Arsenal round-up: Wenger on Sanchez; Lemar chase ended; Carabao Cup draw

Arsenal have a difficult trip to Anfield ahead of them this weekend, but they will be boosted by the return of Alexis Sanchez. Arsene Wenger has insisted that the Chilean is focused and happy, despite the constant speculation regarding his Gunners’ future. Manchester City have been linked with the player throughout the summer and they are thought to be preparing a bid. The Mirror quotes the following comments from the boss about last season’s top scorer:

“I don’t think he is too disturbed by all the noises – players at that level are used to it. Overall he looks in good shape. He has worked really hard and he is ready to play.”

These are encouraging words from the manager and they suggest that Sanchez is going to play a part at the weekend. Arsenal have missed him during recent weeks and will be pleased to have him back on the pitch, even if he can’t play the entire game. They will need him to be at his best if they are to get a positive result on Sunday.

The Arsenal manager was asked about Thomas Lemar in his press-conference. The Frenchman has been a priority target for the club during this summer transfer window, but it now looks unlikely that a deal can be done. The following quotes were reported by the Mirror:

“It is dead, Monaco have closed the door, definitely, because they have ongoing cases like [Kylian] Mbappe, Fabinho.

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“They lost already [Benjamin] Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko, so Monaco are at a stage where they have closed the door.”

The supporters will be disappointed by this news, as Lemar looked to be a great fit for the club. Arsenal need to strengthen their attacking options and the Frenchman would have offered an improvement on what is already in the squad. It will be interesting to see if they have anything else lined up as an alternative, but the lack of rumours in the press would suggest not.

The Carabao Cup draw took place early this morning and Arsenal were part of it. They have been drawn to play Doncaster Rovers at home, in what should be a good tie for the club. The last time the Gunners faced Rovers was in December 2005 and they managed to progress, but they needed a last-minute equaliser and penalties to do so.

Arsene Wenger will be looking to use this competition to play fringe players. Reiss Nelson is a player that impressed in pre-season and he will get opportunities in the Carabao Cup. This is a good draw for the Gunners, as they should be able to progress and give minutes to their younger players.

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