Arsenal vs Leeds United

Midfielder recalled: How Arsenal lineup vs Leeds United

Mikel Arteta faces a number of crucial choices ahead of Arsenal’s game this weekend so how will Arsenal lineup vs Leeds United?

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (C) gestures during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (C) gestures during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)

For the first time in a while, the Arsenal team got a proper break this week. After playing in the early kickoff against Aston Villa on Saturday, they had until the following week on Sunday to wait for their next fixture.

As a result, they’ll hopefully come back refreshed and ready to put things right. A couple of defeats on the bounce haven’t done much for confidence, but we’ll just have to hope they inspire the side to get back to winning ways ahead of the Europa League’s return.

Here’s our Arsenal predicted lineup to face Leeds United on Sunday.

Arsenal lineup vs Leeds United – Goalkeeper

LONDON, ENGLAND: Bernd Leno of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Pablo Mari of Arsenal after making a penalty save during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Bernd Leno of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Pablo Mari of Arsenal after making a penalty save during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

After his suspension, Bernd Leno should come back into the Arsenal team. Mat Ryan did a good job against Aston Villa, and it’s a positive to have him available when Leno isn’t, but the German international remains the number one for now.

Arsenal lineup vs Leeds United – Defence

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

We aren’t expecting too many changes in defence. Obviously, Kieran Tierney is going to return to the team when he’s fit, but there’s no suggestion he is yet.

David Luiz is back from his suspension and might replace Gabriel Magalhaes. Pablo Mari could even come in after his recovery. But Gabriel seems to be finding form again after his shaky return from Covid.

As a result, we’re predicting the same back four as against Villa, with Cedric Soares joining Gabriel, Rob Holding, and Hector Bellerin.

Arsenal lineup vs Leeds United – Midfield

Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage in London on September 12, 2020. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage in London on September 12, 2020. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

There’s no official word on the length of Thomas Partey’s injury just yet, but it looks like he’ll miss at least a game or two. The good news is that Dani Ceballos is back from injury and made the bench for the last couple of games.

Ceballos should be able to start alongside Granit Xhaka, with Emile Smith Rowe ahead of them as usual. Arteta kept picking Smith Rowe when the games were coming thick and fast, so he’ll surely stick with him for this one after a week’s break.

Arsenal lineup vs Leeds United – Forwards

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal celebrates with team mates (L-R) Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 02, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts - Pool/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal celebrates with teammates (L-R) Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal on February 02, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts – Pool/Getty Images)

Even though they blanked in the last game against Aston Villa, Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, and Alexandre Lacazette still seem like Arsenal’s most balanced front three at the moment.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t even make it to 10 touches in his half an hour against Villa. It’s not his fault, but the team is just better set up for a striker like Lacazette right now.

When Tierney returns, that’s when I’d expect Aubameyang to make it back into the starting lineup. Those two worked well together, in a way we haven’t seen from Aubameyang and Cedric.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Leeds United

Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Leeds United created with Chosen11.com
Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Leeds United created with Chosen11.com

Arsenal referee for Leeds United game added to FIFA list

Stuart Atwell, who will take charge of Arsenal vs Leeds United on Sunday in the Premier League, has been added to the FIFA List for 2021 as a VAR official along with a number of others, the names of which will make your head hurt.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal is shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Attwell during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal is shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Attwell during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

This weekend, Stuart Atwell returns to take charge of his first Arsenal match of the season although it will be his seventh involvement of the season (details below).

Atwell is clearly being trained as a VAR specialist, and this is reflected in his addition to the FIFA list as a VAR official. He is joined by Sian Massey-Ellis who also seems to be being moved more towards an assistant VAR role.

Given that’s she’s female, and been in the game longer than many of her male colleagues who have been promoted above her, you do have to wonder why she’s only deemed good enough for a support role, especially when you consider some of the main players.

