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EXODUS AT THE EMIRATES

Plenty of transfer talk coming out of Arsenal today and Match of the Day 2 pundit Martin Keown believes his former club are in "crisis" and is baffled by some of the decisions made behind the scenes as Arsene Wenger's side were humiliated 4-0 by Liverpool.

After a dissapointing start to the season and the weekend 4:0 trashing at Anfield, the arsenal dressing room seems to be in shambles as fans are showing huge discontent with the manager, Arsene Wenger. And players are showing disenchantment with turnouts while some contract rebels are clicking the icon for exodus from the Emirates.

The confusing situation regarding Jonny Evans' potential exit from West Brom is no nearer being clarified.

Inter Milan have made no progress in their efforts to sign Eliaquim Mangala or Shkodran Mustafi, so no-one can be entirely sure which clubs can move on the deal and which clubs can't.

Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester want Evans. Arsenal need to release Mustafi. West Brom want Mangala. Will either of those players end up at the San Siro?

Kieran Gibbs is expected to complete his £7m transfer from Arsenal to West Brom today, ending the defender's 13 year association with the London club.

An Arsenal Fan was of the opinion that he was really excited about selling Oxlade-Chamberlain for £40 million. He also stated that, ''For someone that can't cross a ball or shoot. Wow! what a deal.''

Arsenal have rejected a £50m bid from Premier League rivals Manchester City for forward Alexis Sanchez.

The 28-year-old, who scored 24 league goals last season, is out of contract next summer and wants to play for City manager Pep Guardiola.

Arsenal have rebuffed all approaches for Sanchez, and would like City's Raheem Sterling as part of any deal before Thursday's transfer deadline.

But Guardiola is understood to want the Chilean as a straight purchase.

Is it worth Arsenal keeping Alexis Sanchez - and Mesut Ozil - for the year and letting them go for free next summer? With the money in football now that is not as silly an idea as it used to be.

Manchester City do not regard the Alexis Sanchez situation as over because their £50m bid has been turned down.

Now dialogue is established between City and Arsenal, City can try to establish what Arsenal want in terms of fee and, potentially, player exchange, with every option being treated on its merits.

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ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE: PRIOR TO WEEK FOUR

Every fan can have a glance, as we prepare for the anxiety packed with the commence of activities after the International break.

You can check your club position and keep telling yourself ,like a Gunner, ''This is OUR season Bro''.
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STOKE CITY VS MANCHESTER UNITED: TEAM ANALYSIS

Kevin Wimmer could make his Potters debut after completing a £18million move from Tottenham in August.

Darren Fletcher will be hoping to start against his former club, but is a doubt with a knee injury. The same goes for Mame Biram Diouf, who also has a knee problem.

Summer signing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is expected to miss the game with a hamstring injury.

Jose Mourinho has no fresh injury concerns, with Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and returnee Zlatan Ibrahimovic all out.

Line-ups

Stoke City starting XI: Butland; Zouma, Shawcross, Wimmer; Diouf, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters; Shaqiri, Jese; Berahino

Man Utd starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial; Lukaku.
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IS KYLIAN HAZARD A WRONG SIGNING BY CHELSEA?

Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins has criticised the club for the ‘pointless’ signing of Kylian Hazard.

The younger brother of Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard arrived at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday having completed his move from Hungarian side Ujpest.

Hazard, 22, will go straight into Chelsea’s development squad ahead of their next match on September 9 following the international break.

Chelsea have sold or loaned out a number of young English academy graduates this summer and Wilkins feels this latest addition could further hinder the development of home-grown talent.

‘Chelsea have some wonderfully gifted players,’ he told talkSPORT. ‘They are bringing in this young Hazard lad.

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PAULINHO AND COUTINHO HEROICS LEAVE BARCELONA IN WONDERLAND

The pair might just be lining up together at Camp Nou after all, and they are a duo who can provide the goals from midfield Barca so sorely need.

On a night where Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Edinson Cavani all drew a blank, there was a goal for one of South America's more unfamiliar scoring presences. Paulinho kept up his impeccable record in front of the net for Tite's Brazil and alongside Philippe Coutinho drew smiles from more than one Barcelona fan in the process.

Paulinho stood out, rather unfairly, as one of the more-maligned transfers of the window that slammed shut everywhere but in Spain on Thursday. Unfairly because the roving midfielder has proved himself a fierce, proficient competitor throughout his career.

