Reports: Jack Wilshere set to accept pay cut [ £90,000 a week ] to seal new contract

February 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League, Transfers

Arsenal has been handed some great news with reports emerging that Jack Wilshere is set to accept a new contract offer from the North London club despite being offered a pay cut.

The England international is due to be out of contract at the end of the season and would have been a big loss to Arsenal should he leave on a free transfer.

According to a report garnered from the Telegraph, Wilshere looks close to finally renewing his contract with Arsenal by putting pen to paper on reduced wages to reflect his poor recent injury record, with Wilshere set to drop down to earning around £90,000 a week, though with the potential to still go back up to his current £110,000.

Tottenham Hotspur hosts Arsenal in the North London derby on Saturday (12:30 pm). Looking for betting tips and match previews, click here for the best offers.

Wilshere’s new deal contract would be more positive news for the fans after what turned out to be a reasonably strong January transfer window, with Arsene Wenger doing brilliantly well in replacing Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, and Theo Walcott.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were brought in at the Emirates Stadium, while the Frenchman also managed to tie down star playmaker Mesut Ozil to a new contract.

The England international joining Ozil in extending his stay at the Emirates would be another significant boost for Arsenal as they need to keep what remains of the core of his squad together.

With plenty of recent changes to the team, Arsenal’s stability is important for the Gunners as they start to plan for next season already.

Wilshere has always looked like a top-class performer when fit, and he’s shown this season that the worst of his injury issues seem to be behind him.

Alexandre Lacazette praises Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez for his good start to Arsenal career

December 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Alexandre Lacazette has praised the impacts of teammates Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez on the club’s official website following the Frenchman’s good start to his Arsenal career.

Lacazette became Arsenal’s record signing in the summer, and spoke highly of their chemistry on the pitch since his arrival at the Emirates in the summer.

Speaking to the Gunners website, Lacazette said: “For Mesut, it’s about passes, his vision of the game and passes.” On Sanchez, he said: “And for Alexis [Sanchez], perseverance. He always wants to go further, be stronger and rise higher. As well as being very fast, he always wants go even further.”

Speaking on both players and his relationship with them, Lacazette added: “I already get on very well with them in every day life. On the pitch, we’ve gotten to a point where we understand one another better, better than at the beginning.”

The France international will be hoping the pair extend their contracts, as both Sanchez and Ozil look set to face the exit door at the Emirates when their deals expire at the end of the season.

President confirms Arsenal will meet £53million to sign striker

December 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly confident that he can offload Karim Benzema this summer as Arsenal are ready to pay as much as £53million for the transfer of the France international.

Benzema has struggled to find his best form the reigning European champions this season, but has generally been one of Europe’s top centre-forwards for much of the last season, winning three Champions League titles among other major honours at the Bernabeu.

He could be a great fit for the Gunners come at the time over Alexis Sanchez’s future, with the Daily Mirror recently reporting that oil-rich Paris Saint-Germain are steeping up their interest in the Chile international as he nears the end of his contract.

This would be a major blow for Arsenal, and Arsene Wenger would surely need to bring in a big name to the club to make up for Sanchez’s departure.

According to Spanish publication, Don Balon, Real Madrid believe Arsenal will come in for Benzema and pay as much as £53m to bring home to the Emirates Stadium to make the necessary additions to their attack next summer.

Arsenal have also been linked elsewhere with a move for Olympique Lyonnias attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir, with the Daily Star recently suggesting a £60million deal could be edging closer.

If both these claims are true, it looks like the Gunners fans can rest assured that Wenger is well prepared to replace Sanchez and fellow contract rebel Mesut Ozil next season.

Barcelona in pole position to sign Mesut Ozil for €20 million

November 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

According to reports, Arsenal have given Barcelona all clear to sign Mesut Ozil from Arsenal for €20 million (£17 million) in January.

If Arsenal decide to keep Ozil beyond the winter window, it means teams will be able to negotiate a deal with him from January with a view to a free transfer in the summer.

The Germany international took the man of the match award for his performance in the North London derby.

Arsenal could be set to cash in on the playmaker, who is out of contract with the Gunners next summer and could leave for free.

Arsenal and Ozil are in lockhorns regarding a new contract and it doesn’t appear he will Ozil will extend his stay at the Emirates.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with the former Real Madrid star, but the Daily Mail claim the La Liga giants are preparing a move for Ozil.

Barca failed in their pursuit of signing Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho this summer and are looking at the Gunners playmaker as a suitable alternative.

Arsenal will return to action on Thursday night when they take on FC Cologne in the UEFA Europa League fixtures before travelling to Turf Moor on Sunday to take on FC Burnley in the Gameweek 13 of the Premier League fixtures.

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Sanchez-Ozil-Lacazette trident put Spurs ‘on their backside’ in the North London Derby

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

The overcast sky above the Emirates on Saturday might have indicated a sense of gloom ahead of the North London derby, with home side Arsenal considerably off the Premier League title pace and scrapping to even be inside the top four, whilst Tottenham were aiming to close the gap on leaders Manchester City.

The sunshine that broke through the clouds came with the starting eleven chosen by Arsene Wenger, especially with his choice of attacking trio. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez behind Alexandre Lacazette – in theory – is the most potent three-pronged attack he can choose, yet their start against Spurs on Saturday was only the third time this combination has been utilised.

Their impact was telling, as the talented trio caused no end of problems for the visiting defence and right from kick-off, creating fluidity to Arsenal’s play and a constant danger the Spurs defence struggled to deal with. Regardless of the ongoing debates over their respective futures, Wenger’s side are clearly stronger with Ozil and Sanchez than without them, whilst tip of the trident Lacazette looks most effective when they’re on the pitch behind him.

In a derby the football betting experts were predicting would be tightly fought, it was the influence of the trio that brought the two goals that would prove the difference between Arsenal and Tottenham on Saturday. Alexis drew the foul which lead to the opening goal in the 36th minute, with Ozil serving up the perfectly flighted free-kick to the head of Shkodran Mustafi; marking his return to action with a looping header beyond the reach of Hugo Lloris.

Spurs were still grumbling about what they thought was a harsh free-kick decision by referee Mike Dean, when the next Arsenal goal arrived just five minutes later. Sanchez smashed in his finish from close range in the 41st minute, thanks to intelligent work inside the rival area by Lacazette, who crafted the pass back into the path of his arriving teammate.

Throughout the encounter Ozil not only produced the kind of elegance and creativity expected of him, he also tracked back and helped the team to defend; an aspect often lacking from his game that has led to much criticism for the German. “I’m convinced that Mesut Ozil adds physicality to his game and when he needs it, he can produce it. He got a standing ovation because he added to the team,” praised Wenger afterwards.

Highly critical of team performances, Wenger’s tactical choices, and of certain player loyalties; former Arsenal legend Martin Keown was much happier with Saturday’s overall display. “The Gunners were on it from the start, which wasn’t a surprise. Spurs have landed on their backside today,” he commented on BBC’s Final Score.

For Tottenham and Pochettino, this defeat comes as a further blow against another top-six rival, following their recent loss against Manchester United, whilst for Arsenal, the derby win can give them renewed impetus for the fight to finish amongst the Premier League top four. Wenger must also keep faith in the same Ozil-Sanchez-Lacazette attacking trio, because when they combine so effectively as during the derby, they’re a lethal force to be reckoned with.

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.

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