8am Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Tierney RETURN, Hakimi BOOST, N'Dicka and Firpo links, Partey on Arteta

ARSENAL are reeling from another defeat, this time at the hands of Aston Villa.

But Thomas Partey has hailed boss Mikel Arteta despite a run of poor results.

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Follow all the latest from the Emirates below…

  • Gary Stonehouse

    MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    The Gunners have been under sustained fire since Saturday's "powder-puff" 1-0 loss at Aston Villa.

    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand claimed Mikel Arteta's men "just didn’t turn up" as they slumped to a second straight Premier League defeat.

    Ferdy blamed a dip in form from Arsenal's attackers and told BT Sport: “They didn’t have that cutting edge… Powder-puff."

    Ex-Gunners frontman Ian Wright went further, singling out Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette.

    Wrightyt told Match of the Day: “I just thought that the movement and some of the forward play wasn’t very good."

    But former Chelsea targetman Tony Cascarino focused on lame displays from the bench of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian.

    He said on talkSPORT: “The biggest disappointment for Arsenal is when you see two players that come on, who have been quality… 

    "Willian was poor, he kept giving away the ball and Aubameyang….I didn’t even know he’d really come on."

    Meanwhile, Arteta is waiting anxiously on midfielder Thomas Partey's fitness.

    The Spaniard said: “He had a muscular injury so we had to take him off. 

    “We will see the extent of the injury. He wasn’t feeling well enough to continue playing.”

    That problem aside, Partey is delighted with the extra freedom he has under Arteta.

    He said: “You have time to be able to do whatever you want and this is amazing."

  • Ian Tuckey

    'POWDER-PUFF' GUNNERS

    Rio Ferdinand blasted Arsenal's "powder-puff" 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

    Ollie Watkins punished poor defending inside 74 seconds, with Mikel Arteta claiming his Gunners' side dominated but failed in both boxes.

    And Manchester United legend Ferdy told BT Sport: "They started off on the worst possible footing, mistake, lack of concentration and they definitely didn’t recover for the rest of the first half.

    "Second half they were much improved but without that cutting edge. 

    "They didn’t have that cutting edge. The attacking players that have been doing really well for them in recent weeks… they just didn’t turn up."

  • Ian Tuckey

    AUBAMEYANG WAS WILL BELOW PAR

    Former Chelsea Tony Cascarino has slammed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian for their performances against Aston Villa.

    He told talkSPORT: “Arsenal got frustrated.

    “The biggest disappointment for Arsenal is when you see two players that come on, who have been quality… Willian was poor, he kept giving away the ball and Aubameyang.

    “These are two top quality players who have done a hell of a lot in football that came on and made no impact at all.

    “Aubameyang, I didn’t even know he’d really come on.

    “He’s been far too anonymous this year as a player because he is a player that Mikel Arteta can’t afford for him not to change games and make things happen.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    MY LIBA-RATION

    WIlliam Saliba has stated that Nice is the best place for him develop after he was named as the club’s Player of the Month for January.

    He said: “I feel very good, I was very nicely welcomed from the first day.

    “This is a wonderful town, a good club, very good facilities. 

    “This is a very good club, that we know is always towards the top of the table.

    “There is very big ambition here, I like the way they play, their possession play. The best option was to come to OGC Nice.”

  • Joe Brophy

    PLAY TO THE MAX

    Allan Saint-Maximin has hilariously trolled Paul Merson after the Sky Sports pundit pronounced his name wrong.

    Saint-Maximin played a key role in Newcastle's 3-2 home win against Southampton on Saturday.

  • Joe Brophy

    PARTEY POPPERS

    Thomas Partey has lifted the lid on the differences between Mikel Arteta and former manager Diego Simeone.

    He told Stadium Astro: “I think both of them have the same mentality, which is winning.

    “Both of them want to be in control, you always have the chance to create in behind and the difference is we don’t give chances, we press high.

    “We always do a high press, from the first minute to the last minute, and in Atletico sometimes you have to wait for the opposition to move around you and you hit them on the counter.”

  • Joe Brophy

    START THE PARTEY

    Thomas Partey has lifted the lid on life under Mikel Arteta.

    He told Stadium Astro: “Mikel is helping me a lot. At Atletico, I played in a similar position.

    “The system is not the same back there, you have to be well positioned to be able to go around your marker, and here Mikel is helping a lot because I remember, he said you don’t have to be in the same line and opposite the defender.

    “You have time to be able to do whatever you want and this is amazing. It’s just as important, you need to keep it in mind and whenever your teammates have the ball, you know who you are in line with, who you are not in line with and this is helping me a lot.

