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    Arsenal’s worst XI of the 21st Century includes Francis Jeffers, Gervinho and one of Arteta’s current squad

    ARSENAL are a great club and poor players do not tend to play for it. It is more a case of players not quite being at the level we as fans expect, hope for, or indeed have been used to.
    The ex-Chelsea winger is one of many Brazilians in the team
    Willian is the only member of Mikel Arteta’s current squad to make the Worst XI this CenturyCredit: Getty
    With regards to my rules when determining Arsenal’s worst XI of the 21st Century – a player must have played a minimum of 10 Premier League matches to qualify for consideration.
    This rules out failed signings that never truly played enough for us to judge.
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    Secondly, the formation of the 11 will be 4-2-3-1, simply because it has been the predominant set up this century.
    Arsenal fan Dave Seager tells us below as he picks his very own team of north London flops:
    GK: Vito Mannone
    Since Jens Lehmann, Arsenal have not covered themselves in glory in this position with no goalkeeper truly getting close to the German Invincible or Seaman’s consistency.
    Of the average bunch I think Vito Mannone was the most disappointing, and the level of his career post 15 matches in seven years at the club probably bears this out.
    RB: Nelson Vivas
    Many might shout Emmanuel Eboue, wrongly, or even Stephan Lichtsteiner after one awful season but I am opting for Nelson Vivas.
    I do so because in 2000 and 2001 as a full and regular Argentina international he was unable to edge out a 37-year-old Lee Dixon. Something a central midfielder Lauren was able to do when Vivas left.
    Nelson Vivas was unable to edge out a 37-year-old Lee Dixon during his stint at ArsenalCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

    LB: Andre Santos
    In all honesty, this position has been a strong one for Arsenal for as long as I can remember with one notable exception.
    When the roll call for the century is Silvinho, Cole, Clichy, Gibbs, Monreal and now Tierney, only Andre Santos can be given this dubious honour. Enough said!
    CB: Igor Stepanovs and Sebastian Squillaci
    There have been many that have not quite been able to follow the likes of Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure – and many have tried.
    Of all the candidates, Philippe Senderos, Johan Djourou, William Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen, Pascal Cygan might stick their hands up but Igor Stepanovs and Sebastian Squillaci are easily the worst for me. 121 international caps between them too!
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    RDM: Gio van Bronckhorst
    This is one of the most difficult areas for me because truth be told we have had so much quality over the past 21 years that whoever I pick it will be a harsh one.
    The easier of the two is Gio van Bronckhorst simply because for such a talented player he never managed to do what he was signed to do, which was to replace Emmanuel Petit as Patrick Vieira’s partner.
    His career at Arsenal was marred by injury but when fit he was often utilised as a left-back and failed to rival Ray Parlour for the position he was signed for.
    LDM: Denilson
    Alongside Gio, whilst it pains me to do it, I will have to opt for Denilson.
    It may seem harsh given the young Brazilian played over 150 games for Arsenal, but he never really made the shirt his own and his demise post leaving speaks volumes.
    Arsenal fans failed to see the best of Gervinho during his two years at the EmiratesCredit: Arsenal FC – Getty
    LW: Gervinho
    Again a position graced by Marc Overmars, Robert Pires, Antonio Reyes, Samir Nasri, Andrei Arshavin, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and even Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang since the turn of the century, this position has been pivotal for Arsenal.
    Sadly, the gap and the blip came post-Nasri when Arsene Wenger invested in the wrong player from Lille. Gervinho shone in France with Eden Hazard and starred again in Italy. He singularly failed to shine or star in North London.
    RW: Willian
    After all the initial excitement, followed by seven seasons and seven loans Joel Campbell should have walked into my team but of course, that was before Willian.
    I have no idea what became of the Brazilian that played for Chelsea but no one has stunk quite like our £200k a week flop.
    CAM: Julio Baptista
    The second striker role I have given to Julio Baptista. After banging in goals for fun at Sevilla, Real Madrid beat Wenger and Arsenal to the Brazilian’s signature in 2005.
    Despite scoring 11 for the Spanish giants, he was allowed to leave on loan for the 2006/7 season and I along with most of the Arsenal faithful was super excited.
    I needn’t have been because he was a shadow of the player we all hoped for, managing only three goals in 23 league appearances. A massive disappointment.
    Francis Jeffers failed to make the grade at Arsenal after his early promise at EvertonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    ST: Francis Jeffers
    There have been many strikers who have not quite made the grade at Arsenal in the 21st Century and there is even talk of a curse on the Number 9 shirt.

