Done Deal: Arsenal starlet completes loan move to Southend United
League Two side Southend United have secured the services of Arsenal talented playmaker James Olayinka on short-term loan deal.
The 20-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance for the North London club, however, was on the bench for their Community Shield victory over Liverpool back in August.
Olayinka spent time on loan at Northampton last campaign, helping them win the League Two play-offs.
“His work ethic, energy and athleticism stuck out to us straight away,” said Southend boss Mark Molesley.
The move went through before Friday’s EFL transfer deadline, however, was only ratified by the English Football League on Saturday, with Olayinka not eligible to make his debut for the Shrimpers until Tuesday’s trip to Salford.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have reportedly identified Villarreal defender Pau Torres as a possible transfer target in the January window.
Mikel Arteta is keen to further strengthen his defensive options following the summer arrival of talented defender Gabriel Magalhaes, with a number of his current centre-backs deemed surplus to requirements.
The likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi have all been rumoured with moves away, while Arteta is also looking for an upgrade on Rob Holding.
Spanish outlet Todofichajes claims that the Gunners have earmarked Torres as possible target when the transfer window will be re-opened in the Winter.
Revealed: World-Class Trio Were on The Verge to Join Arsenal
Barcelona legendary duo Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique alongside with current Man Utd midfielder, Juan Mata were “very close” to departing from Spain to join Arsenal during Francis Cagigao’s time as the Gunners head scout.
Arsene Wenger was interested in signing of Lionel Messi around the time of their most recent Premier League title success in 2003/04 .
Arsenal looked into the prospect of bringing the South American forward alongside with Cesc Fabregas back in September 2003, while they also looked into the possibility of luring Spanish pair Juan Mata and Gerrard Pique at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking to Sid Lowe in The Guardian, Cagigao said: “Messi, [Gerard] Piqué, [Juan] Mata were very, very close and there were others. With Messi, work permit issues ensured we couldn’t get as close as we would have liked.
“And that’s all I can say on that. A lot get away – two, three, four a year – but I prefer to look at the ones we did get.”
On the purchase of Fabregas, Cagigao added: “A combination of very good technique, vision, awareness, intelligence. I was watching a boy with a GPS in his brain, maturity beyond his years.
“His decision-making was near perfect already. A pioneer who won everything, simply a great player, a great person. If you’re talking exceptional Arsenal playmakers from Liam Brady, you would say Cesc and Santi.
“Cesc showed how strong our scouting department had become, how well we could identify and then recruit. If [a player] is willing to sit around a table the first part’s done and whatever player we brought to the club, a 16-year-old fresh from Paris, Barcelona or Rome, or an established professional, we sat him in front of Wenger – and Arsène insisted.”
Ian Wright delighted with £45m Arsenal summer signing
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has revealed his delight to see Thomas Partey joining the Emirates Stadium from Atletico Madrid.
The North London club landed Partey on transfer deadline day earlier this month in a deal believed to be worth around £45m after having been strongly linked with a move to lure him at the club during the summer transfer window.
The 27-year-old midfielder has been getting used to his new surroundings at the Gunners this week and he took part in his first training session with the North London club on Thursday ahead of the trip to Manchester where they will face Pep Guardiola’s side.
The Ghana international will be hoping to establish himself as a regular starter in the Gunners team in the coming weeks and months as they look to try and challenge for a top-four finish this campaign.
And ex-Gunners forward Ian Wright has expressed his delight at seeing the Gunners moved to strengthen their midfield area with the addition of the Ghana star.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Mirror, Wright said: “I think when you look at the Thomas Partey signing, it’s the kind of signing where that’s who we wanted.
“We’re not talking about a midfielder where people may feel is just a stopper and a destroyer and then pass the ball to the next man. This guy can progress the ball.
“And the problem that Arsenal have had is that, as well as Dani Ceballos can play on the ball and as well as [Granit] Xhaka produces nice passes, they don’t progress it. And that’s what Thomas Partey will do.
“He’ll get the ball into nice areas, he can run with the ball and pass the ball and hopefully he can activate the right-hand side just as much as Arsenal’s left-hand side