Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Partey to RETURN for Liverpool clash, Franck Kessie battle, Pepe & Elneny may LEAVE

ARSENAL return to Premier League action against Liverpool as they look to continue their winning streak.

A number of Gunners youngsters starred over the international break and impressed, with Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka netting for England.

And Arsenal are eyeing a move for Ajax wonderkid Noussair Mazraoui, who could be available at a bargain price in January.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Pepe could be on his way out of the exit door in January with Newcastle, Everton and Crystal Palace linked with £72m winger.

Plus Arsenal have joined rivals Tottenham and Manchester United in the race to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, reports say.

Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

  • Etienne Fermie

    MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are in contention to play as Arsenal 'test' their revival at Liverpool in this evening's tea-time game.

    Midfielder Partey returned to full training after a groin strain and Aubameyang hopes to be fit after a knock on international duty for Gabon.

    With the Gunners unbeaten in ten matches, boss Mikel Arteta believes they should target more than qualifying for the Champions League.

    He said: "This club is about being the best, not even about being fourth. 

    "That history has to be there all the time, giving us the drive and mentality to achieve the biggest targets.

    The Spaniard added: “Going to Anfield is always a test, but if you are able to do that, there are not many grounds as good as there to feel that you are a proper footballer.

    "You have to be at your best, and raise the level to your maximum standards, emotionally, physically, tactically, because if you don’t you will be exposed."

     Arsenal's cruise up to fifth – while neighbours Spurs drifted down to ninth – is no shock to in-form Nuno Tavares.

    The Portuguese left-back said: “I don’t know why people are so surprised. People need to understand we are Arsenal.”

    And Tavares claims a solid rearguard is a huge reason for the turnaround.

    He claimed: "The whole team likes to defend.

    “We are being aggressive with every ball and we don’t like conceding goals. That’s the key to defending well.”

    Finally, Arteta, has refused to discuss the futures of frontman Alexandre Lacazette and midfield anchorman Mohamed Elneny.

    The Gunners are likely to offer Lacazette a short-term deal at best next summer, while Elneny is tipped to join Galatasaray in January.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA: AIM HIGHER THAN FOURTH

    Mikel Arteta challenged Arsenal to aim higher than just a top-four spot as they look to end their Liverpool nightmare on Saturday.

    The Gunners boss believes there is a new spirit of optimism sweeping through the club as a result of his mass Emirates clear-out.

    Arteta was still playing when Arsenal last won a league game at Anfield in September 2012.

    Since then they have managed just two points from eight games and conceded 28 times.

    But now they go to Merseyside defending a ten-match unbeaten run and cautiously optimistic about challenging for Champions League qualification again.

    Arteta said: “For me it is positive when people speak about getting into the top four. It means there is excitement and that people want to push us.

    “But this club is about being the best, not even about being fourth. That history has to be there all the time, giving us the drive and mentality to achieve the biggest targets.

    “If you don’t have that mentality, you cannot play for this club. The level of expectation always has to be the highest.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    GUNNERS WILL BE SOU SURPRISED BY LIVERPOOL

    Graeme Souness reckons Arsenal will be at the receiving end of a thumping by Liverpool this weekend.

    The reds were edged 3-2 by West Ham last week and Souness thinks Jurgen Klopp’s side will be baying for blood when they take on the Gunners.

    The Gunners are unbeaten in ten matches but Souness doesn’t think they’ve taken on any top teams like the Reds in that period.

    He told Sky Sports: “I think Liverpool will be the angry team having lost last time out where they were not at their normal standards.

    “So I’m expecting a full throttle Liverpool against an Arsenal team who will be turning up with a bit of confidence and I’d be cautious with that.

    “But given the teams they (Arsenal) have been playing of late, they’re not exactly top of the table teams: an average Leicester this year, a draw with Brighton, beating Watford, Norwich and beating a very poor Spurs team.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    THE NU NORMAL

    Arsenal's cruise up the Premier League to fifth is no shock to Nuno Tavares.

    The Portuguese left-back, 21, has impressed as Kieran Tierney's stand-in – giving boss Mikel Arteta a happy headache now the international break is over.

    And Tavares said of the Gunners' revival: "I don't know why people are so surprised.

    "People need to understand we are Arsenal."

  • Ian Tuckey

    SURPRISE FACT?

    Arsenal's revival after a dire start to the season has taken them clear of Liverpool… over the calendar year so far.

    Jurgen Klopp's men suffered badly last term when hit by a terrible run of injuries, especially in defence.

    But they still finished 2020-21 in third, eight points clear of the Gunners.

