Arsenal’s best & worst performing players of the month – January 2022

Played: 5.

Won: 0.

Drawn: 2.

Lost: 3.

Goals scored: 1.

It’s fair to say that Arsenal endured a rather awful January.

On top of not winning a single game, they were also knocked out of both domestic cups – one by a Championship club – and generally just didn’t look remotely capable of scoring a goal.

As you can guess there were quite a few players who under-performed in January, but surprisingly a few actually held their own too.

Don’t believe us? Well, that’s why we decided to collate all of our Arsenal player ratings for the month and pick out the best performing player of January…and the worst too because, you know, they didn’t win a single game.

Bernardo Silva, Thomas ParteyBernardo Silva, Thomas Partey

Partey in the wars / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Player: Thomas Partey
Game: Arsenal 1-2 Man City (1st January, 2022)
Rating: 9

What we said: “A real force in defence but looked like a man possessed going forward. A statement showing.”

Granit XhakaGranit Xhaka

Xhaka put up a 0/10 / Chloe Knott – Danehouse/GettyImages

Player: Granit Xhaka
Game: Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal (13th January, 2022)
Rating: 0

What we said: “Booted Diogo Jota in the stomach as the last man and got his marching orders 24 minutes into the first half. Going to Anfield is tough enough with 11 players, and another moment of madness from the Switzerland international made it even harder. Terrible judgement.”

Kieran TierneyKieran Tierney

Arsenal’s POTM / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Player: Kieran Tierney.
Average rating: 6.2.
Best performance: Arsenal vs Man City – 8.

When you’re best performing player of the month averaged a 6.2 rating you know you’ve had a bad month.

Tierney had one standout performance – as most Arsenal players did – in the 2-1 defeat to Man City, but if we’re being honest, the full-back won this award because he’s the only Arsenal player who didn’t completely embarrass themselves in January.

Liverpool & Man City hold talks with PSV winger Cody Gakpo

Both Liverpool and Manchester City have reached out to the agent of PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo over a possible summer transfer.

The 22-year-old has been in sensational form for the Eredivisie title hopefuls, racking up six goals and ten assists in just 15 appearances this season, leading his team in both categories despite missing five games with an ankle injury.

Understandably, those numbers have caught the eye of some of Europe’s top sides. Bayern Munich were keen in the summer and Voetbal International have now revealed that both Liverpool and City are interested.

The two Premier League giants have spoken to Gakpo’s representatives about a possible transfer, with the Dutch international only interested in leaving PSV for an elite side like those two.

PSV are well aware of the interest and have already accepted that they are likely going to lose Gakpo sooner rather than later. They are trying to convince him to sign a new contract, but it’s suggested that that’s purely just to increase his value, rather than end talk of any move.

Gakpo is currently under contract until 2025 but is expected to sign on for an extra year, with PSV keen to demand a club-record fee to sell the winger. The benchmark is the departure of Hirving Lozano, who joined Napoli for around £36m back in 2019.

“It looks like I’m going to renew my contract,” Gakpo said recently. “The clubs that want something from me are also known to me, I’ve had conversations with my agent about that.

“Very interesting clubs have been in touch, but we have to look at what the first step is. At the moment, my focus is not on that.”

Newcastle make £10m loan offer for Jesse Lingard

Newcastle United have made a fresh move for Jesse Lingard and have offered Manchester United £10m to loan the England midfielder for the rest of the season, 90min understands.

Newcastle and Man Utd have been locked in talks for most of January and as yet the two clubs have not come to agreement, but the Magpies have now made an offer that they expect to be accepted.

And while it is only a loan, it could technically see Lingard bring down the curtain on his United career as his contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer.

A loan would see Newcastle take over Lingard’s contract. However, they would need to more than double his wages and make him the highest paid player at the club to get the deal done, as we revealed earlier this month.

Even if United accept Newcastle’s offer, the decision ultimately remains with Lingard and that is the real issue.

Lingard has already shunned interest from the likes of West Ham and Tottenham this month as he was looking to either earn a new deal at United or let his contract run out and see what the best option for him would be.