In addition to those two, FIFA have also added:

Peter Bankes, Emily Carney, Neil Davies, Lee Betts, Chris Kavanagh, Craig Pawson and Paul Tierney, all officials Arsenal know well.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Craig Pawson, the match referee interact following the coin toss as Hector Bellerin of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 02, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 02: Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Craig Pawson, the match referee interact following the coin toss as Hector Bellerin of Arsenal looks on (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Back to Arsenal vs Leeds and Dan Cook will run the line for the third Arsenal game in a row.

Arsenal vs Leeds referee and officials

  • Referee: Stuart Atwell – 7th Arsenal involvement this season in the Premier League (Three as fourth official, three as far. Arsenal’s record when Atwell has been involved so far this season is P6 W2 D1 L3)
  • Assistant: Dan Cook – 5th Arsenal involvement this season (One as referee, one as assistant  1, two assistant 2, P4 W1 D1 L2)
  • Assistant: Simon Long  – 2nd Arsenal involvement this season (One as assistant VAR, P1 W0 D0 L1)
  • Fourth official: Simon Hooper – This is Hooper’s first involvement with Arsenal this season
  • VAR: Andre Marriner – 5th Arsenal involvement this season (One as referee, one as fourth, three as VAR, P5 W1 D0 L4)
  • Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis – 7th Arsenal involvement this season (One as assistant 1, three as assistant 2, two as assistant VAR, P6 W2 D1 L3)

That’s a total match involvement between them of 22 with a record of P21 W6 D3 L13

Ezgjan Alioski can’t wait to play against Nicolas Pepe again, according to his Leeds United teammate Patrick Bamford.

English referee Anthony Taylor shows a red card to Arsenal's French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (R) after he clashes with Leeds United's Macedonian midfielder Ezgjan Alioski during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP)
English referee Anthony Taylor shows a red card to Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (R) after he clashes with Leeds United’s Macedonian midfielder Ezgjan Alioski on November 22, 2020. (Photo by MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP)

Speaking on The Official Leeds United Podcast Patrick Bamford claimed Ezgjan Alioski is looking forward to facing Arsenal on Sunday because he wants another game against Nicolas Pepe.

“Do you know what? He (Alioski) said in the changing room, I can’t wait for Sunday,” Bamford revealed. “I was like ‘why?’. He said ‘because I’m playing against my mate Pepe again’.”

Many of you will remember that it was Alioski’s antics up against Pepe in the away fixture that ended up getting the Arsenal man sent off. Pepe reacted badly to a series of fouls by the Leeds man, going in for a ‘headbutt’ that earned him a red card.

Leeds failed to take advantage of the red, only managing a 0-0 draw against a 10-men Arsenal side who were in the middle of a run of seven league defeats in 10 games. Still, Alioski evidently cared more about the sending off than winning the match.

Unfortunately, the left-back is unlikely to get the chance to face off against Pepe directly. The Ivory Coast international is currently playing out on the left-hand side, with Bukayo Saka the first-choice on the right.

In fact, there are no guarantees Pepe will even start, given Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli, Willian, and Reiss Nelson are all available as alternatives on the left.

Saka is yet to pick up a yellow card in 20 Premier League appearances this season, so hopefully, he’s less likely to be baited into doing anything stupid.

Unai Emery comes out in defence of Leeds manager amid ‘spygate’ uproar

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks you might have missed the uproar in England because Leeds United manager, Marco Bielsa, has been sending his minions around the country to spy on his opposition.

BERGAMO, ITALY - JULY 26: LOSC Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa shouts to his players during the pre-season friendly match between Atalanta BC and LOSC Lille at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on July 26, 2017 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
BERGAMO, ITALY – JULY 26: LOSC Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa shouts to his players during the pre-season friendly match between Atalanta BC and LOSC Lille at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on July 26, 2017 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

The most interesting part of this story has certainly been the reaction of large sections of the media who like nothing better than a narrative that doesn’t matter but they get can on their high horse about regardless.

