Morning Gooners. Let us start with the good news – Alexis Sanchez is fit to return to the squad for tonight’s match against Leicester City. However unfortunately Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suffered a set back and will not be available for at least another couple weeks.
Elsewhere, Chris Willock signed professional terms with the club while we were linked with PSG’s young promising midfielder Marco Verratti. What’s a day in the office without a transfer rumour huh?
Alexis Sanchez set to return for Leicester tie
Alexis Sanchez is in contention to feature for the Premier League visit of Leicester City on Tuesday after recovering from a hamstring injury. The Chilean has missed the Gunners last two Premier League games with a hamstring injury but is now available for selection. The North London club missed him badly at Tottenham as they failed to spring into life in the attacking third in his absence.
He has been involved in more PL goals than any other player in the league this season (19) with 12 goals and seven assists, so having him back fit and ready is crucial if the Gunners are to get their push for a top four spot back on track.
Arsene Wenger looking for strong response against Leicester City
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has demanded complete focus from his players ahead of Leicester City’s visit in the Premier League. The Gunners are sure to be hurting after losing 2-1 to Spurs last time out, a result which saw our north London rivals move one point ahead in the battle for fourth.
With Spurs traveling to face Liverpool, two teams who are in contention to grab Champions League places, Arsenal need to secure maximum points when at least one of their rivals are guaranteed to miss out on doing the same. We should be able to brush Leicester aside, the visitors have won just two of their last 19 Premier League fixtures. No time for complacency however.
Arsenal starlet Chris Willock signs first professional contract
Arsenal youngster Chris Willock has signed his first professional contract with the north London club. The 17-year-old forward, who was reportedly a target for Premier League rivals Manchester United, has been a regular for Arsenal’s Under-18 side this season and has played in six of the Under-19s’ seven UEFA Youth League matches.
The youngster played the first half of Arsenal’s first-team friendly against Boreham Wood in July, and will now have his sights set on establishing himself in the club’s Under-21 side after committing his future to the Gunners. He has a long way to go before he will be knocking on manager Wenger’s door, but his new contract is another huge step in the right direction.
PSG warn Arsenal of cost of signing Marco Verratti
Arsenal must offer Paris-Saint Germain £40 million to stand any chance of signing midfielder Marco Verratti. Wenger would undoubtedly have to spend big to lure such a starlet, with Verratti‘s powers are growing at 22.
He is the type of individual who can regularly win points for any side when he’s able to steer clear of distractions. However the Gunners have long-needed a naturally combative central midfielder who is comfortable in possession, so it will be interesting to see whether the manager will spend such big money on a young prospect. Highly unlikely.
A look at the key fixtures as race for fourth intensifies
Despite losing to Spurs, the Gunners have a genuine chance of beating their rivals to the fourth place. In the last 14 games, Arsenal will be playing nine teams from the bottom half of the table and five games against teams in the top half with four of them at home. The Gunners appear to have a kinder fixture than most of their rivals, but will have to gain some consistency and momentum again to finish strongly.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers injury setback reveals Arsene Wenger
Wenger has confirmed that winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will still be absent for at least two more weeks as he continues his recovery from a groin injury. The Englishman had finally become a regular this season, making 19 appearances in the Premier League. He has been electric on the ball and is finally showing the potential he has promised for several years.
He will miss at least two more weeks which could be seen as a setback after hopes last week were high that he could make a return to action this week. However with Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil back from their respective injuries, his loss has not been felt as it might but it will be good to have him back as soon as possible.
It will be a massive boost to have Alexis back this evening when Arsenal take on Leicester tonight, and a shame we are unable to utilize Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pace once more. The Englishman has been in fantastic form this season but unfortunately he’s suffered a setback at the wrong time with competition heating up for places in the side.
Anyway, stay tuned for the pre-match articles ahead of tonight’s clash at Emirates. COYG!