Arsenal have completed the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan for the rest of the season.

Odegaard, who joined Madrid aged only 16, excelled on loan at Real Sociedad last season, scoring seven times in all competitions.

The 22-year-old topped La Real's squad for chances created in LaLiga, crafting 62 opportunities in total and provided six assists from 31 appearances, while also boasting an impressive passing accuracy of 84.74 per cent.

Madrid cut short Odegaard's two-season loan in the Basque country, but the playmaker has struggled to force his way into the first-team picture under Zinedine Zidane, making just seven appearances and starting only three matches.

Odegaard will now get an opportunity to show what he is capable of with the Gunners, who lured the Norway international to London after Mesut Ozil’s departure to Fenerbahce.

The switch represents Odegaard's fourth loan move away from Madrid, with the youngster having also spent time at Heerenveen and Vitesse in the Eredivisie prior to his spell at La Real.

 

WHAT WILL ODEGAARD BRING TO ARSENAL?

Odegaard's creativity was key in an impressive 2019-20 season which saw La Real reach the Copa del Rey final, which they have not yet played.

No Arsenal player came close to replicating Odegaard's influence last term, with Nicolas Pepe (40) creating the most chances in the Premier League for the Gunners – 22 fewer than Odegaard from the same amount of games played.

Odegaard made 504 successful passes into the final third, dwarfing the leader in that category for Arsenal (Granit Xhaka, 378).

He also played 239 passes into the opposition area, 99 more than Pepe, who attempted the most for Arsenal.

With Mikel Arteta currently employing a 4-2-3-1 system, Odegaard is likely to be battling it out with the impressive Emile Smith Rowe for a place in the side.

From five league appearances this season, Smith Rowe has created 10 opportunities and one big chance, registering three assists, though he is yet to get off the mark in the top flight.

Thomas Tuchel has been appointed Chelsea head coach following the dismissal of Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have handed former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel a contract initially until the end of next season.

The 47-year-old had been out of work since being sacked by PSG in December.

Chelsea confirmed on their official website: "Thomas Tuchel has been appointed as the new Chelsea head coach."

Tuchel said: "I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff.

"We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard's work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family - it feels amazing!"

Chelsea said there was a "possibility" of Tuchel securing an extended stay at Stamford Bridge, and director Marina Granovskaia urged him to grasp an opportunity to deliver instant success this season.

She said: "It is never easy to change head coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe's best coaches in Thomas Tuchel.

"There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond. We welcome Thomas to the club."

Tuchel took training at Chelsea on Tuesday evening as he immediately began work with the squad.

Chelsea will be keen for Tuchel to make a quick impact on the pitch, with the Blues having let Lampard go after a run of two wins in eight Premier League matches.

They face Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday before entertaining Burnley in the top flight on Sunday.

Despite leading PSG to a first Champions League final, where they were defeated 1-0 by Bayern Munich in August, Tuchel was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino after overseeing four Ligue 1 defeats before the 2020-21 mid-season break. PSG were third, a point behind Lyon and Lille, when Tuchel was ousted.

The German won two Ligue 1 titles, the Trophee des Champions twice, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue during his two and a half years at the helm in Paris.

Prior to that he spent two years with Dortmund, winning the DFB-Pokal in 2016-17 but failing to dethrone Bayern in the Bundesliga.

He left both his previous positions following an apparent breakdown in relations with senior leadership figures.

Tuchel had a disagreement with Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke after a Champions League game against Monaco was pushed back by just one day after the Bundesliga side's bus was attacked.

At PSG he was involved in a public dispute with sporting director Leonardo over the club's transfer policy and reportedly claimed he felt more like "a politician rather than a coach", though he later said that remark was mistranslated.

Thomas Tuchel has been appointed Chelsea head coach following the dismissal of Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have handed former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel a contract initially until the end of next season.

The 47-year-old had been out of work since being sacked by PSG in December.

 

Chelsea confirmed on their official website: "Thomas Tuchel has been appointed as the new Chelsea head coach."

Tuchel said: "I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff.

"We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard's work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family - it feels amazing!"

Despite leading PSG to a first Champions League final, where they were defeated 1-0 by Bayern Munich in August, Tuchel was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino after overseeing four Ligue 1 defeats before the mid-season break. PSG were third, a point behind Lyon and Lille, when Tuchel was ousted.

The German won two Ligue 1 titles, the Trophee des Champions twice, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue during his two and a half years at the helm in Paris.