Speaking after Arsenal’s game against Chelsea on Sunday, the French outlet, le10sport report that Unai Emery was asked about the Biesla situation.

“I know him,” Emery replied. “I know his career in Spain first and foremost. I know he is obsessed but also very professional towards his work.

“Spygate? I respect him immensely because he is the best coach in the world. He has always worked like that in his career.

“It does not matter if it’s allowed, illegal or not fair. It’s not my role to give my opinion on the subject.”

I love how Emery gave his opinion before saying it’s not is role to give an opinion.

While it’s been great to have a change at the club, there is a massive part of me that thinks we should bring Arsene Wenger back just for his press conferences. He never thought any subject was really outside of his ‘role to give an opinion’ and I think part of why this quote caught my attention is because Emery is normally so dull. He is the master of saying lots without saying anything at all.

Anyway, on this whole Bielsa farce, is this really the biggest issue in football that the media need to be obsessing over? Aren’t there kids still being abused and racists still roaming free on the terraces? If only those subjects could garner the same amount of obsession and outrage we might one day have a chance of making a difference that matters.

Marcelo Bielsa hails Eddie Nketiah as he sends Leeds fans wild

Eddie Nketiah scored again for Leeds United on Wednesday night, netting the winner just four minutes into his home debut after being brought on as a sub late in the game.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: Eddie Nketiah of Leeds United celebrates during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brentford at Elland Road on August 21, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 21: Eddie Nketiah of Leeds United celebrates during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brentford at Elland Road on August 21, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

If Eddie Nketiah is doing anything, it’s seizing his chance at Leeds with both feet.

So far, he’s played a total of 91 minutes across two games for Marcelo Bielsa’s side and has scored two goals. If you add in the goal he scored for their u23s, Eddie has scored three in three.

It took him just four minutes to find space to break the deadlock against Brentford on Wednesday evening, a goal that took Leeds to the top of the table after four games (hilariously Stoke are bottom).

“Nketiah is a player who can make a big impact,” Bielsa said after the match. “It says everything when a striker scores with so little time on the pitch. We deserved to win.”

He also spoke about the crowd’s response to Eddie, adding, “When the fans are supporting a player, it can stimulate and have an influence.”

It was also Leeds first home win in five matches.

Nketiah took to Twitter after the game to explain his celebration:

After the game, it was clear to see that Eddie has already won over a large portion of the Leeds fanbase:

Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski says that going to Arsenal is ‘nothing special’ and he believes Leeds, when they eventually return to the Premier League at some point, will be one of the biggest clubs there.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Ezgjan Alioski of Leeds United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Leeds United at John Smith's Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 07: Ezgjan Alioski of Leeds United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Leeds United at John Smith’s Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Beating Arsenal this season has been nothing special. It’s been so easy a child could manage a team against us.

But that was before.

I have a funny feeling that the Arsenal Alioski thinks he will be facing on Monday night is not actually the team Leeds will line up against.

“It’s a nice stadium, it’s a big club, but it’s not so special to go there because it’s Arsenal,” Alioski, who plays international football for North Macedonia, said.

“You have some players who think like this, but it’s not enough to think ‘Wow, it’s Arsenal’, because we are also a good team and we want to show it.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Ezgjan Alioski of Leeds United reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Preston North End at Elland Road on December 26, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Ezgjan Alioski of Leeds United reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Preston North End at Elland Road on December 26, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

“We need to go there with a lot of confidence like we always do and to play like we always do. Not to be scared to go there. I see the result versus Manchester United, but this United, even we can beat them. This is a cup, it’s different.

“The difference is that they’re [Arsenal] in the Premier League, we are in the Championship, and it’s nice to go there and show them who is Leeds. If we are in the Premier League, Leeds are going to be one of the biggest clubs, like I know they were before.”

Alioski, is a left sided defender/midfielder/winger who has four goals and three assists in 21 Championship games. He signed for Leeds from FC Lugano in the summer of 2017 for around £2.25m.

