8.30pm Arsenal news LIVE: Partey ‘best debut EVER’, Ozil ‘believes he was axed over China’ comments, Arteta speaks out – The Sun

MESUT OZIL believes that his criticism of China is the reason has has been frozen out by Arsenal, according to reports.

Meanwhile, Arsenal saw off Rapid Vienna 2-1 in Austria and Owen Hargreaves had high praise for newboy Thomas Partey.

Follow all the latest Arsenal transfer gossip, news and updates below…

  • Joe Brophy

    SUBS

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (on for Nketiah, 61) – 8

    Immediately sought to spark life into his side and looked to finally provide an outlet for Partey. Took his goal well.

    Given time together those two could be deadly – but will need help from the others.

    Hector Bellerin (on for Cedric, 61) – 7

    Would not have taken much to be an improvement on the man he replaced and did well bringing in some pace.

    Still a great assist for the winner.

    Joe Willock (on for Lacazette, 84) – 6

    Looked reassured when he came on.

    Kieran Tierney (on for Saka, 84) – 6

    Did what he had to as a late sub.

    Reiss Nelson (on for Pepe, 90+4) – 6

    Late sub.

  • Joe Brophy

    Mohamed Elneny – 6

    Tipped by none other than Mesut Ozil – who was watching from home – to be among the goalscorers.

    That prediction could not have been more wrong. Failed to ignite much from deep.

    Bukayo Saka – 6

    Quiet on the wings and incredibly fortunate not to concede a penalty for handball in the 49th minute with a really nervy bit of defending.

    A step backwards for the 19-year-old who otherwise has looked to grow from game to game.

    Eddie Nketiah – 6

    Surprisingly quiet throughout and lucky not to get a second yellow for barging into Stojkovic early in the second half.

    Alexandre Lacazette – 6

    Another who seemed to be missing throughout. Totally toothless up top and outworked by Aubameyang when he came on.

  • Joe Brophy

    Sead Kolasinac – 6

    So-so performance, dealt relatively well with the challenges presented and did what he needed to.

    Nicolas Pepe – 6

    Periods of play passed without him having any stamp on the game at all.

    Then finally sprung into life with a simply beautiful free-kick that Luiz headed in.

    Thomas Partey – 8

    No surprise but he looked ultra alert, whether picking up the ball from deep and carrying upfield or sniffing for a chance at the top of the box.

    Owen Hargreaves said on BT Sport you could tell he was a Champions League player because this looked 'too easy' for him – and you have to agree.

    Real encouragement on his full debut.

  • Joe Brophy

    PLAYER RATINGS

    Bernd Leno – 4

    Made a great early save to deny Marcel Ritzmaier but was totally at fault for conceding early into the second half.

    In fairness he looked like he did not want David Luiz's pass so close to him but there no excuses for that howler.

    Cedric – 6

    A number of wasted opportunities with his deliveres, including a second-half corner which went straight out for a goal kick.

    Left a lot to be desired in the final third and failed to pick up the pace when Arsenal went a goal down.

    David Luiz – 6

    Teamed up well with Gabriel in the back line but had another mind meltdown with the goal.

    Arsenal have tempted fate with their high-wire passing close to goal so far this season and here it came back to bite them.

    Redeemed himself with a great header.

    Gabriel – 6

    Really solid at the back and read situations well against a side who looked to have Arsenal on the back foot quite a lot.

  • Joe Brophy

    FT: RAPID VIENNA 1 ARSENAL 2

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spared Arsenal’s blushes as they snatched an unlikely victory in what should be the toughest game of their Europa League group.

    The Gunners skipper was supposed to be having a well-earned night off until Bernd Leno gifted a 51st minute goal to their Austrian opponents.

    But Leno’s blunder forced Mikel Arteta to turn to Plan B and send on top scorer Auba to save the day.

    And the veteran striker did exactly what was required, tapping home from Hector Bellerin’s 74th minute cross to secure all three points.

