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With eight long years since Arsenal last won a trophy, can Arsène Wenger bring the glory days back to North London? Can Mesut Özil inspire the Gunners to their first Premier League trophy in a decade? Will Abou Diaby ever walk again?

Discussion
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Arsène Wenger: Arsenal are in a position to compete again
• £42.5m signing of Mesut Özil 'can inspire others to win trophies'
• Transfer spending could continue with a striker and defender still needed


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David Hytner
Follow @DaveHytner Follow @guardian
The Guardian
, Thursday 4 July 2013 10.24 GMT


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Arsène Wenger has claimed that his Arsenal side are capable of competing for major honours again this season and are fully focused on ending their eight-year drought without a trophy.

Wenger, who last tasted with success with the 2005 FA Cup, believes that the £42.5m acquisition of Mesut Özil from Real Madrid has sent a real statement of intent to the club's Premier League rivals and can inspire his side to silverware this season. The Gunners' boss has also spoken of how the German international's arrival has created "a real buzz around the club" and how he expects the players already at the club to raise their game when playing alongside him.

"Of course everybody is excited when such a talented player joins the team and I would expect them all to try and improve to match him" said the Frenchman. "A player of Özil's class can inspire a side to win trophies and we feel that with the quality we have in the squad we will be able to win trophies and league titles again".

"It has been difficult to go so long without winning anything but we have always been competitive - this season we are confident we can go a step further".

Wenger also spoke of how Özil's signing did not signal the end of the transfer activity this summer.

"We have spent some significant money so far but we are still on the lookout for further talent. We are perhaps a bit light up front and in defense so we will continue to consider other targets and we will see what happens".

Arsenal's pre-season kicks off this Wednesday with an away trip to Kilmarnock before embarking on a three-match tour of Hungary. The North London club will also be jetting off to South Africa this summer to play Kaizer Chiefs on 27th July as well as facing Portuguese outfit Braga and Spanish side Athletic. Their Premier League campaign kicks off against newly promoted Cardiff City on 17th August.
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Arsenal to open contract talks with Sagna
• Frenchman's current seal only has one year remaining
• Club prepared to offer significant increase on £40k weekly wage


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Jamie Jackson
The Guardian
, Sunday 7 July 2013 09.13 GMT


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Arsenal have opened contract talks with the representatives of their 30-year-old right-back Bacary Sagna in an attempt to keep him at the club beyond the expiry of his current deal, which ends next summer.

The club have had to see a number of their first-team players leave in recent seasons and they are keen to ensure that the Frenchman does not follow the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie out of the club.

However, whilst it seems that Sagna is not particularly keen to move away from the Emirates Stadium, it is understood that he is keen to receive a vast increase on his current £40k p/w wage whilst also demanding a four-deal from the club. Arsenal, who have long shied away from offering players over 30 long-term contracts, are unlikely to want to commit to a contract that would see Sagna stay until 2017.

There has been speculation that the likes of PSG, Monaco and Marseille are observing the situation closely and may even test the Gunners' resolve with a bid for the 30-year-old's services this window should talks prove unsuccessful.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has consistently expressed his confidence that Sagna would remain an Arsenal player beyond this summer and that the man he bought from Auxerre in 2007 could finish his career at the club. However, he has also admitted that for many French players the allure of cash-rich PSG and Monaco makes it more difficult to hold on to his fellow countryment. Laurent Koscielny, Sagna's teammate and defensive partner, is also supposedly on the radar of both clubs.
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Arsenal prepare audacious bid for Julian Draxler
• 19-year-old winger open to a move to the Premier League
• Arsenal may have to match £38m release clause to convince Schalke to sell


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Daniel Taylor
The Guardian
, Monday 8 July 2013 18.43 GMT


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Arsenal are lining up a sensational attempt to prize Julian Draxler away from Schalke with a supposed bid worth in excess of £30m currently being brokered between representatives of both clubs.

Any potential deal would likely take Arsenal's spending this summer to over £70m after Draxler's German counterpart Mesut Özil swapped Madrid for North London in a £42.5m deal earlier in the window.