    This season Liverpool are two points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.

    But the Gunners have earned 61 points to date in 2021, compared to 58 for the Reds.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA THANKS GERRARD FOR GERS GLORY

    Arsenal manager and Rangers fan Mikel Arteta has thanked Steven Gerrard for the job he did while manager of the Ibrox side.

    Arteta made 50 appearances for Rangers in a two-year spell as a player, and the club remain close to his heart.

    The 39-year-old congratulated new Aston Villa boss Gerrard on ending Celtic's nine consecutive league title.

    Arteta thanks Steven Gerrard for winning league with Rangers and welcomes him to Premier League

    He also wished Gers new boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst well at the club after being named as Gerrard's successor.

    In his press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Liverpool, Arteta said: "Well it obviously was a surprise.

    "First of all as a Rangers fan I must say thank you so much to Stevie [Gerrard] and the coaching staff for what they did for the club because they turned the club around in such a difficult moment and to manage to win the league in the way they did it was a big boost."

  • Ian Tuckey

    WILSHERE IS A TOP-31 HIT

    TalkSPORT pranked ex-Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere with a hilarious ruse to trick him into wearing 31 football shirts.

    As part of Football Shirt Friday talkSPORT presenters Andy Goldstein and Darren Bent challenged Wilshere to try and break a supposed Guinness World Record.

    Jack Wilshere gets pranked into wearing 31 football shirts for ‘world record’ but nearly blow it over Spurs kit

    Wilshere, 29, wore an array of team shirts, including a Lionel Messi Barcelona jersey and a Gunners' top.

    The former England star then hit 30, needing one more to break the 'record'.

    And when Goldstein presented him with a Tottenham shirt, it is fair to say Wilshere was not pleased.

    He immediately backed away from the strip and flat out refused to put it on, even though he would have completed his challenge.

    Instead Goldstein gave him a Wolves top and a puffed up looking Wilshere was happy to complete the record

    Goldstein even asked Wilshere how he felt about becoming a history-maker before revealing the bad news.

    Wilshere's face said it all when he found out and he knocked over a bottle of water before shaking his head in disbelief.

    He then said: "Are you mugging me off?"

    For one last laugh Wilshere was then given a huge England shirt – the former midfielder put it on and it was so big his arms did not even reach the ends.

    Goldstein at this point was in fits of laughter and he cried out: "Jack you look like a wizard!"

  • Ian Tuckey

    'ANFIELD IS PROPER TEST'

    Mikel Arteta is aware that his Arsenal side face a huge test when they take on Liverpool in their ‘fascinating’ Anfield stadium.

    The Gunners are unbeaten in ten games but Arteta knows his troops will have to be at their best to keep that run going against the Reds.

    He said: “It is always a test, it is a fascinating stadium to play football in.

    "You have to be at your best, and raise the level to your maximum standards, emotionally, physically, tactically, because if you don’t you will be exposed.

    “Going to Anfield is always a test, but if you are able to do that, there are not many grounds as good as there to feel that you are a proper footballer.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    NUN SHALL PASS

    Nuno Tavares has put Arsenal’s success this season down to the fact that they like to defend.

    The Gunners have gone 10 matches without losing and Tavares revealed the key ingredient is not conceding goals.

    The left-back said: “The whole team likes to defend.

    “We are being aggressive with every ball and we don’t like conceding goals. That’s the key to defending well.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    GUNNER TEST OUT LIVERPOOL

    Arsenal's young England heroes will be leading the charge to lift their Anfield curse tomorrow evening.

    Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka were both on the scoresheet as the Three Lions demolished San Marino 10-0 in the recent World Cup qualifier.

    They are both set to start as the Gunners hunt a first Premier League win at Anfield in nine years.

    Boss Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the youngsters after their star turns for the national side – Smith Rowe in particular shining on his first senior call-up.

    But he will be sweating on the fitness of skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and midfield engine Thomas Partey following the international break.

    Aubameyang returned home early from Gabon duty, although he is understood to have been back in training on Thursday.

    Partey was unable to play any part for Ghana and is being assessed by Arsenal medics before Saturday’s evening kick-off.

    If both are passed fit to play then Arteta is likely to keep a similar line-up to the one that defeated Watford last time out.

  • Ian Tuckey

    PARTEY FITNESS BOOST

    Arsenal have been handed a major fitness boost with Thomas Partey available to face Liverpool.

    The midfielder had been struggling with a groin issue ahead of this weekend’s crunch clash.

