Arsenal Sign Portuguese Winger On A 3 Year Deal

As reported by A Bola (written in Portuguese), Arsenal have signed promising 16 year old Portuguese to a 3 year contract.

The 16 year old Portuguese, who held a trial with the club before sealing his move, was also on trial with London club Fulham before deciding to team up with Arsene Wenger who has an impressive track record when it comes to moulding young players.

16 year old Jonatas Centeno, who was also a target for several other clubs in his native country Portugal, is looking for forward to make a rapid growth in his career; and may have chosen Arsenal because of their impressive academy.

Arsene has never hidden his admiration for young promising young talent; and Centeno may just have caught his attention with his talent. The young winger, who has been in England since 14 years, will immediately slot into the Arsenal academy team. The Arsenal youth team is likely to see some departures as the season draws to a close; and the capture of Centeno may just be an attempt by the club to fill any vacuum that might be created.

Centeno was a member of his country’s Under-15 and Under-16 teams before going out on trial with Fulham, and eventually Arsenal. The player who is likely to begin his career with the Under-18 squad of the Gunners is not expected to sign a professional contract yet until he turns at least 18.

The Arsenal youth team as composed is bubbling with a lot of talented players who are pushing to make headway into the main team. This season, players like Chuba Akpom, Gedeon Zelalam, and Jon Toral have all trained with the first team at various occasions.

One player with bright prospect who have not failed to impress whenever called upon is Serge Gnerbry, who has already scored for the first team. Centeno will be hoping to follow in not just Gnerbry’s footsteps, but also in the footsteps of players like Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere, and a couple of others that have made their way to the main team.

We wish Jonatas Centeno all the best as he begins his playing career with Arsenal.

 

Striker Confirms He Held Talks With Arsenal Officials

Arsenal are on the trail of yet another youngster. The Gunners are reportedly interested in signing Rubin Kazan’s Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun and the player himself has admitted holding talks with the Gunners.

“The news was not to be publicized. I don’t know why it was publicized. When we were in Spain camp, the talent finders of Arsenal observed our matches in coordination with the club and they also had a short talk with me. The player said.

“They asked about my age, duration of my contract with Rubin Kazan, and also about my status. They continued their talks with the officials of the club, but I don’t know what happened and what their talks were about. At that time, the winter transfer window had ended and if such an event is to take place, it will be next season, but I myself don’t know anything about it and my joining the Arsenal is not known.

“Playing in English Premier League and a club like Arsenal is the wish of any player. Arsenal is a great club, but I should not take a hasty decision. I should pave the development step by step. I have to make more attempts to be present in a club like Arsenal and I hope God helps me to attain great success.”

The youngster may tick all the boxes of a bright talent, standing at 6ft and representing his home side (Iran) at age grade levels (U-17 and U-20), boasting a good return of goals at those stages but does Arsenal need him? At 19, he is a youngster but Arsenal already have younsgsters too ( Chuba Akpom, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell) are all youngsters eager to impress in the first team. That are all talented youngsters but they cannot yet be entrusted with responsibilities at the highest level and that’s why Arsenal fans are clamouring for a big name and experienced striker.

Besides the presence of talent, another reason why Arsenal might be interested in him is for marketing reasons. He is an Iranian and by extension an Asian. Arsenal do not have ample Asians in the team and might be eager to get some in a bid to penetrate the Asian market. This could be a good move but we have to tread with caution. The Asians Arsenal have acquired in the past ( Park and Miyachi) haven’t really lived up to the expectation and haven’t made an impact in the first team. Can Azmoun prove an exception?

I look forward to seeing him at the World Cup. He is likely to make the Iranian cut to the competition and hopefully, he would impress. Arsenal buying him doesn’t mean he would get into the first team, he might just go on loan and cut his teeth somewhere else. What Arsenal need isn’t another youngster but a proven and tested striker.

