Footy Extras

Arsenal encouraged to cash in on 21-year-old academy product

Arsenal icon Kevin Campbell supports the idea of his old club selling attacker Reiss Nelson, but he thinks the north Londoners need to add a buy-back clause in any transfer taking the attacker away from the club.

He has been one casualty of the Spanish tactician Mikel Arteta looking for success at the Emirates this campaign.

The forward looked to have broken into the senior team after spending the previous season on loan at Hoffenheim.

However, Reiss has struggled for a playing time in this term and that has affected his development.

There have been talks of the Gunners cashing in on him when the transfer market reopens and Campbell does not think it is a bad idea.

However, Kevin believes the English ace might leave unfinished business behind at the club and Campbell has urged them to add a buy-back clause in any agreement.

He says Reiss should be considering leaving to prove why he is good enough to start for Arsenal so that they can buy him back.

Kevin told Football Insider: “Reiss Nelson is 21 now. Going out on loan is difficult because there are so many players ahead of him right now.

“For me, he has got to play football and realistically he is not going to get that regularly at Arsenal.

“I would love the club to do a deal where we sell him but we have first refusal on him after, because he knows the Arsenal way.

“Getting game time is very difficult right now during this rebuild. Go away, get minutes, prove yourself and if we like what we see we will bring you back.”

Arsenal boss urged to battle for UCL spot next campaign

Former Arsenal star Perry Groves thinks Mikel Arteta won’t be sacked even if the Gunners fail to win the UEFA Europa League, but has insisted that the Spaniard has got to get them challenging for the top four.

The club managed to squeeze out a victory over two legs against Benfica to make it to the last 16 of the UEL where they will face Olympiacos.

Arsenal are sitting eleventh in the league standings and any realistic chance of getting into next campaign’s Champions League depends on them winning the UEL this year.

He is certain that Arteta will be the manager at Arsenal at the start of next term even if the Gunners fail to win the UEFA Europa League and with it, fail to qualify for the UCL.

However, the former Gunner stressed that to survive at the Emirates, Arteta needs to make his side realistic challengers for a Top 4 spot.

Perry said on talkSPORT: “I know where Arsenal are and they are an average team at the moment.

“Arteta has got this season and then beginning of next season, Arsenal have to be challenging for those top four spaces because he would have had enough time. He would have had a season-and-a-half.

“He has got to win the Europa League but Arsenal aren’t getting rid of him even if they don’t win the Europa League.

“They will give him the beginning of next season as well without a shadow of a doubt.”

The London-based heavyweights have a tough match lined up on Sunday when Arsenal take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Arsenal will part ways with €28m-rated defender if this happens

Hector Bellerin was convinced to stick with Arsenal for one more campaign after holding heart-to-heart discussions with Mikel Arteta in the summer.

The long-serving player was courted by both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the summer transfer market but was persuaded to remain by his current manager and former teammate.

Bellerin, who joined Arsenal from Blaugrana’s La Masia academy as a teenager, has established himself as the Gunners’ first choice right-back in the seasons following Bacary Sagna’s departure to league rivals Manchester City but has struggled to regain his best form since suffering an ACL injury back in January 2019.

The Spaniard has just over two years remaining on his existing contract and with Arsenal harbouring only remote hopes of qualifying for next term’s Champions League, he is again likely to be questioning his long-term future.

According to ESPN, Mikel has a broad agreement with the 25-year-old full-back that he will be allowed to leave in the summer, should the north Londoners receive a suitable offer.

In other news, Monaco are allegedly interested in landing Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette this summer.

The 29-year-old’s deal at the Emirates Stadium is due to expire in the sumemr of 2022, and it doesn’t appear that there has been any serious movement regarding a potential fresh deal at the club.

The striker has netted 10 times in 29 appearances for Arsenal this campaign but he has fallen down the pecking order in the latest weeks.

According to The Mirror, Les Monegasques are keeping tabs on the developments surrounding him and could make an attempt to land Lacazette during this summer’s transfer window.

Arsenal wide attacker opens up on his Chelsea exit

Willian revealed he ‘really wanted to stay’ at Arsenal’s city rivals Chelsea but after failing to agree on a deal with the management he decided to move to the Emirates.

The Brazil international signed for Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer and has failed to find the form that made him an important figure at Stamford Bridge.

Willian has failed to net for the Gunners, although he did provide an assist off the bench in the club’s midweek fightback against Benfica in the UEFA Europa League.

And The 32-year-old admitted he would not have transferred to the Emirates at all, had he and the board been able to reach an agreement to extend his Chelsea stay.

‘It was difficult to make that decision, it wasn’t easy. It was well thought out, a thoughtful decision, talking to my wife and even the agent many times,’ the South American told UOL.

‘And one of the things that made me decide to go to Arsenal was really the various conversations I had with Mikel Arteta, with Edu too. But it really wasn’t easy to make that decision, it had to be well thought out.

‘Look, I think some fans asked this question. But the majority understood because I didn’t leave the club with a fight, I left the doors open. Everyone knew the conditions, I really wanted to stay.’

In other news, Hector Bellerin is said to have agreed on a deal to join Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain, according to ESPN.

The Spanish international has been consistently mentioned with a move away from Mikel Arteta‘s side because of the Gunners slide away from the UCL qualification spots in England.