    Marouane Chamakh gets bad press but actually began like a train before falling under the huge shadow of an imperious RVP and Lucas Perez failed to breakthrough.
    However, for the sheer fall from grace and failure to deliver on early promise at Everton, my striker can only be Francis Jeffers. 
    He has the chance to partner the greatest striker the league had seen between 2001 and 2004 but failed to force himself past either Nwankwo Kanu or Sylvain Wiltord for the honour.

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    Atletico Madrid set to return for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette as they plot transfer for £15m Frenchman

    ATLETICO MADRID are reportedly set to renew their interest in Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette.ESPN claim Diego Simeone wants more competition to his attack after relying heavily on veteran Luis Suarez to win the LaLiga title last season.
    Atletico Madrid are set to renew their interest in signing Arsenal star Alexandre LacazetteCredit: Getty
    Suarez, 34, scored 21 goals for the Rojiblancos as they tasted domestic glory for the first time in seven years but he cannot continue to shoulder the goalscoring burden alone.
    The ex-Barcelona hitman hit the net more than Joao Felix and Angel Correa combined while Moussa Dembele failed to open his account during his loan.
    Atleti are now said to see Lacazette as a solution to their striking conundrum, with Simeone a long-term admirer of the Frenchman.
    The LaLiga giants were heavily linked with a move for the Arsenal forward last summer and had even tried to sign him when he was at Lyon in 2017.
    SunSport revealed Lacazette is now available after the Gunners made the decision not to offer their No9. a new contract.
    The French international, 30, is now in the final year of his £175,000-a-week Emirates deal and will become a free agent next summer.
    But the club have decided against extending the striker’s stay after previously being panicked into handing huge pay rises to Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
    Now they are trying to find a buyer willing to pay a fee in the region of £15million as well as Lacazette’s substantial salary.
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    And they will only follow up their interest in Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham if Lacazette leaves this summer.
    But if there are no offers, manager Mikel Arteta will happily keep the player at the club for the new season as back-up to captain Aubameyang.
    Arsenal are looking to step up their transfer activity next week by finalising a £50m deal for Brighton centre-half Ben White.

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    Ben White to Arsenal will be done ‘next week’ with personal terms agreed and paperwork already signed on £50m transfer

    BEN WHITE will complete his £50million move to Arsenal from Brighton next week, according to reports.Personal terms are agreed and the paperwork is said to be signed already with a medical the only thing left to sort before an official announcement is made.
    Ben White’s £50million transfer to Arsenal will be completed next weekCredit: PA
    That is according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
    The Gunners have chased the Brighton and England defender for much of the summer and had a £50m bid accepted earlier this month.
    White, 23, agreed personal terms but the move was delayed by his late call-up into Gareth Southgate’s final England squad for Euro 2020.
    An official announcement has been further delayed by White’s post-tournament holiday, with the defender enjoying a break in Mykonos, Greece.
    He was recently spotted on board a yacht with England team-mate Kalvin Phillips – with the pair surrounded by glamorous companions – but he is now back in the UK.
    His medical will take place next week with an official announcement following soon after.
    White impressed for Brighton last term making the most Prem appearances for the Seagulls – playing 36 top-flight games – alongside Yves Bissouma.
    Mikel Arteta is set to continue his summer spending spree with Arsenal rumoured to be bringing in four new additions.
    Football London report the Gunners are looking to recruit more players following the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga. 
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    White is one of England’s most exciting centre-defenders
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    The ex-Anderlecht midfielder, 21, who is highly rated by his former boss Vincent Kompany, sealed a switch to North London.
    Lokonga’s move for an undisclosed fee believed to be near £17.2million follows Arsenal’s signing of Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares.
    Chelsea were also reported to be interested in White but they did not attempt to hijack Arsenal’s move.
    ⚽ Read our Arsenal live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from The Emirates
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    Arsenal ‘consider third transfer bid worth £25m’ for Sheff Utd keeper Aaron Ramsdale

