Arteta on Pepe exit
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal had to cut ties with Nicolas Pepe because “when things aren’t working you have to move on”.
Pepe left Arsenal last week to join Turkish side Trabzonspor after having his contract terminated by the Gunners.
The winger became the ninth Arsenal player to suffer that fate in recent seasons, just four years after he moved to the Emirates Stadium for a then club-record fee of £72million.
Arteta has defended the decision to terminate Pepe’s contract, while adding that it was not the Ivorian’s fault that he had to cope with the pressure of a huge price tag.
“I wasn’t involved in the process of that deal,” said Arteta. “But what I can say is that he was a phenomenal boy who tried really hard and tried his best so it’s not his fault the amount of money we paid at the time.
“When things aren’t working you have to move on. There is no point trying something when it’s not working for either so I think it’s best for both parties.”
Standard Sport prediction
Goodison Park appears to have a strong hold over Arsenal but that surely cannot go on forever.
Given how Everton are playing at the moment, it would be a major shock if the Gunners do not end their hoodoo.
Arsenal to win 3-0.
Arsenal team news
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey is “a few weeks away” from returning, but Bukayo Saka is fit to face Everton.
Saka was on the bench for England’s win over Scotland, coming off it to play the final 19 minutes amid reports that was nursing an Achilles problem.
Mikel Arteta, however, insists the winger is fine and he trained normally on Friday ahead of Sunday’s trip to Goodison Park.
“He is fine, he trained normally today so there is nothing to report there,” said Arteta. “Every player has always pains or issues, but nothing to worry about.”
Arsenal will be without Partey this weekend, though, as the midfielder is still recovering from a groin injury picked up just before the international break.
“He has got a muscle injury and he is progressing well, but he is still a few weeks away,” Arteta said.
Predicted Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Everton team news
Dwight McNeil is likely to be fit for the home side after recovering from an ankle injury, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin could feature after his recent facial injury.
Jack Harrison is not yet ready to make his debut.
How to watch Everton vs Arsenal
TV channel: In the UK, the game will be televised live on Sky Sports, with coverage beginning after the 2pm kick-off between Bournemouth and Chelsea.
Live stream: Subscribers can also catch the contest live online via the Sky Go app or website.
Live blog: You can follow all the action with here with us, featuring expert analysis from Simon Collings at Goodison Park.
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Everton vs Arsenal!
The Gunners are unbeaten so far this season but victories at Goodison Park have been very hard to come by in recent years – they have to find a way to snap that run this afternoon.
We’ll have all the latest updates, build-up and team news ahead of kick-off, which comes at 4:30pm BST. Stay with us!