Cazorla return delayed again and Wenger sees players staying after January

Afternoon Bulletin

Ozil and Sanchez not leaving in January

Arsene Wenger has ruled out a January transfer for the two contract rebel’s, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. He believes that the pair will stay until the end of the season but admits that he does not have any thoughts what will happen after. The pair will be able to leave for a free during the summer unless there are improvements in contract talks but it had been thought that Arsenal would look to cash in and confirm transfers in the January window. Wenger said recently:

“I rule it out. In my head, they stay until the end of the season. Unless something unbelievable happens, I can’t see why that would change. You’re always confronted with many speculations over the psychological state of transfers but for me, they’ll stay until the end of the season. They’re into the final year of their contract. Will they stay longer? That’s impossible to answer today. I am not the only one who can decide that. They have a part to play in that as well. If it’s my decision, yes.”

Alexis Sanchez almost moved to league leaders Manchester City on deadline day in the window just gone. Only the lack of Arsenal agreeing with a replacement prevented the move. It now looks difficult to see where the Chilean fits into Pep Guardiola’s side but they are understood to still be keen on the move.

Cazorla return delayed after new operation

Santi Cazorla’s return to Arsenal has been delayed further following a new operation, his ninth. The Spanish midfielder had hoped for a return to action in January after being away from the side since October 2016 but that now looks impossible. He wrote on Twitter:

“As a result of some discomfort in the tendon that I had been suffering in recent days, I have had to go into theatre again. I have to put back the date for my return to the field. I still have the motivation and the hope of being able to return to enjoying my great passion, football.”

The injury sustained seemed an innocuous one but the 32-year-old recently had a skin graft on his ankle. He had been targeting a January comeback but there is now, understandably, no new targeted return date.

Cech can continue until he’s 40 – Wenger

Wenger also believes that goalkeeper Petr Cech can continue playing well into his 40’s after an improved fitness regime. The Czech stopper has come under fire at times during his Arsenal career so far following some high profile mistakes but the defence recently has been solid. Wenger said:

“He gets older, we all do that but I think he is fitter than ever. He puts a lot of attention into the preparation. He is slimmer than before. I think he benefits from that. He has lost some weight. Not too much, two, three kilos only. But it’s a lot if you want to make a horse lose a race, you put a jockey with one or two kilos more on the back, and the horse is quite big. He looks after his whole lifestyle because he feels better and because he wants to be at the best. Petr Cech is a perfectionist. And you don’t make a career he has made if you have not that obsession, always to be at your best. I remember Edwin Van der Sar at Manchester United, I compare them. They are intelligent, they have great similar size, similar quality. And Van der Sar stopped at the end because he decided to stop. Because Manchester United wanted him to stay one more year longer. I don’t rule out [Cech playing until he is 40], but that will only be down to the performances.”

Cech has started all 13 Premier League games so far this season, conceding 16 goals.

Wenger will fight for Wilshere to stay

Jack Wilshere’s return to Arsenal action this season has been a lengthy process but the 25-year-old could be in line to make his first league start of the season. After receiving an injury on loan at Bournemouth last season the England international has struggled to see senior action. Impressive displays in the Europa League and Carabao Cup though have left him on the brink of a recall. Although yet to confirm a new deal with the club, Arsene Wenger admits he does not want to lose Jack:

“For him, it’s just about being fit and considered like any other player in the squad. He’s at that level now where every opportunity is a good chance for him to commit to his long-term future. I don’t think about the long term. For him I always consider his interest because he’s an Arsenal player since he was a kid and I think about what’s best for him, regardless of the decision I make. If I think it right and in his best interests for him to stay here, then I fight 100 per cent for him to stay because he’s a top-quality guy and is back fit now. When you have a top-quality player you want them to stay.”

Wilshere could be in line to start against Huddersfield in the Premier League tonight. He has so far played Just 48 minutes in the league.