Draxler, who is still only 19, is reportedly keen on making the move and is excited at the prospect of playing in the Premier League under the tutelage of Arsène Wenger.

Despite his age, Draxler has already amassed over 100 appearances for Schalke having made his debut in 2011 as the fourth-youngest player to ever feature in the Bundesliga. His reputation has continued to grow since and he established himself as one of the best young talents in Europe with some eye-catching displays last season whilst on his way to scoring 10 goals in only 30 league matches.

Wenger has long been an admirer of Draxler and has shown in recent seasons that he is a fan of German talent with Özil's capture this summer coming after his international teammates Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker joined Arsenal in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
Great start here. Good Luck!
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Álvaro Morata joins Arsenal in £14.7m deal
• Spainard follows Mesut Özil in swapping Madrid for North London
• Wenger believes the 20-year-old can have 'immediate impact' in the Premier League


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Jamie Jackson
Follow @JamieJackson___ Follow @guardian_sport
The Guardian
, Wednesday 10 July 2013 15.32 GMT


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Arsenal have completed their fourth permanent signing of the summer with young striker Álvaro Morata agreeing to join from Real Madrid on a long-term contract.

Morata, who is still only 20, has become the second player to swap the Bernabéu to the Emirates this summer after the Spanish giants sold Mesut Özil to Arsenal earlier in the window. The Spainard had spent five years in Madrd's youth set-up before getting some experience in the first-team last season.

Arsene Wenger, speaking at a press-conference this afternoon, expressed his delight at completing a deal for Morata and expressed no worries over his ability to perform in England at his age.

"Yes, he is young, but for me he already has the qualities to compete successfully in the Premier League" said the Frenchman. "He is not a small boy, he is very strong, and I believe he will have no problem scoring and playing well in this country".

"For some players it can take some time to adapt to the Premier League in terms of the intensity and pace of most matches but I have no fear that he will not be able to do so. He is a top talent and we are all happy to have him here".

Morata will join fellow Spaniards Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal at Arsenal and Wenger believes having fellow countrymen around him will help him settle.

"Moving from one country to another can be daunting, especially at 20, but having players who are from your country and your culture alongside you can make a big difference. I know that Mikel has already seen him at London Colney this morning and Mesut knows him from his time at Madrid too".

Arsenal play Kilmarnock in the first fixture of their pre-season schedule tonight but it is unlikely that Morata will feature. He is, however, expected to travel with the club on their tour of Hungary next week.
Good Luck With This Sam
Started with Arsenal myself just yesterday, sold Diaby, Giroud, Bendtner, Arteta, Rosicky and Fabianski whilst bringing in Ryan Gauld and Diego Costa. Give it 15 games and i'll be sacked so i hope you do better than me.
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René Meulensteen joins Arsenal as coach
• Dutchman left Manchester United after David Moyes was appointed
• Mark Chamberlain and Massimo Neri also join coaching set-up


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Daniel Taylor
The Guardian
, Monday 15 July 2013 11.12 GMT


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Arsène Wenger has stoked the fire of the Arsenal-Manchester United rivarly by appointing René Meulensteen, one of Sir Alex Ferguson's most loyal followers, as a first-team coach at Arsenal going into the new season.

Meulensteen, who worked as a youth coach at Old Trafford between 2001-2006 and with the first team between 2007 and 2013, left the club last month after he was offered a reduced role in David Moyes' new coaching set-up. His departure was met with disdain by United fans and his decision to join one of their closest rivals certainly hasn't softened opinions.

Wenger has rarely altered his coaching set-up in the past few years but whilst speaking to Arsenal.com, the Frenchman described the opportunity to bring Meulensteen to Arsenal "as simply too good to pass up".

"I feel that we already have one of the very best coaching set-ups here at Arsenal but we are never stop in our search to improve our methods, and when we learned of René's availability we felt it was too good an opportunity to pass up. World class coaches do not become available that often".

"I am delighted to welcome René to Arsenal Football Club and look forward to working closely with him in the coming seasons".

Arsenal also announced the arrival of two more staff additions, with Massimo Neri joining as a fitness coach and Mark Chamberlain - the father of Gunners winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - also signing on after leaving Portsmouth.