Prior to that he spent two years with Dortmund, winning the DFB-Pokal in 2016-17 but failing to dethrone Bayern in the Bundesliga.

He left both his previous positions following a breakdown in relations with senior leadership figures.

Tuchel had a disagreement with Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke after a Champions League game against Monaco was pushed back by just one day after the Bundesliga side's bus was attacked.

At PSG he was involved in a public dispute with sporting director Leonardo over the club's transfer policy and reportedly claimed he felt more like "a politician rather than a coach", though he later said that remark was mistranslated.

Chelsea will be keen for Tuchel to make a quick impact on the pitch, with the Blues having let Lampard go after a run of two wins in eight Premier League matches.

They face Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday before entertaining Burnley in the top flight on Sunday.

Frank Lampard has been sacked as Chelsea head coach, the Blues have confirmed.

Widespread reports emerged on Monday that the Blues were set to dismiss Lampard after a run of two wins in eight Premier League games left them ninth, 11 points off the pace.

Confirmation soon followed, bringing to an end Lampard's 18-month reign back at the club where he remains the all-time record goalscorer, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel expected to be appointed as his successor.

Chelsea statement did not comment on Tuchel's potential arrival but read: "This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the board have taken lightly.

"We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as head coach of the club. However, recent results and performances have not met the club's expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.

"There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the club time to improve performances and results this season."

Owner Roman Abramovich added: "This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.

"He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.

"On behalf of everyone at the club, the board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as head coach and wish him every success in the future.

"He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge."

Lampard was unable to replicate the success of his playing career at Stamford Bridge, where he won 11 major trophies in 13 years.

This was his second senior coaching role, having fallen just short of promotion from the Championship with Derby County in 2018-19.

A return to Chelsea followed, with Lampard given the task of overseeing a period of transition as the club served a transfer ban while bringing through a number of players from their talented academy.

Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James all established themselves as regulars as the Blues qualified for the Champions League last term and reached the FA Cup final.

Expectations were raised by significant expenditure in the close-season transfer window, with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell among those arriving, and Chelsea initially thrived, climbing to the top of the table in December 2020.

But the 2020-21 campaign has since gone on a downward spiral, their poor run of form including defeats to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester City.

The latter three reverses were especially humbling, handing struggling Arsenal a much-needed win before being completely outplayed by City. Leicester - title contenders unlike Chelsea - were comfortable in Lampard's final league game in charge on Tuesday.

Lampard's tenure ended with a 3-1 victory against Luton Town in the FA Cup in which Abraham scored a hat-trick, although Werner's struggles continued with a penalty miss.

Werner and Havertz have failed to perform consistently following their big-money moves from the Bundesliga.

They will hope to be boosted by the apparently imminent appointment of fellow German Tuchel, who won two Ligue 1 titles and made the Champions League final with PSG.

Frank Lampard has been sacked as Chelsea head coach, the Blues have confirmed.

Widespread reports emerged on Monday that the Blues were set to dismiss Lampard after a run of two wins in eight Premier League games left them ninth, 11 points off the pace.

Confirmation soon followed, bringing to an end Lampard's 18-month reign back at the club where he remains the all-time record goalscorer, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel expected to be appointed as his successor.

Mesut Ozil has completed a move to Fenerbahce after negotiating his departure from Arsenal.

World Cup winner Ozil, once Arsenal's record signing, had been excluded from Mikel Arteta's first-team plans this season and departs after seven and a half years with the Premier League club.

The former Germany midfielder was under contract until the end of the current campaign but reached an agreement for an early termination, clearing him to sign elsewhere.

Fener have now confirmed the arrival of Ozil, with Arsenal announcing the playmaker's departure on their official website.

In a statement in the Gunners' announcement, Ozil said: "I'd like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven-and-a-half years.

"The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.

"Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime.

"The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart. I'd like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong."

Having joined from Real Madrid in September 2013, Ozil made 184 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, scoring 33 goals and contributing 54 assists.

He was a key part of Arsene Wenger's squad that finished second in the 2015-16 Premier League season, while he also started in the FA Cup final triumphs in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

However, the 32-year-old had increasingly become a peripheral figure in recent years, initially under former Gunners boss Unai Emery before being left out entirely by Arteta. 

His final Arsenal appearance came on March 3, 2020, when he played 89 minutes in a 1-0 win over West Ham at Emirates Stadium.

Although he was twice named on the bench when the 2019-20 season resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break, the 32-year-old was an unused substitute against both Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton in June.

