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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL snapshots: 'Key Arsenal trio will not be sold in January'

EPL snapshots: 'Key Arsenal trio will not be sold in January'

December 07, 2017 16:39 IST

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal

IMAGE: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal (center) celebrates with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (15) and Alexis Sanchez celebrate. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Arsenal will not sell striker Olivier Giroud, midfielder Jack Wilshere and winger Theo Walcott in the January transfer window despite their lack of playing time at the Premier League club, manager Arsene Wenger has said.

 

The trio have started a majority of the club's Europa League and League Cup games this season but are yet to start a league match, with Giroud making 12 substitute appearances while Wilshere has been limited to four and Walcott to three.

Their lack of top-flight action could cost them a spot in their respective nations' 2018 World Cup squads but Wenger said the trio will not move away from the Emirates.

"They have to make their decisions; I have to make mine," Wenger told reporters on Wednesday.

"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."

England international Walcott has been at Arsenal for 11 years but is no longer a regular starter but Wenger has backed the 28-year-old to reclaim his spot.

"He has it in him (to become a first-team regular)," Wenger added. "Of course he is frustrated but he is focused. He doesn't give up at all and is more determined than ever."

Arsenal have numerous players whose contracts expire in the next two years, including Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech.

"When you pick a team you do not necessarily look how long a contract is," Wenger said. "The shorter the contract is, the more hungry the players are usually. The hunger index drops with the length of the contract."

Arsenal have already progressed to the Europa League knockout stages and host Belarus' BATE Borisov in their final group game later on Thursday.

Liverpool's Moreno a doubt for Everton clash, says Klopp

Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno is doubtful for Sunday's Merseyside derby against Everton after sustaining an injury in Wednesday's 7-0 Champions League win over Spartak Moscow, manager Juergen Klopp has said.

A tearful Moreno was substituted close to halftime after a collision with Spartak's Roman Zobnin as Liverpool sealed progression to the last 16 as group winners but Klopp is hopeful that the 25-year-old's injury is not too serious.

"We had a little shadow on the night when Alberto Moreno needed to get substituted. It was a strange situation. He is a tough guy and if he cannot continue the game then you should consider it could be something serious." Klopp told reporters.

"In the treatment room then, he was a little bit more positive, so maybe we are lucky and it's not too serious. We will see.

"We need all the boys for the next few weeks, but especially in this week for the next game on Sunday..."

Liverpool's last 7-0 win came in a Champions League game against NK Maribor in October that was followed by a thumping 4-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur and Klopp has urged his side to avoid another poor return to league action.

"We showed tonight that we learned from the mistakes we made in Sevilla (where the side blew a three-goal halftime advantage to draw 3-3)... now we have to show we have learned from the mistakes after Maribor when we faced Tottenham," Klopp added.

"We will be ready again on Sunday and if the crowd is ready to help us, it would be nice."

Liverpool are fourth in the table and will be looking to reduce the 14-point deficit to league leaders Manchester City, who travel to second-placed Manchester United on Sunday, with a win in the Merseyside derby.

After a poor start to the campaign, Everton have lost just one of their last five league games to climb to 10th in the standings but the Toffees have not beaten Liverpool in 14 encounters since a 2-0 league win in 2010.

Source:
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