There hasn’t been any movement in the Premier League for the last 10 days as clubs around Europe gave way to international football, but a few Arsenal-related stories have popped up these days just to give us a kind of a warm-up ahead of the final stage of the season.
Midfielder Granit Xhaka left Switzerland’s Euro 2020 qualifier after 79 minutes as coach Vladimir Petković succumbed to his request to be substituted.
“Xhaka could not stay on the pitch. He asked me ten minutes before to be replaced.” Petković explained after the game.
“Granit had adductor problems, he could not do any more.”
Xhaka himself took to Instagram to provide an update.
“Back in London but still unhappy that we didn’t secure the three points in the EURO qualifiers against Denmark. It is always painful not to be able to go the full distance but I pushed myself as hard as I could until I had to ask for my substitution in the 79th minute. After not being able to finish the match fighting with my teammates, I will have the first treatment tonight (Thursday) to make sure to recover quickly.”
It is to be hoped that the 26-year-old will be ready by Monday, when Arsenal are set to host Newcastle United.
Besiktas Looking at Elneny
Turkish side Besiktas have reportedly enquired about the availability of Mohamed Elneny for a transfer this summer. That is according to Turkish newspaper Fotospor, who explain the club’s interest by claiming that Besiktas are set to lose 36-year-old Canada international Atiba Hutchinson soon, and they see Elneny as a possible long-term replacement.
The Egyptian’s time at the Emirates has been riddled with injuries, and the competition in the middle of the park has severely increased since manager Unai Emery came in last summer and added Lucas Torreira and Mateo Guendouzi to the squad. Xhaka is in there as well, and Elneny remains behind all three of them in the pecking order, so his departure this summer looks a real possibility.
Laca Expects a Difficult Season End
Speaking to Sport360, Alexandre Lacazette revealed he expects a tough battle for the remaining places in the Premier League table which lead to the Champions League next season. Liverpool and Manchester City are far gone at the moment and look set to fight a battle of their own for the title, but places three and four remain up for grabs. With eight games remaining, Arsenal sit fourth with 60 points to their name, a point behind local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, two ahead of Manchester United in fifth, and three ahead of Chelsea at sixth.
“It’s going to be difficult of course, but exciting as well. It’s been a good battle all season so we just want to win every single game and finish third or fourth. It will be good for us and our fans”, Lacazette says.
Arsenal have a favourable schedule for the rest of the season, at least on paper. There are no more top-six sides for the Gunners to face. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Spurs both have a trip to Anfield to come (Spurs play there on Sunday), while Manchester United are yet to welcome defending champions Manchester City to Old Trafford.
Arsenal can be backed at 4/11 to beat the Magpies at the Emirates on Monday.