Report: Arsenal Lines up move Julian Draxler and Nabil Fekir as potential replacements for Alexis Sanchez

November 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Arsenal appear to have finally made their peace with the fact that Alexis Sanchez will not be at the club much longer. All that’s left to be seen is if a buyer meets their £30m asking price for the Chile international in January or if Sanchez leaves as a free agent in June when his current deal with Arsenal expires.

Either way, Arsenal must look for a top class replacement if Sanchez’s departure is not to be a huge setback, and the North London club according to reports, has there eyes on two options.

A report from the Daily Star suggests that if Arsenal are to sell Sanchez in January, Arsene Wenger wants it to be to Paris Saint-Germain and not to strengthening league rivals Manchester City, but also because the Frenchman is apparently eyeing a swap deal.

The reports claims that Wenger is keen on securing the signing of longstanding target Julian Draxler, a player whose position with the Ligue 1 giants has come under serious threat since the summer arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – that’s despite only the Germany World Cup winner joining the club himself from Wolfsburg in January.

The German has completed 90 minutes on only three occasions in Ligue 1 this season. Draxler has started just seven of 12 games, and one of four in the Champions League. However, Bayern Munich may proved as competition for Arsenal in the race to sign Draxler, as the Bundesliga giants have been tracking the winger since his Schalke days.

Depending on the timing of Alexis Sanchez’s departure, the signing of Draxler to Arsenal might not happen, but there is also a rumour linking the Gunners with a move for another oft-rumoured target: Lyon’s Nabil Fekir.

Report emanating from Spain via Metro suggest that La Liga giants Barcelona are interested in the Lyon captain, who has already netted 12 goals across all competition this season, but that the Gunners gaffer is keeping tabs on him as well.

If Sanchez remains at the Emirates until June and then face the exit door, that would be our opportunity to bring in Fekir, promising a reunion with his former Lyon teammate Alexandre Lacazette.

Mesut Ozil close to losing his role in Germany’s squad

November 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC

When it comes to Mesut Ozil, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive in the last few weeks. The hottest gossip of all has the German set for a move to Manchester United, and a reunion with his old boss Jose Mourinho.

Joining United may well give Ozil a slightly better chance of securing the major silverware that has eluded him at Arsenal. Trophies, though, may be the least of Ozil’s worries in the coming months.

This international break has been a miserable one by anyone’s standards, and for Ozil, it has done nothing to dispel the nagging sense of doubt. For the Arsenal playmaker, a place in Joachim Low’s Germany team is no longer a given.

When Germany face France on Tuesday evening, Ozil is set to start on the bench. That, in itself, is no great drama. The worry is that he will also be starting on the bench at next summer’s World Cup.

As the world champions prepare to defend their title in Russia, there is a growing sense that Ozil is less crucial than he has ever been.

There is almost no doubt at all that he will make the squad, but as far as a place in the starting eleven goes, Ozil may be facing the biggest fight of his international career.

Part of that is down to his own performances. It has been a while since Ozil has truly enchanted the Germany fans, and his performances in friendlies have invited repeated criticism from all corners of the press.

‘Who had desire? Not Mesut Ozil, who is obviously no fan of meaningless friendlies against hard-tackling opposition,’ wrote Die Zeit after Germany’s turgid draw with England last Friday.

To be fair, there was barely a player on the pitch at Wembley who showed any kind of real desire or determination, particularly in the second half. Yet it is Ozil who seems like he has most to lose from such performances.

‘For all the talent at his disposal, Low’s challenge will be to cultivate the kind of ruthlessness which Ozil, Gundogan, Sane and Werner failed to show last night,’ wrote Bild.

On the back of the England game, the same Bild columnist drew up his ideal starting XI for next year’s World Cup, and Ozil was absent. The same happened when Bild conducted a poll of their readers to work out the fans’ favoured side.

Others in his generation remain absolutely guaranteed of a place in such lists. Whether the brilliant Toni Kroos or the struggling Thomas Muller, most of Ozil’s peers have retained their positions as undisputed first choice in their positions.

Ozil, on the other hand, is increasingly overlooked. The success of players such as Leroy Sane, Julian Brandt and the return of Mario Gotze means that it is even more crowded than ever in Germany’s attacking midfield.

The rise of players such as Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka, meanwhile, represents a direct threat to the Arsenal man. Both players shone at last summer’s Confederations Cup.

While Draxler may well be hampered by a lack of game time at Paris Saint-Germain, Goretzka has lead Schalke into the top four this season, and is fast becoming the favourite to topple Ozil.

‘(Goretzka) has brilliant technique and tempo, both with and without the ball,’ gushed Low this week. ‘And he has personality. To me, he seems very mature for his age.’

That is the factor which should alarm Ozil the most. A quieter figure both on and off the pitch, Ozil’s lack of leadership qualities may prove decisive, particularly since the retirement of Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

‘Hierarchies are built on performances,’ said Toni Kroos at this week’s press conference. ‘Everyone can rise up the ranks with good performances.’

