Matviyenko, Pablo Mari and the Wait for a New Defender

Image result for Mykola Matviyenko

Matviyenko

The January transfer window comes to a close this Friday and Arsenal fans wait for a new center back to provide support to the team in the short and long term. Calum Chambers is out for the rest of the season and Skhodran Mustafi looks set to spend a lengthy layoff following his injury against Bournemouth in the FA Cup, leaving David Luiz, Sokratis and the injury-prone Rob Holding as the options in that position.

Arsenal is linked with Shakhtar’s Mykola Matviyenko and Flamengo’s Pablo Mari in the past day, but we are still hopeful for these deals to be completed before the window closes.

Pablo Mari’s situation is interesting with the back and forth discussions and negotiations going on with the player. He was spotted in the airport by Goal.com’s Arsenal correspondent, Charles Watt, who shared this tweet. The defender had his medical, which we believed was successful, but to everyone’s surprise, Pablo Mari was on a plane back to Brazil following breakdown of negotiations between Arsenal and Flamengo. According to reports, Arsenal wanted a loan move with the option to buy at the end of the season, while Flamengo wanted an outright sale. 

Flamengo defender Pablo Mari is set to join Arsenal

Flamengo has also gone ahead to sign Leo Pereira, which should probably be Pablo Mari’s replacement. According to the Metro, Arsenal and Flamengo  have agreed a deal to get their man and Brazilian outlet, Globo, has reported that the Spanish defender has travelled to London to complete his move to the Gunners.

The Gunners have also been linked with a move for Mykola Matviyenko and the Metro reports that a deal in principle has been agreed between Arsenal and Shakhtar for the young defender. Mikel Arteta has seen Matviyenko from the dugout when his previous club, Manchester City, played Shakhtar twice in the group stages of the Champions League. 

Whether it’s Pablo Mari or Mykola Matviyenko, or both, Arsenal is in dire need of options in central defense, and I will be good to sign players that will have a long term future with the club, especially with the fact that Sokratis (31) and David Luiz (33) are reaching the twilight of their careers. Their presence will be helpful in bringing the young defenders up to speed but I’m certain that their deals will not be renewed at the end of next season.

We will monitor the situation and will be hopeful that these deals get across the finish line on or before Friday.

Sayonara

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Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal: Youngsters Lead the Way

Bournemouth Arsenal

Saka celebrates goal against Bournemouth

Match Report  Post-Match Press Conference 

Final ResultBournemouth 1-2 Arsenal

Goal Scorers: Bournemouth (Surridge 90+4′), Arsenal (Saka 5′, Nketiah 26′)

Arsenal XI (subs) (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Bellerin (c), Mustafi (Holding 62′), Sokratis, Saka; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Martinelli, Willock (Maitland-Niles 90′), Pepe (Ceballos 69′); Nketiah

Bournemouth hosted Arsenal on a cold Monday night with the lineup I predicted not far off from what Mikel Arteta selected. Eddie Howe’s side is in a poor vein of form going into this game and Bournemouth is currently languishing in 18th, flirting with relegation. Arsenal has problems of their own but when it comes to Cup football, form goes out of the window because it’s the result on the night that matters.

It was good to see the Gunners firing from the kickoff with Bukayo Saka receiving a carefully threaded ball from Gabriel Martinelli and unleashing a surface-to-goal piledriver that smashed the underside of the bar and into the net. That was Saka’s third goal of the season, and to see him score such a brilliant goal while playing as a left back was a pleasurable sight. Arsenal head coach, Mikel Arteta, had some good words about Saka in his post-match press conference.

Arsenal continued to pummel the Bournemouth defense with Hector Bellerin feeding Joe Willock on the edge of the area. The young midfielder used his upper body strength to shove off his marker and managed to release a shot but the angle was too tight, allowing Travers to make a decent save. That didn’t matter to the Gunners as they went two goals up thanks to Eddie Nketiah. After some intricate passing play in midfield, Saka drilled a cross into the heart of the Bournemouth defense and the ball evaded Martinelli, but Nketiah was on hand to side foot the ball home, sending Travers the wrong. It’s moments like this that shows the manager’s vision for his team as he made it clear that Nketiah was not going anywhere else following the torrid spell at Leeds.

