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Opinion: This La Liga ace with £17.8m release clause would be ideal to replace Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal

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Pablo Fornals would be the ideal man to replace Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal

According to the Mirror, Arsenal are interested to sign Villarreal’s Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals in January as a replacement for Aaron Ramsey.

Ramsey is expected to head for the exit door next summer upon the expiry of his contract but Unai Emery is keen to land Fornals in January to allow him some time to acclimatise to the Premier League ahead of the Welshman’s departure.

Unai Emery signed Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi in the summer to add solidity to the midfield and both the players have proven themselves to be a perfect fit for the manager’s high pressing tactics in the centre of the park.

The Villarreal midfielder has a release clause of £17.8 million in his contract and it should not be an uphill challenge for the Gunners to trigger that clause in January.

The 22-year-old has been a regular for Villarreal for the past couple of seasons but it was during the 2017-18 La Liga campaign that he rose to prominence with a series of impressive displays in the midfield. Fornals racked up as many as 12 assists in the Spanish top flight last term to go with his 3 goals and has hit the ground running this season as well, registering a goal and an assist from 12 appearances.

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The Spaniard has also been in red-hot form in the Europa League this season and was the star of the show as the La Liga outfit thrashed Rapid Wien 5-0 last month.

A technically-gifted central midfielder who is capable of playing both as a box-to-box No.8 and a No.10 behind the striker, Fornals has the ability to carry the ball forward with purpose from the deeper areas of the pitch.

The 22-year-old also has a keen eye for a pass and uses his vision and intelligence to pick out the runs of his teammates in the final third.

A hardworking midfielder with a lot of tenacity, Fornals also tracks back and uses his superior game-reading ability to break up the play with crucial tackles and interceptions. In other words, he is not the fastest player on the pitch but he makes up for it with his nimble feet, tactical intelligence, sharp reflexes and a deadly eye for goal from long range.

Fornals averages 2.5 shots, 1.6 key passes, 1.6 dribbles, 1.8 tackles and 1 interception per game this term in the La Liga, figures which reveal that he might just be the utility player that Arsenal need to add a new dimension to their midfield options.

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Arsenal have Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who are both high-quality creative midfielders but neither of them has been able to deliver the goods on a consistent basis this season. Mohamed Elneny, on the other hand, hasn’t really been considered by the manager for a starting role in the Premier League.

Read More:- Fearlessness, tactical flexibility and more – Three positives Arsenal can draw from Unai Emery’s reign so far

Moreover, Emery’s philosophy demands a lot of tenacity and high work-rate from the midfielders, which is exactly why Torreira and Guendouzi have excelled under the Spaniard. However, that hasn’t quite been the case with Mkhitaryan and Ozil and both of them have struggled to cope with the new style of play at the Emirates.

That said, Arsenal should not hesitate to splash the cash to sign the 22-year-old from Villarreal as he has the potential to develop into a useful long-term servant to the club.

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[Image] Man United vs Arsenal: Star-studded combined XI featuring 4 Red Devils and 7 Gunners

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Man United vs Arsenal: Combined XI featuring 4 Red Devils and 7 Gunners

After a round of EFL Cup fixtures, Premier League action is set to return this weekend with plenty of thrills and spills and the high-octane clash between Man United and Arsenal on Monday night is undoubtedly going to be one of the main attractions of matchweek 7. 

Both the teams won their EFL Cup fixtures, with Arsenal handing Nottingham Forest a 5-0 drubbing and Man United somehow edging past a lowly Rochdale in the penalty shootout. 

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Arsenal are currently placed 4th in the Premier League standings after a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa last week and the fans will be expecting the Gunners to continue their winning run, while Man United will have their work cut out away from home after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham last week. 

Combined XI

Bernd Leno (GK)

The German has proven his worth between the sticks on numerous occasions with some fine saves this season and he certainly deserves the nod over de Gea, who has been a bit inconsistent. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB)

The youngster has proven himself to be an excellent addition to Man United’s backline and it is a no-brainer that he has fared way better than Maitland-Niles in that position.

