MERRY CHRISTMAS ARSENAL FANS!
Not even transfer talk over Mesut Ozil and Ainsley Maitland-Niles can distract from the importance of Arsenal’s Boxing Day derby at home to Chelsea.
Boss Mikel Arteta will be under more pressure than any Gunners boss for decades if they slump to a ninth defeat in 15 Premier League games.
So it is not surprising Arsenal defender Rob Holding is banking on Arsenal’s impressive last few years against the Blues.
He said: “The past recent history of playing Chelsea have been very good games – a few draws and a few wins so hopefully we can keep that run going.
“We know how exciting they are with the strike force and the players they’ve brought in.
“Frank Lampard has… got a real project to what he’s building to… and it’ll be an exciting game. We have to respect them and play our game.”
Away from the crammed festive period, sixth-bottom Arsenal have been linked with two possible high-profile departures.
New England wideman Maitland-Niles, 23, is said to have caught the eye of LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.
And German newspaper Bild claim midfield outcast Ozil, 32, has held secret talks with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
But Arsenal are reportedly keen on Real Madrid’s Brazil winger Rodrygo, 19, although he was carried off injured on Wednesday.
It’s also claimed Barcelona have rejected the chance to sign Gunners’ centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.