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Arsenal: Adebayor quotes; Xhaka on Mertesacker’s importance; Oxlade-Chamberlain discusses changes to his game

Arsenal

Arsenal: Adebayor quotes; Xhaka on Mertesacker’s importance; Oxlade-Chamberlain discusses changes to his game

Former Arsenal and Tottenham striker has criticised his former club this week, stating that Arsenal are too reliant on Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. The two have been the stars at Arsenal over the last few seasons and are once again taking the headlines this year as the Gunners try to push for the title. Adebayor believes that his old side would struggle to cope if either were out of action for a sustained period of time.

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“Arsenal’s problem is that today they are just Ozil and Sanchez. If one of them gets injured, it is a problem.”

Although Adebayor does have a point, I don’t think Arsenal will worry too much about his comments. He is hardly well liked by supporters and for that reason, his views will be ignored by many. The next few months are crucial for the club and they need their two key players to be at the top of their game. Ironically, the future of both may be determined by how well they perform this season. If they manage to take Arsenal into the latter stages of the Champions League and guide them to a good Premier League finish, they may decide to extend their contract. Whereas if the Gunners don’t qualify for the Champions League at the end of this season, Arsenal may be forced to sell.

Per Mertesacker is set to return to the squad during the coming weeks and Granit Xhaka believes that the German is still the club’s leader. Arsenal have sometimes lacked leadership this season and Mertesacker will have that to offer, even if it is only around the dressing room. He is obviously a big character in the squad and that is why he has been awarded with a new contract. His experience will also be invaluable when he is called upon.

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“Straight away, I noticed his importance in the dressing room because he is a real leader here and hopefully he can get back healthy and we can have him for the second half of the season.”

It speaks volumes that a player that hasn’t played alongside Mertesacker has immediately noticed the importance that the club captain has to the squad. Every club has big personalities and they are needed in football, both to lead the squad and to maintain a good morale at the club. Mertesacker is one of those for Arsenal and it could be his off-the-field role is more important to the Gunners than his one on it.

Another player with an uncertain future is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he has yet to start contract negotiations with the club. The winger has been talking about how he has worked on his game to become a bigger attacking threat this season. This is shaping up to be Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best season in an Arsenal shirt, but he still hasn’t been able to secure a regular spot in the starting eleven.

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“This year I’ve just worked mostly on making runs in behind and just trusting the boys to find you with balls over the top. That’s when you unlock them and when you’re most dangerous so I think for me personally, what I’ve worked on the most this season is not coming towards the ball as much.”

His improvement has been evident to those that have watched him play regularly. It is positive to see him finally start to fulfill his undoubted potential, which is great to see because he could become an important player in the Premier League and for England. The next stage of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s career remains unclear, as he may choose to move to a club where he gets more regular first team football.

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