It’s hard to talk about Arsenal this season without drifting onto the topic of Jack Wilshere and his current situation at the Gunners. Speculation about his future leads to many unanswered questions, will he stay? will he go? will he sign a new contract? the list seems to go on and on. A fully fit Wilshere would undoubtedly force his way into most English sides. The slick central midfielder is a fantastic player to watch in the centre of the park when injury free and given the valuable game time by Wenger. His appearances within Arsenal’s Europa League campaign this year have been fantastic. Many question Wenger’s thought process in squad selection, Wilshere is a much better all-round player than the Swiss Granit Xhaka who seems to be the first name on his team sheet most weekends and with the 25-year-old Englishman out of contract at the end of the season it may be a chance for a number of teams to poach the talented midfielder. Wilshere is keen to stay within North London, but an ongoing contract stand off with the Gunners and Wenger’s failure to give him the consistent game time he feels that he merits, Wilshere will probably look to play his football at an alternate club for the final few months of the season if he is to force is way into Southgate’s plans for the 2018 World Cup. It will be interesting to see if this rumoured transfer will be in the form of a loan move, or permanent move away. You would have to assume that there is more than meets the eye with this situation, Jack Wilshere is a brilliant player, but his attitude has been questioned in the past, add to this his persistent injuries problems and his reported £100,000 weekly wages, Arsenal and Arsene may be looking for a more reliable replacement come January 1st.
Another headache for the Gunners involves the contract situations of arguably their two most talented outfield players in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. With both players out of a contract at the end of the season and with no apparent progression on possible contract renewals, it is no surprise that both have been heavily linked with moves away. Arsenal will have to move swiftly, either to replace the two attacking players or tie them down to extended deals to avoid massive upset amongst the club’s supporters. Sanchez, the jewel in Arsenals crown looks set to draw a close to his tenure in North London with the most likely destination being Manchester City within the transfer market. It’s difficult to call the situation, will Arsenal be willing to sell to a direct rival within the winter window, bearing in mind they could still demand a fee of around £50 million for the Chilean. It’s a comparable situation with Mesut Ozil, with Manchester United and Barcelona reportedly showing an interest in the German attacking midfielder, will they allow a January sale, knowing full well that he will leave on a free come July.
Arsenal are still very much within the race for a Champions League spot, and have progressed to the next round of the Europa League so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to many if they refuse to sell, but with this option will the players in question still perform with the passion and desire that is required?
There are countless transfer rumours circulating that involve possible targets for Wenger’s side. With many of these fabricated by various media outlets it can be difficult to determine the players Arsenal are actually interested in signing. Steven Nzonzi, a commanding central defensive midfielder currently of Sevilla is a player many have touted to by the missing piece to the Arsenal jigsaw. Fuel has been added to the proverbial fire with Nzonzi’s mysterious trip to London recently, adding to this his omission from Sevilla’s matchday squad within the last few weeks, you have all the making for a perfect transfer rumour. With a current buy-out clause of around £30 million, it’ll be interesting to see if Wenger stumps up the money to bring in the 28-year-old Frenchman. Nzonzi is a player who has proven Premier League experience with both Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City so could certainly be a superb addition to their current roster of players.
You could sit here all day and list the ‘speculated’ targets that Arsenal are apparently pursuing, Leon Goretzka, Arda Turan, Thomas Lemar, the list goes on and on. I am very intrigued to see what Arsene Wenger’s thinking will be going forward.