UEFA has announced that the Europa League group stage clash between Arsenal and PSV on Thursday has been postponed.

The Gunners were due to host the Eredivisie side in their first home match of the competition, having beaten Zurich 2-1 last week, but the tie will not go ahead due to "issues related to ongoing events" following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

A statement read: "UEFA today announced that the UEFA Europa League tie between Arsenal FC and PSV Eindhoven, originally to be played on Thursday 15 September, has been postponed with a new date to be communicated in due course.

"This is due to the severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

It marks the second Arsenal game in a row to be postponed after all Premier League fixtures this past weekend were called off as a mark of respect to the monarch, who died at the age of 96 on Thursday.

Uncertainty remains around this weekend's fixtures, particularly those in the Premier League where Tottenham host Leicester City, Chelsea tackle Liverpool and Arsenal travel to Brentford.

If those games were to be postponed, Arsenal's next match would not be until the north London derby on October 1 due to the international break.

UEFA has confirmed the Champions League and other European club competitions will feature in the Football Manager video game series for the first time this year.

The latest instalment of Sports Interactive and SEGA's hugely popular series, Football Manager 2023, will be released on November 8.

Players will now be able to compete in fully licenced editions of the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Super Cup, while the Women's Champions League will appear in a future version of the game.

Sports Interactive's studio director Miles Jacobsen revealed last July that the game's creators plan to introduce women's football in the future.

A UEFA press release read: "The UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League and UEFA Super Cup will feature for the first time ever in Sports Interactive's and SEGA's iconic series, Football Manager. 

"Although it will not feature in Football Manager 2023, the flagship women’s football club competition, the UEFA Women's Champions League, is also included in the licencing agreement and will debut in a future version of the game."

Jacobsen said: "Adding these historic competitions is an ideal fit for all parties involved and will add another dynamic and challenging element for fans that makes this year's edition the most realistic football management simulation available."

Christian Eriksen is confident Manchester United are on a "good road" and praised the qualities of his fellow Red Devils midfielders. 

Although United lost to Real Sociedad in the Europa League last time out, their Premier League fortunes have seen a vast improvement since Erik ten Hag lost his first two games in charge last month.

A 3-1 home win over Arsenal last Sunday made it four successive league victories for United – their best winning run since April 2021.

Eriksen created a team-high three chances and recorded 33 successful passes (also a team-high) against the Gunners, as well as teeing up Marcus Rashford's second goal.

Only Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes (both 10) have created more Premier League chances than Eriksen for United this campaign (eight). Meanwhile, Fernandes (539) is the only Red Devils midfielder to rack up more Premier League minutes than Eriksen's 532 under Ten Hag.

Speaking to the club's website, Eriksen said United's midfielders were adapting well to the new boss's methods. 

"Everyone has different qualities and it's up to the manager who he's going to put down to play in which games and see what qualities will work," Eriksen said.

"Take Casemiro coming in and showing how strong he is already, being a winner. And Fred and Donny [van de Beek] have played for many years – it's a decent midfield.

"Scott [McTominay] has done very well and I think you can see that from the games. I think in the first few games, we were looking for each other a bit and seeing where we are. 

"But now I think we are starting to get a good connection and a good feeling of where you should be, and also because of the instructions of the manager, as he has the positions he would like us to be in. 

"I think it's gone well, but also when you win games it's just easier to look back and the confidence builds up and you forget the small mistakes you make and remember the good things. 

"There are a lot of things we can improve, but it's a good road we're on."

Last season's 6th-placed Premier League finish means United are competing in the Europa League this campaign, but Eriksen believes the strength of their squad – and the allowance of five substitutions – leaves them well-equipped to cope.

"[The whole squad] is going to be very important," he added. "I think this is a good year to have five substitutions.

"It will help the pressure on a lot of the players, and also I think it will give the manager a few more options. 

"The guys who have come on have done very well – they want to prove themselves. And also the guys that have been starting want to prove themselves. 

"So it's a good and strong push that I think we need, because we have a lot of games and there is a lot of quality in the team. We all have to fight for our places."

Following the Premier League's decision to postpone its weekend fixture programme after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, United are back in action on Thursday, travelling to Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League.

For the past three seasons, the top four in LaLiga has been somewhat predictable.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have made up the top three, while Sevilla have claimed sole possession of fourth place and the final Champions League qualification spot.

