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Pires backs Vardy to be a success at Arsenal

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Arsenal great Robert Pires believes Jamie Vardy has all the qualities to be a success at the Emirates Stadium, should he decide to leave Leicester City.

The 29-year-old is said to be considering his future while at Euro 2016 with England after Arsenal met a reported £20million release clause in his Leicester contract.

Vardy scored 24 times in the league in 2015-16 as Leicester went on to complete one of the most remarkable triumphs in sporting history by claiming their first Premier League title.

And Pires, who was part of Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’, believes Vardy will thrive at Arsenal should he make the “step up” in the off-season.

“There is no reason why it couldn’t work out for Vardy,” the two-time Premier League winner told the Daily Mail. “He scored a lot of goals in the Premier League last season and is now known around the world.

“He has the ability, comes across as very hard-working which Arsenal like, and he’s a great finisher.

“There’s a lot more pressure with playing for a big club, so it will be a step up.”

Arsenal, who finished runners-up to Leicester last season, have already added Granit Xhaka to the squad, and Pires believes the addition of Vardy could see the club break their 12-year title drought.

However, with Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho at Manchester City and United respectively next season, the one-time World Cup winner concedes it is a much more difficult task than previous years.

“Granit Xhaka is a great signing and to be honest, I’m not sure how many more players are needed,” Pires said.

“A lot is said about Arsenal going forward and if you look at goals scored, they were only a few goals off finishing top of that chart, Vardy’s addition could help next year.

“The league will be more difficult, especially with the arrivals of Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte [at Chelsea], plus you cannot ignore Mourinho’s appointment.

“You expect Mourinho to get Manchester United to compete again. His rivalry with Wenger was one the most eagerly awaited clashes from the last decade of the Premier League.

“It’s a good fight. It may take a while for him to get his side up to scratch so it’s a chance for Wenger to fix that head-to-head record.”

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Arsenal

Arsenal coach,Emery rates Koscielny’s performance after Qarabag game

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Arsenal manager, Unai Emery was full of praise for defender, Laurent Koscielny after he made his long-awaited return from injury in the Gunners’ win over Qarabag on Thursday.

Koscielny has been out of action since May after tearing his Achilles, but started for the first time in seven months at the Emirates.

Arsenal is in the middle of an injury and suspension crises and Emery hinted that Koscielny could be drafted in against Southampton on Sunday depending on how he reacts to his first match in so long.

“We are doing with him our process after the big injury. Today is another step for him, for us,” Metro UK quoted Emery as saying at his post-match press conference.

“We need to know tomorrow and Saturday how he is going to feel after this match to see if he can help us on the pitch on Sunday.

“For Koscielny, it is good he has recovered. When he is coming back like today every supporter is happy, as are the players.

“He can take confidence again, take rhythm and then we are going to continue our process, maybe Sunday. But I want to wait to see how he will feel.”

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Europa League: What Mesut Ozil said after Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Qarabag FK

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Arsenal playmaker, Mesut Ozil has spoken up on his side’s 1-0 victory over Qarabag FK in the Europa League encounter played on Thursday night.

Ozil has missed his side’s last four matches due to a back spasm he sustained few weeks ago.

The 30-year-old returned for Gunners’ 1-0 win over Qarabag, setting up striker, Alexandre Lacazette to score the only goal of the match to give Unai Emery’s side all three points.

The midfielder took to his Twitter page after the match and wrote: “Simple a good feeling,” Ozil tweeted. “Back on the pitch and back with a win.” He accompanied the message with a picture of him and Lacazette.”

Commenting on the post one fan wrote: “Good to see you back Mesut,” while another added: “You came back with an assist and made my day.”

Ozil will hope to lead Arsenal to victory when they tackle Southampton on Sunday in the Premier League.

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Europa League: Emery praises Nigerian-born forward after Qarabag game

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Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has hailed 17-year-old Bukayo Saka for playing “with a very big personality” on his full debut for the Gunners, in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Qarabag in the Europa League.

Saka made his first start for the Gunners on the left wing and showed plenty of confidence, as he tested goalkeeper Vagner with an early strike from the edge of the box and tried to take on defenders.

The Nigerian-born forward also missed a good chance to score his first Arsenal goal in ths second half.

Saka is the latest youngster to impress Emery during this Europa League group stage, which has also seen good performances by fellow teenagers Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock.

“They show us in every match positive things. And today Saka also, he played with a good performance with a very big personality.

“We were speaking at half-time, they were trying one-on-ones against the opposition.

“Not every action was good for us, but his personality is very important to continue in the second half trying to do one-on-ones and break lines with his quality. He played with a very big personality for the 90 minutes, and with sometimes a good performance. And for him it’s very important for his confidence,” Emery said after the game.

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