Arsenal striker Nketiah joins Leeds United on season-long loan

By Sports Desk August 08, 2019

Leeds United have signed Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah on a season-long loan.

Bristol City had also been keen on a temporary move for the highly-rated striker, but Leeds eventually won out in the race for the 20-year-old after stepping up their interest following Kemar Roofe's move to Anderlecht.

England Under-21 international Nketiah impressed for the Gunners in pre-season but boss Unai Emery has decided a campaign gaining further experience in the Championship will benefit the youngster.

Nketiah, who will wear the No.14 shirt, made nine appearances for the Gunners last season and was on target in their win over Burnley on the final day of the Premier League.

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    Alexandre Lacazette scored for the first time since December to put the gloss on a much-needed 4-0 win for Arsenal and head coach Mikel Arteta against Newcastle United on Sunday.

    Arsenal came into the clash at Emirates Stadium level on points with visitors Newcastle, having won just six times in the Premier League this season - and only once since Arteta's December appointment.

    But after a frustrating opening period, the influential Nicolas Pepe laid on a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 54th minute, and Pepe himself scored three minutes later to all but settle the contest.

    Mesut Ozil added another in the 90th minute, before substitute Lacazette, who last netted against Standard Liege on December 12, got in on the act in stoppage time.

    Arteta, who revealed before the match he turned down an approach from Newcastle while still an assistant at Manchester City, could enjoy the closing stages of a precious victory, with Arsenal climbing back up to 10th and within sight of the European places.

    Newcastle's set-pieces had caused early problems for Arsenal, and Sean Longstaff's deflected strike forced a scrambling save from Bernd Leno, before Joelinton awkwardly stabbed wide from six yards moments later.

    Martin Dubravka was not troubled for over half an hour, but Arsenal pressure built heading into half-time as the Newcastle goalkeeper made stops from Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah and Pepe.

    The hosts were on the front foot again following the restart, and Pepe danced to the byline before cutting a cross back for Nketiah, who volleyed against the crossbar.

    The opener soon followed, with Aubameyang towering over Valentino Lazaro to head Pepe's right-wing delivery across Dubravka into the bottom-right corner.

    And the second came less than three minutes after the first, as Bukayo Saka nutmegged Lazaro on the left and squared for Pepe to sweep low inside the near post.

    Ciaran Clark skewed wide from a great position in the area when teed up by Allan Saint-Maximin, who himself hit the post with a fine curling effort, but there was no dramatic Newcastle recovery.

    Ozil's close-range finish deceived Dubravka for a scruffy third Arsenal goal, before Lacazette's own slightly untidy effort found the top-right corner to spark a joyous celebration.


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    There was some hope Arteta might have shaped a much-improved Arsenal over the recent mid-season break, but that did not appear to be the case in the first half. The Gunners struggled to break Newcastle down, before their quality came to the fore in a frantic spell. There would appear to be plenty still to do to restore Arsenal to their former glories despite this big win.

    Purposeful Pepe

    This has not been a wholly successful first season in England for Pepe, but there are signs he is rediscovering the form that convinced Arsenal to splash out a club-record fee last year. The winger was Arsenal's best player in a testing first half and then turned the game on its head with an assist and a goal within 12 minutes of the restart.

    Lazaro loses out

    Newcastle's new wing-back, making his full Premier League debut, enjoyed a promising first half, getting forward to good effect down the right while standing up to Saka going the other way. But he was later twice beaten for the crucial goals, first unable to challenge Aubameyang in the air and then embarrassed by Saka's trickery.

    What's next?

    Arsenal have a trip to Olympiacos in the Europa League on Thursday before their next league assignment at home to Everton. Newcastle have a clear midweek but are then back in the capital next Saturday to visit Crystal Palace.

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    UEFA announced the sanction for City, as well as a €30million fine, on Friday for "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016".

    The reigning Premier League champions criticised the process and announced their intention to appeal the suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

    It has since been reported that City could be stripped of their 2014 Premier League title but Mourinho opted against making an extensive evaluation of UEFA's decision after Tottenham's 3-2 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

    However, he quipped he would be more interested if a chance arose for the Manchester United side he led to second in 2017-18 to be retrospectively awarded the crown claimed that season by City.

    Pep Guardiola's team finished that campaign with a record 100 points, 19 more than United amassed in second.

    Mourinho said: "My view is that I didn't lose one single minute analysing what UEFA and FIFA have to analyse.

    "If I go into that analysis I have to ask if the team that finished second in 2018 is going to be champion, yes or no? That would be interesting. But jokes apart, I just wait calmly."

    Should the sanction on City remain in place it would mean the team that finishes fifth in the Premier League this season would earn Champions League qualification.

    Spurs assumed that position thanks to Son's 94th-minute winner at Villa Park, but Mourinho acknowledged there is plenty of competition.

    "I don't think about fourth or fifth, I just think about doing the best we can, getting the most points we can, the best position we can and at the end of the season we will see where we are," he said.

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    But Engels himself made an injury-time error that Son Heung-min, who earlier had made it 2-1 when scoring the rebound from his saved spot-kick - awarded for an Engels foul on Steven Bergwijn, capitalised on to win it for Spurs.

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    "But he scored with a shot of his life which was to be a dad again two days ago. It's something to remember."

    Pepe Reina was busy in the home goal but Villa will count themselves unlucky to lose after putting in a valiant effort, a fact Mourinho himself acknowledged.

    "I think we deserved to win but I don't think they deserved to lose. I think they were good, they gave us a real football match, a real fight," added Mourinho. 

    "They played to win, I don't think they played to get a point - probably in the last 10-15 minutes yes -but during the game their attitude was to win the game. It's fantastic, that's why the game was so good."

    Spurs' late winner means they are just a point adrift of fourth-place Chelsea, who face Manchester United on Monday.

    The table may look favourable from a Spurs point of view but Mourinho believes a few sides will be fancying their chances.

    "Not just for us. A window opens for many teams, probably teams that saw fourth as too far. What seemed far, now the fifth place is not far," he said, referring to the fact fifth would be enough for a Champions League place given Manchester City's two-season European ban administered by UEFA, which the club said they intend to appeal against.

    "Arsenal, Everton, Sheffield United, Wolves...everyone will feel they have the chance."

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