He is under contract until the end of the season and worth approx £4m now.

Bumper episode 264: Fixing Arsenal’s lack of goals

On this week’s podcast, Matthew and Stephen look back at the disappointment, but not despair of drawing at Leeds, do their best to diagnose the lack of goals and suggest some remedies.

Leeds United's English-born Scottish defender Liam Cooper (R) stops a shot by Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP)
Leeds United’s English-born Scottish defender Liam Cooper (R) stops a shot by Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP)

Plus we look ahead to upcoming fixtures and have a peek in the cupboard marked ‘internal solutions’.

John Lukic: Why Arsenal sold me back to Leeds

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 12: Arsenal goalkeeper John Lukic in action during a First Division match against Everton at Highbury on April 12, 1986 in London, England. (Photo by Mike King/Allsport/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 12: Arsenal goalkeeper John Lukic in action during a First Division match against Everton at Highbury on April 12, 1986 in London, England. (Photo by Mike King/Allsport/Getty Images)

Former Arsenal goalkeeper, John Lukic, has recalled his move from Arsenal to Leeds United back in 1990.

The Serbian was told by manager at the time, George Graham, after playing over 200 games for the Gunners over seven years, that he would be sold since the club wanted to sign David Seaman from QPR.

Lukic had already played for Leeds, making over 150 appearances from 1978-1983 before he signed for Arsenal, and had therefore already made a name for himself up north. However, despite being offered to return there on loan, he claims he didn’t fancy it and opted to sign for them permanently. Again.

“It presented itself on transfer deadline day,” the ex-goalkeeper told the Sky Sports programme.

“The phone went at 8 o’clock in the morning and it was George.

“He told me he signed David and he was happy for me to go on loan to QPR until the end of the season, which was a noble gesture.

“I just thought to myself: ‘Actually, I don’t really fancy that.'”

When Lukic returned to Leeds, he went on to become a legend there as well as at Arsenal.

He returned to the Gunners in 1996 before retiring in 2001.

Former Arsenal youngster makes Leeds United debut

12 January 2021

10th January 2021 Broadfield Stadium, Crawley, Sussex, England English FA Cup Football, Crawley Town versus Leeds United Sam Greenwood of Leeds united working hard to keep Crawley off the ball. Copyright: Chris Roll
10th January 2021, Broadfield Stadium. Crawley Town versus Leeds United, Sam Greenwood of Leeds United working hard to keep Crawley off the ball. Copyright: Chris Roll

Former Arsenal youngster Sam Greenwood came on for his Leeds United debut in the FA Cup on Sunday, following his summer transfer.

For the most part, Sunday was not a day to remember for Leeds United fans. They lost 3-0 to lower-league club Crawley Town in the FA Cup, failing to even out-shoot their opponents despite having 71% of the possession.

Yet there was one positive moment to look back on, with young Sam Greenwood making his debut from the bench. He spent 32 minutes on the pitch, but Crawley were already 2-0 up and he didn’t have much chance of turning things around.

The 18-year-old striker has six goals in nine games for their academy sides since moving from Arsenal in the summer, earning a senior opportunity.

Greenwood initially made an excellent start with Leeds’ u23s, scoring five in his first four games. He even won PL2 Player of the Month. However, he then picked up an injury forcing him into surgery and a month out.

Since his return, he hasn’t quite recaptured the same form, only netting a penalty in his next five. But part of that is due to the slightly deeper role he’s currently playing with the u23s, and their form as a team is still very good.

Arsenal rated Greenwood highly, but he left after just two years, with reports that he was growing homesick from moving down south.

The 18-year-old made 46 appearances for the Gunners across the FA Youth Cup, the u18 Premier League, the EFL Trophy, and the Premier League 2. He scored 16 goals and assisted a further six.

