The Gunners are on the cusp of adding a 20-year-old from the seventh tier of English football, but where will he fit into Arsene Wenger’s plans?
Cohen Bramall is on the verge of signing for Arsenal from Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Hednesford Town.
The 20-year-old recently spent two days on trial with the Gunners where he left enough of an impression to earn himself a permanent deal, taking part in a training session with the first team.
Bramall, a versatile left-sided player, is expected to go straight into Arsenal’s under-23 side where he’ll battle for a place on the left alongside Marc Bola and Tolaji Bola.
The skilful wing-back is able to play at left-back or in midfield and will be a welcome addition to an Arsenal side who have a tradition of bringing through attacking full-backs.
Possessed with bagfuls of pace, Bramall focused on his budding athletics career as a teenager and only recently prioritised football over running.
Spells at Kidsgrove Athletic, Alsager Town, Nantwich Town and Market Drayton eventually earned Bramall a move to Newcastle Town where he reportedly went under the radar in terms of performances, prompting a former Town reporter to tweet « A few years ago I was at Newcastle Town reporting on Cohen Bramall and just 2 years later he’s off to Arsenal, didn’t see that coming ».
Bramall joined Hednesford this summer and hasn’t looked back since. He made inroads with a handful of eye-catching performances, one of which included a rabona assist which went viral and subsequently triggered the interest of several top-flight clubs, eventually landing him a trial with Arsenal.
Although the signing has made headlines due to Bramall being signed from the seventh tier of English football, it remains unlikely that he’ll be seen in the first team anytime soon due to the presence of Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs at left-back.
It’s expected that Arsenal will pay a fee in the region of £40,000 for Bramall who will put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal.
APPIAH TO STRIP GYAN OF GHANA CAPTAINCY?
The Black Stars coach discloses how he intends to put to bed controversies over the team’s captaincy
Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah has revealed plans to rotate the national team’s captaincy.
A notorious trouble spot and divisive element over the years, the leadership of the Black Stars has never been short of controversies.
Current skipper Asamoah Gyan and deputy Andre Ayew are the latest to have followed the trend as the duo have reportedly fallen out due to issues surrounding the armband.
“Gyan is the captain until I decide to change him, » Appiah told Metro TV.
« But maybe I will consider rotating it like you said, to take away the pressure and controversy that comes with it.
« I always tell my players to be captains of their positions.
« Players are at their best when you give them responsibilities.”
In the absence of Gyan and Ayew, who were both absent in Ghana’s last five games, the captain’s armband rotated around three different men.
Columbus Crew right-back Harrison Afful led the team in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Congo in Brazzaville in September, before Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey assumed the position for the next two games against Uganda and Saudi Arabia last month.
In Sunday’s clash with Egypt, Alaves midfielder Mubarak Wakaso was handed the privilege.
United may unleash Pogba and Ibrahimovic
Manchester United supporters could be treated to the long-awaited returns of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba when their team resume their Premier League campaign against Newcastle United on Saturday.
The pair, so instrumental in United’s success last season, are back in full training and may be named on the bench as manager Jose Mourinho attempts to integrate them back into his first-team plans.
Ibrahimovic, 35, has made an impressive recovery from the career-threatening knee ligament injury he suffered in April.
Pogba’s injury was less serious, but the 24-year-old France midfielders has nevertheless been sidelined since mid-September with a torn hamstring.
In his absence, United’s play has stuttered compared with their impressive early-season form and, of the two, his return could be the more pivotal.
Ibrahimovic said in an interview in his native Sweden that he will return from his injury stronger for the experience.
« I’m determined to return better and stronger than before, » said Ibrahimovic, whose side trail league leaders Manchester City by eight points.
« That is my goal and it will happen. There are no other options.
« When I’ve decided to do something, nothing is going to change my mind. I said I would take over Sweden. At breakfast I had already taken over Sweden.
« At lunch I took over Europe. At dinner I took over the world. That was my plan. And that is exactly what happened. »
The veteran forward also said he is relishing the prospect of partnering Romelu Lukaku in the United attack, having handed the Belgium striker his number nine squad shirt when Lukaku signed from Everton.