    But Mikel Arteta will be able to call upon Partey after he returned to full training this week.

  • Justin Lawrence

    SWITCH IT UP

    Martin Keown reckons Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to switch up his squad or face the sack.

    The Arsenal legend thinks if United were winning games, benched stars such as Juan Mata and Donny van de Beek would understand Solskjaer’s position.

    But as that’s not the case, Keown believes the fringe players at United should be given a chance, or Solskjaer risks alienating his stars.

    Keown told talkSPORT: “When they’re winning games, I think it’s easier to look at the likes of [Alex] Telles, and [Donny] van de Beek, and [Juan] Mata, and [Phil] Jones, and to say, ‘Okay, we’re not picking you because we’re winning games.’

    “But now that dressing room must be interested in what’s happening on the inside because there will be a lot of anger, nobody is getting any joy out of this.

    “The 11 he picks isn’t winning and the squad, as well, are not getting any reward.

    “There now has to be some changes to the personnel. Or, ultimately, they change the manager.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    MAGICAL MO

    Mo Salah and Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Saturday.

    And bookmakers Parimatch are offering new customers boosted odds of 30/1 on the Egyptian superstar scoring anytime during the Premier League showdown.

    What's the offer?

    Parimatch are offering brand new customers odds of 30/1 that Mohamed Salah will score anytime during Liverpool vs Arsenal on Saturday.

    How to claim?

    New to Parimatch? If so, you're eligible for this promotion.

    Simply follow this link HERE*, deposit and Opt In to this promotion via the Offers tab.

    Once that's done, place a maximum £1 bet on Mohamed Salah – Anytime Goalscorer vs Arsenal at the regular price displayed on the website.

    What happens next?

    If you're successful, your winning bet will be paid at the normal price.

    You'll then have the extra amount credited in Free Bets, shortly after settlement, bringing your total returns up to the enhanced price of 30/1.

  • Justin Lawrence

    YOUNG GUNS 

    Arsenal's young England heroes will be leading the charge to lift their Anfield curse on Saturday.

    Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka were both on the scoresheet as the Three Lions demolished San Marino 10-0 in the recent World Cup qualifier.

    They are both set to start as the Gunners hunt a first Premier League win at Anfield in nine years.

    Boss Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the youngsters after their star turns for the national side – Smith Rowe in particular shining on his first senior call-up.

    But he will be sweating on the fitness of skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and midfield engine Thomas Partey following the international break.

    Aubameyang returned home early from Gabon duty, although he is understood to have been back in training on Thursday.

    Partey was unable to play any part for Ghana and is being assessed by Arsenal medics before Saturday’s evening kick-off.

    If both are passed fit to play then Arteta is likely to keep a similar line-up to the one that defeated Watford last time out.

  • Justin Lawrence

    ROCK SOLID

    Nuno Tavares has put Arsenal's success this season down to the fact that they like to defend.

    The Gunners have gone 10 matches without losing and Tavares revealed the key ingredient is not conceding goals.

    The left-back said: “The whole team likes to defend.

    “We are being aggressive with every ball and we don’t like conceding goals. That’s the key to defending well.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    'FASCINTATING'

    Mikel Arteta is aware that his Arsenal side face a huge test when they take on Liverpool in their 'fascinating' Anfield stadium.

    The Gunners are unbeaten in ten games but Arteta knows his troops will have to be at their best to keep that run going against the Reds.

    He said: "It is always a test, it is a fascinating stadium to play football in. You have to be at your best, and raise the level to your maximum standards, emotionally, physically, tactically, because if you don’t you will be exposed.

    “Going to Anfield is always a test, but if you are able to do that, there are not many grounds as good as there to feel that you are a proper footballer."

  • Justin Lawrence

    GER-EAT JOB

    Mikel Arteta admits it was a surprise to see Steven Gerrard leave Rangers but thanked him for turning the Scottish club around.

    Gerrard left Rangers to manage Prem side Aston Villa earlier this month and Arsenal boss who's a fan of the Scottish side was full of praise for the ex-Liverpool midfielder.

    He said: Well it obviously was a surprise. First of all as a Rangers fan I must say thank you so much to Stevie [Gerrard] and the coaching staff for what they did for the club because they turned the club around in such a difficult moment and to manage to win the league in the way they did it was a big boost.

    "Football is like that, people want to move, people have other expectations and now I just wish the best to Giovanni and the club and see what happens."

  • Justin Lawrence

    EXTRA TIME 

    Jamie Carragher believes fan-favourite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is lucky to be in charge at Manchester United.