Video: Jon Toral sends Leeds United players spinning

Jon Toral vs Leeds United
Jon Toral vs Leeds United

Jon Toral arrived at Arsenal in 2011 with Hector Bellerin.

While one has made his way into the Arsenal first team, the other has been sent out on loan to Brentford.

Spending the season with the Bees, Jon, 20, has made 22 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring two goals from midfield.

With skills like these from the weekend, he looks like he’ll fit right into the Arsenal midfield.

Brentford won the game 1-0, ensuring they took all three points back home.

31 August 2016

The Sun reported that Arsenal ‘blocked’ Yaya Sanogo from joining Leeds United on loan for the season after Garry Monk made an enquiry about the leggy one.

Yaya Sanogo's loan to Leeds United from Arsenal was blocked
Yaya Sanogo’s loan to Leeds United from Arsenal was blocked

Currently sidelined with injury (shocker), Arsene Wenger has already mentioned Sanogo as one of his strikers for the new season and although we don’t quite understand it ourselves, Wenger has some sort of weird love affair with the man who joined Arsenal three seasons ago and has still not mastered control of his own limbs.

Effective when fit, simply due to the total chaos he causes on the pitch, Sanogo has already had three loan spells since signing from Arsenal with his time at Ajax an absolute disaster.

Scoring a hattrick for Charlton early into that loan spell, he soon struggled and ended up leaving not much of a mark before returning to Arsenal yet again.

He also spent time with Crystal Palace.

10 Jan 2017 Arsenal 2 Leeds United 1

10 Jan 1998: Marc Overmars of Arsenal celebrates a goal during the FA Carling Premiership match against Leeds United at Highbury in London. Arsenal won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport
10 Jan 1998: Marc Overmars of Arsenal celebrates a goal during the FA Carling Premiership match against Leeds United at Highbury in London. Arsenal won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport

On this day in 1998, Arsenal beat Leeds United 2-1 at Highbury during their second double-winning season.

The victory, which saw Marc Overmars score a brace, was the third in what would become an 18-game unbeaten run and the first game of the new year. This unbeaten run led to the Premier League title.

The Gunners (78) managed to beat Manchester United (77) to the title by just one point that season, so the victory over Leeds, who finished fifth, proved instrumental.

Overmars went on to score five more goals that season, resulting in 12 overall in the Premier League.

That season, Arsenal, managed by a fresh-faced Arsene Wenger, also went on to beat Newcastle 2-0 in order to win the FA Cup.

How Arsenal could have signed Eric Cantona from Leeds

Eric Cantona
Former French football player turned actor Eric Cantona attends a press conference ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai on April 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

King Eric, as Manchester United fans like to call him, almost didn’t sign for the Red Devils according to story from former Leeds United manager, Howard Wilkinson.

The manager who brought him to England recently shared a story of how Cantona could have joined Arsenal instead of Manchester United.

Manchester United had a bit of luck in the form of then transfer target for Leeds, Denis Irwin,. As the chief executive of Leeds, Bill Fotherby, called Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson turned the tables and started asking about Cantona instead of making a deal for Irwin.

“I left him out of an away match against Queens Park Rangers and that didn’t go down too well. As soon as I told him he disappeared and went back to France,” Wilkinson said.

“We got a transfer request a week later that said he wanted to go to Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal. 

“It was out there on the football radar. We couldn’t hide the fact that he was in the squad for the QPR game and then on the Saturday lunchtime he’d gone. 

“When he’s not at training on the Monday, you can’t keep it quiet. People knew he’d disappeared and that there had been a problem.

eric cantona paul merson
Credit: Ross Kinnaird/ALLSPORT

“At the time we had to make a decision and there were no other offers. You can only get what you are offered.”

As Manchester United were the only club really interested in a deal for a man whose reputation didn’t make him the most desirable player at the time, Wilkinson continued, “There was no argument over the fee, just a question of do we sell or don’t we?”

The rest is history.