"Mesut's achievements at Arsenal are undisputed," Arteta said. "It was a privilege to play alongside him and, more recently, coach him.

"His creativity and vision led to many goals during his time in the Arsenal shirt. Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins.

"These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce."

Mesut Ozil has completed a move to Fenerbahce after negotiating his departure from Arsenal.

World Cup winner Ozil, once Arsenal's record signing, had been excluded from Mikel Arteta's first-team plans this season and departs after seven and a half years with the Premier League club.

The former Germany midfielder was under contract until the end of the current campaign but reached an agreement for an early termination, clearing him to sign elsewhere.

Fener have now confirmed the arrival of Ozil, with Arsenal announcing the playmaker's departure on their official website.

In a statement in the Gunners' announcement, Ozil said: "I'd like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven-and-a-half years.

"The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.

"Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime.

"The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart. I'd like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong."

Having joined from Real Madrid in September 2013, Ozil made 184 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, scoring 33 goals and contributing 54 assists.

He was a key part of Arsene Wenger's squad that finished second in the 2015-16 Premier League season, while he also started in the FA Cup final triumphs in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

However, the 32-year-old had increasingly become a peripheral figure in recent years, initially under former Gunners boss Unai Emery before being left out entirely by Arteta. 

His final Arsenal appearance came on March 3, 2020, when he played 89 minutes in a 1-0 win over West Ham at Emirates Stadium.

Although he was twice named on the bench when the 2019-20 season resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break, the 32-year-old was an unused substitute against both Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton in June.

"Mesut's achievements at Arsenal are undisputed," Arteta said. "It was a privilege to play alongside him and, more recently, coach him.

"His creativity and vision led to many goals during his time in the Arsenal shirt. Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins.

"These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce."

Manchester City will be without influential midfielder Kevin De Bruyne for between four to six weeks, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

James Harden has completed a blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets, it has been confirmed.

Widespread reports on Wednesday revealed Harden's eight-and-a-half-year stay in Houston was set to end, with the Nets agreeing a monster deal.

The Philadelphia 76ers had also been mooted as potential suitors, but Brooklyn's offer saw the Rockets receive Caris LeVert, Rodions Kurucs, three first-round draft picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027).

In a three-way move, Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince were sent to the Cleveland, who put in Dante Exum and a further first-round draft pick (2022 via Milwaukee) for Houston as well as a second-round draft pick (2024) for the Nets.

The Rockets are expected to swiftly move LeVert and a second-round pick on to the Indiana Pacers for Victor Oladipo, although that switch was not initially confirmed alongside the Harden deal on Thursday.

Harden had been keen on a move prior to the start of the 2020-21 season and has now got his wish, linking up with Kevin Durant - his former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate - and Kyrie Irving.

Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said: "Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league's best.

"James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn.

"While we are excited to welcome James and his family to the Nets, we also want to thank the players who are departing.

"Caris, Jarrett, Rodions and Taurean were instrumental to the team's success and have made an enormous impact on our organisation.

"It has been a pleasure watching them grow both as players and as people and they will always be part of our Nets family. We wish each of them and their families all the best in the future."

Although trade talks were said to be ongoing for some time, speculation ramped up in the hours after Houston's defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

An out-of-sorts Harden put up just 16 points in 31 minutes in the 117-100 defeat and later stormed out of a post-game news conference after saying: "I literally have done everything that I can."

Those comments prompted a backlash from team-mates John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, who both signed in the offseason as Houston once again rebuilt.

The Rockets failed to win a championship during Harden's time despite reaching the Western Conference Finals in both 2014-15 and 2017-18, with their star guard the league's MVP in the latter season.

Harden averaged 29.6 points per game in the regular season during his time with Houston, although that dropped slightly to 28.4 in the playoffs.

His return of 24.8 points through eight games this year was his worst average over a season for the Rockets.

James Harden has completed a blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets, it has been confirmed.

Manchester United will host bitter rivals and Premier League champions Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

United edged past Championship side Watford in the third round as the Reds cruised past a much-changed Aston Villa, who had to field a squad made up entirely of youth players amid a coronavirus outbreak.

While Liverpool have re-established themselves as the standard-bearers in the Premier League in recent years, they are looking to end a lengthy drought in the FA Cup.

The Reds have not won the competition since 2005-06 when they beat West Ham on penalties, with their most-recent final appearance in 2012 a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

If they are to finally end that wait, they will have to get one over their old nemesis in United, who this season appear to be rising to the challenge set by Liverpool in the Premier League.

