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Mikel Arteta already knows the answer to his big problem at Arsenal

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There’s been growing speculation this week linking Genk forward Paul Onuachu with a move to Arsenal. Initial reports surfaced on the back of an interview the 26-year-old did in which he spoke of his admiration for the Gunners.

 

“I really like Arsenal,” he said in the piece originally published on Sporza. “(Emmanuel) Adebayor, one of the players I admired most, played there. I really was a fan of him, including Kanu. I really love watching Arsenal too.”

It’s no secret that Arsenal are expected to bring in at least one new forward in the summer, therefore these comments from the Nigerian international do spark intrigue. After all, it’s clear he’d join the club and the fee to land him from Genk would not break the bank.

But could he be a success in North London if the club did opt to make a move?

So far this season, Onuachu has netted 31 goals across 36 league and cup competition appearances. Whilst he’s benefited from some penalties, that tally breaks down to a remarkable goal average of 0.94 per 90.

 

The same derived from a combined xG total of just 27.32 which does represent an over-performance, but it’s one that could be argued as sustainable and likely as a consequence of some fine finishing.

The forward has an imposing physical profile, standing at 6ft7in. This means that he’s a real asset to his side in the air and works as an excellent target man for both balls from deep and crosses into the box.

 

A downside to his size though is his general speed and technical ability, neither of which stand out when watching him. This is not to say he can’t link well with teammates, but just that it’s not his strongest resource.

 

He is, as you’d expect with that goal return, at his best in the penalty area and almost all of his shots have come from really good locations inside the box – a desirable trait in any forward.

He’s been bestowed on average 2.87 shots per 90 this season, which is high. For comparison, at Arsenal, both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have tended to average in and around 2.0 shots per 90 this season.

The latter is expected to be sold in the summer, opening the door for a player like Onuachu to come in.

However, even though he has an admiral goal return this season, there are big questions as to how his goalscoring exploits would translate from Belgium’s top tier into the much tougher environment of the Premier League.

Furthermore, the lack of proficiency in other areas of his game could seem him come unstuck and Arteta would know this. Therefore, whilst a good forward in his own right, Onuachu’s dreams of playing for the Gunners will most likely be one that he’s never going to get the opportunity to fulfil.

 

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📺 Miquel Azeez is Simply Outstanding, Watch As He Nutmegs 3 Defenders To Score A Goal

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Miquel Azeez Has Been Outstanding For Arsenal Un23 side this season, he continues his great run of form yesterday as score a man of the match goal to hand Arsenal Un23 side a victory in the final game of the season.

📺 Watch The Great Goal…

https://twitter.com/ArsenalAcademy/status/1392523112919486473?s=19

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Arsenal to agree deal with Italian head-coach

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Maurizio Sarri could reportedly be in line for a surprise return to Premier League with either Arsenal or Tottenham.

 

The Italian tactician has been out of work since being given the boot by the Serie A giants Juventus last August – in spite of guiding the Old Lady to their 36th Scudetto.

 

Sarri is understood to be eager to get back in the dugout next term, with Italian journalist Carlo Laudisa stating the 62-year-old could very well return to the English top-flight.

 

During an appearance on Radio Punto Nuovo, the Gazzetta dello Sport journalist said: “Sarri could go to England.

 

“The Tottenham solution being the most plausible, but the Arsenal bench could also become free, as [Mikel] Arteta has missed all the Gunners’ season goals.”

 

Carlo’s claim that Maurizio could return to England comes in spite of reports the veteran coach is against the idea of resuming his career abroad.

 

The former Napoli leader is reportedly concerned about upping sticks during the COVID-19 pandemic in case he is unable to return to his homeland.

 

He enjoyed success during his sole campaign in charge of Chelsea, guiding the Blues to UEFA Europa League glory with a 4-1 win over Arsenal in Baku.

 

If Sarri is indeed open to managing the Gunners, he’ll no doubt be keeping tabs on developments at the club over the coming weeks.

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Video Highlights, Full Match Analysis: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal

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Emile Smith Rowe denied Chelsea the chance to cement their top-four status as he took advantage of Jorginho’s howler to give Arsenal a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues would have all but secured their Champions League qualification with a victory which would have taken them 10 points clear of Liverpool, who have four games left to play, but after making seven changes ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Kai Havertz should have put them ahead 10 minutes in when he intercepted Gabriel’s loose pass for Pablo Mari and raced clean through, but then fired over Bernd Leno’s bar with only his compatriot to beat. Moments later Jorginho’s equally poor back-pass was kept out by Kepa Arrizabalaga at full stretch, but Smith Rowe was on hand to bundle home after being teed up by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Chelsea were dominant for the large majority of the remaining 75 minutes without forcing Leno into any uncomfortable saves until the final minute. They did beat him through Pulisic’s close-range header from a corner, which was swiftly denied by a VAR review, before the German produced a stunning stop to tip Kurt Zouma’s header onto the crossbar, which was then rattled by Olivier Giroud’s shot on the rebound.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (6), James (6), Azpilicueta (6), Silva (6), Zouma (6), Chilwell (5), Jorginho (4), Gilmour (5), Pulisic (5), Mount (6), Havertz (5).

Subs: Hudson-Odoi (6), Giroud (6), Ziyech (5).

Arsenal: Leno (7), Gabriel (6), Mari (7), Holding (6), Tierney (7), Partey (6), Elneny (8), Saka (5), Odegaard (6), Smith Rowe (7), Aubameyang (5).

Subs: Bellerin (6), Lacazette (5), Chambers (6).

Man of the match: Mohamed Elneny

What the managers said…

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel told Sky Sports: “We had three days, we are on a good run, we had a good mood. The choices were not so good today from my side for the line-up so that’s on me. We were unlucky, of course. But we did everything today to lose.

“I’m not happy with my line-up. It’s easy to say afterwards. But it was too many changes, I should not have done it like this. It’s something in particular – but I will not tell you!”

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: “I don’t know how they’re going to try from the outside but from the inside, nothing is broken.

“They’re going to put things on me that I never said, you can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they try.”

Match stats

  1. Arsenal completed their first Premier League double over Chelsea since the 2003-04 season, while this was their first league win at Stamford Bridge since October 2011, ending an eight-game winless run there (D2 L6).
  2. Chelsea suffered only their third defeat in 26 matches in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel (W17 D6), with all three defeats coming at Stamford Bridge.
  3. Arsenal have won three consecutive away Premier League matches without conceding for the first time since May 2013 under Arsène Wenger.
  4. Arsenal have had a different player aged younger than 21 score in each of their last three Premier League matches against Chelsea – Gabriel Martinelli in January 2020, Bukayo Saka in December 2020 and Emile Smith Rowe tonight.

What’s next?

Chelsea are off to Wembley in the FA Cup final on Saturday, where they will face Leicester City; Kick-off at 5.15pm.

Arsenal’s penultimate game of the season is also in London, with a trip to Crystal Palace next Wednesday night; Kick-off at 7pm.

📽️ Watch The Video Highlights:

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