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Why Arsenal May Not Need To Fear Losing Aubameyang

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Barcelona are reportedly keen on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Mikel Arteta wants the striker to remain an Arsenal player beyond the January transfer window.

Gunners boss Arteta spoke after watching his side beat Bournemouth 2-1 on Monday to reach the fifth round of the 2020 FA Cup. He addressed the speculation about Aubameyang and what it means for the 30-year-old’s future, per Football.London: “I want Auba here 100 percent and I can’t wait to have him back after his suspension.”

Aubameyang, who has been banned for Arsenal’s last three matches after the red card he received during a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace earlier this month, has been heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou.

The Telegraph’s Matt Law reported how Barca consider Aubameyang the prime target to offset the loss of Luis Suarez , who is out until at least April while he recovers from knee surgery. Law also noted the Blaugrana will approach the Gunners this week but are wary the north London club will want more than £50 million for the leading goalscorer in the squad.

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Valencia’s Rodrigo Moreno is an alternative to Aubameyang, whose Arsenal contract expires in just under 18 months, per the report.

Arteta’s declaration of faith suggests Barca are wise to worry about how much a deal for Aubameyang might cost. Arsenal would naturally want to avoid losing the man who has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, including 14 in the Premier League.

There is no denying Aubameyang’s value, but the time may just be ripe for the Gunners to cash in. His age is a factor, although there is no sign of deterioration in Aubameyang’s skills or production.

A more compelling reason to sell comes from the youthful talent Arsenal also have at the position. Specifically, 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli has already made his mark by scoring 10 times since arriving from Brazil last summer.

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Martinelli assisted Bukayo Saka’s opener against the Cherries to further justify the plaudits his obvious potential has merited.

While Martinelli has made an instant impact, the Gunners still have faith in academy graduate Eddie Nketiah. Still just 20, Nketiah is a natural finisher who was recently recalled from a loan spell with Leeds United.

Nketiah showcased his quality in the box by coolly tucking away Arsenal’s second at the Vitality Stadium. There’s a ruthless efficiency about the way Nketiah takes his chances:

A quality like that could help compensate for losing Aubameyang’s influence if he was to move on. He’s still a natural in and around the area, a versatile striker with unerring instincts as well as the pace to stretch defences.

Yet as productive as Aubameyang has been since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in the winter of 2018, numbers show the Gunners can cope without their attacking talisman.

Alexandre Lacazette is already established as Arteta’s centre-forward of choice, with Aubameyang usually played out wide to accommodate the Frenchman. Lacazette is under contract until the summer of 2022.

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Keeping both would seem beyond a club lacking the funds to retain top stars and also add fresh talent to the many suspect areas of the squad. Arteta needs to bolster a fragile defence and add creativity to midfield.

Lacazette isn’t the consistent goalscorer Aubameyang is, but his work-rate and range of movement fit the high-intensity pressing game Arteta brought with him from Manchester City. At 28, Lacazette is also younger, perhaps a consideration for Arteta, who seems likely to rely on youth while he rebuilds Arsenal.

The Gunners have had a chance to find out what life without Aubameyang would be like during his suspension. With burgeoning talents like Martinelli and Nketiah catching the eye and funds needed to fix other positions, now could be the ideal time to take advantage of Barca’s need for a proven striker to support Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

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Karim Benzema has scored as many goals as the entire Barca team

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Karim Benzema has scored as many goals as the entire Barca team
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Karim Benzema has scored as many goals as the entire Barca team

Karim Benzema’s start to the season has been stunning. The Frenchman is just two assists off his tally for last season and he has scored the same numbers of goals as the entire Barca team.

Karim Benzema’s start to the season has been stunning. The Frenchman is just two assists off his tally for last season and he has scored the same numbers of goals as the entire Barca team.

Real Madrid beat Mallorca on Wednesday after another Karim Benzema masterclass. The Frenchman has once again been showing that he is crucial to Real Madrid’s attack and the club would be in a much worse position without his goals.

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His brace meant he reached the milestone of 200 La Liga goals and he has now scored eight this season. The Frenchman has made seven appearances, scored eight goals and given seven assists. Unbelievable stats.

Karim Benzema has scored as many goals as the entire Barca team

To highlight how good Benzema has been, the French forward has scored more goals than all of Ronald Koeman’s side put together. It is true that Madrid have played two more games than Barcelona, but those stats are unbelievable.

Without Leo Messi, the man who seems to be leading way is Benzema after Barca’s goals have dried up following the Argentinian’s departure.

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With regards to the La Liga goalscoring charts, Benzema is top with eight, Vinicius is second with five, Oyarzabal of Real Sociedad is third with four goals and Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio is fourth with three goals.

Benzema is also well clear when it comes to assists. He has seven while Villarreal’s Yeremi Pino is next with three.

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Xavi could join Barca almost for free

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Xavi could join Barca almost for free
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Xavi could join Barca almost for free

Barcelona have Xavi on their list of candidates to replace Ronald Koeman if, he is finally dismissed. According to ‘AS’, the Al Sadd coach has a clause in his contract which allows him to go for a paltry amount to the Catalan side.

Barcelona have Xavi on their list of candidates to replace Ronald Koeman if, he is finally dismissed.

According to ‘AS’, the Al Sadd coach has a clause in his contract which allows him to go for a “paltry” amount to the Catalan side.

All eyes are on Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman’s job is on the line after Barca’s start to this season, which has had more negatives than positives.

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Xavi Hernandez is one of those who could succeed Koeman as Barca coach. According to the latest reports, his signing is not easy, but it is possible.

Xavi could join Barca almost for free

What’s more, according to ‘AS’, a clause in his Al Sadd contract would help him move to Barcelona. This newspaper says that when he renewed with the Qataris until 2023, he was told he could leave without a problem if Barca came calling.

The amount Barca would have to pay to get hold of Xavi has not been revealed, but ‘AS’ says that club sources have called it a “paltry” amount. In other words, the Catalan club would get him almost for free.

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It would be an entirely different matter if a different club wanted Xavi. In that case, that club would have to talk to Al Sadd and reach a financial agreement as his clause only lets him leave for Barcelona.

In any case, Laporta is who will have the last word. At the moment, Koeman is still on the bench and Xavi is one of the candidates to potentially succeed him.

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Remove Pride From Your Undoubted Talent – Antonetti Tells Mbappe

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Remove Pride From Your Undoubted Talent - Antonetti Tells Mbappe
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Remove Pride From Your Undoubted Talent – Antonetti Tells Mbappe

French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe was told Wednesday that he needs to add a dose of humility to his undoubted talents in front of goal “if he wants to be loved”.

The advice came from Metz coach Frederic Antonetti after the mega-rich Ligue 1 champions needed a stoppage time winner to beat the bottom side 2-1 and preserve their 100 percent start to the domestic season.

“Kylian Mbappe needs to behave better if he wants to be loved,” said Antonetti.

“I love this player, he is very, very strong but he’d benefit from having a more humble side.”

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Antonetti was responding to a question on the yellow card handed to his goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja who confronted Mbappe over his celebration when the winning goal was scored.

“In the game, Mbappe was non-existent,” said Antonetti.

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