    READ MARK IRWIN'S FULL MATCH REPORT HERE.

  • Joe Brophy

    RAPID VIENNA 1 ARSENAL 2

    “It's the old one-two. So quick one after the other…”

    It's that man Aubameyang – Who else? The Gabon striker has the easiest of tap-ins after fellow sub Hector Bellerin races into the box and squares it for an open goal.

  • Joe Brophy

    RAPID VIENNA 1 ARSENAL 1

    It's a powerful header from David Luiz and the Gunners are level!! Still time for a winner…

    You can keep up to date with SunSport's Live Blog HERE.

  • Joe Brophy

    RAPID VIENNA 1 ARSENAL 0

    A rare Bernd Leno mistake has seen the Gunners fall behind so Mikel Arteta has turned to captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to be the difference maker from the bench.

  • Joe Brophy

    HALF-TIME

    Arsenal head into the break 0-0 with Rapid Vienna during their Europa League opener.

    You can keep up to date with SunSport's Live Blog HERE.

  • Joe Brophy

    SORT THIS MES

    Mesut Ozil was offered a role in the BT Sport studio as a pundit after revealing he was watching Arsenal on TV.

    The Gunners playmaker on £350,000 a week has been frozen out of the side's Premier League and Europa League squads.

  • Joe Brophy

    NOT DON YET

    Arsenal are keen to re-sign Donyell Malen despite selling him to PSV Eindhoven for just £540,000 in 2017, according to reports.

    The 21-year-old's scintillating form for the Dutch side has seen the striker appear back on the Gunners' radar.

    Malen has bagged 33 goals and 16 assists in 78 games for PSV.

    And he could soon be on the way back to the Emirates, according to Dutch outlet Soccernews.

    Malen spent two years in Arsenal's academy having joined from Ajax's Under-17s in 2015.

  • Joe Brophy

    WIL POWER

    Fabregas also stated that Jack Wilshere would have been in his list had injuries not limited his game time.

    Wilshere was limited to just 197 Arsenal appearances despite being at the club for ten years.

  • Joe Brophy

    FAB FIVE

    Former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas has named his top five players of the Emirates-era – with Robin van Persie sitting at the top of his list.

    However there was no room for the Gunners' all-time top goalscorer Thierry Henry, who spent one year at the ground before joining Barcelona in 2007.

  • Richard Forrester

    DON'T LUC BACK

    Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira wants to stay at Atletico Madrid once his loan expires at the end of this season.

    The Uruguayan joined the LaLiga side this summer as Thomas Partey came the other way in a £45million deadline day deal.

    And the 24-year-old has no intention of coming back to North London.

    He told Ovacion: “I’ve suffered a lot of things, I had a lot of personal problems and more than anything my family also suffered.

    “I know that I am a year on loan.

    “But I’ve been here for four or five days and it seems like it’s a lot, because I’ve been treated very well.

    “It is a new opportunity in my life, in which I have fought a lot, because Atlético has always been one of my dreams, one of my goals as a team.

    “And being able to achieve it at the age of 24 is something very important.

    “It all depends on how I go during the season, which I hope is very good, and maybe in the future I can stay in the club.”

  • Richard Forrester

    PARTEY STARTER

    Granit Xhaka has hailed the importance new signing Thomas Partey in Arsenal's squad.

    Partey signed from Atletico Madrid on deadline day, and will partner Xhaka in midfield.

    Xhaka said: “He will be the guy who is important for me and as well for the team.

    “Everyone in the club can be happy because he has great quality.

    “He will bring a good mentality, a good balance in our game because this is what we need a bit more: the mentality to win.

    “He played at Atletico Madrid, a different type of football, and he will bring a lot of good quality and mentality.”

  • Richard Forrester

    OZIL AND OUT

    Mesut Ozil still has a number of escape options from Arsenal even though the European transfer window has ended.