Brazil, too, know that they can count on the 29-year-old when they need inspiration and the likes of Neymar and Gabriel Jesus cannot provide it. Thursday's strike to open the scoring in a 2-0 victory over Ecuador was his fifth of this World Cup qualifying campaign, putting him level with Paolo Guerrero and James Rodriguez in the scoring charts and, incredibly, just one behind Neymar himself.

If the midfielder's impact was pure industry and timing, Coutinho added a touch of class to end the game as a contest. Bursting in from midfield, the Liverpool playmaker arrived perfectly to latch on to Gabriel Jesus' header after the striker had tormented his marker with a beautiful flick. Coutinho barely blinked as he fired past Banguera, rich reward for an accomplished turn pulling the strings from the middle.

Industry and art: Paulinho and Coutinho represent two aspects of the game from which Barcelona would surely benefit. One is already on board, while the Catalans are gearing up for a final offensive on Friday to twist Liverpool's arm and force the sale they so dearly desire. In the Brazil pair, they will have a base in midfield that has been sorely lacking in recent years.
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WHO IS THE BEST MANAGER COMING IN TO THE 2017/18 PREMIER LEAGUE CAMPAIGN?

With the 20 Premier League managers now set for the ongoing 2017-18 season things are slotting into place ahead of the International break after the third week of season kick off for most clubs next week.

The expectations for each boss are now being ignited up accordingly too.

Below is a look at the expectation levels of some PL managers, with a rating out of 10 and a brief description of what is expected to be achieved by each of their teams.

PEP GUARDIOLA (Man City) – 10/10 – After a third-place finish and a poor showing in the Champions League, Pep has to get off to a flying start. Challenging for the title and reaching the final four of the UCL is a must. Total defensive overhaul is already in place with huge budget, while adding new full backs was a positive intent. Make no mistake about it, Pep will be under pressure if City don’t break the jinx this term.

JOSE MOURINHO (Man United) – 10/10 – Expected to win the PL and at least reach the last four of the UCL. No joke. Always the most under-pressure boss, but delivered a EFL Cup and Europa League last season. Those trophies bought him plenty of extra time, but United’s fans are an expectant bunch of Oliver Twist and if they emulate last term trend of drawing games, then Mourinho could be in trouble midway through the season.

JURGEN KLOPP (Liverpool) – 9/10 – Following an up and down second half of last season, the jury is still out on Klopp for many when it comes to putting out a balanced team. We all know his teams can score goals and attack, especially with the acquisition of Muhammed Salah and Alex Oxlade-chamberlain, but balancing UCL and PL action will be a huge test. Klopp needs to get tactical, not to be caught flat footed this term. Expectations are always very high at Anfield and they should be with players of a higher aspiration courted this summer.

ANTONIO CONTE (Chelsea) – 9/10 – So, you would think Conte will be way down this list. Not so much. The Italian masterminded an incredible turnaround last season as the Blues won the PL 12 months after finishing 10th. With UCL action now back on the table (Chelsea’s fans expect them to conquer Europe) Conte has huge expectations to handle. But with the acquisition of German Rudiger, French Bakayoko, Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater and ''Goal Drunk'' Alvaro Morata, Antonio has defined his plan with such big spending.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO (Tottenham Hotspur) – 8/10 – Perhaps a little high, especially with a potentially unsettling move to Wembley, but Spurs fans and the soccer world have come to expect plenty from Poch. The Argentine boss have a talented young group to work with but finishing in the top four should be their priority. Going past the group stage in the UCL will be the main aim this season.

ARSENE WENGER (Arsenal) – 8/10 – Arsenal fans will still be expecting plenty from Wenger after he signed a new two-year deal following plenty of uncertainty. The Frenchman will have to handle the rigors of the Europa League, but is likely to play a young squad in that competition and prioritize the PL. With a horrific start to the season, Arsenal Fans are already getting impatient with the French tactician. Nothing other than a push for the PL title will satisfy Arsenal fans, plus the future of Ozil and Sanchez will go a long way to determining expectations on Wenger.

RONALD KOEMAN (Everton) – 8/10 – The Dutch legend has raised expectation levels at Goodison after guiding them back to the Europa League and flirting with the top four at times last season. With the purchase of Wayne Rooney, in his second season in charge, Toffees fans will be dreaming of a top four finish and a good cup run. No pressure, Ronald.

