Arsenal target ‘phenomenal’ 24-year-old as Rio Ferdinand issues huge Bukayo Saka claim

A round-up of the latest Arsenal news as Rio Ferdinand shares a huge claim about Hale End hero Bukayo Saka and Manchester City’s latest creative star winger, Jeremy Doku.

Trossard hails Arsenal’s ‘really clever’ secret weapon

Gunners forward Leandro Trossard believes the Emirates Stadium club have a secret weapon in set-piece coach, Nicolas Jover. The Belgian has sung the Frenchman’s praises, believing his methods at London Colney have allowed Arsenal to hit a new level at dead ball scenarios.

Arsenal are now one of the best sides at scoring goals from set-pieces in the Premier League since Jover arrived. Mikel Arteta poached the coach from Manchester City in July 2021 after two years at Etihad Stadium. The Gunners were one of the worst top-flight units at the time.

Per WhoScored, Arsenal ended the 2020/21 Premier League season ranked 17th for goals at set-pieces with just six. Yet they rose to third in 2021/22 after Jover’s arrival with 16, before ranking fourth in 2022/23 with 15 and now sit in first place with eight goals so far this term.

Trossard loves what Jover adds in Arsenal’s coaching staff given their threat from set-pieces so far this season. Yet the attacker also notes that the Gunners refuse to rest on their laurels and constantly work on them at London Colney. They view it as a key way to create chances.

“It’s a pleasure to work with him,” Trossard said, via quotes by the Mirror. “He’s really clever on set-pieces. It’s such a great aspect in the game where you can open up a game.

“It [has] helped us already a lot. We need to keep improving but we train on it as much as possible. When you play every three days, there’s not much time to work on it but we will always squeeze it in. But it’s in the general game plan.”

Read more about what Trossard has had to say about Arsenal’s set-piece coach, Jover, here.

Arsenal explore the conditions for Mbappe’s free transfer

Arsenal are exploring the conditions required to sign Kylian Mbappe in a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain. That is according to the Daily Record, which reports that the Gunners and Liverpool are sounding out the financial terms needed to tempt the 24-year-old to join.

Mbappe is still to decide his long-term future ahead of becoming a free agent at the end of this season. The 24-year-old intends to prioritise a club where he could win the Champions League to also secure the Ballon d’Or. He finished third in the votes for the award this year.

PSG are relaxed about Mbappe’s long-term situation and would happily only trigger the one-year option to extend his current contract. He has also rescinded around €100m (£86.5m) in loyalty and signing-on bonuses. But English and Spanish teams are on alert to his availability.

Arsenal and Liverpool have both now moved to explore the finances needed to sign Mbappe in a free transfer. Real Madrid also retain an interest. But they will play a pursuit with a great deal of caution after previously failing to sign the forward Erling Haaland waxes lyrical about.

“He’s an incredible player,” Haaland said of Mbappe, via the Daily Mail, in February. “He’s so fast, so strong and he’s been doing it for so many years.

“What is he? Two years older than me? It’s crazy! Sometimes you have to tell yourself that he still has 10 years of playing at the top level. He is phenomenal.”

Read more about Arsenal’s interest in Mbappe’s potential free transfer from PSG, here.

Ferdinand names who’s better between Saka and Doku

Ferdinand is ‘paying to watch’ Manchester City star Doku over any other winger currently in the Premier League, including Arsenal talisman Saka. The Manchester United legend claims Doku is the most dangerous wideman throughout the top-flight whilst Saka has been quiet.

“Form-wise, you have to go Doku,” Ferdinand stated on his YouTube channel. “He is opening teams up. That’s the quietest I’ve seen Saka this season against Brentford.

“But the two moments in the game, big moments, one was a goal and one was the disallowed goal for VAR came from Saka.

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