Leeds vs Derby: Forget Spygate – the Rams need to watch out for Arsenal wonderkid Eddie Nketiah at Elland Road

20 Sep

One of the great modern rivalries takes centre stage this weekend, live on talkSPORT 2, giving one of England’s brightest prospects a chance to shine.

Leeds and Derby treated us to some of the most dramatic moments of the domestic campaign last season. Where do we begin?

First, there was Spygate. Then the PowerPoint presentation. ‘Stop Crying Frank Lampard’ came shortly afterwards, before Derby got their revenge with a thrilling play-off semi-final comeback at Elland Road.

And while the hostility between both sides is likely to dominate the build-up to the clash, Derby must look out for the Whites’ rising star: Eddie Nketiah.

The 20-year-old Arsenal loanee hasn’t started a Championship game yet, but he’s already something of a Leeds hero.

Nketiah is already making a difference at Leeds
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Nketiah’s impact from the bench has been immense, earning Marcelo Bielsa’s men crucial points in their early climb to the top of the Championship.

It’s only a matter of time before the England Under-21 international is unleashed from the start, and his first start could come in the highly-anticipated ‘Spygate derby’.

Here, we take a look at his rise to prominence.


Youth career

Nketiah was scouted by Chelsea at the age of nine while playing in a Sunday League match in south-east London.

However, after seven years in the club’s academy, Nketiah was released by the Blues and quickly snapped up by Arsenal.

It wasn’t long before the striker began to showcase his talent, netting 15 goals in 16 appearances for the Under-18s during the 2016/17 season, while also scoring 12 goals in 26 games for the Under-23s.

Arsene Wenger decided to call Nketiah up to the senior squad, where he made several cameos in cup competitions during the 2017/18 season, including a match-saving display against Norwich in the League Cup.

His first Premier League goal came on the final day of last season against Burnley, and he scored four pre-season goals for Arsenal before the current campaign began.

Gunners boss Unai Emery was keen to keep him at the Emirates, but Nketiah decided to join Leeds on loan to better his chances of starting for Arsenal in the future.

Nketiah has already starred for the Gunners first team
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International career

Nketiah continues to work his way through the various layers of England’s youth system.

The 20-year-old has scored at every level, from Under-18s upwards, and looks set to emerge as the first-choice striker for the Under-21s to fill the void left by Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Much is expected of Nketiah on the international stage.

Nketaih scored for the Young Lions during the international break
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What Marcelo Bielsa says about him

“Eddie has different characteristics, and in a match like that he is a good option.

“Some players are involved (in play) a lot before creating chances. Nketiah is more involved at the end of the action, but he has good characteristics to combine with his team-mates to give us these options.

“He is a striker who can score goals. For me, he is a complete player.”

Bielsa is easing Nketiah into action to raise his fitness levels
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Style of play

Nketiah has often been compared to another Gunners man from south-east London: Ian Wright. Last month, he described the Arsenal legend as his ‘mentor’.

There are certainly similarities in their playing styles, with Nketiah’s main attribute his blistering pace and incredible finishing ability.

While a natural centre-forward, Nketiah’s spectacular speed also allows him to operate effectively on the wing if necessary.

“I’m a striker, I’m brave,” Nketiah has said previously. “I like to put myself in the places where the chances are going to fall.”


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Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah is ‘a complete player’, says Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa

15 Sep

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has hailed Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah as ‘a complete player’.

The 20-year-old striker has scored four goals in six appearances since joining Leeds on loan last month.

Eddie Nketiah has made a blistering start to his Leeds career
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And his latest strike came in the Whites’ 2-0 win at Yorkshire rivals Barnsley on Sunday.

While comparing Nketiah to Patrick Bamford, who appeared unhappy after being replaced in the 70th minute, Bielsa said: “Eddie has different characteristics, and in a match like that he is a good option.

“Some players are involved (in play) a lot before creating chances. Nketiah is more involved at the end of the action but he has good characteristics to combine with his team-mates to give us these options.

Patrick Bamford was unhappy after being substituted for Eddie Nketiah in the 70th minute at Barnsley
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“He is a striker who can score goals. For me, he is a complete player.”

Nketiah is yet to start a Championship game with Bamford leading the line for Leeds.

Bamford has netted four league goals so far this season, but was denied three times by Barnsley goalkeeper Brad Collins.

Bielsa added: “He puts in a lot of effort to be in a good condition to score, and he had a lot of chances in this game.

“I tried to explain to him that he deserved a goal. He is a great centre-forward.”

