Advertisement Arshavin is a fan of Arteta (Picture: Getty)‘Offensively-wise they are very good and in attack they play very pretty football. It’s good to watch. But defensively – even in my period – Arsenal is weak. ‘Sometimes that is down to injuries and sometimes they don’t have enough experience but I don’t know why this doesn’t change. ‘Regarding Arteta, it was a good choice because he has spent time at Arsenal and knows the club well. He worked next to Arsene (Wenger) and can take good experience from him. More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘He also has the respect of the club and players. And since he has taken over at Arsenal they have changed: not too much but in a good way. ‘But it is difficult to predict if Arsenal can finish in the Champions League zone, especially in the time we’re in now.’Read the full 888sport interview with Andrei Arshavin hereMORE: Arsenal legend Ian Wright offers transfer advice to Harry Kane amid Man Utd speculationMORE: Rio Ferdinand tells Mikel Arteta to build Arsenal team around three playersFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Coral BarryTuesday 31 Mar 2020 1:20 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.3kShares Ozil is under contract until 2021 at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsenal hero Andrey Arshavin has urged Mikel Arteta to offload Mesut Ozil.The German has impressed since Arteta took charge and has repeatedly insisted he has no plans to leave Arsenal in the near future.Arshavin, who spent four years at the Emirates, thinks Ozil is the wrong fit for the Gunners and criticised a ‘weak squad’.‘As a player of course I respect him. Mesut is a world class player,’ Arshavin said speaking exclusively to 888Sport.ADVERTISEMENTRead the latest updates: Coronavirus news live‘But for me personally he slows down the game. I would prefer to use another player. Mikel, as we can see, is the opposite and plays him a lot. AdvertisementAdvertisement‘He has improved his game at Arsenal but still in the future I do not see him there.’‘For me Arsenal’s squad is not balanced,’ he continued. Comment Arsenal need to sell Mesut Ozil, says club hero Andrey Arshavin
2014: Byron Buxton, TwinsBackground: Buxton’s talent is jaw-dropping. His speed — on the base paths and in the outfield — is stunning, and when his swing is right his ability to spray line drives around the ballpark is a beautiful thing to watch. In 2013, his first full year as a professional baseball player — his Age 19 season — Buxton hit .334 with 12 homers, 18 triples and 55 stolen bases, and Baseball America jumped him from No. 10 to No. 1 on its list. A wrist injury kept him on the shelf for most of the 2014 campaign.Games 1-46: 138 PA, .209/.250/.326, .576 OPS, 2 homers, 6 RBI, 2 SBGames 47-76: 100 PA, .207/.245/.359, .604 OPS, 1 homer, 6 RBI, 4 SBGames 77-106: 111 PA, .192/.255/.293, .547 OPS, 0 homers, 10 RBI, 4 SBThoughts: The 46-game sample was his first taste of the majors, in 2015, and the next two came in 2016. Buxton’s struggles to make consistent contact in the bigs are no secret, and they’ve been a constant. We’ve seen flashes, even extended flashes, of what he’s capable of doing — from July 4 to the end of the 2017 season, Buxton hit .314 with a .912 OPS, 12 homers, five triples and 15 stolen bases. But 2018 was a lost season, with injuries and inconsistencies; he batted .156 in just 28 games. Finally in 2019, Buxton is off to a solid start to the year — AL-high 12 doubles and a 117 OPS+ in 20 games — and Twins fans are getting excited all over again. As they should. We are all excited for the arrival of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The namesake son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, Vladdy Jr. has spent the past couple of years embarrassing minor league pitchers. Baseball America, the most respected publication focused on minor league baseball, ranked the Blue Jays’ third-base prospect as the No. 18 prospect heading into the 2017 season — he was just 17 at the time — and then moved him to No. 3 before the 2018 season and up to the top spot heading into 2019. MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNWhy the jump? In 2017, he hit .323 with a .910 OPS in Single-A and High-A. And look at what he did in 2018. In 61 games for Double-A New Hampshire, Guerrero Jr. hit .402 — not a misprint — with 14 homers and 60 RBIs. After his promotion to Triple-A Buffalo, he batted .336 with a .978 OPS. He was only 19 years old, with all eyes watching his every move, and he never flinched.And here’s Vlad Jr. with a line-drive home run, in slo-mo … pic.twitter.com/6zZHyKFPdK— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) August 13, 2018Blue Jays fans are right to be excited. Baseball America’s track record with No. 1 prospects is pretty darn good. Hall of Famer Chipper Jones and three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez held the title as youngsters, and perennial All-Stars Andruw Jones, Mark Teixeira, Bryce Harper and Joe Mauer have been in that spot, too.Today, we wanted to take a look at the five most recent players to top Baseball America’s annual list of the top 100 prospects, and how the beginnings of