In his pre-match comments ahead of Arsenal’s final Europa League group game, manager Arsene Wenger has put paid to any hopes that Everton would have had to sign two key forwards who find themselves on the fringes at the Emirates. The trio are yet to start a single game amongst themselves in the Premier League this season.
In recent days there has been plenty of talk that Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere could be looking to the January transfer window for a move that would improve their chances of making their respective World Cup squads.
The Blues were reported to be chasing Giroud all summer long as they looked to replace Romelu Lukaku. Walcott similarly has been linked in the last couple of days with a move to Goodison Park, where his mazy runs and direct pace are desperately required.
However, yesterday Wenger said that he wanted to maintain his squad’s strength to handle the multiple fronts of football they are playing in, as reported by The Telegraph.
“I cannot consider too much the interest of the national team. I want to keep the squad. We do not want to become weaker. I have to consider the interest of the player but dominant of that will be the interests of the club. If you can combine the two it is even better but, first, what is important is for the club.”
When asked further if Walcott specifically would stay, he added –
“Yes. He has it in him [to become a first-team regular].
“Of course he is frustrated but he is focused. He doesn’t give up at all and is more determined than ever.”
England manager Gareth Southgate has already stated that Walcott and Wislhere’s absence from the Three Lions squad is because of their lack of game time at the Gunners.
Earlier this week France’s assistant manager Guy Stephan revealed he had spoken to Giroud regarding the minutes he was getting affecting his playing chances for the global showcase this coming summer.
Sam Allardyce has spoken about building up the squad depth this summer, and is expected to add a couple of players to the backline as well as in the attack.