Morning all.

The England women plonked themselves into the history books last night by being the first international team to score eight goals in a Euros competition. A dodgy penalty started the 8-0 rout of Norway, which included a hat-trick from Arsenal’s Beth Mead. The victory means England are through to the quarter-finals as Group A winners. Defensively, Norway were at times all over the place but that’s not to take anything away from the way England played. So much better than the huff and puff performance in the opening match.

Poor old Northern Ireland though. They’re out of the tournament having been beaten by Austria.

Back at Arsenal, those returning to training after playing international fixtures last month were put through their paces in the gym yesterday.

Per Mertesacker has been talking to the media about the future of a few of our players:

On Nicolas Pepe:

I saw throughout the three weeks that I was coaching the first team that he has major potential. Hopefully we can see that at Arsenal.

On Reiss Nelson and AMN:

To see them in the leagues of Europe – they went to Holland and Italy – it was a fantastic experience for them. Hopefully they’ll see the benefit of it, whether that is here with us or whether they need to go somewhere else, that is obviously the decision of Edu and Mikel Arteta.

I think all three will be gone by the time this transfer window closes. AMN’s loan at Roma was little short of a disaster but Nelson, after a tough start, finished the season well and was unlucky not to be a Europa Conference League winner. Them’s the breaks though. Lol

Nicolas Pepe, talented no doubt but used sparingly by Mikel Arteta which suggests he’s not in the long term plans of the Spaniard. The only surprise to me is that there isn’t a host of clubs showing more interest in signing him. Just because his move to Arsenal hasn’t really worked, it doesn’t mean he’s not a very good footballer, it just means that he needs to be elsewhere in order to thrive. He’s not the first and I’m sure he won’t be the last player to make a move which didn’t quite work out.

The Daily Mail have suggested Arsenal have made contact with Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta. The 24-year-old Brazilian was as they put it “the standout performer for the French club last season”, scoring 11 goals and registering seven assists in 43 matches across all competitions. €80 million is the price quoted to secure the player. Newcastle want him too apparently but Arsenal have the Brazilian upper hand. Lol

As good as he might be, I’ve no idea by the way, if there’s money to spend, I’d much rather see other areas of the squad be bolstered long before another creative/attacking midfielder is signed. I think we have more than enough attacking midfielders. Plus we have Charlie Patino coming through as well as Omari Hutchinson. Both I hope will feature in the domestic cups this coming season.

Ismael Bennacer is linked with a return to Arsenal. It seems like it was years ago when he was on Arsenal’s books yet he only left in 2017 and he’s still just 24 years old. He certainly fits the profile of this current Arsenal. As does Amadou Onana, albeit a lot taller than any other player the Edu/Arteta combo has signed. West Ham are reported to have had a second bid rejected so perhaps he’s waiting for Arsenal to come in for him. Lol

How good would it be to see a 6’ 5” player attacking our set-pieces and defending the oppositions?

Yes, I’m obsessed with height….

See you in the comments.