Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sunday round-up: Martinelli scores, Douglas Luiz linked

Hello. Some quick Sunday bits.

First, a goal for Brazil for Gabriel Martinelli as they warmed up for the Copa America with a game against Mexico – watch it here. Our man put them 2-0 up. It went to 2-2, before a late Endrick goal provided some Euphoria as he made it 3-2.

It’s fair to say Martinelli had an underwhelming season based on what most of us expected from him. I’m not too worried though, this kind of thing can happen to a young player. They have a season where things plateau for a little while, before kicking on again. He’s about to turn 23, so he has plenty of time on his hands. If, this time next year, we’re having discussions about another season where he didn’t deliver the goals and assists, then I’ll be a little more concerned, but I think he remains a player of real potential for us.

A Brazilian outlet says Aston Villa are considering the sale of Douglas Luiz as they are under some pressure to generate revenue to offset PSR rules. Arsenal, as we know, were very keen to bring him in two summers ago, but Villa refused to budge. At the time, I was a little uncertain about him as a player but he’s done really well there, and I think it showed the judgement of Mikel Arteta and Edu was sound.

He ended last season with 10 goals and 10 assists, nice numbers for a central midfielder, but he wasn’t necessarily playing as an out and out DM. So much this summer depends on what Arteta envisages for Declan Rice next season, and let’s not forget that in Jorginho and Thomas Partey there are two options for the 6 as it is. The Italian international has signed a new deal, and from what I hear Partey is more inclined to see out the final year of his contract than go anywhere else – regardless of how open Arsenal might be to move him on. If an offer arrives for him – and as yet there’s no real public interest from anywhere –  it’s possibly one of those where he’ll need to be incentivised to accept it.

So, the midfield situation is a bit up in the air right now. It might be a case that we’re looking for someone to fill the role of Emile Smith Rowe or Fabio Vieira rather than anything else. Would Douglas Luiz fit the bill in that sense? Possibly, with the versatility to play deeper too, so perhaps this is one to keep an eye on.

Club Brugge are reportedly interested in young striker Mika Biereth. That’s a move that makes a fair amount of sense. And beyond that, there isn’t a lot else going on, so let me leave the final word today to Ian Wright.

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