The Hard Tackle brings to you an assimilation of all the news involving the Premier League club Arsenal today.
Arsenal have had a mixed bag of fortunes in 2017, with a tough draw away at Bournemouth sandwiched between two wins. Ahead of a seemingly easy trip to relegation battling Swansea City this weekend, the Hard Tackle brings to you a roundup of everything happening in and around the Emirates Stadium.
Let’s start right at the back, and the ever dependable Petr Cech has let out the secret to his strong form this season. The Czech goalkeeper has reckoned that his decision to stop playing for his national side is the reason behind his strong form between the sticks for the Gunners.
Cech announced his international retirement last year in July following Czech Republic’s elimination from the Euro 2016, bringing an end to a successful 14-year international career. And Cech believes that the decision has reaped benefits.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Cech said, “You have time to do things that when you travel with the national team you can’t do. It means you can do extra sessions, you can combine the things that during the season when you have a lot of games and might not have a chance to do. It’s a new situation for me but so far it has been very positive.”
Cech won the Golden Glove in the Premier League in his first season for Arsenal in 2015/16, and he has backed that up by keeping six clean sheets in 20 appearances in this campaign as he continues to remain influential for the Gunners.
From the positives of Cech to some more positives for the club and Arsenal have announced three contract extensions today. The French trio of Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin have signed long-term contracts with the club to stay at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal made the announcement by releasing a video on their official social media account, showing Giroud, Koscielny and Coquelin signing their new deals with the club, with manager Arsene Wenger also present during the event.
With the trio committing their long-term futures to the club, part of the club’s spine has been secured. Delightful news indeed, and it looks like the club could be primed to welcome some new signings over the next two windows.
🇫🇷 ✍️ ✍️ ✍️
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 12, 2017
A PSG star is on Arsenal’s radar, and if reports are to be believed the North London outfit has already held talks with Le Parisiens over a move for Lucas Moura, with the Brazil international identified as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez should the star forward move away from the Emirates Stadium.
Moura has impressed ever since his £38 million move to the French capital in 2013, and with Sanchez currently involved in an infamous contract standoff with Arsenal, the 25-year-old could well be on the move from Parc des Princes to the Emirates Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Gunners, along with their fierce North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, are reportedly set to go head-to-head in pursuit of Freiburg forward Maximilian Philipp, and the two Premier League biggies also face competition from Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen.
The 22-year-old is one of the most highly rated forwards in Europe today, and the Berlin-born youngster has made quite an impact since coming up through the ranks at Hertha Berlin before moving to his current side Freiburg.
He has been in fine form for his club this season, scoring five times and assisting a goal in 13 league games, and that has sparked interest from clubs in his country as well as England. It will be interesting to see if Arsenal do manage to land the forward anytime soon.
From possible incomings to departures – albeit temporary – to end today’s roundup, and Jon Toral has joined Scottish giants Rangers on loan until the end of the season.
— Rangers FC (@RangersFC) January 12, 2017
Toral has been on the move ever since his move to the Emirates Stadium from Barcelona in 2014, and is yet to make a first team appearance for the Gunners. And, the move to Rangers is the Spaniard’s second loan spell this season after spending the first half of the campaign at La Liga strugglers Granada.
The Scottish Premier League club said in the statement, “Rangers are delighted to welcome Jon Toral on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season subject to international clearance.” The 21-year-old will now be hoping to get some minutes under his belt as he aspires to establish himself at Arsenal.
And finally, Toral might not be the only player moving away from the Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window, with Crystal Palace reportedly interested in signing Carl Jenkinson on a permanent deal in the winter window.
ESPN have reported that Sam Allardyce wants to reunite with Jenkinson at Selhurst Park, having previously managed the 24-year-old at West Ham United. And, while there are several clubs seeking the right-back for a loan move, Palace want a permanent deal.
On to Arsenal to decide whether they want the youngster moving permanently to their fellow London club or on a temporary move to some other club.