Neri will also continue to work for the Russian Football Federation as part of national team manager Fabio Capello's coaching set-up. He also worked under Capello during the Italian's ill-fated time with England.
will be following, good luck
Good luck with this TS, good luck at Arsenal.
Good to see you back TS! Good luck with this
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Arsenal move to snap up Richairo Živković from Groningen
• 16-year-old had been courted by other top European clubs
• Youngster becomes third striker to join Gunners this summer


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Jamie Jackson
The Guardian
, Wednesday 17 July 2013 10.14 GMT


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Arsenal have today announced the signing of Dutch prodigy Richairo Živković from FC Groningen. The Gunners were able to fight off competition from a host of European clubs, including the likes of FC Porto and Atlético Madrid, to secure the signature of the 16-year-old.

Živković, who is of Serbian and Curaçaoan descent, gained significant attention at Groningen with his performances in the reserve team and became the club's youngest ever player after coming on as a substitute against Heracles Almelo last December. He had turned 16 just three months before.

The Dutchman is the third striker Arsène Wenger has brought to the club this summer with Yaya Sanogo and Álvaro Morata joining from Auxerre and Real Madrid respectively. Živković will spend the forthcoming season as part of the U21 and U18 sides and will work closely with Liam Brady, with the former Gunners player currently working as the Head of Youth Development at London Colney.

It is thought that Arsenal are still in the market for a central defender, with Everton youngster John Stones and Joël Veltman of Ajax supposedly interesting Wenger, whilst Schalke winger Julian Draxler continues to be linked with a move to North London.
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Morata likely to miss start of the season
• Spaniard joined Arsenal from Real Madrid earlier this month
• Sports hernia likely to keep him out for over a month


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Guardian staff
The Guardian
, Saturday 20 July 2013 17.55 GMT


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Arsenal striker Álvaro Morata looks likely to miss the start of the Premier League season after breaking down in training yesterday with a sports hernia.

The 20-year-old moved to North London from Real Madrid earlier this month and will challenge French international Olivier Giroud for a starting berth in the Arsenal side this season. However, the injury he has suffered means it is unlikely he will be available for the Gunners' first two league matches against Cardiff City and Crystal Palace as well as the first leg of their Champions League play-off match.

Morata joins fellow new arrival Mathieu Flamini on the physio room table after the tenacious midfielder was forced off with a twisted ankle in Arsenal's convincing 4-1 victory over Kilmarnock in the first match of pre-season. Flamini is expected to return before the season starts but club captain Thomas Vermaelen will definitely miss the start of the club's campaign as he recovers from a lower back stress fracture.
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Arsenal complete signing of John Stones
• 19-year-old to provide cover in the centre of defense
• Stones only joined Everton from Barnsley six months ago


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Guardian staff
The Guardian
, Tuesday 23 July 2013 09.23 GMT


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Arsenal have completed the signing of English centre-back John Stones from Everton in a deal thought to be in the region of £11m.

Stones, who is still only 19, will add depth to an Arsenal back line that previously only had Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and the injury-stricken Thomas Vermaelen. His competency in the right-back position will also have helped to entice Arsène Wenger to spend serious money on a relatively young player.

This is not the first time Wenger has opted to spend big on young English talent - Arsenal paid £12m to Southampton to secure the services of Theo Walcott in 2006 and again in 2011 as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cost them £15m.

Stones' signing has taken Arsenal's spending to over £80m this summer after Alvaro Morata and Mesut Ozil both joined from Real Madrid. Mathieu Flamini and Yaya Sanogo have also been added to the first-team squad on free transfers.

The Arsenal squad are returning home after a brief tour of Hungary that ended last night. Stones will meet and fly out to South Africa with his new teammates as they prepare to face Kaizer Chiefs in Johannesburg this weekend.
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Arsenal edge closer to Draxler signing
• Official bid submitted to Schalke
• Fee thought to be in the region of £30m


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David Hytner
Follow @DaveHytner Follow @guardian
The Guardian
, Thursday 26 July 2013 12.02 BST


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Arsenal are confident of completing another big-name transfer this summer after submitting an official bid to Schalke for the services of their young winger Julian Draxler.

