There is no chance of Arsenal meeting the German side Schalke in the next round of the Champions league, the draw for which is made tomorrow, as they were in the same group stage. The team from Gelsenkirchen could still have an effect on the rest of the season for the Gunners, however.
Despite topping their European group, the manager of Schalke, Huub Stevens, has been sacked from his job and replaced him with Jens Keller. Keller had been in charge of the under-17s but has been moved up, Stevens got the chop after six league games without a win left his side seventh in the Bundesliga.
Arsenal have two of Schalke’s best players on their transfer target list apparently. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the 29-year old Dutch international striker, was widely expected to join Arsenal for a small fee in January as his contract expires in the summer, while young Lewis Holtby has longer on his contract but has stated his intentions to move to the Premier league.
It remains to be seen whether the Schalke situation will help or hinder Arsenal in their pursuit of these players. Keller may insist on Huntelaar seeing out his contract in order to help them climb back up the table. The new man may want new players and may sell to pay for them. The Bundesliga does not resume until late January following a winter break, so the players will have no time to see if Keller can turn things around. I would not be surprised if one or both of them was at the Emirates by the end of January.