The main story surrounding Arsenal at the moment is the future of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. The club want to secure both to long term contracts, but there are doubts about whether they will be able to do so. They need to convince both players that the club will continue to grow and that they will have an opportunity to win major honours. The Arsenal boss has said that even if they don’t sign new deals, they won’t be sold.
“No matter what happens they will stay for 18 months and hopefully for much longer,”
“You ask always the same things, but that doesn’t improve the speed of negotiations.
“You have to respect the process – sometimes it’s quick, sometimes slow and the only handicap when it’s slow is you get asked in every press conference.”
That is positive news for Arsenal fans as they will have both in their side for the next 18 months at least. That said, this is an unwanted distraction and they need to put an end to the speculation sooner rather than later to prevent it having an effect on their season. If they have a strong Christmas period, they will emerge as title contenders and that could be enough to convince both to commit their futures to the club.
Hector Bellerin is close to a return to fitness, which will be a huge boost for Arsenal as they have been forced to play Gabriel at right back. They are approaching a crucial part of the season and will want to have a fully fit starting eleven in order to get as many points as they need to consolidate their title challenge. The Mirror’s report also states that Francis Coquelin is also in contention to play a part at Stoke.
“Coming back into the squad we have Coquelin who was suspended, and maybe Bellerin who has a fitness test today.”
The Spaniard was the best right back in the league last season and it was a blow that he picked up an injury earlier in the season. Arsenal’s other right back options are nowhere near as good and it has been an area that opposition sides have looked to target. Fortunately, Gabriel has deputised well, but it wasn’t a sustainable option for Arsene Wenger, especially with big games on the horizon. Also the return of Bellerin provides an attacking outlet that is lacking when he isn’t in the side.
Another piece of good news for Arsenal is that Santi Cazorla has undergone surgery for his long-term achilles problem and it has gone well. He is one of Arsenal’s most important players and his absence has been noticeable in recent weeks. In an Instagram post to fans, he said that the surgery went well and that he was looking forward to playing at the Emirates again. He has a great relationship with supporters and is well likes by fans of other clubs. It is great news for football that he is well on the comeback trail now.
Arsenal’s midfield has been a weakness in recent weeks, especially in the middle of the park as they lack a creative midfielder in the absence of Cazorla. Their transition phase has suffered and they haven’t been able to create as many chances as they previously have done. It is a position that Arsene Wenger may look to strengthen in January with links to Cesc Fabregas in recent days. Cazorla is obviously a key man in the squad, which is why Wenger may be reluctant to splash out on another player of his profile. The pressure is now on Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey to step up.
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