Arsene Wenger says Arsenal is still looking for the right big names to join the club, but defender Per Mertesacker seems ready to battle without additions.
The big German defender was quite outspoken when it comes to the club’s second place finish in the 2015-16 Premier League, saying it was a “miracle” they finished that high.
[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]
Mertesacker, 31, notes the giant clubs who finished behind Arsenal on the PL table, and that several of those competitors have made big pick-ups in the transfer market.
From The Sun:
“A lot of transfer business has already been done and it won’t be easy for us this time, especially with all the signings going to the other clubs.
“So we also need to be stronger and I am looking forward to seeing how well we compete for the title with not a lot of signings and a lot of young players.”
Arsenal has added Granit Xhaka and English U-21 back Rob Holding, but patience seems thin amongst Gooners across the globe. Are Mertesacker’s comments a hint that the players aren’t expecting much?
While Manchester United and Liverpool have been the clubs grabbing headlines with transfers this summer, Arsene Wenger would like to remind you that:
A) There’s plenty of time left in the window.
B) Arsenal has a lot of money.
C) They did sign Granit Xhaka for big dollars.
[ RUMOR ROUNDUP: Mahrez to Arsenal ]
The Premier League’s longest-tenured manager opened up about the Gunners’ plans to keep looking for the right targets, and said the club is still “very active” and working with a month-and-a-half to go in the window.
“We are very active and if we find the right candidates, we will spend the big money. We have already spent big and, until now, nobody has made a bigger transfer than we have in the country.
He was also asked about Mauro Icardi, Arda Turan, and Alexandre Lacazette:
“I wouldn’t like to come out on names because if you don’t get them afterwards, people ask why. We are active, very active every day and it’s not over. Today we are on July 22 and the transfer market finishes on August 31. You know that a lot happens in the last week, so it’s a long time to go, but we are active and we are working.”
Arsenal could use a star striker, or at least depth behind Olivier Giroud, and have added young English back Rob Holding to go with scooping up Xhaka.
Do you think Wenger will dig into the bank again this summer for a big signing? If so, who?
The transfer mill has been churning out big names moves a-plenty this week as teams gear up for their seasons.
Rumors are coming fast and furious still, and Saturday is no exception.
[ MORE: Kolo to Celtic ]
Iceland’s run to the EURO quarterfinals may’ve opened a lot of eyes, but many already knew about Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Swansea man left for and returned from Spurs, but now could be on the move again.
The Express says Everton are willing to spend close to $33 million to lure Sigurdsson to Goodison Park. How wild have transfer fees gone in recent years? Brexit deflation aside, Sigurdsson’s moves to Swansea and Spurs cost between $9-12 million.
Eurosport reports that Arsenal is ready to go big in pursuit of Leicester City maestro Riyad Mahrez.
The Algerian international is said to have been “seduced” by the Gunners and wants to make a move to North London. The fee would be approximately $55 million, and take another instrumental part of the Foxes’ PL title run from the East Midlands.
The Sun claims that four omissions from Tottenham’s recent travel list mean all are destined to be sold by Mauricio Pochettino. Clinton N'Jie, Alex Pritchard, Nabil Bentaleb and Federico Fazio are ready for your club’s bid.
Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Mircea Lucescu told Calciomercato that there are three offers in for Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, one in the Premier League and two in Serie A. Witsel has been linked with Everton, Liverpool and Roma this summer.
Arsenal have picked up English U-21 defender Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers.
The 20-year-old center back can also play fullback, and Holding was named Bolton Player of the Year last season after breaking through to the senior squad.
[ MORE: Schurrle moves to Dortmund ]
Bolton was relegated to League One last season, further opening up many of their players to the market.
Rob is a versatile player, comfortable at both centre back and full back, and we look forward to him joining up with the squad. His transfer is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.
We remain in the market, so stay close to Arsenal.com for any further transfer news.
Is this an instant loan move, or will Holding have a chance to impress Arsene Wenger in the First Team?
It’s simply a formality, but following the retirement of former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, manager Arsene Wenger has promoted vice-captain Per Mertesacker to captain, according to Goal.com on Monday.
Arteta was out most of last season with various injuries, and the German defender captained the side in his stead for most of the campaign, and is therefore the obvious choice. Fellow center-back partner Laurent Koscielny took the armband for a few matches as well, and will be named vice-captain.
However, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion given the leadership experience of many in the squad. Koscielny himself had a shout. Goalkeeper Petr Cech will act as reserve captain, and Theo Walcott will line up as fourth in the pecking order.
It could be seen as a forerunner to a new deal, as the German is out of contract after next season, however at 31 years old, it’s also possible that this is his final season at the Emirates, with Wenger known for being incredibly selective about handing out contracts to those over 30.
Mertesacker has been at Arsenal since moving from Werder Bremen on deadline day in 2011, making 207 appearances for the Gunners, including 149 in the Premier League and another 33 in the Champions League. He has been a fixture in the German national team as well, making his debut in 2004 under Jurgen Klinsmann and holding 104 caps for his country.