So last night the Gunners announced their first marquee signing of the summer, ahead of the unveiling of their quite stunning new kits for the season ahead. Alexis Sanchez joins them on a 5 year deal from Spanish Giants Barcelona for a fee believed to be in the region of £35 million. This signing is a clear statement of where Arsene Wenger sees the Gunners finishing this season. They’ve now covered probably the one key area that they were lacking last season – A pacey natural forward. Yes Walcott is pacey and is played as a forward, but his regular absences through injury means Arsenal could not bank on him this season. They certainly missed him last season though. And I do believe this one signing alone has put them right in the frame for the EPL title. And even better news for the Gunners fans is that more are on their way. Sanchez joins on the back of his most prolific season in a Barcelona shirt which saw him score 19 goals in the league alone, including a further 2 in cup competitions. Not only was his goal scoring record impressive, he almost managed to lay on 15 assists for his team mates in all competitions last season. A total of 39 league goals in 3 years at Barca including 8 in other competitions. He bagged himself a host of silverware whilst at the Catalan giants, including – a La Liga title, 1 Copa del Rey winners medal, 2 Supercopa de España winners medals, 1 Uefa Super Cup winners medal and finally a World Club Cup winners medal back in 2011. Arsenal fans will be hoping his presence in London will bring with it a host of silverware, following on from their success in last season’s FA Cup – their first piece of silverware in 9 years. In his first interview as an Arsenal player he had this to say:
“I’m so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London. I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to be playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League. I will give my best to Arsenal and want to make all the supporters happy.”
Also on the brink of completing his transfer to north London is Newcastle full back Mathieu Debuchy. It’s being reported that the deal is as good as done for the French born defender, and that the Gunners will most likely announce the signing early next week. More rumours surrounding the Gunners sees them linked with QPR striker Loic Remy. The Independent are reporting that they are closing in on a deal to confirm his switch, and one can assume there will be more news on this transfer early next week. Finally, are Arsenal also close to signing Sami Khedira – According to the Express, they are. Reports are that they are keen on the German midfielder and a bid may already have been lodged. Sources in Spain believe Arsenal would be Khedira’s first choice move should they wish to make a move on him. The player’s wages may yet end up being a stumbling block though, as he is rumoured to be earning around £150 thousand a week at Madrid.