Player News - Arsenal

Date: Team: Pos:

Granit Xhaka was sent off for the second time in his debut Premier League season and it almost cost Arsenal as they needed a late goal to win 2-1 over Burnley at the Emirates.

Xhaka was supposed to be the combination of style and steel that would finally replace Patrick Vieira. While he has proven adept at crunching tackles, he is proving to be more of a liability than an asset as he again left Arsenal short-handed after being sent off for a rash tackle early in the second half. A controversial late stoppage time penalty call converted by Alexis Sanchez rescued the Gunners from a stoppage time penalty committed by Francis Coquelin. The Gunners will take the three points but the issues at the base of midfield continue.
Source: espnfc.com
Jan 22 - 11:22 AM

With Theo Walcott still out injured, Olivier Giroud's ability to shake off a minor complaint to make himself available for the weekend.

It is likely that Arsene Wenger would like to return to having Olivier Giroud available off the bench as one of the best "Plan B" options in the Premier League. That won't really be possible until Theo Walcott, the only wide player who was regularly productive with Alexis playing centrally, returns to the line-up. The next best option for Wenger will be continuing to play Giroud through the middle with Alexis in a wide supporting role. Expect that alignment with one of Alex Iwobi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Danny Welbeck playing the other wide role opposite Sanchez.
Jan 19 - 10:26 AM

Francis Coquelin has rejoined training and is available for Arsene Wenger to either start or bring in as a substitute this weekend.

With Granit Xhaka's form and discipline still requiring work, Mohamed Elneny away at the African Cup of Nations, and Santi Cazorla still out injured the return of Francis Coquelin to health is a welcome event at the Emirates. Wenger may or may not opt to start Coquelin so soon after he returned to training but the option to bring him in as a substitute if/once Xhaka picks up his first yellow card is a valuable option.
Jan 19 - 10:22 AM

Kieran Gibbs has been training with the Arsenal squad and will be available to Arsene Wenger in Week 22 for the visit of Burnley.

Before his knee injury, Kieran Gibbs was seeing a rise in his playing time. Between the middling form of Nacho Monreal and the need to rotate players through the holiday fixture congestion, Gibbs was playing regularly and playing well. A familiar issue, a minor injury, disrupted his run of matches. Gibbs has recovered from the injury but it seems likely that Monreal will get the start this weekend with Gibbs resuming his reserve role.
Jan 19 - 10:19 AM

Arsenal have activated a clause in Per Mertesacker's contract that will tie him to the club for an additional season.

The extension of Mertesacker's contract will see the World Cup winner remain at the club, presumably as a reserve center back and mentor to rising players like Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, through the summer of 2018. Beyond that point, the Gunners will likely have decided if Chambers and/or Holding are good enough to play at the club. If they are, then the club should be set at center back for the foreseeable future. If not, they will have Mertesacker's salary coming off the books to help pay for a replacement.
Jan 19 - 10:16 AM

After nearly a month of being out of action, Theo Walcott faces uncertainty over his role once he is healthy again.

The prognosis for Theo Walcott's return from injury has been consistently moving back. What was originally categorized as a one-match absence has now swelled to nearly a month. With Olivier Giroud red hot playing as a center forward and Alexis demanding a spot somewhere every week, Arsene Wenger will have to decide if Walcott will move immediately back into the line-up on his return. Walcott was off to a blistering start but Alex Iwobi has played well and Danny Welbeck has also returned since Walcott went out injured.
Source: arsenal.com
Jan 17 - 2:32 PM

Arsenal made sure they kept in touch with league leaders Chelsea after a comfortable and well deservedly win at the Liberty Stadium, although the loss of Olivier Giroud to injury, did take the shine off.

The France star opened the scoring on 37 minutes, his fifth in as many games, before signalling to the bench because of a problem with his lower leg. Surprisingly, Giroud reappeared after the break, only to be withdrawn on the hour mark: "Olivier did well again and he was important for us," said Arsène Wenger. "He had an ankle injury after 30-35 minutes and got to 60 minutes." Struggling with his fitness post-Euro 2016, Giroud started his first Premier League game on December 26, and this setback will serve as a bitter blow for the 30-year-old. "I don't know how bad it is," the Arsenal manager went onto add. "He is being assessed by the doctor. But he's limping quite a lot. I hope it’s not too bad."
Jan 14 - 4:09 PM

Arsenal took a little while to take control of the match, but once they did, they went on to a convincing 0-4 over Swansea City, with Alex Iwobi collecting two assists on the day.

Swansea gave Arsenal all they could handle in the first half and it could be argued they were the better side in the opening 45 minutes, but they failed to find an opener and Arsenal got on the board first, as Olivier Giroud scored on a lose ball from close range on 37 minutes. The Gunners came out with a more fluid style of play in the second half. In the space of 14 minutes, Alex Iwobi led directly to two Swansea own goals, the first was a shot that took a deflection, the second, a cross that was mistakenly turned in. Alexis Sanchez wrapped up the scoring with his league-tying best 14th goal of the season, assisted by Mesut Ozil. Amid a soft stretch in their schedule, Arsenal takes the three points.
Source: NBC Sports
Jan 14 - 11:59 AM

With Arsenal's US U-23 international out of contract over the summer, Borussia Dortmund appear to be interested in bringing the German-born player to the Bundesliga.