Eddie Nketiah reveals Unai Emery wanted him to stay at Arsenal before Leeds loan

8 Sep

Eddie Nketiah has revealed Arsenal boss Unai Emery wanted to keep him at the club for the 2019/20 campaign.

The 20-year-old has scored three goals in his first five games for Leeds since completing a season-long loan on transfer deadline day.

Eddie Nketiah will be hoping to score the goals to help fire Leeds to promotion this season
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And despite having Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette at his disposal, Emery was keen to keep Nketiah at the Emirates.

The 20-year-old, who scored twice in England Under-21s’ 3-2 win over Turkey on Friday, said: “The manager wanted me to stay so it’s really confidence-boosting for me that he had me in his plans.

“But I felt like it was a good step for me to come to Leeds.

“I hope it’s a good year that can leave me in good stead going back to Arsenal to fight for a place.

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa is a big fan of Eddie Nketiah
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“There were a lot of options, there were options for me to go to Germany but me, my family and the club decided Leeds was the best place.”

Nketiah has hailed the impact Arsenal legend Ian Wright is having on his career.

Wright scored 185 goals during a seven-year spell with the Gunners in the 1990s.

Nketiah added: “He’s been brilliant. He’s a bit of a mentor. He messages me, asks me how I am, how I’m finding things up in Leeds.

“He’s given me advice and I always try to learn from him because he’s had a great career. I’m really grateful.

“It’s a dream come true to have one of your heroes speaking to you. He’s such a nice guy and a modest guy for the career he’s had.”

De Gea to leave Manchester United for nothing, Chelsea to open transfer talks in January, Nketiah explains Leeds move

8 Sep

talkSPORT.com rounds up all the latest transfer news and football gossip from Sunday’s papers and online…

David de Gea is set to snub Manchester United’s contract offer and leave Old Trafford for free when his current deal expires at the end of this season. (The Sun)

The Spain goalkeeper will be free to talk to clubs in January and Juventus are preparing to start negotiations in the new year. (Express)

Football agents have been told to prepare themselves for approaches from Chelsea in January – despite the Blues’ two-window transfer ban. (Mirror)

Eddie Nketiah has revealed Unai Emery wanted him to stay at Arsenal this season, but the striker joined Leeds on loan to boost his future first-team chances at the Emirates. (Mail)

Some Barcelona players offered to contribute their own money to help the club re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer. (Marca)

Former West Ham striker Javier Hernandez would’ve stayed at West Ham for the remainder of his contract if Sevilla hadn’t made a last-ditch approach. (Football London)

Virgil van Dijk celebrates with the Champions League trophy
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Virgil van Dijk has agreed a bumper new contract with Liverpool which will see him tied down to the club until 2025. – FULL STORY

Manchester United are close to appointing former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar as their new director of football. The Dutchman currently occupies the same role at Ajax. (Mirror)

De Gea to leave Manchester United for nothing, Chelsea to open transfer talks in January, Nketiah explains Leeds move

8 Sep

talkSPORT.com rounds up all the latest transfer news and football gossip from Sunday’s papers and online…

David de Gea is set to snub Manchester United’s contract offer and leave Old Trafford for free when his current deal expires at the end of this season. (The Sun)

The Spain goalkeeper will be free to talk to clubs in January and Juventus are preparing to start negotiations in the new year. (Express)

Football agents have been told to prepare themselves for approaches from Chelsea in January – despite the Blues’ two-window transfer ban. (Mirror)

Eddie Nketiah has revealed Unai Emery wanted him to stay at Arsenal this season, but the striker joined Leeds on loan to boost his future first-team chances at the Emirates. (Mail)

Some Barcelona players offered to contribute their own money to help the club re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer. (Marca)

Former West Ham striker Javier Hernandez would’ve stayed at West Ham for the remainder of his contract if Sevilla hadn’t made a last-ditch approach. (Football London)

Virgil van Dijk celebrates with the Champions League trophy
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Virgil van Dijk has agreed a bumper new contract with Liverpool which will see him tied down to the club until 2025. – FULL STORY

Manchester United are close to appointing former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar as their new director of football. The Dutchman currently occupies the same role at Ajax. (Mirror)

England Under-21s beat Turkey in Euro 2021 qualifying campaign opener thanks to heroics from Arsenal duo Nketiah and Nelson

6 Sep

Arsenal duo Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson helped England’s Under-21 side get their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign off to a winning start after beating Turkey 3-2 in Izmit.

Following their premature exit in the group stages of the European Championships in the summer, Aidy Boothroyd had a new look side going into the game.

Arsenal man Nelson scored the winning goal in the second-half

Just six members of the squad for this month’s qualifiers have previously played for the Young Lions – Nketiah one of them.

