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.
David Luiz on Bernd Leno’s error against Rapid Vienna
David Luiz has defended team-mate Bernd Leno after his error gifted Austria side Rapid Vienna the lead in a hard-fought Europa League tie which Arsenal eventually went on to win.
Mikel Arteta named a strong side at the Allianz Stadion, where 3,000 home fans watched on, with Thomas Partey making his full debut in the Group B opener.
But after a mistake by Leno gifted a goal to Taxiarchis Fountas the Gunners had to rally, with David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on target as Arsenal left Austria with a 2-1 win.
Following a passive first half for both sides, Taxiarchis Fountas struck just six minutes after the interval, capitalising as Leno’s attempt to play out from the back was intercepted by Ercan Kara.
Another couple of wobbles from the Germany international goalkeeper later in the half presented Fountas with further chances which he failed to converted.
Bernd Leno’s position as Arsenal’s No 1 had already split the fanbase when Emiliano Martinez was sold to Aston Villa in the summer, but Arteta backed his first choice following the win.
‘I think Bernd is amazing,’ he said.
‘It is part of our philosophy to build from the back,this is a normal thing.
‘You always play to eliminate players from the beginning when you build, then it is going to be much easier for the strikers.
‘So, if you count how many times did it go well? But just one he did wrong and this is part of our philosophy.
‘He is great and he gives us the opportunity to play from the back and try to help us.’
Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Thomas Partey after he impressed on full debut
Head coach Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Thomas Partey after he impressed on his full Arsenal debut in their comeback Europa League win over Rapid Vienna – but insists there is much more to come from the deadline day signing.
Partey’s performance was a highlight on what was an average night for the Gunners in Austria, as goals from David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw them win 2-1 after Bernd Leno’s error had gifted the hosts a second-half lead.
The 27-year-old powerful central midfielder had been a long-term target for Arsenal before they finally landed their man from Atletico Madrid in the closing hours of the transfer window.
He made his debut off the bench in Saturday’s Premier League defeat at Manchester City but was comfortable from the outset on his first start.
‘To be fair he looked really solid, really comfortable,’ Arteta said after his side won their Group B opener.
‘I think he held the midfield by himself in the second half as well when we were a little bit moreopen and we started to take more chances attacking certain spaces with some players.
‘But I think he was fantastic tonight and there is much more to come from him obviously.
‘Obviously we know that with the price that we paid for him and the profile that he has, he is going to have a lot of people looking at him in every single game.
‘But it’s about the structure we have as a team, the flow, the unity and the cohesion that we need in our team and he is one piece of that. Hopefully he is a big piece.’
Mesut Ozil was supporting his Arsenal team-mates from home on Thursday
After slamming Gunners’ lack of ‘loyalty’ on Wednesday, Mesut Ozil was still supporting the club during Thursday night’s Europa League victory over Rapid Vienna.
Arsenal came from behind to beat their opponents 2-1 on Thursday in their European opener with David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring for the north London club.
And throughout the match, Mesut Ozil – who was watching on from home after being axed from Arsenal’s Europa League and Premier League squads – live tweeted the game.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) October 22, 2020
Gunners want to re-sign Donyell Malen
Despite only losing him three years previously, Mikel Arteta’s sidel are also prepared to re-sign striker Donyell Malen, who has impressed with an excellent scoring record for PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie.
Malen made his first-team debut for PSV in 2018 and has since scored 33 goals in 78 appearances. He has also contributed 16 assists in that time. Now 21, he has scored five goals in seven outings so far this season.
And according to Sports Mole, claims the Gunners are keen to add the centre-forward next summer, though they will face competition from Juventus and Barcelona.
Aubameyang signed a new three-year deal this summer, but Alexandre Lacazette will have a year remaining on his contract next summer and will be 30 by the end of the season.