Thursday, May 19

Arsenal, Leicester pushed back as Prem ace insists he is ‘settled’ at current club

Arsenal and Leicester will have to scout transfer alternatives after being pushed back in their attempts to land a Premier League winger.

The Gunners seem to be frustrated with the failure of £72m signing Nicolas Pepe. He has shown glimpses of his talent but has never truly lived up to his huge price tag.

The 26-year-old is now out of favour under Mikel Arteta, having been kept on the bench in Arsenal’s last five league matches.

Youngsters Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli are shining while sharing duties on the flanks.

Saka and Martinelli started in Monday’s trip to Everton. Martin Odegaard put Arsenal in front, only for them to be pegged back by Richarlison’s 80th-minute header.

A late goal from Demarai Gray gave Rafa Benitez a much-needed win, while also leaving Arteta’s men in seventh place.

Reports in October suggested the north London outfit were hoping to sign Mohamed Elyounoussi from Southampton. Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester were thought to be the main rivals for his signature.

However, the Norway international insists he is happy at St Mary’s. He said (via The Sun): “My family enjoy it here. We’re settled down now and my daughter has just found a nursery, so we’re back to where we belong.”

Elyounoussi cost Saints £16m back in June 2018, when joining from Swiss team FC Basel. However, he was sent out to Celtic on a two-year loan the following season after failing to make any real impact.

The star is now back in the fold under Ralph Hasenhuttl. “I don’t know many players that been sent out on two loan seasons and then come back to make it in the team,” he added.

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“It shows the belief that the club and the manager have in me to give me a second chance.”


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Neville warns Arteta of Arsenal ‘problem’

Meanwhile, pundit Gary Neville reckons the relationship between Arteta and skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could turn ‘sour’.

The striker saw his first-team place taken by Alexandre Lacazette on Monday evening. He did not make it onto the pitch until the final five minutes at Goodison Park.

“There will be a problem with Aubameyang off the back of this game,” Neville said. “I don’t think he’ll like the idea of [Eddie] Nketiah coming on [before him]. I don’t think he’ll like the idea of being a sub full-stop.”

Elaborating on whether there could be an issue forming, Neville added: “Yeah it is going to. There’s always that little bit of a bug there between Arteta and Aubameyang.

“I know he’s the captain, but he leaves him out and it just feels like it’s something a little bit awkward and it’s going to cause a problem.

“I suspect if Arteta could probably get money for him and get someone else they probably would.

“And I bet if Aubameyang could move on he probably would as well. It maybe could just turn a little bit sour.”

READ MORE: Arteta rues lack of Arsenal killer instinct; reacts to horror Ben Godfrey challenge

The post Arsenal, Leicester pushed back as Prem ace insists he is ‘settled’ at current club appeared first on TEAMtalk.

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