Cantona was sold for £1.2 million in what was a shocking transfer between the two clubs that surprised many.

He led United to four league titles in five seasons with another two league and FA Cup doubles.

He was also a pivotal figure in developing young players that became known as the Class of ’92 including the likes of Giggs, Beckham and Scholes.

Cantona’s work on the training ground and on the field played an important part in what would become the greatest generation of players in the history of the Premier League.

It’s doubtful that Cantona could have made the same impact at Arsenal or Liverpool that he made at Manchester United, but his impact on English football would still have been significant.

As one of the greatest players of his generation, Cantona became a legend of English football. His charisma and showmanship made him a fan favourite, and his goals still amaze and entertain, much more than his TV ads.

Unfortunately, after all the victories he brought to United, he lost himself and that karate kick on a supporter disrupted the progress of his career. He never came back properly after that incident and his lack of passion made him hang up his boots early.

And to think his move to England was on the brink of failure as Sheffield Wednesday rejected him and Leeds only brought him in as a temporary replacement for Lee Chapman…

Embarrassing blunder sees Arsenal crest on wallets sold at a Leeds United store

A Leeds United fan almost accidentally bought an Arsenal wallet at the club’s store.

The Leeds fan went into the club’s store to buy himself a wallet to keep his season ticket in and almost ended up leaving with an Arsenal one.

Despite being in Leeds United packaging, the wallet inside clearly has an Arsenal badge on the front.

The fan, Grant, uploaded a picture of the blunder onto Twitter, which has now been picked up by the likes of the Sun.

So, how did this happen? Perhaps all English football wallets are just made at the same factory and an Arsenal one accidentally found its way into Leeds packaging. Who knows?

Considering the rocky relationship Arsenal and Leeds fans have with each other, he’s probably rather glad he checked first. Although saying that, the clubs themselves seem to be getting on.

Leeds are currently reportedly in talks with Arsenal defender, Krystian Bielik, over a loan move this season. The 19-year-old was supposed to be joining Eintracht Frankfurt earlier in the window on a two-year loan, but the deal broke down.

Bielik made 10 Champions appearances for Birmingham last season.

Seaman reveals he ‘cried’ when released by Leeds

CARDIFF, WALES - MAY 17: David Seaman and Patrick Vieira of Arsenal lift the FA Cup after a 1-0 victory over Southampton during the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Southampton at the Millennium Stadium on May 17, 2003 in Cardiff. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES – MAY 17: David Seaman and Patrick Vieira of Arsenal lift the FA Cup after a 1-0 victory over Southampton during the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Southampton at the Millennium Stadium on May 17, 2003 in Cardiff. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

David Seaman has revealed that when his boyhood club, Leeds United, released him in 1982, he was more than a little emotional.

Speaking to the Sky Sports programme celebrating his career, the former goalkeeper explained how he even broke down in tears when he received the news.

“I was signing for my boyhood club,” he said.

“I supported Leeds all the time, still do, still look at their scores and everything.

“To go down there and sign for Leeds was great for me.

“John Lukic used to pick me up from Rotherham, take me to training and we’d work together.

“I was only 16, 17, 18, 19. I got some great coaching off John [Lukic].

“That was the biggest life lesson I’ve had,” he added. “It was the lowest moment in football I’d ever had.

“When you get told at 19, by one of your idols, Eddie Gray who was manager then, that you’re getting released, I remember crying my eyes out.

“That was the brutal truth of it: they let me go because they didn’t think I’d be good enough.”

Since Seaman was back-up to John Lukic during his time at Leeds, he never got to play for the club he supported before he was released and joined Peterborough United. However, somewhat ironically, when the England international signed for Arsenal from QPR in 1990, it was Lukic, the man who used to pick him up and help him train while at Leeds, who had to make way for him. In fact, Lukic went the other way – he signed back for United!

After a 13-year career in north London where he made over 400 appearances, not including the 75 he played for England, Seaman spent a year at Manchester City before retiring in 2004.

