Arsenal awarded defender Per Mertesacker an 18-month deal back in January, despite the former German international having spent the season with a knee injury. The centre-back has been on the bench after recovering from his injury, albeit an unused substitute in three of Arsenal’s last five Premier League games, but should the Arsenal club captain have been given a new deal?
Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson has been reduced to making appearances for the reserve side in the Premier League 2 this season, featuring more times for the U23s (6 appearance) than he has for the first-team (5 appearances in all competitions).
Manager Arsene Wenger froze out the former Charlton Athletic man after Jenkinson failed to agree personal terms with Crystal Palace when the Eagles tried to sign him this season, and he’s expected to be up for sale this summer or released at the end of his deal in 2018 otherwise.
Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi has hardly played for the Gunners in recent weeks, amassing a paltry 25 minutes of Premier League football in the last eight weeks, but could feature against Leicester City on Wednesday should manager Arsene Wenger rotate his squad after Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final victory.
The Londoners will have tired players after going to extra time at Wembley on the weekend, and their attacking players could be given a rest to stave off any signs of fatigue as a result. Iwobi was impressing in the first-half of the season but has been used sparingly in 2017. Despite his period of inactivity, he’s remained on the bench but could be deployed to keep the side fresh.
Liverpool suffered a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in their last Premier League clash, and are now third in the table with 66 points from 34 games, staying nine clear of Arsenal who now have three games in hand on the Merseysiders and could catch mathematically catch them in the table. Arsene Wenger’s men still need slip-ups from their top-four rivals but Liverpool’s defeat opens the door for them.
Yet. And this could be the crucial word here.
It was in February that Arsene Wenger first publicly addressed the hot issue of his Arsenal future amid growing pressure from disgruntled Gunners supporters, who were demanding that Frenchman was relieved of his duties.
Wenger said he would decide on a new deal in March on April and with this designated timeline slowly running out, no announcement has been made just yet.
In the meantime, Arsenal boss is trying to latch on a newly-found dose of optimism following back-to-back triumphs over Middlesbrough in the Premier League and against Manchester City in the Fa Cup semi-final.
Arsenal will look to keep their hopes of Champions League qualification alive on Wednesday night as the Gunners host Leicester at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger’s side will head into the clash in good spirits after progressing to the FA Cup final at the weekend with a 2-1 extra-time win over Manchester City at Wembley.
The Gunners form has been mixed of late, but the side from north London won their last top-flight game 2-1 at struggling Middlesbrough. The win over City will restore some of the confidence in Arsenal.
So, Arsenal are in the final of the FA Cup and will take on Chelsea. The Gunners making it to the final has the potential to raise a big question. If Arsene Wenger’s side somehow won the trophy and managed a top four finish would this be a successful season for Arsenal?
Arsenal, of course, would still have to beat Chelsea in the final at Wembley. It would also mean the Gunners closing a gap of seven points on fourth-place Manchester City or a nine-point gap on third-place Liverpool.
Arsenal defender Rob Holding once again impressed in a three-man backline against Manchester City as the Gunners reached the FA Cup final. The former Bolton Wanderers centre-back has been on the periphery at Arsenal all season, but was brought to the fore in a new system and has taken to it immediately.
Holding has made just four Premier League appearances this season, half of them coming in the last week, and he’s shown his manager that he deserves to be in and around the first-team in 2017/18. The 21-year-old was signed as a long-term replacement for the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in 2016 but may be in contention for a starting place next season.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud played 82 minutes in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final win against Manchester City but was largely ineffective at Wembley as his playing style didn’t fit the Gunners’ approach. The French international was utilised as the out-ball for Arsenal but didn’t have the pace to break the high City defence and was instead involved in aerial duels with Nicolas Otamendi.
Giroud failed to get in behind the Manchester City defence as a lack of any real athleticism, and chances were few and far between on the day. The former Montpellier man had two shots all game, completing just one pass every six minutes on average, and his withdrawal before extra time was expected earlier than it came.
North London club Arsenal are believed to be willing to offer as much as £20 million offer for RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg, according to reports coming from the British Isles.
The 25-year-old Forsberg is having a brilliant season in Bundesliga, where he is widely regarded as one of the top performers this term with eight goals and 15 assists in 25 league appearances.
Regarded as one of the major factors behind RB Leipzig successful debut campaign in the top tier, Emil Forsberg has caught the eye of several Europe’s biggest sides, Arsenal included.