RIP Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart

Jim (The Anvil) Neidhart, who formed the popular Hart Foundation tag team with brother-in-law Bret in the 1980s, died Monday. He was 63. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office in Wesley Chapel, Fla., said Neidhart fell at home, hit his head and “succumbed to his injury.” No foul play was suspected. Neidhart, a native of Tampa who turned to wrestling in 1979 following a professional football career with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, was trained by WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart in Calgary.

Married to Stu’s daughter, Ellie, he became a member of the legendary Hart family before joining the WWE with Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith and Bret (Hit Man) Hart. Neidhart wrestled mostly for WWE from 1985 to 1997 and was known for his pink and black gear, maniacal laugh and goatee. Neidhart and Hart held the tag belts for nearly a year after beating The British Bulldogs in early 1987. They enjoyed another long reign as champs after defeating Demolition in mid-1990. Neidhart also teamed with Bret’s younger and late brother, Owen, and wrestled in singles competition. The two Hart brothers joined Neidhart, Smith and Brian Pillman in a re-formed Hart Foundation faction that enjoyed a strong run in 1997.

Neidhart, who earned the “Anvil” nickname after breaking the California high school record in shot put, was initially managed by Jimmy (The Mouth of the South) Hart as the Hart Foundation went on to capture two WWE world tag team championships. Ross Hart, his brother-in-law and a former pro wrestler, told The Associated Press that Neidhart suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and it was believed he suffered a grand mal seizure on Monday. Jimmy Hart said Neidhart seemed in good health when they last saw each other in April on WrestleMania weekend.

Neidhart competed in Calgary Stampede wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling in the early 1980s before joining the-then World Wrestling Federation in 1985. In the ’90s, Neidhart was part of the Hart Foundation group that feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He last competed in the organization in 1997, but one of his three daughters, Natalya, is a WWE superstar. Neidhart wrestled briefly for other wrestling promotions and had brushes with the law and spent time in drug rehabilitation later in life. But he found a second act as comic relief on “Total Divas” and was filmed going shopping with his daughter and teaching wrestlers how to golf.

Arsenal 0 Manchester City 2

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says his side will get even better as they deservedly beat Arsenal on the opening day of the Premier League season. The Gunners were playing their first competitive game without Arsene Wenger in charge since 1996 but were well beaten by the defending champions. Raheem Sterling put City ahead in the 14th minute when he got the ball on the corner of the box, cut beyond two players and rifled home from 20 yards.

Riyad Mahrez went close to scoring on his league debut for City when his free-kick was saved by Petr Cech, who denied Aymeric Laporte from the follow-up. It was always going to be a tough first game for Unai Emery at Arsenal and they had few clear-cut chances – with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and substitute Alexandre Lacazette shooting wide from outside the box. Sterling, who was selected on the left wing over Leroy Sane, opened the scoring when he received a pass from Mendy, making his first Premier League start since September.

Record goalscorer Sergio Aguero should have had his 202nd City goal when he was played in one-on-one from the halfway line but he shot right at Cech – with De Bruyne free in the centre. Bernardo finally sealed the points when he finished from Mendy’s cutback. It would be unfair to judge Arsenal – or Emery, who replaced legendary manager Wenger this summer – based on a performance against the country’s outstanding team.

Lucas Perez Joins West Ham

West Ham have signed forward Lucas Perez from Arsenal on a three-year contract. It has been a really busy summer in east London and the 29-year-old Perez becomes West Ham’s eighth new signing, as manager Manuel Pellegrini overhauls his squad. Perez said: “I’m very happy to be here at such an historic club. “I’m very excited, as West Ham are giving me the chance to stay in the Premier League and I’m very happy to be part of this new project.

“West Ham have great fans and play in an amazing stadium, so to sign here brings me great joy. I’m very motivated.” Perez joined Arsenal from Deportivo La Coruna in August 2016 and spent last season on loan back at the Spanish club, having struggled to make an impact at the Emirates. West Ham director of football Mario Husillos said: “We welcome Lucas to West Ham United. “He is a very experienced player that Manuel and I both know well from Spain. “He has great technical quality, and can play as both the main striker or the second striker in a deeper role. He scores goals, but can also create them and link well with the midfielders.

