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Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United striker Michael Owen recently announced that he would be retiring from professional football at the end of this season. This has led to a heap of praise from the England midfielder, David Beckham. Beckham has praised his international teammate by saying that he is a true legend. Owen retires from the game after having played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, while also coming close to beating the all-time goalscoring records for the England national team. Besides from playing at the national level, Beckham and Owen played along with each other at Real Madrid for one season.
Owen broke through the scene at Liverpool when he was just a teenager. His extraordinary speed and skills earned him several accolades during the early part of his career. He was even named as the FIFA Ballon d’Or award winner back in 2004. However, his career has been plagued by injuries for the last few years. The 33-year-old signed for the Premier league club Stoke City on a free transfer in the summer hoping to play regular football, but he has once again spent majority of the season on the sidelines. As a result, he has chosen to retire when his playing at the highest level of football.
“I am not going to retire yet but obviously Michael has had an amazing career. He is a legend in our country for the things he has done on the field. I wish him luck. He has obviously become a friend of mine over the years. He has got an amazing family and an amazing wife and children. He has had a great career and scored amazing goals, not just for England but for the teams he has played for,” said Beckham, who ruled out his retirement now.
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Despite struggling to finish in the top four this season, the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out the possibility of bringing in any high profile players in the final few days of the January transfer window. Wenger has always been a man reluctant to spend in January. He even recently proposed a two player cap on the number of signings that the club could make in the January transfer window. Arsenal will be playing against Brighton and Hove Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup during the weekend. The FA Cup represents one of the realistic ways to bring an end to the trophy drought for the club.
Wenger’s squad has been decimated this season by several injuries to key players like Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby. Yet, they have been able to maintain a challenge for the top four positions. The recent 2-1 defeat in the hands of Chelsea, though, has come as a major blow to the club in hopes of retaining the record of consecutive Champions League group stage appearances. Wenger has said that he will never stop from strengthening the squad, but he feels that it is not possible to bring in magic signings like David Villa from Barcelona.
“If we perform at full potential we cannot expect any miracle from outside, we want to make things happen inside. If someone else can strengthen our squad, we will do it of course, but we have the resources inside to do well. We have two players in every position, that should be enough, plus the young players in behind. But if we find the top-class players in any position, we never refuse to strengthen our squad,” said Wenger ahead of the weekend’s match. The Russian winger Andrei Arshavin remains as one of the high profile January buys for Arsenal.
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The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that the club will not be bringing in the former striker Thierry Henry in a loan spell like last season. The striker returned for a second spell at the club last season on loan deal from the MLS club New York Red Bulls that lasted about two months. His presence was extremely influential on the team after it helped them finish in the third position ahead of Tottenham. There have been suggestions that the club will be trying to bring the striker, who has been training with them, for a third spell.
The Frenchman is the record goal scorer at the club and is regarded as a legend by many fans. He also has a statue unveiled in front of the Emirates stadium, which shows the level of importance he has been given by the club. Yet, he will not be coming back to the club in the third spell according to Wenger, who has promised that there will be other signings. The 35-year-old is at the twilight of his career, but he has been training with Arsenal in order to keep up his fitness during the MLS off-season. The former Barcelona man has been a huge success at his MLS team.
“I will be active, yes. Will I be concrete? I hope so. We are looking everywhere, we are open-minded. We want to strengthen the squad if possible if we find the right players. I think he goes away somewhere. He is not ready, he has just come back from holiday anyway. At the moment we are not on that case,” said Arsene Wenger after the match with Southampton. Despite playing a relegation threatened team, Arsenal were unable to assert their dominance in the match and could only come away with a 1-1 draw.
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The Premier league club Arsenal have signed a new deal with the airline major Emirates airline for the shirt and stadium sponsorship. This new deal will now see Arsenal earn £ 150 million from the two sponsorship deals. Emirates will now be paying Arsenal a whopping £ 30 million per season for the shirt sponsorship, while the remaining sum goes to the stadium sponsorship. The sponsorship deals with Emirates was one of the key factors behind Arsenal moving to the new Emirates stadium, which has been so successful in terms of generating revenue for the club.
The additional capacity from the stadium has allowed Arsenal to rise up to the fifth position in the overall rich table of football clubs. The club also incurred a lot of debts as a result of moving to this new stadium. However, they are extremely close to paying off the debts, which will leave them extremely secure financially according to the Chief Executive of the club. This would mean that most of the funds from the sponsorship will be available for spending on new players both in terms of the transfer fees and wages. Arsenal have always been criticised for not spending a lot of money to keep up with the top clubs.
“This agreement is a testimony to Arsenal’s approach and to the capabilities we have developed in recent years as well as the strength of our partnership with Emirates. What we can do is develop a really solid financial platform for the club that gives us the ability to compete for top players that we want to bring in and also top players that we want to keep. I think we will be able to be more financially competitive,” said the chief executive of the club, Gazidis after announcing the deal with Emirates.