Arsenal Legend Hails Szczesny

Wojciech-Szczesny

Arsenal have had great goalkeepers in the past; Bob Wilson, David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. All of them have written their names in Arsenal’s hall of fame for their stellar performances in the colours of the club. One man that could join them is current Arsenal number 1 Wojciech Szczesny. The Polish goalkeeper has been in superlative form for Arsenal this season. In the EPL, he has already kept 13 clean sheets in just 29 games. His form is one of the reasons why Arsenal are still in contention for the league title.

To this end, he has received huge plaudits from one of Arsenal’s legendary goalkeeper Bob Wilson.

“He’s still a young guy, but I think he’s had an exceptional season and has started to fulfil everything I hoped of him,” Wilson said

“He knows that I link arms with Dennis Bergkamp [on the mural] outside of the Emirates and he knows that I was the Arsenal goalie when we won a few trophies, so it’s great he respects that,” Wilson said.

“Along the route, he’s often come to me,”. “I’ve often been near the tunnel area when he’s been coming in after his warm-up at the Emirates. He used to come over and say hello and whatever and I’d say good luck. But now, which is great from my point of view because I think he’s changing his mentality, he’ll see me and he ignores me as he’s concentrated on the game.

“That’s like all great goalies, except for those who were amazingly gifted like Pat Jennings and David Seaman, who could just switch off and switch on.”

Wilson, who was speaking at the Football Legends Awards in aid of Willow Foundation, added: “If I think of [former Arsenal goalkeeper] John Lukic, he was always in what he called ‘the zone’.

“I was his coach for all those years and before a game I’d say, ‘Luky, good luck today’. He wouldn’t even see me. It was like he had been hypnotised.

“Some players need that, it’s their way of doing it.”

“Being a goalkeeper and an old goalkeeping coach, I’m still critical of a few things in his game,” he said.

“He has not got to risk it when delivering a ball off the ground. I used to be able to pick a ball up, but now if you get a backpass you’ve got to be very good with
your feet.

“You don’t then entice players in to the moment when it’s almost too late. We’re seeing goalie after goalie delivering it too late and the ball being blocked. I saw [Southampton goalkeeper] Artur Boruc do it against Arsenal.”

He added: “I also want him to keep trusting his instinct and keep trying to do what virtually no goalie in the Premier League does now, which is come and help their defence beyond six yards.

“Some don’t even come four yards, but we used to catch balls at the penalty spot. [Liverpool legend] Bruce Grobbelaar would catch a ball at 16 yards.

“But the ball now travels twice as quick and it’s twice as difficult. So whereas we would think catch, catch, catch, nowadays you’re given a fraction of a second.

“Basically I think that as long as Wojciech trusts his instinct but doesn’t do the daft, rash things then he’ll keep progressing really well.”

A lot said by Wilson and I can’t but agree with him on many of the points raised. Szczesny has proven to be a top class goalie this season. Wenger will be giving himself thumbs up for not acceeding to presure of bringing in a seemingly more experienced goalkeeper in the summer.

But like Wilson said, Szczesny still needs to work on how he handles back passes. He shouldn’t attempt showboating with it lest he is caught in no man’s land. Once he receives a backpass, he should hack it away at once or pass to a player if Arsenal want to build up attack from the back.

Overall, I believe Szczesny’s best years are well ahead of him and if he should keep his feet on the ground, he has what it takes to be the best goalkeeper in the world. If at 23, he is this good and it is a known fact that just like wine, it gets better with age, so does goalkeeper. Then, he can only get better. Seems Arsenal are in safe hands for a long time with regards to the goalkeeping department.

Arsenal Target And Former Captain Van Persie Could Leave Manchester United

Robin van Persie has a clause in his contract which can help him engineer his way out United should they fail to clinch Champions League qualification.

Robin van Persie has been subject to controversial transfers before and he is probably going to court more controversy after this season as it emerged that he has a clause in his contract that allows him to speak to other clubs should United fail to qualify for Champions League.

United are currently 9 points behind fourth placed City, who have three games in hand. It looks highly unlikely that they will secure the coveted fourth place and with his the Dutchman’s histrionics in recent weeks, it looks likely that he will seek a transfer away from the English champions.

