Saturday, 23 July 2016

Arsenal Draw With Lens And Transfer Latest

Pre season got underway last night when Arsenal drew 1-1 away to Lens. As usual there's not an awful lot to be learned from these games and they're not much more than an exercise in fitness. With Lens so much further into their preparations than Arsenal it was never going to be a spectacle for Arsenal fans.

With so many players unavailable after playing for their countries in various summer tournaments it was a bit of a makeshift team. As usual at this time of year it was a mixture of youth and those who didn't play during the summer. As the season draws closer the strength of the team will improve and hopefully they will arrive at the opening game in tip top condition.

The only Arsenal goal was a deft finish from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain late on which secured the draw and he's a player who really needs to impress before the season starts. At the other end a poor header from Calum Chambers led to the Lens goal and again he's a player who needs to impress before the season starts. The next two games are on the far side of the States and there's a lot of travel to do before the season starts.

Before the game even started we learned that Arsenal had signed young central defender Rob Holding from Bolton. He looks like yet another one for the future and I'd be surprised to see him make an impression in the first team this season. The real transfer work needs to be done in the first team and it needs to be done quickly too.

Arsene Wenger spoke after the game about Arsenal being prepared to spend big if the right players are available and they have already spent big with the arrival of Granit Xhaka. He brings some much needed strength to the midfield and there are still up to three other positions which need addressing. For me a striker is the player needed most of all followed by a wide attacking player and a central defender.

While the rumours about strikers continue by the day it still looks like nothing concrete is in the offing just yet. It has emerged today that Arsenal might just be very close to signing Riyad Mahrez though and he's certainly a player who would fill that wide attacking role better than most. He had an exceptional season for Leicester and he will cost a pretty penny I'm sure if he is to come our way.

As always these rumours have to be taken with a grain of salt, but I would be more than happy to see Mahrez come to Arsenal. His goals and assists last season were a huge factor in Leicester winning the Premier League and we need more goals and assists from the wide positions in the team. He might well be on his way to Arsenal or somewhere else or he might just be angling for the best deal possible from Leicester. One thing is for sure and that is we can't count any chickens or welcome any players until we get official confirmation from the club and that's something which rarely comes quickly.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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