Jorginho on Arteta & Havertz : Tierney’s future : Brazilian Gabis

Morning all.

A few quick Saturday bits for you. Let’s start with Jorginho (again), who spoke to ESPN about Mikel Arteta’s future, and said:

“I feel that he could stay way longer. I feel he feels good here and I honestly don’t see him going. It is really important for the club for him to stay because him with Edu and the board, the whole club, they created something special.

“I don’t believe he wants to go as well.”

It feels inconceivable to me that with a year left on his current deal, discussions about an extension haven’t taken place yet. The end of an intense title race is not the time to do or say anything about it, because even though it’s not really any kind of distraction, it would be framed as such if things don’t go exactly the right way. Which is more a reflection on the ever-decreasing standards in football discourse than anything else, but you also can’t ignore the reality of that.

Whatever happens, I think Arteta will extend. The club can’t be in any doubt about what he has done since he took the job, and hopefully that’s all done without too much fuss after the end of the season.

Jorginho also talked about Kai Havertz and the criticism he faced when he first joined. The German himself spoke about it a couple of weeks ago, saying while he understood it and fully accepted opinions about him as a footballer, it wasn’t nice to see very personal stuff on social media. His former Chelsea teammate said:

He is a human being. You hear those things, you feel them and it is up to you how you take them. You can take them and let them get you down or you take the criticism and use it as a motivation. I think he used them as a motivation to prove them wrong and he did and I am really glad.

I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. He’s now an integral part of a team that is heading into the penultimate weekend of the season still fighting for the title, and he’s played a big part in that. I was worried about the signing at first, but he has really grown on me, and as Philippe Auclair said in the Arsecast on Thursday, he’s a player who has a little bit of devil to him, which I like too. He looks kinda innocent, but there’s some edge which I think is really useful – along with the goals and assists, of course.

Next up, Kieran Tierney who says he could leave Arsenal this summer, but also not leave Arsenal this summer. His loan spell at Real Sociedad has been reportedly quite good when he’s played, but he’s had three spells out of the team due to injury (hamstring, and hip), which is the main issue with him unfortunately.

He says:

Look at the squad depth in that position now. They have Zinchenko, Timber, Tomiyasu, Kiwior. Four players can play there. So if I go back and it’s the same as before then I’m not silly, I know the chances are I’ll be leaving.

As I’ve said here often, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a left-back was on the shopping list this summer, which would put him even further down the pecking order. Of course it’s not impossible that he stays, but if he does, it would be very much as a squad player, not a first team regular, and at this point in his career, that’s not the role he wants, I’m sure. The big question is: who will be prepared to take a chance with his injury record, and at what price do they see that as a risk worth taking?

Finally for this morning, Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli have been called up to represent Brazil in the Copa America this summer, but Gabriel Jesus has not. The latter spoke before about how his ongoing knee problem might require some more attention this summer, and this will surely spark added speculation over that. The ideal scenario is he gets it fixed, has a proper pre-season with us, and comes back next season much more like the exciting player we saw when he first signed.

If he does, we’re a stronger team/squad, so let’s hope that’s what we see. Also, it’s quite funny to see that even in the absence of Jesus, ‘Brazil’s number 1 striker’ Richarlison didn’t make the squad. Let’s hope he takes it out on the Premier League in the days ahead with a handful of angry goals. That’ll teach ’em!

Right, that’s your lot. If you’re ready to think about tomorrow’s game, we get into it in our Patreon Preview podcast, and obviously we’ll look ahead to it in more detail here in tomorrow’s blog.

For now, the sun is shining, I’m going to make the most of that, and keep fingers crossed I receive some positive texts about Fulham as the afternoon goes on.

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