The striker put England ahead and, although Turkey turned the game around, Nketiah and Reiss Nelson struck in quick succession to secure the win.

In the build up to the match Boothroyd was bullish about the job he has done bringing players through and said he was relishing the next two years with a new squad, and there were signs why that would be the case.

England started well and went ahead after just four minutes following a good move involving Steven Sessegnon and Phil Foden down the left side of the penalty area.

Nketiah scored England’s fist two goals

Foden’s low cross was missed by two Turkish defenders allowing Nketiah, who is spending the season on loan at Leeds United, to stab the ball home from seven yards out.

Nelson had an even clearer opportunity to score in the first half but the teams went into the interval level after Dogukan Sinik raced clear and scored after 25 minutes.

England made a sluggish start to the second half and they paid the price six minutes after the restart. A well-worked corner saw Mert Muldur get away from his marker and his free run to the near post saw him flick the ball past Aaron Ramsdale.

Now behind, Boothroyd’s side were struggling defensively and getting turned around in midfield too easily as Turkey sensed they might be able to put the game beyond England.

However, two goals in as many minutes turned the match on its head.

Foden was the architect again, darting goalwards before threading a lovely pass to Nketiah just inside the penalty area and the Arsenal forward, on loan at Leeds, provided a tidy finish.

Immediately afterwards, Nelson netted what proved to be the winning goal with a low shot that may have taken a deflection off a Turkish defender.

The hosts had a goal ruled out for offside as they searched for an equaliser but England held on for the victory to justify Boothroyd’s pre-match optimism.

Premier League 2019/20: Ten wonderkids set for a breakthrough season, featuring Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal stars

7 Aug

Another Premier League season is on the verge of kicking off once again as Manchester City bid for a third straight title.

The Citizens pipped Liverpool to the crown in 2018/19 season while Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff were relegated.

Who will get their hands on the trophy at the end of the season?
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The 28th edition of the Premier League will produce all sorts of drama for all 20 teams.

But which Premier League youngsters should fans keep an eye on in the 2019/20 campaign?

talkSPORT.com has identified ten wonderkids who are set for a breakthrough season.

Marcus Greenwood

The boy wonder at Old Trafford has a phenomenal goalscoring record in youth football and many feel it’s time for him to make the step up.

The 17-year-old netted 26 goals in 30 appearances last season across various youth and senior competitions for Manchester United and, following a fine pre-season with goals against Leeds United and Juventus, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted he could start the league opener against Chelsea.

Solskjaer said: “He [Greenwood] has a chance to start against Chelsea. I won’t say it is not a possibility. It is a good possibility if he keeps going as he does.”

Greenwood has made the most of his chances this summer
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Mason Mount

Another man who has made his case for a starting place in that opening fixture at Old Trafford is Chelsea starlet Mount.

The attacking midfielder conveniently spent last season on loan at Derby, where new Blues boss Frank Lampard was in charge.

His impressive performances earned him an England call-up and he played a pivotal role during Derby’s run to the Play-Off final.

The 20-year-old has scored three goals in pre-season, but he faces stiff competition for the No.10 spot, with fellow Englishman Ross Barkley also impressing ahead of the new campaign.

Mount worked under Lampard at Derby last season
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Eddie Nketiah

There was thought to be a limit to Arsenal’s budget in the transfer market this summer and it allowed their young players to try and make an impact in pre-season.

One player who has given a good account of himself is forward Nketiah, who has even chipped in with a couple of goals in pre-season, including a winner against Bayern Munich.

However, the 20-year-old will have to work his socks off in order to get into the starting XI when the competitive football starts as strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are well-established at the club, and now Nicolas Pepe has arrived at the Emirates.

Nketiah could build on his nine appearances last season
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Oliver Skipp

He made a handful of appearances in Tottenham’s first-team last season and this term is the perfect opportunity for him to kick on.

Midfielder Skipp has had a decent pre-season for Spurs, having featured in their matches against Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

There may be opportunities for the 18-year-old next season particularly in the Carabao and FA Cup.

Skipp will want to build on his eight Premier League appearances made last season
Getty - Contributor

Dean Henderson

The goalkeeper is a Manchester United player, however, he will be playing for newly-promoted Sheffield United after signing a season-long loan deal.

Henderson, 22, excelled last season on loan at Bramall Lane as the Blades finished second in the Championship and he’s viewed highly by Red Devils boss Solskjaer.

Solskjaer said: “We have great faith in Dean’s ability, he has huge potential and his spirit and passion will stand him in good stead this year.”