Dortmund have been excellent at bringing forward talent from non-traditional places. Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Armenia, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Gabon, and Christian Pulisic from the US. It may well be that they are going to try again as rumors swirl that US Youth international Zelalem will be joining the Bundesliga side in January as he searches for playing time. Dortmund clearly know how to bring attacking midfielders through but there is no shortage of talent already on hand so it will be an uphill climb to get playing time with the German giants if the move goes through.
Source: espnfc.com
Jan 9 - 9:40 AM

Arsene Wenger has indicated an interest in retaining veteran depth indicating that he wants both Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker back for another year at the club.

The big German is unlikely to get a lot of time upon his return but with Gabriel struggling and Rob Holding and Calum Chambers as yet unproven the presence of an experienced center back behind Koscielny and Mustafi seems like a sensible plan. The Gunners seem to find themselves short handed at key positions late in Premier League seasons recently so even if he isn't going to start much the presence of a World Cup winner on the bench could help the likes of Holding and Chambers as they develop.
Source: espnfc.com
Jan 9 - 9:25 AM

Despite a second consecutive season cut off by a significant injury, Arsene Wenger indicated an interest in extending the contract of Santi Cazorla for an additional year.

Despite purchasing Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny over the past year, Arsenal still don't seem to have a ready-made replacement for Santi Cazorla when the Spaniard is out injured. The Gunners were off to a flying start to the season but seem to have lost significant momentum since Cazorla's injury against Ludogorets in the Champions League. Maybe Jack Wilshere will return next season as part of the solution at the base of midfield but it seems clear that Arsenal need something more than what is currently in the squad. Part of that is finding an alternative but the other part is making sure they have Cazorla back for another season.
Source: espnfc.com
Jan 9 - 9:18 AM

Arsenal signed seventh division left back Cohen Bramall and Arsene Wenger heaped praise on the 20-year-old by comparing him to a young Ashley Cole.

Arsenal are in fairly solid shape at the first team level when it comes to left backs. Nacho Monreal had a rough start to the season but is only a few months removed from being the best left back in the Premier League. Kieran Gibbs has frequent injury issues but is among the best reserve left backs in the league and would probably start at a majority of clubs when healthy. That said, with Monreal aging and Gibbs likely interested in a starting job, left back is a quiet need. Bramall isn't ready to make the leap immediately to even the fringes of the first team but if he can be as good as Wenger has implied then at least the club have a potential long term answer at the position.
Source: espnfc.com
Jan 9 - 9:14 AM

Arsène Wenger provided a mixed injury update ahead of his sides FA Cup third-round tie at Deepdale on Saturday.

The Arsenal boss revealed he will look to rest the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech, while defender Laurent Koscielny has been given the weekend off after being forced off at Bournemouth because of a "small thigh problem." Lucas Perez picked up an ankle injury following his introduction on Tuesday and Wenger will "see how he responds" before making any decision on his involvement. Theo Walcott [calf] is closest of those currently sidelined, but this weekend will come too soon. No Kieran Gibbs either who is suffering from knee inflammation. Mesut Ozil was back on the training ground today, however, after missing the last 10 days due to illness it’s highly unlikely he will play a part. Danny Welbeck is expected to make the match day squad, but won’t start, and Francis Coquelin [hamstring] could miss between 3-4 weeks.
Source: The Sun
Jan 5 - 11:56 AM

Arsenal completed a miraculous comeback to get a 3-3 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Charlie Daniels opened the scoring, controlling a Stanislas ball before beating Bellerin and slotting past Cech at the near post. Bournemouth doubled their lead through Callum Wilson from the spot after Granit Xhaka clipped Ryan Fraser in the box. Arter had a goal disallowed before Ryan Fraser added the third. Bellerin was again at fault for that one, he was muscled off too easily. Sanchez delighted fantasy players getting Arsenal's first from a Giroud header. Lucas Perez then got his first PL goal, again Giroud flicked on but it was Perez's finish that will take the plaudits. Giroud headed in a dramatic equaliser after arching his body to meet Xhaka's cross and broke the Cherries' hearts. Six minutes of injury time served up a great save by Cech from Arter but no more goals.
Source: BBC Sport
Jan 3 - 5:01 PM

The Arsenal title charge faltered at the Vitality Stadium following a disappointing 3-3 draw against Bournemouth and another injury to a key player.

The Gunners waved goodbye to Egypt midfielder Mo Elneny on Monday after he left to join his international teammates at the upcoming African Cup of Nations tournament. Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin had been poised to cover during his absence, but the latter now looks set for a spell on the side-lines after limping off with a suspected hamstring strain on Tuesday. Fortunately, Aaron Ramsey is back following his recent injury but Arsene Wenger’s squad is beginning to look a little stretched. Theo Walcott has missed the last three league games because of a "minor" calf strain while Mesut Ozil [illness] and Kieran Gibbs [knee] were added to the list over Christmas - Santi Cazorla may have to wait until late February before a return to action. If tests confirm the injury to Coquelin is serious, then Wenger may be tempted to dip into the transfer market during the January window.
Jan 3 - 4:48 PM


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