New Deal for the Ox, Gibbs Set for Newcastle and Yaya Sanogone!
I’d mentioned a couple of days ago that with Wenger’s future sorted out, there is a lot fo work to be done on the squad in regards to sorting out player contracts and buying / selling some players as well. The boss also confirmed that he has a ‘heavy squad’ which essentially means that there would be a lot of business to and from the club.
Starting with the good stuff, it seems like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to commit his long-term future to the club and sign a new deal worth £100,000-a-week (per the Mirror). Since he joined the club in 2011, last season has turned out to be Ox’s best season in terms of games played, goas scored and assists supplied. He has been around for quite some time but at 23, he has his best years ahead of him. Liverpool was one of the teams that was keenly interested in acquiring his services and it would have been painful to let the English midfielder leave when he’s finally finding his feet.
The Ox has been deployed in several positions in his time with the club but he has really flourished in the right wing back position since the Gunners switched to 3-4-3. His directness and pace became a powerful tool that saw him keep Hector Bellerin out of the side, but his fitness issues were on display as he suffered a hamstring strain in the game against Southampton where he was having a stormer. I’d monitor the situation as it develops.
Elsewhere, the Sun has reported that Newcastle is willing to meet Arsenal’s £15m valuation for out-of-favor fullback, Kieran Gibbs. Like recent campaigns, Gibbs was reduced to a handful of appearances and managed a brief run out as a left wing back when Wenger deployed the 3-4-3 setup. However, Gibbs continued to struggle with injury, which was his primary problem in all his years at Arsenal. As far as I’m concerned, £15m is an absolute steal for Gibbs and with Sead Kolasinac’s imminent arrival this summer, Gibbs will be further down in the pecking order, so it makes sense for the player and the club if he leaves for Tyneside.
He is one of our stalwarts and longest servants and I believe he deserves a testimonial for his years of service, but in most cases, testimonials are for old folks nearing their twilight in the beautiful game. Gibbs has many more years to go. Besides, Newcastle is a Premier League side, so he will still be playing competitive football in one of the best leagues in the world.
Finally, Metro has confirmed that Yaya Sanogo is leaving the club this summer,
‘I’m free. The adventure ends.
‘My left calf is healed. It kept me off the pitch for nearly seven months. I came back in January, with a fitness trainer. I was able to play again for the Arsenal reserves.
Arsenal bought Sanogo after a successful youth tournament that saw him score a couple of goals for France U-20s but he failed to reach that potential expected of him. There are a couple of loan spells to Crystal Palace, Ajax and Charlton but Sanogo struggled to make any impact in those clubs.
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