Monaco considering bringing Arsenal striker back to Ligue 1

Monaco are watching Alexandre Lacazette’s situation at Arsenal and could launch a move for the French forward this summer, reports say.

The 29-year-old star has recently fallen down the Gunners pecking and has started Arsenal’s last four matches on the substitutes’ bench, with manager Mikel Arteta picking Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the latest weeks.

He has one year remaining on his Emirates deal and the club could be tempted to cash in on the attacker this year or risk losing the player on a free transfer in the summer of 2022.

And according to The Mirror, the attacker is a transfer target for Les Monegasques and are prepared to make a move if Alexandre is allowed to quit the Emirates Stadium in the summer.

After two campaigns away from the upper echelons of the Ligue 1 standings, Monaco are now in fourth place with 12 matches to go. Last weekend’s 2-0 league win over Paris Saint-Germain leaves them six points off the top with a European place very much in their hands.

Niko Kovac’s side also have former Arsenal players Vito Mannone and Cesc Fabregas in their senior team squad.

The Frenchman has netted 10 goals in 29 appearances this campaign for the Gunners, including eight in their Premier League season.

However, Alexandre has not started a match for the north Londoners since the loss to Aston Villa at the start of this month – the third league game in a row that the 29-year-old former Lyon star had failed to find the net.

Arsenal working to renew contract of England youth international

Arsenal are reportedly in talks with prodigy Miguel Azeez over a new long-term contract.

The 18-year-old England youth international has impressed in the north London side’s academy this season.

Miguel made his first-team debut as a late sub in December’s 4-2 victory over Dundalk in the Europa League.

Azeez’s current contract expires at the end of the campaign, meaning he’ll become a free agent on July 1, as things stand.

But the Gunners are negotiating to tie up the gifted midfielder’s future.

Meanwhile, Arsenal face a fight to keep hold of the Spain international Hector Bellerin in the summer.

Mega-rich French champions Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly readying a swoop at the end of the current term.

Bellerin was strongly linked with a £30 million transfer last year.

And former Tottenham chief Mauricio Pochettino – now in charge at the Parc des Princes – is understood to be a big fan of the right-back.

A renewed push could force the Gunners’ hand, considering Bellerin will have just two years left on his deal at the end of the season.

Cost-cutting at the club may tempt manager Mikel Arteta and Co to cash-in.

The player allegedly considered his future last year until the current Arsenal chief persuaded the player to stay.

According to CBS Sports, the Parisians are joined by Barcelona and two Serie A sides in monitoring the Spaniard.

Should Bellerin depart, the North London club are understood to have two potential replacements already in mind in Norwich’s Max Aarons and Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey.

Arsenal keen on acquiring services of England U21 international

Arsenal are allegedly considering a transfer deal for Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey to replace the Spain international Hector Bellerin.

Hector has recently been mentioned with Paris Saint-Germain by CBS Sports, who also named Tariq as a possible target in that position for Arsenal.

According to Don Balon, he can leave Brighton for around €20m (£17.2m), and that could certainly be a tempting signing for any elite club.

The talented full-back, formerly of Chelsea, has really shone after signing for Brighton and getting the chance to play more regularly at PL level.

The 20-year-old ace will surely be back at a top club before long, and many Arsenal supporters might even see the Englishman as an upgrade on Bellerin.

The Spaniard has not really lived up to expectations in North London, and it might be worth Arsenal taking this opportunity to cash in on the former Barcelona academy player if big clubs are interested in him this summer.

Tariq has a big future at this level and it’d be intriguing to see what he could bring to the Gunners, with his attack-minded style of play looking perfect for the kind of football fans are used to seeing at the Emirates.

Meantime, Arsenal icon Martin Keown has lavished praise on Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney after the Gunners’ 3-2 win against Benfica in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

Speaking to BT Sport, Martin said: “That’s the sort of player that you want to breed. You want characters going forwards. We had three of them tonight.

“Aubameyang with the finish, Saka with the providing cross and Tierney started it with that goal, getting us back in the game.

“We’re having to learn quickly on our feet, but we might actually come out of it much stronger for having gone through this tonight. In the end, they showed a great deal of character.”

Arsenal dealt major blow in pursuit of former Schalke playmaker

Paris Saint-Germain senior figure Leonardo has indicated that Arsenal and Leeds United target Julian Draxler could be offered a fresh contract.

He has been tipped to leave the Parisians in the summer when his current deal expires and he has been nothing short of a bit-part player at Le Parc des Princes over the last two seasons.

The German playmaker has made just 14 league appearances for his side this season and a transfer to England has been mooted.

Leeds were interested in him last summer and have been linked with reigniting their interest, while Mikel Arteta’s team are also admirers.

PSG haven’t been expected to offer him a new contract as they have been trying to sell the player in recent windows.

But Leonardo indicated that the club could be rethinking their strategy and the star could even be offered a contract extension in order to keep him.

“Draxler is at the end of his contract. We will see the situation”, the Paris Saint-Germain sporting director told France Bleu Paris when quizzed about Draxler’s future.

“I think we should keep him. He had a couple of opportunities to move but he is important to the club.

The former Schalke youngster has so far been firmly against leaving the French champions and could opt to pen a new deal if one is offered.

In the meantime, The Sun have claimed that Arsenal are trying to tie the highly-rated midfielder Miguel Azeez down to a new contract to prevent him from leaving for free in July, and it sounds like negotiations are underway for a long term deal.