Given Sheffield United will be up against it in some matches this season, Henderson will have opportunities to showcase his talents.

Dean Henderson impressed for Sheffield United in the 2018/19 season
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Morgan Gibbs-White

It was almost a stretch to put Gibbs-White in this list as you could argue he had a breakthrough season last term.

He made 26 appearances in the Premier League for Wolves in 2018/19 but just five were starts, so perhaps there’s an opportunity for him to increase his role and improve his chances of developing into one of the top midfielders in the division.

Gibbs-White was part of the England squad who won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and there are high hopes for him.

Wolves are in the Europa League too so there is further opportunity for him to add to his CV.

Gibbs-White may play in a more attacking midfield role next season
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Phil Foden

You know you’re pretty good when Pep Guardiola says you’re the most talented player he’s ever coached.

Foden made 18 league appearances for Manchester City last season and even scored a crucial winner against Tottenham on route to helping them win the title.

The 19-year-old should look to build on that form this season and become a player central to City’s success.

And with club legend David Silva set to leave at the end of the campaign, Foden seems the natural man to fill his boots.

There are high hopes for Foden at the Etihad Stadium
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Tammy Abraham

The striker has been at Chelsea since he was a boy and is still only 21 but this is his big opportunity to shine at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have been on a transfer ban and only Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi are higher than Abraham in the pecking order right now.

Abraham, who performed well on loan at Aston Villa in the Championship last season, has had good moments during pre-season including a goal during a win against Barcelona.

Tammy Abraham can become a regular for Chelsea this season and force himself into the England squad too
Getty - Contributor

Joe Willock

Another Arsenal youngster who will be looking to make an impact is midfielder Willock, 19.

He has a few appearances in the Europa League under his belt, including an impressive cameo in last season’s final, but the starlet will feel this season is a great opportunity to properly break into the senior squad.

Willock has given manager Unai Emery plenty to think about this summer by impressing in pre-season matches, with some Gooners even likening him to Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta during a victory over Bayern Munich.

Willock has given a good account for himself during pre-season matches
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Rhian Brewster

Liverpool is currently one of the best places to learn your trade as a young footballer and this season could be a big one for Brewster, 19.

It is understood the striker will be given chances to feature in the first-team and is a good back-up in case any of the Reds’ famous trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane become unavailable.

Brewster made a decent start to Liverpool’s pre-season tour, scoring four goals in three matches which suggests he’s ready to showcase his talents.

Brewster won the Under-17 World Cup with England in 2017, along with Foden and Gibbs-White
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Arsenal news: Eddie Nketiah aiming to break into Unai Emery’s first team as he dazzles during pre-season

22 Jul

Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah has revealed his desire to break into Unai Emery’s first-team ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

The striker has shined in pre-season for Arsenal, netting three goals in his last two outings, and Emery hopes the 20-year-old striker can play a major part this upcoming season.

Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah has been a revelation for the Gunners in pre-season
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In January, Augsburg were close to agreeing a deal to sign the forward but Gunners chiefs eventually opted against the move and were instead keen on Nketiah continuing to work with the first-team.

Despite his impressive performances on the tour of the United States, there is a still a possibility he could be loaned out this summer.

Asked about a possible loan move, Nketiah said: “There was talk of that and it was close to happening in January but the club decided that I should stay and I tried to finish the season as strongly as possible.

“We’ll see what happens in the future but I’m just enjoying the tour and in the future decisions will be made.

Nketiah, who has one Premier League goal to his name in eight appearances, is determined to breakthrough to the first-team in the upcoming campaign.

“I need to keep pushing, keep working and as for the season I want to be playing regularly,” he continued.

Emery wants Nketiah to prove he is good enough to become a regular fixture around his first-team
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“After the pre-season tour, it’s something that I’ll look at with my family and speak to the manager and see what’s best for me.

“I feel like I have a great relationship with the fans. It’s nice that they notice that and sing my name. That’s a dream come true. Even out here the fans are screaming my name.

“They travel all around the world to see us play and support us. I always try to give them something back and I’m so grateful that they have taken to me like that as one of the boys from the academy and I hope it can continue.”

Fantasy Premier League prices: Cheapest players revealed – bargains for your squad?

27 Jun

Fantasy Premier League 2019/20 is here and, my word, we’re excited.

FPL Managers around the world are already priming their squad for the new season which is just over a month away.

It’s easy picking out the men likely to get you the most points as they’re usually the stars who are the most expensive.

But you may also need the odd cheap player in your ranks so you can keep to the £100million budget and, depending on your tactic, you might need three.

So who are the cheapest players in every position this season? Find out below.

