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Good News on Injuries Ahead of Stoke Clash

Image result for mertesacker bellerin

It’s another weekend and I’m looking forward to some Premier League action tomorrow! I know I’d miss most of the Saturday’s games because of a wedding I’m scheduled to attend but that the fun part in being in some BlackBerry groups like Gooner Daily, that would keep you updated all the way. I love that lot!

With the game against Stoke coming up tomorrow in front of the Emirates faithful, the feel good factor is back with the team scoring nine goals in their last two outings. It’s even more fun knowing that a goal can come from any position on the side, which is hugely encouraging, unlike some sides that leave the goalscoring burden for a player or two.

There have been a lot of injuries that disrupted the team this season and one can look no further than the influential Santi Cazorla that had a successful surgery and he’d be looking forward to a full recovery. The optimists believe he could be back in contention as early as March, but knowing Arsenal and the way our injury situation could be, I’d throw caution to the wind and give Santi enough time to recuperate before getting back to full fitness. In his absence, the likes of Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Aaron Ramsey can do a good job in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield.

There is good news on the injury front as the manager confirmed that Per Mertesacker, Hector Bellerin and the forgotten forward, Danny Welbeck, are back in training, so they will be in contention to join the side ahead of the vigorous festive period where the games come thick and fast. The club’s captain has kicked the ball just once this season, then suffered a knee injury that has sidelined him for the best part of four months, but in Shkodran Mustafi, Gabriel Paulista and the ever-impressive Rob Holding, Mertesacker’s absence hasn’t been felt at all. Many fans even feel that it would be very difficult for the BFG to return to the starting XI. I’m pleased to know that a player of his immense qualities and leadership will be available for selection once again, so the onus is on the manager to find a way to integrate him back to the side. It’s worth noting that the Kostafi combination has been a colossus at the back.

Hector Bellerin is a player that has grown from strength to strength in the team, and his appearance in the Team of the Year last season was a testament of how improved he had been. Since taking the mantle after Matt Debuchy suffered an unfortunate injury, Bellerin has not looked back and he has excelled under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger. He suffered an ankle injury for the Spanish youth side in the last international break, and the team looked to Carl Jenkinson to fill in the void, as Debuchy continued to struggle with fitness. However, the young Englishman suffered ‘confidence issues’ and the boss had resorted to Gabriel to put a shift there while Bellerin works his way back to full fitness. He also signed a new contract recently that would keep him at the club for quite some time, and that news has been taken well by the fans.

On Welbeck, it seems the team has forgotten he exists but he will always be fondly remembered to two iconic moments in his fledgling Arsenal career;

  • The match winning goal in the 2014/15 FA Cup quarterfinal against Manchester United at Old Trafford and
  • That late late header against Leicester City last season in February.

He suffered a knee injury in April and missed Euro 2016, and it must have been hard for the lad seeing his teammate strut their stuff on the pitch, while he spends countless hours with the physios working his way up the fitness chain. Hearing that Welbeck is in training again makes me happy, because he’s a player with very good potential and I’m confident he can actualize it at the Emirates.

A full Stoke preview comes up tomorrow.


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Defenders Linked as Wenger Confirms Mertesacker Injury

It’s evident that Per Mertesacker’s injury is really as bad as we feared with the manager confirming it in a press conference,

“We have bad news on Per Mertesacker. He played in Lens on Friday night, he finished the game and had a little pain on his knee. We found out the next day that it was much more serious than expected. He had surgery yesterday in Germany. It all went well. I know you will ask me for how long he will be out. I don’t know that, it’s months, but I don’t know how long he will be out for.”

Arsenal fans know that when the boss talks this way, we should fear for worst. Take a trip down memory lane in September 2015, when the manager confirmed that Danny Welbeck had gone through a surgery to fix a knee problem. If I can remember clearly, he used the same words ‘I don’t know how long he’d be out for’. We didn’t see that guy Welbz till February 2016 whenhe scored that super header against Leicester.

With Mertesacker reaching the last year of his contract as well as hitting the 30+ mark, things might not pan out too well for the man that is set to be named Arsenal captain. However, Arsenal fans should be happy with Wenger’s quotes of the club looking for experienced center backs in the transfer market to replace the BFG.

Online Sportbooks would be tipping the Gunners to sign a new defender but I’m wondering what odds could surface for that.

Reports surfacing social media is that Arsenal has made an enquiry for Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi. The lad started well in the European Championships but found games hard to come by as the tournament progressed. Mustafi, 24, joined the Mestalla-based outfit two season ago and featured consistently for the club, making 78 appearances in the last two campaigns. In his 12 caps for Germany, he has scored a solitary goal that came against Ukraine in the Euros.

Napoli’s Kalilou Koulibaly has also been mentioned but he’s a defender on high demand with Chelsea also interested in his services. With an imposing height of 6′ 5″, Koulibaly would bring a lot of physicality to the defense and he just off of the back of a brilliant campaign with Napoli.

Arsenal aren’t exactly short on numbers defensively, with Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers available for selection. Holding is a very raw talent, so is Chambers, while Gabriel hasn’t really progressed as much as we would have liked. Mertesacker’s injury has made signing a new defender a big priority as signing a forward.

Over to you, Arsene


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Per Mertesacker Adds to Arsenal’s Injury Woes

There were pictures of the squad on a certain tarmac with some Fly Emirates staff but some certain sharp eyed fans like K_Sturna noticed that the club captain wasn’t on that photo. C’mon, a player of his stature is certainly not hard to find. Injuries and Arsenal are two things that have been synonymous in recent years, and it seems as if that trend is set to continue in the new campaign.

With Arsenal playing a MLS AllStar squad on Friday, it’s evident that the team would be desperately short in the back when Gabriel Paulista left back at London Colney because of tonsilitis problem that was reported earlier in the campaign. Things are looking really grim as it has been confirmed that imminent club captain, Per Mertesacker, has suffered a knee injury and he’s scheduled to miss up to five months.

With Laurent Koscielny still on his extended break following his Euro 2016 exertions, Arsenal is left with just Calum Chambers and new signing, Rob Holding, as the center backs available for selection. Nacho Monreal and Matt Debuchy have featured in makeshift center back roles, but with Sky Sports reporting that Bordeaux is bracing themselves to make an official bid for the French fullback, he’s more than likely to leave.

It’s important to see how Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy respond to this predicament. Arsenal has been renowned to be a reactive side when it comes to some certain kinds of signings, but I have a hunch that Wenger would prefer to see Gabriel grow, than splurging in the transfer market for a new center back.

We will have to keep our fingers crossed though.


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