Lucas makes the move across London and signs a three-year contract with the Irons, having played in the Premier League and La Liga over the past two seasons with the Gunners and on loan for Deportivo de La Coruna. The 29-year-old joins Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Aindriy Yarmolenko, Fabian Balbuena and Felipe Anderson in moving to London Stadium this summer.

Transfer Window Almost Closed

According to The Sun, new coach Unai Emery fears Shkodran Mustafi is not up to the job, while he is also said to fear the likes of Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are not yet ready for regular first team football. Chambers, who recently signed a new long-term deal, is reportedly on the verge of joining newly promoted Fulham on a season-long loan with Croatia World Cup star Domagoj Vida having been identified as a potential replacement.

The physically imposing Vida joined Besiktas from Dynamo Kiev for £8m January and the Turkish club have rejected a £13.5m bid from Liverpool already this summer. Having invested heavily this summer and last January, when Mesut Ozil signed a new deal following the arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Arsenal must sell before they can submit a tempting offer for Vida. Danny Welbeck is expected to leave before the deadline, while Aaron Ramsey could yet raise up to £30m if he fails to agree an extension to his contract which is due to expire next summer.

Bournemouth and Southampton want Danny Welbeck, Everton move off the England international. January signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is their No.1 frontman with Alexandre Lacazette also an option leaving Welbeck as 3rd choice. That leaves Welbeck out in the cold and he could be off before Thursday’s 5pm transfer deadline. Everton like the ex-Manchester United man but with Brazilian ace Bernard set to sign on a free transfer they could end their interest. That would leave Southampton and Bournemouth in the clear to battle over Welbeck who has just a year left on his contract at Arsenal.

Monday Arsenal Transfer News

Arsenal have problems at left-back with Sead Kolasinac set for two months on the sidelines having picked up a knee injury in the recent friendly against Chelsea. Nacho Monreal hasn’t featured in Arsenal’s preparations for the new season having returned from the World Cup with a knee injury. The Spaniard is expected to return to Emery’s squad this week but is a major doubt for Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Manchester City on Sunday (4pm). And with youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles set to fill the role against the champions, Emery has decided he needs fresh cover.

And the Daily Mail report the new boss will target AC Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez before the transfer window closes on Thursday (5pm). Rodgriguez moved to Milan last summer after spending five seasons in Germany with Wolfsburg. It’s claimed that Milan are keen to keep hold of the 25-year-old and it may cost Emery £30million to get his man. This is a player I wanted Arsenal  to sign a year or so ago.

Lucas Pérez wants to remain at Arsenal beyond next week’s transfer window, sources close to the player have said, with the striker hopeful of fighting his way into Unai Emery’s plans for the coming season despite interest in his services from Sporting Lisbon. Pérez was signed by Arsene Wenger almost two years ago, arriving from Deportivo de La Coruña in Spain for £17.1m. However he failed to make much of an impression in north London, scoring just one Premier League goal in his debut campaign, before spending last season out on loan at his former club. The 29-year-old returned to Arsenal this summer to link up with fellow Spaniard Emery and featured in the club’s first two pre-season friendlies against Boreham Wood, Atlético Madrid, although he was left out of their recent squads for wins over Chelsea and Lazio.

Perez To Lazio, Arsenal In For Vida

Arsenal have decided to accept a bid from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon for striker Lucas Perez after he failed to win over Unai Emery, according to reports. The 29-year-old joined the Gunners two years ago in a £17m deal, but spent last season on loan at Deportivo after being deemed surplus to requirements by former manager Arsene Wenger. Emery’s arrival appeared to offer Perez a second chance at the Emirates, with the Spanish boss even having tried to sign his compatriot while in charge of PSG.

Perez reported to training early in an attempt to impress the new manager and was part of the squad that travelled to Singapore for their pre-season tour. However, Portuguese newspaper A Bola report that Sporting have agreed a fee of just £4.4million with Arsenal for Perez – a significant loss on the figure they paid just two summers ago.