This brings his old club back into the picture as they are desperately seeking a top class striker and van Persie, despite his past, fits the bill perfectly. For all his faults, van Persie is still a prolific goal scorer and will improve Arsenal’s front line exponentially.

The question his begets is whether Arsenal are willing to take chances with him after all he’s done. Arsenal have been linked with a host of strikers but all of them are young and inexperienced and do not the fit the profile of a world class striker that they so desperately need. Van Persie would definitely add goals to any team he goes and could still help Arsenal win trophies should he move there.

Van Persie to Arsenal has been reported in the mainstream press several times in the last few months and it doesn’t look too unlikely especially when so many publications are running with the story. There were also reports of his agent meeting with Arsenal representatives in London but the veracity of such can’t be ascertained.

Whatever his issues with loyalty, van Persie is till a top player and Arsenal could still make a move for him.

Aleksandar Mitrovic Told To Reject Arsenal For Manchester City

Arsenal linked Aleksandar Mitrovic has been told to join Manchester City by a former Liverpool player.

Mitrovic has enjoyed a phenomenal rise in the game. He had just been promoted to Partizan Belgrade’s first team and scored 13 in his debut season earning him a call up to the Serbian national team before he went for the European Under 19 tournament.

He bagged 6 goals in 6 games earning him the European Under 19 Golden Ball and further enhancing his reputation as a monster in front of goal. He was subjected to a lot of interest from a host of European clubs during the summer. Sky Italia even claimed that Arsenal had agreed to sign him ahead of Napoli, Fiorentina and Porto.

He ended up going to Anderlecht for 5 million euros after he was assured a first team spot. He is currently enjoying another successful season as he has already bagged 13 goals in 23 appearances.

He enjoys a growing reputation in the game and the belief is that he will be at a major club in the next 2-3 years. His compatriot and former Liverpool player Milan Jovanovic had glowing praises to sing of him.

He told Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblade: “When I came to Standard in 2006, I was 2005 and I played for Vojvodina Novi Sad, Shakhtar Donetsk and Lokomotiv Moscow.

“On his 25th Mitrovic should play at Manchester City or a big German club. He’s a real finisher, a scourge in the box. You can never be 100% sure, but I predicted it all in Romelu Lukaku. Mitrovic is different, but he is built for the summit.”

Mitrovic certainly appears to be the real deal and Arsenal are interested in him. It is unfortunate that his countryman thinks that City are the only big club in England. Hope he doesn’t think that way too. It would be sad if he went to City after they are disbarred from the Champions League for indulging in financial doping.

Inter Milan Set To Raid Arsenal For Sagna And Podolski

Inter Milan have made an approach to Arsenal to sign Lukas Podolski and Bacary Sagna this week according to reports. Inter Milan are gearing for a squad over haul after a recent takeover by Eric Thohir and have already made noises about their ambition by signing Manchester United captain, Nemanja Vidic. They have now set their eyes on Arsenal duo Sagna and Podolski, one’s contract is expiring while the latter has become frustrated with lack of game time.

The possibility of Sagna leaving Arsenal is becoming more and more likely by the day as Arsenal have found it hard to appease their veteran star and the Frenchman is now considering his options. Arsenal have repeatedly failed to negotiate a contract to Sagna’s liking and the player is seeking to leave as he knows that this will be his last major pay day.

Sagna has been one of the most competent and consistent player for Arsenal of his time and it would be a shame if Arsenal let him leave for something as asinine as another extra year or a few extra thousand in wages.

Lukas Podolski is also drawing interest from Inter Milan and has been linked with a move worth £11 million, a link his agent has done nothing to dismiss. Podolski’s agent, Nassim Touihri, appeared to invite the interest and did nothing to dismiss his client’s interest in the move, suggesting it might be a viable option for the German star.

In quotes reported by the Metro, he said:

“At the moment we do not know what will happen in the future,”

“Inter is an interesting club that wants to invest as it has recently also signed Vidic.”

