Arsenal’s defensive worries have been dealt another blow with the news that Laurent Koscielny will be absent until the new year. The 25-year-old clashed heads with fellow defender Sebastien Squillaci and was stretchered off the pitch during the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Fulham on Saturday.
With Thomas Vermaelen still absent due to his Achilles injury, league leaders Arsenal have found their defense depleted. According to Sky Sports, manager Arsene Wenger said: “The medical team inform me he [Koscielny] has picked up concussion and could be out for three weeks.”
The absences mean that Squillaci will form a makeshift partnership with Johan Djourou throughout the busy festive period.
Nasri new contract.
In happier news, however, the Premier League leaders are preparing to reward Samir Nasri’s superb form with a lucrative five-year contract. The Frenchman has been a staple of the Gunners’ first team since returning from an early season injury, and his brace on Saturday helped Arsenal leapfrog Chelsea into top spot.
His 11 goals thus far this season mean he is already enjoying his most productive season in front of goal since joining from Marseille in 2008 for £15.8m, and it is this form which looks likely to propel him alongside the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin as one of the side’s top earners, according to The Telegraph.
Gunners in for Wickham.
Arsenal are alongside Spurs in the chase for young sensation Connor Wickham. The 17-year-old is considered one of the hottest young prospects in English football, and Ipswich manager Roy Keane faces a certain struggle to keep his young prodigy with the January transfer window fast approaching, according to Goal.com.
Liverpool had also been in the hunt, and are thought to have made an offer worth around £10m for his services. However, he has told Ipswich he would prefer a move to north London, and with both Arsenal and Spurs interested in bringing him in a bidding war looks likely to ensue.
While Arsenal are yet to make a formal approach, Spurs appear to hold the upper hand in early negotiations, having made an offer of around £5.5m plus Andros Townsend and Jake Livermore, who are currently impressing on loan at Portman Road. Should Spurs include Giovanni dos Santos in the deal, they are thought to be Wickham’s most likely destination at least until Arsenal make their interest concrete.