England international Danny Welbeck has claimed that he is extremely thrilled with the move to Arsenal. After long speculation about the next top striker to come to the Emirates stadium, Arsenal managed to get Welbeck in £ 16 million deal from Manchester United on transfer deadline day. Louis van Gaal reportedly revealed to Welbeck a few days before the end of the transfer window that he no longer figured in the plans at United. The 23-year-old is a massive United fan after having been at the club since made of eight.
He has come through various levels of United to become a first-team player, but since then, progress has been difficult. The presence of players like Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie meant that Welbeck often found himself on the bench or playing out of position. His explosive pace meant that managers often used him out wide and it has been one of the reasons for this poor goal return. However, it is seen as a coup for Wenger given that Welbeck will be able to offer several years of football and his transfer fee is relatively low at just £ 16 million.
Welbeck’s future at United would have been much worse had he stayed at the club. The club brought in Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan deal, which is expected to be made permanent for £ 43.5 million.
“It’s exciting times for me. It’s great to be a part of this club and it’s a team that I’ve always watched in the Premier League. I’ve envisaged myself playing in this team before. For it to finally happen is very exciting. I believe the style of play the manager’s got and the boys play, and with the magnificent players in midfield slotting balls through, I can run on to the end of those balls and slot them away,” said Welbeck.
Alexis Sanchez has been Arsenal’s big buy of the summer after coming from Barcelona for £ 35 million. The Chilean international had an extremely good World Cup 2014, as he helped his nation reaching the last 16 of the competition. He may not have won any major trophy with Barcelona last season, but his influence on the club had been growing. The arrival of Luis Suarez, though, meant less first-team opportunities for him at the Camp Nou. This is expected to significantly improve at Arsenal where Sanchez will be one of the main players.
After making an appearance in the recent pre-season match against Monaco, Sanchez claimed that he is extremely happy with the style of football being employed at Arsenal. He is already feeling at home and should start the season in good fashion. Arsenal’s last marquee signing, Mesut Ozil, also had an extremely good start to the season, but he faded away in the second half. Sanchez has not focused on the upcoming season yet since he is giving his full concentration towards fitness levels. After several weeks on the beach, Sanchez says that he is working hard to be fit in time for the new season.
Arsenal lost the pre-season match against Monaco after a goal from Real Madrid target Radamel Falcao.
“I like this style of football. What is important now is to play and get fit. I need to get 100 per cent. I have to go step by step. I have only trained twice with the team. I just have to keep working hard and training. What is important for me is to try and play games, to score as many goals as possible and to win titles. Of course I loved it (the reception from the Emirates crowd), I am extremely thankful to all of them,” said Sanchez.
France international Olivier Giroud has stated that he is enjoying his football right now after managing to open his account for the French national team at a World Cup. Previously, he has now scored in a major tournament. Coming on the back of a successful season with Arsenal, confidence is running high within the 27-year-old. Even though he is regarded as the backup for Karim Benzema at international level, Giroud managed to get his World Cup account going after scoring against Switzerland in the 5-2 win for Didier Deschamps’ men.
France started the World Cup in excellent fashion and they have continued their form against Switzerland as well. The margin of victory could have been immense had it not been for the late goals conceded by the French. Giroud scored 16 league goals last campaign and was a major reason towards Arsenal challenging for the league title in the first half of the campaign. Similarly, he was a major reason for Arsenal slipping down the second half because he was visibly tired after having shouldered the entire striker department on his shoulders.
Arsenal are expected to ease his burden by bringing in a new striker like Mario Balotelli, who has been linked with the Premier league outfit in the last few weeks. The Italian international could cost just over £ 25 million from AC Milan. “I’m very proud to have scored France’s 100th goal in a World Cup. At the start of La Marseillaise (France’s national anthem) I nearly collapsed. The emotion was too strong. It was like a childhood dream. We need this to never stop. We are happy, we took great pleasure from the game against Switzerland. I felt the group was very committed. We are a good team,” said the striker.
Benzema has scored three goals for France at the World Cup 2014.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has claimed that the club will not be scared of spending money in the summer. However, this statement does not mean that they will be paying inflated transfer fees to their targets. After winning the FA Cup last season, Arsenal will be looking to push on and win more trophies in the future. This group of players has a right mixture of young and old names. Gazidis says that it is essential that Arsenal do not rest on their laurels and target more trophies.
In the last 10 years, Arsenal have been very reluctant to spend money transfer targets. This has led to them losing out on a number of important players. Last summer, they broke the transfer record by spending £ 42 million on Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil. The German international had a good first season in the club and it is thought to have shown Arsene Wenger that the club can certainly benefit with such signings. Gazidis has also expressed his happiness at the club being able to secure Champions League qualification for the upcoming campaign.
They were involved in a fight with Everton over the last few weeks, but the five consecutive victories helped them achieve a top four finish.
“Transfers are obviously important and we are deep in conversations already. I am confident we will add what we need this summer. The manager is not scared to spend, has the experience, but as always will have to juggle a set budget. We are all really pleased with securing Champions League qualification again. Last season was a great experience for players to win the FA Cup and now we want more,” said the Arsenal chief executive. Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Mario Balotelli and Alvaro Morata in the last few weeks.
Ahead of the FA Cup final 2014, Hull city manager Steve Bruce has stated that 11 players will be absolutely elated on the day, while. Having been part of FA Cup finals himself, Bruce is well aware of the mentality of the players who will be selected and those who will not be selected for the starting line-up. Bruce won the FA Cup while playing for Manchester United. He now has the opportunity to repeat the feat and join an elite group of people to have achieved this.
Hull city have a major hurdle to clear in the form of Arsenal, who will be more determined than ever to end the trophy drought. After not winning a major trophy for the last nine years, pressure is high Arsenal, but they also have the top-level experience required to perform in such big matches. Bruce is aware that his team will be going into the match as the underdogs. But he does not want to stop that from his players putting in a great performance. Hull come into the match on the back of the very poor run of form, which has seen them almost switch off since qualifying for the final after beating Sheffield United.
Bruce is aware that they need to become focused once again and very quickly.
“If you name your team well advance, you are going to disappoint 11 players for the entire week. If I do that, I’ll have 11 players ecstatic and 11 absolutely destroyed. Sir Alex would always leave it late for big games, and that was his way of keeping everyone on an even keel until shortly before kick-off. Mind you, it took me 20 years to get over it (snub in 1996). It’s something I’m not looking forward to,” said the former Manchester United defender.