While that could still ultimately be the case in 2022-23, a wobbly start for Julen Lopetegui's men has seen them claim just one point from their first four games as they sit in 17th place.

Predictably, the early running in Spain has seen Madrid and Barca set the pace, though two other teams who have made promising starts meet at Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday.

Ahead of Real Betis v Villarreal, Stats Perform has taken a look at whether Sevilla's city rivals and the Yellow Submarine can challenge for a place in this season's top four.

Betis have shown steady progress in recent seasons, having finished 15th in 2019-20. Then Manuel Pellegrini arrived, seeing them climb up to sixth the following year, and fifth last season, as well as winning the Copa del Rey.

Pellegrini's impact has been impressive at Los Verdiblancos, taking them from flirting with relegation to fighting for European spots and winning a trophy, and they have made a promising start to this campaign as well.

Wins against Elche, Mallorca and Osasuna gave them nine points from nine, before a narrow defeat away at domestic and European champions Real Madrid.

They also got off to a winning start in their Europa League campaign on Thursday, winning 2-0 at HJK.

Betis have not finished ahead of rivals Sevilla since 2017-18, but with the platform they have given themselves in the early weeks of this season, perhaps it is time for their fans to dream again.

As for Villarreal, they have made an even more impressive start, winning three and drawing one of their first four league games.

Unai Emery's men are also yet to concede a goal in LaLiga, with flawless victories against Real Valladolid, Atletico and Elche accompanied by a 0-0 draw at Getafe.

In fact, Villarreal are the fourth team to keep a clean sheet in each of their opening four games of a LaLiga season in the 21st century, after Celta Vigo in 2001-02, Barcelona in 2014-15 and Real Madrid in 2015-16.

Like Betis, Villarreal have also enjoyed a good start in Europe, though oddly they have been a little more gung-ho than in the league, beating Hajduk Split 6-2 on aggregate to qualify for the Europa Conference League, before edging a 4-3 thriller at home to Lech Poznan on Thursday in their first group stage game.

The club from Castellon has had a similar trajectory to Betis, finishing 14th in LaLiga in 2018-19, before advancing to fifth (2019-20), seventh (2020-21) and seventh (2021-22).

Villarreal actually had the third-best goal difference in the league last season behind Madrid and Barca (+26), though finished 12 points and four places behind Atletico in third despite having a better GD by four.

Under the guidance of Emery, they even added an impressive European campaign to their CV last season, beating Bayern Munich to reach the Champions League semi-finals, where they gave Liverpool a scare in the second leg before losing 5-2 on aggregate.

This suggests the components are all there for an effective and dangerous team, they just need to spread their goals out across games and avoid the sort of collapse at key moments that saw them submit control of the tie against Liverpool in the second half at El Madrigal in May.

Emery will have to break through a barrier to ensure success at home and abroad, though.

His record of four Europa League wins with Sevilla (three) and Villarreal is remarkable, but in each year he has lifted the trophy, his teams have never finished higher than fifth in the league, which is also where his Arsenal team finished in the Premier League when they were beaten by Chelsea in the 2018-19 Europa League final.

His opposite number on Sunday, Pellegrini, has had less success in European competition, but does have a Premier League title to his name from his time at Manchester City, as well as league titles from Ecuador and Argentina from much earlier in his career.

The goals of Borja Iglesias will be important, especially with Juanmi injured, with the former already hitting four in four games, while keeping Nabil Fekir in the transfer window will also feel like a new signing. There is also, of course, the experience of the evergreen, in more senses than one, Joaquin at 41 years young.

Villarreal can look to build their success on the solid defence of Raul Albiol and Pau Torres, while Dani Parejo continues to run things in midfield, and similarly to Fekir for Betis, keeping Samuel Chukwueze should be a big boost, especially after his delightful goal against Lech Poznan.

Of course, Sunday's clash is only the fifth game of the season, and there is plenty of time for either team to fall away, or to push on even further, while other sharks are likely to circle as the campaign progresses.

It will be an interesting marking-post though, and perhaps an early indicator of who could be the team for everyone outside the usual top three to chase.

Or who knows? Maybe the one Madrid, Barca and Atletico have to worry about.

Manchester United have confirmed next Thursday's Europa League group meeting with Sheriff will go ahead as planned.

United's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday has been postponed, as have all Premier League games this weekend, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96.

However, United will travel to Moldova as planned next week for their European tie with Sheriff at Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena.

