Arteta: Southampton defeat has left players feeling ‘really down’
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Arsenal were sent a blatant transfer message by Paraguayan striker Sergio Diaz during a recent scouting mission to South America. The Cerro Porteno frontman spoke of his ‘childhood dream’ to turn out for the Gunners before netting in a resounding victory over Libertad, despite not forming part of the duo originally being eyed up by the north London side.
Arsenal are gearing up for an attacking revamp this summer as Mikel Arteta braces for more departures. Teenage forward Julio Enciso is believed to be on their hit list, and the Gunners reportedly sent scouts to watch him turn out for Paraguayan side Libertad against Cerro Porteno.
Centre-back Alexis Duarte was also being monitored for the latter team, who ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. But Diaz threw his cards on the table before kick-off with a ‘come and get me’ plea on social media, despite not forming part of the duo Arsenal were reportedly keeping tabs on.
Having got wind of the Gunners’ visit to Paraguay, an Instagram update showed him in an Arsenal shirt with the caption: “A kid’s dream.” He clearly kicked it up a notch too, netting before half-time to set Cerro Porteno on their way to a handsome victory.
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Although he may no longer be considered a youngster at 24-years-old, Diaz has decent heritage having spent five years on the books of Real Madrid’s second-string side. A loan spell at Corinthians and a senior cap for the Paraguayan national team add extra gloss to his CV which may tempt the Gunners into watching more of his future matches.
It remains to be seen if Arteta and Edu keep tabs after his goal-scoring performance and blatant show of destire to play for the Gunners, with the north London side sure to go after several new attacking recruits this summer.
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Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette were left as Arteta’s only options through the middle after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fled for Barcelona in January. Goals have dried up for the pair of them, and both are expected to leave for free once their contracts expire at the end of the season.
Venturing into the business end of the campaign down to the barebones in attack has seen Arsenal’s results falter. A Jan Bednarek goal was enough to see Southampton claim victory at St Mary’s on Saturday, which further dented the Gunners’ hopes of pipping Tottenham and Manchester United to fourth place.
Lacazette angered Arsenal fans in a recent interview when he openly talked about his plans to leave the Emirates this summer. “I am in discussions with a lot of clubs,” he told Canal Plus, “I am open.”
“I want to play in Europe, it’s been a long time since I played in the Champions League, I’m missing it. It’s a little more complicated. Nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a little more complicated.”
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