Liverpool are reportedly preparing to pursue a January move for Bayer Leverkusen attacker Florian Wirtz....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Florian Wirtz in the January transfer window.
The Reds currently boast an array of attacking options, including Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz.
However, they are believed to be scouring the market for potential new additions, with uncertainty surrounding Salah’s Anfield future.
Salah was the subject of significant interest from Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad in the closing stages of the summer window.
Liverpool were forced to fend off at least two lucrative offers, retaining the Egyptian’s services for the 2023-24 campaign.
While Salah has remained at Anfield for the time being, his future continues to be the subject of transfer speculation, with his contract set to expire in June 2025.
A recent report claimed that the 31-year-old has already reached a verbal agreement to complete a move to the Saudi Pro League next summer.
With Liverpool preparing themselves for Salah’s potential exit, the Daily Star are reporting that Wirtz has been identified as a potential replacement.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is believed to be a huge admirer of the 20-year-old, who has enjoyed a fine start to the campaign.
The attacker has scored six goals and provided nine assists in 15 competitive appearances for Leverkusen this season.
Wirtz’s impressive performances have helped Xabi Alonso’s side move to the top of the Bundesliga table and two points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich.
With the youngster under contract until the summer of 2027, it could take a bid in the region of £80m to prise him away from the BayArena.
However, Leverkusen will be reluctant to sanction a January sale if they are still in contention for the Bundesliga title.
In addition to Liverpool, Wirtz is also believed to be attracting interest from Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Bayern.
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Mikel Arteta provides Takehiro Tomiyasu update after Wolves win
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits that he is none the wiser about Takehiro Tomiyasu’s condition following the defender’s substitution against Wolverhampton Wanderers....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that he is none the wiser about Takehiro Tomiyasu’s condition following the defender’s enforced withdrawal in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Japan international has reignited his career during the opening months of the 2023-24 season, having hitherto consigned his previous fitness woes to the past.
After providing a pair of assists for the Gunners in Wednesday’s 6-0 Champions League battering of Lens, Tomiyasu set up Bukayo Saka’s opener at the Emirates this weekend before Martin Odegaard doubled the hosts’ advantage.
However, Tomiyasu had to be withdrawn in the 79th minute of the contest, only a few moments before Wolves made things interesting as Matheus Cunha pulled a goal back.
Arteta’s men were forced to ride out a nail-biting few moments against Gary O’Neil’s men, but they clung on to move four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
Concern immediately turned to Tomiyasu’s condition after the game, though, and Arteta is not sure whether the ex-Bologna man has sustained a fresh issue or was simply suffering from tiredness.
“I don’t know, he felt something, I don’t know if it was fatigue, we decided to change straight away with him, we didn’t want to take any risk. Let’s assess how he is,” Arteta said at his post-game press conference.
Commenting on Tomiyasu’s greater attacking output since the season began, Arteta added: “Yeah the first thing he offers defensively is tremendously reliable, and attacking he has certain things he can develop and improve, his timings, positioning, certain deliveries and actions that he can open some spaces for others. He is so willing to learn and do that, again he’s another player that has given another level and still have another level in him.
Saka and Odegaard’s first-half strikes would ostensibly set Arsenal on their way to a comfortable win in North London, although failure to add to their tally very nearly proved costly.
The Gunners squandered a few gilt-edged chances to steer out of sight – Eddie Nketiah in particular was guilty of a glaring miss – but Arteta put his side’s wasted opportunities to bad luck on the day.
“I can only praise the players the way they played, competed, they were excellent, we played against a really good side and we generated so much and conceded almost nothing, the scoreline should’ve been very different,” the Spaniard added.
“We are really unlucky in certain moments, we hit the post twice or three times I think, and at the end we made an error close to the goal and in the Premier League you get punished big time and then it’s game on, but I am really, really happy with how we performed again.
“You see how they celebrated the defensive action after seeing zero with Gabi at the end (on Wednesday), you can imagine that they are not happy that. Today was a game to have a clean sheet and we haven’t and that’s the good thing about the team that wants more.”
An Arsenal scoring record was also equalled by Arteta’s troops on Saturday, as the Gunners have now netted in 32 successive matches versus Wolves, matching their previous best versus a single opponent in West Bromwich Albion.
The Premier League leaders will enjoy a full two days of recovery before a showdown with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening.
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Mikel Arteta praises ‘really consistent’ Martin Odegaard
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on captain Martin Odegaard amid his impressive form following the November international break.
The Norway international was sidelined with a hip problem last month and it was followed by another absence due to a head collision in training.
Odegaard made his comeback after the internationals. He had a quiet evening at Brentford last weekend, but was on the scoresheet against Lens on Wednesday.
He carried over the good form into the Wolves game, scoring the vital winning goal in the end.
Aside from his strike, the 24-year-old created three big chances for his teammates and was unlucky to not register an assist or two due to poor finishing.
Speaking after the 2-1 victory over Wolves, Arteta said that Odegaard has had two ‘very very good’ games and he is a ‘really consistent’ player.
The Gunners head coach added that the playmaker tends to fare best against high-pressing sides such as Wolves and he was ‘really good’ today.
He told Arsenal.com: “I thought he had two very, very good games and he’s a really consistent player, he gives a lot especially against teams like that, they didn’t want to defend very close to their own box and I think he was really good today.”
Odegaard has not played with the same creative freedom as last season, but he has still netted seven goals and provided two assists from 18 games.
The Norwegian appears to be picking up his form at the right time and he will be crucial to the Gunners’ chances of challenging for the league title again.
Today’s win has taken the Gunners to 33 points from 14 games. They are four points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.co
Martin Odegaard was back to his best vs Wolves
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard was back to his best during the 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Gunners made it three league wins on the bounce after beating Wolves at the Emirates Stadium. Bukayo Saka opened the scoring in the sixth minute.
A wonderful bit of team play contributed to Odegaard doubling the lead in the 13th minute.
Arsenal should have been out of sight with the chances in the final third, but they had a nervy finish in the end after Matheus Cunha scored, four minutes from time.
A defensive mishap from Oleksandr Zinchenko paved the way for the goal, but the Gunners managed to hang on for a well-deserved victory over Gary O’Neil’s side.
In our view, Odegaard was clearly the man of the match with one of his best performances of the season.
The Norwegian was inconsistent with his form earlier this campaign, but he appears to be finding his feet at the right time for the Gunners in their title pursuit.
Against Wolves, he had 97 touches with 77 passes at an accuracy of 89 per cent. He had no defensive work to do, but was brilliant with his attacking display.
Odegaard managed six key passes and created three big chances for Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah respectively, but they failed to extend the lead.
The Gunners should have been out of sight with at least a five-goal margin, but they were made to work hard for the victory after a late consolation strike from Cunha.
The win over Wolves has seen the club extend their lead at the top of the table to four points.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
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