Qatari Interest, West Brom and Conte: All the key Arsenal news from the week just gone
By Allan Riley
Following Arsenal’s dismal start to their latest Premier League campaign, the rumour mill has been in maximum overdrive regarding the futures of Edu Gaspar and Mikel Arteta. Additionally, a potential takeover from the Qatari Royal Family and links to Antonio Conte as a potential Arteta replacement have also been all over the news.
Conte rejects Arsenal as Arteta has “full backing”
Given Arsenal’s poor start to the campaign, Antonio Conte has been the main name linked to replace incumbent manager Mikel Arteta, with reports circling that the Italian is interested in the role.
However, according to The Independent’s Miguel Delaney, Conte has said no to a potential switch to the Emirates, alleging that he does not believe that he could challenge with the team as it is. Contrary to other reports regarding the safety of Arteta, the Spaniard seems to have the full backing of the board, who see him as a “mini-Arsene [Wenger]”.
Personally, I think Conte would have been an excellent short-term candidate should Arteta have lost his job. This is a man who has a proven track record of getting the best out of teams and winning trophies wherever he goes. A two-year spell would have been ideal while Arsenal prepare their next long-term manager.
As for Arteta having full backing of the board, that does not seem to be the best idea. Obviously injury, illness and visa issues have meant Arteta has lost 9 senior starters, the team has looked flat and uninspired. Should that continue, there would be no other options but to sack him.
Aubameyang notches hat-trick as Arsenal batter WBA
Arsenal gained a much-needed confidence boost heading into their game against Manchester City, beating West Brom 6-0 in Round 2 of the Carabao Cup.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored a hattrick, as well as racking up an overhead kick assist for Nicolas Pepe. Bukayo Saka and Alex Lacazette also scored as Arteta’s side won their first game of the season.
This is not the type of game to read too far into, however. West Brom put out an extremely weakened side, while Arsenal had close to their first team, with several players including Odegaard, Aubameyang, Ramsdale and Lacazette being reintegrated back into the team.
As for Aubameyang, his hat-trick should provide a much-needed lift heading into the City game. He had a poor season last campaign and will be looking to amend that. Manchester City will be a much harder test, but this comfortable win should put a spring in the team’s step.
Edu under pressure
Technical director Edu has faced much scrutiny from supporters and pundits alike regarding his transfer strategy. More specifically, transfer targets the club have missed out on. According to The Daily Mirror, three potential replacements for the former Invincible have been lined up to take his role. Former player Marc Overmars is once again on the shortlist, as well as former Chelsea director Michael Emenalo and Ralf Ragnick.
Edu has been rightfully lambasted for his transfer dealings, with a replacement desperately needed. Ragnick has recently joined Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia, with a move seemingly off the cards there.
Emenalo’s time at Chelsea was incredibly successful, with the Nigerian making a number of very good and high profile signings during his time at the West London club, which makes him an ideal candidate.
Arsenal catch eye of Qatar
Rumours on Twitter have sent Arsenal fans into meltdown, with a cryptic Tweet from Qatari royal Khalifah Bin Hamad Al Thani hinting at a takeover attempt.
His family certainly have the money to finance the deal, being the third richest family in the world with a net worth of £235 billion. This has seen many supporters desperate for the deal to go through in order to "take the club to the next level."
While many fans desperately hoping the deal will go through, there have been no concrete rumours or news about any interest in a takeover, meaning this could well be a PR stunt.
One thing is for certain though, after Daniel Ek’s bid to take over was knocked back, there are people interested in relieving KSE of their majority shareholder duties.
Torreira departs for Italy
Some transfer news now, with midfielder Lucas Torreira leaving Arsenal on loan for a second season in a row, this time joining Fiorentina in Italy. Following his failed spell at Atletico Madrid, the Uruguayan has joined La Viola on a season-long loan, with the club paying €1.5 million (roughly £1.3 million) in loan fees, with an option to buy of about £13 million.
Ever since his successful debut season in 18/19, Unai Emery bafflingly deployed him as a number 10. This was the beginning of the end of his time at the club, with Mikel Arteta’s arrival proving the final nail in the coffin.
This is the best move for all parties. With the former fan favorite now gone, his turbulent time in North London, on and off the pitch, appears to be finally over.