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Nearly 100,000 people in England catching Covid-19 every day, ‘worrying’ Government-led study finds


Nearly 100,000 Britons are getting infected with coronavirus every day, according to results of Government-led surveillance study that suggests the UK is hurtling towards a second peak that could rival the first.

The REACT-1 project — which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week — estimated there were around 96,000 people getting infected every day in England by October 25.

Imperial College London experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were slightly more than 100,000 daily cases in spring, which led to over 40,000 deaths in the first wave. 

The study warned infections are doubling every nine days, suggesting there could be 200,000 daily cases by the first week of November. 

Imperial researchers said it was possible that the recent wet and dreary weather had played a role in the surge in infections, by driving people indoors where the virus finds it easier to spread. But they warned it was more likely a small dip in adherence to social distancing rules across the board had opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread more rapidly.

Imperial’s best guess is that 1.3 per cent of everyone living in England was carrying the disease by October 25, the equivalent of one in 75, or 730,000 people. Covid-19 prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7 per cent) and the North West (2.3 per cent).

The study, which will likely be used to pile more pressure on No10 to impose a national lockdown, also estimated the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate — the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects — was nearly three in London, a finding the researchers described as ‘scary’. It was lower in the North West, where millions of people are living under draconian lockdowns.

Overall, the R rate was around 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the reproduction rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

It comes after another 310 Covid-19 victims were recorded last night and 367 the day before, in the highest daily toll since the end of May. But the 26,688 infections reported yesterday was actually the first week-on-week fall in a month — though the central testing programme is missing asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus, which make up the vast majority of infections.

The REACT-1 study – commissioned by the Department of Health – has been swabbing tens of thousands of people since summer. The latest findings from the most recent phase (round six, in dark blue) show increases in transmission in every region of England

Researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) – more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

The study also found prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 per cent, up from 0.84 per cent the week before. This was followed by the North West at 2.27 per cent, up from 1.21 per cent. Prevalence was lowest in East of England at 0.55 per cent, up from 0.29 per cent

The study also found prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 per cent, up from 0.84 per cent the week before. This was followed by the North West at 2.27 per cent, up from 1.21 per cent. Prevalence was lowest in East of England at 0.55 per cent, up from 0.29 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

The study found that the virus' reproduction 'R' rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - was 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. The R is thought to be hovering between 1 and 1.5 in the north and greater than two in the South East and South West. In London it's estimated to be nearly three

The study found that the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – was 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. The R is thought to be hovering between 1 and 1.5 in the north and greater than two in the South East and South West. In London it’s estimated to be nearly three

Reacting to the study, Professor Igor Rudan, joint director of the Centre for Global Health and WHO Collaborating Centre, University of Edinburgh, said: ‘This study should be considered very accurate and reliable scientific evidence that shows that a very large second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is underway. It will inevitably lead to a very large number of infections, severe episodes and deaths in the coming weeks and months.

‘Efforts will be required to reduce the national reproduction number below one again. The measures that were in place over the past two months across most of Europe were clearly insufficient to prevent the new large growth of infected cases and fast spread of the virus. I commend the authors for this excellent effort.’

Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said: ‘This latest REACT study contains some sobering numbers… eighteen to 24-year-olds remain the age group with the highest level of infections, but in the 55 to 64 age group, the number infected people has tripled, demonstrating how the virus spreads into more at risk people if left unchecked. We can expect this situation to continue to deteriorate if authorities remain slow to react.’

The study – commissioned by the Department of Health – sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) – more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before.

Prevalence of the virus among people aged 55 to 64 increased more than threefold in the last week and in the over-65s – who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 – the rate doubled.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the programme at Imperial, said the findings were ‘worrying’. He believes that Brits have universally relaxed how strictly they have been following social distancing rules.

Although these may only have been small changes, he warned: ‘A little shift in everybody’s behavior can have a big effect [on the trajectory of the virus].’

Professor Elliot added: ‘The findings paint a concerning picture of the situation in England, where we’re seeing a nation-wide increase in infection prevalence, which we know will lead to more hospitalisations and loss of life.

‘We’re also detecting early signs that areas which previously had low rates of infection are following trends observed in the country’s worst-affected areas.

‘Now more than ever we must all work together to curb further spread of the virus and avoid subsequent overwhelming of the health service.’  