    That’s because his connection to the club’s supporters has bought him more time at Old Trafford.

    Carragher reckons the under-fire boss would have been sacked long ago if he weren't in charge of a team where he's seen as a legend.

    And the former Liverpool skipper says Mikel Arteta is performing under far greater pressure at Arsenal, despite being an ex-Gunner himself.

    He said: "Arteta is constantly being judged solely on the quality of his work.

    “(That’s) opposed to Solskjaer who – and I mean this with the greatest respect – has been given more time than others would have been given results and performances because he is loved so much by the supporters.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    ARTETA PRIDE

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has praised Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka for their recent England performances.

    Smith Rowe made his England debut a few weeks ago and has even notched a goal for the Three Lions, which made Arteta beam with pride.

    Arteta said: “First of all I was surprised because it happened just after our game, but I was extremely happy for him. I know the expectation he had, a lot of talk around it, and he really enjoyed it.

    "I saw him yesterday and he was delighted to score a goal for his country.

    “It is always special and he made us proud – not only him, but Bukayo and Aaron starting for the national team, I think it is a great sign for the club.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    NOT NOW

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has refused to speak on the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Mohamed Elneny.

    Both players have been linked with a move away from the Emirates in the New Year, but Arteta declined to speak about their contracts ahead of Arsenal's weekend clash against Liverpool.

    When asked about Lacazette, he said: “There is so much stuff. I’m really happy with Laca. We’re not going to be talking about that until the end of the season."

    And when pressed about Elneny, he added: "Again I cannot go into that. I’m really happy with Mo. I will not be discussing the individual fates of the players as it’s not the time to do so.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    RED RAGE

    Graeme Souness reckons Arsenal will be at the receiving end of a thumping by Liverpool this weekend.

    The reds were edged 3-2 by West Ham last week and Souness thinks Jurgen Klopp's side will be baying for blood when they take on the Gunners.

    The Gunners are unbeaten in ten matches but Souness doesn't think they've taken on any top teams like the Reds in that period.

    He told Sky Sports: “I think Liverpool will be the angry team having lost last time out where they were not at their normal standards.

    “So I’m expecting a full throttle Liverpool against an Arsenal team who will be turning up with a bit of confidence and I’d be cautious with that.

    “But given the teams they (Arsenal) have been playing of late, they’re not exactly top of the table teams: an average Leicester this year, a draw with Brighton, beating Watford, Norwich and beating a very poor Spurs team."

  • Justin Lawrence

    ALL SQUARE

    Arsenal legend Paul Merson thinks the Gunners and Liverpool will share the spoils this weekend in their Prem clash.

    The Reds lost to West Ham last week and need a win to get their Prem title pursuit back on track, while Arsenal have been unbeaten in ten games.

    Merson said: “This is most definitely the game of the Premier League weekend and a big one for both teams. 

    Liverpool are trying to win the league and have to bounce back from their defeat against West Ham.

    “Arsenal, on the other hand, are flying a little bit and are on a run, but they won’t want to be billed as flat-track bullies.

    “They need to get a result here against one of the best teams in the country and even if they don’t, there are ways to lose a football match."

  • Justin Lawrence

    NO FAITH

    Paul Merson reckons Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s days are numbered as Manchester United boss even if they beat Watford this weekend.

    The Arsenal icon thinks United will win the Prem clash against the Hornets but doesn’t believe it will be enough to save the Norwegian’s job.

    He said: “This is a perfect game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get his side back to winning ways, so you have to go for a Manchester United win here.

    “It’s a nice, winnable fixture for them, but it has to be said that it just prolongs the inevitable.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    CAM ON

    Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell reckons Folarin Balogun will benefit from a loan move away from the Gunners.

    The Gunners star has been linked with a short term loan switch to Middlesbrough and Campbell thinks it's just what the youngster needs to improve his game/

    He said: “Balogun needs game time. He needs to be playing and learning his trade playing first team football. In all honesty, Under-23 and Under-21 football is not really men’s football. He needs to be playing against men.

    “He needs to get roughed up a bit and understand what he can and can’t do. Only experienced players will test his talent.

    “I think Middlesbrough would be a great move for him.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    AUB-SOME

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed that club captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has a special personality.

    He also let it be known that the Gabon national brings the dressing room together with his unique qualities despite his quiet nature.

    Arteta said: “He is a leader that has a very special personality. He’s very active and very emotional.

    “That’s what makes happiness and that’s what makes joy. He’s not the most vocal player in the dressing room, that’s for sure.

    “But he does have other attributes.”

    Source: Read Full Article