– Gayle’s Beckham inspiration –
« I was asked who I thought was good in the league and I mentioned Lukaku, » said Ibrahimovic.
« He is physically strong and he makes a lot of goals. Every team needs players like that. I am glad he is at United. I think he will help us a lot and he already has in just a short time. »
Defender Marcos Rojo is making good progress from his own knee ligament injury and played for United’s under-23 team in mid-week, although he may not be in contention for the Newcastle visit.
Mourinho, who has been plagued by injury problems in recent weeks, is finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, with midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick both available for the game.
Phil Jones has also recovered from the thigh injury he suffered while on international duty, offering Mourinho options in defence, with Eric Bailly likely to partner the England man at centre-back.
Newcastle are set to be without injured trio Jamaal Lascelles, Mikel Merino and Christian Atsu as they go in search of what would be only a second victory in 23 league visits to Old Trafford.
Manager Rafael Benitez, whose side sit in 11th place with one win from their last six games, will assess Ciaran Clark after the defender’s return from duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Dwight Gayle hopes to keep his place in the starting line-up after being recalled for the 1-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth before the international break.
The former Crystal Palace striker grew up as a Manchester United fan, in large part due to coming from the same area of London as former United star David Beckham.
« David Beckham was always an idol of mine, » said Gayle, who is yet to score in nine appearances this season.
« I followed Manchester United growing up and still enjoy watching them. »
Five Football Scandals That Threatened The Game & #5 Will Shock You
1. Calciopoli Scandal (2006)
Calciopoli Scandal in 2006 rocked world football when it emerged that many top clubs in Italy had been involved in influencing the appointment of referees for their games among various other allegations.
Juventus who had won the 2005 and 2006 league were stripped of their titles and were relegated to Serie B where they stayed for one season before returning to top flight immediately. Though Juventus were punished seriously for their involvement, AC Milan and some other clubs could consider themselves fortunate not to endure such serious consequences.
It had a major impact on Italian and world football, and since then, extra precautions have been enforced in football in this regard. Juventus have since not won a single league title and have not been the same force in the last few seasons though under the diligent Antonio Conte, they have shown that they can be serious contenders for the title this season.
2. John Terry’s Affair with Wayne Bridge’s Wife Vanessa Peronncel
Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge was devastated after it emerged that John Terry could be involved in an affair with his wife Vanessa Perroncel. Bridge and Terry have played together for both Chelsea and England in the past and were considered to be good friends before this incident. It is no surprise that Bridge reacted in this manner and even refused to play for England if he is to play alongside Terry.
In the games against Chelsea that he has taken part since details of the alleged affair emerged, he has refused to shake hands with Terry. The Chelsea defender also had a tough time following the affair, considering that he was stripped of his captaincy before the world cup by Fabio Capello and had to endure plenty of criticism.
3. The Unfortunate Murder of Andres Escobar
Colombian defender Andres Escobar was murdered in July 1994 just after the team was eliminated from the World Cup due to his own goal, and it is widely believed that it was why he was killed.
It could be some drug traffickers who lost money betting on the team that they targeted the respectable defender. In the above video, it is quite clear that it was an unfortunate error which could happen at times even to the best defenders of the game, and it is a tragedy that he was murdered.
Let us hope that such incidents never happen again in the future.
4. Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema and the Underage Prostitute Zahia Dehar
Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema and Sidney Govou were involved in an alleged sex scandal involving prostitute Zahia Dehar, who is still a teenager. She has been accused of sleeping with all three footballers at the time when she was lesser than 18 years of age though Ribery and the others claim that they had no knowledge of her age when they were involved in the incident.
She said that they were all nice to her, and that she was surprised that they could face criminal charges in the future.
5. Kolo Toure’s Testing Positive for Manchester City
Manchester City defender Kolo Toure tested positive when he was tested for drugs, and it was a major surprise considering that he had a relatively clean record till then as a player. His club and his former manager Arsene Wenger, who managed him for a long time at Arsenal, offered support to the defender with the French manager revealing that it was his diet pills which got him into trouble.
Wenger also insisted that he was certain that Toure had not taken it for the purpose of performance enhancement. Toure was subsequently banned for six months and has made his comeback following the completion of the ban.
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