  • Joe Brophy

    WILL I NEVER

    William Saliba has revealed Mikel Arteta attempted to recall him from his loan early after replacing Unai Emery.

    “[Arsenal] wanted me to come back in January [2020], I didn’t, I stayed in St Étienne,” he told L’Equipe via GFFN.

    “After that, the fans were really looking forward to my arrival, I certainly didn’t imagine that it would happen like this.

    “Aside from that, it is football, I have learned that nothing is certain, you can be there, in your game, and then things can go south. I took a lot of experience from it, at least I will be ready for the future.”

  • Joe Brophy

    ICYMI

    Mikel Arteta has delivered an update on Thomas Partey’s fitness after the midfielder went off with another injury.

    The Arsenal boss said: “He had a muscular injury so we had to take him off.

    “He could not carry on playing. “I don’t know [how bad it is]

    “We will see the extent of the injury.

    “He wasn’t feeling well enough to continue playing so we had to take him off.”

  • Joe Brophy

    GIFT OF THE GAB

    Aston Villa legend Gabby Agbonlahor has made a bold claim that his former side will finish above Arsenal this season.

  • Jake Lambourne

    WRIGHT NOISE

    Ian Wright has singled out Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette as he insisted the pair should have done more against Aston Villa.

    He told Match of the Day: "I just thought that the movement and some of the forward play wasn’t very good.

    "Pepe has got to do more for Emile Smith-Rowe. He’s that No. 10, he needs something, he needs an option.

    "He could have gone inside, gone outside, he’s running towards it, nothing. It was quite easy for Villa, who were very organised.

    "Lacazette, I don’t think he needs to be out there [in wide areas] now. He should be in this position [the box] because you’ve got Saka there, you’ve got [Hector] Bellerin running.

    "If you’re going to have the centre-forward out there [wide], you need somebody to be in there [in the box] and more of a threat. There’s not enough threat in that box."

  • Jake Lambourne

    AUBA AND OUT

    Former Chelsea Tony Cascarino has slammed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian for their performances against Aston Villa.

    He told talkSPORT: "Arsenal got frustrated.

    “The biggest disappointment for Arsenal is when you see two players that come on, who have been quality… Willian was poor, he kept giving away the ball and Aubameyang.

    “These are two top quality players who have done a hell of a lot in football that came on and made no impact at all.

    “Aubameyang, I didn’t even know he’d really come on.

    “He’s been far too anonymous this year as a player because he is a player that Mikel Arteta can’t afford for him not to change games and make things happen.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    WILL POWER

    WIlliam Saliba has stated that Nice is the best place for him develop after he was named as the club's Player of the Month for January.

    He said: "I feel very good, I was very nicely welcomed from the first day.

    "This is a wonderful town, a good club, very good facilities. 

    “This is a very good club, that we know is always towards the top of the table.

    “There is very big ambition here, I like the way they play, their possession play. The best option was to come to OGC Nice.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    LOOKING AHEAD

    Arsenal's next match is at the Emirates next Sunday when they host Leeds.

  • Jake Lambourne

    SAL SERACHING

    William Saliba has revealed Mikel Arteta wanted to recall him from his loan spell at St-Etienne last year following the sacking of Unai Emery.

    Saliba, now on loan at Nice, told L'Equipe: "[Arsenal] wanted me to come back in January [2020], I didn’t, I stayed in St-Etienne.

    "After that, the fans were really looking forward to my arrival, I certainly didn’t imagine that it would happen like this.

    “Aside from that, it is football, I have learned that nothing is certain, you can be there, in your game, and then things can go south.

    "I took a lot of experience from it, at least I will be ready for the future.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    BACK OF THE NET

    Arsenal target Neto could be on his way out of Barcelona in the summer.

    The Gunners could bring in another goalkeeper at the end of the season, despite bringing Mat Ryan to the Emirates in January.

    But the Australia international is only on loan, and it remains unclear whether they will turn their back-up's loan spell into a permanent stay.

    Should they look elsewhere, they could reignite their interest in Brazilian shot-stopper Neto.

    According to Marca, the 31-year-old will be allowed to depart the Nou Camp for a £13.2million fee.

  • Jake Lambourne

    EUR JOKING

    Mikel Arteta has admitted the defeat to Aston Villa could prove costly if Arsenal want to secure a spot in Europe next season.

    He said: "It's a big blow because when you consider the performances that we've put in in both games, we've got zero points out of that.

    "We just give the opponent the game. We need to come back. We've done it this season and we have to do it again.

