Arsenal Confirm Goalkeeper David Ospina Has Joined Serie A Side Napoli on Season-Long Loan

Arsenal have confirmed Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina has joined Serie A giants Napoli on a season-long loan, with the 29-year-old likely to act as Pepe Reina’s direct replacement.

The Gunners confirmed the transfer via a post on Twitter and a statement on their ​website reads: “Goalkeeper David Ospina has joined Serie A side ​Napoli on a season-long loan.

“David joined us from Nice in 2014 after six seasons in Ligue 1, and has made 70 appearances. 

“He was our goalkeeper in the 2017 Emirates FA Cup final win over Chelsea. He has won two FA Cups and an FA Community Shield during his time with us. David is a Colombia international with 90 caps.

“He has represented his country at two FIFA World Cups – in 2014 and 2018. We would like to wish David the very best for the season.”

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis also posted a welcome message to the former Atlético Nacional star, whose first team opportunities at ​Arsenal began to look slim after the north London side signed Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen earlier this summer.

Napoli are expected to field former Watford goalie Orestis Karnezis for their opening Serie A match against Lazio on Saturday, but Ospina will be hopeful of usurping the Greece international further on in the season.


Arsenal Boss Unai Emery Confirms New Signing Lucas Torreira is Ready to Start Ahead of Chelsea Derby

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confirmed that new signing Lucas Torreira is ready to start in their London derby against  Chelsea this weekend. 

The Uruguayan joined up with his new club late this summer due to the success of his national team in the World Cup. 

Arsenal v Manchester City - Premier League

Torreira has been building up his fitness since arriving at the Emirates and following a cameo appearance last week against Manchester City, Emery has confirmed that the midfielder is now ready to start, as reported by the club’s official website.

“Yes, he is okay every day and is training good,” said Unai Emery. “He is now with the team and knowing and learning English conversation with us and can understand all the things we want to do tactically on the pitch. 

“He is okay, the first match against City he played 15 to 20 minutes and I think this is good, I want to continue with him improving and to be okay to play.”

Speaking on where the midfielder will play in his system, Emery stated that Torreira will be used as a central defensive midfielder and a normal central midfield player.

“We can speak about the number six, the number eight and the number ten [roles],” said Emery. “Torreira today is a six, eight. Normally every player has two positions – Torreira is six, eight.”

The signing of Torreira was greeted with great optimism by Gunners fans during the summer as their club finally invested in a strong tackling defensive midfielder. 

Torreira is likely to start alongside Granit Xhaka in the heart of the ​Arsenal midfield on Saturday against a ​Chelsea side who will be brimming with confidence following their convincing opening day win against ​Huddersfield Town.


Picking the Best Potential Arsenal Lineup to Face Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday

Arsenal make the short trip to Stamford Bridge to meet Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

New manager Unai Emery received a lot of criticism for his tactics against the Manchester City, and will be hoping to see a much better performance from his players against Chelsea.

He will have some decisions to make about the personnel and tactics for the derby match, and here’s how Arsenal could line up.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Petr Cech (GK) – Emery has confirmed that Cech will remain in the lineup against his old club, despite looking ill at ease with the ball at his feet against Manchester City. The towering goalkeeper will be hoping for a much better performance.

Hector Bellerin (RB) – Arsenal are not blessed with many defensive options after injuries to several members of their squad, meaning Bellerin will certainly remain in the team. He will be tasked with keeping the likes of Eden Hazard and Pedro at bay for the encounter.

Sokratis (CB) – The new signing was brought in to strengthen Arsenal’s defence, but struggled against the champions last weekend. Nevertheless, his talent is clear to see, and Sokratis will be looking to bounce back with an impressive showing.

Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – With Lauren Koscielny out injured, Mustafi has been Arsenal’s first choice centre back, and will definitely keep his place in Emery’s lineup.

Stephan Lichtsteiner (LB) – After Ainsley Maitland-Niles suffered a leg fracture against Manchester City, Arsenal will be forced to turn to veteran right back Lichtsteiner to fill in on the opposite flank. Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal are also unavailable, meaning Emery does not have many options in this position.

2. Midfielders

Lucas Torreira (DM) – Fellow new signing Matteo Guendouzi was given the chance to impress against Manchester City, but Torreira is likely to be given his chance to shine, having featured for the final 20 minutes last weekend.

