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Arsenal hero Lee Dixon gives brutal verdict on the transfer business Unai Emery must do

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Emery guided Arsenal to a fifth-placed finish and the Europa League final in his maiden season at the Emirates but missed out on Champions League football.

The north Londoners enjoyed a solid start to the first half of the 2018-19 season, going on a 22-game unbeaten run before their form dipped during the festive period.

Gunners fans have called for a mass overhaul of the squad and for Emery to bring in a slew of new faces.

That will prove to be difficult, though, as the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League for the third year running has left them with a modest transfer budget of £40million.

That will prove to be difficult, though, as the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League for the third year running has left them with a modest transfer budget of £40million.

Despite the club’s financial woes, former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon believes it’s imperative Emery’s strengthens all areas of his squad this summer.

“It’s a huge summer for Arsenal,” Dixon told TalkSport. “It was always going to be a big summer regardless of where they finished and whether they got to the Europa League or not.

“I think Emery knew this season was going to end like this, to a point where we either got into the top four and got Champions League football or we didn’t quite. We failed on that front.

“So he’s got to look accordingly and try to convince the board and powers that be to give him enough money to improve the squad.

“It does need improving in all departments, and let’s hope we can keep hold of our best players in order to do that.”

Although he can’t offer Champions League football at the Emirates, Emery is confident he can attract top players to the club.

“Maybe, but I think we are a big team,” the Spaniard said when asked if their Europa League final defeat to Chelsea would effect the club’s dealings in the transfer window. “I think Arsenal is a big name in the world of football. A lot of players want to play here.

“We are in one process and we need, in this process, to be strong in our idea, to be strong in our way. It’s the reason we started this season.

“The idea was to get more competitive like a team, be closer to other teams, and we did that. ‘At the moment, it’s not enough for our target, but the next week and next year that idea will continue in our minds.

“I don’t know our targets for next year, but the club is working to improve and do everything in our way. ‘We have a lot of players who have the possibility to improve and grow up with us. ‘For example, we have given a lot of youngsters their first experience of a final.

“I am positive for our future, creating our way with young players who are getting better in our way.”

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Video – Watch Saka classy pass to Aubameyang for third Arsenal goal

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did what he does best and that was to get on the score sheet in the Europa League game against Eintracht Frankfurt this evening in Germany.

Arsenal ran out impressive 3-0 winners against the Bundesliga side and the Gabon international was a handful all night long and just three minutes before he found the back of the net he missed a sitter from just three yards out.

But that did not dent his confidence one bit as he picked up the ball in the penalty area following a classy pass from Bukayo Saka, who stole the ball off the Frankfurt captain David Abraham. All Auba had to do then was slot the ball past the floundering keeper, which he did in style.

It was a fitting end to a very good night.


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Bukayo Saka stuns Arsenal fans with performance in Eintracht Frankfurt win – ‘Take a bow’

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Arsenal fans were wowed by youngster Bukayo Saka in the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.

The 18-year-old scored a sensational goal, while also providing two assists, during the game, which saw Unai Emery’s side clinch three points to open their European season.

Saka was given the ball by Nicolas Pepe when he was 30 yards from goal. The youngster took a few touches forward, before bending the ball into the far corner of the net.

Arsenal fans were delighted with Saka’s performance in the match, and have dubbed him “the real deal”.

“Who tf is Greenwood. Bukayo Saka is the real deal,” said one Arsenal fan on Twitter.

Another added: “Saka <3 <3 18 years old doing that #Arsenal”

“This boy Saka will be a player. He is still very raw. But every time ive seen him play, I’ve been impressed,” said another Gunners fan.

“REMEMBER HIS NAME. BUKAYO SAKA. what a performance from him tonight 10/10!!!!,” said one Twitter user.

“Saka incredible this game. What a player we have!!!,” added another Arsenal fan.

One tweeted: “Tell you what that Saka is quality.”

The Gunners won 3-0 in Frankfurt, but the hosts had a number of opportunities to score throughout the match.

Joe Willock opened the scoring for Arsenal shortly before the end of the first half, with a neat finish into the top right-hand corner.

The second half was largely very open, with opportunities presenting themselves for both teams.

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez had a superb match, and came to Arsenal’s rescue on a number of occasions.

But, the game-changing moment was when Entiracht’s Dominik Kohr was sent off on 79 minutes.

Arsenal took charge of the match, and Saka doubled the Gunners’ lead, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 3-0.

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Arsenal legend Martin Keown says Bukayo Saka looks ‘better’ player than Nicolas Pepe

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Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka looks a better player than club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, claims former Gunners defender Martin Keown.

Arsenal academy graduate Saka, 18, starred in the Europa League win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

The winger scored the second in the 3-0 win in Germany as Unai Emery’s side got their European campaign underway in perfect fashion.

Saka troubled the Frankfurt defence all evening and was rewarded with five minutes to go.

He curled home a fine effort from outside the 18-yard area to all but seal the win with his first professional goal.

And Keown claimed Saka looked better than Pepe, who has had a quiet start to life in England following his £72million arrival from Lille.

“They toil away, trying to get young players in, and they’ve found one, Saka,” Keown said on BT Sport.

“You think of the way Pepe’s playing at the moment, they paid £72m for him, and this kid looks better than him tonight.

“By the way Willock as well, gets the reward, I talked about it being a breakthrough moment for him.

“Yes they rode their luck, there was 24 chances for Frankfurt tonight, but they kept going.

“When he gets this ball here, the young boy Saka, this, look at this for composure.

“He’s passing that into the goal, it’s a beautiful finish. I think he’s 18 years of age. Unbelievable from him.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves compared Arsenal ace Saka to another England youngster in Jadon Sancho.

“This is what you really want to see from young kids as well, working hard,” Hargreaves said.

“He was clinical today but look at this, pressing the ball, wins it back, puts it on a plate for [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang.

“The German fans are used to seeing English players tearing it up in Germany with Jadon Sancho – we’ve got another one there, 18 years old. Saka, he was outstanding.”

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