The international break has halted the momentum of a Premier League season that was bubbling up quite nicely, and in a slow news week some media outlets have turned their attention to transfer gossip. Julian Draxler and Arsenal has been a long running story, dating back to January 2014 when Arsene Wenger was very close to securing the German’s signature.
The two have been perennially linked ever since, and Draxler publicly stated his desire to leave Wolfsburg in the summer which led the club handing him a fine. Italian giants Juventus also have an interest in the forward, and his agent Fabio Parisi had told Italian outlet Tuttosport that Draxler will ‘definitely’ leave:
“He will definitely leave Wolfsburg at the end of the season. He would’ve gladly run to join Juve and is the ideal trequartista for Allegri.
“I repeat: Draxler will leave, but whether or not Juventus are interested again is another matter. I think the Bianconeri can still spend big money, as their revenue is close to that of the top European clubs.”
Arsenal have a very deep squad packed with quality, but if they are short in an area it would the wide forward positions. Alex Iwobi has established himself as a first XI player at the age of 20, a testament to his ability but not a situation that is entirely healthy. Wenger will have to handle him with care and avoid overloading him with minutes too early in his career. Alexis Sanchez is being deployed as a striker, which leaves Arsenal short of a wide option. Joel Campbell and Serge Gnabry left the club in the summer, which leaves just Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain to take up the slack on the right flank. Despite Walcott’s good form, both have been targets of supporters’ frustrations in the past and need to be far more consistent.
Elsewhere, Wenger has effectively ruled himself out of the England job after stating that an Englishman should get the job. In an interview with beIN Sports, the Frenchman argued that a home grown coach should be given the job though it is doubtful whether he was ever truly interested. Wenger has admitted that he is ‘addicted’ to the day-to-day rigours of managing a club and being on the training pitch each morning. Wenger said:
“It is very important (that the manager is an Englishman), I have always said that.
“A country like England, with a huge football passion… and as well the structure of the national team (it) looks to me (that it) demands a guy from your own nation is the leader.”
Finally, an extract from Joey Barton’s new book reveals that Arsenal were interested in the former Manchester City midfielder during the summer of 2011. The Gunners had lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri that summer, and were heading for a last minute trolley dash across Europe in the closing days of the window in which Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker arrived. Arsenal assistant manager alerted Barton of their interest, however things went south after Barton played against Arsenal on the opening day of the season for Newcastle. In his own words, he ‘went down like a sack of spuds’ to get Gervinho sent off and Wenger decided that day he would never play for his team.
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