    The 32-year-old has not played since March for the Gunners as Mikel Arteta’s side attempted to force their highest-paid player out of the club.

    But after failing to reach a pay-off settlement with the £350,000-a-week German World Cup winner, the attacker has been left out in the cold this term.

    There are a number of places he could still go if he gives in and leaves – with the MLS believed to be favourite to get him.

    The summer window in the US would normally be closed by the second week of August – but due to the coronavirus crisis it was extended until October 29.

    And DC United are the latest team to be linked with a swoop for the ace.

    Meanwhile, a switch to South America may tickle his fancy should he receive an offer – and Brazilian sides have until November 9 to bring players in.

    Amore likely option financially could be the money-laden Middle East.

  • Richard Forrester

    PLAN B

    FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has refused to back the proposed European Super League – dealing the plans a significant blow.

    World chief Infantino was said to have been behind the plans, drafted by Real Madrid President Florentino Perez and backed by Liverpool and Manchester United.

    Fifa were reported as the backers of a £4.6billion concept for an 18-club closed-shop elite, including five Prem giants, from the start of the 2022-23 season.

    But Infantino gave the thumbs down to the plans as he insisted his sole aim is to get the revised and expanded Club World Cup up and running in China in 2022.

    Infantino said: “As Fifa President, I'm interested in the Club World Cup, not the Super League.

    “I'm not interested in Bayern versus Liverpool, but Bayern versus Boca Juniors from Buenos Aires.

    “Liverpool has 180 million fans worldwide. Flamengo about 40 million. Flamengo has 39 of these 40 million fans in Brazil.

    “But Liverpool, however, has perhaps only 5 million fans in England, the other 175 million around the world.

    “I want clubs from outside Europe to have global appeal in the future. My vision is: there should be 50 clubs and 50 national teams that can become world champions.”

  • Richard Forrester

    GOD'S PLAN

    Former Arsenal target Jackson Martinez is now a Christian rapper but can’t find a team.

    The 34-year-old striker has been pursuing a hip-hop career for two years after releasing an album in 2018, as reported by Sport Bible.

    But he has failed to hit the right note on the field after leaving Portuguese side Portimonense in August.

    The Colombian international has returned home after suffering with persistent ankle injuries.

    He had signed a two-year deal with top flight Portimonense in January after spending the previous campaign on loan with the club.

    Last week he dropped his latest single ‘Escucha’ which translates from Spanish as ‘Listen’.

    It follows up from his 2018 album ‘No Temeré’ meaning ‘I Will Not Fear’.

  • Richard Forrester

    COUT-ING IT FINE

    Arsenal missed out on a deal to sign Philippe Coutinho because Barcelona could not sign a replacement, it has been claimed.

    Several teams were keen on the Brazilian playmaker after his loan spell at Bayern Munich.

    Under Quique Setien, it appeared the 28-year-old had no future at the Nou Camp with Barcelona also desperate for cash.

    However, Ronald Koeman took charge and has given Coutinho a new lease of life.

    At the start of the autumn transfer window, Barcelona were planning on selling the ex-Liverpool star with Tottenham and Arsenal alerted to his availability.

    And the Gunners were ‘really close’ to a deal before Koeman pulled the plug, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

  • Richard Forrester

    SHK DECISION

    Arsenal travel to Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday and Mikel Arteta is likely to ring the changes.

    New signing Thomas Partey is expected to be handed his first Gunners start with in-form youngster Eddie Nketiah starting in an attacking role.

    Sead Kolasinac is expected to slot in in place of Kieran Tierney as the left centre-back.

    After Shkodran Mustafi was spotted boarding the flight to Austria, he is expected to be fit to start alongside Gabriel, with Bukayo Saka retaining his left wing-back spot.

    Here's how we think the Gunners will shape up in their Europa League clash.

