Arsenal round-up: Wenger tried to sign Messi, Crowley returns from loan spell

Arsenal will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they play Swansea City on Saturday after they suffered a dismal defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.

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Arsene Wenger’s men were left red-faced after their 3-0 loss to Carlos Carvalhal’s side at Hillsborough and the pressure will be on for them to turn their form swiftly back around when they go to Wales this weekend.

With plenty of team news and transfer speculation to discuss, here is a round-up of everything from the capital heading into the weekend.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has stated that Arsenal had attempted to sign Barcelona’s Lionel Messi when he was a youngster. The 28-year-old came through the La Masia academy after he was snapped up as a young starlet from Argentina. However, Balague has now claimed that Arsenal actually made a move for the four-time Ballon d’Or winner during their days of chasing Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona’s famous academy. Messi has the second-highest Performance Score (459) in the Barcelona squad this season, despite missing the last three league games. (talkSPORT)

Lionel Messi has supplied two assists for Barcelona in the league this season.

Arsenal have confirmed that Daniel Crowley has returned to North London from his loan spell with Barnsley. The 18-year-old, who began his career at Aston Villa, joined the League One outfit on a youth loan back in July of this year. That loan was believed to last until January 3rd, but Arsenal have now confirmed that the Coventry-born midfielder has now returned to Colney.

Arsenal are considering a surprise January move for striker Anthony Modeste after his fine start to the season in Germany. The 27-year-old has impressed with six goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances for FC Koln, which has prompted Wenger to assess a move for the in-form hit-man in order to take the pressure off Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. Modeste has a 23.1% conversion rate in the league this season. (Espiritu Deportivo)

Anthony Modeste has a 23.1% conversion rate in the Bundesliga this season.

Wenger has confirmed that he is yet to decide who will fill the void down the right-hand side of Arsenal’s midfield, while suggesting that Joel Campbell is a capable option. The Gunners saw Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pick up injuries in the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday this week and Wenger may now have to turn to the 23-year-old to fill in the void down the right-hand side – something he has confirmed he is considering. Campbell has created one chance in the Champions League this season. (Arsenal’s Twitter page)

Aaron Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott are all out of Saturday’s trip to Swansea City, Wenger has confirmed. The 66-year-old also revealed that Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to return to action sooner than his fellow team-mate and England international Walcott, which will be after the international break. Walcott has created six chances in the league this season. (Arsenal’s official website)

Arsene Wenger has a difficult choice to make after losing Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey to injuries.

Last – but not least – Wenger is to blame for Arsenal’s current injury crisis, according to fitness coach Raymond Verheijen. The Gunners have the likes of Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Arteta, Welbeck and Rosicky all on the sidelines at the moment, with their list continuously growing. Verheijen believes Arsenal’s injury problems are the result of Wenger’s ‘old-school’ coaching methods at Colney. Arsenal have created 157 chances in the league this season. (Daily Star)

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