Arsenal beat Leeds away for 1st time in 40 years

frank Stapleton
frank Stapleton

On 22 April 1978, Arsenal beat Leeds away for the first time in 40 years.

The match, which was also John Devine’s first league game, ended 3-1 to Arsenal with goals from Malcolm MacDonald and Frank Stapleton, as well as a Leeds own goal.

Although Arsenal had drawn with Leeds previously that season, Arsenal hadn’t beaten Leeds at all since 1972 – the same year Leeds won against Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup final. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Leeds had managed to prevent the Gunners from winning on their turf since 1938 – that’s 40 years Arsenal went without a win away from home to Leeds.

The win in 1938 was 1-0 with a goal from Gordon Hutton Bremner.

Overall, Arsenal have won 46 games, drawn 32 and lost 41 against Leeds, which is a pretty narrow margin considering where they are now. However, at the time, they both played in the First Division and to this day still have a pretty bitter rivalry.

Arsenal vs Leeds United
stats source
Games won: 47
Games drawn: 33
Games lost: 41
Date Match Result Score Competition
20 Dec 1924 Arsenal v Leeds United W 6-1 League Division One
25 Apr 1925 Leeds United v Arsenal L 1-0 League Division One
26 Sep 1925 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-1 League Division One
06 Feb 1926 Leeds United v Arsenal L 4-2 League Division One
25 Sep 1926 Leeds United v Arsenal L 4-1 League Division One
12 Feb 1927 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 League Division One
15 Dec 1928 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 League Division One
27 Apr 1929 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 League Division One
31 Aug 1929 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-0 League Division One
28 Dec 1929 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-0 League Division One
06 Sep 1930 Arsenal v Leeds United W 3-1 League Division One
11 Mar 1931 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-2 League Division One
26 Dec 1932 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2 League Division One
27 Dec 1932 Leeds United v Arsenal D 0-0 League Division One
25 Dec 1933 Leeds United v Arsenal W 0-1 League Division One
26 Dec 1933 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-0 League Division One
08 Sep 1934 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 League Division One
19 Jan 1935 Arsenal v Leeds United W 3-0 League Division One
18 Sep 1935 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 League Division One
02 May 1936 Arsenal v Leeds United D 2-2 League Division One
07 Nov 1936 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-1 League Division One
13 Mar 1937 Leeds United v Arsenal W 3-4 League Division One
27 Nov 1937 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-1 League Division One
09 Apr 1938 Leeds United v Arsenal W 0-1 League Division One
05 Nov 1938 Arsenal v Leeds United L 2-3 League Division One
11 Mar 1939 Leeds United v Arsenal L 4-2 League Division One
16 Nov 1946 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-2 League Division One
22 Mar 1947 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 League Division One
04 Mar 1950 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 FA Cup
24 Nov 1956 Leeds United v Arsenal D 3-3 League Division One
06 Apr 1957 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 League Division One
28 Sep 1957 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-1 League Division One
19 Mar 1958 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-0 League Division One
27 Sep 1958 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-1 League Division One
24 Feb 1959 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 League Division One
07 Nov 1959 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-2 League Division One
26 Mar 1960 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 League Division One
11 Nov 1964 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
13 Feb 1965 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2 League Division One
13 Nov 1965 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-0 League Division One
05 May 1966 Arsenal v Leeds United L 0-3 League Division One
15 Oct 1966 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
05 Nov 1966 Arsenal v Leeds United L 0-1 League Division One
04 Nov 1967 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
02 Mar 1968 Arsenal v Leeds United L 0-1 League Cup
07 May 1968 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-3 League Division One
21 Sep 1968 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-0 League Division One
12 Apr 1969 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2 League Division One
13 Aug 1969 Leeds United v Arsenal D 0-0 League Division One
19 Aug 1969 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 League Division One
01 Sep 1970 Arsenal v Leeds United D 0-0 League Division One