United last won the FA Cup in 2015-16 and were beaten by Chelsea in the showpiece two years later – only Arsenal (14) have won the competition more than the Red Devils (12).

Whoever progresses will face either non-league side Stockport County, West Ham or Doncaster Rovers in the fifth round.

Another of the favourites, Manchester City, will expect to cruise through the next couple of rounds given they go to League Two's Cheltenham Town first and then face Swansea City or Nottingham Forest if they avoid a fourth-round shock.

The lowest-ranked side in the draw, sixth-tier Chorley Town, host Wolves, while Tottenham go to Wycombe Wanderers and Chelsea welcome Luton Town to Stamford Bridge.

 

FA Cup fourth-round draw in full:

Cheltenham Town v Manchester City

Bournemouth v Crawley Town

Swansea City v Nottingham Forest

Manchester United v Liverpool

Southampton/Shrewsbury Town v Arsenal

Barnsley v Norwich City

Chorley Town v Wolves

Millwall v Bristol City

Brighton and Hove Albion v Blackpool

Wycombe Wanderers v Tottenham

Fulham v Burnley

Sheffield United v Plymouth Argyle

Chelsea v Luton Town

Stockport County/West Ham v Doncaster Rovers

Brentford v Leicester City

Everton v Sheffield Wednesday

Full FA Cup fifth-round draw:

Fulham/Burnley v Bournemouth/Crawley Town

Manchester United/Liverpool v Stockport County/West Ham or Doncaster

Barnsley/Norwich City v Chelsea/Luton Town

Everton/Sheffield Wednesday v Wycombe Wanderers/Tottenham

Swansea City/Nottingham Forest v Cheltenham Town/Manchester City

Brentford/Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion/Blackpool

 

FA Cup fifth-round draw in full:

Fulham/Burnley v Bournemouth/Crawley Town

Manchester United/Liverpool v Stockport County/West Ham or Doncaster

Barnsley/Norwich City v Chelsea/Luton Town

Everton/Sheffield Wednesday v Wycombe Wanderers/Tottenham

Swansea City/Nottingham Forest v Cheltenham Town/Manchester City

Brentford/Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion/Blackpool

Sheffield United or Plymouth Argyle v Millwall or Bristol City

Chorley or Wolves v Southampton or Shrewsbury Town or Arsenal
 

Manchester United will host bitter rivals and Premier League champions Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Paris Saint-Germain have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach.

The former Tottenham boss has signed a contract until June 2022, with the option for a further year, with the Ligue 1 champions. He will replace Thomas Tuchel, whose dismissal was finally confirmed on Tuesday after days of speculation.

The German was sacked after an inconsistent start to the 2020-21 season despite having guided PSG to their first Champions League final in August, where they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Defeats in this season's group stage to Manchester United and RB Leipzig had put Tuchel under pressure, although he was able to lead his side into the last 16 after winning their final three games.

However, there were suggestions PSG's hierarchy had concerns about Tuchel's ability to guide his team past Barcelona in the knockout phase.

Four defeats in 17 Ligue 1 matches, leaving PSG a point behind leaders Lyon, also counted against Tuchel, while a public spat with sporting director Leonardo over transfers appeared to weaken his position further.

Pochettino, previously linked with the Real Madrid and Manchester United jobs, was sacked by Spurs in November last year after five impressive years in charge in north London.

Although he failed to win a trophy, the former Espanyol and Southampton boss turned Spurs into regular top-four contenders and Premier League title hopefuls, while he took them to the Champions League final in 2019, where they lost to Liverpool.

After taking charge in 2014, Pochettino led Spurs to four top-four finishes in five full seasons, twice the number they managed in their previous 22 Premier League campaigns.

He reached 100 wins in the competition in 197 games, the sixth quickest in history alongside Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish.

However, Spurs' domestic form suffered badly in 2019 as they tallied 18 defeats in all competitions from January 1 to November 19, when Pochettino was dismissed.

Pochettino has won admirers throughout his coaching career for getting his teams to adopt high-pressing and attacking football, qualities which have become demands of PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in recent seasons.

When Tuchel was appointed in 2018, Al-Khelaifi said: "He abides by very strong principles of playing spectacular and clinical football that has always been the foundation of German football, especially on the international scene.

"His competitive spirit, his preference for attacking football and his strong character are in line with what we have always wanted for PSG - this style that our loyal supporters have always demanded and admired."

Paris Saint-Germain have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach.

 

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