Daily Covid-19 infections hit 24,701 in first DROP for a month but deaths rise to 310 

Britain’s daily number of Covid-19 cases dropped week-on-week on Wednesday for the first time in a month.

Health chiefs announced 24,701 more infections, down slightly from the 26,688 positive coronavirus tests last Wednesday. 

It means it was the first time the daily number of cases has fallen on the amount recorded the week before since September 28, when the tally was affected by a counting blunder. 

But deaths are continuing to rise. Another 310 coronavirus victims were recorded today, up from the 191 posted this time last week. Wales today recorded 37 deaths — its highest amount of coronavirus in a single day since April.

The disparity between the official testing figures and REACT-1’s estimates may be explained by multiple factors.

REACT-1 is technically four days out of date, because it only covers up to October 25.

So the virus may have slowed down somewhat in those five days as local lockdowns start to take effect.

Although this is unlikely to have played a very significant role because official testing is only catching a fraction of the true infections.

It is more likely the case that it is a blip in the official testing programme, which is struggling to swab more than 300,000 people a day.

Most people suffer very mild or no Covid symptoms at all, so they never reach out to get a test.

The REACT-1 study has the benefit of randomly testing people regardless of their symptoms, therefore painting a more accurate picture of the current crisis. 

 

The study found that the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – was 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round.

The R is thought to be hovering between 1 and 1.5 in the north, which has been bearing the brunt of the second wave of infections and where swathes have been under Tier Three local lockdowns. 

However, the R is thought to be greater than two in the South East and South West, which have up until now managed to dodge the worst of the crisis, and nearly three in London.

Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the R rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

News that it is almost three times greater than that in the capital was described as ‘scary’ by Professor Elliot.

The high R numbers in the south are to be interpreted with caution, though, because they have wide confidence margins.

This is because transmission is a lot lower in the south compared to the north, so pinning down a precise R number is more difficult.

Professor Elliot added: ‘It’s a scary number in London, but an imprecise estimate. Putting a lot of attention to the exact R is unwise because of low prevalence but our study shown signs of sustained increase [in transmission].  

‘In the South there is rapid increase [in cases] and rapid growth, but at much lower levels in the North. I’d say the South is where the North was a few weeks back.’ 

The team at Imperial concluded that the current three-tiered lockdown system was either ‘not working, or not being adhered to enough’.

Professor Elliot said: ‘It’s possible the latest lockdown measures have not trickled through into our data. 

‘But, as of today, seeing increased rates across the country, be it behavioral or current policy, it [the current strategy] is not sufficient enough.’

Steven Riley, an infectious disease expert who co-led the study, warned the country was hurtling towards a repeat of the crisis in spring.

He said: ‘There’s a clear trend that hospital admissions are rising exponentially. Our data shows this exponential rise is to continue over the next two weeks.

‘Comparing [the winter wave] to the very peak in March is difficult, it’s probably still a bit lower [now] and the overall rate of growth is still lower.

‘But being slightly lower and slightly slower than March still means it is going up quickly and is already at a high level.’

Professor Riley said there ‘had to be a change’ in either public adherence or policy changes before Christmas to avoid another catastrophic death toll. 

The study also found prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 per cent, up from 0.84 per cent the week before.

This was followed by the North West at 2.27 per cent, up from 1.21 per cent.  Prevalence was lowest in East of England at 0.55 per cent, up from 0.29 per cent.

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week.

In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent.    



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Football UK

Solskjaer’s Van de Beek comments are worrying backtrack on early optimism


Manchester United’s signing of Donny van de Beek was widely hailed as an exciting one after the Dutch midfielder completed a £40m move from Ajax in September.

Following his highly impressive performances over the past few seasons, big things were expected of the 23-year-old, and it was believed he would slot straight into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting 11.

So far, however, this has not proved to be the case.

Van de Beek has yet to start a Premier League game for the club, with his only two appearances that haven’t been off the bench both coming in the Carabao Cup.

Big things were expected of Donny van de Beek when he first joined Manchester United

It is a situation that has frustrated both supporters and the player himself, but ahead of his side’s game against Chelsea this weekend Solskjaer suggested Van de Beek is still taking his time to adapt to life at Old Trafford.

“Donny’s fit enough, but of course it’s competition for places,” said Solskjaer.

“It’s giving him time to settle in and adjust to his new teammates, it’s a new league, he’s an absolutely top footballer and personality, humble and hard-working, but eager to play more.”