The North London club, famously frugal in recent seasons, have already spent over £70m this summer on Mesut Özil, Álvaro Morata and John Stones and any potential deal for Draxler would likely take their spending to over £100m. Draxler has a release clause in his contract of around £38m but it is thought that the German club will settle for a fee lower than that.

The 19-year-old is reportedly extremely open to the idea of moving to the Premier League and working under the tutelage of Arsène Wenger who has already brought a number of his German compatriots to the club.

Schalke have long been reluctant to sell Draxler but have recently become more accepting that it may not be possible given the sort of money being offered and the player's desire to move.
Unlucky with Morata but your building a nice young team here
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Jack Wilshere believes Arsenal can win the title
• Central midfielder hoping for a strong season ahead of the World Cup
• Arsenal looking to take advantage of managerial changes elsewhere


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David Hytner
Follow @DaveHytner Follow @guardian
The Guardian
, Tuesday 30 July 2013 10.33 BST


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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes the club are in a good position to win the Premier League title once again after coming through a "difficult few seasons" where they have not been able to mount a serious challenge.

The club go into the 2013/14 campaign with a host of new players including £42.5m record signing Mesut Özil and ended the last season on a high after putting together an impressive string of results to secure fourth place and Champions League football over Tottenham Hotspur.

Wilshere, who is still only 21, returned from a long-term ankle injury in October last year and managed to make 33 appearances in his comeback season. The tenacious midfielder now hopes he can play a big part in any potential title push Arsenal will have this season whilst also hoping to help England qualify for the World Cup.

"It's a big year for me and I want to continue to improve. I feel that as a club we are now in a position where we can really push on and win something this year, and maybe even win the title, and I want to be able to contribute to those goals".

"I think we have bought really well this summer and of course it's an amazing thing that we were able to buy a player as good as Özil - it's given us a huge lift. He's world class and he inspires others around him to improve their games, including me."

Wilshere also spoke about how Arsène Wenger's continued presence could be a big advantage as the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all changed managers this summer.

"We all know the boss and how he wants us to play. It's very stable here, we know what's required of us and maybe for the other teams who have changed managers will have a transitional period. If that's the case we want to make sure we take advantage."
Updates all very smart mate, you going to keep the same template throughout?
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Updates all very smart mate, you going to keep the same template throughout?

Undecided at the moment. What do you reckon? Should I mix it up a bit or do you like the Guardian template?
I think the Guardian is smart, but I would say mix it up for match reports? maybe other 'newspaper' titles rather than the BBC sport one, or even sky sports?
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I think the Guardian is smart, but I would say mix it up for match reports? maybe other 'newspaper' titles rather than the BBC sport one, or even sky sports?

Could do. It took me a bit of time to replicate the Guardian template so I'll wait and see for now. Thanks for the feedback.
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Julian Draxler signs for Arsenal in £31m deal
• 19-year-old winger becomes club's second most expensive player
• Signing takes Arsenal's spending up to £100m for the summer


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Amy Lawrence
The Guardian
, Thursday 8 August 2013 14.23 BST


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Arsenal have sent another serious message of intent to their Premier League rivals by completing the signing of German wonderkid Julian Draxler from Schalke in a deal worth around £31m. Draxler arrives alongside Yaya Sanogo, Mathieu Flamini, John Stones, Álvaro Morata and countryman Mesut Özil as part of a spending spree that has now reached the £100m mark.

Draxler, who is still only 19, had long been courted by Arsène Wenger and in the end Arsenal were able to land the player for less than his reported £38.5m release clause, with his desire to swap Gelsenkirchen for North London a leading factor in securing a lower fee.

As well as Özil, Arsenal also have Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Serge Gnabry as part of an already significant German contingent at the club and will be hoping that having many of his compatriots alongside him will help Draxler settle.