26 Apr 1971 Leeds United v Arsenal L 1-0 League Division One
11 Sep 1971 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-0 League Division One
25 Mar 1972 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-0 League Division One
06 May 1972 Arsenal v Leeds United L 0-1 FA Cup
02 Dec 1972 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-1 League Division One
09 May 1973 Leeds United v Arsenal L 6-1 League Division One
28 Aug 1973 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2 League Division One
05 Feb 1974 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
05 Oct 1974 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-0 League Division One
12 Apr 1975 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2 League Division One
06 Dec 1975 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2 League Division One
27 Mar 1976 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-0 League Division One
30 Oct 1976 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-1 League Division One
03 Jan 1977 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 League Division One
10 Dec 1977 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 League Division One
22 Apr 1978 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-3 League Division One
19 Aug 1978 Arsenal v Leeds United D 2-2 League Division One
11 Nov 1978 Leeds United v Arsenal W 0-1 League Division One
29 Aug 1979 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 League Cup
01 Sep 1979 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 League Division One
04 Sep 1979 Arsenal v Leeds United W 7-0 League Cup
12 Jan 1980 Arsenal v Leeds United L 0-1 League Division One
08 Nov 1980 Leeds United v Arsenal W 0-5 League Division One
11 Apr 1981 Arsenal v Leeds United D 0-0 League Division One
19 Sep 1981 Leeds United v Arsenal D 0-0 League Division One
30 Jan 1982 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 League Division One
29 Jan 1983 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 FA Cup
02 Feb 1983 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 FA Cup
09 Feb 1983 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-1 FA Cup
29 Sep 1990 Leeds United v Arsenal D 2-2 League Division One
27 Jan 1991 Arsenal v Leeds United D 0-0 FA Cup
30 Jan 1991 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 FA Cup
13 Feb 1991 Arsenal v Leeds United D 0-0 FA Cup
16 Feb 1991 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-2 FA Cup
17 Mar 1991 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-0 League Division One
03 Sep 1991 Leeds United v Arsenal D 2-2 League Division One
22 Mar 1992 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 League Division One
21 Nov 1992 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-0 Premier League
25 Jan 1993 Arsenal v Leeds United D 2-2 FA Cup
03 Feb 1993 Leeds United v Arsenal W 2-3 FA Cup
24 Feb 1993 Arsenal v Leeds United D 0-0 Premier League
24 Aug 1993 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-1 Premier League
18 Dec 1993 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
23 Aug 1994 Leeds United v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
17 Dec 1994 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-3 Premier League
14 Oct 1995 Leeds United v Arsenal W 0-3 Premier League
06 Apr 1996 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-1 Premier League
26 Oct 1996 Arsenal v Leeds United W 3-0 Premier League
01 Feb 1997 Leeds United v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
04 Feb 1997 Arsenal v Leeds United L 0-1 FA Cup
09 Aug 1997 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
10 Jan 1998 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-1 Premier League
20 Dec 1998 Arsenal v Leeds United W 3-1 Premier League
11 May 1999 Leeds United v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
28 Dec 1999 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-0 Premier League
16 Apr 2000 Leeds United v Arsenal W 0-4 Premier League
26 Nov 2000 Leeds United v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
05 May 2001 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-1 Premier League
21 Aug 2001 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2 Premier League
20 Jan 2002 Leeds United v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
28 Sep 2002 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4 Premier League
04 May 2003 Arsenal v Leeds United L 2-3 Premier League
01 Nov 2003 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4 Premier League
04 Jan 2004 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4 FA Cup
16 Apr 2004 Arsenal v Leeds United W 5-0 Premier League
08 Jan 2011 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 FA Cup
19 Jan 2011 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-3 FA Cup
09 Jan 2012 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 FA Cup
06 Jan 2020 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 FA Cup
22 Nov 2020 Leeds United v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League