Liverpool fan claims Roberto Firmino is Premier League’s best striker in brilliant talkSPORT call – ‘Better than Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero’

5 Sep

Kieran, the Liverpool fan, really likes Roberto Firmino.

So he called talkSPORT to explain exactly why the Brazil international is the best striker in the Premier League, much to the bemusement of Andy Goldstein and Darren Gough.

Is Firmino the best striker in the Premier League?
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The Drive hosts couldn’t believe what they were hearing as Kieran ranked Firmino above both Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane, arguing the Reds forward would walk into both Manchester City and Tottenham’s starting line-ups.



In defence of Kieran, Firmino is a wonderful player, and there’s far more nuance to his game than cold hard stats would have you think.

Liverpool wingers Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah shared the Golden Boot last season with 22 goals each, and much of that is down to Firmino’s intelligence.

In fact, Kieran goes as far as to say that Firmino is Liverpool’s most valuable forward, with Mane second and Salah third.

But, as a no.9, his goalscoring record surely has to be considered, and last season he bagged fewer goals than Brighton’s Glenn Murray.

Meanwhile, Aguero and Kane are regularly among the top marksmen in the Premier League.

Watch how the argument unfolded below:

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Adrian Durham and Darren Gough question whether Arsenal have overpaid for club record signing Nicolas Pepe

2 Sep

The signing of Nicolas Pepe was seen by Arsenal fans as a statement of intent for the future.

The Gunners board decided to part with a club record £72million to bring the exciting talent across the Channel.

Last season at Lille, Pepe scored 22 goals and recorded 11 assists in Ligue 1 to solidify his reputation as one of the most dangerous forwards on the continent.

Ppe cuts in from the right against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates
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But against Liverpool and then against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, the Ivory Coast international showed he still has much to learn before he can make it in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old showcased glimpses of raw pace and pure talent, but will need to finesse his attributes.

The talkSPORT Drivetime presenters watched the north London derby where Pepe had a quiet game and questioned whether or not the winger’s dependence on his strong foot could prove to be his undoing.

“Everyone is excited about Pepe and I get it,” Gough said. “He’s young, he cost £70million and people suddenly think they’re getting a world beater.

The physicality of the Premier League can often unsettle foreign imports
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“What they’ve signed, they’ve probably paid over the odds for a youngster who has got potential to turn into a £70m player.

“But they’ve paid that to get him now over a few years. So they’ve paid over the odds because they’re paying over a few years.

“Realistically, he is probably worth £40m and he could turn himself into £70m plus with the right coaching, the right team and everything else that goes with it.

“He will turn it on at times this year; you could tell with his pace, he loves running with the ball at his feet.

“The thing is, he has got to use his right foot at some point. If you remember one point, he was running down the right and he was going further and further away from goal because he didn’t want to use his right foot.

“Now you can be superstar and use your best foot all the time, Messi does it. But he still does use his right foot now and again. It looks like Pepe does not want to use that right foot whatsoever.

“But when you’re playing alongside Lacazette and Aubameyang, you’ve got to improve surely as a player?”

Although the two claimed to be friends, Pele always insisted Diego Maradona could not head the ball or shoot with his weaker right foot.

However, it did not stop the former Argentina captain going down in history as one of the greatest players of all time.

While Pepe is no Maradona, his insistence on using solely his left foot is a trait Adrian Durham feels could hinder the youngster from achieving his potential.

“I was surprised at how ineffective Pepe was,” Durham added. “To pay that much money for somebody who is so one-footed has to be a risk.

“I don’t think he is going to have that many wonder games, I think he’ll have some special moments, he will do some special things in games.

“But to impact a game to the point where you’re the difference and you make up to 12-15 points a season that can make Arsenal challengers, I think they are expecting a bit too much from him.”

Adrian Durham invents ingenious new nickname for Unai Emery and claims Arsenal fans were given a ‘reality check’ by Liverpool

26 Aug

Adrian Durham referred to Arsenal manager Unai Emery as ‘Unai Wenger’ for lacking courage at Anfield on Saturday.

The Gunners were comfortably beaten 3-1 by Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, with Lucas Torreira’s late strike proving to be no more than a consolation. Heavy defeats away to far superior teams became a feature towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign.

And Durham took umbrage with the tactics deployed by the Spaniard on Merseyside, with the visitors falling apart somewhat in the second half after Joe Matip had scored.

