Arsenal 5-0 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as Gunners cruise to much-needed win

Declan Rice (DM) – 7/10 – Certainly wasn’t Rice’s cleanest performance with the ball, but he was once again stellar defensively. Won a flurry of second balls to sustain pressure. Withdrawn with a reported hamstring issue.

Martin Odegaard (CM) – 7/10 – Odegaard was heavily involved, especially in the second half. Had a less dictatorial role, but was nonetheless metronomic in and around the box.

Kai Havertz (CM) – 5/10 – The break didn’t bring about a noticeable improvement in Havertz’s game. The German once again won a few headers and duels, but bright moments in possession were infrequent.

Arsenal have no intention of selling Emile Smith Rowe this month, according to the Daily Mail.

Aston Villa, West Ham and Newcastle are all thought to be interested in acquiring the three-cap England international, who signed a five-year contract with the Gunners in 2021.

The Londoner, 23, has struggled with injuries at his boyhood club, making only 27 appearances in all competitions across the last two seasons.

Groin and knee problems have plagued his development but Emirates chiefs still remain keen to keep hold of their academy graduate.

Smith Rowe himself has no ambition to leave North London and would prefer to challenge for a return to Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.

West Ham have an urgent need for attacking reinforcements following the injuries sustained by star duo Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta, with Mohammed Kudus also away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Unai Emery meanwhile gave Smith Rowe his Arsenal debut in September 2018 and is interested in reuniting with his former charge at Villa Park.

Despite admiration from Premier League suitors however, the No10 looks to be staying put this month.

In other news
Football Insider say Tottenham have ended their pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher.

The same outlet claim West Ham technical director Tim Steidten is eager to bring Ajax forward Steven Bergwijn to the London Stadium but Hammers boss David Moyes is unconvinced.

German media report Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City all remain interested in Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz.

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