Arsenal: PSG want Wenger; Frenchman provides transfer update; Ozil defensive role discussed
Arsene Wenger’s future is unresolved and there is a chance that he leaves the club this summer. The Sun report that PSG are planning another move for the Frenchman and are increasingly confident about their chances of landing him. Unai Emery has had a poor start to life as PSG manager and the club are now determined to land Wenger this summer to replace him. Although he has rejected the Parisian club twice in the last five years, the French champions now believe he could be ready to accept and it would be a huge coup for them if he did.
Despite his poor relationship with some sections of the Arsenal fan-base, Arsene Wenger is very well regarded abroad, especially in his homeland. Throughout his time with Arsenal, he has been targeted by several big European clubs including Real Madrid. It could be the right time for him to leave Arsenal and he would have a good opportunity to end his career on a high with PSG. They need a manager to improve them in Europe and although Wenger has had limited success with Arsenal, he can attract big players and he would be a good appointment for them. For the Gunners, it would be a blow to lose him and many supporters will only realise how good a manager he is when he does leave.
The Frenchman has been discussing his transfer plans for January and any supporters hoping for a new player or two may be disappointed. He has stated that he is happy with his squad and there is no real need for signings. There are a number of players expected back from injury and Wenger has never been a manager who looks to strengthen in January. When asked about if he is happy with his squad, Wenger replied:
‘Of course, because we have [Lucas] Perez, [Olivier] Giroud, [Danny] Welbeck, [Theo] Walcott, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain and we have plenty of options offensively’
‘Defensively, we are not in the need at the moment.’
This will be disappointing for Arsenal fans, but there remains a chance that Wenger will go into the market if the right player becomes available. There is no benefit from stating publicly that he wants to do business as that will weaken his negotiating position. That said, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Arsenal don’t strengthen, as they have not been known to panic in January. There is money there and if a player becomes available, they may do something, but it shouldn’t be expected.
The Arsenal manager will always stand by his players, but he has talked about Mesut Ozil’s role in the team and stated that he is expected to do defensive work like the rest of the team. The German has been criticised in recent weeks after a lack of defensive contribution in their defeats to Everton and Manchester City. He hasn’t been helped by the speculation about his future, but Wenger has discussed his role at depth today.
‘I don’t give him any leeway when the team doesn’t have possession, he has to do his job like everybody else and usually he does it well. Mesut Özil is an important player, a big player, and the big players always respond to criticism on the pitch. His main strength is of course when we have the ball and he suffers more when we don’t have it. At City, he suffered more than others because we didn’t have enough of the ball. Unfortunately, if you want to have the ball, you have to win it back.’
Wenger is correct in his comments, as Ozil does have an important role to play defensively, but that isn’t his main responsibility. If he had been playing as well as he can do in attack, this criticism may not be coming his way and Wenger knows that. It will be interesting how Ozil does over the rest of the season as he has been far from his best, especially in terms of creativity, since the summer. He needs to improve.
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