Signing Elliott Frear would give Cheltenham Town the fear factor

Cheltenham Town have been linked with a move for Forest Green Rovers winger Elliott Frear, if the deal goes through it could be the signing of the summer by manager Gary Johnson.

The pacey 25 year-old is exactly the sort of player that Cheltenham currently lack and the move would certainly excite Robins’ fans for more than one reason.

 

 

Frear was one of the few players not wearing red and white to shine in the National League last season. As both Gloucestershire sides tussled for the title, the former Exeter City man was a prominent nuisance for defenders and impressed in both meetings between Forest Green and Cheltenham Town.

Frear has netted six goals in each of his last three seasons in the National League during spells with Salisbury FC and Forest Green. Having spent the last two years with latter, he has become a fan favourite due to his pace and creativity out wide.

If he switched the New Lawn for Whaddon Road, Frear would become the second ex-Rovers player to do so this summer. Former Forest Green captain James Jennings joined the club in late May and his old teammate may be persuaded considering there is a prospect of playing in the Football League at stake.

With injuries piling up at Cheltenham Town, manager Johnson looks to be on the hunt for reinforcements out on the flanks. James Dayton is the only out and out wide man at the club and if the Robins are going to deploy a 442 system they are going to need another winger.

 

Frear most certainly fits the bill and weakening one of our rivals, albeit not in the same division, in the process would be another bonus with his signature. However Cheltenham must pay a fee for his services which could be a minor stumbling block.

But if the rumours are true, this could be a cracking piece of business executed by Cheltenham Town.

Is Serge on the verge of an Arsenal return?

Back in 2012, Serge Gnabry was fast becoming Arsene Wenger’s hottest prospect when he was promoted to the Arsenal first team at the tender age of 17. The German winger made his debut against Coventry City in the League Cup and started to feature for the Gunners on a sporadic basis during the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 seasons, he scored his first and only Arsenal goal to date against Swansea City in September 2013.

Unfortunately for the former Stuttgart youngster, his once promising career looked to be on the verge of collapse after suffering a knee injury in March 2014, shortly after making his most recent appearance for Arsenal at Bayern Munich in the Champions League. The 21 year-old has struggled to recover any sort of consistent form ever since, an unsuccessful loan spell at West Brom threatened the end of his Premier League career, until now.

Gnabry has excelled for Germany at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, scoring six goals in just five matches. He is guaranteed a medal as Germany are set for a showdown with hosts Brazil in the final on Saturday. In a recent press conference, Arsene Wenger expressed his desire to keep hold of Gnabry, indicating that he could well be part of the Frenchman’s plans this season.

 

Despite his severe lack of first team action over the last couple of years, both Wenger and Germany under 21/ Olympic head coach Horst Hrubesch have shown faith and patience with Gnabry and that is clearly starting to pay off.

Gnabry 2.jpg

The forgotten man has surged in Rio

 

As many potential stars come and go, particularly at clubs like Arsenal, players like Gnabry are rarely offered a second chance. Especially in a highly competitive squad full of exciting wingers such as Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi. But the stocky, quick and prolific Gnabry could be ready to have a go at breaking into the Arsenal squad once again and that is hardly a risk considering he shone at an even younger age.

Despite attracting loan interest from abroad at clubs such as Hertha Berlin, now appears to be the best time to get Gnabry back into the Arsenal ranks, do that and we may start to see the potential he threatened to unleash two years ago.

 

Robbing Bolton is not enough as Wenger confirms Arsenal are holding out for another defender

Arsene Wenger will not be short of absentees on Premier League opening day when his side take on Liverpool at the Emirates, it’s a situation that is becoming all too familiar for Arsenal fans.

Defensively, the Gunners may be without their first choice centre back pairing with Laurent Koscielny recovering from Euro 2016 after reaching the final with France and Per Mertesacker facing up to five months out with a knee injury.

Per Mertesacker

Injuries as per usual for Arsenal

 

That leaves Arsenal with Gabriel Paulista, Callum Chambers and Rob Holding as potential options to fill in at centre back. However Wenger has admitted that he will look to sign another defender before the transfer window shuts and the Frenchman is under pressure to find top quality.

Rob Holding recently completed a £2.5 million move to the Emirates Stadium after an impressive breakthrough campaign at Bolton Wanderers, where he won player of the season. The 20 year-old has already started to showcase his ability and talent on Arsenal’s pre season tour in the USA, where he even managed to score in the clubs most recent friendly victory against Chivas Guadalajara.

Alongside Callum Chambers, Holding has huge potential and many fans would like to see the young Englishmen forge a partnership together but that could be a risk so early in the season. The future of Arsenal and England’s defence may look bright, but Wenger confirmed he will delve into his transfer kitty in order to find an experienced and proven player to fill in the gap left by Mertesacker, with all the fingers pointing at another German in the shape of Shkodran Mustafi.

Formerly on the books at Everton, Mustafi has kicked on since leaving Goodison Park in 2012 and has since enjoyed a spell at Sampdoria before joining Valencia in 2014. At just 24 years-old the German international has gradually made a name for himself at the Mestalla.

Although without a consistent centre back partner he and Valencia have endured a difficult season. However Mustafi did impress for Germany at Euro 2016 after coming into the side following a Jerome Boateng injury, also managing to score in Die Mannschaft’s group opener against Ukraine.

Shkodran_Mustafi20140714_0012_(cropped).jpg

Is signing Mustafi a must for Arsenal?

 

The Gunners are also in the market for a new striker with Lyon front man Alexandre Lacazette heavily linked with a move to North London, but Wenger must act quickly if either will line up against Liverpool in just over a week’s time.

Lacazette_(3).jpg

Could Lacazette be the answer to Arsenal’s lack of strikers?

 

At least one gap has been filled in the Arsenal squad, new signing Granit Xhaka is already showing his class in pre-season and looks to be the answer to Arsenal’s lack of steel in holding midfield. But with opening day looming Wenger and the Arsenal board must act quickly to add more, or they will risk falling behind their title rivals.