Gunners Handed a Defensive Boost Ahead of Emirates Cup Ties

By on July 31, 2017

The summer transfer window is an integral part of the season for any club at any level and a successful window doesn’t necessarily equate to a boatload of new signings. For some teams, simply retaining the services of their best players and fending off interest from elsewhere is seen as a victory in itself. With the future of Alexis Sanchez still in limbo and Arsenal desperate to keep the Chilean international on their books, the club were handed a welcome boost yesterday after club stalwart Laurent Koscielny committed his future to the Gunners amid interest from Marseille.

It's derby day ? @arsenal

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Whilst the central defender is arguably entering the twilight years of his career at the age of 31, he still remains one of the best defenders in the Premier League and with Per Mertesacker retiring at the end of the season, the last thing the Gunners need is to be trawling Europe to replace the French international. It’s no secret that Koscielny supported Marseille in his younger days but after penning a new long-term deal in January, the defender assured the fans that he remains loyal to both the club and the manager, Arsene Wenger. The news will come as a welcome boost to Arsenal ahead of the start of the upcoming Emirates Cup, which starts on July 29th and also features Sevilla, RB Leipzig and Benfica.

Whilst the tournament is more or less considered a friendly warm-up event, the games will give a good indicator of where the Gunners are at the moment and the chance to win a bit of silverware is not to be scoffed at, especially against what looks like decent opposition on paper. The games also represent a good chance to blood a few of the younger players through, with first team member Ainsley Maitland-Niles and 17-year-old academy product Reiss Nelson showing glimpses of why they are both considered to have big futures at the Emirates. Despite the tournament holding little significance with most fans, lifting The Emirates Cup will put the club in good stead to face Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday 6th August and at 5/2 with most firms, Arsenal have to be considered good value to beat The Blues, especially with a £20 risk free bet from the bookies offers available.

alexis sanchez arsenal

Arsene Wenger looks set to stick with a defensive back three for the tournament and indeed for the first game of the season when the Gunners host 2015/2016 Premier League champions Leicester City. The Arsenal manager has started all four pre-season games with this formation and this looks a sensible option considering how much tighter the team looked following the switch towards the end of the last campaign. With the situation surrounding Sanchez looking set to drag on until the end of the season, Arsenal fans will be hoping and praying to keep hold of the forward or at the very least sign an adequate replacement if the Chilean does indeed leave. With the Gunners reportedly agreeing on a £45m deal for Monaco ace Thomas Lemar, Sanchez may be persuaded to stay at The Emirates for the last season on his contract owing to the ambition being shown by the club in the transfer window but only time will tell whether this will be the case.