Touihri also played with the idea of moving back to Cologne but didn’t make any binding statements.

HE said: “Cologne is his heart and his passion. But at the moment it is too early to say where Podolski end of play.”

Podolski has become disenchanted with the lack of game time and Arsenal and though injury has contributed in some part to his absence from the team, it isn’t the only reason. He has featured only 12 times in the league this season despite averaging a goal every other game. It shows how little the coaching staff at Arsenal value him and it is perhaps the right time for him to leave.

Arsenal Star Mesut Ozil Booed By German Fans

mesut-ozil-arsenal_3010111

Arsenal’s star Mesut Ozil suffered another torrid time in his homeland Germany yesterday during the international friendly between Germany and Chile. The Germans won the game no thanks to a Mario Goetze goal which was assisted by the Arsenal man but despite his important contribution, the home fans didn’t seem to appreciate it as he was booed off when substituted in the twilight of the game. The action really bemused Germany’s team manager Oliver Bierhoff and here is what he said;

“At the time, with the score [at 1-0], I did not understand the whistles. I find it a pity that a player like Mesut is singled out,” the Germany team manager told der Westen.

Why was he booed? Apparently, the German machines didn’t move well and the fans were aggrieved that their team wasn’t up to it. I don’t have a problem with fans voicing out their displeasure when they see a tepid performance but it becomes a poor sight when a player is singled out for the tirade. Why was he made the scapegoat of a poor showing by 11 men and I believe if some players deserved commendation, Ozil deserved it because he still made the all important assist.

Players suffer dip in form once in a while no matter how good they are and that is no reason for them to be crucified. A player like Ozil who is a class act but currently struggling should be helped back to form. The fans both at the club and country should get behind him in his bid to rekindle his lost form.

Arsenal Set To Open Talks With High Rated Striker – Reports

It is an open secret that Arsenal are in the market for a new striker. The Gunners were unable to bring in a stop gap on loan in the winter window to complement Giroud for the remainder of the season and the failure to bring in a new striker in January irked Arsenal fans who are said to be growing tired of paying big for Tickets to see Arsenal without any trophy to show for it in the last few years. However, it is expected that Wenger would spend big on one of the strikers on his A-list in the summer.

But it seems Wenger has a different idea altogether. According to ESPN reports, Arsenal are keen on QPR’s French striker Loic Remy who is currently on loan at Newcastle and have already opened preliminary talks with the French striker’s camp.

One would wonder why Wenger would opt for Remy instead of the other marquee targets that he had erstwhile penciled down. The reason isn’t far-fetched. According to the reports in ESPN, a fee of 9 million Pounds will be enough to prise the Frenchman from Loftus road permanently. Compared to the huge fee the other top names might command, 9 million Pounds is a pittance.

Remy would be a decent addition if you ask me because he has all that is required to reach high heights at Arsenal. He is fast, skilful, strong and has an eye for goals. His 11 goals this season is a prove to that. If he is playing at Newcastle with very limited creative support and has bagged 11 already, at Arsenal and with the plethora of creative players on offer at the Emirates, he would certainly score more.

Another positive about Remy is his versatility. The French forward can play as a central striker and also on either wings. That means he won’t be so much of a direct competitor with Giroud and the fact is that Wenger likes his players versatile.

Besides that, he already understands the Premier League and would settle in seamlessly at the Emirates unlike the other targets that despite costing much more, might initially struggle since they will have to come to terms with the rigours of the Premier League.

With his heroics at Newcastle, it is not a surprise that the Magpies want to keep him but if he is torn between staying at Newcastle and moving to Arsenal, I am quite sure he will opt for the latter, no doubt the lure of Champions League football would prove too big to turn down. At Marseille, he was playing Champions League football regularly but since his move to England, it had become elusive and I don’t know when Newcastle would finish in the top 4 to get such an opportunity. Hence, Arsenal and Newcastle are a mis-match for his services.

