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So Impressive: Watch Video & Gallery of How Partey and his team-mates prepared for Villa clash



Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard leaded Arsenal final training as Mikel Arteta’s men put through their paces at the club’s London Colney training based on Friday morning.

The Gunners were back out on the grass at club’s training based following their Tuesday’s defeat at Wolves, with the focus now turning towards Saturday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Mikel Arteta & co. will be aiming to back to winning ways after their unbeaten run form in the Premier League ended in mid-week as they suffered defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderer at Molineux stadium.

The Gunners are just nine points off the top four and winning against Aston Villa this afternoon will boost their hope of qualified for next season European competitions.

And ahead encounters with Villa, who sitting 9th position in the league standings with 32 points, Mikel Arteta & co. are handed an huge boost with goalkeeper Maty Ryan, who joined Arsenal from Brighton on six-month loan took major part during Friday’s trained at club training session.

Ryan has been signed up for the club’s no.2 goalkeeper but a minor hip injury ruled him out of Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat against Wolves – and a likely debut as a substitute.

Alex Runarsson was the substitute goalkeeper to replace Leno when the German No.1 was given his marching orders and the Iceland international is expected to leading starting position against Villa, according to reports by Mikel Arteta on Tuesday.

But since Ryan is return to first-team training on Friday morning, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed the Australian stopper is line to make his Arsenal debut against Villa this afternoon.

Arteta also confirmed left-back Kieran Tierney, who established himself as one of the key members of Arsenal’s squad, set to miss this weekend’s trip to Aston Villa.

The influential left-back has not played for the Gunners since the middle of January when they beat Newcastle United 3-0 at the Emirates stadium.

It was hoped the former Celtic ace would be pushing for a return to action against Villa this weekend, but late on Friday night the Gunners confirmed he would be absent from Mikel Arteta’s side.

Kieran is continuing to be assessed for discomfort in the right lower leg and is unavailable for Saturday’s match.’

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has admitted that club-record signing Nicolas Pepe is in his best run of form since joining Arsenal but still needs guidance to improve his game.

The Ivorian star has struggled to make a lasting impression at the Emirates Stadium following his £72million arrival from Lille in August 2019.

He has not been an automatic starter despite the price tag and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has previously called on the 25-year-old to add more consistency to his game.

Pepe now appears to be doing that – his fine strike in the 2-1 defeat at Wolves on Tuesday evening was his third goal in his last four Premier League starts.

The 25-year-old has stood up at just the right time, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing three games as his mother suffered from “health issues”.

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Kieran Tierney could captain Arsenal in the future, claims Ray Parlour



 Kieran Tierney could captain Arsenal in the future, claims Ray Parlour

Ray Parlour has praised Kieran Tierney’s attitude and desire, and believes the left-back has the credentials to captain Arsenal in the future.

The Scotland international, who joined the Gunners in the summer of 2019 from Celtic, has been one of Mikel Arteta’s side’s most consistent performers this season, with his marauding displays from full-back proving to be a useful attacking asset.

Tierney has also registered two goals across all competitions this season, including a vital left-footed strike to spark his side’s dramatic comeback against Benfica in the Europa League last week.

Kirean Tierney Celebrates after getting on the score sheet for Arsenal against Benfica in the Europa League

Tierney’s attacking impetus down the left has been vital for Arteta’s side.

And Parlour is in agreement with fellow Gunners legends such as Ian Wright and Tony Adams that Tierney could captain the club in the future.

‘I really like his attitude,’ Parlour told talkSPORT. ‘He turns up every week, you can see the desire when he’s playing; he really wants to win every game.

‘He gives 100 per cent and is fantastic down that left-hand side. That’s where Arsenal are most dangerous, that’s where the deliveries come from into the box.

‘He’s been a brilliant signing, and he’s a really good lad as well; he’s really down to earth. ‘He could probably be the Arsenal captain in the future.’

Arteta himself also recently talked up Tierney’s attributes which could lead to him eventually becoming captain.

‘I think he can be Arsenal captain as he has the respect and admiration of every member of the staff and every player,’ said the Spanish boss in January.

‘It is just the way he is. He does it in a natural way. ‘He is a really shy boy as well but he represents all of us in the club; all of the values that we want to instil and are in the DNA in this club.’



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Loan Watch: Mikel Arteta reveals ‘good news’ on Arsenal star William Saliba



Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says William Saliba’s loan spell at Nice is ‘good news’ for the Gunners as the club will have a ‘much better perception’ of how to use the defender next season.

The Frenchman agreed to join the club in a £30m deal in 2019 but spent a further season with Saint-Etienne before moving to the Emirates last summer.

However, while Saliba was held up as the answer to the club’s issues at centre-back, Arteta did not share the view of supporters and failed to give the 20-year-old a single start in the first team.


Saliba in Action For OGC Nice

After a frustrating period with the U23s, Saliba requested to leave on loan in January and he joined Ligue 1 side Nice until the end of the campaign.

Saliba’s impressed back in France, playing ten times in all competitions.

Arsenal loaned fellow youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos to Stuggart in a bid to get him first team football and Arteta says the pair’s loan spells are ‘good news’ for the Gunners moving forward.

‘We are having meetings very often to assess what they are doing,’ said Arteta when asked if he’s keeping tabs on the progress of Mavropanos and Saliba.

‘Obviously we are getting all the information and watching their games because I want to keep a very close eye on what they are doing.

‘We are in contact with the players and let’s see. It’s good news that they’re playing and good news that they have the possibility to have a lot of minutes, because that’s going to give us a much better perception of where they are and how we can use them.’

Arsenal are set to offer David Luiz a 12-month contract extension as Arteta values the veteran’s experience. Arteta has reintegrated Pablo Mari into his starting XI in recent weeks, with the Spaniard partnering Rob Holding or Gabriel in the heart of his defence.

A decision over Saliba’s future will be made at the end of the season, with Nice keen to keep the Frenchman for another season.



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Just In: Arteta provides positive Emile Smith Rowe injury update



The midfielder was forced off in the first half against Leicester

Mikel Arteta says the muscle injury Emile Smith Rowe sustained in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Leicester City last weekend ‘doesn’t look significant’.

The 20-year-old was forced off shortly before half-time at the King Power Stadium and replaced by Martin Odegaard.

Smith Rowe has played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s attack in recent months, providing four assists in 12 Premier League games since his introduction into the first team at the end of December.

Arteta’s side head into their clash against Burnley in 10th position in the table

And speaking ahead of the Gunners’ clash against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday, Arteta played down the severity of the midfielder’s injury despite not revealing whether he would be able to feature this weekend.

‘Emile had a scan yesterday, it doesn’t look a significant injury but he was in discomfort,’ said Arteta. ‘For the rest, hopefully everybody should be okay.’

The Gunners are currently down in 10th place in the table and eight points off the top four after losing 11 of their 26 Premier League games this season.

When asked whether his side can still secure a finish in the Champions League places, Arteta replied: ‘Well the aim is to go on and beat Burnley, we have been chasing [a top-four place] for a while but it is not in our hands.

‘The only thing we can control is our own results and performances. We are fully determined to do that better than what we have done in the past eight months.’




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