The Arsenal board are happy to sanction a £25m deal for Besiktas star Domagoj Vida provided the Gunners can shift Shkodran Mustafi or Danny Welbeck in the coming days. The defender was impressive as Croatia reached the final of the World Cup in Russia and his performances have not gone unnoticed by Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat. Arsenal already have a wealth of options at centre-back but Emery wants a long-term partner for Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny is currently sidelined with an achilles injury.

Mustafi has failed to convince Emery in pre-season and the Gunners are open to offers for the German before the transfer window closes. Danny Welbeck has less than a year left on his deal and has been told he can leave, with Everton interested. One or both of their departures would free up funds for Emery to make moves in the transfer market and the Sun say he will use the money to go for Vida. The 29-year-old only joined Besiktas last January for £8m but the Turkish giants would not stand in his way for the right fee.

End Of July Arsenal Transfer Updates

In a candid interview with Sky Sports, Aaron Ramsey admitted he is uncertain about his Arsenal future as he enters the last year of his contact. The Welsh star, who arrived in north London from Cardiff in 2008, is reportedly being tailed by Italian outfit Lazio and is said to be open to trying a new adventure overseas. Ramsey’s agents are in discussions with Arsenal, and although Sky Sports says new boss Unai Emery has “made it clear he wants Ramsey to remain at the club”, the man himself gave little away when asked to comment on his future following a squad training session in Singapore.

Steven N’Zonzi’s move to Arsenal has stalled. The France international is said to be “waiting for permission from his father before he can complete a move”. Unai Emery worked with the midfielder at Sevilla and has been chasing N’Zonzi for weeks, but it’s claimed that the Gunners aren’t willing to pay his full £36m release clause and are trying to haggle down the Spanish side. According to Spanish newspaper Estadio Deportivo, N’Zonzi’s dad “holds a unique personal sell-on clause which would entitle him to a cash windfall if Sevilla sell his son”, which is why the asking price isn’t budging. The way out of the impasse? Sevilla “may be willing to budge on their asking price should N’Zonzi senior agree to forfeit the clause”, says talkSPORT.

The Sun reports that midfielder Alex Iwobi has “snubbed interest from Lazio” and is set to sign a new five-year deal with Arsenal. The 22-year-old Nigerian international progressed to the Arsenal first-team from the academy and his new contract is reportedly worth £70,000-a-week.

Will Arsenal Sell & Buy More Players?

David Ospina allowed to leave despite Petr Cech rumours. Ospina was No 2 behind Petr Cech last season with Unai Emery also signing Bernd Leno this summer. There is doubt over Cech’s future though with former club Chelsea linked to a surprise move for the Czech keeper. Leno is expected to be Emery’s No 1 but with Cech potentially leaving, it could leave Arsenalshort on goalkeepers. Even so, the Evening Standard report that the Gunners will allow Ospina to leave if he finds a new club.

Besiktas have been strongly linked with the Colombian as the Turkish club could lose their current keeper. Emery is keen to bring in two more players before the end of the transfer window, but the north London side will have to sell players first in order to raise funds. The Gunners have already secured the services of Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Matteo Guendouzi in recent weeks and Emery remains keen to add to his squad. Arsenal had a £70 million ($91m) budget heading into the transfer window, however, and will have to sell before making any additional signings.

They are believed to be willing to listen to offers for the likes of Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi, Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech, David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson and Lucas Perez. The arrival of Leno from Bayer Leverkusen means Cech will likely end up on the bench after three years at the Emirates, with Ospina another potential victim of the German goalkeeper’s signing. Mustafi faces extra competition for a starting berth in defence from Sokratis following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund , with the centre-back enduring a difficult 2017-18 campaign.

Arsenal Sign Teenage Midfielder Matteo Guendouzi

Arsenal have signed France under-20 international Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient for an undisclosed fee. The 19-year-old, who started his career in Paris St-Germain’s academy, joined Ligue 2 side Lorient in 2014 and made his first-team debut aged 17 in 2016. Torreira is Unai Emery’s fifth signing as Arsenal manager following Lucas Torreira’s arrival on Tuesday. “I want to become part of the club’s history and to achieve great things here,” said midfielder Guendouzi. “Arsenal have always been the team closest to my heart and a side I’ve wanted to join since I was a child.”

