News and gossip from The Emirates
Arsenal’s NextGen side have fell at the semi-final stage of the competition after losing a thrilling encounter against Chelsea in Como. On a bumpy pitch Arsenal took the lead when Chuba Akpom turned in Hector Bellerin’s cross. The second half started badly for the Young Gunners as they conceded three goals in quick concession. Islam Feruz scored from a penalty save rebound, Lewis Baker’s speculative effort crawled under Dejan Aliyev and Jeremie Boga steered home an Alex Kiwomya cross to give Chelsea the lead.
Goals from Akpom and Serge Gnabry in the last five minutes saw Arsenal take the game into extra time but a second goal from Baker saw Chelsea claim the win and a place in the final.
Arsenal’s senior side must be on top form to get the once over on a Reading side managed by Nigel Adkins for the first time. Injury news sees Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere both out with hip and ankle problems respectively. Abou Diaby has suffered yet another serious injury this time a torn cruciate ligament injury and is out for nine months.
Kieran Gibbs faces a late test due to a viral infection while Lukas Podolski and Bacary Sagna should recover from their respective injuries to feature.
It seems Arsenal may face a serious rival in their pursuit of Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes this summer. The Spanish international is expected to leave Barca this summer after admitting he wanted to try a new challenge before the end of his career. Now it seems that big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala will join the race for the player this summer and would be able to out-price any of their rivals for the player.
Arsenal have been linked with a different goalkeeper in the form of Galatasaray stopper Fernando Muslera. It is believed Arsene Wenger may use the Turkish outfits interest in striker Gervinho as a means to start the negotiations regarding the Uruguayan number one keeper.
However Arsene Wenger has stated that current goalkeeping option Wojciech Szczesny’s dip in form is normal. He cited the examples of David Seaman and Jens Lehmann as other former Arsenal keepers who have suffered with drops in form throughout their career.
Finally and Arsenal club captain Thomas Vermaelen has insisted that he will give his utmost to regain his place in the Arsenal first team. The Belgian international was dropped after a string of indifferent performances but insists he is capable of winning his place back in the starting XI.
What are your thoughts on everything Arsenal ahead of the weekend match with Reading?
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