their big-league careers played out. All five are supremely talented ballplayers, and you’ll see ebbs and flows in their early production. What’s the point? Mostly to say it’s OK to expect amazing things from Vladdy Jr., but not to panic if he goes through an adjustment period or two. Vlad Guerrero Jr. isn’t in the lineup tonight. Regular day off.He’s going through full pregame warmups. Here’s slo-mo of Vlad at third base. pic.twitter.com/eNWzWgGP18— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) August 13, 20182018: Ronald Acuña Jr., BravesBackground: In his Age 19 season, split between high-A (28 games), Double-A (57 games) and Triple-A (54 games), Acuña hit .325 with 21 home runs, 44 stolen bases, 31 doubles, eight triples and an .896 OPS. After that showing, Baseball America put him in the top prospect spot, up from No. 67 before the 2017 season. Games 1-30: 134 PA, .256/.321/.438, .759 OPS, 5 homers, 13 RBI, 2 SBGames 31-60: 123 PA, .272/.325/.544, .869 OPS, 7 homers, 17 RBI, 5 SBGames 61-90: 136 PA, .333/.419/.709, 1.129 OPS, 12 homers, 21 RBI, 5 SBThoughts: It did not take Acuña long to become virtually unstoppable at the big league level, and it didn’t even matter that he spent almost the entire month of June on the disabled list with a knee injury. The dynamic rookie had an eight-game stretch in August during which he produced eight homers, 15 RBIs and a .471 average. He finished with 26 homers, 16 stolen bases, a .917 OPS, a 4.1 bWAR and the NL Rookie of the Year award (along with SN’s NL Rookie of the Year award, voted on by his peers). 2017: Andrew Benintendi, Red SoxBackground: After a record-setting couple of seasons at Arkansas, the Red Sox picked Benintendi seventh overall in the 2015 MLB Draft. In two minor league seasons, the left-handed hitting outfielder posted a .392 on-base percentage and walked more than he struck out (74 walks, 63 strikeouts). Games 1-34: 118 PA, .295/.359/.476, .835 OPS, 2 homers, 14 RBI, 1 SBGames 31-60: 135 PA, .325/.385/.500, .885 OPS, 5 homers, 20 RBI, 3 SBGames 61-90: 126 PA, .231/.304/.370, .674 OPS, 4 homers, 18 RBI, 5 SBThoughts: The first segment here was extended to 34 games because Benintendi played 34 games with the Red Sox at the end of the 2016 season. As you can see, he jumped out of the gate in 2017, too, and locked down the starting left field job. Benintendi finished his rookie year with 20 homers, 20 stolen bases and a .352 on-base percentage. He finished a distant second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting to Aaron Judge, who had a monster year. 2016: Corey Seager, DodgersBackground: The younger brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager was the No. 18 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He rolled through the Dodgers’ minor league system, posting an OPS of .824 or higher each season. Baseball America made him its No. 37 prospect heading into 2014 and No. 5 guy in 2015 before he ascended to the top spot in 2016. Games 1-27: 113 PA, .337/.425/.561, .986 OPS, 4 homers, 17 RBI, 2 SBGames 28-57: 129 PA, .261/.333/.400, .733 OPS, 2 homers, 14 RBI, 1 SBGames 61-90: 129 PA, .305/.357/.644, 1.001 OPS, 12 homers, 21 RBI, 0 SBThoughts: Seager’s first taste of the big leagues lasted 27 games in September 2015, and that dynamic showing is why Baseball America felt confident moving him into the top spot. As you can see, he didn’t pick up exactly where he left off to start 2016, but it didn’t take long for Seager to establish himself as one of the best rookies in the sport. And by the midway point of the season, it was clear that Seager was one of the best players, period, in the game. Seager finished that rookie season with a 5.9 bWAR, 26 homers and a 134 OPS+ and finished third in the NL MVP voting. Oh, and he was the easy choice as the NL Rookie of the Year, too (and SN’s rookie award). 2015: Kris Bryant, CubsBackground: Bryant was an 18th-round pick out of high school and a first-round pick out of San Diego State, at No. 2 overall (behind Stanford ace Mark Appel). The slugger hit .336 with a 1.078 OPS in his first partial season, after the draft, and ripped up minor league pitching in Double-A and Triple-A in his first full professional season. In 138 games, Bryant hit 43 homers, compiled 110 RBIs, hit .325 and posted a 1.098 OPS. Bumping Bryant up from the No. 8 overall prospect to No. 1 was an easy choice. The Cubs, pretty blatantly attempting to manipulate his service time, kept him in the minors to start the 2015 season — Bryant hit three homers and had 10 RBIs in seven games — and called him up on April 17.Games 1-30: 133 PA, .290/.421/.467, .888 OPS, 4 homers, 24 RBIs, 3 SBGames 31-60: 135 PA, .275/.348/.500, .848 OPS, 6 homers, 18 RBI, 2 SBGames 61-90: 127 PA, .187/.299/.374, .673 OPS, 4 homers, 17 RBI, 5 SBThoughts: Yes, there was a bit of a lull midway through his rookie yeah, but remember these 30-game sample sizes are arbitrary. Bryant had an outstanding first season, posting a 6.1 bWAR, 26 homers, 99 RBIs and a 135 OPS; he was the unanimous NL Rookie of the Year (and was voted SN’s top NL rookie by the players). Bryant was even better in his second year, earning 29 of the 30 first-place votes in the NL MVP voting.