Arsenal Transfer News: Wenger Confirms New Signing In Squad For Weekend

MohamedElnenyArsene Wenger has all but confirmed that Arsenal have completed the signing of Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny.

After his side’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Anfield, Wenger said he hoped to have the Egyptian available for the Super Sunday clash at Stoke.

The 23-year-old is currently in London to complete the formalities on a four-and-a-half year contract.

“He [Elneny] has joined us and we will see if he can qualify for Sunday” said Wenger.

He has already undergone and completed his medical and the hope is that the deal can be finalised in time for him to feature at the Britannia Stadium.

On Monday, at his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Liverpool, Arsene Wenger said he was optimistic Arsenal would complete the signing of the Egypt international this week.

Wenger said: “I expect Mohamed yes, we are positive that this week it can happen.

“The situation should be sorted out. There are a lot of work permit problems and special paperwork to do, (the) visa, so we hope we can finalise it this week.

“As long as it is not definitely signed, you have to be cautious, but I am optimistic about the case.”

Elneny, who has been capped 39 times by Egypt, started his career in his homeland with El Mokawloon before joining Basel in 2013.

He has helped Basel win three successive league titles in Switzerland and also helped them reach the Europa League semi-finals during his first season at the club, losing to eventual winners Chelsea.

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Wenger Post Match Reaction: “I Hope This Doesn’t Cost Us The Title”

A late goal from Joe Allen earned Liverpool a point against the Gunners, and the Frenchman hopes that the result does not come back to bite his side at the end of the season

Arsene Wenger has admitted that he fears Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Anfield may cost his side the Premier League title.

The Gunners held a 3-2 lead with the clock ticking down but were forced to settle for a point after Joe Allen netted in the final moments of the second-half.

Wenger’s men have now won just one of their past five Premier League away games and are ahead of Leicester City at the top of the table only on goal difference after the Foxes beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

And the Frenchman hopes that the result does not come back to bite his side as they aim to win the league for the first time since 2004.

“I am frustrated by the result but not disappointed by the performance – we have shown character again and came from behind to get to 3-2,” he told reporters.

“The frustration comes from the fact that at 3-2 we had three situations where we should have made it 4-2, and made bad decisions – that is the frustration for me tonight.

“That and we conceded a goal in the last minute…but that can happen in England. It shows that everywhere is very even and very difficult.

“Hopefully, we are not going to have to regret this goal at the end of the championship. It is still a draw, they’ve done well at the end of the game and pushed a lot.

“It’s a good performance but we could have done better.”

Wenger also felt that Arsenal’s infamous 5-1 defeat at Anfield in February 2014 was still playing on the minds of some of his players early on.

He added to BBC Sport: “I felt we had an apprehensive start. We had some bad memories from a few years ago and you could still see that in some players.

“We went 1-0 down and then we started to play. We come out of the game with a lot of positive but still some regrets.”

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Liverpool Draw Feels Like A Defeat

giroud-afc-celebrates2A point away from home at Anfield is usually a good result, but not this time as Arsenal’s 3-3 draw felt like a defeat,

Liverpool led twice, in the first-half and gave up the lead both times. Arsenal finally got in front after 55 minutes and held on until the final attack of the match, when they too capitulated as the Welsh Xavi tied the match. It was a brilliant, thrilling game that had both managers afterwards ruing their defensive lapses.

The game was Barely 10 minutes into the match when Liverpool went ahead. Theo Walcott lost the ball to Emre Can and Can’s shot was pushed out by Petr Cech into the path of Firmino, who reacted brilliantly to hit home the rebound.

Within four minutes Arsenal were back on level terms. The Liverpool defense failed to a loose ball which was picked up by Joel Campbell whose p. reverse pass into the path of Aaron Ramsey cut open the Red’s back link and the Welsh international made it 1-1.

Five minutes later and the Reds were back in front when Firmino fired in a brilliant shot from the edge of the penalty box into the top corner. A stunning shot that gave Cech no chance,

But once again Liverpool conceded from a set piece as a result of a goalkeeping error. A flick by Giroud struck the inside of the Mignolet’s standing leg and diverted the ball over his line. Giroud claimed the goal to keep his current hot streak alive.

It was a breathtaking first half of football that ended 2-2.

In the second half it was end to end and when Giroud sent Kolo Toure spectacularly the wrong way before tucking the ball into the far corner past Mignolet you thought it was three points to Arsenal.

But when Liverpool brought on Benteke and resorted to route 1 football, the Arsenal backline keep dropping deeper and deeper until eventually Jordan Henderson lumped the ball in from deep, Benteke out jumped any Arsenal defender by at least a head, and ashis header looped across the area aJoe Allen arrived first to put the ball past Petr Cech at his near post.

