Arsenal

Mikel Arteta ruthlessly axed staff member at Arsenal after private disagreement over player

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta decided to ‘dispense’ with one of his staff members last summer after the pair clashed over a signing, according to a new report.
The Gunners made a number of significant changes, both on and off the pitch, ahead of the 2023/24 season.
To start with, there were a flurry of departures. Folarin Balogun joined Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in a deal worth £40 million, while Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pepe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles headed for the exit.
In terms of arrivals, Declan Rice and Kai Havertz were brought in for big money, while defender Jurrien Timber penned a long-term deal after a fee of £38 million was agreed with Ajax.
Arsenal also made a somewhat surprising move for Brentford goalkeeper David Raya for an initial £3 million loan fee with the option of making it permanent for a further £27 million.
It was a transfer that caught many people off guard, including those behind the scenes at Arsenal.
According to a report from The Athletic, there was ‘significant debate’ within the Premier League club about allocating more resource to the goalkeeping department after Aaron Ramsdale signed a new contract just months earlier.
Arteta wasn’t fazed, however, and pushed forward with a move.
It was a decision that brought controversy. The report goes on to suggest that Arteta’s assistant, Steve Round, was one of those who argued against signing Raya – and felt his arrival could ‘disrupt Arsenal’s carefully cultivated culture.’
It would end up being a disagreement that played a part in Arteta’s decision to dispense with Round, who joined Arteta’s coaching staff in December 2019.
Raya has made 32 league appearances this season and has kept an impressive 16 clean sheets, winning the Premier League Golden Glove award in the process.
Ramsdale, meanwhile, has been strongly linked with a move away after falling out of favour at the Emirates.
Several teams are thought to be keeping tabs on him, including Newcastle United, who are reportedly leading the race to acquire his services.
According to The Telegraph, the Magpies are willing to pay around £15 million for the 26-year-old.

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