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New hope Arsenal’s ‘dynamic duo’ will stay

Boost for Gunners fans as Sanchez and Ozil feature in promotional snap for club’s new home kit

22 June, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

The club photograph to promote the new Arsenal kit that features Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. PICTURE: ARSENAL FC

ARSENAL fans were given renewed hope that dynamic duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will be staying in north London after the pair appeared in a promotional shoot for the club’s new home kit.

Both Sanchez and Ozil have entered the last 12 months of their contracts, with little sign that either player is about to put pen-to-paper on a new deal.

That didn’t stop the Gunners from featuring them, alongside Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud, during the launch of their new home kit for the 2017/18 season, which took place outside King’s Cross St Pancras station yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).

Hector Bellerin, who is being heavily linked with a return to Barcelona, also took part in the photo shoot, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has yet to commit his future to the club, played no part in the launch.

Perhaps the who’s in, who’s out of the artwork approach isn’t the most scientific way of deciding whose name to get on the back of your shirt ahead of the coming season, but with Arsenal remaining tight-lipped regarding any negotiations, it’s something for fans to cling to.

With players now on holiday, or tackling the Confederations Cup, it was left to club legends Robert Pires and Martin Keown to launch Arsenal’s new Puma strip, which goes on sale on Monday July 3.

The shirt is, of course, red with white sleeves, and features a red and white collar which adds a “smart but functional element,” according to the club’s official website.

The traditional look will no doubt please Gooners everywhere. However, there are growing reports that Arsenal could include some slightly more controversial away kits, with a new-look light blue one expected to be confirmed later this summer, along with a black and pink third option.

At the launch, Pires said the Gunners need a big spending spree this summer if they are going to mount a challenge for the Premier League title.

More than a decade has passed since Pires last played for the Gunners, but the Frenchman still enjoys a close relationship with supporters, and manager Arsene Wenger.

“All the players and Arsene were very disappointed about last season,” he told Sky Sports. “Of course we won the FA Cup, but they were all very disappointed about not qualifying for the Champions League.

“Now, the most important thing is to look forward to the new season. The objective is to win the Premier League.

“I understand some fans are critical of Arsene, but the most important thing is to believe in him and believe in the team,” Pires added.

“I’m a privileged man because I can still train with the first team. I can see that Arsene is the same guy, and the same manager he has always been. He knows that the most important thing when you manage a club like Arsenal is to win the Premier League.”

Pires also addressed the uncertainty around Sanchez and Ozil, insisting that Arsenal need to keep their best players.

“I hope and wish they extend their contracts because they are both very important players for the stability and the quality of the team,” he said. “We need warriors like Sanchez and we need Ozil. Arsene has a lot of work to do this summer.”

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