Granit Xhaka (DM) – Xhaka featured in every Premier League game for Arsenal last season, and will be looking to continue the trend this weekend. Arsenal need a disciplined performance from Xhaka, who will be key in tracking Chelsea’s attacking players.

Mesut Ozil (LM) – Ozil will be looking for a big performance to get rid of this reputation of underperforming in important matches. He is the one who is most likely to be creating chances for his teammates, and is a certainty to start the match.

Aaron Ramsey (AM) – With Torreira and Xhaka as defensive midfielders, Ramsey will be deployed further forward, and Arsenal’s last player of the season will be given the chance to shine in attack.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (RM) – Given the nod against Manchester City, Emery will most likely select the Armenian once more. Expect all of Arsenal’s attacking midfielders to roam and attack from various areas on the pitch.

3. Forward

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – Aubameyang was selected ahead of Lacazette last weekend, and will likely continue in the lineup this weekend. Lacazette was restricted to a substitute appearance, but neither did enough to change Emery’s thinking for this weekend’s match.


‘He Hasn’t Done Well Enough’: Ex-Arsenal Player Unimpressed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Performances

Former Arsenal player turned pundit Stewart Robson has had his say on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, stating that he has been far from impressed by the Armenian international since his arrival in the ​Premier League.

Having only signed for the London club last January from Manchester United – in a deal that saw Alexis Sanchez go the opposite way – Mkhitaryan has only just completed his first full pre-season with the Gunners. 

Arsenal v Manchester City - Premier League

Speaking with ESPN FC, as reported by Sport Review, Robson said: “I am not a big fan of Mkhitaryan. 

“I saw him at Man United and Arsenal. He hasn’t done well enough at either club.”

The 29-year-old moved to English football in 2016 from Borussia Dortmund for £30m. In the season and a half he spent at Old Trafford, he struggled to hold down a regular starting place under Jose Mourinho; only managing to rack up 24 appearances in his first campaign, netting four times and making one assist. 

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The winger started 11 games in the opening half of last season for Manchester United, before being made a makeweight in a deal for Alexis Sanchez which saw a premature end to his time with the Red Devils.

However, Mkhitaryan did make a flying start for Arsenal, making three assists in his full debut in a 5-1 win against ​Everton in early February. Mkhitaryan finished the season with three goals in 17 appearances, memorably scoring at Old Trafford in a late-season encounter.

Starting on Sunday in Unai Emery’s first game as Arsenal boss, Mkhitaryan struggled to impact the game as Champions  Manchester City strolled to a comfortable 2-0 victory at The Emirates. 


Short Term Pain, Long Term Gain: Sky Sports Pundit Makes Arsenal Prediction Following Man City Loss

Football pundit Craig Bellamy has claimed that ​Arsenal may struggle at first under their new boss Unai Emery, but will start to fire on all cylinders once the squad successfully adapts to their new manager’s style of football.​

Speaking on Sky Sports following Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to ​​Manchester City, via the Express, Bellamy claimed that the Gunners may take some time to adjust to playing under Emery, stating: “It is short-term pain for long-term success. If you go into a football club, you have your ideas. They’re not the worst ideas or else he wouldn’t have been appointed in the first place.


“He wouldn’t have won the Europa League with Sevilla or Ligue 1 title with PSG. He wouldn’t have done so well at Valencia. He’s a good manager. He’s gone in with his idea and this is how he wants to play. What we’ve seen is the first stage of where he’s at. Usually from watching and knowing his work, he’s someone who likes to play at all costs.”

“I’ve been through that stage with coaching. Once you get used to making angles, then you can build up the next stage. So after that you’ll be able to clip over the press. In the next couple of months, Arsenal will be hitting the press and the goalkeeper will be the first line of attack and being able to hit drives and putting forward one-on-one.”

The Gunners will be eager to pick themselves up from their opening day loss, but face a tricky trip to Stamford Bridge to face ​Chelsea on Saturday evening. ​Arsenal fans would have hoped for an easier run of fixtures to open the season, but there upcoming matches against ​West Ham and ​Cardiff City should provide easier opportunities to pick up some precious points.

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Meanwhile, ​Arsenal youngster Ashley Maitland-Niles has been ruled out of action for at least two months, after picking up a fractured fibula against Man City last weekend. Veteran right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner may now start in an unfamiliar position on the left side of defence on Saturday, with the likes of Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac still nursing injuries.