Unai Emery expects more players to follow Laurent Koscielny and Alex Iwobi out of the Arsenal exit before the European transfer windows close.

Arsenal had a busy close season before the English transfer window finished on Thursday, strengthening with the arrivals of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz, the latter two signing on deadline day.

Many more players left the club, however, with Petr Cech retiring, Danny Welbeck, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Aaron Ramsey departing on free transfers, and Carl Jenkinson, Koscielny and Iwobi sealing moves.

Former captain Koscielny left on sour terms after refusing to go on their pre-season tour, while Iwobi went to Everton in a deal reportedly worth up to £40million.

Mohamed Elneny and the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi have reportedly been made available for transfers, and while Emery did not mention any names, he does expect more players to leave for overseas clubs.

"We were changing players at the last moment," he said of Arsenal's deadline day deals.

"We had with Laurent Koscielny the first captain, but just five days ago he left. Other players came in, we finished our market, but it is at the moment open in other countries.

"In the next 20-25 days some players will leave. It's the reason, I want to close [complete] our squad, clearly."

The signing of David Luiz from Premier League rivals Chelsea came as a surprise to many, but after the experienced Koscielny departed, Emery is adamant the Brazilian is an important addition.

"We worked together for two months at PSG," Emery said of David Luiz. "After three matches [at PSG], the club and he decided to sign for Chelsea.

"He's a big opportunity for us, he decided to join Arsenal. He wants to do something important with us.

"He has experience, quality in build-up, he is a good defender and he is coming here to help us with his capacity and quality."

Marco Silva was pleased with Everton's late swoop for Alex Iwobi after confirming his side missed out on Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

Everton announced the arrival of Iwobi from Arsenal on deadline day in a deal thought to be worth up to £40million.

The Nigeria international was widely thought to be a back-up option, as the Merseyside club were heavily linked with Zaha in the latter stages of the window and reportedly had offers knocked back by Palace.

But on the eve of Everton's trip to Selhurst Park for their opening Premier League match of the season, manager Silva insisted he is happy with his side's overall transfer business.

He said at his pre-match news conference: "When you are planning a squad you plan with some names, and I did my job with the names to my football structure. We cannot just have one name.

"The market was difficult and when we lost [Ademola] Lookman we looked for a winger, not two wingers. We have tried to do the deals and we've signed a good player. It was not just our club that had an interest in Zaha.

"We are happy. We always want more, but we are happy."

Iwobi spent four years in Arsenal's first team after graduating from their academy and was used 51 times in all competitions last season, scoring six times.

Silva talked up the versatility of the 23-year-old, who has never scored more than three times in a single league campaign, but admitted his latest signing needs to improve in front of goal.

"The position we are looking for him is clear - coming inside from the left," Silva said. "He can also play behind the striker really well and if you need to play him on the right he can do that also.

"He's a strong player with good skills. One thing I will be demanding from him will be scoring more goals, because it's important in that position.

"But he will help us. He's a strong player as you know, a fast player, and he can put good intensity in a match which I like from my attacking players. He will give me different solutions."

Everton have signed winger Alex Iwobi from Arsenal in a deal reportedly worth up to £40million.

The 23-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year contract and becomes the seventh arrival of a busy close season for Everton, the transfer being confirmed shortly after Thursday's deadline.

Iwobi spent four years in Arsenal's first team after coming through the academy and featured 51 times in all competitions last season.

But he seemingly slipped down the pecking order following the club-record signing of Nicolas Pepe and admitted in July he would consider leaving if his playing time was reduced.

Everton manager Marco Silva told the club's website: "Alex was one of our main targets for this window and I believe he is a fantastic signing for Everton. He is a direct and skilful winger and attacking midfielder who always works very hard for his team.

"He is still young but already with a lot of top-level experience – 100 Premier League matches, more in Europe and many international games.

"It was important for me to have one more quality option for our attacking positions to add to what we have with Richarlison, Bernard and Theo Walcott.

"Alex fits exactly the profile of player I want in my model. He is hungry to join Everton and take the next step in his career, to help us compete with the strongest teams in the league and reach his potential at our club."

Everton had been linked with Wilfried Zaha but were reportedly twice knocked back by Crystal Palace.

Marco Silva's side begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Alex Iwobi has described as "fake news" suggestions he could quit Arsenal as a direct consequence of the club signing Wilfried Zaha.

Nigeria winger Iwobi was quoted by The Sun as saying Zaha's hypothetical arrival from Crystal Palace "would add more stress" in his battle for first-team minutes at Emirates Stadium.