For Arsène Wenger, this summer has proved to be like no other during his 17-year reign with a £100m outlay on new players that has dwarfed any money spent previously. The £31m fee on Draxler's head along with the £42.5m record spent on Özil seems almost surreal given that Wenger had never previously spent more than £15m on a single player.
Got a very nice attack with that Draxler signing. Must leave the budget a bit dry now though
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Got a very nice attack with that Draxler signing. Must leave the budget a bit dry now though

It's at £0.
I like the Guardian format, bollocks the haters! Cracking work.
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Arsenal to face PAOK in Champions League qualifiers
• Greek outfit finished second in Superleague last season
• First leg to be played at Emirates Stadium on 21st August


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David Hytner
Follow @DaveHytner Follow @guardian
The Guardian
, Friday 9 August 2013 11.54 BST


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Arsène Wenger and his Arsenal side will have to navigate a two-legged tie against Greek outfit PAOK Salonika is they are to reach the group stage of the Champions League for the 14th consecutive year.

Arsenal were able to avoid the the impressive Spanish outfit Real Sociedad and will no doubt be pleased with the draw, yet the side that finished second only to Olympiacos in the Greek Superleague last season will undoubtedly mount a challenge for the Gunners.

The first leg of the tie will be played at Emirates Stadium on August 21st, in between the club's opening Premier League fixtures against Cardiff City and Crystal Palace, whilst the second leg will be played in Salonika on August 27th.

The full draw is as follows;

AC Milan vs. Pacos Ferreira
Real Sociedad vs. PSV Eindhoven
FC Schalke 04 vs. FC Nordsjælland
Arsenal vs. PAOK Salonika
Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Red Bull Salzburg
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Atlético Madrid make bid for Bacary Sagna
• Right-back's contract only has one year left to run
• Contract talks with Arsenal have seen little progress made


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Paul Wilson
Follow @paulwilsongnm Follow @guardian
The Observer
, Sunday 11 August 2013 18.34 BST


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Atlético Madrid have moved to take advantage of Bacary Sagna's contract situation at Arsenal and have today tabled an official bid for the full-back.

Sagna's contract with the North London club expires next summer and last month it was confirmed that his representatives had opened talks with Arsenal about the prospect of a new deal. However, it is understood that talks have stalled in the past two weeks with the club and the player unable to agree over wage demands and the length of the contract.

Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone is a big fan of the French full-back and is keen to bring in a replacement for the Spanish defender Juanfran who looks likely to be leaving the club this summer.

It remains to be seen whether or not Sagna would be open to a move to Spain with his family settled in London, whilst it is unlikely Arsène Wenger would be pleased with the idea of losing one of his most consistent performers. Having spent £100m already this summer it also seems unlikely that the Arsenal board would be keen to sanction another significant outlay on a new player.
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Serge Gnabry joins Lille on season-long loan
• Arsenal wanted young starlet to get more game time
• Vermaelen and Morata return to first-team training


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Amy Lawrence
The Guardian
, Monday 19 August 2013 11.47 BST


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Arsenal have announced that their 18-year-old winger Serge Gnabry will spend the rest of the 2013/14 season playing for Lille in Ligue 1.

Gnabry had been the focus of a loan bid from Bundesliga outfit Mainz but Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger felt the winger's time would be best served playing regular football in France as opposed to spending a year back in his homeland.

After making his debut for the club last season and featuring in some of the club's friendly matches this summer it was thought that Wenger may opt to keep Gnabry in North London to give his squad more options in attack. However, with Julian Draxler joining from Schalke in July it was decided that Gnabry's chances of getting serious game time would be restricted.

Arsenal have also been boosted by the news that Thomas Vermaelen and Álvaro Morata have begun training with the first-team after both missed the entirety of the Gunners' pre-season schedule through injury.

Vermaelen, the club captain, had spent three months recovering from a stress fracture in his lower back whilst Morata had been suffering from a sports hernia he received not long after he completed his £14.7m move to Arsenal from Real Madrid.

Both players are expected to miss out on the club's first-leg play-off tie against PAOK Salonika on Wednesday night as well as the Premier League game at home to Crystal Palace this weekend. However, Morata could be set to make his debut in the away leg of the PAOK match-up providing he suffers no setbacks.
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