Category Archives: Transfer Gossip

Aubameyang Signs and Martinez Leaves to Aston Villa

Arsenal news: Martinez breaks down in tears during emotional interview  after FA Cup win | Metro News

The picture above shows Emiliano Martinez and club captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sharing a moment in Wembley as they basked in the euphoria of the Arsenal’s 14th FA Cup victory. Martinez, despite being on the fringes for pretty much the entirety of his Arsenal career, did a pretty amazing job in the short duration he deputized as Bernd Leno’s replacement.

I had shared my thoughts on Martinez leaving but it’s something I can touch on again. It was evident that his performances at the end of the 2019/20 campaign had put the gaffer, Mikel Arteta, in some type of dilemma, but on the back of what was a very successful spell in the side, Martinez was not going to spend another season as a deputy, waiting to feature in only Europa League and Cup games. You could bet in the best online casinos on whether he was going to leave the clubs and the odds would have been low. 

Prior to when the Aston Villa move was officially announced, Martinez took to Instagram to share an emotional message with the fans about how he had his struggles with us and how he’s leaving through the front door. That meant a lot because we know how irksome some departures can be, like in the Robin van Persie situation or more recently, a loved player like Alexis Sanchez. We also need to consider the financial aspect of this deal – if a Premier League club had offered 20 million quid for Martinez while Leno was still fit, we would have bitten their fingers, wrapped the Argentine goalie in plastic, added a fragile stamp on him and ensured he got to the new club unscathed.

Aston Villa on the other hand, have their goalkeeping issues to deal with, as star goalie from Burnley, Tom Heaton, suffered a long term injury, forcing the club to sign a 136-year-old goalie to hold the fort, and we all know how they leaked goals like baskets. Martinez is going to a club where he will be a nailed-on first choice goalkeeper, so it was a win-win situation for both player and club.

Speaking of win-win, Arsenal and its talisman, Aubameyang, finally reached an agreement that saw the star forward sign a three year contract with the club. When you consider how important Aubameyang is to this club and what he has achieved for us and with us in his stint, extending his contract was the best piece of business this summer. The forward had some nice words to say as well,

“Signing for this special club was never in doubt. “It’s thanks to our fans, my team-mates, my family and everybody at this club that I feel like I belong here. I believe in Arsenal. We can achieve big things together. We have something exciting here and I believe the best is to come for Arsenal.”

Since Aubameyang joined the club, he has been in very prolific form, despite the fact he’s been played out of position. A striker of his immense talent and ability would have grumbled for not featuring in his natural habitat but he considered the team first and has been putting a great shift on the left to allow his best mate, Alexandre Lacazette, and fledgling forward, Eddie Nketiah, flourish in attack. 

The news of Aubameyang staying in the club for the foreseeable future is very welcome for everyone concerned with the club and we will be hoping he crowns it with a goal or two against West Ham at the home of football.

Sayonara

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Thoughts on Martinez Leaving and His Viking Replacement?

Emi Martinez reaches summit of emotional Arsenal journey to FA Cup glory -  football.london

Emi, thanks for the memories

If I had a heart, I could love you

If I had a voice, I would sing 

After the night when I wake up

I’ll see what tomorrow brings

Word on the street is that with Emiliano Martinez set to leave Arsenal to Aston Villa imminently (more on this anon), the Gunners are looking to replace him with a Viking goalie, Ragnar Lothbrok, I mean, Alex Runarsson. I’m pretty sure there’s a link between Runar Alex Runarsson and Ragnar Lothbrok – they are both Vikings! Runarsson will stand behind the sticks at the Emirates, facing a direct free kick from the opposition, instructing his defenders to mount a shield wall to block the Saxon attackers from Wessex and Northumbria. Now, I’m reaching.

In reality, I know nothing about our potential Viking goalie, so I did what was expected of any blogger – research. Starting his career in his native Iceland with KR Reykjavik, Runarsson made a name for himself when he moved to neighboring Denmark to sign for FC Nordsjaelland. It was in the Danish outfit that he was in the spotlight, winning the Player of the Season award in the 2017/18 campaign. Interestingly, he was under the tutelage of Inaki Cana Pavon, a current goalkeeping coach at Arsenal, so I am positive that the prospect of them walking together again at the Emirates would be exciting for both player and coach.

As expected, he was found by some scouts in France for his goalkeeping heroics in Lord Bendtnerland, and got poached by Dijon FCO two seasons ago. According to WhoScored, he notched up 25 appearances in his first season at the second division French outfit but his game time reduced considerably last season following the acquisition of Alfred Gomis from SPAL, with the Iceland goalie featuring mainly in cup competitions. He was part of the Icelandic setup that travelled to Russia for the FIFA 2018 World Cup but he didn’t feature in any game at the mundial. 

