ARSENAL finally returned to winning ways as they saw off Southampton 2-0 on the South Coast.
And the Gunners have confirmed permanent deals for David Luiz, Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari while extending the loan of Dani Cellabos – but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future remains up in the air.
Follow all the latest Arsenal news and transfer gossip below…
Mikel Arteta claims Granit Xhaka has always been a leader – and is delighted the club’s fans can now hear his booming voice.
Midfielder Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy by former Emirates boss Unai Emery in November with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang taking over the role.
The Swiss international's relationship with the supporters had hit rock bottom and he reacted angrily to jeers after being substituted against Crystal Palace in October.
Yet Xhaka has remained a loud voice on the pitch and he could be heard barking orders in the 2-0 at Southampton on Thursday.
Smiling when asked about Xhaka, boss Arteta said: “He is a natural leader.
“He is always 100 per cent committed, not just for himself but for his team-mates – all the time. I am happy you can hear him.”
DAN'S OUR MAN
Arsenal are plotting a summer move for Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira, according to reports.
Boss Mikel Arteta is hoping to add experience and maturity to his squad in the window, which was a big factor in signing Cedric Soares and David Luiz to new deals.
According to ESPN, the Gunners are “exploring” the possibility of signing the 37-cap Portugal international – who has two years remaining on his contract.
The 28-year-old boasts plenty of high-level experience, having won Euro 2016 with his country – as well as a Liga NOS title with Porto.
His current deal possesses a £55million release clause.
However, because of the financial effect of the coronavirus pandemic, Porto may sell for around a third of this figure.
Manchester United are interested in signing Matteo Guendouzi from Arsenal, according to reports.
It is claimed that the 21-year-old has informed Gunners bosses that he would like to leave the Emirates this summer, because he doesn't feel “trusted” by manager Mikel Arteta.
The midfielder is believed to be unhappy after being dropped for Thursday's 2-0 win over Southampton, and has drawn the interest of a number of Europe's top clubs.
Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are thought to be keen on the France Under-21 international.
And according to L'Equipe, Manchester United are also eager to swoop for his signature.
Mesut Ozil was mercilessly mocked by Arsenal fans for using an umbrella during the game against Southampton – have now earned £1MILLION without playing since the restart.
The Gunners playmaker, 31, failed to make it off the bench as his side scraped a much-needed win against Saints.
And fans on Twitter just couldn't help but tear into him, with one sharing a picture of Ozil and his umbrella, captioned: “Mesut Ozil – Arsenal 2019-20 Skillz+Highlights |HD|”.
Another tweeted: “Ozil is gonna be chillin' under that umbrella earning 350k/week until his contract runs out.”
A third wrote: “Ozil dropped motivational quotes through this week only to end up sitting under an umbrella??”
Arsenal have been hit with a major blow as Gabriel Martinelli is expected to be out for the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
The Brazilian whizkid, 19, picked up a knock in training at the London Colney base just a day after the Gunners' 2-1 defeat at Brighton.
Martinelli is the latest name to be added to Mikel Arteta's growing list of injured aces – with Bernd Leno and Pablo Mari picking up knocks in the first two games since the Premier League's restart.
On their club website, Arsenal wrote: “Left knee. Sustained injury during training on 21 June. Successful arthroscopic procedure undertaken to repair a lesion in the cartilage of the left knee.
“Will not be available for the current schedule of remaining 2019/20 matches.”
KOUL STORY BRO
Kalidou Koulibaly is reportedly set to join Manchester City in a £72million deal this summer.
The Napoli defender had attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Newcastle were also hoping to convince him to join them ahead of their proposed takeover.
But according to Italian source II Mattino, he is set to chose Man City as he wants to play under Pep Guardiola.
Tributes have been paid to former Arsenal assistant coach Theo Foley, who has died at the age of 83.
The Irishman enjoyed a successful playing career with Northampton and Charlton before taking up backroom roles at a number of clubs.
After his passing was announced, ex-Gunners striker Kevin Campbell wrote: “I am totally shocked and saddened at the passing of Theo Foley. What a special football man and gentleman he was!
“He helped me so much behind the scenes at The Arsenal and always was a pleasure to be around. R.I.P. Theo Foley.”
The Gooner Fanzine tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear the news that Theo Foley, George Graham's assistant when Arsenal won their first title for 18 seasons back in 1989, has passed away. A good guy by all accounts. R.I.P.”
