Gunners Lose Gustavo Battle Too
Arsenal FC’s efforts to recruit quality players have been met with yet another disappointment after it was confirmed that Brazil international Luiz Gustavo has rejected them in favour of signing for Wolfsburg.
The Gunners had agreed a transfer fee of £17.2million with Bayern Munich and desperately wanted to sign him now that Mikel Arteta – their only recognized defensive midfielder – is out for a month. But the 26-year-old decided to take the easier option of staying in Bundesliga and will now be plying his trade at the Volkswagen Arena.
“We are delighted that we have Luiz with us,” Wolfsburg’s GM Klaus Allofs told Bild magazine on his club’s latest capture.
Arteta Out for a Month
Mikel Arteta’s thigh injury is more serious than initially thought, and the Arsenal vice-captain could now be out of action for a month. (Goal)
The 31-year-old- midfielder picked up the knock in training a few days ago and is expected to take three to four weeks to fully recover. It means that he will miss the Gunners’ opening three Premier League matches as well as the tricky Champions League tie against Fenerbahce.
The news has yet to be confirmed by the club although coach Arsene Wenger did admit on Thursday that Arteta’s participation against Aston Villa this weekend is doubtful. Arsenal.com have quoted him as saying: “Mikel has a slight thigh problem. We have to check that. I don’t know if he will be out for the weekend. He has a scan today.”
Wilshere Demands Mature Gunners
Jack Wilshere has admitted that he and his Arsenal teammates need to mature up a little this season in order to defy their critics and end the club’s eight-year-long trophy drought.
The Gunners’ lack of transfer activity means that they are not being taken as genuine contenders for the Premier League title. But Wilshere is confident that if they ‘grow up a bit’ and replicate the scintillating form they showed towards the back end of last season, anything is possible.
In an interview with Sport magazine, the 21-year-old said: “I have been reading things like: ‘Arsenal aren’t title contenders’, but we have had that for years. We feel we have a great squad, as we showed towards the end of last season, when we went 11 games unbeaten [after losing that game at Tottenham. So if we can reproduce that form, then we have a chance. When we had to get the results, we went out there and got them, and that’s what we need to take into this season .”
“We understand the fans’ frustration, because we care as well. Arsenal used to be a team that won everything, you know – trophies and titles, but now we haven’t won anything for eight years, so we know what we have to do. It is time to start producing trophies and being closer to the top of the league at the end of the season. We don’t just want to be fighting for fourth place – we want to be up there with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United. We feel we are good enough to be there.
“Last season, we lost games in cup competitions in which we could have been there at the end. We lost against Bradford away [in the Capital One Cup] and Blackburn at home [in the FA Cup]. We should never be losing games like that, but this year we have to get over that, grow up a bit and realise that we need a trophy – Arsenal’s too good not to be winning trophies. We will be in four competitions this year. We know we have to win one of them.”
Wenger Confident New Faces Will Come
Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal fans not to panic over the club’s failure to sign new players so far this summer and assured that new faces will come in before the ongoing transfer window slams shut on September 2.
Despite having a sizeable transfer kitty at his disposal, none of Wenger’s attempts to recruit quality players have been successful. With just two and a half weeks remaining before all transfer activity gets suspended until January, the club’s fans are growing impatient but Wenger isn’t.
In an interview with Arsenal Player, he said: “We are active. We are in a situation like Manchester United, like Chelsea, where everybody expects signings and at the moment not a lot has happened. There are 18 days to go, so that is a long time in the transfer market and we will be active. I cannot certify what the number [of players coming in will be], but we will be active until the end, that is for sure.”
Gunners Tracking PSV Pair
PSV Eindhoven’s talented duo of Georginio Wijnaldum and Zakaria Bakkali has emerged as a shock transfer target for Arsenal. (Voetbal International/Express)
After failing to land any of their big-name targets, it seems that the Gunners are going back to their tried-and-failed method of signing young talent. They recently sent their top scout Peter Clarke to check the pair out in the Netherlands, and a combined bid could be forthcoming.