With five minutes to go in the match, Leicester were drawing at Tottenham and Arsenal were ahead, putting them four points clear at the top. But Huth late Leicester’s winner, and the Gunners inability to defend long balls into the box meant that the gap at the top was back to goal difference alone.

Arsenal might have settled for a point before kick-off; at the final whistle it must have felt like a blade between the shoulder blades.

What did you think of the game and result?

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Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Is Mathieu Debuchy On Way Out Of Emirates?

Debuchy-AFCIt looks like Mathieu Debuchy could be on his way out of Arsenal this month as he searches for regular first team football ahead of this summer’s Euro’s.

The 30-year-old full-back, who was recently turned down a move to West Brom, is believed to want to leave Arsenal because he wants to secure regular first-team football so that he can guarantee his place in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the 2016 European Championships.

Reasoning which is echoed by Wenger.

“Mathieu has an opportunity to go but we have not been in touch with any club,” said Wenger.

“Debuchy at the moment does not get the number of games”

“The European Championship is in France soon and it is difficult for him to deal with that.”

Debuchy has made just seven appearances for the Gunners this season, having lost his first-team spot to Hector Bellerin and is reported to be frustrated with life on the bench.

According to French TV show Telefoot, Aston Villa, Bundesliga side Bayern Leverkusen and Italian club Roma have all expressed interest in signing the full-back during the January transfer window.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that he would be willing to allow Debuchy to leave the club this month but denied any contact with any other clubs about signing the player.

Totally understand Debuchy wanting to leave so that he can play regular first team football. Bellerin in developing into one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and could hold down that position for the next decade, which would severely limit Debuchy’s playing opportunities.

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Arsenal Injury News: Alexis Sanchez To Miss Liverpool Slash

alexis-hammyStunned to hear that Alexis Sanchez will not be fit for Arsenal’s trip to Liverpool on Wednesday as he continues his recovery from injury.

The Chilean forward has not played since limping off against Norwich in November, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said the game at Anfield will be too soon for a Sanchez return.

Wenger added, though, that Sanchez may be back for Arsenal’s trip to Stoke on Sunday.

‘We think he will be short for Wednesday, he has a chance to be available for Sunday [against Stoke]. He is always keen to play. If you listen to Alexis, he can always play – even when he is injured. We try to be cautious. With a muscular injury you never exactly how big the risk but he is very close. If you look at him training he is very close.’ Wenger said at a press conference on Monday.

All the indications were that Sanchez could have been fit for the Sunderland game at the weekend, so for him to still not be fit for the trip to Anfield is really surprising. Is he just recovering slower than expected from his hamstring injury or was their a problem with his rehab?

On other injury news it on the team news it looks like David Ospina has a chance to be on the bench:

We will have to test Ospina who was not available on Saturday. Ospina is a muscular issue and we have to check if he will be available or not. Overall I think he has a 60/40 chance to make it.

And another of Arsenal’s walking wounded is getting closer to returning as Wenger updated the media on the status of Tomas Rosicky…

We have Rosicky back in training so the situation is getting better. He will be back in full training this week, it is fantastic because he has been out for very long and it is good to know that a player of that calibre is back in our squad.

Based on Wenger’s previous comments about regaining match fitness, I would expect to see Rosicky’s name in the first team squad in another 2-3 weeks.

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Wenger Excited To See Stars Return From Injury

Arsene-Wenger-pensiveArsene Wenger believes getting his injured players back will prevent any fatigue during a congested run of fixtures.

The Arsenal boss made five changes for their FA Cup third-round clash with Sunderland and saw his side run out 3-1 victors as they look to win the competition for a third successive year.

Jeremain Lens put the visitors ahead after a mix-up between Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny but Joel Campbell levelled before the break before second-half strikes from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud saw the holders through.

The Gunners also sit top of the Barclays Premier League and are back in action with a tricky trip to Liverpool on Wednesday but, with a number of players back from injury and some soon to return – plus the impending signing of midfielder Mohamed Elneny – Wenger feels his squad are ready to deal with a tough run.

“There is a little bit,” he said when asked about fixture congestion.

“But I believe that the next step is to get (Tomas) Rosicky back, (Danny) Welbeck back, (Alexis) Sanchez back, (Jack) Wilshere back and maybe we will get one player in.

“Overall, I think we have no new injuries so I’m not worried. If we had the same number of injuries we would be a bit short.”

While Wilshere and Welbeck may not be back until the end of February, Sanchez and Rosicky could both be in contention for the trip to Stoke next Sunday – while Mikel Arteta is already back and came on as a substitute against Sunderland.

