Three reasons why Arsenal and Mikel Arteta should be concerned by Nemanja Matic leaving Man Utd
Arsenal transfer news: The activity going on at Man United could spell bad news for the Gunners who will be looking for the same calibre of players this summer as the Red Devils
Manchester United veteran Nemanja Matic has announced that he wants to end his English stay this summer for ventures elsewhere. News that could spell bad news for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta come the start of the transfer window.
With both clubs now outsiders for a top-four finish, it wouldn’t be a surprise if both were to target the same calibre of player, with Arteta and Erik ten Hag – expected to be named the new boss at Old Trafford – set for their own rebuilds once this season comes to a close. One area of concern for both clubs lies in the midfield area and those worries amplify further for United now due to what the former Chelsea man announced on his social media during this Easter weekend.
As per our sister title, the Manchester Evening News, the 33-year-old has announced that he’s looking to part ways with United, despite having a bit of time to run on his current deal. The Serb wrote on Instagram: “After a great deal of thought, I have decided that this season will be my last with Manchester United. I have informed the board, the manager and the players of my decision.
“It has been a huge honour and a privilege to play for this great club. A big thank you to the fans for their unwavering support. I will now give everything until the end of the season to help my teammates finish as strongly as possible.”
Arsenal, who are expected to part ways with Mohamed Elneny at the end of 2021/22, are in the market for a new midfield signing as Stan Kroenke prepares to back the Spaniard once again with the big bucks. Therefore, both Premier League rivals of the past could be battling it out for the same type of player and football.london takes a look at why Matic leaving could spell bad news for the current top four challengers.
1. Youri Tielemans competition
The Belgian midfielder has been linked to both Arsenal and Man United in recent times with the prospect of a free signing music to the ears of the hierarchies at both clubs. “I don’t worry about it [transfer speculation],” the 24-year-old told Het Laatste Nieuws (via voetbalniews ). “I want to get the most out of myself this season and finish as high as possible with the team.”
He added: “Of course I want to play in the Champions League, like any footballer. Am I ready for a European top club? I’m ready to get the best out of my career. We’ll see what happens next summer, or the summer after that.”
It seems as though, in his own words, Champions League football could be a deciding factor for who is to win the race for his signature, meaning both aforementioned options may be unsuitable if Spurs were to secure fourth position and stay there from now till the end of the season.
Nevertheless, if no one else was to come in for him outside of Europe, he may have to consider United and Arsenal as viable options but this isn’t expected to be a problem, with European clubs vastly aware of the Leicester man’s quality as he demonstrates week in, week out but also on the international stage with Belgium. His current club potentially winning the Europa Conference League could also play a part in what he decides to do.
2. Yves Bissouma blow
Arsenal and Yves Bissouma has been like a love story waiting to happen with just how long the Premier League midfielder has been linked to joining the Gunners. Graham Potter’s side sold Ben White to Arsenal in the summer and their good and ever-growing relationship with the north London outfit – which has also seen the likes of Matt Ryan make the same move – could spell good news from a Gunners’ perspective regarding the Mali international.
However, his consistent performances for the Seagulls over his time at the Amex Stadium has already alerted Liverpool and Aston Villa, so United would probably give consideration to trying to sign Brighton’s No. 8. “When my time will come, it’s my time, but I’m happy in Brighton, I’m enjoying playing football,” the Malian said in September 2021.
“My dream is like every player, I want to play in the Champions League, I want to be champions. I want to compare myself on the top level, not just with other players.” His current deal expires in 2023, meaning that this could be one of the last chances for Brighton to cash in, so could Bissouma become the natural heir to Matic at United or will he be playing at the Emirates in 2022/23? All options are still on the table.
3. Ruben Neves boost
In January, Man United were heavily linked to poaching the Wolves’ talismanic figure as Ralf Rangnick demanded that a new midfielder be signed to help bolster options back then near the start of his interim tenure. However, this request was ignored and United have significantly paid the price for perhaps not swooping in for the Portuguese, with their inconsistent midfield their main weakness, which has seen many teams capitalise when they face off against Rangnick’s side.
Neves is a credible Premier League midfielder who has been part of many good Wolves sides, with his positive involvement in Nuno Espirito Santo’s tricky outfit and Bruno Lage’s team. As with Bissoumma, Wolves’ number 8 is expected to be available on the transfer list come the end of 2021/22, with Lage admitting it will not be easy to hold on to a player that has been scouted by many big clubs, including the two Premier League giants but also more recently, Barcelona.
“From my side he knows my opinion,” Lage said at the start of April 2022.. “I want the best for his career. If he prefers to remain with us (at Wolves), I will for sure be happy and stronger but this is football. When you see the level he is playing at. A big team comes with a better offer. We need to analyse what is better for us and the player.
“Ruben is doing a fantastic job at Wolves. It’s hard to find a player like him. A guy who can attack and defend. Normally you have guys who just attack or defend. He can do both. He can score goals and he can assist.”
Arsenal fans- Out of Youri Tielemans, Yves Bissouma and Ruben Neves, which one of those Premier League midfielders do you want to play at the Emirates Stadium next season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!