Arsenal could lose star strikers if Emery stays - Paper Round
Arsenal could lose two key stars, Roma want to keep Chris Smalling, Watford look to employ their third manager of the season and Liverpool confirm a substitute manager in the Carabao Cup. It's Tuesday's Paper Round...
Arsenal worry duo could leave if Emery stays
Arsenal boss Unai Emery is battling to keep his place in the dugout at the Emirates Stadium after going six matches without a win and the club is reportedly worried their star strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be on the way out if the Spaniard stays. The Mail report that the pair are stalling on signing new contracts at the north London club outfit due to the lack of Champions League football. Arsenal are eight points adrift of top four at the moment and their current form isn't showing any signs of improvement.
Paper Round's view: If you want to keep world-class footballers, you have to offer them Champions League football. Arsenal are currently in their third successive season without qualifying for Europe's elite competition and it's becoming increasingly likely that they will once again miss out next term. Aubameyang and Lacazette won't want to hang around when there are bigger clubs sniffing around for them, so the chiefs at Arsenal need to at least try and show the pair that they are looking to make a drastic change. A new manager could rejuvenate the team and encourage the star strikers to stay at the club.
Smalling set to stay in Rome
Chris Smalling's agent has flown out to Rome in order to open negotiations over a permanent move to AS Roma in January, according to the Mail. The English defender joined the Serie A side on loan from Manchester United in the summer and has already impressed during his short time in the Italian capital. Roma are reportedly willing to pay £8.5 million for Smalling, as well as the £2.5 million loan fee, but United are said to be demanding £12.8 million.
Paper Round's view: It's refreshing to see another English footballer succeed abroad. Smalling didn't have to take the risk of leaving United on loan, but he was hungry for first-team football and has now nailed down a regular spot in the heart of the Roma defence, starting each of the club's last 11 league matches. The only stumbling block in the permanent transfer of the 30-year-old is a minor issue with the fee, but it seems likely that the transfer will be completed, despite the fact that Smalling only signed a contract extension at Old Trafford less than a year ago.
Three is the magic number for Watford
Watford chiefs are beginning to worry that they might need to replace Quique Sanchez Flores with their third manager of the season if results fail to turn around. The Telegraph report that the Hornets are "desperate for Flores to turn the situation around", but it might be too much of an ask with upcoming fixtures against Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester United before Christmas. The report doesn't name any potential replacements, but it states that the club has no interest in bringing in a "firefighter" manager, like Sam Allardyce or Tony Pulis to offer a short-term fix.
Paper Round's view: It was a shock when Watford owner Gino Pozzo decided to sack Javi Gracia after just four Premier League matches and reappoint Flores as his replacement. Gracia seemed like he was a good coach but Pozzo's policy of having short-term manager stints seemed to have been successful in the past, with the club having 10 different bosses in the last seven years. Three managers in one season is never a good sign and it might eventually end up with Watford saying goodbye to the Premier League.
No Klopp in the Carabao Cup for Liverpool
Liverpool Under-23 boss Neil Critchley is set to step in for Jurgen Klopp as manager for the Merseyside club's Carabao Cup quarter-final clash against Aston Villa, according to the Daily Star. The Reds face the bizarre problem of having two matches in 24 hours across two different continents due to their involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar. Therefore, Liverpool plan to field a youth side at Villa Park on December 17, with Critchley in charge while the senior side travel to the Middle East for their semi-final match on December 18.
Paper Round's view: If there was ever any evidence needed that footballers are in desperate need of a rest then this is exactly that. It's an absurd decision to make a club play two matches in two days on two different continents, but obviously Liverpool needed to prioritise one of the competitions. There seems to be more money involved in the Club World Cup and it's a competition that clubs rarely get to play in (unless you're Real Madrid), so it makes complete sense that the Reds opted for that one.