Sanchez signing lifts Gunners
Published 14/07/2014 | 15:33
Alexis Sanchez's arrival has left the Arsenal squad "buzzing" ahead of the new campaign, according to defender Carl Jenkinson - with more new signings expected before the Community Shield against Manchester City at Wembley.
Arsene Wenger is set to return from his media duties at the World Cup this week, as the Gunners step up pre-season preparations, which will see many players rejoin the group following international duty, ahead of the friendly against the New York Red Bulls at the end of the month.
German trio Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil, however, will be given some extra-time off following their success in Rio, with a full three weeks' break scheduled.
Reports in Spain suggest Arsenal are also intent on bringing in Sami Khedira from Real Madrid, while compatriot Lars Bender, who missed the World Cup through injury, is another reported target.
Press Association Sport understands while a defensive midfielder remains on Arsenal's target list, along with a right-back and goalkeeper cover, suggestions that another big-money deal is imminent are premature.
Arsenal, though, did move swiftly to close out the transfer of Chile forward Sanchez in what is said to be a £30million deal from Barcelona.
Sanchez arrives with a reputation as a top quality striker and Jenkinson believes he can help the FA Cup winners target more success.
"He is world class and they are the sort of players you want to see at the club. The squad are buzzing as much as the fans, because if you are going to push on as a club and really compete for things, you need to sign top players," Jenkinson said on www.Arsenal.com.
"We have done that with him for sure - it is a fantastic addition.
"He's quick and direct, he can play up front and on the wing, and he is very dynamic. He will definitely fit the Arsenal style of play."
Jenkinson added: "Once you have got one (trophy), you want to experience it again, so fingers crossed we can compete on all fronts this season.
"We have the squad and we are signing players like Sanchez, so I don't see why we can't."
Arsenal are expected to confirm the arrival of France defender Mathieu Debuchy once Newcastle have been able to bring in a replacement, with Holland full-back Daryl Janmaat said to be in talks over a move from Feyenoord to Tyneside.
Atletico Madrid right-back Javi Manquillo is another player on Wenger's radar, along with 19-year-old Southampton right-back Calum Chambers as Arsenal look to cover off the departure of Bacary Sagna, who earlier this summer joined Manchester City on a lucrative free transfer.
Egypt international centre-back Ahmed Fathi has, meanwhile, travelled to London for a trial, the defender's club Al Ahly announced.
Arsenal also need a goalkeeper, and have been linked with Norwich's John Ruddy.
The Gunners will take a select side to Boreham Wood on Saturday, where Jenkinson and others who were not involved at the World Cup could get a first run-out in a side likely to include goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Mikel Arteta and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
England midfielder Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, may find himself with some explaining to do when he returns to London after photos were posted online of the 22-year-old appearing to smoke while on holiday in Las Vegas.
In October last year, Wilshere issued an apology after being photographed smoking outside a London nightclub.
Nine months ago, he said: "I made a mistake. Players make mistakes. I am not a smoker, so I think that will be my last one."
Follwing their trip to the United States, Arsenal host the Emirates Cup on August 2/3, which is likely to present a debut for Sanchez.
Arsenal play Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield August 10 before starting the new domestic campaign at home to Crystal Palace.