As we get closer to January there are going to be more and more Arsenal transfer rumours appearing every day, even though Arsene Wenger rarely does much business in the winter. The big question is whether the Gunners will try and recoup some cash from the sale of Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez, and according to lots of reports coming from Spain, it is Ozil that has already agreed to join Barcelona for a price of €20 million (£17.7m).
They seem to be pretty confident that this deal is certain to happen, and that then raises the question of who Wenger will be picking to replace him in the Gunners First XI. We all know that Jack Wilshere is also out of contract this summer and is desperate to get back into the starting line up, and I would think that he will leave the club for free in the summer if he is not given assurances by Wenger, going by what the Englishman said last night. “Of course I want to be playing,” he said. “It’s difficult when you play every three weeks.
“It’s the same as every player. I’m still determined to win my place back, I’m working hard and we’ll see what the future holds – if I can get in or I can’t.”
Not so long ago, when Wilshere was snubbed by England because Southgate wanted Jack to be getting regular first team football in the Defensive Midfielder role, Wenger admitted that he wanted Jack to play further forward, and he even specified where he saw him playing in future. “In my head he’s more a player who plays higher up the pitch,” Wenger said. “I see him more as a player who can affect the game in the final third than a box-to-box player. I see him more as somebody who has a quick response, quick reactions in the final third and the quality of the pass in the final third.
“I think the new system suits him. Because for me he is in the position between wide and completely central, or in that area behind the midfield. Because he turns the game forward well, he can chip a little ball, he can pass people in the short space. That’s why I think the system suits him well. He’s a little bit in conflict in this position with Ozil and Alexis.”
So really the only way Wenger can guarantee Jack playing time this season is if one of our superstars are sold in January, and it looks like Ozil is the favourite to go right now. Is this the only way Wenger can persuade Wilshere to sign a new contract? Or should Wenger go out and splash the cash on someone like Lemar to replce Ozil?