Iwobi added: "I am up for the fight but the only time I would consider leaving is if I am not playing as much as I would like to."

Another British newspaper interpreted the comment as a warning to Arsenal, a claim the 23-year-old dismissed in a post to social media.

"Fake news and click bait! I don't know why some newspapers enjoy twisting words," Iwobi wrote on Twitter.

"I hope we sign world-class players and Arsenal progress as a team. I'm looking forward to the new season. Happy Sunday."

Arsenal reportedly submitted an unsuccessful £40million bid for Zaha earlier this month.

The Eagles star and attacker Iwobi would likely compete for similar positions as Unai Emery seeks to boost his options, but Zaha is said to be valued at £80m by Palace.

Wilfried Zaha's arrival at Arsenal would create "more stress" for Alex Iwobi and potentially lead the forward to consider his future at the club.

Arsenal reportedly lodged an unsuccessful £40million bid for Crystal Palace winger Zaha earlier this month.

The Eagles star is thought to be interested in the move and would command a starting spot at Emirates Stadium after hitting 19 goals across the past two Premier League seasons.

Nigeria international Iwobi is prepared to fight for his position but reduced playing time could prompt him to seek a move elsewhere.

"Whenever the chance comes I always try and prove I should be starting," Iwobi told The Sun.

"But it's going to be difficult if Zaha comes. He will add more stress.

"I am up for the fight but the only time I would consider leaving is if I am not playing as much as I would like to.

"Obviously, my joy is to play football and not just sit out.

"If it comes to that I would have no choice but to leave. But I would always put up a fight to play - that is what I have done all my life.

"We have big stars already, so by adding another one I'll just have to prove I can do better than them."

Iwobi started 22 times in the Premier League last season, scoring three goals. 

Alex Iwobi scored the winning goal as Nigeria recovered from behind to beat Africa Cup of Nations champions Cameroon 3-2 in a topsy-turvy last-16 clash in Alexandria on Saturday.

Both teams suffered disappointing results in their final group matches to finish second and set up a heavyweight showdown that more than lived up to its hype.

And it was the Super Eagles who came out on top on Saturday to set up a showdown with either hosts Egypt or South Africa in the next round after recovering from a 2-1 half-time deficit.

Stephane Bahoken and Clinton N'Jie had struck late in the first half for the 2017 winners to cancel out Odion Ighalo's opener, but the former Watford striker bagged his second with just over an hour played to level things up and Arsenal winger Iwobi completed the comeback three minutes later.

Nigeria had won six AFCON matches in a row prior to their shock defeat against Madagascar in their previous outing and they made a bright start before the first of Ighalo's goals 19 minutes in.

A cross to the back post was scuffed across goal by Kenneth Omeruo and Ighalo was in the right place to divert it past Andre Onana with the help of a deflection.

Cameroon turned the game on its head as half-time approached, however, with Bahoken playing a key part in the turnaround.

The Angers striker volleyed home from six yards to make it 1-1 after being picked out by Christian Bassogog and he then flicked a long ball on for N'Jie to slot past Daniel Akpeyi.

But three-time winners Nigeria showed character of their own to get themselves back on level terms through Ighalo's cool first-time finish from eight yards and Iwobi showed just as much composure to beat Onana.

Ighalo was denied a hat-trick by a fine save 14 minutes from time, but Gernot Rohr's side saw things through to secure a place in the last eight.

Arsenal are in real danger of being eliminated from the last 16 of the Europa League after a Nacho Monreal own goal and late Ismaila Sarr header in the second half secured Rennes a deserved 3-1 win at Roazhon Park.

The Gunners looked to be heading back to London with a serviceable 2-1 defeat after having Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent off in the first half, but Sarr's dramatic late goal put daylight between the sides to leave Arsenal seemingly on the brink.

It all started so well for Unai Emery's men when Alex Iwobi's somewhat fortuitous early effort gave them an away goal that may yet prove decisive.

The good feeling did not last as Sokratis was given his marching orders for two yellow-card offences, and Benjamin Bourigeaud netted a stunning equaliser as a result of the second offence.

The home side looked desperate to make the most of their numerical advantage and the pressure paid off, as Monreal deflected a cross into the goal and Sarr rounded off a brilliant performance with an emphatic diving header.

Unai Emery was impressed with Alex Iwobi's performance in Saturday's 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town, but he still thinks the Nigerian has room for improvement.

