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Exclusive David Bentley Interview: Arsenal should splash £120m for Rice; Thuram bargain of the summer for Spurs; Arsenal should target Chelsea reject; Deli Alli should return to a PL club

Liam Solomon

In an exclusive interview with Bitcoin Casinos, former Tottenham and Arsenal player David Bentley believes Arteta is the right man to build a Wenger-Like legacy at Arsenal.

Bentley also thinks that Saka is a future Balon D’Or winner and Jorginho and Trossard were top January buys for the Gunners.

If you would like to use any quotes from the exclusive interview with David Bentley, you must credit and link to Bitcoin Casinos.

Interview Highlights:

Full Transcript

Question (Q): Should Arsenal have gone to £100m for Caicedo? Will they regret it at the end of the season?

David Bentley (DB): “I think he’s a very good player – he’s strong, gets up and down, plus has had a good platform at Brighton to play. He’s technically gifted and I think he’ll slot into Arsenal – however, it’s a lot of money to spend.

Whether Arsenal should have upped their bid, I’m not sure – it’s a lot of money, but he’s a good player and Arsenal have built a great side at the moment and have a top team spirit and the danger is that they’ve made mistakes in the past where they’ve spent big money on players in the past and it’s not quite worked.

So, I still think there’s a certain element of a gamble there with Caicedo and I think they will be alright having not signed him and still think they will win the league without him.

And overall it was right not to go for him at this stage

Q: Should Arsenal still go for Caicedo in the summer?

DB: Yeah, it’s a lot of money, but if they are interested now then there’s every chance they will go back in again in the summer for Caicedo and potentially they’ve done the right thing by not committing in January with that level of investment – you don’t know how the player will react or how it’s going to upset the camp.

The way Arsenal set up at the minute, they’ve got a winning mentality and it’s the first time that you tune into watch them that they work as a unit, with individual talent and Arteta has approached it in the right way with support at the club.

I watched the recent Amazon documentary they did and thought it was great, which showcased that Arteta has a unique and different way of approaching the game and the players have all bought into that.

And I think Arteta has to protect that with the players you bring in and that he doesn’t upset that – you’ve seen it happen at other clubs that bring certain players in that don’t fit the mould.
Especially with what’s happening at Liverpool and City, it’s all set up for Arsenal to win the league, so you don’t want to upset that.

Because they’ve built something really good at the minute at Arsenal.

Q: Is Partey staying fit till the end of the season a crucial factor for Arsenal to win the title?

DB: Yes, that position in the Premier League or at any level is key – you can see Casemiro and United do a similar job.

Partey is for Arsenal that rock within the team that allows the back four to feel comfortable and allows the players in front of him to express themselves, so Partey keeping fit will enhance their chances of winning the league.
He’s done really well – every time you watch Arsenal he’s that rock within that midfield and I think he’s been exceptional this season.

He gives the more expressive players – like Saka and Martinelli – the chance to play and with Partey they’ve got the right balance with hard work, working as a team but also have them solid players that can get their foot in sacrifice themselves for the team.

Q: Was Jorginho a good deal for Arsenal?

DB: Yes, I think it is – it’s good business. In the current climate you are bringing a player into the dressing room that is a ‘winner’, but at £12m in the modern world I think is a bargain.

I think in-and-around the dressing room he’s got good standards from what I hear and as a player he’s professional and I think Jorginho will be a good addition – and isn’t bad at penalties either!

He’s got confidence, skill – he’s a winner and can slot into Arsenal’s way of playing.

Q: Will Jorginho & Trossard deals propel Arsenal to the title?

DB: Yes, you can see from his opening game – I think it was at Man City – that Trossard is a player that goes for it, who was attacking and positive. He seems like he’s slotted in really well and is technically gifted, who works hard.

I feel that the set up at Arsenal and those behind the scene that they are making the right decisions at the right time. After making a few years of bad choices on certain players, it seems they’ve sorted themselves out, so overall I think Trossard is another good signing.

Q: It’s rumoured Arsenal are lining up for a winger, suggestions Calum Hudson Odoi is a target. Do you think he could turn his career around at Arsenal?

DB: Again, it depends the level they would be going in for him at – if they are going in at a good price then yes – the player has talent, he’s young and if he can slot into the Arsenal way and environment then he’s certainly a player that could be a great fit for them.

He’s very talented but maybe just found himself in a difficult position at Chelsea with a lot of players coming in and different managers, which sometimes is not a great environment for a young player to be developing in.

