Arsene Wenger was already aware that he would be missing quite a few of his key players when Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season against Liverpool next weekend. Because of their prolonged involvement at Euro 2016 with Wales, Germany and France, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud were due to come back to London Colney too late to feature in that first game.
The Premier League season kicks off in exactly one months time, and we start our campaign with a home tie against Liverpool FC.
The last time the two teams met, it ended with a third equalising goal of the game scored bye Joe Allen, denying the Gunners the full three points they had been hoping for.
The Reds led twice during the first half, only for our side to level the scores four and six minutes later, in what was a highly intense and exciting match-up.
Infographic supplied by Sporticos.com
Arsenal will almost certainly be looking to sign a striker during the summer transfer window, probably two really, unless Arsene Wenger has another of his stubborn moments when he sees the current Arsenal players as being so good that we don’t need any more fire power even though everyone else and his dog thinks we do.
I think that the Gunners could do a lot worse than bring in the Liverpool and Belgium striker Christian Benteke and I will tell you why, even though he has had a bit of a nightmare since joining our Premier League rivals Liverpool. The fact is that Benteke has already proved himself in the Premier League and the fact that his performances and figures were extremely good in a struggling Aston Villa side is just one of them.
The Gunners travel to Anfield today to take on Liverpool for the first time since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival on Merseyside, but the manager is yet to turn the Reds into a team to be feared.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table, are the real team to be feared currently, if you discount the shocking defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day. That loss was sandwiched between seven wins, and this tie looks set to go in our favour also.
This would be a great piece of timing for Arsenal if it happens, quite apart from the fact that completing the transfer of Karim Benzema from Real Madrid would be a fantastic bit of business from the Gunners. If the Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli´s latest update on the saga, reported by Metro, is true then it should give the Arsenal players and fans a huge boost.
The reporter claims that Arsene Wenger has all but sewn up the deal abd that the Gunners have laid on a private jet to bring the striker to London from Spain tomorrow, where he will be put up in a hotel and get his medical done before signing on the dotted line.
I am not sure whether the Arsenal boss would say the same thing in private, but speaking in public today he did not condemn what many football experts see as a hugely inflated transfer fee of nearly £50 million for Raheem Sterling.
Arsene Wenger is famous for his views on the crazy price of transfers in modern football but as he explained in a report on the Arsenal website, the owners of Man City can easily afford to splash top dollar on players, unlike Arsenal.
Although Arsene Wenger said in his Arsenal press conference yesterday that he did not want to discuss his interest or possible summer transfer swoop for the Liverpool and England star Raheem Sterling, he did not deny it either. The Frenchman only said that he did not want to discuss it as the two clubs have got a big and potentially decisive Premier League game at the Emirates tomorrow.
So the smart money thinks that the Gunners will be trying to sign the £50 million rated forward this summer but it will not be easy as a Metro report reveals.
After the Arsenal and England star Theo Walcott failed to impress in his first international start for 18 months against Italy last night it made it all the more likely that Arsene Wenger might be ready to call it a day with the player we signed as a promising teenager back in 2006.
With Walcott nearing the final year of his current Arsenal contract and no signs of an easy renewal between club and player on the horizon, and with not many games left of the season for Walcott to convince Arsene Wenger to keep him in north London, the summer represents our best chance of getting a decent transfer fee.
What a great transfer coup this would be for Arsenal, and a good hard kick in the teeth to Liverpool at the same time. The Anfield club really made the most out of their chance to put down Arsenal Football Club after our attempt to sign their Uruguayan international striker Luis Suarez in the summer of 2013.
Arsene Wenger famously offered one pound over £40 million, believing that this would trigger a release clause in the controversial forward’s contract. Suarez thought the same and wanted to make the move to north London but eventually left Liverpool for Barcelona and Spain’s La Liga for a lot more money last summer.
It has long been one of the main criticisms aimed at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger that we have a soft centre and do not stand up well to a physical challenge. It did look that way a few weeks ago when the Gunners were blown away by a physical Stoke City side in the first half, but the boss thinks the win over West Ham yesterday was proof that his team does have the fighting qualities needed in these games.
The Frenchman told Arsenal Player, “It was a very important game for us and we knew that we had a very physical game in front of us.