That is the key for Ozil. If the likes of Sane, Goretzka and Draxler are outperforming him, they may also end up overtaking him in the team hierarchy.

This is, we must never forget, the man who Cristiano Ronaldo once described as ‘the best No 10 in the world’ and was dubbed the King of Assists upon his arrival in north London. Ozil still has quality in abundance, and he has always been able to lead by example if the constellation of the team is right.

At this point, though, he must show off that quality like never before, if he is to keep his place in Germany’s pecking order.

Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City: Five replacements to the Chilean Arsenal could sign including Julian Draxler

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC

Who Should Arsenal turn to if Alexis Sanchez eventually leaves The Emirates. Football Weeks has rounded up five replacement we think could replace the Chile international including Paris Saint-Germain winger Julian Draxler.

With reports claiming that the whole of Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City saga could be the trending in the January transfer window, it’s fair to say the Gunners have some work to do.

Arsenal reportedly face fresh interest from Pep Guardiola’s side in Sanchez this winter, with a cut-price deal of around £20million being in talks according to the Daily Mirror.

Sanchez would be a huge loss for Arsenal, even if the ex-Barcelona striker hasn’t started this season in the kind of form that saw him netted 30 goals across all competitions last season.

Despite Arsene Wenger fighting off interest in Sanchez so far, the 28-year-old will be out of contract at the end of this season and talks of new contract has stalled.

This could force the north London side to sell the forward to Manchester City for less than they’d like, and it’s clear such an influential player would need a top class replacement to take his place in Wenger’s attack.

Football Weeks has rounded up five replacement who could fill that void……

Thomas Lemar

Subject of a £92million deadline day bid from the Gunners in the summer, according to London Evening Standard, could Arsenal reignite their interest in the Monaco winger again in January?

The talented 21-year-old France international impressed in Ligue 1 last season and has not stopped making rounds this season. There were reported interest from Arsenal over the summer months, though a deal could not be reached as Sanchez ended up staying instead.

Thomas Lemar

Still, Arsenal reviving this deal would not be surprising if City are successful in snatching Sanchez away in the middle of the season.

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has also been quoted revealing Lemar could be sold in future, though that could likely be next summer and not this winter.

Vasilyev told Sky Sports: ‘I think it would be fair to say Thomas will have a fair chance to an exit next year. January, in football, never say never, but this is not what we’re thinking of.’

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Not recently linked with Arsenal, but a pacey and prolific striker who seems absolutely tailor-made to replace Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gabonese forward also admitted Borussia Dortmund were ready to sell him this summer, he told Sport Bild as quoted via the Metro: ‘There was a time in the window when I could have changed (clubs).

‘We (Aubameyang and the Dortmund board) agreed on this together in all openness but nothing happened.’

Seeing Ousmane Dembele joining Barcelona in the summer, it’s more unlikely Dortmund would allow Aubameyang leave Dortmund in any time soon, but as the saying goes, ‘there’s no harm in trying’ Arsenal could try and give it a go.

Julian Draxler

Julian Draxler has severally been linked with Arsenal on many occasions, with recent report claiming he could have confirm his interest in joining the Gunners via an Instagram post.

According to the Daily Star last week, the tabloid claimed Wenger could Sanchez to Paris Saint-Germain in a cash plus player deal that would see Draxler joining his side instead of selling Sanchez to Manchester City.

A cash plus player would be the best thing since slice bread to end the Sanchez transfer saga as Draxler would slot right in perfectly as an ideal attacker to fill the Chile international boots.

PSG’s acquisition of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe this summer has seen Draxler fallen down the pecking order under Unai Emery’s side, so could well favour the move to north London in January.

Anthony Martial

There have been reports elsewhere that Arsenal could pursue a shock move for Manchester United forward Anthony Martial if they lose Sanchez to Manchester City in January. The 21-year-old has been in great form for Jose Mourinho’s side this season, despite in his new super-sub role.

Martial has been rated as one of the best young talents in world football, the France forward may well feel he is worthy of playing more often, which might seem more possible at the Emirates.

He is capable of playing out wide or deployed as a centre-forward, he is another ideal like-for-like replacement to Sanchez and Martial’s huge experience in the Premier League would serve as a bonus for Arsenal.

Still, there is no possibility of him leave Old Trafford as the Red Devils will surely not want to risk strengthening a rival with such a potentially lethal attacking player.

Raheem Sterling

Finally, the Daily Mirror have also claimed the Gunners could try again to sign former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling from Man City in January.

Wenger has been a long-time admirer of the England international was top of priority targets to replace Sanchez during the summer, though Pep Guardiola was not interested in parting with his star man.

There’s no doubting what Sterling could do in Arsenal Red and White jersey after his brilliant start to the season for Manchester City, in which he has seen the net six times this season.

This article was originally published on FootballWeeks.com