  • Richard Forrester

    CLEAN UP THE MES

    Mesut Ozil believes his exile from the Arsenal team is down to his criticism of China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims, according to reports.

    The German, 32, has not played since March and does not feature in Mikel Arteta’s squad for the Premier League or Europa League.

    According to the Mail, Ozil is convinced that his decision to speak out against China’s alleged treatment of Uighurs is responsible for his exile.

    In December, he became embroiled in the country’s controversial handling of the Muslim population in the province of Xinjiang.

    Around ten million Uighurs live in the region with reports of over one million being forced into concentration camps.

    Claims of torture and indoctrination are widespread, amid growing international condemnation.

    In particular, Turkey has strongly criticised China, with Ozil a friend and ally of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Following his Instagram post last year, Arsenal quickly distanced itself from the player with the club’s game against Manchester City dropped by state broadcaster CCTV.

    There were also reports of commentators not mentioning Ozil’s name during matches, as well as his profile on Chinese social media site Weibo being deleted.

  • Richard Forrester

    HEAD STRONG

    Football's lawmakers are ready to green-light concussion substitutes as part of a new safety policy.

    The latest meeting of the International FA Board agreed that player safety must be a priority.

    They also believed a new approach to head injuries is required.

    Ifab is now set to back ‘additional permanent substitutes’ for potentially concussed players.

    Trials of the new approach are set to start in January 2021.

    A final decision will come at December’s annual business meeting of Ifab.

    An Ifab statement read: “The members recommended further consultation, working with the Fifa medical subdivision and other stakeholders, to facilitate trials to start from January 2021 for any competition that is interested in taking part.

    “The Concussion Expert Group (CEG) again emphasised the protection of players is the main goal and that a clear and uniform approach is needed, which can operate effectively at all levels of the game.

    “Therefore, the group agreed that applying an ‘if in doubt, take them out’ philosophy would be the best solution to safeguard the health of football players.”

  • Richard Forrester

    PAT ON THE BACK

    Arsenal starlet Charlie Patino has been rewarded with his first professional contract following his dazzling displays for the U18s.

    The 17-year-old – who has been likened to Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden – joined the Gunners from Luton in 2015.

    Patino has featured in four games for the U18s this campaign, where he has registered one assist.

    Last term he featured in 13 matches in the U18 Premier League and FA Youth Cup – chipping in with two assists.

    Arsenal congratulated Patino on his deal, as the said: “The 17-year-old midfielder is an Arsenal Academy graduate and England international.

    “Charlie has played for a higher age group every season for Arsenal, as well as England.

    “As a 14-year-old, Charlie captained England under-16s against Spain, and in the same year he made his debut for our under-18s against Chelsea.

    “He has played consistently for our under-18s this season, and is known for his technical ability and agility in midfield.

    “We congratulate Charlie on his first pro contract and look forward to supporting him with his continued development.”

  • sstreet

    CHINA IN YOUR HAND

    Mesut Ozil believes his exclusion from the Arsenal squad is due to his political stances, reports the Daily Mail.

    The paper claims Ozil is convinced that the Gunners' commercial interests in China have led to him being frozen out.

    The midfielder last year criticised the Chinese Communist Party for its treatment of the Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang province – comments from which Arsenal distanced themselves.

    And in Ozil's statement on his admission from the Premier League and Europa League squads, the final sentence was a telling one.

    It read: “I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”

  • Richard Forrester

    PARTEY STARTER

    Arsenal travel to Rapid Vienna in the Europa League tongiht and Mikel Arteta is likely to ring the changes.

    New signing Thomas Partey is expected to be handed his first Gunners start with in-form youngster Eddie Nketiah starting in an attacking role.

    The Gunners narrowly lost 1-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday and the Spaniard will want to freshen things up for the trip to Austria.

    Bernd Leno will likely retain his place in goal as Arteta no doubt wants to kick-off his side's European campaign with a win.

    But the defence could see some new faces in a 5-2-3 formation.

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