Arsenal news LIVE: Aubameyang sale blasted by Sokratis, Xhaka to stay until he wins a major trophy, Dybala transfer BLOW

FORMER Arsenal centre-half Sokratis has been hit out at Arsenal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's dismissal from the club, SunSport can reveal.

The Greece international believes that the Gunners' decision to let Aubameyang go was not the "correct choice".

Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka has stated that he will stay in North London until he wins a major trophy.

He added that he is desperate to improve his relationship with the club's fans.

And Mikel Arteta has been dealt a huge blow in his bid to land Paulo Dybala this summer.

Dybala, 28, was linked with a shock move to the Emirates but the Argentinian has began contractual talks with Inter Milan according to reports.

Stay up to date with all the latest from the Emirates in our live blog…

  • Justin Lawrence

    It's time to move on

    Gabby Agbonlahor has told Arsenal fans it's time to move on from the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer saga.

    He told talkSPORT: “I don’t think it was [working].

    “It’s alright looking at that now, but I think that Arsenal have to forget about the past and focus on what Arteta is doing for Arsenal now.

    “He’s got them playing good football, bringing in young players and needs a bit of a hand with a new striker coming in in the summer, but stop looking at Unai Emery.

    “It’s different circumstances at Villarreal. When he was at Arsenal it wasn’t working and Arsenal fans couldn’t wait for him to leave.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Arsenal's inexperience could prove costly

    John Barnes reckons Arsenal's inexperience could hand Tottenham the fourth prem spot.

    Barnes told BonusCodeBets: "Arsenal have a relatively inexperienced side. A month ago, I would have said they were favourites for the final Champions League place, but we were probably all quite naïve
    in thinking they had turned a corner after they started to win matches.

    “They’re still a young and inexperienced side, but the future is bright for Arsenal and the more they stick with Arteta and the young players [the better they will get], they’ll
    be just fine.

    “Tottenham – with Antonio Conte, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son have a bit more know-how and they are ahead of Arsenal in that respect."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Wright slams Eddie Nketiah

    Ian Wright has criticised Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah for failing to seize the opportunity to become the club's main striker.

    In an interview with the Arseblog podcast, he said: "For the last [however] many games we’ve got left, I would probably sit Eddie Nketiah down and say, 'Listen, I don’t know what the f*** is going on in your head, but we’ve got rid of Aubameyang, you’re an up-and-coming striker.

    "I was thinking we had a replacement for Aubameyang and Lacazette – but what has happened to Eddie in that respect? Your job as a number nine is to take over from these guys!

    "So that’s one of the most frustrating things for me, to see that there’s a striker there, I don’t know if he’s going to leave or not, it doesn’t seem like there’s any contract talks going on, maybe he’s made his mind up."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Merson on Arsenal's top-four hopes

    Paul Merson reckons Arsenal can still pip Tottenham to fourth spot in the Prem.

    He told Sky Sports: "I still feel Arsenal have got a chance.

    "Arsenal have got to go to Chelsea and Tottenham have still got to face Liverpool, which will be a different game.

    "With Chelsea beating Southampton last weekend, that's sort of cemented their top-four place."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Xhaka's not leaving

    Granit Xhaka has no plans of leaving Arsenal until he achieves something special with the club.

    He also revealed that he wants to improve his relationship with the fans.

    Xhaka told the player's tribune: "No, no, I want to achieve something with this club, something special. And before that, I don’t leave.

    “I want to have a better relationship with the people outside, with the fans."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Un in a million

    Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery guided Villarreal to the Champions League semi-finals with a shock 2-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich.

    And while Emery often came under fire during his brief spell with the Gunners, he got his tactics spot on in Munich.

    One particular passage of play from Tuesday night's quarter-final second leg proves the Spaniard's genius.

    With Joshua Kimmich standing over a free-kick for Bayern on the left-hand touchline, the Villarreal players lined up to defend the cross.

    But then just as Kimmich whipped the ball into the box, every single yellow shirt suddenly charged forwards.

    While the tactic initially seemed a bizarre one, it worked to perfection, catching SEVEN Bayern Munich players offside.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Petit on Arsenal's top-four chances

    Emmanuel Petit reckons Arsenal can still clinch a top-four spot.

    He told Bookmakers.co.uk: "I still believe Arsenal can reach the top four come the end of the season,” said the Gunners icon.

    “They have the chance to play Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham and Tottenham before the end. Arsenal's best games this season have come against the top teams in the Premier League, so they can do it!

    “But, they have lost Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey and they don't have a big squad in terms of quality to pick from. When you look at the bench after those players there is not an awful lot of options.

    “If those guys were all fit, I would say Arsenal would definitely be in the top four, but I'm very worried that they are all injured.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Petit agrees with Arteta

    Emmanuel Petit agrees with Mikel Arteta's plans to revamp Arsenal with an influx of new signings next season.