Signing Runarsson from Dijon would clearly serve as a cheaper alternative to allow the funds generated from the sale of Martinez and potential sale of Lucas Torreira who seems to be paraded around Italy – first Fiorentina, now Torino! Who knows, he may end up joining Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Roma. We will certainly get a glimpse of Runarsson in the Europa League and cup competitions, while our undisputed No. 1, Bernd Leno, will continue to strut his stuff in the Premier League.

Which brings me to the man of the hour – Emiliano Martinez. Since joining the club as far back as 2010, Martinez has always been on the fringes at the club and was sent on loan to six different clubs to earn some playing time. His appearances at Arsenal were few and far between but one can’t forget that crazy 7-5 League Cup fixture against Reading in 2013. But after so many years waiting for his chance, he got his breakthrough last season following the unfortunate injury Leno suffered against Brighton. In those fixtures he featured, Martinez was a class act and there was a dilemma for the club about who would to be the No. 1 goalie for the new campaign. 

Leno returned to full fitness in the summer and Martinez still got the shot at the Community Shield win against Liverpool. However, the gaffer has favored the German shot stopper ahead of Martinez so it makes some sense for the player to want a move away from the club and with Aston Villa offering as much as 20 million quid, it’s a win-win for everyone – Arsenal get some cool cash that can be invested elsewhere while Martinez moves to a club where he would be the No. 1 till Tom Heaton returns from his long term injury at least. 

Martinez would be missed as he was clearly a dependable back up goalie, but I guess it’s up to the newbie Viking goalie to show what he’s made of when the opportunities present themselves, that’s if Arsenal is really going for him.

I’m off to binge on some Vikings on Netflix.

Sayonara.

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Thoughts on Arsenal’s Potential Departures to Italy

 

Lucas Torreira attempting to pick up Sokratis is exactly the level of  ambition I aspire for in 2020. : Gunners

Football, first and foremost, is a business with dealings in the transfer window playing a major role in the club’s finances. Arsenal is no different as the club swiftly swooped for Chelsea’s experienced maverick, Willian, on a free transfer before signing the highly-coveted center back, Gabriel Magalhaes, and securing a successive loan spell for midfield maestro, Dani Ceballos. 

There are some departures that have been expected with the Italian Serie A being the expected destination.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

With some additions, it only makes sense to expect some departures and the goodbye wagon started rolling with the club confirming the departure of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to AS Roma by mutual consent.

The decision to swap the Armenian attacking midfielder with Alexis Sanchez remains one of the most puzzling deals in football history, bearing in mind that Arsenal rejected a lucrative offer from Manchester City to sign the Chilean forward. Mkhitaryan joined the squad with a fat pay check and was quite inconsistent and underwhelming for a player of his calibre.

Things went sour and he joined AS Roma on loan where he managed to pick up some decent form to the point they offered Arsenal 10 million euros for his services and the Gunners rejected that as well – only to allow him leave for free a few months later. Good business indeed. The only positive I can think of from Mkhitaryan leaving, besides watching him of course, is the wages that have been freed up, which will be offered to those more deserving, like a certain Gabonese talismanic forward.

Lucas Torreira

Switching from permanent to potential departures, it seems like our love affair with the diminutive Uruguayan defensive midfielder, Lucas Torreira, is coming to an end. He came to the club and offered us something we had missed for a while – that dogged, swashbuckling, hard tackling, combative style we craved and we certainly loved it, as he missed only four Premier League games from 38 in his debut season.

His second season with us didn’t have the same zest as expected and he even lost his place in the team to a younger Matteo Guendouzi under Unai Emery and Dani Ceballos under Mikel Arteta. This led to him voicing his thoughts about not playing regularly and giving green lights to his potential suitors about his availability. It is believed that Italian Serie A outfit, Fiorentina, have declared their interest in signing Torreira in some sort of loan with mandatory option of buying kind of deal.

I am certain that Torreira will not pass on an opportunity to return to the country he started his football career, having played with Pescara and Sampdoria before joining Arsenal in 2018. In as much as I would love Torreira to stay, I understand his sentiments if he wants to leave for regular playing time, especially with the fact that he featured sparingly went football returned in June 2020. 

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Finally, we visit the situation of Sokratis Papastathopoulos who has clearly fallen out of favor with the manager. Despite the fact that Calum Chambers has been injured for a lengthy period and there were fitness concerns with Rob Holding, Arteta still preferred to feature full backs like Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac as center back options with Sokratis watching from the bench.

The fact that he has also entered the final months of his contract with no hopes of renewing makes him a prime target to be axed this summer and his wishes might come through with Napoli declaring their interest in acquiring his services.

With their key asset in midfield, Allan, already departing to Everton and star defender, Kalilou Koulibaly, a long-term target for Manchester City, Napoli will want to bolster their defensive options and I am elated with the fact that the potential exists for Sokratis to be sold to them, even though it will certainly be for cheaps.

Sayonara.

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