Walcott Suffering From ‘Mysterious’ Abdominal Problem
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Theo Walcott is suffering from a ‘mysterious’ muscular abdominal problem, which Arsenal FC’s doctors don’t really know much about at the moment. (BBC)
The 24-year-old winger apparently complained of the problem before the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Marseille last Wednesday. He was still allowed to play in that game and scored the team’s opening goal. However, it came at a cost as his condition worsened, and he ended up missing the weekend’s 3-1 win over Stoke City completely.
In an interview with BBC, Wenger said: “We hope we haven’t lost Walcott for a long time. He has a muscular abdominal problem but I don’t know how serious it is. Is it a question of days? I hope so. He had a little problem before the Marseille game and it became a bit worse. It is a bit mysterious because we don’t really know what it is.”
It is the second time Walcott is suffering from this strange illness. His first bout with it came earlier this year, and on that occasion, he missed three weeks of action. If it again results in such a lengthy layoff, it could be devastating for Wenger as he already has a dearth of options up front.
Basel Defender on Arsenal’s Radar
FC Basel’s young defender Fabian Schar is being tracked by Arsenal and Juventus, according to a report published by Insidefutbol.com
The 21-year-old centre-half joined Basel from lower-division minnows Wil only last year but quickly established himself as an undisputed starter at his new club and is now a full Swiss international too.
He started and was excellent in Basel’s shock 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday, and that has earned him the attention of both the Gunners as well as the Old Lady.
Basel sold their other young, highly-rated defender Aleksandar Dragovic in the summer transfer window to Dynamo Kiev for a transfer fee of €9million. Although Schar is quickly climbing up the career ladder, he is currently less established than Dragovic was before making the move. Hence, any potential suitors should be prepared to pay slightly less than what Kiev shelled out for Dragovic if they’re serious about signing Schar.
Gunners Chasing More Quality Germans
Buoyed by the blockbuster signing of Mesut Ozil, Arsenal FC have set their sights on adding more talented Germans to their squad. The potential transfer targets in question are Borussia Dortmund’s star winger Marco Reus and FC Schalke’s young midfielder Julian Draxler. (The Express)
The source of the rumour is the Italian press, according to whom, the Gunners could follow up their interest in Draxler with a proper transfer offer in January. It is widely believed that coach Arsene Wenger has £30million more to spend, and he might offer it all to Schalke for the 20-year-old starlet. However, the sum would be £4m less than Die Königsblauen‘s valuation of Draxler, and that might fail or at least postpone the deal until next summer. The player himself might also be unwilling to switch clubs in January as 2014 is a World Cup year, and he needs to be settled heading into the big tournament.
The money issue could also affect Wenger’s chase of Reus. Apparently, he has a buy-out clause of £34m in his contract, and while Die Borussen would be intrigued by the North Londoners’ offer of £30m, they’d be unwilling to sanction the deal. Moreover, the player is cup-tied in the Champions League, and so Wenger wouldn’t go the extra mile to make the deal happen. He could return for the former Borussia Mönchengladbach man next summer.
Ramsey Simply Enjoying His Football
Arsenal’s goal-machine Aaron Ramsey says he is simply enjoying his football at the moment, and that might be the reason of his vastly improved form and production this season.
The Welsh international opened the scoring in the Gunners’ 3-1 win over Stoke City on Sunday. That strike was his seventh in eight games this term, and he believes his good fortune in front of the goal is simply down to the enjoyment factor and the fact that he is slightly more composed.
In a post-match interview with Sky Sports, Ramsey said: “I’m enjoying my football at the moment. I think that’s one of the biggest improvements from last season, I’m a bit more composed in front of goal and things are coming off. I’m working hard and hopefully I can continue improving.”
“I think I play a bit different here. When we go away to Stoke, that’s different. I was surprised today the way they get the ball down now and start to play a bit more. They had some good possession, but overall I think we were solid and deserved the win,” he said of the pleasant change in the Potters’ style of play.
Ozil Capable Of More Than Just Playmaking – Wenger
Arsene Wenger believes the English football hasn’t seen the best of Mesut Ozil yet, and the record Arsenal signing will hit new levels of excellence once he fully acclimates to his new surroundings.
Ozil, 24, was the architect of all three of the Gunners’ goals in their latest 3-1 win over Stoke City. Two of them were direct assists from him, which took his tally to three in just two matches. As predicted before his arrival, he now leads the assists chart of the Barclays Premier League. But Wenger is convinced Ozil is not just about creating opportunities for others. There is more to his game, which the Frenchman claims, we’ll see in time.
He said: “When you look at his numbers, the assists are not a coincidence it is just a reality of his game. I believe that once he is completely integrated we will see even more of him, but he has shown today that he is a great player. You could see today he has good pace as well and at the moment he focuses on his passes but he can create individually as well.”