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Harry Maguire (CB)

The England international has added a lot of steel to United’s backline following his big-money move from Leicester City earlier in the summer. One of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, he definitely deserves a place ahead of the error-prone David Luiz in the elite combined line-up. 

Sokratis (CB)

The Greek international has hardly been at his best but Victor Lindelof too, has been equally lacklustre and there isn’t really a lot to choose between them so far this term.

Kieran Tierney (LB)

The Scotsman made his first start for the Gunners since his move from Celtic back in August and the fans will be expecting him to play a big part on Monday if he starts.

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Matteo Guendouzi (CDM)

The Frenchman has arguably been Arsenal’s most influential presence in the middle of the park with his excellent all-round game, leapfrogging Fred, Matic, Xhaka and Torreira on the performance charts. 

Scott McTominay (CDM)

The youngster has really come of age for United this term and his combative and energetic displays in the middle of the park have caught the eye amidst a lot of mediocrity from his teammates, including star man Paul Pogba. 

Nicolas Pepe (RW)

The Ivorian is currently on high spirits after bagging his first goal for Arsenal against Aston Villa last week and though he hasn’t done anything spectacular yet, there is hardly a better player from either team in that role. 

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Daniel James (LW)

The former Swansea City starlet has taken the Premier League by storm this season and he will be United’s best bet to find the net on Monday. 

Dani Ceballos (CAM)

The Spaniard has shown a lot of promise in that No.10 role for the Gunners and he definitely deserves the nod ahead of big names like Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil.

To Read More Arsenal News, Click here:- Latest Arsenal News

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)

The Gabonese international has become a nemesis for the defenders in the Premier League and with an impressive tally 6 goals in 6 league outings this season, Arsenal will look up to him to propel them to a victory over rivals United on Monday. 

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[Image] Predicted 4-2-3-1 Man United XI to face Arsenal – Can Maguire keep Aubameyang quiet?

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Predicted Man United XI to face Arsenal in the Premier League

Man United got themselves back to winning ways with a hard-fought penalty shootout victory over Rochdale in the EFL Cup but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are going to have their work cut out when they play host to Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday night.

The Red Devils came under scrutiny after their disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham away from home last week and they will be desperate to come away with a positive result against the Gunners on Monday having won only 2 of their first 6 games in the Premier League so far. 

Unai Emery’s side will head into the game high on confidence after having the final say in the 3-2 thriller against Aston Villa followed by a 5-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup. 

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Team News

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of injuries to contend with for Monday’s high-octane clash. Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are ruled out with long-term knee injuries but a number of key first-team players are also doubtful to play a part against the Gunners.

Marcus Rashford (groin), Anthony Martial (thigh) and Luke Shaw (thigh) are yet to recover fully from their respective injuries and their availability will be subject to a late fitness test. 

Solskjaer is expected to make multiple changes to the eleven that played against Rochdale on Wednesday night. 

Predicted XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

David de Gea (GK)

The Spaniard has shown signs of returning to his best after signing a new deal with the club and he is expected to replace Sergio Romero on Monday. 

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB)

The former Crystal Palace man has been one of the Red Devils’ shining lights in what has otherwise been a rather disappointing start to the season. 

Victor Lindelof (CB)

The Swedish international has blown hot and cold at the heart of the defence this season and United will need him to put in a better performance against a potent Arsenal attack.

Harry Maguire (CB)

The Englishman is an undisputed starter for United every week and he has to be at his best to keep the free-scoring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at bay. 

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Ashley Young (LB)

Luke Shaw is unlikely to make it back to the starting eleven on Monday, meaning that the veteran could get yet another start. 

Scott McTominay (CDM)

The youngster has put in a number of impressive performances at the heart of the midfield this season and Solskjaer should continue to rely on him. 

Paul Pogba (CDM)

His return to fitness before the crunch game against the Gunners is definitely a massive boost for United and the Red Devils will bank on him to come up with something spectacular on Monday. 