A statement on United's official website on Friday read: "Following discussions with the relevant governing bodies and in line with guidance issued by the UK Government, we can confirm our UEFA Europa League fixture against FC Sheriff will take place as scheduled on Thursday evening in Moldova.

"Match arrangements will remain the same for fans who are travelling to support the team in Chisinau. "

United lost 1-0 to Real Sociedad in their Group E opener on Thursday, with the game going ahead despite the Queen's death being announced a few hours beforehand.

The Red Devils paid their respects to Her Majesty in a statement released ahead of the game, in which they held a minute's silence ahead of kick-off and wore black armbands.

"Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen," United's statement read.

"The club recognises her immense contribution to public life, including sport, both here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world.

"Everyone connected with Manchester United joins the wider football family in sending our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to The Royal Family."

England's second day of the final Test against South Africa has been postponed and tributes continue to flood in as the sporting world reacts to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday Her Majesty had passed away peacefully at the age of 96, with members of the Royal Family travelling to Balmoral to be by her side.

The Queen was the UK's longest reigning monarch. 

Here, Stats Perform wraps up what impact her death has had on sporting events and picks out tributes from some of the biggest names in sport.


Postponements announced, with weekend fixtures likely to be impacted

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the second day of the third Test against South Africa will not take place on Friday.

There was no play on Thursday at The Oval due to poor weather, and the deciding encounter will not resume on Friday as planned.

The ECB said an update would be provided in "due course" for fixtures over the weekend and beyond.

Friday's play at the BMW PGA Championship has also been suspended, with no word yet on whether the tournament will continue over the weekend.

Europa League fixtures involving Manchester United and Arsenal, and West Ham's Europa Conference League game all went ahead on Thursday. Each match featured a moment of silence, while players wore black armbands in tribute.

There has been no confirmation on whether Premier League games will go ahead this weekend, although the English Football League called two games off on Friday as a "mark of respect".

Norwich City were scheduled to visit Burnley in the Championship on Friday, while Tranmere Rovers and Stockport Country were set to meet in League Two.

Northampton Saints' Premiership Rugby Cup clash with Saracens on Thursday was postponed, but Leeds Rhinos' Super League game against Catalans Dragons on Friday is still scheduled to take place.


Governing bodies and teams herald 'one of the world's most-respected figures'

The Premier League said it was "deeply saddened" to hear of the passing of the Queen, while England's biggest football clubs expressed their sorrow.

A statement from Manchester United read: "Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation. The club recognises her immense contribution to public life, including sport, both here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world."

Premier League champions Manchester City expressed their "sincere condolences" to the Royal Family and said "Her Majesty's dedication and service has been exemplary".

Chelsea said they "join those mourning in the UK and across the world", while Liverpool also expressed their sadness at the Queen's death.  

The Football Association (FA) also joined in with the tributes.

The Queen famously handed over the Jules Rimet Trophy to Bobby Moore after England's World Cup final triumph over West Germany at Wembley in 1966.

Meanwhile, she recently told the women's football team – the Lionesses – that their home triumph at Euro 2022 would serve as "an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations".

The FA released a statement on Twitter, reading: "We have sent our deepest condolences to our president, HRH The Duke of Cambridge and the whole of the Royal Family following the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. We join our nation in mourning her loss."

In tennis, a minute's silence will be held at the US Open, while the ATP and WTA Tours paid tribute.

The US Open will pay tribute to Her Majesty with a photo montage and moment of silence ahead of the first women's singles semi-final between Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Meanwhile, the ATP and WTA tweeted: "We are saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We are grateful for her contributions to tennis, and our thoughts and condolences are with the British Royal Family."

Formula One president and CEO Stefano Domenicali offered his "deepest condolences" to the Royal Family, while UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: "UEFA and European football are truly saddened by the passing away of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, one of the world's most-respected figures."


Beckham and Pele lead sporting tributes 

The sporting world has been quick to pay tribute to the Queen, with the likes of Pele, Roger Federer and David Beckham all sharing their memories of her. 

Pele, widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, posted on Twitter: "I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968, when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracana.

"Her deeds have marked generations. This legacy will last forever."

Former England men's football captain Beckham posted on Instagram: "I'm truly saddened by the death of Her Majesty, The Queen. What an outpouring of love and respect we saw for the Platinum Jubilee for her life of service.

"How devastated we all feel today shows what she has meant to people in this country and around the world. How much she inspired us with her leadership. How she comforted us when times were tough.