Guendouzi made 30 appearances for Lorient during his time at the club and will wear the number 29 shirt at Arsenal. The Gunners have also brought in goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus and defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund. Head coach Unai Emery said: “We are delighted Matteo is joining us. He is a talented young player and a lot of clubs were interested in him. “He has big potential and gained good first-team experience last season with Lorient. “He wants to learn and improve and will be an important part of our first-team squad.”

Guendouzi will wear the number 29 shirt and could make his Arsenal debut on Saturday in a pre-season friendly against Boreham Wood. One for the future and we will be watching.

Arsenal Sign Uruguayan Lucas Torreira

Arsenal have completed the signing of Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria. Torreira, 22, completed his medical at Arsenal’s London Colney training base on Tuesday before the club announced the deal for an undisclosed fee. The midfielder, who featured in all five of Uruguay’s games at the World Cup, will be given a break before joining up with the rest of his new team-mates in early August. Arsenal head coach Unai Emery told the club’s website: “In Lucas Torreira, we have signed a young player who is a very bright talent in the game.

“A midfielder with great quality, I have enjoyed watching his performances for Sampdoria in the past two seasons, and we all saw him do very well for Uruguay in the World Cup. “He is a young player already with good experience, but who wants to keep on growing. We welcome Lucas to Arsenal and look forward to him joining us soon for pre-season.” Torreira said he is excited to get started in London, with the club confirming he will wear the No 11 shirt.”I feel very happy,” he said. “I want to make the most of this opportunity life has given me. I am really looking forward to starting this new adventure.”I feel calm. I am used to coping with this kind of thing in the best possible way. It’s a very positive thing that people want to welcome me.”It makes me feel comfortable. Now I am calm and I look forward to the future, which for sure will be very nice.”

Emery has been busy in the transfer window already, signing Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, free agent right-back Stefan Lichtsteiner and Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno. He has been handed the number 11 shirt for the 2018/19 campaign and will join up with the squad in early August.

Wilshere Joins West Ham United

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has joined West Ham on a three-year deal and says he has moved to the club he supported as a boy. The 26-year-old midfielder, who has won 34 caps for England, becomes Manuel Pellegrini’s fourth summer signing following the arrivals of Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski and Ryan Fredericks, another player out of contract. The England player’s contract with the Gunners expired at the end of June. “It feels special. “It feels good and of course my family and a few of my friends are West Ham fans so everyone’s buzzing,” Wilshere, whose brother and father are also supporters of his new club, said. “People will have seen the picture of me in a West Ham shirt and I’ve got good memories of my childhood supporting West Ham, watching them at Upton Park. Many people know that I’ve had a special bond with this club growing up,” he said.

The Hammers are also closing in on the signing of Ukraine forward Andriy Yarmolenko. A fee of about 20m euros (£17.66m) is understood to have been agreed with Borussia Dortmund. Wilshere is set to fly to Switzerland to link up with new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini’s squad at the club’s pre-season training camp. His first game on home soil could be a pre-season friendly against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. Despite his career being badly affected by injuries, the Hammers are confident Wilshere can make a meaningful contribution to a squad being overhauled by Pellegrini.

Wilshere made 197 first-team appearances for Arsenal and was part of the 2014 and 2015 FA Cup-winning sides. After spending the 2016-17 campaign on loan at fellow Premier League side Bournemouth, he returned to the Gunners and made 38 appearances last season but was not included in Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad. Wilshere, who joined Arsenal at the age of nine, exited the Emirates Stadium this summer after talks with the new manager Unai Emery left him adamant that his “playing time would be significantly reduced”.

Two Midfielders In The Talking

Arsenal have a pair of moves in the works with the club hoping to complete the signing of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria next week after the midfielder’s World Cup campaign came to an end on Friday. Uruguay lost 2-0 to France in the quarterfinals, finally freeing up Torreira to undergo a medical with the Gunners. According to BBC Sport, the exact timing will depend on whether he chooses to fly straight from Russia to London to conclude the transfer or whether he returns home to Uruguay for some post-tournament R&R first.

