Arsene Wenger has revealed why the Gunners decided against signing Belgium and Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet while he was previously on trial at the club.
Praet is top on Arsenal’s shopping list for this summer and the London club have already seen an offer for the player rebuffed. Arsenal are heavily linked with the signing of a plethora of players but they seem to be more interested in Praet and his teammate Joachim Anderson.
Arsenal confirmed the departure of Aaron Ramsey at the close of last season and they are looking to sign a midfielder in his stead, with Praet identified as perfect fit to play in Aaron Ramsey’s role.
The 25-year-old Belgian midfielder, who joined Sampdoria from Anderlecht in the summer of 2016 failed a trial at Arsenal when he was 16. He had also impressed for Belgian side Anderlecht when they played against Arsenal.
The player has developed into a fine attacking midfielder, prompting Wenger’s opinion on the target.
‘When he was 15 or 16 years old, he came with Kyle Ebecilio who, in between, went back to Holland,’ Wenger recalled.
At the time, he was judged – I didn’t know he was here, I didn’t know him at the time – a bit weak physically.
‘Since then he has developed well. I was honestly impressed by his performance when we played in the first game [which Arsenal won 2-1 in Anderlecht].’
Praet played along diminutive Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira in Sampdoria and the pair could link up at the Emirates next season.
Arsenal to contend with Man United over signing of quality defender
Manchester United are expected to be in contention for Juventus defender Merih Demiral when the transfer window reopens in January.
Though the Red Devils upgraded their defensive unit when the captured Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bisaka’s services prior to the start of the season, they haven’t been too solid at the back of the pitch.
The Premier League giants have 12 conceded goals, and Solskjaer is set to make some changes to the list of defenders at his disposal.
According to Italian media Tuttosport (via Football-Italia), the Norwegian tactician has set his eyes on the Turkish defender with a view of luring him to the Theatre of Dreams in the winter.
However, Solskjaer will need to contend with Arsenal manager Unai Emery in the race for the 20-year-old. It is believed that the Gunners manager is impressed with the report he got from his scouts who monitored the youngster’s performance against Iceland on Thursday.
The under-fire Arsenal manager has seen his defenders conceded 17 goals in 12 Premier League matches this season, a record which has led to fans displeasure.
The Spaniard is equally linked with a move for Demiral’s services as part of his plans to improve his defence in the second half of the campaign.
The same source further revealed that Serie A side AC Milan are equally keeping a close tab on the player’s situation under Maurizio Sarri, and they hope to beat the two Premier League giants to his services.
Demiral is finding regular game-time too hard to get under Sarri who prefers Leonardo Bonucci, Danielle Rugani and Matthijs de Ligt.
Arsenal already identify Unai Emery’s replacement
Arsenal have failed to record a single victory in their four previous Premier League and the Gunners faithfuls are calling for Unai Emery’s dismissal as soon as possible.
The North London club were defeated 2-0 by Leicester City on Saturday, a result which put them in the sixth position with 17 points from 12 matches.
It was earlier reported that the Gunners hierarchy are willing to respect their contractual agreement with the former PSG manager by giving him the chance to be at the helm of affairs till the end of the season but that could change anytime soon.
According to Spanish media El Confidencial, the Gunners board members are losing their patience with the Spanish tactician and they are reportedly in search of his replacement.
The same source revealed that former Barcelona and Spain head coach Luis Enrique is being considered as the best man for the job.
Enrique, who surprisingly left his post as Spain head coach this year, is heavily linked with Gunners managerial position but it is left to be seen if he will accept the offer midway through to the campaign.
Former Manchester United manager José Mourinho was earlier said to be leading the race for the job but the Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi quickly debunked the rumors.
Arsenal star set to leave the Emirates in January
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is experiencing one of his most difficult times at the Emirates Stadium since his unhealthy incident with his own fans few weeks ago.
The Swiss midfielder was appointed the Gunners captain by Unai Emery at the early stages of the season, a decision which doesn’t go well with fans.
Unfortunately, Xhaka couldn’t keep the captain’s armband for a long period of time as he was stripped off the position following his avoidable spat with his own fans during their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month.
However, situation got worse for the former Borussia Monchengladbach star who has failed to feature in the last three matches played the Gunners.
To worsen the player’s situation at the Emirates Stadium, report via the Mirror claimed that Unai Emery and his employers are ready to cash-in on his services in January.
According to the British media, Arsenal board members are willing to release the Switzerland international in January even if they won’t make much profit from his sale.
It should be recalled that the Xhaka joined the Gunners from Monchengladbach in a £34m deal, but The Mirror revealed that the Gunners are expecting inexpensive offer from potential suitors when the next transfer window commences.