    "We have a week now to prepare for the next game against Leeds and then focus on that, keep maintaining all the right things we are doing and the way the team is evolving.

    "We need to stop certain things that are costing us the games."

  • Jake Lambourne

    ART ATTACK

    Mikel Arteta has stated Arsenal's inability to convert their chances and their mistakes in the opening stages of their clash with Aston Villa saw them lose.

    He said: "Those [top-four] teams don't make those mistakes.

    "Those [top-four] teams cannot play four or five times in the first 22 games of the season with 10 men. It doesn't happen. There's not a team in the world that can sustain that.

    "If you concede a goal early or make an error, the team has to react. The team reacted and we had more than enough to still come back and win the game.

    "If you don't do one thing, you have to do the other. If you are not ruthless enough in the opponent's box then of course you are going to lose the game."

  • Jake Lambourne

    PARK IT IN

    Take a look below at the highlights from Villa Park as Arsenal succumbed to a second consecutive Premier League defeat.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Arsenal Official (@arsenal)

  • Jake Lambourne

    PARTEY POOPER

    Mikel Arteta has delivered an update on Thomas Partey's fitness after the midfielder went off with another injury.

    The Arsenal boss said: "He had a muscular injury so we had to take him off.

    "He could not carry on playing. "I don't know [how bad it is]
     
    "We will see the extent of the injury.

    "He wasn't feeling well enough to continue playing so we had to take him off."

  • Jake Lambourne

    HOW ABOUT MAT

    Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan has spoken of his mixed emotions after making his debut in the defeat to Aston Villa.

    He told the club's website: "Obviously with everything that's been going on with my circumstances, I just tried to adopt the mentality of focusing on myself and readying myself for the next opportunity, whenever or whether that may come.

    "I think it was probably down to all that, that I was able to come in and have a performance like I did. Unfortunately I wasn't able to help us with the result.

    "It was a deflection and I haven't watched it back yet, but there wasn't a lot I could do I don't think. It felt good to be out there though, I loved being out there.

    "It still hasn't quite sunk in that it's my childhood club that I grew up supporting that I've just played for.

    "But I'm sure it'll start to sink in a bit now that I've got a moment to reflect on it. I wanted the perfect start with the result but it wasn't meant to be."

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNED DOWN

    Alexandre Lacazette took to Twitter after he was denied a penalty after appearing to be brought down by Emiliano Martinez during the defeat to Aston Villa.

    The incident occurred during a corner in the second half, when Martinez seemed to drag Lacazette's shirt before hauling him to the ground.

    To make matters worse, Lacazette was judged to have fouled Martinez, with Villa being awarded a free-kick.

    A Gunners fan posted the clip on Twitter, with Lacazette replying: "Another one…"

    Martinez was having none of it, as then then weighed in on the conversation by saying: "You were pushing me first bro."

  • Jake Lambourne

    GREAL DEAL

    Aston Villa are reportedly set to offer Jack Grealish a new deal to keep him at the club beyond the summer.

    The 25-year-old only penned a new contract last year, but 90min claim the Villans are keen to offer his fresh terms.

    They state that they want to make Grealish one of the highest paid English players in the Premier League.

    A contract in the region of £200,000-a-week is said to be on the cards.

    Both Arsenal and Man Utd have been linked with a possible move for the Three Lions international.

  • Jake Lambourne

    TOP-CALIBRE SALIBA

    Arsenal loanee William Saliba has been named Nice’s Player of the Month for January.

    The 19-year-old central defender joined the Ligue 1 side last month in a bid to find first team football that he was not receiving at the Emirates.

    And the move has paid off instantly as his impressive displays have earned him the club’s monthly accolade.

    Nice won just one of their five matches in January as they slipped to a dismal 14th in the table.

    Yet despite defeats to Brest, Bordeaux and St-Etienne, Saliba has performed admirably in a struggling side.

  • Alex Terrell

    ODE TO ARSENE

    Martin Odegaard rejected Arsenal as a 15-year-old despite dining with Arsene Wenger and decided to join Real Madrid instead.

    The Norwegian was a certified wonderkid at Stromsgodset six years ago and could easily have arrived in North London after being heavily scouted by the Gunners and a host of European giants.

    He said: "I first scouted him when he was 14 and was just amazed by his talent, his technical level and his intelligence for such a young player.

    "I put a lot of work in, scouted Martin for 18 months and got very close to him and his family.

    "We had permission from Stromsgodset to invite the player over and it was down to us and Real Madrid.

    "We rolled out the red carpet. He met with Arsene, we took him out for dinner and really showcased the club.”

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