Saturday nights clash at Anfield was difficult for ‘Unai Wenger’
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The Arsenal defence has come under intense scrutiny already this season, with the addition of David Luiz proving to be a hindrance at this moment in time.

And the Drivetime host believes there is only one way for Emery to start approaching games against superior opposition now.

“There’s a couple of things I want to say about who I am now calling ‘Unai Wenger’,” Durham said.

“He plays a diamond when Liverpool have got the most brilliant wing-backs/full-backs in the Premier League, possibly Europe.

David Luiz clearly pulled back Mohamed Salah to concede a penalty
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“And he decides that is a good system to go with, it’s extraordinary. There’s no one-to-one coaching going on with David Luiz; I actually could not believe some of the things he was doing in that second half, extraordinary stuff.

“The thing about Unai Wenger as well is that he had no courage in his selection. You’ve got those strikers, you’ve got a very shaky defence, I still don’t think their midfield is right.

“So just try and outscore the opposition – that’s what I said in pre-season – they’re going to try and outscore the opposition. Absolutely amazing.”

Dani Ceballos started the game at Anfield, but was overwhelmed by the swarming pressure of the Liverpool ‘gegenpress’.

‘Arsenal go their tactics all wrong against Liverpool’, claims ex-Chelsea star

The Real Madrid midfielder enjoyed a sparkling debut against Burnley last weekend, with Durham remains convinced the Spain international had much to prove.

But that does not mean he thinks Arsenal will miss out on the Champions League places once again this season.

“Ceballos was brilliant last week, the statue is on hold this week,” he added. “And we all knew it wouldn’t last, you’re going to have a good game every now and then.

“But it’s a reality check for Arsenal fans. I expect them to make the Top Four, but not because they are brilliant.

“It’s probably because Man United have still got a lot of problems and Chelsea have got a rookie manager in terms of Premier League and top flight.

“And Spurs have got their own problems as well so I expect Arsenal, by default, to get in there.

“But there wasn’t a lot to love on Saturday.”

Manchester United news: Jesse Lingard would have been ‘warned about form by now’, says Sam Allardyce, but Adrian Durham says he is underappreciated

21 Aug

Sam Allardyce has told talkSPORT he would have threatened to boot Jesse Lingard out of the Manchester United team by now over his poor form.

However, Drivetime host Adrian Durham believes the midfielder ‘doesn’t get the credit he deserves’ from pundits and fans.

Lingard has come under fresh scrutiny for a damning stat surfaced on social media highlighting his lack of goals and assists.

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The England international has suffered a largely barren 12 months, managing just four goals and two assists last season. That flurry came back in December and he hasn’t found the net since.

Many United fans have called for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Lingard from his first-team, having started both of their opening Premier League games against Chelsea and Wolves.

But Allardyce says he would have had a serious conversation with the midfielder about his form a long time ago.

“From a personal point of view and a manager’s point of view, the warning signs would have been bought up by now,” Big Sam told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“The player would have been called in and I would have said to him, ‘you haven’t got a lot of time to put this right before your place is taken by somebody else’.

Jesse Lingard has not been firing for Manchester United
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“As a manager you have to be ruthless, you have to make these decisions and you have to try to explain to a player in the best way you can.

“At Manchester United Lingard has got to be an eight-to-ten goal a season man in his position, and maybe six or eight assists as well I would think.”

Many supporters – as you can hear in the clip above – believe Lingard’s time in the first-team is up, as they are not happy over his lack of contribution in the final third for a player on £100,000-a-week.

A talkSPORT caller even branded him a ‘waste of space’ in attack and blasted his ‘ridiculously, ridiculously poor’ record.

He also highlighted the fact Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold got 12 assists in the Premier League last season – the same number Lingard has managed in his entire career in a United shirt.

Lingard has started both of Manchester United’s opening two Premier League games this season, but fans want him out of the team
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But Durham believes Lingard is being harshly criticised and has been ‘killed by stats’, saying his efforts on the pitch are unappreciated.

“I think he’s been a little hard done by some of the post-match criticism,” said the Drivetime host.

“He’s also been killed by stats. We’ve all seen this stat that basically says he does nothing in every single game, which is obviously a load of rubbish.

“Is he a team player who doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he doesn’t do the spectacular?

“He needs to deliver more. His career tally at Manchester United in all competitions is 29 goals in 169 games. In just the Premier League he has 17 goals in 113 games, and he’s never got double figures in a Premier League season.

