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Mikel Arteta says ‘Very difficult’ for Arsenal midfielder to get back into squad



Mesut Ozil has not played for Arsenal – who are on a three-game winning streak – since March 7

Mikel Arteta had admitted that it is “very difficult” for Mesut Ozil to break back into his Arsenal side after leaving the midfielder out of a fourth successive matchday squad.

The Gunners have won their first two Premier League games of the season and beat Leicester 2-0 at the King Power Stadium in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday night.

They also defeated Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield last month in what has been a promising start to the season – and it has all been done without Ozil, whose struggles to win over Arteta continue.

The 31-year-old did not play at all for Arsenal following the 2019/20 season’s restart in June and is yet to feature this campaign, meaning his last appearance for the club came on March 7.

Asked to explain the prolonged absence of Ozil – who is in the final year of his contract – from his team, Arteta said: “The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving.

“This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better. We need to keep maintaining that.

“I’m really happy with the performance here, how difficult they’re making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.

“We are picking the players that we believe are the best for each game. You can see we keep training, it’s what we’re trying to do.


“You can see that the players we are changing, we are using, it’s very difficult every week – not just for Mesut – but for some other players as well to make the squad. Every week we try to pick the right players.

“Of course I understand and I respect your questions, but I have to try to do my job as fair as possible. I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition.”

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Aston Villa refuse to give up on Emile Smith Rowe while Arsenal contract is still unsigned



arsenal emile smith rowe aston villa

For as long as Arsenal and Emile Smith Rowe don’t sign a new contract, Aston Villa don’t seem to be quitting on their pursuit of the young star.

Few Arsenal fans believe Emile Smith-Rowe would refuse a new deal. After all he grew up in the Arsenal system and plays alongside pals like Bukayo Saka. Yet, talks with Arsenal over the terms of a new deal for Smith-Rowe are still ongoing. The Telegraph report that Smith-Rowe is asking Arteta to give him assurances on how many games he would play. But the manager is unwilling to do so for any player.

Aston Villa probably didn’t expect their initial offer of under $25 million to be approved

Yet the fact that they are returning indicates that they still believe they can be successful at the appropriate price.

Another thing to consider is that Arteta will make significant changes this summer.

He will undoubtedly want more money than he will be able to raise by selling off our marginal players.

Thus, he may be considering a couple of high-profile transactions to help fund the transfer budget.

arsenal emile smith rowe aston villa

So, perhaps it’s up to Smith-Rowe now.

He is the one that will make a decision on whether he wants to accept Arsenal’s new contract offer or seek a new challenge.

But how much longer can Arteta wait for him to sign the papers before taking action?

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Tottenham attempt to hijack Arsenal’s pursuit of Locatelli, Juventus has advantage



Arsenal and Tottenham are likely to compete for the signing of Manuel Locatelli. Although, Juventus will be tough to beat.

According to TeamTalk, Tottenham are attempting to sabotage Arsenal’s pursuit of Manuel Locatelli. They’ve reportedly made contact with Sassuolo to negotiate a deal for this summer. Mikel Arteta is looking to add at least two midfielders to his squad. Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, and Maitland-Niles are all poised to leave Arsenal. Meanwhile, Ceballos has returned to Real Madrid after a loan stay. Several names have been connected with a move to the Emirates. But Locatelli has emerged as a target, according to TeamTalk. So Arsenal officials are ready to put Sassuolo’s determination to the test.

Arsenal will approach with an opening bid worth at least £30 million

But, it appears like Arsenal will have heavy competition from their north London rivals. TeamTalk reports that Tottenham have joined the hunt for Locatelli.

Spurs are still looking for a permanent replacement for Jose Mourinho. But whoever takes over at the new White Hart Lane would be pleased to have a player of Locatelli’s caliber.

While Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly interested in signing the Italian international, TeamTalk reports that Locatelli prefers to stay in Serie A, with Juventus dominating the hunt for his signature.

The Premier League duo could try to entice the player with a higher offer

However, it appears like Juve are the frontrunners to sign Locatelli. This would be a major blow because he is a fantastic talent who would be an amazing signing for Arsenal.

manuel locatelli arsenal tottenham juventus

Locatelli has already been one of the standout performers at Euro 2020, starring in Italy’s first two games. And if he continues to impress this summer, the race for his signature might heat up even more.

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Arsenal can sign Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid, but only as part of a tricky swap deal



The Daily Mail reports that Real Madrid would allow Odegaard to join Arsenal if he met certain criteria.

Real Madrid are attempting to take advantage of Arsenal’s interest in Odegaard. They are requesting Emile Smith Rowe in exchange for him. But Emile Smith Rowe has yet to sign a contract extension. His current contract extends until 2023. And the Gunners have no intention of letting him leave. Aston Villa’s bid for the Hale End graduate was turned down earlier today.

With Carlo Ancelotti currently in charge of Real Madrid, Odegaard may be given a reprieve

They may now be willing to use the 22-year-old as a bargaining chip to get Smith Rowe.

Last season, Odegaard made 20 appearances for the Gunners. He scored two goals, including one in the North London derby, and added two assists.

arsenal martin odegaard real madrid emile smith rowe

According to several rumors, the Norwegian international was Arsenal’s top summer target.

But, it appears that they will not want to lose Smith Rowe in order to sign Odegaard.

If Smith Rowe leaves, it would be a poor start to summer and it would be a huge disappointment for the fans

Arsenal will want to put all their efforts into improving their squad for next season

When it comes down to it, they’ll have to choose between Smith Rowe and Odegaard to see who has the most promise.

At this point, a switch seems unlikely, but it does give the Gunners some food for thought.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on April 23, 2021 in London, United Kingdom.

Arsenal have an intriguing offer to consider

We may soon learn precisely how desperate Arsenal is to sign Odegaard, their top target.

Smith Rowe is a favorite of Arteta, who preached and played him extensively in the second half of last season.

But now is the time to make a decision. With Smith Rowe’s contract expiring in two years, Arteta may see this as an opportunity to sign his favorite No.10 player.

Only time will tell, but Arsenal could be in for an exciting period – and it will be fascinating to watch.

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