 

Goalkeepers

David Button (Brighton) – £4m

Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton) – £4m

Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United) – £4m

Michael McGovern (Norwich) – £4m

Will Norris (Wolves) – £4m

Defenders

Sergio Rico (Bournemouth) – £4m

Jack Simpson (Bournemouth) – £4m

Ben Gibson (Burnley) – £4m

Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace) – £4m

Grant Hanley (Norwich City) – £4m

Canaries captain Grant Hanley lifts the championship trophy after their Sky Bet Championship title win
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Richard Stearman (Sheffield United) – £4m

John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – £4m

Marc Navarro (Watford) – £4m

Sebastian Prodl (Watford) – £4m

Winston Reid (West Ham United) – £4m

Winston Reid has had bad luck with injuries in recent seasons
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Ben Johnson (West Ham United) – £4m

Max Kilman (Wolves) – £4m

Midfielders

Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) – £4.5m

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) – £4.5m

Guendouzi has impressed at Arsenal
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Bikir Bjarnason (Aston Villa) – £4.5m

Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) – £4.5m

Henri Lansbury (Aston Villa) – £4.5m

Beram Kayal (Brighton) – £4.5m

Dale Stephens (Brighton) – £4.5m

Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea) – £4.5m

Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea) – £4.5m

Ampadu is a star in the making and will either go out on loan this season or become a first-team regular
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James McCarthy (Everton) – £4.5m

Morgan Schneiderlin (Everton) – £4.5m

Matty James (Leicester City) – £4.5m

Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) – £4.5m

Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City) – £4.5m

Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) – £4.5m

Rafa Camacho (Liverpool) – £4.5m

Tahith Chong (Manchester United) – £4.5m

Chong alongside team-mate Marcus Rashford.
Getty Ima

James Garner (Manchester United) – £4.5m

Isaac Hayden (Newcastle) – £4.5m

Todd Cantwell (Norwich) – £4.5m

Mortiz Leitner (Norwich) – £4.5m

Alexander Tettey (Norwich) – £4.5m

Tyreke Johnson (Southampton) – £4.5m

Callum Slattery (Southampton) – £4.5m

Oriol Romeu (Southampton) – £4.5m

Luke Amos (Tottenham Hotspur) – £4.5m

Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur) – £4.5m

Oliver Skipp ended up being in 21 matchday squads for Spurs last season
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Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford) – £4.5m

Domingos Quina (Watford) – £4.5m

Carlos Sanchez (Watford) – £4.5m

Grady Diangana (West Ham United) – £4.5m

Pedro Obiang (West Ham United) – £4.5m

Leandro Dendoncker (Wolves) – £4.5m

Dendoncker has done well with Wolves since joining from Anderlecht
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Forwards

Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) – £4.5m

Sam Surridge (Bournemouth) – £4.5m

Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) – £4.5m

Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) – £4.5m

Greenwood started in United’s match against Cardiff on the final day of the season
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Sam Gallagher (Southampton) – £4.5m

Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur) – £4.5m

Xande Silva (West Ham United) – £4.5m

Arsenal defender Cohen Bramall takes parting shot at Unai Emery and warns Gunners more players are going to leave

19 Jun

Arsenal defender Cohen Bramall has taken a parting shot at Gunners boss Unai Emery.

The 23-year-old, who failed to make a senior appearance during his two-and-a-half years in north London, will leave the Emirates when his contract expires on June 30.

Cohen Bramall joined Arsenal in a £40,000 deal from non-league club Hednesford Town in 2017
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He has warned Arsenal chiefs that more youngsters could follow him out of the door in search of regular first-team football.

Arsenal academy graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson were loaned to the Bundesliga, while exciting prospect Eddie Nketiah made just nine appearances under Emery last season.

When asked if he believes other fringe players could leave, Bramell told Goal: “Yes, 100 per cent.

“If they don’t get the chance to show how good they are they will go abroad.

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“There are a lot of clubs in the Bundesliga who want English talent and they will jump ship and go and try it over there.”

Nketiah, whose playing time has been severely restricted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, is attracting loan interest from Championship clubs.

And Bramell insists Emery should have given the young striker more first-team chances last season.

He added: “I feel sorry for Ed because Danny [Welbeck] was injured for a lot of the season and Ed should have been given more chances.

“But with the media and the fans, there is a lot of pressure on youngsters because as soon as they don’t have the best game, people are on to them.

“It’s hard to take in. But with Ed, the boss should have given him more chances.

“The first-team were in a difficult position last year, though, obviously trying to get into the Champions League and the fact it was Unai’s first season made it hard for youngsters to get in.”