Bournemouth was losing quite alright but they were not going to sleep over and play dead, as Liverpool loanee, Harry Wilson, was unmarked at the far post and showed off his good technique in firing the ball at the Arsenal goal first time, but Emi Martinez reacted well to make a good save. Martinez wasn’t too impressive for one of the corners as he found himself in No Man’s Land but the Bournemouth’s defenders header went wide off the mark. 

Dan Gosling tried an attempt from quite some distance with the ball deflecting off Holding and over the bar. Speaking of Holding, I had expected him to start the game but Arteta opted for Skhodran Mustafi instead. Sadly, Mustafi got injured and had to be stretched out of the field, which was not a good sight. This injury adds more pressure on the club to sign a defender as the ones we have are just dropping like flies. But with reports of the Pablo Mari deal is on the brink of collapsing, it makes you wonder.

Bournemouth finally got what their efforts deserved when Simon Francis’ cross into the Arsenal box reached Sam Surridge’s feet and the young forward passed the ball into the net with Martinez flat footed. However, it was too little, too late for Bournemouth. 

Arsenal’s reward for the victory against Bournemouth is a trip to Fratton Park to play League One outfit, Portsmouth in the Round of 16.

Sayonara.

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Bournemouth Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups

Image result for Aubameyang goal bournemouth

Sadly, he will not be available

Bournemouth has struggled badly all season, finding themselves in 18th place after a series of terrible results in the Premier League. The rot ended with a 3-1 win against Brighton, but Eddie Howe’s side know that they are in for a cracker tonight against an Arsenal side under the tutelage and guidance of Mikel Arteta.

Bournemouth have only ever beaten Arsenal once in competitive action. This came in January 2018 where the home side won 2-1. However, the Gunners have won eight of their nine meetings with the latest being the slender 1-0 win from a David Luiz header in October 2019. Arsenal has shown massive improvement under Mikel Arteta but the results have been disappointing with a series of draws that saw the Gunner remain in mid-table. 

Arsenal have progressed from seven of their last eight FA Cup fourth round ties, with their only failure in that run coming last season, losing 3-1 at home to Manchester United. They are still the record FA Cup holders with 13 titles.

Arsenal Team News

Following the spirited and grueling performance at Stamford Bridge, there would be some aching muscles that require some rest. David Luiz is suspended for the contest, but coincidentally Sokratis is fit again after his brief illness, so he is available for selection. There has been so much about Pablo Mari and we remain hopeful that the deal is secured before the transfer window ends on Friday, January 31, 2020.

Here are 10 things you need to know about Pablo Mari.

One big loss will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, that has scored three goals in four meetings with Bournemouth. Even though he will not be available for selection, he was pictured training with his teammates.

Lacazette hasn’t been on the goals lately, and he will be odds on to start against Burnley this weekend, so I see Eddie Nketiah getting a runout from the start. The club made a conscious effort to keep him, rather than loan him elsewhere, so I will expect that he play in games like these. Dani Ceballos will be another player that will get a start, especially in the wake of the stories linking him with a move away from the club. I’ve shared my thoughts on that matter.

Arsenal Predicted Lineup

Arsenal 4-2-3-1 football formation

Bournemouth Team News

With Bournemouth ravaged with injuries, Eddie Howe has less options to rotate with, but he has enough firepower to threaten the Gunners. Star forward, Callum Wilson was in a long goal brought, but he broke the dunk when he scored his team’s third goal. Such moments can boost a striker’s confidence and he needs it tonight in front of his home fans.

In defense, Bournemouth is boosted by the return of Steve Cook that earned a suspension when he switched from a defender to a goalkeeper in his peak against Norwich.

Bournemouth Predicted Lineup

AFC Bournemouth 4-4-2 football formation

Injury Updates

Arsenal: Kieran Tierney (shoulder), Calum Chambers (knee), Sead Kolasinac (thigh), Reiss Nelson (hamstring). More updates on Arsenal.com

Bournemouth: Chris Mepham (knee), Jack Stacey (hamstring), Charlie Daniels (knee), Arnaut Groeneveld (foot), Junior Stanislas (calf), David Brooks (ankle), Josh King (ankle)

Team Form Guide

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: W W D W D
  • Last Result: Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal
  • Leading Goalscorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (16)

Bournemouth Form

  • Last Five Games: L W L L W
  • Last Result: Bournemouth 3-1 Brighton 
  • Leading Goalscorer: Harry Wilson, Callum Wilson (6)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 0 Arsenal win.

Kick Off – 9.00pm (GMT +1) at Vitality Stadium

Sayonara.

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