Despite his words of support, these comments are a far cry from the ones Solskjaer made in mid-September.

In an interview with BBC Five Live, he claimed Van de Beek could make a similar kind of impact to that of Bruno Fernandes, who took no time at all to establish himself as key member of the team after signing in January.

Van de Beek has mainly been limited to appearances from the bench so far

“When we signed Bruno Fernandes, we knew we needed that kind of player, now we’ve signed Donny and he’s a type of player I felt we needed in the squad,” Solskjaer said.

“He’s the type of person that will fit the culture, fit the team and will improve us next season and for years to come.

“He scores goals and we need to add goals from midfield. Our forwards scored quite a few goals last season, Bruno came in and scored goals but we need goals throughout the squad because we didn’t score enough to be challenging at the top.”

Despite Solskjaer’s call for goals, Van de Beek has so far scored just one this season compared to Fernandes’ four, while Fernandes has also created three assists to Van de Beek’s one.

It seems Solskjaer is still struggling to find a way to fit Van de Beek, Fernandes and Paul Pogba into the same team, with the Dutchman the odd one out so far.

Can Van de Beek finally make his mark against Chelsea?

Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.

But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.

The question now is whether they can find the right balance?

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Saturday’s game against Chelsea, then, is a big one.

It could be the game we see Van de Beek finally given a start, and a good performance in such an important match would go some way towards really kick-starting his Red Devils career.

If he is left on the bench again or fails to make an impact, however, questions will surely begin to be asked about why exactly he was ever brought in in the first place.

Over to you, Ole.

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Entertainment UK

Molly-Mae Hague hints at worrying diagnosis after mole removal amid cancer fears


Molly-Mae Hague has revealed she’s received a worrying diagnosis from doctors after a recent operation to remove a mole.

The Love Island star, 21, had surgery to remove the mole on her leg last month as doctors feared it could become cancerous.

Taking to her Instagram stories on Thursday, Molly-Mae said she has received bad news from the doctor that still hasn’t sunk in yet.

She’s told fans that she now has to have another operation, but isn’t allowed to share her full diagnosis until after she has her second surgery.

Molly-Mae wrote: “So about three weeks ago now I was advised that a mole I had on my leg needed removing.

Molly-Mae Hague has revealed she received a worrying diagnosis from doctors after a recent operation to remove a mole

She said she had bad news from the doctor that still hasn’t sunk in yet

“I had the procedure done within a few days.

“Last week I received my results back and it’s safe to say they were not at all what I was expecting.

“I’ve been trying to process the information I received whilst being super busy with work and it’s not been easy.

She had her first operation last month

“I’m still not able to give my full diagnosis until my further surgery has taken place and I’ve received those results but for now I’m just trying to stay positive.”

She continued: “I never thought at 21 something like this would happen to me and it’s very scary but all I know is that I absolutely need to share my story and what I’m going through to raise awareness of my situation.

“I’ll keep you all updated as much as I can, I’ve already received so many lovely messages from you guys and I appreciate it so much.

Molly-Mae said her suspicious mole developed when she was in the Love Island villa

“Your health must come first and I know this is something that some of my followers may have already gone through…. I’d love to hear from you guys.'”

Last month she shared photos of her scar and her bandaged leg following her first operation, as well as a picture of the mole she’d had removed.

Molly-Mae had the mole checked three times in total before her operation.

Molly-Mae and her boyfriend Tommy Fury

“Get your moles checked out people!!! It is so unbelievably important,” penned Molly-Mae.

“I’ve had this checked three times now by different consultants just to be sure.”

For more information on skin cancer, see the NHS website here.





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Big Story Coronavirus COVID-19 Delhi Politics

Covid Situation In Maharashtra Worrying, Follow Safety Measures: PM Modi


PM Modi urged the people of the State to follow all precautionary measures.

New Delhi:

As Maharashtra continues to remain at the top of India’s COVID-19 tally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged the people of the State to follow all precautionary measures, stating that “jab tak davai nahi, tab tak dheelai nahi”.

“The danger of coronavirus still persists. In Maharashtra, the situation is a little more worrying. I appeal to everyone, don’t be careless when it comes to wearing masks and social distancing. Remember – ”Jab tak davai nahi, tab tak dheelai nahi” (No carelessness till a medicine is found),” Prime Minister Modi said at an event where he released the autobiography of Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and renamed Pravara Rural Education Society as Loknete Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Pravara Rural Education Society.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was also present during the event.

