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Arsenal Transfer News Roundup: Odegaard backed to become next captain; Mikel Arteta likely to offload William Saliba, and more - 8 May 2022

Manager Mikel Arteta's Arsenal scripted a comfortable win over Leeds United.
Manager Mikel Arteta's Arsenal scripted a comfortable win over Leeds United.
Deepungsu Pandit

Arsenal secured a 2-1 win over Leeds United at the Emirates on Sunday. Eddie Nketiah scored a brace to help manager Mikel Arteta go a step closer to securing fourth place in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka has backed Martin Odegaard to become the next Gunners captain. Elsewhere, Paul Merson believes the north London side could offload William Saliba this summer.

Three points ✅ 🤩 A massive result at Emirates Stadium! LET'S GO! ✊ https://t.co/BxK7ZYk58a

On that note, here's a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on 8th May 2022:


Martin Odegaard backed to become next Arsenal captain

Martin Odegaard has been impressive this season.
Martin Odegaard has been impressive this season.

Granit Xhaka has backed Martin Odegaard to become the next Arsenal captain. Arteta is expected to appoint a permanent captain this summer, and the Norwegian is among the favourites for the armband.

Speaking to TV2, as relayed by Football London, Xhaka heaped praise on Odegaard.

"He is the future of this club. He’s already captain when Alexandre Lacazette does not play. He can be very proud of himself. You can see how far he has come in his head, mentally. He is very young, only 23, but in how he behaves and is on the field, he looks like he’s 30," said Xhaka.

He added:

It looks like he has already played 500 or 600 games. He can definitely become Arsenal captain. He has the DNA in him. He works as hard every day as if he were in a fight. He does a lot of extra work. He is humble. Everyone in the dressing room listens to him. Why not?"
Granit Xhaka is backing Martin Odegaard to be one of Arsenal's great leaders! 💪#Xhaka #Odegaard #Arsenal #AFC https://t.co/Civ8o0NN7K

The Norwegian has previously been backed to become the next captain by former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, who said:

"Xhaka was captain for a while, didn't really work, (then) Aubameyang, then they give it to Lacazette. It was almost that no one wanted to be (captain). But giving it to Odegaard, it feels right for me. He may not be the most vocal, but when you watch him play, he organises people; he plays the right pass. He's a lovely player to watch."

He added:

"You can see from Mikel Arteta's point of view, he's almost his manager on the pitch. It might be one where, he's there for the future; he's a fantastic player, good type of guy as well - it's a masterstroke from Arteta."

Odegaard wore the captain's armband in the Gunners' league games against Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham United.


Gunners likely to offload William Saliba, says Paul Merson

William Saliba (left) has been in stellar form this season.
William Saliba (left) has been in stellar form this season.

Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson believes William Saliba could be sold this summer. The French defender has been outstanding on loan at Marseille this season and is expected to fight for a place in the Gunners' team next season.

However, in his column for The Daily Star, Merson said that Arteta remains unconvinced by Saliba. He said:

"William Saliba is running out of time to prove himself at Arsenal, and I think he could be sold this summer. There must be a reason he's been loaned out three times by the club. Was he getting ripped in training? I don't see why he's still on loan otherwise. Arsenal paid a lot of money for him, but I think if anyone offers them their money back, they would take it right now."

Merson continued:

"It's almost three years he's been there now, and he can't get a look-in. Maybe Mikel Arteta has watched him train and decided he's nowhere near ready. But if that's the case, Arsenal are going to need another centre-back this summer because you can't rely on Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding."

Mikel Arteta could help win race for Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus is likely to leave the Etihad this summer.
Gabriel Jesus is likely to leave the Etihad this summer.

Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny believes Arteta could help the Gunners win the race for Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian could leave Manchester City this summer, and the Gunners are among the clubs monitoring him with interest.

Speaking to Football Insider, Kenny said that the north London side are the favourites for Jesus' signature. Arteta worked with the player while he was an assistant coach at City.

“It gives them an edge over other clubs. If Arteta wants him, then they clearly got on, and he clearly rates him. So I can’t see there being any issues there. Jesus has always put up good numbers, but he could probably get a few more goals if he is the main man somewhere," said Kenny.

He added:

“He’s Premier League quality, and we know Arsenal need a striker, so it makes a lot of sense. They could easily sign him, in my opinion. I don’t know who else would be in for him."

Edited by Bhargav

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