According to 3 major papers this morning, Arsene Wenger will probably stay on as Arsenal manager although he risks losing a number of stars.
In the first Mail piece, entitled ‘STARS LEFT STUNNED,’ both Sam Mokbel and Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail sports editor (and West Ham fan), seem to compile pieces of ‘news’ that have been around over recent weeks. Quite why the Mail needed two writers to put together a list of stories to pass it off as new ‘news’ is beyond me, but it something that both the Guardian and the Telegraph have also done this morning with similar stories.
The second Mail EXCLUSIVE piece claims that Mesut Ozil, despite being offered over £200k per week is stalling, Alexis is being, well, Alexis, and the Ox wants out. This story is quite similar to one appearing in the Guardian (written by two journalists) and the Telegraph (written by three journalists), hinting at some sort of consolidated leaking. The Guardian also include elements of the Mail’s STARS LEFT STUNNED piece, as do the Telegraph in a second piece.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, they all claim, is ‘seriously considering his future’ and Lucas Perez (Mail) is unhappy. Jack Wilshere is out of contract next summer so he’s in all three too.
In regards to the Ox, he did say he would make a decision about his future at the end of the season – if he wasn’t playing regularly. He’s played in 22 Premier League games this season, starting 13, with 19 starts across 35 appearances in all competitions. Last season he made 33 appearances in total, 17 of which were starts. He is also being played more centrally, something he is known to prefer.
In October, he said he would evaluate his future depending on the amount of game time he was getting. The Guardian, however, are reporting that he is unhappy with his ‘revolving role.’ They also mention Kieran Gibbs, who is out of contract in 2018 as well and has yet to be offered a new contract. The Telegraph claim that the Ox ‘looks certain’ to leave the club in the summer as he ‘seeks a fresh challenge’. The Daily Star also carry the Ox story but they got it from the Mail.
As for Lucas? He has already denied that he’s looking to leave the club. The Guardian and Telegraph don’t mention him at all.
Mokbel also picks up on the recent rumours about David Ospina (no mention in the Guardian). These are no surprise. He’s better than a number two, although not good enough to be an Arsenal number one. He also had to be talked in to staying at the club last summer. The Telegraph echo these rumours, adding in Petr Cech as well.
From the players listed here, Alexis seems the only ‘certainty’. Ospina could well leave too, but as for the others? Don’t count on it.
Do, however, be aware that something else is in play here with three very different publications all running very similar stories.
This all stinks of agent games.