Iwobi scored the opening goal at the John Smith's Stadium, his volley deflecting in off Terence Kongolo following a left-wing cross from Sead Kolasinac.

It was his third Premier League goal of the season, matching his total for last term despite making seven fewer starts.

The 22-year-old looked particularly bright at the start of the campaign and appeared to have adapted well to Emery's system following the departure of Arsene Wenger.

His form had tailed off before Saturday's victory, but Emery knows where Iwobi can improve and believes the attacker has the right attitude.

"He's young, makes a big commitment and he has good physical condition," Emery told reporters.

"He needs to improve something tactically, maybe, but above all he's calm with the ball in the attacking third [in order] to find better assists, finding the possibility to score with composure, or find the best option, whether that is shooting or dribbling.

"He scored [on Saturday], got another very good chance and the possibility to assist [Alexandre] Lacazette, but I think his match – first starting with his attitude – was very big, and his performance was very good."

Arsenal have lost three of their last seven games in the Premier League, with Liverpool, West Ham and Manchester City all defeating them.

As such, questions have been raised over Emery's tactics and the team's adaptation to them, but the coach insists it is a process that does not have a specific end point.

"Each training, each match is a big a challenge," Emery added. "You can win, lose, draw, but the most important thing is going ahead thinking about creating – little by little – an identity, collective spirit, team feeling.

"This is one process. It's not finishing or starting now. It's a process, we can improve a lot."

Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette scored first-half goals to set up Arsenal's 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town and earn their first away Premier League victory since November.

The Gunners had taken a single point from their past five away league games and were without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey for Saturday's trip to Yorkshire.

Huddersfield, rock bottom of the Premier League, offered little resistance but did at least score for the first time since Jan Siewert replaced David Wagner as head coach thanks to Sead Kolasinac's late own goal.

Victory moves Arsenal a point behind fourth-placed Manchester United in the congested race for Champions League qualification, with Chelsea going to Manchester City on Sunday.

Arsenal took the lead in the 16th minute. Kolasinac's deep left-wing cross found Iwobi and his volleyed finish took a decisive deflection off Terence Kongolo.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan almost marked his return from seven weeks out with a foot injury with a goal but he could not beat goalkeeper Ben Hamer at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.

But he was involved in Arsenal's second before the break, Mkhitaryan teeing up Ainsley Maitland-Niles for a driven low cross that Lacazette tapped in at the back post.

Huddersfield almost replied in the 50th minute but Adama Diakhaby's driven effort from a low Kongolo cross was saved comfortably by Bernd Leno.

Iwobi should have added his second after Mkhitaryan fed him but he fired his shot into Hamer's chest, while Leno denied Diakhaby again and Huddersfield's home debutant Karlan Grant had an effort cleared off the line at the other end.

And the Huddersfield fans finally had reason to celebrate after four games without a goal as Kolasinac turned into his own net in the 93rd minute, while Leno then saved from Juninho Bacuna to protect the Gunners' victory.


What does it mean? Arsenal still in top-four race

The battle for Champions League qualification looks set to go to the wire, with a single point splitting United in fourth and Arsenal in sixth, although Chelsea have a game in hand.

Huddersfield's survival chances are ever more desperate as a 13-point gap to make up in just 12 matches, considering their almost total lack of goal threat, appears an increasingly impossible equation.


Mkhi shines on return

The absence of Ozil and Ramsey created a spot for Mkhitaryan and the Armenia international was lively, if understandably a little rusty, on his return to action. If the Gunners are to finish in the top four and also push for the Europa League crown, Mkhitaryan will have a big role to play.


Hamer error gives Huddersfield mountain to climb

Deflected goals usually give goalkeepers little chance, but Hamer seemed to have time to react after Iwobi's weakly struck shot hit Kongolo. The goalkeeper, making a fourth Premier League appearance of the season deputising for Jonas Lossl, reacted too late to stop the tame effort.


What's next?

Arsenal's next two games are both in the Europa League as they take on BATE in the last 32, with the Gunners returning to Premier League action at home to Southampton on February 24. Town, who are also out of the FA Cup, are away to Newcastle United a day earlier.

A brace from teenager Joe Willock set up a 3-0 win for Arsenal at Blackpool in the third round of the FA Cup.

The game a Bloomfield Road ebbed and flowed pleasingly during the opening stages, despite the surreal atmosphere caused by vast numbers of Blackpool fans continuing to boycott games at Bloomfield Road in protest against controversial owner Owen Oyston.