If he can settle down at a club like Arsenal, with the full support of the club, then he’s certainly a player – if they can get him at the right price – then he could end up being a great buy for Arsenal.

Q: Folarin Balogun, currently Ligue 1’s top goal scorer, do you think he’ll have a big impact for Arsenal next season and if not Should Arsenal cash in on him? With a £50m price tag being touted.

DB: I think Arsenal will probably hold onto Balgun and potentially bringing him back in the summer. I think at Arsenal at the moment, they’ve sorted themselves out and it’s a great club that when I started by career there it had the good balance between the youth team and great set-up and are all in it together, plus have all bought into the same way of playing.

So, I really do feel the short-term future of Arsenal is really positive at the moment – and all these players can easily slot back in and find a nice environment to be able to express themselves on.

Q: Will Arteta leave a legacy as big as Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

DB: I Think what he’s doing is creating a great team and finding the right players and creating the right environment – while everything he says you can see he’s obsessed with every aspect of the football club, and I’ve been really impressed with him.

He’s got a good personality about him and has that passion and desire to win. I think he sets his teams up well and gets the best of the players and has unique ways of doing it.

Like I said, when I watched that documentary, I was really impressed and I’d imagine as a player you’d get the buzz to want to play for Arteta with his funny ways of doing things and the players have bought into that and created a winning mentality.

Every manager that’s trying to set something up will always go through those difficult few months or a year or two before they get their way of playing and I think Arteta has certainly done that.

And is looking like he’s going to win the league.

I 100% feel that if Arsenal do win the league, then Arteta can build a legacy like Wenger did. I thought when I was there they are always going to be a club that has the right model and principles and if there is ever a club that you can build a legacy, then it’s Arsenal and with Arteta it could be a perfect relationship because his passion and desire to win, plus if the club continue to support him.

You can already see the players reacting and responding to his messages – the future looks bright for Arsenal.

Q: Should Arsenal spend £72m to get Rice in the summer?

DB: Great player, great personality that gets round the pitch, who is a leader. But you don’t want to buy too similar players and as I said before, don’t want to upset things too much – especially as they’ve got a good balance in the team.

So, based on that you can be careful who you buy.

I think West Ham will be looking to cash-in and so I think they are going to sell him. Do Arsenal buy him? Again, it’s a lot of money, but what Declan’s shown from week-in-week out in the Premier League and also at international level is that he’ll slot into any side and be a great buy for any team as he’s another that will sacrifice himself for the team and is always at least a 7 or 8 out of 10 whichever game he plays in.

Q: Is Saka a future Balon D’Or winner?

DB: Saka certainly has the potential to be a future Balon D’ Or winner. He’s got the environment and the platform to do this.

He’s so deceptive – he’s a great player that deals with issues on and off the pitch very well. Saka is producing at the highest level, so there is nothing stopping him being a future Balon D’Or winner – why not?

If Arsenal are playing in the Champions League next season and they are doing well then, he’s got more than a chance to of achieving that and being a Balon D’ Or winner.

Q: What’s your score prediction for Arsenal v Man City next week?

DB: Arsenal will win it!

Man City at the minute – I’m not sure what’s going on, but they seem to have problems. You know, Phil Foden not playing, Kevin De Bruyne sitting on the bench in some games, the other lad (Cancelo) that’s gone to Bayern Munich so there is stuff coming out of Man City at the moment.

You also got the financial regulation issues that are surfacing this week, so I don’t know what’s going on, but I watched them last night (vs Spurs) and Tottenham turning them over, they just look a shadow of their former selves.

I think Erling Haaland has come in but that has changed the dynamics of the team and the way they operate. Even though he’s come in and he’s a goal threat I just feel City are not as potent as they used to be or decisive in their forward play. I think you can open them up more now at the back.

It’s a good time to be playing City, for Arsenal and I think they way Arsenal have set up this season with a great balance of youth and experience, then going up against this Man City team now will mean they will win.

Man City became very ‘robotic’ in their approach to playing – for a long time they were playing without a recognised centre forward and so with Haaland coming in and I wouldn’t say he’s one of the best players in the world in terms of build-up play and linking in with the other players.

You look at the difference between him and Harry Kane, he doesn’t link the play very well and the other players have had to adapt and even though he’s scored all those goals I think when it comes to the crucial moments and playing against the bigger teams I don’t think he’s helping.

