Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be fit to start against Leicester City in Wednesday’s Premier League clash, with manager Arsene Wenger revealing the English international hasn’t suffered a serious knock. “It was precautionary and not a serious injury. We will test him. It was a foot injury. We have medical checks to see who is available (for Leicester). Nobody else picked up any injuries in the game,” he said.
Leicester City booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after seeing past perennial Europa League winners Sevilla, progressing further in their maiden European campaign than Arsenal have in seven years. The Foxes are 25/1 to win the Champions League this season, and will now face either Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, AS Monaco/Manchester City, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid/Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.
For Arsenal, it’s seven straight years of last-16 disappointment, their latest of which saw them lose 10-2 on aggregate to a Bayern Munich not considered to be at their best this season. The German Bundesliga giants weren’t good enough to win their group prior to the knockouts but made light work of a fragile Arsenal side enduring one of their most disappointing campaigns as things stand.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down talk of spending big in January, having long suggested the preferred targets are seldom available in the winter window, despite their existing wingers looking bereft of the required quality for a genuine challenge for the Premier League crown.
The Gunners’ title-hopes have taken a big hit following a recent dip in form, and there are some startling statistics from their existing wingers which suggests Wenger desperately needs to bring in a new face. Alexis Sanchez (44) and Mesut Ozil (38) lead the squad charts for chances created, but the chasing pack haven’t even managed half of Ozil’s tally – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (15).
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger singled out centre-back Rob Holding for praise after the summer signing helped the Gunners keep a clean sheet in their weekend stalemate with Premier League defending champions Leicester City. Signed from Bolton Wanderers, the England U21 international overcome a tricky opening game defeat to Liverpool with a convincing showing at the king Power Stadium.
Against Leicester City, Holding won five aerial duels and made nine clearances. No Arsenal player blocked more shots than the new recruit (2), and Holding even showed confidence in possession to bring the ball out of the defence. “Nobody is speaking about the performance of Rob Holding today. You should be happy; he is English, he is 20 years old, but I’m sorry he didn’t cost £55m, so it cannot be good,” said Arsene Wenger after the game.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez could retain a central role ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash against Leicester City.
The former Barcelona man has primarily been deployed out wide, given the freedom to cut inside, but Wenger has often used him as a makeshift centre-forward when the Londoners have been missing their first choice attackers, and recent comments made suggest Sanchez could stay as a striker in the near future.
Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit for Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez with the Algerian international having signed a new deal with the Foxes. The Gunners had penned Mahrez as a transfer target to compete with the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right flank, but he’s now extended his stay at the King Power Stadium until 2020.
With the 25-year-old having scored and assisted 28 goals in 37 Premier League appearances last season, Arsenal were reportedly keen to add him to their attack to supply a similar threat as Alexis Sanchez on the left. With right-back Hector Bellerin keen to get forward to affect the game in the attacking third, having a right-winger who will cut inside and take the fullback away would be key for Arsenal.
According to Plaza Deportiva, Arsenal’s deal to sign Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi hasn’t taken off as the Gunners are yet to make an official bid. Reports in the last few weeks had suggested Arsenal and Mustafi had agreed personal terms, but Valencia still haven’t received an acceptable bid from the London club despite their desperation for a defender.
Arsenal have less than two weeks until the summer transfer window closes but they only have two fit centre-backs and one senior defender who has been afforded a late summer holiday. Their first game of the new season could hardly have been worse either with Liverpool putting four goals past them at the Emirates Stadium, so the pressure is on Wenger to shore up the backline before the Gunners are left behind in the title race.
Arsenal have been linked with a move for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez for months and Gunners fans were yesterday made to believe that PFA Player of the Year could finally be heading to the Emirates after the Algerian newspaper Le Buteur claimed that Mahrez has agreed a transfer to Arsenal.
Fans’ hopes have however plummeted with the latest social media update from Lecester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The Foxes boss uploaded a photo on Instagram alongside Riyad Mahrez with a caption that was a dagger to the heart of all Arsenal fans clearly stating that Algerian star is not for sale.
Arsenal are being intensely linked with two players this summer – Alexandra Lacazette and Riyad Mahrez. Reports have suggested the Gunners are pursuing Lacazette after being given hope by French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais of his availability, but it’s highly unlikely they will bring two more players to the Emirates Stadium which perhaps rules out a move for Mahrez.
The Leicester City man would operate on the right flank for Arsenal, a position not locked down by any player going into the new season. Joel Campbell, Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are likely to be fighting for the spot, but manager Arsene Wenger could well rotate given how inconsistent their respective form has been in the past.
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri questioned whether Arsenal-target Riyad Mahrez was becoming “distracted” by the rumours surrounding his future in the aftermath of the Foxes’ 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, seemingly changing his stance from an assuredness of keeping the Algerian to now be doubtful that he’ll stay at the King Power Stadium.
“Maybe Riyad is distracted a bit by all of these rumours and speculation but that is also an experience for my players. It is important that he understands that he should stay with us. He has to improve his fitness and play for the team as well as last season,” said Ranieri. Arsenal are reported to be courting the 25-year-old, who was 2015/16’s Player of the Year, but have made no real progress this summer.