He will still be allowed to run down his deal, but Newcastle are hoping he will do so in the North East rather than North West.

Newcastle are ready to offer Lingard around £150,000-a-week for the rest of the season, plus a huge bonus if he keeps them up and there will be no commitment on his side to stay, although there will be a contract offer for him.

Should Newcastle fail to bring in Lingard, we understand that the Magpies have held talks in the last week about possible deals for Tottenham’s Dele Alli and Chelsea’s Ross Barkley.

Newcastle are still working on all aspects of their squad, and were bolstered by the win at Leeds over the weekend.

They remain in talks for Sevilla’s Diego Carlos – who is their number one target in central defence, and the player’s agents arrived in Spain over the weekend to try and get the deal over the line.

They are also looking at Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, although that deal is reliant on the north London club finding a replacement, while a left-sided defensive option is something manager Eddie Howe really wants and they are looking at finalising a deal for Bayer Leverkusen’s Mitchel Bakker.

A transfer for Reims’ highly-rated young forward Hugo Ekitike has stalled in recent days, but we can confirm that they are in talks with Atalanta striker Duvan Zupata.

The 30-year-old is understood to be keen on the move, and Newcastle have proposed an £8m loan fee with an obligation to purchase for another £30m if they stay up. The Serie A outfit are considering the transfer and sources have told us a deal is ‘likely’.

Milos Degenek looking for World Cup boost with Columbus Crew move

Columbus Crew target Milos Degenek is hoping to use his move Stateside as a pre-World Cup career boost.

The Australia international center-back recently became a free agent after his contract with Serbian side Red Star Belgrade expired.

During his time at Rajko Miti? Stadium, Degenek won three league titles and a Serbian Cup and gained vast experience playing in the Champions League and Europa League.

Reports last week suggested Degenek – capped 33 times for his country at senior level – was on his way to Ohio to join the Crew for the 2022 MLS season, with the announcement of his transfer expected in the coming days.

For Degenek, it’s a move made with the World Cup in mind later this year. The Socceroos are currently third in their qualifying group, only enough to send them into a playoff with the top two going through automatically.

“Because the World Cup is on this year, I want give myself the best possible chance to stay fit, and obviously to prolong my career as well,” he said. “To go somewhere where it’s a fit and healthy environment.

“Where I’ve got the best support around me to give me the best possible chance to go to the World Cup and the best possible chance to play well for our country. That probably helped me a bit decide on where I’m going to play in the future.”

Degenek’s arrival in Columbus would be welcomed by a Crew outfit that struggled for defensive consistency in 2021, missing out on the MLS Cup Playoffs despite their status as defending champions.

The 6’1 defender would join Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams and the recently signed Jalil Anibaba among Caleb Porter’s center-back options.

The Crew open their 2022 season at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps on February 26.

Georginio Wijnaldum & Julian Draxler open to Spurs loans

Paris Saint-Germain midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum and Julian Draxler are open to being part of a loan swap deal that would see Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele or Dele Alli go the other way, 90min understands.

Spurs are keen to get club-record signing Ndombele off the books after an underwhelming two-and-a-half years in north London. After he was booed off by home fans in Tottenham’s FA Cup win over Morecambe, Ndombele has been training on his own and away from the first team.

PSG have emerged as contenders to take the France international on loan for the rest of the season and were searching for a player that they could send to Spurs in exchange for Ndombele or fellow outcast Dele. And 90min can now reveal that two contenders have stepped forward.

Wijnaldum, who has only been at the club since the summer of 2021 after a high-profile free transfer from Liverpool, would be open to a return to the Premier League and his representatives have informed Tottenham of his willingness to make the move back to England.

The Netherlands international came close to signing for Spurs back in 2016 – then managed by his current boss Mauricio Pochettino – but opted to join Jurgen Klopp’s Reds instead.

Draxler, who has been on the periphery of the PSG squad for several years now, is also an option for Spurs.

Elsewhere at Tottenham, Giovani Lo Celso is being shopped around after he was omitted from Antonio Conte’s squad to face Chelsea on Sunday.

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