Arsenal news live: Barca want Arteta, Arteta on Willian & Martinelli, Smith-Rowe latest


Arsenal news and gossip is coming in thick and fast and Sportarena is on hand to bring you all the very latest from Emirates stadium.

Arteta become emerges target to be next Barcelona manager

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has identified Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta as a potential replacement for current Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman.

Joan Laporta is one of the favourites to win the presidential race and hold a second spell in charge of the Catalan giant.

His previous stint saw the 58-year-old hire City boss Pep Guardiola as Barca manager and Laporta is looking to replicate the previous successes by bringing Mikel Arteta to the Camp Nou.

The Arsenal manager has impressed Joan Laporta due to his managerial style, philosophy and the fact that he once graduated from Barca’s esteemed youth system La Masia.

Arteta suggests Willian was terrific in Arsenal win at Leicester

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has lauded Willian’s display in Arsenal’s impressive 3-1 win at Leicester City, insisting that the Brazilian was not happy with the situation he found himself in at the Emirates.

Willian, 32, had a tough time since arrival at Emirates in the summer. It is easy to forget that he actually started the Premier League campaign with a man of the match-worthy display at Fulham.

However, between the opening day of 2020/21 campaign and Sunday’s clash with Leicester City, he had contributed just one assist. And he is still awaiting his first goal for Arsenal.

No player has come in for more criticism this season. But the signs have been slightly more positive lately. He made an impact in the Europa League on Thursday. And he followed that up with a superb performance at the King Power Stadium at the weekend.

The Brazilian produced a sumptuous free-kick for David Luiz’s equaliser after Arsenal had gone a goal down. He also played a crucial role in their third goal, which scored by Nicolas Pepe.

And following the game, Mikel Arteta suggested that Willian deserves huge credit for fighting his way back into the fold.

‘Yeah he was very good,’ said Mikel Arteta.

‘We’ve seen that in training over the last few weeks. I think he’s revealing himself, he’s not accepting the situation.

‘I think he was the player who changed the game against Benfica in the last few moments when he came on. And today I think he was terrific.’

Arteta explains what Gabriel Martinelli needs to do after Leicester snub

Mikel Arteta has urged starlet Gabriel Martinelli to “keep working” after he was an unused substitute in the Arsenal’s impressive 3-1 win at Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.

The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the best young talents at the club but has struggled for regular playing time since returning after knee surgery earlier in the campaign.

He started the Boxing Day clash against local rivals Chelsea where the Gunners restored their faltering season with an impressive 3-1 triumph at the Emirates stadium.

Martinelli played for an hour of the next game at Brighton & Hove Albion but has since struggled for minutes in the league due to the competition for places.

The Brazilian has been restricted to only 53 minutes of league football since the turn of the year and has not got off the bench in the past five matches.

Mikel Arteta rotated his attacking options at the King Power Stadium with Nicolas Pepe, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette getting the nod.

The Frenchman, who put Gunners ahead through the spot-kick towards the end of half-time, was brought off during the final stages of the game, but it was captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who replaced him rather than Martinelli.

Following the victory, Mikel Arteta was asked about Martinelli’s recent absence to which he responded by stating that he needs to keep working on the training pitch.

He told Arsenal.com: ‘Well, he needs to keep working and making it difficult for us. He is a player that is going to give us a lot, but we need some time to find the right games for him and the right connections with him on the pitch so that he can do what he does best.’

‘But the way he is and the way he trains every day, he is going to be a really important player for us, no doubt. But when you have many options, it is difficult when you look for certain qualities in certain games.’

Arteta provided an injury updates on Emile Smith-Rowe

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta admits he is concerned by the injury suffered by attacking midfielder Emile Smith-Rowe against Leicester, but says the 20-year-old is in good spirits.

Smith-Rowe started for the north London club at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, but was withdrawn three minutes before the interval and replaced by Martin Odegaard after appearing to suffer a hip issue.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was one of three players to be taken off injured in the match, with Leicester’s Harvey Barnes carried off on a stretcher and experienced Foxes defender Jonny Evans also hurt.

Providing an update on Smith-Rowe specifically, Arteta said: ‘I’m concerned because for Emile to come out and say, ‘I cannot continue playing’… It should be something related to his hip.

‘I don’t know how bad he is but he was in a good place after the game.’

Academy product Smith Rowe has made a key breakthrough at Arsenal this season after previous loan spells at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town, scoring five goals and contributed six assists in 23 appearances across all competitions so far in 2020/21.

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Source: Sportarena