“But the thing with Jesse Lingard is he has delivered on a couple of big occasions, there are positives with him and the fact he was scoring goals when Solskjaer first got the job as caretaker tell you something is in there, it can’t all be a negative.

“There are a lot of people saying just bin him off, get rid, he’s like Tom Cleverley, just because he’s come through the academy – but isn’t there a bit more to him?

“You don’t last at Manchester United this long if you really aren’t a good player, surely.”

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‘Arsenal a million miles from Liverpool and Man City’– Ray Parlour responds to Adrian Durham’s claim Gunners can challenge for Premier League

21 Aug

Ray Parlour has responded to fellow talkSPORT host Adrian Durham’s claim that Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title this season.

The mood is high at the Emirates Stadium after the club’s perfect start to the campaign, with two wins from two, and their successful transfer window.

Lacazette and Aubameyang have fired Arsenal to wins over Newcastle and Burnley in the Premier League
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Unai Emery strengthened his attack, midfield and defence this summer and club director Josh Kroenke insists the club expect to be challenging for top honours again after spending over £100million on new players.

Those views were echoed by Drivetime host Adrian Durham, who has claimed Arsenal are the ‘only’ other club that can compete with Manchester City and Liverpool this term.

But Gunners legend Parlour says his former club are ‘a million miles away’ from the title favourites and reveals he’d be ‘delighted’ if they manage only a top four finish.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Drive show, Durham said: “The only side other than Man City and Liverpool that can the Premier League title, for me, is Arsenal.

“They had Aubameyang and Lacazette and they’ve added Pepe – they’ve got goals galore in their team – and they have also strengthened their defence and midfield.

“Meanwhile, Manchester City are weaker with Vincent Kompany gone and Liverpool did not add significantly to their squad. Are we expecting their front three to last all season, bearing in mind their excursions over the summer?”

Parlour disagreed on Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I heard a few shows yesterday saying we can challenge for the league, but they’re a million miles away from Man City and Liverpool at the moment, if I‘m honest.

“How many Arsenal players would get into the Liverpool team?

“The most important think is getting back into the Champions League. Maybe they could push a bit higher, but if they get fourth place this season I’d be delighted.

Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe for £72million this summer
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“A lot of fans gave their season tickets back this summer. There were no signings and if you want to get in that top four you need to get players in to give them a chance of competing

“At one stage it looked like Arsenal weren’t going to get anybody, it was a bit worrying.

“In the end it was a decent transfer window for Arsenal and a lot of fans are excited about going into the new season.

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  • Liverpool vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Swansea vs Birmingham (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

“But they are so far behind Manchester City and Liverpool at the moment.

“They’ve started well with a good away win at Newcastle and they got the job done at the weekend against Burnley, but really they are two games they were expected to win, so I’m not getting carried away.”

Listen back to Ray Parlour on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – including Arsenal’s trip to Liverpool this weekend.

Arsenal news: Adrian Durham tips Gunners to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for Premier League title – but rubbishes Tottenham Hotspur’s chances

20 Aug

Adrian Durham believes Arsenal are the only side capable of challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for the title next season.

Pep Guardiola’s men secured their second successive Premier League crown, but had to do so after a nail-biting finale with the Reds which went down to the last game of the season.

In truth, it was a two-horse race for the majority of the season, with 25 points separating second and third place.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are set to battle for the title once again
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But the Gunners have strengthened this summer, with Director of Football Raul Sanllehi earning praise from fans this summer for landing Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tiernay and David Luiz this summer and is leading the negotiations for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new contract.

And although the Drivetime presenter does not believe the north Londoners can usurp either Liverpool or City yet, he does feel as though it will be close.

“The title will be won by either Man City or Liverpool this season,” Durham said.

“That’s not rocket science or putting your neck on the block by any means. But the only other side that could win it for me is Arsenal – here’s why.

Arsenal have won both of their opening Premier League games
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“They had Aubameyang and Lacazette, they’ve added Pepe. They’ve got goals galore in their team.

“They have strengthened their defence and their midfield; David Luiz has come in and Ceballos has come in as well.

“So they’ve strengthened defence and midfield, now Manchester City are weaker.

“They’ve lost two leaders in [Fabian] Delph and [Vincent] Kompany, they’ve weakened their defence by losing Kompany and you wonder if Kevin De Bruyne is going to stay fit all season – because he does not normally.

“Liverpool did not add significantly to their squad, certainly didn’t add to their first XI. Are we expecting their front three to last all season, bearing in mind their exertions in the summer?