Andreas Pereira (RW)

The Brazilian hasn’t done an awful lot but he is likely to find himself amongst the starters once again if Martial and Rashford do not make it back in time. 

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Juan Mata (CAM)

The Spaniard has hardly been at his sparkling best but Jesse Lingard, too, has been a big disappointment and Solskajer might just go with experience in a high-octane clash. 

Daniel James (LW)

The jet-heeled Welsh starlet has arguably been United’s best performer in the Premier League thus far and it will be interesting to see how he goes about things against Arsenal. 

To Read More Man United News, Click Here:- Latest Man United News

Mason Greenwood (ST)

The academy graduate has scored in the Europa League and the EFL Cup in the past week or so and injuries to Rashford and Martial might just open the door for him to get a start in the Premier League.

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[Image] Predicted 4-2-3-1 Arsenal XI to face Man United – Xhaka out, Torreira in?

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Predicted Arsenal XI to face Man United in the Premier League

Having edged past Aston Villa in a five-goal thriller last week, Arsenal continued their winning habit with a 5-0 drubbing of Nottingham Forest in the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday. 

The Gunners, though, will face a real test of their credentials when they make the trip to Old Trafford to face Man United, who recovered from a 2-0 defeat away at West Ham last week to earn a penalty shootout victory over Rochdale in the EFL Cup.

Unai Emery’s side currently sit 4th in the Premier League standings and they will be looking to finish the week inside the top four. 

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Team News

Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin all returned to action in the midweek fixture and their availability before the crunch game at Old Trafford is likely to be a massive boost for Unai Emery, although he will be expected to make a few changes to the eleven that played against Nottingham Forest.

Emile Smith Rowe picked up a knock in the EFL Cup, although the decision to substitute him was more of a precautionary measure.

Konstantinos Mavropanos and Alexandre Lacazette are unlikely to be a part of the matchday squad for Monday night’s encounter but Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be back after serving a one-game suspension for the red card that he picked up last week.

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Predicted XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Bernd Leno (GK)

The German was hardly at fault for any of the goals that Arsenal conceded against Aston Villa last week and he is expected to return to the eleven in place of Emiliano Martinez.

Hector Bellerin (RB)

The Spaniard came on as a substitute against Forest on Wednesday but the Gunners will be hoping that he is ready to start at Old Trafford ahead of Maitland-Niles and Calum Chambers. 

Rob Holding (CB)

The centre-back put in an assured display at the heart of the defence upon his return from injury in the midweek game and he could find himself ahead of David Luiz in the pecking order. 

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (CB)

The Greek international should be fresh and ready to start at Old Trafford after being rested for the EFL Cup game. 

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Kieran Tierney (LB)

The former Celtic man didn’t play the full ninety minutes against Forest but he should replace the lacklustre Sead Kolasinac on Monday in what would be his Premier League debut. 

Matteo Guendouzi (CM)

The Frenchman has emerged as an indispensable weapon for Arsenal in the middle of the park with his superb all-round game and he should return to the eleven after being rested for the cup tie.

Lucas Torreira (CM)

Granit Xhaka has had a few shocking outings in the Premier League this term and one does get the feeling that Torreira deserves a spot in the playing eleven. 

Nicolas Pepe (RW)

The Ivorian will be expected to deliver the goods in the high-octane clash against Man United after scoring his first goal against Villa last week.

Dani Ceballos (CAM)

The Spaniard has proven himself to be an influential addition to Arsenal’s ranks this season and he certainly deserves a start ahead of Mesut Ozil. 

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Reiss Nelson (LW)

The academy graduate has shown a lot of promise this term and he might get the nod ahead of Bukayo Saka, who was equally impressive against Aston Villa.

To Read More Arsenal News, Click Here:- Latest Arsenal News

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)

He just can’t stop scoring at the moment, can he? The Gabonese talisman has already bagged 6 goals in 6 games in the Premier League this season and Arsenal will need him to fire on all cylinders once again.

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