"Until her last days, she served her country with dignity and grace. This year, she would have known how loved she was. My thoughts and prayers are with our Royal Family."

Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer tweeted: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Her Royal Majesty. Her elegance, grace and loyalty to her duty will live on in history.

"I would like to send my thoughts and condolences to the entire Royal Family and Great Britain."

Another tennis legend, Billie Jean King, also took to social media to share a photo of her meeting the Queen at Wimbledon in 2010, while paying her own tribute to a "respected leader around the world."

The 39-time major winner posted: "For 70 years, her leadership, impact, and influence on the United Kingdom and the entire global community has been immense. I met her in 2010 at Wimbledon, and it was a special moment for me.

"She was the longest reigning British monarch in history, the only woman from the Royal Family to serve in the armed forces, and a respected leader around the world. She earned her place in history, and she will be missed."

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who helped mastermind the London 2012 Olympic Games, said: "The Queen was such a beloved constant in the lives of so many people over so many years that it is hard to comprehend that she is no longer with us," he stated.

"She was on the throne before most of us were born and she lived a life of extraordinary service to the people of her country and the Commonwealth.

"In the most demanding of roles, she has shown exceptional leadership, grace, wisdom and fortitude, touching us across the full fabric of society, including sport."

A Brais Mendez penalty helped Real Sociedad beat Manchester United 1-0 in their Europa League Group E opener on Thursday, which followed an impeccably observed tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. 

Old Trafford fell silent before kick-off to honour Her Majesty, who died earlier in the day at the age of 96, while players from both sides wore black armbands in tribute to the monarch.

Cristiano Ronaldo – making just his second start of the season – went close on a number of occasions for the hosts, who registered just three shots on target in the whole game.

The Red Devils' four-game winning streak was ended shortly before the hour mark when Mendez slotted home from 12 yards after substitute Lisandro Martinez had handled in the area.

United were comfortably the better side in the opening 30 minutes, yet they failed to carve out any clear opportunities.

Ronaldo thought he had given his side the lead 10 minutes before the interval, but his powerful header was ruled out after he had strayed into an offside position.

The Portuguese superstar inexplicably headed wide with the goal at his mercy immediately after the restart, before lashing just over from outside the penalty area.

La Real went ahead in the 58th minute when Mendez powered home from the spot after David Silva's shot had struck Martinez's arm.

Erik ten Hag brought on Bruno Fernandes at half-time, and Jadon Sancho and Alejandro Garnacho in the second half, but United were unable to find a way past the visitors' stubborn backline in the closing stages.  

What does it mean? United's home run comes to an end

This defeat was United's first in 19 home matches in the Europa League – a run that started with victory over FC Midtjylland in February 2016. 

Meanwhile, it was La Real's first-ever win against English opponents in Europe at the seventh time of asking. 

Mendez shines 

Mendez put in an industrious display and deserved his status as match winner. The former Celta Vigo man scored with one of two shots – the most of any La Real player – while his total of two key passes was not bettered by any other player on the pitch. 

Antony struggles

Antony lit up Old Trafford with a debut goal against Arsenal at the weekend, but the former Ajax man was a subdued presence here. He had just one shot and failed to make a single key pass before he was replaced by Sancho with 20 minutes remaining.  

What's next?

Both sides return to domestic action on Sunday, with United away to Crystal Palace in the Premier League and La Real visiting Getafe in LaLiga.

Manchester United and West Ham have confirmed their European fixtures will go ahead, despite the announcement of the death of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II.

The news of the passing of the Queen at the age of 96 was confirmed by Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Manchester United will play Real Sociedad in their opening Europa League group stage game at Old Trafford at 8pm local time, while West Ham host FCSB at London Stadium at the same time in their first outing in the Europa Conference League group stage.

Both clubs released similarly worded statements shortly after the announcement of the Queen's death confirming their games will go ahead on the direction of the Football Association and UEFA.

It was also revealed that a minute's silence will be held before kick-off of both games.

Arsenal held a minute's silence and wore black armbands at the start of the second half of their Europa League group stage game against FC Zurich to pay respects.

Arsenal and Zurich held a minute's silence following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with the news being confirmed during the half-time interval of the Gunners' 2-1 Europa League win.

The sides were drawing 1-1 at half-time at AFG Arena on Thursday after Mirlind Kryeziu converted a penalty to cancel out Marquinhos' 16th-minute opener.