SLAVEN BILIC (West Ham United) – 7/10 – The Hammers need to get off to a very good start if Bilic wants to keep his job, long-term, with contract negotiations on hold. The Croatian saw his second season in charge of West Ham go horribly as they battled back to a respectable PL finish after crashing out of the Europa League in the qualifying rounds. Losing Payet and having multiple injuries didn’t help, but many of Bilic’s buys didn’t work out. But the recruitment of Arnatovic, Chicharito, Zabaleta and Joe Hart this summer will increase the Fans expectation for better outcome. Top 10 finish for Bilic.

MARK HUGHES (Stoke City) – 7/10 – With Stoke finishing outside the top 10 last season, Hughes knows his forwards must start scoring or he will be in trouble of losing his job. The Potters are a stable club but were in real danger of being dragged into a relegation battle last season. Like Bilic, a strong start is needed for Hughes to keep everyone happy.
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DRINKWATER OFFICIALLY A BLUE

Danny Drinkwater is officially a Chelsea player after today completing a transfer from Leicester City and signing a five-year-contract.

The 27-year-old midfielder becomes our sixth senior signing of the summer following the arrivals of Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Alvaro Morata and also tonight, Davide Zappacosta.

Drinkwater said: ‘I’m delighted to be a Chelsea player and can’t wait to get started. It has been a long journey to get here but I am very happy and am looking forward to helping the club win more trophies.’

Technical director Michael Emenalo added: ‘Danny is not only a Premier League winner but also has Champions League experience which will be invaluable for us this season. He is a typically combative English midfielder with a cultured passing technique and his arrival significantly strengthens our midfield option.

A tenacious midfielder who can impact the game at either end of the pitch, Drinkwater is reunited with N'Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge. The pair forged a profitable partnership in Leicester's incredible title-winning campaign of 2015/16.

A product of Manchester United's academy, he enjoyed successful loan spells with Huddersfield, Cardiff, Watford and Barnsley before joining then-Championship side Leicester in 2012.

Drinkwater was a key figure and named in the PFA Championship Team of the Season in 2013/14 as the Foxes returned to the top flight, and remained an important player as they retained that status with a stunning late run in 2014/15.

However, it was in the next campaign that he really made his name, under the guidance of former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri. He appeared 35 times in a league season nobody could have predicted, with one of two goals coming from long range against Chelsea in a 1-1 draw on the final day of the campaign. He also made his England debut that March, and has three caps to date.

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CHELSEA ANNOUNCE ZAPPACOSTA


Chelsea Football Club has today completed the signing of Davide Zappacosta from Torino.

The 25-year-old can play at wing-back or full-back and has been capped by Italy. He has signed a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Zappacosta said: ‘It is a dream for me to join Chelsea and play in the Premier League. I am very excited to be here and start working with the team. I hope I can show my quality to the coach, my team-mates and the supporters.’

Technical director Michael Emenalo added: ‘Davide is a player of international calibre who Antonio Conte knows well and we have been aware of for some time. We are very pleased to be able to bring him to the club and believe he will become an important member of the squad.’

Zappacosta possesses a combination of defensive and attacking qualities and is a fine crosser of the ball from a wide-right position. His energy and stamina enable him to get forward for 90 minutes and recover quickly when defending. He is quick and composed in one-on-one situations and times his tackles well.





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A SUMMARY OF EPL SUMMER TRANSFERS 2017

A rundown of expenditures and receipts for each English Premier League club for the 2017 season.
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'STOP TALKING AND START SUPPORTING': MESUT OZIL MESSAGE EX-PLAYERS

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has defended his performances for the club and urged critical former players to "stop talking and start supporting".

Ozil, 28, and his team-mates have received criticism after poor performances so far this season.

The Gunners lost 4-0 against Liverpool in their last Premier League game.

"Personally I've had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London," Ozil said, writing on his Facebook page.

The German international, who joined Arsenal four years ago from Real Madrid, said he felt he could be proud of winning three FA Cups in that time.

"Too expensive, too greedy, bad body language, and lacking fight - this is what people have said about me," he said.

"Some of these comments are made by those who do not know me, some are made by former players - both successful and unsuccessful during their time here at the club. Although criticism is something that all football players have to deal with, I nevertheless expected legends to behave like legends - my advice to these former Gunners is stop talking and start supporting."

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