    Petit said: "They seem to understand the way Arteta is asking them to play, but after the Crystal Palace game I believe he said he wants seven new signings for next season, and I completely agree with him.

    "Arsenal are doing everything they are capable of at the moment. With this team Arteta has some quality, but not enough to compete with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

    "But he cannot perform miracles either.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Bent discusses Arsenal's Champions League hopes

    Football pundit Darren Bent claims Arsenal only have themselves to blame if they fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.

    Bent thinks the Gunners' decision not to strengthen their squad as their rivals have done could cost them a top four spot.

    He told talkSPORT when discussing the Gunners' chances: “Not over, but they’ve not helped themselves.

    "But then you look at the likes of them, Arsenal, West Ham, Wolves, Manchester United, the only team to strengthen in January, and although it was only two signings, was Tottenham.

    “Look at the impact the two signings have made – [Dejan] Kulusevski and [Rodrigo] Bentancur have both been brilliant.

    "But when you look at who Arsenal let go: Maitland-Niles, Balogun, Kolasinac, Calum Chambers. I mean, just hold on to a couple of them.

    “I know these guys might not necessarily play. But when your squad’s as thin as it is, you just need strength in depth.

    "And right now, Arsenal don’t have that. Partey and Tierney, big, big misses. So, I guess, Arsenal have only got themselves to blame.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Prem clubs battle for Bremer

    Liverpool have reportedly waded into the fray to sign Torino defender Gleison Bremer along with Manchester United and Arsenal.

    And the Reds are willing to part with £25milllion to pip their Premier League rivals to the 25-year-old’s signature, according to Tuttojuve.

    The Brazilian has made 29 appearances for the Serie A side this season, chipping in with three goals and an assist along the way.

    His assured performances have caught the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs including Juventus and Bayern Munich.

    But Arsenal, United, Chelsea, and now Liverpool are keen on bringing the defensive stalwart to the Prem this summer.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Paul over

    Paulo Dybala is reportedly set for Inter Milan transfer talks, in a blow to Arsenal and Tottenham.

    The North London duo are believed to be keen on the Juventus ace, who is expected to leave Turin this summer.

    Dybala's Juve contract expires in June, leading to plenty of interest.

    One such interested party is Inter Milan, who are set to ramp up their pursuit in the coming days.

    According to Gazzetta, talks are ongoing between Dybala's representatives and Inter chiefs.

    They add that the 28-year-old's primary representative will arrive in Italy next week for further talks.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Morning, Arsenal fans

    Arsenal face trying to revive their top-four spot without crocked regulars Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

    And the Gunners fancy three Barcelona players in exchange if the Spanish giants pursue Gabriel Magalhaes.

    Mikel Arteta's men are revving up for Saturday's clash at Southampton following two straight, shock Prem defeats.

    But left-back Tierney will miss the rest of the season due to knee surgery.

    And midfielder Partey has aggravated an old thigh problem that Arteta calls 'significant'.

    Meanwhile, it's claimed Barca are sniffing for Brazilian centre-back Gabrel.

    But the Gunners could dig their heels in for one or more of Holland winger Memphis Depay, Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig and Brazil keeper Neto in return..

    Ex-Prem striker Noel Whelan has urged Arsenal to target Brighton's 'more consistent' midfielder Yves Bissouma, rather than Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz.

    Finally, The Gunners are 14/1 third favourites behind Real Madrid and PSG to sign Mo Salah should the striker quit Liverpool.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Juve want £84m for De Ligt

    Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with Juventus centre-back Matthew de Ligt – but he could cost around £84million.

    Calciomercato say the Italian giants are keen to keep the former Ajax superstar.

    Chelsea are thought to have monitored the 22-year-old this season.

    And United have reportedly trailed him in past campaigns

  • Ian Tuckey

    New North Bank flag has 10,000 fans' names

    Here's a look at the massive crowd-surfacing flag the Gunners have unveiled with the names of more than 10,000 Arsenal members stitched on.

    The 20m x 30m North Bank banner was put together through My Arsenal rewards.

    The Gunners said: "This is our way of saying thank you for your incredible support, whether you live within a 10-minute walk of Emirates Stadium or live on the other side of the world. "

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arteta made FIVE mistakes vs Brighton

    FAN’S VIEW: Anyone who knows me or reads my articles will know that I am an admirer of Mikel Arteta but even the best coaches get tactics and decisions wrong, writes DAVE SEAGER.

    On a lucky day the odd poor call may not cost your team, or you may have time in a match to readjust or even reverse a decision within the 90 minutes.

    Saturday was not such a lucky day for the Arsenal boss and in my humble opinion he made multiple poor decisions – in selection, tactics, man-management and even in-game with the substitutions.

    One has to admire such self-belief in such a young manager and we must hope that he will begin to show he can admit errors in judgement and learn from his mistakes.

