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SPORTS UPDATE

Transfer: Two players leaves Arsenal as Buffon welcomes Di Maria to Juventus

Arsenal on Monday confirmed that Harry Clarke and Omar Rekik would leave the club to join Stoke City and Sparta Rotterdam, respectively, on loan for the 2022/23 season.

The Gunners disclosed this in a separate statement via its website.

The statement read in part, “Omar Rekik has joined Dutch Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam on loan for the 2022/23 season.

“The 20-year-old defender who joined us from Hertha Berlin in January 2021, was a regular with the under-23s last season, making 19 appearances, including 14 in the Premier League 2 campaign.

“Harry Clarke will be joining Stoke City on loan for the 2022/23 season.

“The 21-year-old defender gained valuable experience in Scotland last season on loan with Premiership clubs Ross County and Hibernian.”

Meanwhile, Juventus legend, Gianluigi Buffon, has welcomed Angel Di Maria to join the Serie A giants this summer.

Buffon believes his former team-mate Di Maria would be as good as Diego Maradona, if he is to join Juventus.

Di Maria has left Paris Saint-Germain following the expiration of his contract this summer after seven seasons with the French Ligue 1 champions.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Buffon said: “Right now, Di Maria in Serie A is like Maradona. Am I clear?

“Footballers must be valued considering the context where they play. Today Serie A is technically poorer and Angel has so much technique.

“He is decisive in front of goal, he dribbles past his opponents so easily. He is good at delivering assists and runs up and down on the pitch.

“I am 44, but I still play,” Buffon added. “Age doesn’t matter. Motivation and passion are much more important and the same goes for determination. If Di Maria joins Juventus, it means that he’s ready to do so.

“At PSG, I played with Neymar, a young Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti, but Di Maria was not inferior to any of them.

“When he won the Decima at Madrid in 2014, he was playing with Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

“He was always a step back but knew how to play as a winger, attacking midfielder and even mezzala.

“Whoever signs him, and I hope it’s Juve, makes a deal. We are talking about a champion and football needs champions.”

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