Club Captain signs one-year extension

Arsenal’s club captain, Mikel Arteta, has signed on for another year at the Emirates, after it looked as though he might leave following a lengthy delay in the signing of his contract, which was reportedly agreed months ago. 

Arteta, who is now 33-years-old, missed a lot of last season through injury, and now faces an uphill challenge to break back into a hugely competitive Arsenal midfield which has seen Coquelin make Arteta’s position his own.

Reports in Spain have suggested that a number of clubs in La Liga have been interested in signing the Spaniard who has a wealth of experience and was brought up in the Barcelona academy before moving to the UK.

But does this mean Arsene Wenger is no longer intending to bring in additional midfield reinforcements? Having not so long ago signed Tomas Rosicky for another year as well.

Arsenal have been linked with a host of defensive midfielders, including Morgan Schneiderlin, Arturo Vidal, Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon, and even Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan. None of whom look any closer to actually signing for Arsenal.

With Francis Coquelin’s new emergence on the scene, and Jack Wilshere, who is familiar with that deep midfield position for England and has reportedly trained over his summer break following some good post-injury form, Arsenal have a wealth of options in the centre.

When you also consider the midfield engine that is Aaron Ramsey, two of Arsenal’s stand out players last year, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, not to mention the experienced heads of Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini, then suddenly there is a distinct lack of space in the squad.

Surely at least one of these players will need to make way before Arsenal sign another midfielder, but it now appears that this midfielder will not be Mikel Arteta.

Sanchez to miss start of season

Alexis Sanchez is set to miss the start of Arsenal’s season, having been given an extended holiday following his Copa America triumph on Saturday evening. 

Sanchez played a further 6 games for his country since the end of Arsenal’s season, leading them to a first Copa America title in 99 years, where he scored the winning penalty against Argentina to ruin Messi’s chance of winning a major tournament with his country.

This run of games for Alexis follows what had already proved a physically challenging first year in England for the Chilean, where the game is more intense, and he barely missed a kick in a season where there are no Christmas breaks.

Having said that, Sanchez lives to play football every week, and he certainly didn’t look too tired when he sprinted three-quarters of the pitch in the 105th minute against Argentina in the final, only to just miss out on finding the net in what ended up as 120 minute bore-draw.

But Arsene Wenger is renowned for looking after his players, and as Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker were given additional time off following their World Cup heroics last summer, Alexis is set to receive the same treatment this time round from the manager.

The 26-year-old is reportedly due to return to training on the 27th July, giving him less than a week back with the other players before they take on Chelsea in the Community Shield; and just under two weeks before the Premier League season kicks off.

The rest of the Arsenal squad who were not involved in the tournament, returned to training yesterday, as they look to prepare for what will hopefully be a season full of promise, and finally a real title challenge.