Wenger brought in Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers and goalscorer Campbell as well as Alex Iwobi for only his second start.

The 19-year-old nephew of Jay-Jay Okocha impressed and could have been man of the match were it not for a splendid display from Hector Bellerin.

The Spanish full-back was full of running and set up both second-half goals and Wenger said afterwards he is one of the Premier League’s most superior right-backs.

When asked if Bellerin was the best in his position, Wenger replied:

“I don’t know. Of course (he is among the best).

“Look at the defensive and offensive numbers. The fact that he is only 20 years old, there is a lot more to come from him.

“He became stronger and stronger during the game. Sometimes I felt in the last 20 minutes, every time he went forward he created a chance on goal.”

Wenger has lifted the FA Cup a record-equalling six times and is hungry to complete a hat-trick of wins having won the trophy in 2014 and 2015.

“We have only one left to win,” he said on winning three consecutive FA Cups.

“We have done it twice. What I will say is we take this competition with a desire to do well in it and to try to win it. It is a long way in the cup and you need a long run.

“When you play a Premier League team you are always going to have to work. We had a very convincing half and took over more slowly.

“In the first half we went one down and we had to find our way because we were sharp in midfield. After that slowly in the second half we took over, played in their half and scored great goals and created many chances.”

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Gunners Take First Step Towards Three-Peat

Wenger-FACupAaron Ramsey came off the bench to lift Arsenal out of a hole and keep the Gunners dream of an FA Cup three-peat alive.

Arsenal came from behind to beat Sunderland 3-1 in their clash at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners, who rested key players including Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker, fell behind on 17 minutes when Jeremain Lens seized on a Laurent Koscielny error to send the ball past Petr Cech.

The lead did not last long, though, with Joel Campbell scoring from close range following a Theo Walcott cut-back.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hit the post for Arsenal in the second half before substitute Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud scored in the 72nd and 76th minutes to keep alive their hopes of winning the competition for a third successive season.

Sunderland, 18 places below Arsenal in the Premier League, proved no slouches and in the end Arsene Wenger had to bring out their big guns to try to become the first team in 120 years since Blackburn Rovers to lift three successive FA Cups.

That prospect led to the Gunners boss introducing a new word into football. He is going for ‘threepeat’. He milked into the LA Lakers NBA team’s famous quote after they had won two successive titles.

He said: “Let’s go for it. As a child I always wanted to win the FA Cup. Now it’s a chance of ‘threepeat’.

“There’s a long way to go and Sunderland made it tough but we needed the likes of Hector Bellerin to help us out. I doubt there is a better right-back in the country right now and he is only 20.”

Bellerin’s form means Wenger is certain to allow misfit Mathieu Debuchy to join Aston Villa.

“I think that is possible,” he said.

Wenger added: “We had to work hard here. But we stuck to our task after Sunderland gave us a first half scare. We took the second half, thankfully.”

Ramsey was needed when it looked as if Sunderland had seen off all their openings and the game was heading for stalemate. So for the second week running Arsenal won ugly – and their fans won’t mind one bit.

Arsenal were in control but they struggled to make it count because Mackems boss Sam Allardyce has introduced a system that might yet work against teams without Arsenal’s ability.

So it was no surprise when they took a 17th-minute lead. Arsenal’s defence, never comfortable, crumbled and when Laurent Koscielny lost the ball Jeremain Lens whipped it off his feet to fire home a powerful shot.

Suddenly Arsenal’s proud record of never losing a Third-Round tie when defending the trophy looked under threat.

It was no more than Sunderland deserved. They had been aggressive from the start and took advantage of an Arsenal side that lacked any midfield quality.

It needed the quality of Theo Walcott and the attacking skills of Bellerin to create the victory. Bellerin went on a personal crusade, winning tackles, finding space – and his persistence paid off.

He took a pass from Alex Iwobi, raced to the by-line and crossed for Campbell to sweetly sweep home a 27th-minute equaliser.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hit a post on the hour as Arsenal took the second half by storm but for all their probing they found it hard to beat a packed Sunderland defence.

The Black Cats showed they were no pushovers and Steven Fletcher rattled Arsenal’s crossbar with a header from DeAndre Yedlin’s cross.

But then Ramsey arrived. Bellerin, aggressive and cool throughout, put the Welshman through on goal and he cleverly flicked the ball home in the 72nd minute.

Then Bellerin raced down the line again three minutes later to cross for Giroud to add a third.

The scoreline suggests an easy win. It was anything but.

Arsenal needed Ramsey’s qualities and Bellerin’s drive from defence to snake over the line as they attempt to secure a 13th FA Cup title.

