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Latest Arsenal Europa League updates – anger, injuries, ticket allocation, security

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The build-up to the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea is being mired in controversy and all because of the utter incompetence of UEFA.

There is the ridiculous ticket allocation, security fears over Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the almost criminal fleecing of the fans to name just a few of the issues that the decision by UEFA to hold the final Baku has caused.

Arsenal football club is not at all happy and has expressed their disappointment with UEFA in a statement released today.

Statement in full

“Everyone at Arsenal is delighted to have reached the Uefa Europa League final and we are all very much looking forward to the match against Chelsea on Wednesday, May 29.

“However, we are bitterly disappointed by the fact that due to transport limitations Uefa can only make a maximum of 6,000 tickets available to Arsenal for a stadium with a capacity of well over 60,000. Time will tell if it is even possible for 6,000 Arsenal fans to attend the match, given how extreme the travel challenges are.

“We have 45,000 season-ticket holders and for so many fans to miss out due to Uefa selecting a final venue with such limited transport provision is quite simply not right. The reality is that whoever reached the final would not be able to meet demand from their supporters.

“We have received many complaints from our fans about this and we fully share their concerns.


“On behalf of our fans, we would like to understand the criteria by which venues are selected for finals, and also how supporter requirements are taken into account as part of this.

“Moving forward we would urge Uefa to ensure that supporter logistics and requirements are a key part of any future decisions for final venues as what has happened this season is unacceptable, and cannot be repeated. We would be happy to join any future discussions to avoid this situation happening again.”

Then there is the absolutely unforgivable situation of Henrikh Mkhitaryan possibly missing the final due to the political situation in Azerbaijan.

It is utter madness that UEFA did not see this coming but of course, money is their driving force and not player security.

In terms of injury updates, it is our opponents that have paid the cost for the stupid decision to play a friendly in the USA just a few days after the domestic season has finished and two weeks before the final, I mean, who does that?

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to miss the final due to an ankle injury suffered against New England last night.

Can you imagine what we would have said to the Arsenal management if they would have made such a boneheaded decision?

Ah well, not our problem.

That is it for updates on the Europa League final but no doubt there will be more news over the next 13 days and we will bring it to you as it comes in.

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Transfer news: Premier League trio in hunt for Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga

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Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham in hunt for 16-year-old Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga after he starred in win over PSG

  • Eduardo Camavinga helped Rennes beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in Ligue 1 clash 
  • The 16-year-old is being chased by a number of top Premier League clubs
  • Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham all had scouts at Roazhon Park

Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham are hot on the trail of Rennes’ teenage wonder-kid Eduardo Camavinga.

The Premier League trio all had scouts at Roazhon Park to watch the 16 year-old midfielder steal the show and inspire Rennes to a shock 2-1 win over French giants Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night.

Tottenham were keen to sign Camavinga during his breakthrough campaign last season when he made his first seven senior appearances before being handed three more starts so far this year.

Eduardo Camavinga starred in Rennes' shock victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday

Eduardo Camavinga starred in Rennes’ shock victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday

But his list of admirers, which also includes Barcelona and Real Madrid, is growing and interest is mounting in the Angola-born left footer after he made Europe sit up and take note with his PSG performance.

Camavinga stunned observers with the maturity of his midfield display, despite his tender years and against the much more experienced opponents such as Marco Verratti and Marquinhos.

Camavinga more than held his own, catching the eye with his range of passing – he completed all but one of his 41 passes – dribbling and close control, bravery on the ball and also by setting up Rennes’ winning goal.

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

EDUARDO CAMAVINGA

Date of birth: 10 November 2002

Place of birth: Miconje, Angola

Position: Midfielder

Youth teams: 

AGL-Drapeu Fougeres

Rennes youth academy

Senior appearances/goals: 

Rennes II – 13/4

Rennes – 10

Did you know?

Camavinga is the first player born after January 1, 2002 to start a game in the top five European leagues

Rennes boss Julien Stephan said: ‘He played a match, indeed, like the whole team – very interesting.

‘We are talking to him. He is someone who is also very well-constructed intellectually, who knows how to question himself, who knows how to ask the right questions.

‘Many of the pros have taken him under their wing, because he is very respectful in the dressing room and very attentive to their advice. He blossomed with us this summer.’ 

Camavinga has primarily been used as a defensive midfielder during his Rennes senior career but his technical and physical attributes have earned him comparisons with Manchester United and France star Paul Pogba.

He is in the process of gaining French nationality, having moved to the country when he was six, and his excited youth coaches believe he has what it takes to one day be even more influential in the national team’s midfield than Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

And in a connection to another of France’s senior stars, Camavinga has the same agent – Moussa Sissoko – as Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele.

