It has been a summer of speculation for Arsenal’s attacking unit, with Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all entering the last year of their contracts, while new signings have been rumoured on almost a daily basis. Yet, as we near August, things are starting to settle down at the Emirates Stadium.
Record signing Alexandre Lacazette, who arrived from Lyon, has embedded himself into the first-team, having scored his first goal for the club in a pre-season friendly versus Sydney FC.
Mesut Ozil, who played 33 Premier League games last season, has stated his desire to stay with the London club, as reported by the Daily Mail, having said: “It is definitely my preference to stay.”
However, the futures of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez are still up in the air.
Sky Sports have reported that the English winger will not sign a new contract with the Gunners and Chelsea are rumoured to be interested in his signing.
Sanchez, meanwhile, is not for sale, according to Arsene Wenger. This is despite reports by Sky Sports suggesting that Manchester City are still interested in bringing the Chilean to their club, while offering the incentive of Champions League football.
Wenger is quoted as saying, “The decision has been made and we will stick to that. The decision is not to sell”, which suggests Sanchez will be partnering Ozil and Lacazette in attack next season.
Lacazette running onto a through-ball played by Mesut Ozil is a sight Arsenal fans have dreamt of for several seasons. Now, with both looking likely to be at the club next season, it is sure to become a reality.
And, with Wenger adamant that Sanchez is not for sale, he too could add his own creativity to an already impressive duo. The three of them, are all superb attackers, capable of damaging any opposition defence.
Add to their talent the fact that they will have fewer defensive duties in the 5-2-2-1 formation the Gunners are expected to adopt next season, it leaves for great potential. Last campaign, Sanchez and Ozil scored 59 league goals and created 222 chances between them, contributing with 22 assists. From a statistical perspective, those figures are spectacular.
When you add what each of them brings on a technical level, it is apparent that Arsenal do – finally – have an immensely impressive attacking front-line. The question is, can this front three fire them back to the Champions League?