Uruguay have dropped a massive hint that Lucas Torreira could be about to join Arsenal after their elimination from the World Cup. Arsenal are understood to have agreed a £26.4million deal to land Torreira this summer but the Gunners have had to wait to complete the signing of the 22-year-old midfielder. Torreira confirmed that he chose to delay his medical until after Uruguay’s participation in Russia and it appears the Sampdoria man is on his way to north London imminently. An official statement from Uruguay’s FA revealed that Torreira was not on the flight with the rest of his team-mates as they headed back to Montevideo following a 2-0 defeat to France.

And the Gunners are also keen to move for a player who helped bounce Torreira’s side from the tournament in Russia with Sky Sports reporting that Sevilla and France midfielder Steven N’Zonzi is also on the summer wishlist. N’Zonzi has featured regularly for France in Russia and new Arsenal boss Unai Emery will know what he’s in for with the 29-year-old having established a relationship with him after managing him during his time in charge at Sevilla.

Arsenal complete Sokratis signing for £17.7m

Arsenal have completed the signing of the Greece international Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €20m (£17.7m). The 30-year-old defender, who has won 79 caps for his country, was identified as one of Unai Emery’s prime transfer targets after the Spaniard took over from Arsène Wenger as manager. He has signed a “long-term contract” and becomes Emery’s third completed signing after the purchase of the German goalkeeper Bernd Leno for £19m from Bayer Leverkusen and the arrival of the 34-year-old Switzerland full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer from Juventus.

The former AEK Athens defender joins his former Dortmund teammates Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Emirates Stadium. “They said to me the best things about this club, that it is one big family and of course they also called me not every day but a lot of times telling me to come here,” Papastathopoulos said. “Yes it’s a little bit [strange] but it’s also very beautiful that I’ve come to one team but I also have two players who I was together with for a lot of years. I know them both very well and I’m very happy.” Papastathopoulos, described by his former manager Thomas Tuchel as “a little obsessed with defending”, made 28 Bundesliga appearances last season having established himself as a mainstay of Dortmund’s defence since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013.

The 30-year-old arrives from Borussia Dortmund, where he won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup. The hugely-experienced defender lists Werder Bremen, AC Milan, Genoa and AEK Athens among his previous clubs.  Sokratis, who will wear the No 5 shirt for us, also has vast experience on the international stage, making 79 appearances for Greece.  This deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

List of Players Released By Arsenal

Standard annual footballer contracts run from July 1 to June 30 each year meaning that, come July 1 2018, all of the following players are going to be free agents:

Marc Bola

Santi Cazorla

Alex Crean

Vlad Dragomir

Aaron Eyoma

Yassin Fortune

Ryan Huddart

Chiori Johnson

Hugo Keto

Per Mertesacker

Tafari Moore

Jack Wilshere

The Gunners had earlier announced the departures of big names Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere, however seeing this made official on Sunday will bring tears to the eyes of some Arsenal fans. Cazorla has been at the club since 2012, Mertesacker since 2011 and Wilshere since 2001 – he joined at the age of nine.

Double Deal To Be Announced Next Week?

Arsenal will complete a £16million deal for Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos next week, according to The Star. The Gunners are also on the brink of completing the £26million signing of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria, reports the Telepgraph. Arsenal boss Unai Emery is including Lucas Torreira in his plans for next season. The Telegraph say the new Gunners manager wants to build his midfield around Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey. Emery then plans to add Torreira to the mix to bolster his midfield ranks at the Emirates. Torreira is currently at the World Cup with Uruguay but Sampdoria sporting director Carlo Osti has confirmed the 22-year-old had left the club.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is to complete a move to Fenerbahce on Monday, according to reports in Turkey. The England midfielder will be a free agent when his Gunners contract ends on Sunday, and confirmed his departure on social media. Moves to Spain and Italy had been mooted in recent weeks but it now appears the 26-year-old is on the brink of a move to the Turkish giants. Wilshere had a decent campaign with Arsenal last season having spent 2016/17 on loan at Bournemouth as he looked to get an injury plagued career back on track.

His performances, though, did not convince incoming Arsenal manager Unai Emery and he is now being released by the Gunners. Fenerbahce finished second in the Turkish Super Lig last season, challenging Galatasaray for the title. Wilshere is seen as an upgrade on 37-year-old ex-Newcastle star Emre Belozoglu.

Deals In The Pipeline For Emery?

