Champions League holders attempt to make room for Paul Pogba and Marco Veratti.
And finally, we have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin this summer, with a surprisingly low £15m fee being touted, according to the Daily Star.
Coquelin has been outstanding since returning from his loan spell with Charlton, but he can’t be expected to play every game of every season. Bringing his compatriot over from the South Coast side would be a fantastic piece of business, and if we can get him for £15 then it would be an absolute bargain.
Aston Villa eliminate Reds to book Wembley berth
Arsenal now know their opponents for May 30th’s FA Cup final at Wembley – none other than Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa who won triumphantly over Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners squeezed past a resilient Reading on Saturday thanks to an Alexis Sanchez brace, with Arsene Wenger’s men leaving it late to find a winner in the second period of extra-time despite dominating large parts of proceedings.
But it is Arsenal’s second consecutive FA Cup final after we ended their trophy drought at the national stadium last May in the thrilling 3-2 win over Hull City. And while Villa are certainly the more favourable of opponents; anything can happen, as the Tigers almost proved last season.
Ozil praises ‘extremely competitive’ Premier League
Record signing Mesut Özil has played in the three biggest leagues in Europe, and insists that the Premier League is by far the best, according to a recent interview.
The 26-year-old claims that the level of competition in the English top flight is much higher, and says he loves that no matter the scoreline, Premier League sides have a never say die attitude:
The main difference is that in Spain and Germany, if you go 2-0 or 3-0 up, teams tend to give up and it becomes easier to keep hold of the lead.
In England you can be 4-0 up and they will still fight to the final whistle. They also play at a faster tempo and, as a player, you also have to get used to not having a winter break. But that is what makes it so great.
I love playing matches. I prefer playing matches to training. If I had to pick one, I would definitely say that the Premier League is the strongest out of the three.
Captain Arteta speaks about future and Arsenal’s success
Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta claims this is the best team in years, and says it’s certainly the best team since he arrived at the Emirates, according to the Daily Star.
The 33-year-old has spent much of this season injured, but is still leading his team from the sidelines:
We are very determined now and we believe that we can beat any team.
We have a little of the arrogance that you need before the game, where you are sure if you do the right things you will win the game.
We’ve got the best squad that we’ve had for years – since I’ve been here, for sure the best squad in numbers and quality.
The Spaniard has suffered badly with a recurring calf injury this season, and has struggled to put a decent run of games together. His latest set-back has kept him sidelined for quite some time, but he should be able to play some part before the end of the campaign.
The 33-year-old claims he is confident of extending his current contract, but only if he can return to full fitness. He is happy at the club, but wants to make sure he can perform the way he expects himself to before committing to a new deal:
My only aim is to get back fit and try to perform on the pitch.
As long as I do that I am sure that I will continue with this club, with the relationship I have with the club and the respect I have from everybody here.
If I don’t do that then I am not going to be here because I don’t want to be somewhere where I cannot perform at my best and give what I think I can give.
In May, when everything is fine, we will sit down and talk and it will take five minutes.
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