It was decided that a period of reflection would be held ahead of the second half, with Arsenal playing the remainder of the Group A contest with black armbands.

Eddie Nketiah – heavily involved at both ends – put Arsenal back ahead after the hour mark in Switzerland and the visitors saw out their sixth win in seven matches this season.

Zurich are winless in seven league matches in what has been a poor start to the season and were behind early on against Arsenal.

Nketiah carried the ball down the left and picked out Marquinhos, who thumped an impressive first-time finish into the roof of the net.

Having played a big part in that opener, Nketiah went from hero to zero when bringing down Fidan Aliti to concede a penalty, which Kryeziu slotted in to level up the contest.

After a sombre start to the second period, Arsenal soon got going and regained their lead through an Nketiah header – Marquinhos turning provider with his cross from the right.

Arsenal were unable to find a third goal, but they held their opponents firmly at bay to respond to Sunday's loss against Manchester United in the best way possible.

Arsenal paid respect to Queen Elizabeth II with a minute's silence prior to the second half of their Europa League match at FC Zurich on Thursday.

The Royal Family announced Her Majesty had passed away peacefully at the age of 96 at her Balmoral residence on Thursday, with the news coming while the Gunners' match was taking place in Switzerland. 

Arsenal emerged for the second half of the contest wearing black armbands before a minute's silence was held in advance of the match's resumption.

The club also paid tribute with a statement on their website, which read: "Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is saddened at the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

"Her Majesty gave remarkable service over eight decades to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and we join together with so many around the world in mourning her passing and wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family."

Manchester United have paid tribute to Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II following the announcement of her death on Thursday.

The Premier League side posted a short statement of tribute following the news that the 96-year-old – Britain's longest-reigning monarch – had passed away, with their club crest rendered black on social media.

Erik ten Hag's side are set to face Real Sociedad in their Europa League opener later on Thursday at Old Trafford, and the club confirmed the match will proceed as planned.

"Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on the passing of Her Royal Highness The Queen Elizabeth II," read the club's statement.

"The club recognises her immense contribution to public life, including sport, both here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world.

"Everyone connected with Manchester United joins the wider football family in sending our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to The Royal Family.

"Following direction from the FA and UEFA, tonight’s UEFA Europa League fixture against Real Sociedad will take place as planned at Old Trafford.

"A minute's silence will be held before kick-off which will allow the teams, match officials and everyone in attendance to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Queen.

"Both teams will wear black armbands and the flags at Old Trafford will fly at half-mast as a sign of our utmost respect."

Manchester United don't want to be in the Europa League, though they have become a little more familiar with UEFA's second-tier competition in recent years.

Nevertheless, this is the first time since the 2019-20 season that they've entered the Europa League in the group stage and there were positives to take from that campaign.

Those positives generally revolved around United being able to give young players the chance to impress.

Tahith Chong, Axel Tuanzebe, Angel Gomes, Brandon Williams, James Garner, Largie Ramazani, Ethan Galbraith, D'Mani Mellor, Dylan Levitt, Ethan Laird and Di'Shon Bernard all got opportunities to play in that group stage, with many of them making their debuts.

Granted, a scan of that list doesn't show many players who've gone on to become regulars at United – a few remain at the club but are either down the pecking order or unlikely to have long-term futures, while Garner recently joined Everton and Gomes and Ramazani are impressing elsewhere in Europe.

United allowed a lot of players to leave the club on permanent deals and loans in the most recent transfer window, so there is every reason to expect any youngsters given chances in the group may not be familiar faces.

Ahead of Thursday's group opener against Real Sociedad, Stats Perform takes a look at the young talents who might emerge for United over the next few months.

On the fringes

United fans will hope the Europa League final provides them with an opportunity to see Facundo Pellistri in action. The Uruguayan winger joined the club nearly two years ago but hasn't played a single minute of competitive action, and neither of his loan spells at Deportivo Alaves were particularly impressive.

He caught the eye in pre-season last year but was still shipped out – he made a couple of appearances this time around before suffering an injury, which also ended any plans for another loan spell.

But if there's any South American winger likely to stake his claim for more first-team minutes, it's Alejandro Garnacho. The 18-year-old has already played for the senior side, including once this term, and has been a regular among the substitutes for Erik ten Hag.

An explosive, direct winger, Garnacho appears to be one of the most talented players to come through at United in recent years.

