We take a look at some of the key stories doing the rounds regarding Premier League side Arsenal FC.
Allardyce Monitoring Kieran Gibbs
According to a report in The Sun, newly appointed Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce is looking for a left-back and is reportedly keeping tabs on the 27-year-old defender’s contract situation at Arsenal. He was a target for the Eagles even during Alan Pardew’s time in charge at the club.
Gibbs has 18 months left on his current Arsenal contract and there have been no signs or talks of a contract extension being offered to the England International to prolong his 12 year stay with the club. Arsene Wenger may decide to cash in on the fullback in January.
Gibbs has fallen behind Nacho Monreal in the pecking order and has Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Mustafi and Koscielny to compete with for other positions in defence. He has made only 13 appearances in all competitions, 5 of which have come in the Premier League.
He has started only 2 of those games and the prospect of moving to another London based club, where he would be assured first team action, should appeal to Gibbs, who will also want to make his case with England manager Gareth Southgate for a national team call up.
Koscielny Hails Olivier Giroud
Speaking to Arsenal.com about their narrow Boxing day victory against West Brom, Laurent Koscielny hailed his compatriot for scoring the winning goal and his overall performance, despite having spent most of the season on the sidelines.
The Frenchman has fallen behind Alexis Sanchez in the pecking order this season, whilst also having to deal with toe and thigh problems. Injuries to Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain forced Wenger to give Giroud his first start of the season and the player duly repaid his faith.
“He stayed focused with the team. We are not 11 or 18 players, we are 25 players,” he said. The 31-year-old went on to say that all the players had an important part to play during the season due to injuries and suspensions and that they had to be ready to fight for the club.
West Brom held the Gunners off for 85 minutes and looked set to leave with a point, before Giroud’s header gave Arsenal the victory. “Today, Oli started and he tried to give his best on the pitch. He fought and it’s good for him to score the winning goal.”
AC Milan & Roma Reignite Wilshere Interest
According to a report by Calciomercato, AS Roma and AC Milan have both reignited their interest in the England international. The 24-year-old was linked with a move to AS Roma in the summer transfer window, before he opted to move to AFC Bournemouth on loan.
AC Milan were also rumoured to be interested in the summer and in November, it was reported that they were planning a summer swoop for the midfielder as Vincenzo Montella looks to build a team for the future with the best young talent in Europe.
However, Arsenal are yet to open talks over a new contract with the 24-year-old, despite Arsene Wenger stating last month that he wants to offer him one. His current contract runs until 2018 and next year, the Gunners might be forced to sell him for a much smaller fee than they’d like.
However, Wenger is well aware of Wilshere’s undoubted talent and ability, and it is likely that the Gunners will get to Wilshere once Arsenal secure the extensions of players like Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin.
Wilshere has been enjoying life on loan at Dean Court, where he has established himself as a key player in Eddie Howe’s squad. He has made 14 appearances this term for them and despite not scoring or assisting a goal, he has been an integral part of their midfield. The Cherries will hope that he can stay injury-free for the rest of the campaign as they look to secure top flight status for the second consecutive season.