With 2,12,905 active cases, Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected State by COVID-19 in the country. While 12,81,896 patients have recovered from the disease in the State, 40,514 have died so far, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday.

India’s COVID-19 count reached 71,75,881 today with a spike of 55,342 new cases and 706 deaths in the last 24 hours, it added.



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Headline USA Politics

“Trump’s vital signs were worrying,” revealed Chief of Staff | The NY Journal


In the background the Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, accompanying President Trump to the hospital.

Photo:
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

The reports on President Donald Trump’s health are inconsistent, since while the doctors sent positive messages of his progress, collaborators of the president revealed that his condition was “worrying”, due to the symptoms he developed due to COVID-19.

The president had heart palpitations and a temperature of 103 degrees, in addition to suffering from fever and low oxygen levels in the blood.

“The president’s vital signs during the last 24 hours were very worrying and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care”said Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows. “We are not yet on a clear path to a full recovery.”

In an interview with Fox News, Meadows acknowledged that there has been improvement, after both he and the doctors were seriously concerned about his progress, before he was transferred to Walter Reed Hospital.

“He has made incredible progress since yesterday morning, when several of us, the doctor and I, were very concerned”Meadows said.

After 7:00 a.m. This Sunday, President Trump began tweeting and thanked his followers who came to the hospital to cheer him on.

The president retweeted a video shared by Dan Scavino, White House social media adviser.

.



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Big Story

A 3-point guide to worrying well


For prehistoric humans, worry was a core survival skill. “Going back to the Stone Age, it helped us adapt and survive,” says Dr Kamna Chhibber, head of mental health and behavioural sciences at Fortis Memorial, Gurugram. “Worry has served as a protective function, helping humans think through problems, plan ahead and gain mastery over their environment. It’s why we’re so good at it.”

It follows, then, that there’s a good way and a bad way to worry. “There are obsessive worriers, and then there are effective ones,” Chhiber says.

So, are you doing it right? A key test is to ask if what you’re worrying about is in the past or the future. If it’s in the past, can you switch from worrying to learning? If it’s the future, what is the likelihood that the problem you are predicting will actually occur?

Worry has a function and that function is pretty straight forward: to draw our attention to the fact that there’s something we should be preparing for or preventing, Kate Sweeny and Michael D Dooley, both professors of psychology at University of California, Riverside, wrote in the journal Social and Personality Psychology Compass, in 2017. Done right, with a focus on problem-solving and learning for better outcomes in the future, worrying can lead to better health, more success and greater well-being, the article states.

So are you doing it right? Here’s a three-point checklist.

Define the problem: Here, it is important to distinguish between worry and fear, solvable and unsolvable. Productive, solvable worries are those you can act on. If the root of your worry is not solvable, try to embrace the uncertainty or the outcome you are facing, says Chhibber.

Focus on solutions: Worry is often mixed with anger, resentment or insecurity. If you can untangle your thoughts from those associated emotions and focus on the problem you have defined, it could help you make important choices at the right time. If you worry about a job interview the right way, you’re likely to prepare for it better. Worry about it the wrong way, meanwhile, and you’ll end up wasting that prep time remembering past interviews that didn’t go well, or imagining the kinds of candidates they might pick over you.

Set a timer: “Worrying the right amount is better than not worrying at all, but you must learn when to let go,” says Chhibber. Schedule a time to think about things. This strategy of postponing worry can help through the rest of your day too. In your allotted worry time, as cave man did, you can then plan perceptively, assess situations and potential threats, prepare for contingencies, and thereby gain a measure of comfort, security and, crucially, control.



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Football USA NFL

Joe Douglas’ first Jets NFL Draft class is off to worrying start


There have been plenty of slow starts around the Jets this season from their offense to their defense to just about everything.

You can throw the rookie class into that group, as well. Joe Douglas’ first draft class as GM is off to a very slow start, largely due to injuries. Of the nine players drafted, five have not played in a game, four of them because of injury. There are three rookies currently on injured reserve and one on the non-football injury list.

First-round pick Mekhi Becton has been a standout, but he suffered a shoulder injury against the Colts on Sunday and was expected to be limited, if able to play at all, on Thursday against the Broncos.