    On Saturday Arteta needed his team to bounce back from a Selhurst Park horror show but here are five mistakes he made that resulted in Brighton winning.

    ARTETA’S ERRORS:
    Not backing Nuno Tavares
    Playing Granit Xhaka at left-back
    Playing two 8s
    Too stubborn to change what was not working
    Alexandre Lacazette Loyalty

    READ DAVE SEAGER’S FULL VERDICT

  • Ian Tuckey

    4 Prem stars in list of Europe’s most valuable rookies

    Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga is the only player with a Prem giant in a list of Europe’s 20 most valuable rookies.

    But Crystal Palace duo Marc Guehi and Michael Olise, plus Southampton full-back Valentino Livramento, HAVE made the pick.

    RB Leipzig provide the top two – Josko Gvadiol and Dominik Szoboszial.

    But the Three Lions ace only made his Premier League debut THIS season following his move to the Eagles.

    Because of that, Guehi is a Big Five Leagues ‘rookie’.

    And the former Blues defender is fifth-most-valuable ‘rookie’ in Europe, according to data from the CIES Football Observatory.

    But what is a ‘rookie’? Any player who is yet to reach their 23rd birthday and made their Big Five league debut this season falls into that bracket.

    Guehi, valued at £41.7m amid his stellar season, cracks the top five and is the best of FOUR Premier League players in the top 20.

    Yet the real young talent appears to be coming out of RB Leipzig…

    The top two players on the list both hail from the Bundesliga giants – with Josko Gvardiol and Dominik Szoboszlai streets ahead.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal urged to target Bissouma, not Luiz

    The Gunners are being told to rival Aston Villa for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma – rather than pursue Douglas Luiz.

    Liverpool too have been linked with Bissouma.

    And ex-Premier League striker Noel Whelan believes the Mali star is more 'consistent' than Villa ace Luiz.

    But Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle were all linked with January moves for the Brazilian.

  • Ian Tuckey

    'Gunners eye 3 Barca players for Gabriel swap'

    Arsenal have reportedly lined up three Barcelona players they'd consider swapping for Nou Camp target Gabriel Magalhaes.

    Spanish outlet Sport suggest the Gunners fancy Brazil keeper Neto, Holland winger Memphis Depay and Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig.

    We told you earlier today how Barca are keen on recruiting defender Gabriel to join his ex-Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Wilshere: Rice is world's best defensive midfielder

    Arsenal legend Jack Wilshere has hailed Manchester United transfer target Declan Rice as the world's BEST defensive midfielder.

    Wilshere played alongside Rice at West Ham between 2018 to 2020.

    Rice has since come on leaps and bounds, moving into midfield and becoming a key member of Gareth Southgate's young England squad.

    In fact, Rice has improved so much that he is the BEST defensive midfielder in world football, according to Wilshere.

    Rice's commanding performances in the middle of the park has attracted interest from football's elite clubs.

    Both Manchester clubs as well as Chelsea and Liverpool reportedly hold an interest in Rice.

    And even Real Madrid have been mentioned as potential suitors.

    Wilshere hailed Rice as better than Liverpool's Fabinho and said he hopes he ends up in an Arsenal shirt.

    He said after West Ham's gutsy 1-1 draw with Lyon: "Tell me a better DMF [defensive midfielder] than Declan Rice right now?

    "Can't think of anyone [who] can do what Dec can…"

  • Ian Tuckey

    EXCLUSIVE: 'Arsenal wrong over Auba exit'

    Former Arsenal ace Sokratis Papastathopoulos doesn't think ex-team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's dismissal from the club was the "correct choice', writes KOSTAS LIANOS

    Aubameyang was frozen out of the squad by manager Mikel Arteta in December after arriving back late in the UK from a trip overseas and was thus stripped of the captain's armband.

    The striker was then offloaded to Barcelona during the January transfer window after the Gunners cancelled his contract to enable him to sign on a free transfer.

    The Gabon international has rediscovered his goalscoring prowess at the Nou Camp with a whopping 10 goals and one assist in 14 matches.

    Olympiacos star Sokratistold SunSport: “Aubameyang is not the only one who left this way from Arsenal, other players also left like that; including myself.

    “That was the team’s choice, each footballer works for the team and has to respect that choice.

    “I don’t know and personally I don’t think it was the correct choice, the matter could have been resolved differently.

    “I’ve known Aubameyang for many years, I know what he can do as a footballer. I am certain of what he will do at Barcelona.

    “I wish him good luck and all the best. The same goes for Arsenal despite the way I also left. I wish them well."

  • Ian Tuckey

    5 left-backs Arsenal could target

    Arsenal could have another busy summer transfer window this year and Mikel Arteta may be targeting a new left-back, writes KEALAN HUGHES.