Demebele also started his career at Rennes, coming through the ranks before moving to Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and then Barcelona in a deal worth up to £135.5m a year later.



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Arsenal news: Club offer Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang jackpot deals

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Arsenal offer Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang huge pay rises if they can get club back into the Champions League

  • Arsenal plan pay rises for Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • Strike duo to be offered new deal with incentives for Champions League success
  • The Gunners hope qualification would help pay for the substantial bonuses 

Arsenal are offering lucrative Champions League pay rises to Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they aim to persuade their strike duo to sign new deals.

After what was viewed as a successful transfer window for the Gunners, officials are turning their focus on renegotiating the contracts of their existing players.

Talks are underway with Lacazette and Aubameyang over contract extensions. Both are already among the club’s highest earners — with Lacazette earning in the region of £140,000 a week and Aubameyang on close to £200,000 a week.

Alexandre Lacazette (bottom) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be offered new contracts

Alexandre Lacazette (bottom) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be offered new contracts

Nevertheless, the pair will both be given substantial pay rises if they commit their futures to the north London club.

Sportsmail understands Arsenal are also willing to include financial clauses that would trigger another pay hike if they can propel the club back into the Champions League. That would be in addition to one-off bonuses they would receive for qualifying for the competition.

Arsenal’s wage bill is already swollen, meaning the Gunners cannot guarantee Lacazette and Aubameyang parity with top earner Mesut Ozil.

Arsenal want to give the pair new deals with heavy incentives for Champions League football

Arsenal want to give the pair new deals with heavy incentives for Champions League football

Arsenal want to give the pair new deals with heavy incentives for Champions League football

Gunners' current financial situation means duo will not be offered wage parity with Mesut Ozil

Gunners' current financial situation means duo will not be offered wage parity with Mesut Ozil

Gunners’ current financial situation means duo will not be offered wage parity with Mesut Ozil

But the increased revenue from playing Champions League football would help Arsenal finance incentivised wage increases.

Lacazette and Aubameyang have proved themselves to be important figures during the Unai Emery regime — scoring 51 goals between them since the start of last season.

But their futures could, of course, come into question if the club cannot persuade them to sign extensions.

Aubameyang has entered the final two years of his contract, which would leave Arsenal with a big decision to make if he does not sign new terms before next summer. 

Head of football relations Raul Sanllehi is keen to ensure pair do not run down their contracts

Head of football relations Raul Sanllehi is keen to ensure pair do not run down their contracts

Head of football relations Raul Sanllehi is keen to ensure pair do not run down their contracts

Lacazette has just under three seasons to run on his deal — but head of football relations Raul Sanllehi has made it clear he does not want players entering the final two years of their contracts.

Speaking last Friday, manager Emery said: ‘Of course, for us, they are very important players and their contracts need to be in the same balance.’

Lacazette has promised more goals, declaring: ‘The Premier League has not yet seen the best Lacazette. It has seen some very good, but not the best. I can score more goals and be more consistent.’



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Five targets Arsenal must surely have set for themselves this season

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Arsenal are in four competitions this season, they are a top-six club, they are Europa League finalists and they have strengthed their squad significantly so there is no reason why this season will not be a successful one, the foundations are definitely there.

Of course, it would be nice to do what Manchester City did and win almost everything but we have to be realistic, Arsenal needs to set targets and do everything in their power to hit those targets.

It is highly probable that the club has done just that and I believe the following five targets are more than reasonable.

Still be a title contender after the festive period

I believe this is reasonable, I am not suggesting that we will win the title but to be within striking distance of the top is more than attainable. Tottenham was still a title contender after the festive period last season and if they can do it I do not see why Arsenal cannot this campaign.


Finish top-four

A no brainer, it is unthinkable that Arsenal misses out again, too much money has been spent on strengthening the weak areas of the team and there is more than enough quality within the squad to finish top-four this season. There simply cannot be any excuses.

Win a domestic cup

Why not? It would be nice to lift the FA Cup but the Carabao Cup will do just fine. The fans deserve a day out at Wembley and another trophy in the cabinet would be more than welcome.

Win Europa League

The club owes the fans restitution after the humiliation at the hands of Chelsea in Baku and the only way that can happen is if they actually win the trophy and they will be one of the strongest teams in the competition.

Finish above Tottenham

Not the biggest priority simply because if they finish sixth and Arsenal finishes fifth it would be almost meaningless but not completely. We are talking bragging rights and restoring order once and for all and this target will be on every target is a must every campaign. It is simply a given.


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