Arsenal latest: Cole 'surprise', Real Madrid raid and Podolski returns

Ashley Cole

All the latest news and gossip from the past 48 hours at The Emirates.

Arsenal take on Chelsea tomorrow, so here is some team news to start.

The Gunners are of course without Jack Wilshere, who starts a two game suspension for an offensive gesture aimed at Manchester City fans last week.

Laurent Koscielny is a massive doubt, and looks like he will miss the game with a severe gash to the knee.

However Lukas Podolski has returned after three months out injured with a severe hamstring injury.

Wenger is surprised that Ashley Cole will not play for Chelsea in the fixture. Wenger, who managed the left-back during his time in North London, said on the recent omission from the first-team for the player:

“Yes, it is a surprise to me that Ashley has been left out by Chelsea. I still see Ashley sometimes in the big games, he can produce great performances still.”

Arsenal are said to be eyeing up a double raid on Real Madrid in winter. It is reported that Wenger is looking to bring in Iker Casillas and Alvaro Morata. Casillas will replace the in-form Wojciech Szczesny, who will drop to the bench. Morata would supply vital support in the striking department.

We will let you decide how likely one half of this rumour is - considering Szczesny just signed a bumper contract.

Thierry Henry believes Arsenal can break their wait for silverware this season. The club legend stated:

"I think Arsene himself understood that. When you don't have something to show at the end of the season it is difficult to talk and to stop all of the critics. But this year he is showing everybody that Arsenal can compete again."

He also stated his desire to return to Arsenal in some capacity in the future:

"I would love to be around the game and - I've said it so many times - hopefully around Arsenal. What am I going to do? I don't know if it's going to be coaching. I really don't know yet. I'm trying to finish my career, which is something I have to concentrate on.”

Demba Ba is seemingly distancing himself from any potential move to Arsenal. The Senegalese striker, who is down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, was linked with a move to The Emirates in January:

“People talk a lot about me joining Arsenal. But there has never been an approach from them.”

Jose Mourinho believes Mesut Ozil is the final piece of the Arsenal puzzle. The Chelsea boss, who managed the German at Real Madrid, stated:

"Mesut is a phenomenal player, one of these players that you buy to complete the puzzle of your team."

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