Willock found the breakthrough and the 19-year-old midfielder's second opportunistic strike in the 37th minute effectively ended the contest.

League One Blackpool continued to press forward gamely but Alex Iwobi completed the scoring eight minutes from time.

Eddie Nketiah wasted two glorious chances inside the opening eight minutes, shooting into the side netting before stretching to prod wide.

Blackpool striker Armand Gnanduillet sashayed around a backpedalling Stephan Lichsteiner to shoot at Petr Cech but the visitors claimed an 11th-minute breakthrough when Aaron Ramsey's deflected free-kick hit the post and fell for Willock to nod in.

There were suspicions of handball against Alex Iwobi when he controlled to combine superbly with Carl Jenkinson, whose low cross was touched on by Nketiah for Willock to finish.

Cech's long punt found Nketiah, only for Mark Howard to save and compound the youngster's frustration.

Lichtsteiner was unable to cut out Marc Bola's 58th-minute cutback but fellow Blackpool full-back Michael Nottingham leant back to lift over. 

It was an increasingly lackadaisical showing from Arsenal in the second half and Paudie O'Connor rose unchallenged to head a corner wide.

An injury to Howard brought Blackpool substitute goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi into the fray and he was picking the ball out of the net with 10 minutes to play, although an offside flag denied Willock his hat-trick.

Mafoumbi could only parry Ramsey's shot across goal and the linesman's flag stayed down as Iwobi poached Arsenal's third.

What does it mean? More defensive worries for Emery

Although watching some of his young stars and fringe players turn in accomplished showings will have pleased Emery, arguably the most significant moment for the Arsenal boss came before kick-off when Laurent Koscielny pulled up with an apparent back injury. Hopefully a player laid low for most of 2018 by a ruptured Achilles tendon will be back soon.

Koscielny joins Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Rob Holding among the weekend defensive absentees. Although Holding is the only long-term casualty on that list, patching together backlines – this latest assortment did not always convince – is doing Emery few favours on a week-to-week basis.

Willock on the spot for clinical brace

Willock was soon enjoying himself alongside Ramsey, showing plenty of the technical ability in evidence during his Europa League outings. As against Vorskla, he was on the scoresheet and the nature of his goals – timing runs and arriving into the box for simple finishes – bodes well for any attacking midfielder, young or old.

Nketiah fluffs his lines

The Willock role belonged to Nketiah when the latter stunningly announced himself with a cup brace against Norwich City last season. That the 19-year-old has not managed any other goals in a smattering of senior appearances since seemed to weigh upon him as he passed up three clear first-half opportunities.

What's next?

Arsenal have a clear week to tend to some of their defensive injuries before making the short trip to West Ham in the Premier League, while Blackpool are back in League One action at Portsmouth.

Mohamed Salah predictably earned a place on the shortlist for the CAF Player of the Year award, but Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly was surprisingly omitted.

Salah stands as the clear favourite for the award having enjoyed a remarkable 2018 in which he has found the net 41 times, helping current Premier League leaders Liverpool to last season's Champions League final, where they were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid.

His Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane, Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi and Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez are also on the list, as is Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana and Juventus defender Medhi Benatia.

Anice Badri (Tunisia and ES Tunis), Denis Onyango (Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns) and Walid Soliman (Egypt and Al Ahly) are the three African-based players to be nominated.

Yet there is no place for centre-back Koulibaly, who was instrumental as Napoli finished just four points behind champions Juventus in Serie A last season, scoring his team's goal in a 1-0 win in Turin in April.

Koulibaly has helped Napoli keep 16 Serie A clean sheets in 2018, though he could not prevent them crashing out of the Champions League in the group stage this week.

Morocco international Achraf Hakimi, who is on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid, AC Milan's Franck Kessie and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi make up the shortlist for Youth Player of the Year.

No African team made it past the group stage at the World Cup, but Senegal's Aliou Cisse and Morocco boss Herve Renard are each up for Coach of the Year, along with Moine Chaabani of ES Tunis.

Arsenal coach Unai Emery wants Alex Iwobi to continue pushing himself after making an immeasurable improvement since Arsene Wenger's departure.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists there are reasons to be positive about his side despite their 3-2 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday. 

Marcos Alonso scored the decisive goal nine minutes from time as Chelsea shrugged off Arsenal's fightback to secure a 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge. 

Petr Cech was Arsenal's hero against his former club Chelsea as Unai Emery's side triumphed 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out after a tremendous 1-1 International Champions Cup draw in Dublin.

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