Wahi named, seven absent - Lens' matchday squad for Champions League clash vs Arsenal revealed


Familiar names are in store to greet Arsenal in their UEFA Champions League clash against RC Lens with the Ligue 1 side announcing a 21-man matchday squad for the game.

Brice Samba - who kept a clean sheet against the Gunners for Nottingham Forest in the now infamous FA Cup third-round tie in the 2021/22 season - is available for selection as is former Leicester City midfielder Nampalys Mendy after completing a free transfer last month.

But Lens' dangerman, Elye Wahi, should bring back memories of the most recent summer transfer window for Arsenal supporters. Prior to joining the club in a reported €35million (£30million) deal, he was being linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium - as well as Chelsea and West Ham United - as Mikel Arteta looked to bolster his attacking options.

In fact, Montpellier President Laurent Nicollin implied the 20-year-old, who netted 19 goals in 33 Ligue 1 appearances last season, would have welcomed a move if the Gunners had firmed up any interest: "His agent is talking to four or five big clubs, and I know who they are, but I won’t tell you. We know how much he loves Arsenal," he said, as per Sport Witness.

Of course, a switch to north London - or England for that matter - didn't materialise for Wahi as he changed clubs but stayed in France. Ultimately it has been a slow start to the campaign for himself and Lens but he did get off the mark in Friday night's 1-0 win over Patrick Vieira's Strasbourg.

However, more is expected from the youngster: "Elye Wahi wasn't annoyed because he was subbed off but because the players were demanding more from of him," manager Franck Haise said, as per Ligue 1's official website. "I think they're right to be. He scored a nice goal, but he's capable of doing much better than he did tonight."

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Wahi could get the opportunity to show improvements against Arsenal as he has been named in the matchday squad for the Group B clash and the full list is as follows: Goalkeepers: Leca, Samba, Pandor. Defenders: Aguilar, Machado, Danso, Medina, Maouassa, Gradit, Khusanov, Frankowski.

Midfielders: Abdul Samed, Fulgini, Diouf, El Aynaoui, Mendy, Thomasson. Attackers: Sotoca, Wahi, Said, Guilavogui

Expected RC Lens line-up

The Ligue 1 side have confirmed Jimmy Cabot, Wuilker Farinez, Massadio Haidara, David Pereira da Costa, Oscar Cortes, Ayanda Sishuba and Fodé Sylla are the seven players unavailable for selection. Despite this, Haise can name an unchanged side from the 1-0 win over Strasbourg.

How we think RC Lens will line-up vs Arsenal: (3-4-2-1) Mendy; Gradit, Danso, Medina; Aguilar, Mendy, Diouf, Machado; Sotoca, Fulgini; Wahi

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