Such statements had been reserved for Shola Shoretire until fairly recently. The gifted – albeit diminutive – forward became United's youngest ever player in European competition (17 years, 23 days) when appearing against Thursday's opposition in February 2021, so he still has time on his side, but he hasn't really kicked on since in terms of collecting first-team minutes.

Having said that, United reportedly shelved plans for him to go on loan just before the transfer window closed, with Ten Hag apparently keen to keep him around until January – perhaps an opportunity or two is around the corner?

Out to make a name

It's fair to say United have a lot of promising talent coming through at the moment. Among those yet to play for the senior side, Kobbie Mainoo looks the biggest prospect of them all.

Only 17, Mainoo is an elegant playmaker who possesses exceptional technical attributes – he ran the show as United's Under-21s beat Carlisle United's first-team 2-1 in the EFL Trophy last week and has been training with Ten Hag's main squad ahead of Thursday's match.

Mainoo's by no means the only midfielder exciting people at Old Trafford, though. Isak Hansen-Aaroen courted attention in pre-season when a pre-match photo showing his impressive tattoo collection went viral on social media – at the time he was 17, though there is no 18-plus restriction on body art in his native Norway.

Unbeknownst to many of those sharing the photo, Hansen-Aaroen is an extremely gifted and versatile player capable of featuring in midfield and attack. He's quick, a wonderful dribbler, creative and difficult to knock off the ball. He's clearly already got Ten Hag's attention as he featured briefly against Rayo Vallecano in pre-season – a competitive debut certainly isn't out of the question this season.

Former Manchester City youngster Charlie McNeill is another who has been training with the seniors this week. Something of a goal machine at youth level, the 18-year-old is a well-rounded striker who works hard and possesses strong associative attributes. Given Anthony Martial's continued absence, McNeill could be an understudy to Cristiano Ronaldo in Europe over the next few weeks.

Charlie Savage, son of former Wales international Robbie Savage, made his first-team debut under Ralf Rangnick last season – as did Zidane Iqbal. The two midfielders both have plenty of potential, with the former possessing some of the bite his dad was renowned for, and each will be hopeful of kicking on after a brief introduction to senior football in 2021-22.

Mikel Arteta expressed his surprise after Bernd Leno suggested he was forced to leave Arsenal due to "politics" rather than performances.

The Germany goalkeeper swapped London clubs ahead of the 2022-23 season as he ended a four-year stay at Arsenal to join fellow Premier League side Fulham.

Leno penned a three-year contract with the Cottagers in a bid to boost his hopes of featuring at the World Cup for Germany later in the year, after falling behind Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal pecking order.

The 30-year-old departing Emirates Stadium came as no surprise after Arsenal brought in goalkeeper Matt Turner from New England Revolution, though Leno says he was forced out the club.

"When I realised that it wasn't about performance or quality, I knew I had to go," Leno told German newspaper Sport Bild.

"During the preparation I saw that it's not about performance, it's just about politics. It was clear to me: I have to get out of here."

Arteta appeared bemused when Leno's comments were put to him ahead of Arsenal's Europa League clash at Zurich on Thursday, claiming the suggestions were unexpected.

"I'm really surprised and I don't know if he's talking about the politics when he was starting every match or when he wasn't playing," the Arsenal manager said. "Really surprised about it."

As Leno looks to settle into life at Craven Cottage, Arteta looks ahead to a European campaign with Arsenal, who have been drawn in a group with Zurich, PSV and Bodo/Glimt.

The Gunners are among the pre-tournament favourites to go far in the Europa League, alongside their Premier League exploits that have seen them win five of their opening six games.

A 3-1 defeat at Manchester United ended the perfect start for Arsenal, who remain top of the league by a point, but Arteta knows he must balance players' workloads – especially Bukayo Saka.

"We will try to do our best to manage [Saka's] load, understanding that after November we have something that we've never experienced before," the Spaniard added, referencing the World Cup later in the year.

While Arteta may have to be cautious with star winger Saka, competing on the European front will offer other players a chance such as recent arrival Fabio Vieira, who signed from Porto in the transfer window.

"Hopefully you're going to see a lot more of him in the next few weeks and I'm sure you're going to enjoy," Arteta said of Vieira, before confirming the Gunners will be without Emile Smith Rowe due to injury.

"Emile felt some discomfort again in an area that he's been dealing with now for a few weeks. He hasn't trained in the last few days so he's out of the squad."

