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Transfer: Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea scramble for players as pre-season begins


On Wednesday evening, Manchester United saw off Leeds United 2-0 in a pre-season friendly.

Red Devils boss, Erik ten Hag was able to hand Mason Mount his debut following a £60million move from Chelsea.

United have not been able to get some of their first-choice targets in the summer market, as reports claim they are short of funds, amid the contracted sale of the club by the Glazer family.

Ten Hag must be very disappointed with how the off season has gone.

In his first season in England, the former Ajax boss won the Carabao Cup, finished third in the Premier League and lost the FA Cup final narrowly to Manchester City.

Ten Hag would have been looking to add quality to his squad to take them to another level next season.

But from setting his sights on Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen, the Dutchman is now scrambling around for Atalanta’s Ramus Hojlund.

24 hours after the United match, Arsenal played out a drab 1-1 draw with Nurnberg in Germany.

It was their first official pre-season friendly ahead of the 2023/2024 campaign. But before then, Mikel Arteta’s men were also held to a 1-1 draw by Watford in a behind-closed doors game.

Gunners would have been itching to see Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber take to the pitch against Nurnberg. None of them wore the red and white, with Timber only officially announced on Friday evening.

However, Kai Havertz came on in the second half, in what was a subdued cameo.

Arteta hopes to have Rice and Timber on the plane to America for the second leg of their pre-season preparations.

Like the Spaniard promised, the Gunners have moved quickly in the summer transfer window, committing around £200million on Havertz, Timber and Rice.

Iniobong Monday, an Arsenal fan and a podcaster with The Hindsight Podcast, has been impressed by how swiftly the club has moved.

“It’s been successful, overwhelming if you ask me. Declan Rice is one of the best in his position within that age range,” Monday tells DAILY POST.

“Also, Jurrien Timber with his ability to play in an inverted role either as a right back or centre back, he can play in different positions and excel in them.

“Kai Havertz, I am not quite sure he’s the archetypal Arsenal signing. I’m not quite sure how he fits into what Arsenal did last season in terms of intensity and high-octane football. But you never know. Sometimes a manager signs a player and you don’t really know what he wants to do with him.”

Chelsea are yet to determine what their squad would look like next season.

However, names like N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mateo Kovacic, Eduoard Mendy and Kai Havertz have all departed Stamford Bridge.

Blues co-owner, Todd Boehly is actively trying to get rid of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech.

But Chelsea have already signed Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal, while Christopher Nkunku has arrived from RB Leipzig. Negotiations are happening in the background for Brighton midfielder, Moises Caicedo.

“So I think Chelsea are in a different situation compared to those other teams. Their approach and outlook was always going to be different.

“It’s certainly been refreshing from a fan point of view how they’ve managed to clear out big names on big wages. From a business perspective as well, it puts them in a healthy place in terms of the wage bill.

“I think other teams have done better in terms of getting real quality in, a fan again will be worried in that regard. Arsenal upon the arrival of Rice and Timber would have done great business bar Havertz in my opinion,” Olakunle Rufai, a podcaster and radio host on Classic FM in Lagos, tells DAILY POST.

For Manchester City, Pep Guardiola would be finding ways to motivate a team that won the Treble last season.

A team that has already lost captain Ilkay Gundogan, who knows how to pull them through tight matches in the business end of a campaign.

There are whispers that Saudi Arabians clubs are hovering around Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.

Although Guardiola will still have the irrepressible Erling Haaland, his partner-in-crime Kevin De Bruyne will miss the start of next season with injury. And there the Belgian looks to be in decline.

City fell out of the race to sign Rice, allowing Arsenal to get the England midfielder, but are in talks to sign Gvardiol from Leipzig.

One wonders what Guardiola’s plan is for his midfield. Or maybe he is waiting for exits, before making his move, as was the case with Gundogan.

Jurgen Klopp has gone about rebuilding his own midfield quietly.

Naby Keita has left Anfield. Captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho could yet leave the Reds.

But World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and Hungarian playmaker, Dominik Szoboszlai have arrived.

Rufai, who is a Chelsea fan, adds: “Liverpool on the face of it have done fantastic business as well, the whole world knew their midfield needed attention and that’s what they’ve done. City are City.

“United seem to be sorting themselves out nicely too, the only problem is if they don’t get a really good striker.

“I think in comparison to these teams, it’s pale at this very moment cos I’d still want the two solid midfielders to arrive and a goalkeeper but looking inward, it’s been a really decent window considering all that has been done generally.”

Transfer: Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea scramble for players as pre-season begins


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