    ARSENAL are reportedly considering a third bid for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.Sky Sports claim the Gunners are set to table an £18million deal that would include add-ons to take the offer up to £25m.
    Arsenal are set to table a third bid for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron RamsdaleCredit: Getty
    Arsenal were previously linked with West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone but are now believed to have made Ramsdale their top target.
    The Blades have reportedly rejected two previous offers from the Premier League club for the England Euro 2020 squad member.
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    Emirates boss Mikel Arteta has a major goalkeeper issue this summer with No1 Leno linked with returning to Germany.
    Brighton’s Mat Ryan spent the second half of last season on loan in North London but sealed a move to LaLiga side Real Sociedad this summer.
    And even if Leno does stay, the Spaniard is expecting Ramsdale to compete to be first-choice.
    The star, although still awaiting his first cap, was England’s third-choice goalkeeper for Euro 2020 after Dean Henderson withdrew through injury.
    Ramsdale had suffered a tough season with Sheff Utd following their relegation from the Premier League.
    He returned to his old club last summer in a £20m move from Bournemouth – again as a replacement for Red Devils stopper Henderson.
    Yet Arsenal were recently slammed by Jamie O’Hara for their pursuit of Ramsdale.

    Discussing Arsenal’s transfer business on talkSPORT, O’Hara said: “This literally sums Arsenal up doesn’t it. It sums them up business wise.
    “They got rid of Martinez, who’s a brilliant keeper for what, £20million or something? Let him go, a snip, was one of the best keepers last season.
    “And now they’re gonna go and sign someone from a relegated team for £30million, what are they doing?
    “Who is doing their business there? Seriously. What are they doing? They are a mess.”
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    Arsenal to get cash boost when former academy player Donyell Malen completes £25m transfer from PSV to Dortmund

    ARSENAL will land a cash boost when former academy talent Donyell Malen completes his move from PSV Eindhoven to Borussia Dortmund.The Gunners are set to receive £250,000 when the £25million move goes through.
    Donyell Malen’s move will earn some cash for former club ArsenalCredit: Rex
    Malen left Arsenal in 2017 to join PSV and the Gunners stand to receive £250,000 due to a one per cent solidarity payment clause in his contract.
    The Dutch star, who started off his career at Ajax, failed to shine for Arsenal and was offloaded for £500,000 to PSV.
    Malen failed to break through into the Gunners’ first team despite featuring regularly at youth level.
    But the attacker’s form for PSV even led to him being linked with a £50m move back to Arsenal.
    Liverpool were rumoured to be interested in Malen after his impressive form for Holland during the group stage at Euro 2020.
    But Dortmund are on the verge of completing a deal for the highly-rated 22-year-old.
    Malen enjoyed an excellent season for PSV, scoring 27 goals in all competitions and providing 10 assists in 45 appearances.
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    His prolific form included 19 league goals in 32 games for the Dutch club.
    Arsenal are hoping to press ahead with a move this summer for out of favour Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.
    And Mikel Arteta’s side are also keen on signing Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
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    Arsenal want to offload Alexandre Lacazette in £15m transfer and push ahead with move for Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham

    ARSENAL will not be offering a new contract to Alex Lacazette and are inviting bids for their former record signing.French international Lacazette, 30, is now in the final year of his £175,000-a-week Emirates deal and will become a free agent next summer.
    Alexandre Lacazette could be heading for the exit doorCredit: Rex
    Arsenal have lined up a move for Tammy AbrahamCredit: Getty
    But the club have decided against extending the striker’s stay after previously being panicked into handing huge pay rises to Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
    Now they are trying to find a buyer willing to pay a fee in the region of £15million as well as Lacazette’s substantial salary.
    And they will only follow up their interest in Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham if Lacazette leaves this summer.
    But if there are no offers then manager Mikel Arteta will happily keep the player at the club for the new season as back-up to captain Aubameyang.
    Arsenal paid £52m to sign Lacazette from Lyon in 2017 and he has been a steady if unspectacular source of goals during his four seasons in North London.
    But like Sead Kolasinac, Rhys Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, whose Arsenal contracts also expire in 2022, he is now surplus to requirements.
    Arsenal have already completed the signings of £17m Albert Sambi Lokonga and £7m Nuno Tavares this summer and will finalise a £50m deal for Brighton centre-half Ben White next week.
    They are continuing to negotiate with Sheffield United for goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale but have West Brom’s Sam Johnstone as a fall-back option if the relegated Blades refuse to lower their asking price.
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    Yet Arteta does not expect current number one Bernd Leno to leave this season despite the uncertainty surrounding the German international.
    Leno is waiting to see which keeper is signed and how that will affect his position before making any decisions regarding his future.
    But Arsenal want him to remain at the Emirates to battle it out with the new arrival with the promise of a move next summer if he is no longer first choice.
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