Arsenal round-up: Europa League significance; Crystal Palace want midfielder; New Sanchez rumour

Arsenal have their first Europa League match tonight against FC Cologne. Although the club aren’t placing a lot of importance on the competition, it is going to be a huge opportunity for a lot of the fringe players. The Evening Standard report that the competition could have great significance on the future of many of the players involved. The likes of David Ospina, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud all need to give strong showings in the continental competition to secure a future at the Emirates Stadium.

The negatives far outweigh the positives, but the Europa League isn’t all bad. Arsenal need to make the most of a bad situation and use the competition correctly. It does provide a good opportunity to rotate and give other players a chance. Reiss Nelson is an individual that could benefit from it, as he looks to break into the first-team. He will get a chance to prove himself and he needs to take advantage of it.

Crystal Palace have a new manager in Roy Hodgson and reports suggest he is already eyeing up an Arsenal player for a January transfer. The Mail report that he is a huge fan of Jack Wilshere and would jump at the chance of signing the midfielder when the transfer window reopens. Hodgson plans to monitor how the England international’s season develops with the view of bringing him to Selhurst Park.

This would be an interesting move and one that appealed to Wilshere as he would prefer to stay in London. However, it seems a report that is putting two and two together. Hodgson has only just arrived at Palace and it would be a surprise if he is already making transfer plans. The fact that Wilshere is facing an uncertain future and played under the new Eagles boss for England makes it an easy rumour to make. This story should be treated with caution.

Alexis Sanchez continues to make headlines, despite the closing of the transfer window. Don Balon report that Real Madrid are the latest club to register an interest in the Chilean. The Spaniards have shortlisted him as they look to make attacking reinforcements. The injury to Karim Benzema and the sale of Alvaro Morata has left them light up front, which means they could be active in January.

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It is always wise to approach transfer stories with caution outside of the windows, especially when the previous one shut only weeks ago. Sanchez is a player that will be attracting interest from around the globe, but his future remains unclear. Real Madrid would likely be interested in him, but he might not want to move there as a first-team place is far from guaranteed.

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