“So I think City and Liverpool will be weaker, it depends by how much, but they will be weaker this season and Arsenal have strengthened.

Given they reached the Champions League final last season and Harry Kane has already started the season in goalscoring form, many would expect north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to be fighting for the title.

But Durham is having absolutely none of it.

He added: “Tottenham are going to be nowhere near the title, as usual…miles off!”

Adrian Durham tells Arsenal fans to calm down about Dani Ceballos amid raucous appraisal for Burnley performance

20 Aug

Adrian Durham is already sick and tired of Arsenal fans banging on about new signing Dani Ceballos.

The Real Madrid loanee lit up the Emirates on Saturday afternoon during his full Premier League debut against Burnley.

Durham believes the reaction to Ceballos has gone over the top
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Ceballos, the Spain Under-21 midfielder, received rave reviews for his role in the 2-1 victory, earning comparisons to former Arsenal midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Aaron Ramsey.

But Durham was quick to remind supporters that the Clarets don’t exactly represent the ultimate Premier League test.

“He’s apparently the Premier League’s best ever player,” Durham said on Drivetime.

“They’re trying to work out where they’re going to put the statue for Ceballos.

“There was a headline in The Times – ‘Ceballos emerges as the complete midfielder in Emery’s vision for the future’ – they’ve played Newcastle and Burnley!

“Burnley’s goal was because Ceballos was useless. Have a look at it. Look at what [Dwight] McNeil does to him, he makes him look like an amateur.

The game looked too easy for Ceballos at times
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‘So let’s just calm our skins down. How many times have you heard Arsenal fans go on about a player? ‘Ooh, we’ve signed Kim Kallstrom, he’s going to be the new Patrick Vieira.

“It does your head in. Why don’t you wait a few games? If he carries on in this way, fine. But it’s Newcastle and Burnley.”


Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go-to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – with Liverpool vs Arsenal among our games this weekend.

‘Jordan Henderson may be a better captain and leader than Steven Gerrard’ – Adrian Durham heaps praise on Liverpool skipper

14 Aug

Jordan Henderson is a better captain and leader of men than Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, believes talkSPORT host Adrian Durham.

Tuesday marked eight years since Henderson made his debut appearance for the Reds, following his £20million arrival from Sunderland in 2011.

Jordan Henderson was signed by Liverpool’s legendary ex-manager and player Kenny Dalglish along with Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and goalkeeper Alexander Doni in 2011
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His transfer fee was largely scoffed at by supporters at the time, but those same fans will likely look back now and realise what an important signing it was for the club.

Signed by Kenny Dalglish and hand-selected to succeed Gerrard as captain, Henderson has made 326 appearances for the Reds, scoring 25 goals, and last season emulated both Anfield greats by leading Liverpool to Champions League glory.

His workmanlike performances often go unnoticed by all but the Anfield faithful, who have come to accept the Wearside boy as one of their own.

And Durham believes the midfielder would be regarded as one of the club’s great leaders if it weren’t for Gerrard’s homegrown status – as he has commanded the respect of a team of superstars.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Drivetime, the host said: “Obviously there was a comparison when he became captain it was after Gerrard had finished and everybody thought it was impossible – how do you take over from Steven Gerrard?

“But I think there’s a case to say that if it wasn’t for the fact Steven Gerrard was Liverpool born and bred, people might consider Jordan Henderson to be a better captain and a better leader.

Henderson had the unenviable task of succeeding Gerrard – one of Liverpool’s all-time greatest players – as captain, but has risen to the task
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“Leadership isn’t really about huddles and rallying cries, it’s about actually doing it unnoticed.

“You’ve got three or four of the best players in the world right now at Liverpool, in Allison, Mane, Salah and Van Dijk and they all look up to Henderson and he commands their respect.

“He might not be one of the best players in the world, but in terms of leadership he commands that respect among a team of superstars.

“With the greatest of respect, Steven Gerrard wasn’t ever leading that level of player, he was leading players who were beneath him.

Henderson is well respected in Liverpool’s star-studded squad – he is affectionately called ‘skip’ by his Reds team-mates
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“So I think it’s really important to establish just what a brilliant leader Jordan Henderson is.

“People might say: ‘hang on a minute, what about what Gerrard did in Istanbul in 2005?’

“But did you see what Henderson did against Barcelona, on the greatest night any Liverpool fan has ever had? The best night of football at Anfield and Jordan Henderson was man of the match, he was the best player on the pitch for Liverpool.”

