Mikel Arteta has no chance of delivering the Premier League title to Arsenal after one £12m transfer, while Andre Onana versus Harry Maguire rumbles on.
The cut of his Djib
Arsenal are probably a decent bet to win the Premier League this season. They led the table for most of the last campaign, finished just five points behind Manchester City and have spent the most of any European club during the summer transfer window by at least £60m.
They won’t be favourites ahead of Manchester City but a compelling case can certainly be made for them lifting the trophy.
But The Sun website have some really quite awful news for those of a Gunners persuasion:
Arsenal target ‘joins Sevilla for just £12m’ in blow to Arteta’s title charge
First things first: that quote mark right there isn’t actually quoting anything. Good start. This does not slip. We go again.
But who is this player Arsenal have missed out on? What is this considerable ‘blow to Arteta’s title charge’?
Sevilla are signing Djibril Sow. A midfielder Arsenal have barely been linked with, and who would absolutely not play regularly for them in any case, is not joining Arsenal.
Might as well hand the title to Manchester City now.
It is interesting, however, that The Sun website uses transfer expert Fabrizio Romano as the source for their story, considering they have entirely ignored what he told CaughtOffside about Sow on Tuesday:
Some fans have asked me about reports in Italy on Djibril Sow, but my understanding is that no decision has been made by Sow yet.
Lazio and Sevilla are insisting for him, let’s see if Arsenal decide to enter the race, but at the moment they’re happy with Thomas Partey staying.
That certainly tallies with Mikel Arteta’s own thoughts. But the Spaniard will be devastated to learn that Arsenal aren’t winning the Premier League because a squad player they probably didn’t want is going elsewhere. Now they’ll have to play £100m Declan Rice, £65m Kai Havertz and captain Martin Odegaard. Poor sods.
The Andre Onana versus Harry Maguire nonsense shows no signs of slowing down and the Daily Mirror website want a piece of the action:
Martinez offers verdict on furious Onana and Maguire disagreement
His ‘verdict’, shockingly enough, is that “if you are focused, you can fight with your teammates as well, you need to make sure everyone is really sharp, but nothing happened. It’s part of football.”
But what about this for an opening paragraph?
Lisandro Martinez has no problem with Manchester United players coming to blows after Andre Onana’s furious rant at Harry Maguire.
That’s a wild leap from Onana shouting at Maguire for a couple of seconds to, as the dictionary definition states: ‘to begin fighting: to begin hitting each other’.
The opening Premier League weekend is on the horizon. Please hurry.
Shirt city breaks
It is fairly easy to guess what road the Daily Express website is about to go down with a headline of ‘Man Utd have perfect present for Sofyan Amrabat as Glazers ‘close in’ on £26m transfer,’ and they really do not disappoint.
Offering Amrabat the same No. 4 shirt he wears for Morocco really is ‘an ideal way to sweeten the deal’ for a player who sounds pretty desperate to join from Fiorentina (where he has only ever worn the No. 34).
May dream shirt numbers never die. It certainly worked for Man Utd when they wanted to sign a £54m forward last year.
It’s not about the Mane
Sadio Mane is in the news after completing his move to Al-Nassr.
Well, Liverpool are in the news really, despite the Senegalese having left the Reds over a year ago.
‘Sadio Mane completes stunning Al-Nassr transfer but costs Liverpool millions in the process’ – The Sun website.
‘Sadio Mane flopping at Bayern Munich costs Liverpool millions as Tuchel says ‘it’s sad” – Daily Star website.
‘Sadio Mane has just cost Liverpool millions’ – Liverpool Echo.
No, no and absolutely not. Mane has not ‘cost Liverpool millions’ whatsoever. That’s not how add-ons – of which the Reds could have received another £7.5m from Bayern Munich if certain clauses were met – work.
Bar that final few months of 2021/22 when Klopp played him as a centre forward, Mane's downward curve since 2020 has been quite astonishing.
Especially when you consider he's the same age as Salah who has hit 30+ goals in each of the last three seasons. https://t.co/UaW7qVtJS2
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) August 1, 2023
On the subject of the former Liverpool forward:
‘Sadio Mane set for awkward meeting with Steven Gerrard on Saudi Pro League debut’ – Daily Mirror website.
Oh no, did Mane tell Gerrard that Phil Collins is rubbish?
Nope. There will be an ‘awkward meeting’ between the two in Saudi Arabia because Gerrard ‘advised’ Mane ‘to stay at Liverpool after their 2022 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid’. And things have gone fairly wrong for the forward since.
‘Moment Real Madrid legend Marcelo is sent off in tears after sickening tackle leaves opponent with a fully dislocated knee in Copa Libertadores clash’ – MailOnline.
‘Real Madrid legend Marcelo leaves pitch in tears after being sent off for “absolutely horrific” tackle’ – The Sun website.
‘Marcelo in tears after Real Madrid legend’s horror tackle puts opponent out for a year’ – Daily Mirror website.
‘Real Madrid legend Marcelo leaves pitch in tears after being shown red card for leg-breaking challenge on Luciano Sanchez during Fluminense’s Copa Libertadores tie’ – GOAL.
Mediawatch does not recommend watching the video for obvious reasons, but that was categorically, irrefutably, absolutely not a tackle, ‘sickening’, “absolutely horrific”, ‘horror’ or otherwise.
And as for ‘leg-breaking’, Argentinos Juniors confirmed soon after that Luciano Sanchez suffered a full dislocation of the knee. An awful injury, to be sure, but clearly not the same thing. And there’s no reason to get that wrong.
‘Jurgen Klopp has already chosen Virgil van Dijk replacement at Liverpool’ – Liverpool Echo.
Absolute doozy, this. Have Liverpool managed to find a young centre-half to learn and develop in the background while a 32-year-old Van Dijk is gradually phased out in the relatively near future? Fair play, especially with this ongoing extensive midfield rebuild simultaneously taking place.
Oh hold on, no. It’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. Because he’s vice-captain and Van Dijk is captain. Textbook stuff.