This might be the happiest Arsene Wenger has been with his side in a long while. The squad is teeming with attacking options, so much so that Aaron Ramsey’s delayed return is doing little to change the Premier League betting lines.
There was a time when Aaron’s thigh injury might have caused concern for Arsenal fans. However, the fact that Aaron might be unavailable for the Southampton match on Saturday is hardly worth mentioning this time around.
Wenger’s side has definitely benefited from the signing of players like Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi. The fact that Alex Iwobi will return to the squad also bodes well for Arsenal.
Things are coming together for the team, and Wenger’s options seem relatively obvious at the moment. It would make sense for Mustafi to go straight into the team, especially with Laurent Koscielny in central defense.
Olivier Giroud is also likely to reclaim his place as the main central striker, though, considering his international duties the possibilities of injury are quite high at the moment.
If all goes according to plan, though, Wenger might have to reshuffle his team’s attack starting with Alexis Sanchez. Having started the season through the middle, the smart play would be to move him back to the left.
Even with all the options available to him, it would have been to Wenger’s advantage if Aaron had returned to the field in time for the Saturday game. However, that isn’t likely to happen.
More importantly, Wenger has to look beyond the Saturday Premier League match. Considering the game against Paris St. Germain next Tuesday and the Chelsea game that will follow shortly after, Wenger probably doesn’t want to risk Aaron so soon.
Wenger has a lot of attacking options to weigh before the Saturday game. Perez is all but certain to feature from the bench. Among those that will be pushing to start, Theo Walcott, Iwobi, Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are likely to feature prominently in Wenger’s considerations.
Wenger’s squad has a lot of flavor this time around, especially taking into account the injection of Mustafi into the team. Mustafi was acquired from Valencia for 35 million, this giving Wenger’s side three players from the Germany Squad that won the world cup in 2014.
Mustafi and Ozil have a lot of chemistry, having played together at the European Championship with Germany. And apparently, they had a frank discussion about the prospect of joining Arsenal.
It seems like Ozil was instrumental in convincing Mustafi to join Arsenal, painting the picture of a club that would allow him to grow as a player and develop his skills. At the moment, Mustafi is happy to be in the premier League.
He was heard recently showing hearty appreciation for the love for football he saw in the people of his new home.
With Mustafi in his back pocket, Wenger can now work towards convincing Ozil and Sanchez to stick with Arsenal for a little while longer. With two years left on their existing deals, it is still unclear whether Ozil and Sanchez will extend their contracts.
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