REMEMBER WILLIAN?

You know. That lad who played for Chelsea then moved to Arsenal when signing a three-year contract in 2020 when most assumed he would go missing. Yeah, he’s about to leave Arsenal.
Turns out he actually played 25 times in the Premier League last season, nine of them as a sub (he completed 90 minutes six times…), after signing that sweet, sweet three-year bumper deal - but it seems he’s already had enough in what can only go down as a boost to Arsenal’s books.
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It was reported last year the contract he signed would earn the Brazilian £30m over three years, and so in the 12 months he has spent at the Emirates, that’s a cool £10m. A tidy £5,285 per minute of football played, £1.43m per assist, or er, £10m per goal.
He won’t be missed by Arsenal fans, and it's likely the photo shoot above is the closest Willian will get to appearing in all three of their new kits this season.
Some reports suggest he wants to stay in Europe, while others suggest he’s set to move to Corinthians in Brazil. Reports are merely reports at this stage, but either way, unlike the below player it’s unlikely his current team’s supporters will care.
If anything, it’s a relief, and a bit of good news for the club at the start of this new Premier League season where the Gunners are yet to shift out of first gear.

EXIT SHAQIRI

Liverpool bid farewell to Xherdan Shaqiri – who has joined Lyon – by thanking the Swiss for the “boss memories” in a 59-second video that featured around 30 seconds of match footage.
That is not a slight on Liverpool’s media team, bigger players have left to smaller fanfare, but we did have to watch it to work out exactly what these boss memories were.
The time he became a meme while pointing was in fact the day he signed, and in the three years since he has unfortunately failed to break into a team which will go down as one of the greatest in Liverpool’s history. Injuries made it difficult, but it was ultimately the quality in front of him that made Shaqiri a bit-part player.
With a Premier League, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup medal, he’ll hardly mind, and Liverpool fans will only wish the 29-year-old well as he takes on a new adventure.

AN ICONIC CELEBRATION

We’ll forgive Michail Antonio for mixing up his movie references last night because he provided us with an iconic celebration when making West Ham history in the 4-1 win over Leicester.
Antonio, the former right-back, right midfielder, winger, and probably at one time goalkeeper, has hit the ground running this season with three Premier League goals already.
His first of the night against Leicester saw him reach 48 league goals over and break Paolo Di Canio’s record for the Hammers.
He celebrated in some style.
After kissing a cardboard cut-out of himself and lifting it a la 'Dirty Dancing', Antonio got his movies in a muddle in one of those refreshing post-match interviews.
"I thought, I'm making history, I've got to do something special. Did any of you get what celebration it was?,” he said.
"Save the Last Dance [he meant Dirty Dancing…] - the lift from the end!
"It was an amazing night. The fans enjoyed it, we enjoyed it. There's nothing better than scoring a goal and hearing a roar from the fans."

IN OTHER NEWS

The boys are back in town…

…and they’re headline-making views had social media in a spin last night. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher know the power that what they say on Monday Night Football gets heard the country over, and then some.
Last night, the title race took centre stage before West Ham-Leicester, and Neville’s suggestion that Manchester United – after picking up a terrible four points in two games – must go out and get Harry Kane in this transfer window caused quite the stir.
"I am struggling to understand why Manchester United are not going that extra step in this transfer window,” Neville said.
“They have always gone after the best player in the Premier League, the best English or British player in the Premier League, historically.
"Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, you are talking about potentially offloading a lot of wages there, potentially getting some transfer fees in.
Why are they not going for Harry Kane this week? Because I believe that if Harry Kane entered Manchester United you could get up to 90 to 95 points.
“Manchester United are going to need a new centre-forward in the next 12 months, the guy is available now if you pay £150m. I personally think that Kane coming in would be a differentiator."
The hyperbole is real, but the notion that United are going to throw £150m at Kane in the next week – out of nowhere – is all a bit much. After all, it’s all part of the masterplan, surely? Hope Kane goes to Manchester City, accept Chelsea have re-signed Romelu Lukaku, then wait, patiently, for a certain Erling Haaland’s release clause to drop next year...
United don’t have to sign Kane. They can wait.

IN THE CHANNELS

When you know you messed up…

This referee in the Danish second division gave quite the unique reaction when failing to play the advantage at a crucial moment.
*Mike Dean takes a note*

RETRO CORNER

There is a lot to like about this Thierry Henry goal, scored on this day 19 years ago at West Ham… The turn, the power, the finish. The time when it was more fun to support Arsenal Football Club.

HAT-TIP

Davies’ letter

From one refugee to a team of them.
The Paralympics Opening Ceremony takes place today, and if you didn't catch it yesterday, have a read of the full letter Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies penned to the athletes representing the Refugee Paralympic Team in Tokyo:
One of the things I know about sport is its power to change lives. You are all role models now with the power to inspire others. Make no mistake, what you are about to do in Tokyo will change people’s lives. There are going to be young people who will take up sport because of you. There will be refugees who, through watching you succeed, will believe they can too. And you know what, those people are the next nurses, teachers and scientists. That’s change starting with sport.

COMING UP

The League Cup is back, the EFL Cup, still the Carabao Cup, and we’re at the second-round stage with Barrow vs Aston Villa the match we’ll be covering live updates for tonight on the Eurosport website. There’s also Everton at Huddersfield, Leeds hosting Crewe and Brentford taking on Forest Green Rovers among 22 cup matches.
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