Liverpool and Manchester City stars dominate as talkSPORT hosts name their current top five players in world football

12 Aug

Adrian Durham and Darren Gough have had numerous debates over the years they’ve been doing Drivetime together on talkSPORT.

And on Monday’s edition of the show they did a mammoth one by naming their current top five footballers in the world.

Of course, they were not in complete agreement and below you can see who Adrian and Goughie believe are currently the best players in world football.


Goughie: I’m going for Kevin De Bruyne. Manchester City missed him at the start of last season but as soon as he comes back in he strengthens any team in the world creatively, defensively, through scoring goals and he’s a great leader.

Adrian: My No.5 is Billy Sharp – it’s a joke! My No.5 is Mo Salah. His goalscoring record is brilliant. The only reason he isn’t higher is because it didn’t really happen for him at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Salah is Durham’s fifth best player in world football
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Goughie: Eden Hazard. He’s gone to Real Madrid to get his dream move after being outstanding at Chelsea. When he gets the ball at his feet it’s kind of the same feeling as Lionel Messi. Not quite as good as Messi but he has the ability to change the game with the ball at his feet.

Adrian: My No.4 is Sadio Mane. If Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations he’d be up there for the Ballon d’Or. He’s been sensationally good.

Goughie: My No.3 is normally my No.1 but he’s slipped slightly down the pecking order. Still a great player and still deserves to be in the top three – Cristiano Ronaldo. This really hurt me because he’s been my No.1 for years but he’s been overtaken. Messi had a golden season and another young player was pretty good.

It broke Goughie’s heart to put Ronaldo in third
Getty Images - Getty

Adrian: Mine is Kevin De Bruyne.  I appreciate he’s not always been fit but he makes such a difference when he’s playing. Can you ever see him winning the Ballon d’Or? Probably not and it’s a shame really.

Goughie: No.2 is Kylian Mbappe. He is the main man at Paris Saint-Germain. People want to see him playing in a different league perhaps, playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid or Manchester United, Manchester City. I’d love to see it.  He’s a World Cup star and has done it for PSG.

Adrian: My No.2 is Raheem Sterling. He speaks for himself. I can’t believe he’s not in your top five! Absolutely extraordinary he’s not in your top five.

But they were both in agreement about who should be top of the pile – Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi of course!

Messi is the best player on the planet according to Adrian and Goughie
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Adrian Durham's current top five footballers

5. Mohamed Salah

4. Sadio Mane

3. Kevin De Bruyne

2. Raheem Sterling

1. Lionel Messi

Darren Gough's current top five footballers

5. Kevin De Bruyne

4. Eden Hazard

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

2. Kylian Mbappe

1. Lionel Messi

‘Arsenal fans are so desperate to be offended’ – Adrian Durham’s verdict on Laurent Koscielny’s controversial Bordeaux unveiling video

8 Aug

Adrian Durham believes Arsenal fans are ‘so desperate to be offended’ after a furious backlash to Laurent Koscielny’s unveiling video at Bordeaux.

Koscielny, 33, sealed a £4.6million move to the Ligue 1 side on Tuesday, with Frenchman pulling off an Arsenal top to reveal his new team’s shirt underneath in the announcement video.

Laurent Koscielny’s nine-year spell with Arsenal ended acrimoniously
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Gunners fans vented their disgust on social media, with Ian Wright and other club legends blasting the experienced defender for his ‘disrespectful’ behaviour.

Koscielny had previously gone on strike last month after refusing to go on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, before eventually sealing a switch back to France.

However, speaking on Drivetime on Wednesday evening talkSPORT host Durham laughed off the criticism of the former Arsenal skipper, insisting he saw nothing ‘wrong’ with what Koscielny did.

“I’ve watched that over and over again and I can’t see anything wrong with it,” he remarked.

Adrian Durham, right, says Arsenal fans are ‘so desperate to be offended’ after a furious backlash to Koscielny’s announcement video at Bordeaux
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“He is moving from Arsenal to Bordeaux. Why is anybody offended?

“Arsenal fans are so desperate to be offended. Let’s go on social media and say ‘I’m offended by that, he’s out of order.”

“What’s he done wrong?! He’s taken off one shirt and put on another one. So what!”

LIVE on talkSPORT

 

  • Pyunik vs Wolves (Thursday, 5:00pm) – talkSPORT 2
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The transfer window in England closes on Thursday at 5pm, but many other European clubs can continue trading players until September 2.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.