Here is a look at how each rookie has fared so far:

OT Mekhi Becton (Round 1, 11th pick overall)

The 6-foot-7, 370-pounder has been impressive in the first few games of his career. He has shown the ability to move people off the ball and has made few mistakes. PFF has him graded as one of the best rookies regardless of position. He is ranked 16th among all tackles by the analytics site.

Becton’s only issue at the moment is a shoulder injury that caused him to leave the Colts game early and had his status for the Broncos game in doubt. The Jets do not believe it is a serious injury, so any absence should not be a long one. The coaches were impressed with how prepared he was when he showed up for training camp.

WR Denzel Mims (Round 2, 59th pick overall)

Jets fans have been bemoaning the lack of deep shots the team has taken. Part of the reason the Jets haven’t is because Mims has not been on the field. The Jets thought the wide receiver from Baylor would give their offense a deep-ball dimension, but he has been unable to get on the field. Mims injured one hamstring just before the start of training camp. He missed almost all of camp. He then returned to practice on a limited basis before Week 1 and injured the other hamstring. That landed him on IR. He is eligible to come off for next week’s game against the Cardinals. The Jets could use his speed.

S Ashtyn Davis (Round 3, 68th pick overall)

Ashtyn Davis get tackled in the Jets opener against the Bills
Ashtyn Davis get tackled in the Jets opener against the BillsAP

Davis has been used mainly as a kick returner. He has two returns for 43 yards and one ill-advised hurdle against the Bills. Davis played defense against the 49ers and it did not go well. He was one of the culprits on the 80-yard touchdown run by Raheem Mostert on the first play of the game. He got blocked out of the play. Davis injured his groin and missed both the Colts and Broncos games.

DL Jabari Zuniga (Round 3, 79th pick overall)

Zuniga injured his quad and missed all of training camp. He has been on IR all season but is now eligible to come off. He is probably going to need some time before he plays, though, with all of this missed practice time.

RB La’Mical Perine (Round 4, 120th pick overall)

Perine missed the first game of the season with a sprained ankle, but played in the next two. He has 10 carries for 41 yards. Perine is explosive and could be a useful piece in the Jets offense.

QB James Morgan (Round 4, 125th pick overall)

James Morgan at Jets practice
James Morgan at Jets practicefor the NY POST

Morgan has been inactive for every game. This is a redshirt year for him.

OL Cameron Clark (Round 4, 129th pick overall)

Clark suffered a knee injury in training camp and has spent the first four weeks of the season on IR. He is eligible to come off at any point.

CB Bryce Hall (Round 5, 158th pick overall)

Hall is still recovering from a serious ankle injury that ended his season at Virginia last year. The Jets placed him on the non-football injury list, which means he has to sit out at least the first six weeks.

P Braden Mann (Round 6, 191st pick overall)

Mann is getting used plenty with the way this offense is playing. He has punted 16 times, tied for the most in the league, and is averaging 44.4 yards per punt.



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Football UK

Ian Wright opens up on the most worrying aspect of Arsenal’s defeat by Liverpool


Ian Wright says Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal felt like a “training match”, and was a clear indication that the Gunners need a new signing.

Arsenal took the lead against the Reds on Monday night, but it was the tonic Liverpool needed to start moving through the gears.

Sadio Mane kick-started Liverpool’s comeback before Andy Robertson put the home side in front and new signing Diogo Jota secured the points.

Wright has been complimentary of Mikel Arteta even since he took the reins from Unai Emery at Arsenal, but believes the Gunners need to make a marquee signing before the window slams shut next week.

Ian Wright says Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal felt like a “training match”

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He explained that a worrying aspect from the defeat by Liverpool was how routine it was – and that the Gunners need some firepower to become harder to beat.

“It felt like a training game for Liverpool in respect of Arsenal were saying you can try and get out but we will press you,” Wright told Premier League Productions.

“You can see that in Liverpool’s team everyone can move forward because Arsenal were starting so deep but what was evident to me was that we didn’t have that person in midfield who was comfortable enough on the ball until [Dani] Ceballos came on.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool

“[They need] someone who they can pass the ball to, who is comfortable to receive it with someone on his back, who can pop it off, who can turn it around the corner. From there Arsenal can play but we can’t do that at the moment.

“That’s why it’s imperative we get Aouar from Lyon. He’s someone that can get on the ball and get the forwards going. You saw the chances that Ceballos made when he came on, that’s what Arsenal need.”

Can Arsenal finish in the top four this season? Have your say here.

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