    Kieran Tierney has been a good servant since joining the club and has been tipped by some to take over as captain at the end of the season.

    But there is a possible problem emerging with Arteta appearing to lose faith in Nuno Tavares.

    The back-up left-back has been hauled off at half-time in his previous two Arsenal appearances and was dropped in favour of midfielder Granit Xhaka against Brighton last Saturday.

    Tavares was signed only last summer but Arteta may be planning to sign a new recruit, or hand more minutes to a youngster.

    Here are five left-backs the Gunners could try to sign when the transfer window opens.

    Kyle Walker-Peters
    Oleksandr Zinchenko
    Nicolas Tagliafico
    Marcos Alonso
    Lino Sousa

    READ KEALAN'S FULL VERDICT HERE

  • Ian Tuckey

    Tierney and Partey woe continues

    It’s looking increasingly likely that Arsenal will have to seal fourth spot spot and Champions League football without injured pair Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

    Tierney has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after having to undergo surgery on a knee injury that he sustained in training, shortly after returning from the international break.

    Partey, meanwhile, has aggravated an old thigh issue and, while his absence for the remainder of the campaign has not been confirmed, Mikel Arteta has described the damage as ‘significant’.

    The two players have certainly been key to the Gunners’ revival this season.

    Of the 18 Premier League games that they’ve appeared on the pitch together, Arsenal have been victorious in 13 at a win percentage of 72.2%.

    However, without one of either Partey or Tierney absent, that drops to 33.3%; the North Londoners have won just four of those 12 matches.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arenal & Chelsea in bookies' list to sign Salah

    REAL MADRID are the front runners in the race to sign Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah.

    Sky Bet are placing the Spanish giants at 7/1 favourites to seal the Egyptian's signature, ahead of the likes of PSG and a host of Premier League clubs.

    The Egyptian will be 30 at the start of next season, and with contract talks stalling and his current deal expiring in June 2023, Liverpool may be prepared to cash in on him now instead of losing him for free next summer.

    In his time in Merseyside, Salah has won the Premier League, Champions League, the Premier League Golden Boot twice, and finished third for the Best FIFA Men's Player in 2018 and 2021.

    PSG are judged to be Real Madrid's closest challengers to Salah's signing, with Sky Bet pricing the transfer at 10/1.

    Arsenal, Manchester City, Newcastle and Chelsea are all in the picture too, all of whom, it appears, are prepared to offer Salah higher wages than Liverpool are.

    SKY BET ODDS:

    • Real Madrid 7/1
    • PSG 10/1
    • Arsenal 14/1
    • Manchester City 18/1
    • Newcastle 18/1
    • Chelsea 20/1

    4 Prem stars in list of Europe's most valuable rookies

    Arsenal's Albert Sambi Lokonga is the only player with a Prem giant in a list of Europe's 20 most valuable rookies.

    But Crystal Palace duo Marc Guehi and Michael Olise, plus Southampton full-back Valentino Livramento, HAVE made the pick.

    RB Leipzig provide the top two – Josko Gvadiol and Dominik Szoboszial.

    But the Three Lions ace only made his Premier League debut THIS season following his move to the Eagles.

    Because of that, Guehi is a Big Five Leagues 'rookie'.

    And the former Blues defender is fifth-most-valuable 'rookie' in Europe, according to data from the CIES Football Observatory.

    But what is a 'rookie'? Any player who is yet to reach their 23rd birthday and made their Big Five league debut this season falls into that bracket.

    Guehi, valued at £41.7m amid his stellar season, cracks the top five and is the best of FOUR Premier League players in the top 20.

    Yet the real young talent appears to be coming out of RB Leipzig…

    The top two players on the list both hail from the Bundesliga giants – with Josko Gvardiol and Dominik Szoboszlai streets ahead.

    Arteta made FIVE mistakes vs Brighton

    FAN'S VIEW: Anyone who knows me or reads my articles will know that I am an admirer of Mikel Arteta but even the best coaches get tactics and decisions wrong, writes DAVE SEAGER.

    On a lucky day the odd poor call may not cost your team, or you may have time in a match to readjust or even reverse a decision within the 90 minutes.

    Saturday was not such a lucky day for the Arsenal boss and in my humble opinion he made multiple poor decisions – in selection, tactics, man-management and even in-game with the substitutions.

    One has to admire such self-belief in such a young manager and we must hope that he will begin to show he can admit errors in judgement and learn from his mistakes.

    On Saturday Arteta needed his team to bounce back from a Selhurst Park horror show but here are five mistakes he made that resulted in Brighton winning.

    ARTETA'S ERRORS:
    Not backing Nuno Tavares
    Playing Granit Xhaka at left-back
    Playing two 8s
    Too stubborn to change what was not working
    Alexandre Lacazette Loyalty

    READ DAVE SEAGER'S FULL VERDICT

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