Arsenal photographer Stuart MacFarlane wrote: “So sad to hear that Theo Foley has passed away, a lovely guy and a real football man.”
Arsenal have suffered a transfer set back with Layvin Kurzawa reportedly expected to extend his PSG deal.
The 27-year-old's deal expires on June 30 and Les Parisien's are desperate to keep the highly-rated left-back in the French capital.
According to RMCSport, Kurzawa is on the brink of signing a new four-year extension to his contract in Paris.
PORT OF CALL
The Gunners are reportedly monitoring Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira.
According to ESPN, in the next few weeks Arsenal plan to explore the possibility of signing him.
He has a release clause of £54m – but it is understood Porto are prepared to sell him for around a third of that figure.
The 28-year-old is under contract with the club until 2022 where he rakes in £48,000-per-week.
Free agents are expected to hold extra value in the upcoming transfer market – and some top players are up for grabs.
With many clubs unlikely to splash the cash on transfer fees, any out-of-contract stars could be subject to many offers.
With Mikel Arteta desperate to bolster his squad, here's who he could chose from if he fancies bagging himself a bargain…
Sol Campbell described Eddie Nketiah as “fantastic” following his masterclass against Southampton.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “He's sharp. Always lively, always pushing.
“He comes back and defends too.
“That's exactly what you want from a young player. Fantastic.”
Mesut Ozil was an unused substitute for the Gunners last night.
Pictures of the £350,000-per-week star sitting in the stands under an umbrella did the rounds on social media.
And here's how much he earns for doing that…
Joe Willock has revealed how Arsenal training has changed lately – for the better!
He told the club website: “There was a bit of edge in training, people were a bit angry, we had to test each other, we had to push each other to the limit and try to come out and show it in the game today.
“I feel like we defended well together and got a clean sheet and scored two goals.
“The edge in training is a good thing.”
Liverpool might have secured the 2019/20 Premier League title last night.
But more importantly, the Gunners produced the goods away from home. Incredible all round.
'I'D BE VERY HAPPY'
Louis Saha has urged former club Manchester United to make a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He told compare.bet: “Arsenal fans may not like this, but I'd like him to join United.
“I'd be very happy with that.
“I'm sure Arsenal fans would not take that well, but that's my advice to Auba.”
HAVE A BASH
Sheffield United's Chris Basham has called for his team to “put things right” against Arsenal.
He said: “We have got a quarter-final in the cup on Sunday and we need to put things right and get that spark back which we had three or four months ago.
“We didn't lay a glove on Manchester United and are very disappointed with our own performance.”
“We are disappointed with the way we have let the manager and staff down.”
Matteo Guendouzi has reportedly informed the club he is open to leaving in the summer believing he is not trusted by Mikel Arteta.
The Frenchman came under criticism after he grabbed Brighton striker Neal Maupay by the throat following the Gunners' 2-1 loss.
According to French outlet L’Equipe, the midfielder feels he has not got the backing of manager Arteta and told club bosses he is open to leaving in the summer.
The 21-year-old has started just four of Arteta's 12 league matches, and it is said that Guendouzi is fearing he will lose out on a place in France's squad for next summer's European championship.
UP FOR SAL?
Arsenal are “well advanced” in their pursuit to sign Salzburg winger Dominik Szoboszlai.
According to French journalist Manu Lonjon, the Gunners and AC Milan are battling it out for his signature.
The 19-year-old has scored 15 goals and made 22 assists in 58 appearances for Salzburg so far.
It is understood that French champions Paris Saint-Germain have also been in contact with Szoboszlai's representatives.
WILL I NEVER
Arsenal were reportedly prepared to offer Willian a £250,000-per-week deal before the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Mirror, the Gunners were ready to make a big-money move for the Brazilian.
But whether Mikel Arteta's side can put forward the same figures now is another question.
Manchester United are also interested in the 31-year-old.
But he is in talks with Chelsea over a new deal as his current contract is due to expire in the summer.
MATT'S YOUR LOT
Matteo Guendouzi has already been in contact with a number of top European clubs, according to French TV channel TF1.
It is reported that he has been in touch with Barcelona, PSG, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid over a possible summer switch.
Real Madrid are also said be keeping a close eye on the France Under 21 star.
Guendouzi has fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates.
GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS
Mikel Arteta was relieved to see his side return to winning ways with a 2-0 scalp against Southampton following back-to-back defeats.
He said: “I was concerned with the way we threw the game away against Brighton – it really touched the team and confidence is everything in this game.
“But I could see that the reaction was really positive and we just demanded them to play together and enjoy themselves. It was an important win for us.”
“We have to develop and we have to evolve as a team.
“There are a lot of things we have to learn. I know what this team can do but only when we are 100% focused and committed to what we do. If not, we are at the moment, average. Today we showed that when we do it we are difficult to beat and we can win on any ground.”
Arteta also alluded to “internal issues” to explain the decision to bench Matteo Guendouzi on Thursday.
The French star, 21, lost his cool and grabbed Neal Maupay by the throat at the end of a feisty clash on the south coast at the weekend.
Guendouzi escaped any on-field punishment and avoided a retrospective three-match ban for his display of violence.
But Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has decided to leave him out for the game against Southampton – with the midfielder not even earning a place on the bench.
When asked by Sky Sports for the reason behind the midfielder's exclusion, Arteta said: “Squad management. Whatever internal issue we have, we deal with it privately.
“The needs of the team and the football club are always the same – put the best players on the pitch who are 100 per cent focused on winning the game.”
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is the biggest name amongst the departures revealed on Thursday afternoon.
ON KOP OF THE WORLD
Liverpool are finally Premier League champions, ending a 30-year title drought to reclaim their place at the top of English football.
Three decades in the making, the Reds have finally made it past the final hurdle after Manchester City lost 2-1 to Chelsea tonight.
After hammering Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp just needed Pep Guardiola and Co to drop points at Stamford Bridge.
Former Liverpool target Christian Pulisic – who played under Klopp at Dortmund – got Chelsea off to a flier with a superb breakaway goal.
Kevin De Bruyne's stunning free-kick pegged the Blues back but Willian fired home a penalty to earn a huge three points and send Liverpool fans wild.
And now, with seven games remaining, the Kop faithful can finally breathe easy after months of stress with the season on the brink of being cancelled during the enforced break.
Klopp will now go down in Anfield folklore after guided Liverpool to that elusive Premier League crown – 11,016 DAYS in the making.
Mikel Arteta has hailed Bukayo Saka and hopes the youngster commits his future to Arsenal.
Speaking after the Gunners win over Southampton, the Spaniard said: “It’s in his hands.
“He has a manager who has total belief in him and team-mates who adore him.
“You can put him in different positions and he picks it up really quickly. He could have produced three goals today easily.”
Eddie Nketiah –7
A howler by Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy handed Nketiah the easiest goal of his career to date but it was the striker’s determination which led to him scoring into an empty net for the opener.
The teenager’s work-rate did not go unnoticed in the second-half as his determination to press made even the most experienced Southampton defenders look uneasy.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 6
Yan Valery’s attacking nature gave Aubameyang space down the left-hand side and the striker came close to opening the scoring inside ten minutes after his curled effort beat McCarthy but crashed onto the crossbar.
Kyle Walker-Peters’ introduction limited the 31-year-old’s space on the flank and as a result he naturally drifted inside to accompany Nketiah up top and his presence caused problems for Jack Stephens who was sent off for bringing him down in the 86th minute.
Joe Willock – 6
It was his awareness which got him his first Premier League for The Gunners as he was first to the ball and showed composure to blast into the back of the net.
Alexander Lacazette – 6
Got involved in the little time he was on and proved to be a different option for Arsenal. His ability to get shots away played a key role in Arsenal’s second.
Sead Kolasinac – 5,Ainsley Maitland-Niles 5
Granit Xhaka – 6
After hobbling off against City in Arsenal’s first game after the enforced break nobody believed to be seeing Xhaka back in the line-up but the 27-year-old looked back to his best.
He sat deep to allow both Saka and Ceballos to roam ahead of him while he shut out any danger when Southampton were on the attack but more importantly carry out a moment of madness which we all know he is capable of doing.
Daniel Ceballos – 6
He kept Arsenal ticking in the middle of the park as the Spaniard hardly gave the ball away and his eye for a key pass proved to be vital in the Gunners having the majority of possession.
Nicolas Pepe – 4
With Saka, Aubameyang and Tierney linking up well down the left, Pepe was naturally isolated on the right which caused him to cut a frustrated figure before being substituted on the hour mark.
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