With two confirmed deals and 1 to be confirmed on July 1st Arsenal are now looking at midfielders. Unai Emery is adamant that his new club sign his former player Ever Banega, yet today it is reported that Sevilla will do everything in their power to hold on to midfielder Ever Banega amid interest from Arsenal, insisting that he is “not for sale” and doubling down on their ability to talk the player into staying. The Argentina midfielder is considering his options this summer after some behind-the-scenes changes at the club and has an achievable release clause understood to be in the region of €20m (£17.6m) this summer.

Unai Emery is very familiar with the player from his own time in Seville and is well aware of the qualities and experience that the 29-year-old playmaker could bring in a time of rebuilding at the Emirates. It is also thought that the signing of another South American player is a done deal.  Arsenal have already signed Lucas Torreira, according to the agent of ANOTHER player. Torreira’s move has been in the pipeline for a matter of weeks after the midfielder’s impressive performances in Serie A.

But the Gunners have also been linked with Celta Vigo man Stanislav Lobotka in recent times. However, his agent Branislav Jasurek rubbished those reports, while simultaneously confirming that Torreira will be an Arsenal player next term. “Arsenal have bought Torreira to play six, so I do not think it’s going to happen,” he told La Voz de Galicia. “We only had a few words about feelings about the club, about what we think about Stanko’s future, but nothing in particular.”

Midfielder Deal Done?

Here is another deal that seems to be almost all wrapped up. Arsenal have been looking out for a defensive minded midfielder and we may have that player within our graps, if news reports are accurate – this one quotes the president of Sampdoria, where the player in question is currently signed onto, hence it is mostly legitamate.

Arsenal are seemingly on the verge of signing midfielder Lucas Torreira after Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero confirmed the player had “left” the Seria A side. Torreira, 22, is seen as one of Serie A’s most talented young midfielders, a modern playmaker who can win the ball back as well as distribute it, something missing from Arsenal’s play in recent seasons as Granit Xhaka continues to flatter to deceive. He will be the latest signing that recruitment czar Sven Mislintat has been charged with revamping Unai Emery’s first Arsenal squad ready for the new season, with goalkeeper Bernd Leno joining on Tuesday from Bayer Leverkusen.

Now a Uruguayan international, Torreira is part of an exciting midfield revolution under Oscar Washington Tabarez as the World Cup dark horses look to squeeze the last out of their prolific generation of strikers in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Speaking on Italian television, Ferrero said: “Torreira left for 30m euro. I bought him from Pescara when no one believed in him. We placed a bet and we won, paying just 3m euro. Torreira, originally a striker before moving backwards into midfield, is did not start Uruguay’s opener against Egypt on Friday but made a second-half appearance from the bench.

Arsenal Sign Goalie Bernd Leno

The highly-rated 26-year-old made more than 230 appearances for Leverkusen in more than seven seasons with the Bundesliga side.

Spending most of his youth career at Stuttgart, Leno signed for Leverkusen in 2011 and that September became the youngest goalkeeper to feature in a Champions League match at the age of just 19 years and 193 days, during Leverkusen’s group-stage game against Chelsea.

A Germany international, Bernd received his first senior international call-up in 2015 and has since won six caps for his country. Last year he was part of the Germany squad that won the 2017 Confederations Cup. Leno, 26, moves to the Emirates Stadium as the club continue to reshape both the squad and off-field structure following the arrival of Emery in May as new head coach to succeed Arsene Wenger.

“For me it’s a dream to play for Arsenal,” Leno said on the Premier League club’s official website. In Germany, Arsenal are so famous and when I heard it (transfer), I was a little bit nervous, but at that moment it was clear for me: I wanted to sign for Arsenal.” Emery described the German as “a goalkeeper of high quality and experience”, but it remains to be seen whether he will directly compete with both veteran Petr Cech and David Ospina, who is away at the World Cup with Colombia. Arsenal added that the German’s shirt number “will be announced in due course”.

Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner has arrived on a free from Juventus, while midfielder Granit Xhaka has signed a new, long-term contract along with 20-year-old winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles. A potential £27million deal for Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira, who is with Uruguay at the World Cup, is understood to be in the pipeline along with a transfer for Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos.