Arsenal had an eventful January transfer window, with three players coming into the club while five have departed.
Alexis Sanchez was the biggest name among those who left, as he joined Manchester United in a swap deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way.
The veteran winger Theo Walcott also ended his 12 year stay at the Emirates and signed for Everton in a deal understood to be around £20 million.
Oliver Giroud left on the transfer deadline day for city rivals Chelsea, while Francis Coquelin and Mathieu Debuchy joined Valencia and Saint Etienne respectively.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the club’s record signing as he joined Arsenal on the deadline day, signing for £55m which beats out the summer signing Alexandre Lacazette’s £46.5m fee.
The striker debuted right away in last night’s 5-1 beat down of Everton at home, playing full 90 minutes and scoring a goal.
Mkhitaryan also played brilliantly in his first start for Arsenal, providing with three assists to help the Gunners cruise comfortably at home.
Arsene Wenger hailed both newcomers at the post game press conference, calling their performance “convincing”.
“Overall, the two players integrated our game well, and they look like they have played with us forever,” the manager said. “Because they have similar qualities to what our game is about. They are technically good, they are quick. It was a convincing first performance.”
Wenger also believes that Aubameyang could get even better when his fitness improves, after reports yesterday claiming the player is suffering from an illness.
“I feel the quality of his movement was excellent, the quality of his finishing was excellent. That is not completely at his best physically, he has still some work to do physically,” Wenger said.
“I like the quality of his movement I must say. He is always looking to go in spaces that are very difficult for the defenders to cover. When we know him better and understand him better, I think he will be more dangerous.”
The win means Arsenal are now three points away from the fifth place Tottenham Hotspur, although they have a game in hand. Tottenham travel to Liverpool tomorrow for a matchup against the Reds.
Despite the fine team performance, the evening wasn’t all smiles for Arsenal as both Petr Cech and Nacho Monreal went down with injuries and had to be substituted.
Wenger, though, offered an optimistic view on both players’ problems when asked at the press conference.
“Monreal was sick,” Wenger said. “Cech had a kick on his calf. I don’t know medically how bad it is, it was just a kick.”
It is unclear whether they will be available to travel to Wembley for next weekend’s clash against Tottenham.
Wilshere came through the ranks at Arsenal youth academy, and was expected to become the club’s key player when he broke through the first team in the 2010/11 season.
However, multiple injury issues have hindered his progress, and he even had to go out on loan to Bournemouth last season to earn regular playing time.
Since returning in the summer, the England international has made 24 appearances in all competitions so far, scoring twice and providing three assists.
With his contract running out in the summer, Arsenal have been in discussions with Wilshere for a new contract, and offered £80,000 a week wages.
The wages are lower compared to his current contract, which is around £120,000 a week including bonuses.
It is understood that the midfielder isn’t too happy about the pay cut, which is one of the main reasons why the negotiations between the two parties have stalled.
Meanwhile, Wilshere is gaining interest from Liverpool. According to an exclusive report from The Sun, Liverpool are keen on Jack Wilshere and will swoop in if he chooses not to renew his contract at Arsenal. Manager Jurgen Klopp, is a huge fan of Wilshere’s playing style.
So Liverpool is currently monitoring the 26-year-old’s situation with Arsenal, and target him as a possible replacement for Emre Can.
Can, similarly to Wilshere, has a contract running out in the summer, and he has snubbed Liverpool’s offer for a new deal in order to move to Juventus.
“Sometimes a player just wants to sit out his contract,” Klopp said when asked about Can’s current situation at Anfield.
“That’s not cool for the club, but there are moments in which you have to accept it.
“Emre is still a young lad but he has developed into a great player and is very important for us.
“And as long as the player behaves like Emre does, then I have absolutely nothing to complain about. He gives everything he has and identifies with the club.”
Should Wilshere move to Liverpool at the end of the season, he will be reunited with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whom he played together at Arsenal for six seasons and are teammates for England.
Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to Liverpool back in August for a £35 million deal, and has 29 appearances across for his new club in all competitions.
“It’s going really well at the moment,” he said when talking about his current situation at Anfield.
“I’m really enjoying myself. We’re in a good run of form and have had some good results so that always helps. There’s a really good atmosphere in and around the boys so it’s a really good place to be.
“I’m feeling like I’ve really settled in and I feel comfortable around the boys. They’re all very welcoming and I feel part of the group.
“When you’re feeling comfortable in your environment, that starts to come out on the pitch and it’s easier to do what you do best. That’s where I am at the moment, but I know there’s a lot more room for improvement and I need to keep pushing it out of myself.”