Welcome to a brand new month on TremendArse. It’s Transfer Deadline Day today of course and as I write this at around 5.30pm, there have been no moves confirmed either in or out of the club as yet.
That’s not overly surprising, given we were always very unlikely to bring anybody in after signing Mohamed Elneny earlier in the window, but I was expecting Mathieu Debuchy and Serge Gnabry to have left in loan moves by now. There’s still time obviously, with the window closing at 11pm this evening, so we’ll see what happens.
But so far today, the biggest news has come away from Arsenal and indeed player trading, with Manchester City confirming Pep Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini as their manager from the start of next season. Which is just brilliant – the Premier League’s wealthiest club has now secured the world’s best manager – outside of London Colney, that is. So the intrigue and excitement goes up a notch or two ahead of next season, even more so if some members of the press get granted their wish and a certain Portuguese manager takes over the reigns at Manchester United.
Back to the current campaign though and as we prepare to welcome Southampton to Emirates stadium tomorrow evening, Arsene Wenger held his pre-match press conference this morning and was inevitably asked whether we’d be active in the market today. Here’s what he said:
At the moment it’s 99% no, but if Messi knocks on my door at ten to six I won’t tell him to go back to Barcelona!
Arsene also provided an injury update, including the latest on Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky, saying:
The team news is that we have all the players that played on Saturday available again. The only problem we have is that we lost Rosicky through injury. We have to assess one or two. Overall the situation looks quite good for everybody else. He (Rosicky) has a thigh problem – a muscular tendon problem, but we don’t know how bad it is. It happened three or four minutes after he came on and we have to assess him today. He’s not available for a while. We will know much more tonight. He (Wilshere) is looking good. I had a short chat with Roy Hodgson about him and reassured him that he is progressing well. I’m cautious but I will say four weeks [until he is back]. Danny has not played since April 2015 and will have to go through a game or two with the under-21s, where we can monitor him and leave him free to play at his level of commitment. That looks to be very soon, maybe this week.
So a mixed bag. Jack’s ‘looking good’ and Danny will be back playing football for the under 21s shortly but Rosicky’s now out for another sustained period of time. At this stage, as sad as it sounds, you have to wonder whether the Czech has played his last game in Arsenal colours.
Finally for today, the boss had a few words to offer on Mohamed Elneny, after the Egyptian midfielder made his debut against Burnley last weekend:
His first performance was very good in many aspects. He had plenty of passes, he made 84 passes and 98 per cent were completed. His movement was good, he had a high work-rate. He has to adapt to the toughness of the challenges and certainly gain a little bit in confidence to be more incisive in his passing, but overall for a first performance it was encouraging.
A quick check shows no confirmation of Debuchy or Gnabry going anywhere, so if they do depart, I’l take at look at that tomorrow, when I’ll be back with a preview of the Saints game.