Arsenal’s second team is preparing to face Cologne in Germany tonight hoping to secure top place in our qualifying group, and it is fair to say that if our reserves play with the same heart that the First XI did on Saturday then they will win this match very easily indeed.
It seems like Arsenal have been linked with Julian Draxler for ever so it is difficult to think that the German international is still only 24 years old, but he was still a teenager at Schalke when he first came to Arsene Wenger’s attention.
We may all expect to see Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez move away from Arsenal for free next summer, but as Arsene Wenger said last summer, we will be seeing more and more players running down their contracts in the future so they can get much higher wages when they actually move clubs.
I must admit that there were not many Arsenal fans that were happy with Emmanuel Adebayor when he forced Arsene Wenger to sell him to Manchester City, and I admit he was subject to quite a lot of abuse for deserting the Gunners purely for cash, and I personally think he deserved a lot of it.
So it is now widely accepted by Arsenal fans that Alexis Sanchez will definitely not be at the Emirates next season, and maybe not even past January, but who are we going to get in to replace him? You could say that we will still have Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and maybe even Eddie Nketiah already at the club and ready to cover the loss of our superstar Chilean but can you really see Arsenal fans accepting that? Chuba Akpom and Joel Cambell are out of contract next season so I doubt that they will be part of the equation…
In 48 hours time Arsenal will be getting ready to run out at the RheinEnergieStadion to face Koln, but as the Gunners have already qualified for the next rounds I can seriously see Arsene Wenger picking an even weaker team than usual, although he will be keen to keep most of the unbeaten second string side together as long as possible, and of course a win will guarantee us top spot in the Group although the chances of anyone catching us is rather slim anyway…
There is no doubt that Alexadre Lacazette and Saed Kolasinac were very good buy for Arsenal this summer, but it could well be that the appointment of Sven Mislintat could be even more important for the future of the Gunners. No one is saying that Steve Rowley wasn’t brilliant as our chief scout, but after 25 years under his management perhaps it is about time that Arsenal brought in some new blood to and a new (diamond!) eye to look at our scouting process.
So the transfer sagas of our two biggest contract rebels, Ozil and Alexis, continues to run amok in the tabloids, but with no sign of either of them agreeing to an extension it would make sense to try and recoup some of our losses in January before letting them go to our Premier League rivals for free in the summer.