Here are the Arsenal evening headlines for Wednesday, March 17.
Saka injury update
Mikel Arteta has provided an injury update on Bukayo Saka ahead of Arsenal‘s Europa League last-16 second leg against Olympiacos on Thursday night at the Emirates Stadium.
The England international was taken off at half-time in the North London Derby win over Tottenham and replaced by Nicolas Pepe in what was later confirmed as a result of an injury concern.
“No, no it was an injury,” Arteta said when asked to explain the surprise change. “We don’t know, he was feeling his hamstring,” Arteta added when asked to explain the nature of the injury.
And now speaking ahead of the Europa League clash against the Greek champions the Arsenal boss delivered good news on the 19-year-old.
“Everybody is more or less ok,” he said when asked about team news ahead of the match.
“We had a few doubts, but hopefully everybody is going to be involved in the squad.”
Elneny ‘happy’ to sign contract extension
Mohamed Elneny was also on press conference duty and he was quizzed about signing a contract extension.
The midfielder spent last season on loan at Besiktas and was expected to be sold during last summer’s transfer window as the Gunners looked to raise funds.
But whilst Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi were allowed to leave on loan, Arteta opted to keep hold of Elneny and has given the Egypt international 30 appearances across all competitions so far this season.
And with the 28-year-old’s contract expiring next summer, the situation is that he must either sign an extension or be sold at the end of the season in order for the Gunners to risk losing him for free.
Elneny has intimated that talks over an extension have not begun, but would be happy to put pen-to-paper on a new deal to further his stay in north London.
“I am always loyal to Arsenal,” he told reporters. “If Arsenal say to me I will always be happy to do this.”
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Odegaard decides his next transfer
Martin Odegaard wants to stay at Arsenal on a permanent basis.
That is according to a recent report from El Gol Digital who also claim that the Norway international has even instructed his agent to start negotiations over the deal.
In addition, the report states that the Gunners have an ‘ambitious investment plan’ that centers around Odegaard.
football.londonalso understands that Arteta has so far been impressed with Odegaard’s application in training and ease in which he’s settled into life at the club.
The midfielder has struck up friendships with many of his team-mates, including Kieran Tierney who assisted the Norwegian as he scored the equaliser in Sunday’s north London derby win over Tottenham.
And the early signs regarding extending Odegaard’s stay at Emirates Stadium are positive.