Diogo Dalot hailed Antony's instant impact at Manchester United and backed the winger to "adapt quickly", with the partnership made easier between the pair due to their native Portuguese language.

Former Ajax winger Antony, who United paid an initial £81.3million (€95m) for, scored just three days after moving to Old Trafford as he netted in Sunday's 3-1 win over Arsenal.

That strike made Antony, aged 22 years and 192 days, the youngest Brazilian to score on his Premier League debut for any team.

Dalot operated at right-back behind the 22-year-old, the Portugal international starting his sixth game in succession for United, which suggests he may be Erik ten Hag's preferred option going forward.

While the pair hail from different countries, they both speak Portuguese – a factor that Dalot believes will help Antony settle into life in Manchester.

"I mean I think you could see the impact he had straight away in our team," Dalot said of his team-mate as United prepare to face Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday. 

"It will take time for us to adapt to each other, but I think he adapted really quickly in the few days that he had in training and especially in the game [3-1 win over Arsenal].

"Obviously it makes it a little bit easier for me to speak to him in Portuguese, it comes out a little bit quicker than English.

"But I think he's a very good kid, very open to getting help as well, which is good, I think he'll adapt quickly. Everybody welcomed him as if he'd been here a long time, and I'm sure he'll be very successful."

Antony is not the only Brazilian to arrive for Ten Hag's side, with Casemiro leaving Real Madrid to join United, who have also brought in the likes of Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.

Those new signings appear to be settling in, with United recording four straight Premier League victories after opening with two defeats, including a 4-0 hammering at Brentford.

Ten Hag has constantly reiterated United are far from the finished article – sitting fifth in the embryonic Premier League table, just three points behind leaders Arsenal – and Dalot is glad to see an upturn in form.

"It's always difficult when you lose games. Obviously, the mood is not the same, but in our heads we always come here every day to give 100 per cent, to get better in every aspect that we can," he added.

"After Brentford, we had a full week to prepare for a game we knew would be difficult. We won it, it's in the past, now we want to focus on tomorrow, and do the same thing every day, give 100 per cent and win games."

Dalot started just 19 league games last season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, but believes Ten Hag is now rewarding him for fighting for his position with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

"I'm enjoying the opportunities I'm being given. This is why I came here, to play games, to give my best every single game, to be ready for every game, and this is what I've been doing and what I've been fighting for," he continued. 

"Competition will always be there, this is a club with high standards and high demands, this is the way that I like to work. I will try to keep on doing it for as long as I can. It's been a very positive start."

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United are in "control" when it comes to Marcus Rashford's future, adding that the forward is "happier" with his place at the club.

The England international was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain over the off-season following a difficult 2021-22 campaign, where he scored just five times in 32 games across all competitions.

But with three goals and two assists in the first six games of the new Premier League season, the 24-year-old looks to have rediscovered both the best of his abilities and his satisfaction with life at Old Trafford.

Rashford's United contract expires at the end of the current campaign, but with United set to start their Europa League campaign against Real Sociedad this week, manager Ten Hag says the club have his future in hand, given they have the option to extend his contract by a year.

"Definitely," the Dutchman stated when asked if the forward was in his long-term plans. "I don't think he is out of contract - I think United control the situation.

"It's difficult for me to talk about the past. What I see is a happy Marcus Rashford. We worked really hard the last two months with him on different aspects. He likes it, he wants to transfer it to the pitch.

"He comes in every day, he enjoys it, he's smiling, [he has] a really positive vibe. If you put all of those things together and you are happy, you will contribute more to the team."

Rashford's role as a centre-forward has kept Cristiano Ronaldo out of the starting line-up the past four games for United, with the Portuguese star benched alongside captain Harry Maguire.

Quizzed on whether a return could be on the cards for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, Ten Hag acknowledged the veteran forward is fit to feature from the off, while discussing plans to rotate his squad for their European schedule.

"He started against Brentford, then not since, but he is ready to start," added Ten Hag.

"Of course [he can start for the majority of games]. We have to win every game. We want to win every tournament, so we take everything seriously.

"We not only have a team, we have a squad, but we have to win every game and that is the mentality Manchester United needs."

Ten Hag acknowledged his approach may not keep all of the big names in his squad satisfied, but says his players will get a chance to shine, providing they earn their place.

"Maybe I can not keep them all happy every game, but everyone gets the game time if they perform well, [it is] quite clear," he added. "We need everyone, we have a lot of games to cover."

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