Former Arsenal & Aston Villa star sends heartfelt message to Sandro Tonali amid betting investigation

Former Premier League player and current pundit Paul Merson has issued a sympathetic message to Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.
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Tonali is facing a potentially lengthy ban as he is investigated into alleged betting offences during his time at AC Milan. If found guilty, the Newcastle summer signing could be banned for the remainder of the 2023-24 season.

Tonali’s agent Giuseppe Riso admitted the player suffers from a gambling addiction before attending a hearing in Turin on Tuesday.

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And Merson, a self-confessed former gambling addict, sent a heartfelt message to Tonali on social media and urged ‘understanding’ when delivering a verdict.

“Just want to wish Sandro Tonali all the best from this horrible addiction,” the former Arsenal star tweeted. “Hope FIFA and everyone else goes easy and to understand this is an illness and to stop throwing out big bans and to help people get help.

“I understand if someone is playing in a game and is betting on the other team [to win] then a ban should be imposed, but people need HELP.

“I have had people say to me ‘have some will power’ and I say next time you have the *****, stop it with will power. Banning people stops people asking for help, please show some understanding.”

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Tonali joined Newcastle from AC Milan over the summer for a record £52million for an Italian player. He has made 10 appearances for The Magpies in all competitions so far, scoring six minutes into his Premier League debut against Villa back in August.

The 23-year-old is still eligible to play for Newcastle whilst the investigation is ongoing.