Here are the Arsenal evening headlines for Monday February 22, 2021.
Arsenal’s €1m loss
By handing Pablo Mari a surprise start in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City yesterday afternoon, manager Mikel Arteta’s decision has cost Arsenal in the region of €1m.
This is in relation to the 27-year-old joining the Gunners on a permanent deal last summer after initially arriving on loan in Arteta’s first transfer window as manager/head coach.
football.londonspoke to someone close to Mari who confirmed that “there are some performance bonuses” included in the transfer fee.
Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte reported in January that Arsenal have to pay Flamengo a bonus of €1m (£865,000) every time Mari makes 10 Premier League appearances, up to a maximum of 80 outings.
The centre-back was expected to reach this milestone against Crystal Palace last month, but suffered a calf injury that kept him out of action until Sunday afternoon.
In the second half against City, there was a moment where Arteta was left to rue the absence of Thomas Partey.
It came when Mohamed Elneny found himself on the ball with the opportunity to release Kieran Tierney down Arsenal’s left as they looked for a way back in the game.
“Now Mo, now!” screamed Arteta.
Elneny looked up and saw the space. To play the ball though required a quick switch on his weaker left foot, and the Egyptian quickly lost his nerve.
The midfielder’s actions drew the ire of his boss who slapped his thighs in frustration before letting on an exasperated yell of “Come on Mo!”
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Arsenal tipped for £8.5m transfer
Arsenal have received positive feedback from former players Gervinho and Emmanuel Eboue in regards to a potential move for Club Brugge defender Odilon Kossounou.
According to the Mirror, the Ivory Coast international is considered a top target for the Gunners when the summer transfer window opens.
The 20-year-old starred in the Champions League group stages earlier in the season and has helped the Belgian side go 12 points clear at the top of their domestic league.
But is a transfer on the cards for Kossounou?
Well, the aforementioned report states that he would cost around £8.5million with performance-related add-ons and that Inter Milan, as well as clubs in Spain, are also interested.
And the Gunners might hold the advantage with both Eboue and Gervinho said to have spoken highly about the club when asked by Kossounou.