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Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Wait For Elneny Deal

Emirates_NightArsene Wenger has revealed Mohamed Elneny’s proposed transfer from Basel has become complicated – but he still expects the midfielder to sign for Arsenal.

Egypt international Elneny has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium since before the transfer window opened.

But the deal is yet to be completed, despite Basle confirming the 23-year-old had missed recent training sessions to seal the transfer.

Addressing the media ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round clash with Sunderland, Wenger admitted there are one or two snags.

“It is complicated a little bit,” he said. “But we are working hard on it and hopefully in the next two or three days we will get to the end of it.

“I don’t rule out anyone else, but he will be at least one of the signings that comes into an area where we are short at the moment.”

Wenger also said reports the club were looking at signing Watford striker Troy Deeney were wide of the mark, as was speculation linking Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a move to London rivals Chelsea.

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Wenger Wants FA Cup Hat-Trick

afc-facup-winners-2015Double FA Cup winners Arsenal are confident going into their third round home tie against Sunderland on 9 January, manager Arsene Wenger said. Wenger told a news conference at the Gunners training ground, that the cup is an important competition.

“We want to win every competition in which we participate and the FA Cup is one of them. For us it is an important competition and it’s our next game, so that’s important as well. The confidence is a global thing that you cannot really separate from one competition to the other and you want to feel as well that your team is ready for every single challenge and the FA Cup is one that matters to us,” Wenger said.

Arsenal beat Sunderland 3-1 at home in the Premier League in December, but Wenger is wary of their dangerous breaks.

“We are confident because we know when we perform we can beat anybody in the Premier League, but we have learned as well this season that the Premier League is tricky. But you play at home in front of our crowd where we feel we can qualify. But we have learned against Sunderland that on the breaks they were very dangerous; it was a very hard-fought win against them,” said the Gunners boss.

Arsenal are missing several players through injury, not least Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez.

“Yes, [he’s] been in and out a little bit since the start of the season and I hope that he gets now consistent presence in the squad to perform again because we are going into one-off games where we need everybody available and hopefully [midfielder Tomas] Rosicky is not far away; [forward Danny] Welbeck maybe three weeks; so hopefully we’ll get our players back,” said Wenger, adding that the squad can make up for the absence of individuals.

“You compensate the absence of quality players with different styles. Sometimes more physical commitment; more solidarity because you are conscious that you have less individual potential to change the games and we could make up for it, but in the longer term it’s always better that you have all your players available,” he said.

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Arsenal Freeze Ticket Prices For Next Season

emiratesSome good news for Arsenal supports as the club have announced that they have frozen all home ticket prices for next season.

Speaking about the decision, CEO, Ivan Gazidis told Arsenal.com:

“We have incredible home support with sell-out crowds for every game. This decision reflects our on-going aim to maintain a fair and balanced approach to our ticket pricing.”

The statement goes on to explain: “It will be the seventh time in 11 seasons at Emirates Stadium that prices have been held flat, meaning the cost of season tickets has fallen around 19 per cent in real terms against inflation in that time.”

Although supporters will no doubt be pleased that prices won’t be increasing for next season, that does not take away from the fact that the Gunners have the most expensive tickets in the Premier League, more than double that of their title rivals.

Club-by-club 2015/16 season ticket prices in BPL (£)

Club
% of
STHs
Lowest
ST price
Highest
ST price
Modal
ST price
Modal/match
price for STH
AFC Bournemouth
61 550 950 550 28.95
Arsenal^
61 1014 2013 1014 39.00
Aston Villa
52 335 615 545 28.68
Chelsea
68 595 1250 750 39.47
Crystal Palace
66 420 680 460 24.21
Everton
72 444 719 514 27.05
Leicester City
73 365 730 415 21.84
Liverpool
55 710 869 869 45.74
Manchester City
65 299 900 675 35.53
Manchester United
73 532 950 703 37.00
Newcastle United
61 365 710 519 27.32
Norwich City
81 499.50 646 499.50 26.29
Southampton
63 541 853 682 35.89
Stoke City
74 294 609 344 18.11
Sunderland
54 370 495 370 19.47
Swansea City
74 419 489 439 23.11
Tottenham Hotspur*
62 745 1895 880 41.90
Watford
67 232 650 385 20.26
West Bromwich Albion
66 399 499 399 21.00
West Ham United
72 650 955 650 34.21

STH = season ticket holders
modal price = the price most commonly paid
^ for 26 matches
* for 21 matches

N.B. The highest and lowest prices exclude family tickets and entry-level hospitality options. All values are in British pounds (£).

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