Yesterday, the world stood still for Africa as the Glo CAF Awards took center stage. Manchester City’s Yaya Toure has been the alpha-dog in African football for the past four years or so but this time he was ousted by Gabonese goalscoring hotshot, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Toure and Samuel Eto’o shared the record with four awards each, so Toure would have made history if he won the award.
Aubameyang deserved his award though, as he finished last season with 25 goals in 46 games. He has even been on fire this season, scoring 27 goals in 27 games and he has been heavily linked with a move to North London. During the Glo CAF Awards, Aubameyang was approached by renowned Nigerian sports journalist, Colin Udoh, and the Gabonese forward confirmed to the journo that he’s not leaving Dortmund.
As you would expect from any professional, Aubameyang would not blow his trumpet about his future, considering the fact that the event was about celebrating footballing excellence from an African perspective. Nonetheless, he’s a player many Arsenal fans would like to see at the club and I have a hunch that he would be the club’s marquee signing this summer. Right now, our attacking hopes rests on Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck (when he decides to become fit.)
Elsewhere, Sevilla’s Grzegorz Krychowiak has been on the spotlight in a recent exclusive interview with FourFourTwo. He was an integral part of the Sevilla team that triumphed in the 2014/15 Europa League and he helped his country, Poland, qualify for the European Championships this summer.
He was linked with a move to Arsenal last summer but he claimed that he left all that in the hands of his agent,
“I never had a favourite team or league. The Premier League? Some say it’s the best in the world, other people think that’s La Liga.
I’ve heard about Arsenal, but I leave it to my agent. I trust him and he’s the one who deals with that kind of the stuff. I can’t think about things like that. I have to keep my mind free of any distraction and just focus on doing my job for Sevilla.”
With Arsenal on the verge of signing Egyptian midfielder, Mohammed Elneny, Krychowiak is definitely off the radar and with Francis Coquelin returning to full fitness in a couple of weeks, it’s going to be very interesting to see how the situation in holding midfield is managed. Remember we still have Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers that have deputized in Coquelin’s stead.
Moving to potential departures, Football Italia reports that Matt Debuchy has been linked with a move to AS Roma, where he could be reunited with his former LOSC Lille Metropole manager, Rudi Garcia. Debuchy has gone public about his dissatisfaction with lack of playing time and Arsene Wenger one individual that is well known for offloading ‘unhappy players’, so that they would disrupt the harmonious atmosphere of the team.
In Andrey Arshavin and Lukas Podolski, these are January transfer window departures that had little or no effect on the team. With Chambers capable of playing as a right back and a certain Carl Jenkinson returning to the club in the summer to stake his claim for a first team berth, Debuchy may not be missed. I was hoping that he’d put his head down and try to convince his manager in training or with his performances when he’s deployed but he’s a classic case of a guy that wants to leave the kitchen because he can’t take the heat.
Finally, Football League World has reported that skybet Championship outfit, Reading, is interested in securing Alex Iwobi’s services on loan. The nephew of the legendary Jay Jay Okocha has featured sparingly for the Gunners this season, although he has been a regular with the Under-21s. A move to Reading would be in his best interests as he would gain some valuable match experience.
I will keep you updated as the days go by.
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