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Newcastle regression opens double transfer door to Arsenal as Mikel Arteta decision vindicated

Arsenal have progressed where Newcastle have incidentally gone backwards
-Credit: (Image: Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)


Arsenal have become something of a template for other clubs as the likes of Chelsea and even Bayern Munich seek project coaches aimed at long-term success. Bayer Leverkusen have struck gold with the appointment of Xabi Alonso however other sides have been less successful and the aforementioned Blues have already sacked Mauricio Pochettino ahead of yet another appointment.

Interestingly, the biggest victim of Manchester United’s FA Cup victory is one project club who have gone under the radar in their regression. Newcastle United finished three places lower than the season before in seventh and had initially qualified for the Europa Conference League with their fans even singing songs to that effect on the final day.

However, United’s cup final victory means that they will instead play none whatsoever as Chelsea were relegated from the Europa League into the third tier of European tournaments. Eddie Howe was once praised for the work he’d done in the north-east and critics of Mikel Arteta referenced the time it took under the Spaniard to reach Champions League qualification.

Fast forward to the present day and those claims suddenly look rather naïve and premature. The Newcastle project has indeed gone backwards and now having spent considerably their players will have disappointments that they’re no longer playing against other top European sides.

Arsenal themselves who have not seen their project regress and instead move even closer to a Premier League title, remain and are perhaps an even more attractive proposition for players and for Newcastle’s too. The Gunners are interested in both Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes.

The likelihood of a move for the Swedish striker however remains low with Newcastle being in a strong position to keep the striker and there being no indication so far that he would push for the move. The same cannot be said for the Brazilian midfielder, however.

Guimaraes has a £100million release clause which clubs can activate before June 30. The likelihood of an Arsenal move at that level however is also unlikely and a negotiation for a lower fee would be required.

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Would the lack of European football for Newcastle change things? Perhaps, but Arsenal have plenty of targets in several positions to consider with neither Magpie player considered to be top of the list of feasible targets.

The bigger picture for both clubs however is certainly in their projects and Newcastle find themselves at a crossroads. Stick with Howe and see how another season goes without the benefits that come with European football, or look to make a change but then the question of, “Who?” emerges.

Arsenal meanwhile could not be more justified in their decision to stick by their manager and their project. The Gunners will be one of the favourites for all competitions next season which of course includes the UEFA Champions League.