City look slightly disconnected and yes, there is also going to be games against the lesser sides where they win 6-0 and Haaland scored 4, but it’s slightly misleading and there is more going on behind the scenes and that are also impacting what’s going being reflected on the pitch.

Having that target number 9, a lot of the City players are not used to it, but maybe it might take more time. With such a good coach they can find a way to adapt to this different style, but trying to adapt right now is key and that will be the hardest thing that will stop City winning the league.

Q: Do you think Spurs will make top 4 this season?

DB: I think if they play the way they did yesterday against City – then yes.
They were pressing high and have the players to do that. Conte wasn’t at the game against City – so not sure what that says, but they were all over City, pressing and giving them no time on the ball.

I think Spurs are a team that ned to pressurize high up the field and need less possession of the ball, but can break off well and at times they did that against City better than they have done in recent weeks. If they keep doing that, they’ve got the ability to finish in the top four.

But it will be difficult for them, as they’ve given away ground earlier in the season that they shouldn’t have done because they didn’t start the games very well.

Q: Will Conte still be at Spurs if they don’t reach top 4 this season?

DB: No.

I think he’ll go – yes, especially if Spurs don’t make top four. He seems the complete opposite to Arteta and Conte has followed the line during his career that he’s around 2-3 years at any football club and I can’t see that changing at Tottenham.

Q: Does Hugo Loris need to move on from Spurs? 

DB: Yes, potentially it could – he’s another player that you can just read in-between the lines and could be at the stage of his career that he looks for a new challenge. But he’s a legend and what a player he is – it’s a hard one to call, so we’ll just have to see at the end of the season.

Q: Spurs are in the running to sign France World Cup star striker Marcus Thuram on a free in the summer, would that be bargain of the summer?

DB: Yeah, if Spurs can get him for the right money it would be great business – he’s a good player, scores goals and all different sorts of goals. He’s strong, energetic and fast but depends what sort of level of money.

Yes, be a great deal if they can get Thuram in on a free, but I’m sure there will be a lot of takers too that they will be up against. And then it boils down to the wages.

Q: If Spurs don’t get top 4, should Kane leave in the summer?

What an achievement what a player – obviously I was with him when he was a young lad coming through at the time. He’s a great example to young kids and has the dedication and hard work which has paid off.

At 18,19, 20 he was on loan but through hard work and to achieve what he has done for Tottenham – he’s a living legend.

It will boil down to his own personal goals whether he thinks he can win things and wants to play at the highest level. He’s probably got 4 or 5 years left. If he did leave, I think in the summer I think Real Madrid will be the best fit for Harry Kane.

A top four finish for Spurs will help for Harry, but he’ll also want to go into that season knowing they’ve got a chance to compete at that level and in the Champions League and not just playing in it.

Q: Do you think Kane will surpass Shearer’s 260 PL goals?

DB: If Kane does stay at Spurs, I think he’ll surpass Shearer’s record – he’s not going to stop scoring goals. I’d love him to stay at Tottenham.

Q: Kane surpasses Jimmy Greaves as all-time Spurs top goal scorer. Does that cement Kane as the best no.9 Spurs have had?

DB: He’s probably one of the greatest number 9’s the Premier League’s ever had!

And is certainly the best ever that Spurs have had – and that’s proven now by breaking the Jimmy Greaves record.

Q: Dele Alli might have his contract cancelled at Beskitas, what went wrong for him at Spurs?

I’ve got a slight connection with Dele as he was with my agency with Rob Segal. He left and I think his bother took over the day-to-day runnings and maybe his personal life hasn’t been managed correctly – but it’s such a shame as he’s such a talent.

But I think he had a good game the other day for Beskitas – I think he scored and put in a man of the match performance, but for a talented player and the age he is it’s a shame it’s just not working out for him.

If someone can get him right again, he’d be a great asset to any club.

Q: What was the best brand of Football boot you wore as a player? Nike, Adidas, Puma, Umbro

DB: The original Adidas predators – I remember first putting them on with the big red tongue. They were certainly the best boot I can remember wearing.

Liam Solomon

Liam is a content writer for Bitcoin Casinos. He has 7 years of experience writing articles on trending topics including sports and finance. Liam has a passion for analysing trending data and has had his data shared in publications including New York Times, BBC and 1000's more. He started working on BitcoinCasinos.com one year ago and provides all kinds of details for users interested in playing at crypto casinos.