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Arsenal Keen On Anderlecht Star – Reports

Seem Arsenal are keen on landing another defender in this January window. the Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for Anderlecht’s towering defender Cheikhou Kouyate in the media and the player’s agent has also gone further to confirm the Gunners’ interest in his client. The players agent, Saffet Balkan according to the Mirror has revealed that he is locked in talks with Arsenal and Liverpool as he seeks to ascertain his client’s next point of call.

“We are discussing with the representatives of Arsenal and Liverpool, in particular the first are very interested in him,”

“I also had contact with Manchester City and Southampton, so he’s very likely to arrive in the Premier League shortly.”

With these words, it seem Wenger is really hell bent on luring the Senegalese to the Emirates but I wonder what Arsenal need another centre-back for considering the fact that captain Thomas Vermaelen isn’t one of the happiest around owing to dearth of regular first team football. The Belgian despite been linked with move away, he is still at the Emirates and a move for another centre-back could create a frosty relationship and unhealthy rivalry in the dressing room.

The only way a centre-back could be needed this season is if Vermaelen is on the move this month and that looks unlikely. If I am allowed to choose, I would rather keep Vermaelen till the end of the season in the least than sell him and bring in Kouyate mid-season. The Anderlecht man is unlikely to hit the ground running and with Arsenal chasing domestic honours and even honours on the continent, they don’t have the luxury of time to give a new defender to bed in.

Vermaelen might not be as good as Koscielny and Mertesacker currently but he seems more experienced and understands the league better than a newcomer like Kouyate.

Arsenal Fans’ Trivia.

There are certain things that every Arsenal fan should know for sure.

Some obvious things that we tend to neglect but that makes us a unique team! Few days ago, I was chatting with a friend who is a Manchester United. fan and he dropped some interesting facts about his team so I checked sites and sports magazines looking for something interesting as well about my beloved Arsenal.

It didn´t take me too long to find a lot of amazing facts at places like SportsBettingDime.com and Wikipedia. These rwo sources completed the big picture, showing the majestic history of one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Let´s test your knowledge about the Glorious Arsenal FC:

- How much is the value of the Arsenal FC?

Well, the Arsenal is the fourth most valuable association football club in the world as of 2013, valued at more than $1.3 billion, according to Wikipedia.

- How many cannons were featured in the original crest?

Unveiled in 1888, Royal Arsenal’s first crest featured three cannons viewed from above, pointing northwards with a great similarity with the coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich. Sometimes they can be mistakened for chimneys but there is a carved lion’s head and a cascade that clearly indicates that they are cannons.

- Why is Arsenal´s home shirt red?

The red colour is in recognition of a charitable donation from Nottingham Forest FC around 1886.

- Can you list the stadiums where Arsenal had played?

In the beginning, at the south-east London area, the team played at the Manor Ground in Plumstead, then a 3-year period at the nearby Invicta Ground between 1890 and 1893. The Arsenal Stadium, mostly known as Highbury was the club’s home from September 1913 until May 2006. In 2006, the Emirates Stadium was completed, thanks to the largest sponsorship deal in English football history (£100 million).

Even nowadays, a portion of the fans referred to the ground as “Ashburton Grove” or “The Grove”. The name will remain until at least 2028.

- What does the number 49 mean to a Gunner?

Besides the unbeaten run in the 2003-2004 immaculate season, it represents the number of nationalities that had been represented in our 127-year existence. That´s a lot of places!

- Did you know Arsenal FC had appeared in a number of media “firsts”?

This is a very interesting subject in our history. It began on 22 January, 1927 at Highbury against Sheffield United been the first English League match to be broadcast live on radio.

Later on 16 September 1937, an exhibition match between Arsenal’s first team and the reserves was the first football match in the world to be televised live.

Arsenal also featured in the first edition of the BBC’s Match of the Day which screened highlights of their match against Liverpool at Anfield on 22 August 1964.

And more recently, BSkyB’s coverage of Arsenal’s January 2010 match against Manchester United was the first live public broadcast of a sports event on 3D television.

So, I hope you can use this knowledge next time you want to talk about your favorite team at the pub.

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