Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Stoke City, with striker Lucas Perez pushing for his second start in the division after signing from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer. The Spaniard scored a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 4-1 win over FC Basel in the Champions League and could well operate on the right flank this weekend.
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According to various reports, Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin could return in time to make the matchday squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Stoke City. The Spanish right-back has been out of action for a number of weeks with an ankle injury, but is undergoing a late fitness test to decide if he’ll make the 18-man squad.
Bellerin, 21, picked up in the injury late in Arsenal’s North London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur in November, and has missed the Gunners’ last three Champions League group games against Ludogorets Razgard, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Basel and their last three Premier League encounters against Manchester United, Bournemouth and West Ham United.
Arsenal sealed top spot in Group A of the Champions League after winning 4-1 away to FC Basel, while previous leaders Paris Saint-Germain relinquished their place at the summit after drawing with FC Ludogorets Razgrad on Tuesday evening. The Gunners now are hopeful of an easier last-16 draw against a runner-up in the group, but who could they face?
Arsene Wenger’s side can’t face a runner-up from their own group (Paris Saint-Germain) nor can they face a runner-up from their own country (Manchester City). Of sides Arsenal can face, Benfica, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen are confirmed runners-up of Group B, Group D and Group E respectively.
The Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been engaged in contract negotiations with the North London club for quite some time, but the talks appear to have hit the wall.
One of Arsenal’s best players this season is enjoying quite a spell and has reportedly alarmed his former club Real Madrid, who appear to be willing to capitalize on the contract stalemate and bring the World Cup winner back to Santiago Bernabeu.
Mesut Ozil left La Liga giants back in 2013 to join Gunners in a record £42.5 million deal, but the German international has left the door open for a possible return to Santiago Bernabeu according to reports from an interview with the Spanish news outlet Marca.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has returned to the Gunners’ training camp after undergoing knee surgery in his native land. The former German international will continue his rehabilitation in London and manager Arsene Wenger believes his presence in the camp will give the player a lift.
“We’ve had a welcome addition to the squad recently – Per Mertesacker has returned from a treatment break in Germany. You know Per is a leader in the group, on a mental front as well. That’s the only attribute he can use at the moment but he’s an important part of the dressing room,” said the Gunners boss.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has been ruled out of Wednesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final meeting with Southampton with a hamstring injury. The French international noticed a twinge shortly after coming on in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth and subsequently exacerbated the injury by playing on it.
It’s a blow for the player himself as he would have featured against Southampton this week given the lack of starts afforded to him in the Premier League this season. But now Giroud is officially ruled out of the game at the Emirates Stadium, Lucas Perez looks set to lead the line after recovering from his own recent injury.
Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom could be set for a January move away from the North London club, according to reports.
The 21-year-old is close to returning to action following a back injury he suffered back in September, but the Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger is contemplating an option to send his striker out on loan in order to help him gain valuable first-team experience.
Akpom has made only one senior appearance for the Gunners this term, taking part in Arsenal’s 4-0 League Cup win over Nottingham Forest and is likely to find it hard to break into the first-team fold.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted forward Alexis Sanchez will be set for a big payrise should he extend his deal with the Londoners this season. The Chilean attacker has been in outstanding form in 2016/17 as a makeshift striker and only has 18 months left on his deal.
Sanchez has been linked with Manchester City among other European clubs, but does look set to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium. And despite stalling on talks so far, Wenger is confident Sanchez will sign a new deal but suggested he’ll be in line for a notably payrise.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said midfielder Jack Wilshere will be offered a new contract with the club, pouring cold water on rumours suggesting the English international will leave the club after his season-long loan spell with AFC Bournemouth.
Wenger says Wilshere’s loan move was important for the player to continue his development with a side who can promise him more game time in the Premier League, and plans to offer Wilshere a new deal in 2017. “We have to plan that around the new year,” the Arsenal manager revealed.
Spanish international Santi Cazorla is a target for two of the biggest Serie A clubs, according to reports from the Italian media outlet Calcio Mercato.
The charismatic Spaniard, one of the fan favourites is nearing the end of his contract with the Gunners as talks over a new deal took a worrying stall.
Should Santi Cazorla fail to renew his contract before January, the 31-year-old Spanish midfielder will be free to open negotiations with interested parties over a move that would take place once his current contract with Arsenal expires in the summer of 2017.