Tonight is the tough Europa League tie against Napoli.
The two sides faced each other in the Champions League back in 2013/14. Arsenal won the home game 2-0, Napoli the away game by the same scoreline.
Napoli are much improved since then and are comfortably the second best team in Italy behind Juventus.
Keeping a clean sheet will be just as important for Arsenal as scoring a goal tonight. A 0-0 is just a good a result as a 2-1 win with away goals still relevant in the Europa League (although no longer relevant in the Champions League).
Napoli have never beaten an English side away from home in Europe. There record reads P8 W0 D1 L7.
It will be a tough game tonight.
Arsenal target Christopher Nkunku has reportedly turned down a new contract with PSG.
The French youngster’s current deal runs out in 2020, opening the door for Arsenal to secure their man this summer for a reduced fee.
Back in January Arsenal were heavily linked with Nkunku for around £15million. Talk this morning is that it could take up to £30million to bring the versatile midfielder to London. This is vastly exaggerated taking into account his contract situation.
With Aaron Ramsey leaving in the summer, Arsenal are on the look out for someone who can replace his versatility and high energy game.
In January the club took Denis Suarez on loan from Barcelona with an option to buy him for £17.3 million at the end of the season. The Spaniard has struggled to break through at Arsenal and reports are the club have gone cold on moving for him in the summer.
This would leave Nkunku was the number one target to replace Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal – as long as the price is right.
The 21-year-old Frenchman will add something different to Ramsey going forward.
He is not quite as technical as Ramsey, but he is better at driving forward with the ball. He will certainly offer a different option if we are unable to pass our way through a team.
Nkunku’s versatility is also key.
This season he has played central midfield, behind the striker, on the wings and at right back for PSG. Being on the bench, he would offer Emery plenty of different options depending on the game situation.
This is one deal I expect us to get over the line this summer.
Earlier this year “transfer guru” Sven Mislintat left Arsenal after just 14 months as Head of Recruitment.
Speculation was rife as to the reason for his departure.
Some said it was due to a falling out between himself and Raul Sanllehi, others said he felt marginalised due to Unai Emery’s growing influence. Some pointed to disagreements between himself and his scouts, whilst others talked about his frustration about transfer targets being over looked. Ultimately it was the most logical reason that was true.
Mislintat applied for Arsenal’s Technical Director role and was quickly rejected. Mislintat was unhappy, felt he was ready to step up to a more senior role, and resigned.
It happens all over the country in all industries.
An employee applies for an internal vacancy which will be a promotion, gets rejected, so looks for similar roles elsewhere.
The reason for the rejection was Mislintat lacked experience as a Technical Director – he had spent his entire career involved in scouting. It would have been a risk for a club the size of Arsenal to appoint someone who had no experience in such a big role.
Arsenal wanted someone who had done the job before, hence the approach for Spanish technical director Monchi.
Again you see this up and down the country in all industries.
Big companies often poach CEO’s, Managing Director’s or other high ranking staff from other companies rather than promote from within, unless the person within is only making a small promotion step.
Due to lack of experience, when Mislintat went out to the market, he probably found himself rejected by a lot of big clubs. The likes of Manchester United – also looking for a footballing director – were not interested. So he had to lower the standard of club he was targeting.
This had led him to take up the role of Sporting Director at VfB Stuggart.
Like many, due to lack of experience, Mislintat has had to take a role at a smaller club. A bit like someone taking a bigger role at a smaller company. The idea being that he then gains the experience at a smaller club, and then when a similar role at someone like Bayern Munich comes up, he will have the experience on his CV.
Stuttgart are currently in the Bundesliga relegation zone, which highlights just how low Mislintat has had to look to get the position he wants.